So, You Want To Be Happy?


It is becoming more and more common to hear from a self-declared Christian, “I deserve to be happy”, or “I believe God wants me to be happy”. At first glance, either proposition sounds plausible. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy and why wouldn’t God want you to be happy?

A simple test for anyone who is serious about his or her relationship with God should be this one. For me to be “happy” must I engage in activities God forbids? An honest answer to that question should be the end of the story. A serious disciple of Jesus would immediately realize the foolishness of pleasing self instead of the Savior.

Christian counselors regularly are confronted with situations like this. A person will come in for counsel, a supposed Christian, and say something like this.

I believe it is God’s will for me to divorce my wife and marry another woman I have met because I’m not happy. I believe God wants me to be happy and she will make me happy.

Isn’t it incredible that a grown man would become so twisted in his reasoning that he comes to the place that he believes it’s OK to break any of God’s laws necessary so that he can be “happy”? Over and over deceived men and women fall into the trap of living to please themselves instead of living to please God. The Bible calls this living to please the “flesh”. The human body has built into it appetites for food and drink, sexual fulfillment, wanting things someone else has, and the approval of others. All of these natural desires must be restrained to some degree or the creature will self destruct.

People who give in completely to their desire for food and drink often fill early graves because over eating and drinking can kill you. People who do not control their desire for other people’s stuff go to jail for stealing, and those who don’t control their sexual appetite become sexual deviants who allow their unrealistic sexual desires which leads them to ruin.

God wants you to be Holy, not Happy

It is those who actively and on purpose deny self who find peace, joy, and maybe even happiness. Over and over the Scriptures warn people of faith to live to please God and not ourselves. God’s unique design for humans includes the best way to live our lives under his Lordship. In the Bible there are rules and principals about eating, drinking alcohol, how we treat our neighbors, about sexual expression, and other disciplines, that if followed, will lead to a life full of peace, joy, and hope.

Jesus came into the world  and lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead, precisely because if left to our own devices, everyone of us will self destruct by living full throttle to please our base desires. Jesus came to save us, to make us righteous, to make us a holy people, a people for his name. A bonus of living a Christ centered life is His people are usually the happiest, most fulfilled people anywhere.

Pay day someday

Please, don’t be deceived. God’s law of sowing and reaping is just as sure as the law of gravity. If you jump off a tall building you will pay the consequences. And, if you live for your base desires you will reap a whirlwind. Don’t be stuck on stupid. Submit your life to God and try to do things his way. It’s the only way to live in peace.

 

Nuggets of Fudge – Should I be baptized again?


Jesus Christ personally commissioned his apostles to make disciples of all the nations, to baptize believers and teach them to do everything Jesus commanded (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). The baptism in this commission is gospel baptism in water. John the Baptist contrasted his own baptism in water with the far greater baptism in Holy Spirit that Jesus would administer to believers–whether before their baptism in water (Acts 10), after it (Acts 19), or simultaneous with it (Acts 2). But Jesus also ordained baptism in water as the rite of initiation in Christian conversion. It symbolizes incorporation into Christ’s spiritual body and introduces new believers into the tangible fellowship of that body now on earth.

Actual rebaptism is found only once in the New Testament, in a story of some disciples whom Paul encounters at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7). These disciples have received “John’s baptism,” an outward sign of repentance in preparation for Christ’s coming, but they are behind on the news of God’s saving activity after that (Mk. 1:4-5, 8; Acts 13:23-25). Paul brings them up to date in that regard, baptizes them in the name of “the Lord Jesus,” and lays his hands on them. They immediately receive the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues and prophesy (Acts 19:4-6). Gospel baptism is a major response to the news of Jesus’ atonement and a sign of the new believer’s commitment to follow him.

Christian baptism has nothing to do with joining any denomination, or trusting in baptism for salvation, or fulfilling some local church’s membership requirement. As a bare minimum, any person who trusts Christ for salvation and accepts him as Lord is a proper candidate for gospel baptism (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:36-38; Rom 10:9-10). Anyone regarded as having been baptized on this basis should be welcome in any Christian congregation as a disciple in full standing. Any time that does not happen, baptism–which God intended to be a sign of our unity in Christ–becomes a symbol of our division instead, for which we must sincerely grieve.

Edward Fudge.

( I encourage you to visit Edward’s website, http://edwardfudge.com for a wealth of wisdom and biblical teaching.)

Thanks for visiting and reading,

Royce Ogle

What Calvinism and Arminianism Have In Common


Grace Digest

Lost in a thicket of Arminian and Calvinist debate,
we sometimes lose sight of the grand truths
we hold in common…

By Edward Fudge

What does it mean that Jesus died for all? The question is beguilingly simple. You would not know from the face of it that the question has been at the center of a heated and sometimes vociferous debate. For almost two thousand years, Christians have struggled to understand the effect of Jesus’ death and the scope of its saving power. With the publication in recent months of a number of books by evangelicals on the fate of the unevangelized, larger questions about the scope of the Atonement are gaining renewed currency. Does “all” refer to individual human beings, or nationalities and peoples, or just the elect?Within the Reformation mainstream, two contending viewpoints have emerged, which observers often label Calvinist (after John Calvin), on the one hand…

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Trust and Obey


Grace Digest

I started studying the Bible when I was in my early twenties. I had been in Sunday school classes, Vacation Bible school, and  church services but had never had an appetite for learning about God and the Bible. My interest peaked when I started growing up and realizing the responsibilities of being an adult. I was married, struggling financially much of the time, the few prayers I prayed were seemingly not being answered, and I was searching for truth.

As I began to read long passages of Scripture, (even whole books of the Bible), and tried to understand what they really meant to me, I was shocked that at least some of what I had been taught was in my view not biblical. Later, after I entered Bible school for ministry training, I was also shocked that there were so many different views of what I considered to be important…

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