The man is Joel Osteen. Opinions vary but I believe we can learn some things here. First is, people obviously respond to encouragement especially when they believe those exhortations fit their lives. Secondly, dressing neatly in a suit and tie does not seem to hurt the crowd size; again, if they believe the message fits […]

What Can We Learn From This Man?

The man is Joel Osteen. Opinions vary but I believe we can learn some things here.

First is, people obviously respond to encouragement especially when they believe those exhortations fit their lives.

Secondly, dressing neatly in a suit and tie does not seem to hurt the crowd size; again, if they believe the message fits them.

Of course, we know making the truth fit them is more important eternally than what the audience might think fits them! See God’s Word on this in II Tim. 4:1-5.

Third and foremost and quite sadly, Mr. Osteen preaches almost entirely assuming that His listeners (live and via media) are true believers. This is a SAD AND SHOCKING error but it is all too common in churches today.

Here are two observations and a challenge.

The more a church does to make it services attractive to the unchurched the more the preacher should assume that many lost people are present. Be wise!

Also, Jesus had 12 close disciples and one never was saved; Judas Iscariot. Beware!

Sometimes the harvest is right before your face. We CANNOT disciple “goats”. NEVER assume that because people like you and your preaching that they are redeemed. Liking you may be part of what Christ is doing so that they can see their sin, see Him and “be born again”. Preacher, be vigilant!

Glenn Rogers

Two big events in January.

Senior Saints Rally

Your seniors will not want to miss this event.  Dr. Jim Henry will be the guest speaker this coming January 27th at Central Baptist Church.  The rally will start at 10 am and include lunch.

Dr. Sullivan to address the Executive Committee.

On January 13th the guest speaker will be Dr. John Sullivan. This will be his last official event with us before he retires in February!

THE FORGOTTEN DOCTRINE – Part II

Part 1 dealt with some basic definitions as well as “WHERE WE ARE” on the filling of the Holy Spirit. I continue with some concerns and challenges.

WHAT WE MISS!  The Holy Spirit filled life is not only a specific command and teaching of the Bible, but it may also serve as a summary phrase for some of the doctrine of sanctification by grace. God’s Spirit working in, with, to, and through us to grow us in holiness, love, and faith making us more like our Lord Jesus inside and out (Phil. 2:12,13) is the Spirit filled life.

When preachers and teachers reduce our faith to confessions and creeds (though they may be Biblically accurate and necessary) then instruct people how to live and behave (even using the Scriptures) but DO NOT teach the truth about the filling of the Spirit, we fail them and the Gospel. This practice produces pride, Pharisee-ism, frustration, and even false converts. When we as Christians  intimate that the experience of salvation is to try to do better in our strength and somehow to “hold out faithful to the end”, we are of all men most miserable. Because of lack of instruction, many think the Christian life doesn’t work when the truth is, for most church members, the real Christian life has not been tried! We MUST teach that: 1- We cannot do what the Bible commands in our own strength. Christ never intended this. 2-Through His Spirit, He desires to live in and through us by faith. We must believe Him to do what He has commanded to be done. 3- We MUST teach one another how to seek and receive and maintain the power that works in us by the domination of His Holy Spirit.

We deceive people when we merely instruct and inspire them for better behavior and obedience, allowing them to think that by law, works, or efforts of the flesh they may please the Lord. By teaching that we can live apart from the Spirit controlled life, we “fall from grace” in the area of sanctification by the Spirit. Jesus said in John 5:30, “I  can of Myself do nothing…” (an incredible statement for the Son of God). How could we not take Him seriously in His teaching on abiding in Him in John 15:5 when He said, “…without Me you can do nothing”?  This is more than just a generic truth but is specifically designed by God to be accomplished by the filling of His Spirit in the believer.

WHAT GOD GAVE! For the doctrinally diligent among us, consider this: The Holy Spirit’s fullness indeed does make us more like our Lord. To be godly and represent His name Elohim, (Gen. 1:1) meaning among other things, the God of fullness, we must ourselves be full of His Spirit. The song writer said, “His height exceeds the Heavens, His weight out-weighs the world, His reach reaches everywhere, His age is evermore.” No wonder the Scripture says, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16); and “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him…” (Col. 2:9,10).

What God gives is fullness, and Who He gives is His Holy Spirit! He indwells every believer at conversion. Then we continue to yield so the Spirit of Christ may be Who He is in who we are so we can be who we are supposed to be. This is the grace for living, and it is found in Jesus by His Spirit’s fullness in each believer. He is the very dynamic of His own demands. “Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it” (I Thess. 5:24).

Since early this year when God again visited me on this subject to revitalize these truths in me and my ministry, there have been attacks, struggles, failures, and victories. Oh how I thank Him for walking with me in all this! I still believe what our Lord Jesus shouted at the feast in John 7:37f, “…’If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive;…” A river is defined by its source, its course, its force, and its capacity. We must seek to define our faith not only by doctrine and duty but also by its dynamic!

Now some questions for us all: Is the teaching you give, seek, and receive FULL of the filling of His Spirit? Are you seeking Him and His fullness in your life? Are you asking God what hinders Him from filling you? Are you seeking through knowledge of the Word and obedience to increase the capacity of the river of your heart?

Your servant,

Glenn Rogers – July 2013