Tag Archives: sinful nature

The Deadly Virus in our Churches Today

The Deadly Virus in our Churches Today
This entry is part 21 of 21 in the series Christianity

I met with my pastors, Jon Taylor, Lead Pastor of First Christian Church of Phoenix, and Chuck Foreman, the teaching/missions pastor, this week to talk about collaborating on a small-group study on WWJD?. They agreed to help write it as well as a companion sermon guide.

Chuck forwarded me a newsletter from the Disciple Nations Alliance. I loved the opening message and tried to find it in a blog online at their website so I could share it, but could not. It was written just for the newsletter recipients. Thus, I’m compelled to share it here since it highlights the need for a church-wide study on WWJD?.

Coram Deo: Before the Face of God

A deadly virus is running rampant through the Church around the world. Not a physical virus, but a mental one—and very subtle. Victims typically don’t realize they are infected.

What is this virus? It’s the idea that the Christian faith is primarily personal and private. It addresses personal salvation, and it focuses on developing a pious inner life, but it has little to do with how someone lives the rest of his or her life.

There are huge problems with this.

We spend the vast majority of our time working, eating, playing, and living in relationship with family, friends, and co-workers. If my faith isn’t informing how I live my life, something else surely is. And that something is the accepted norms, values, and practices of my surrounding culture.

The virus enables Christians to assume they are theologically orthodox because they affirm correct answers to the questions of God, man, the fall, and salvation. Yet it prevents them from making a connection between these personal/spiritual topics and how they think about work, life, leisure, and the broader culture. While holding to a form of Christianity, in practice, they are functional atheists, Gnostics, or animists, depending on the culture from which they come.

This explains how Enron’s indicted former CEO, Ken Lay, while serving as an elder in his local evangelical congregation, could drive his company off a cliff. In business, you play by the rules; and in today’s America, the rules are established by the secular, pragmatic, materialistic culture. It is OK to “cook the books” and deceive shareholders, so long as you don’t get caught.

This is just want Satan wants, for the virus strips the church of its saltiness. It is no longer able to influence and shape culture. God’s truth is shackled—prevented from penetrating and saturating all areas of life and society. As a result, the nations are not discipled. Rather, the church increasingly reflects the values and practices of the nations. This is the tragic consequence: The failure of the church to understand, much less carry out, the Great Commission. The nations—trapped in structures of poverty, corruption, and tyranny—are paying the price.

This is the problem we exist to address. This virus has to be attacked head-on, exposed for the lie that it is. When Jesus said “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” he really meant it. His truth applies to every area of public life. It is not merely a message of salvation; it is an all-encompassing way of understanding everything. We are called not just to save people out of the world, but to bring the truth to bear in all areas, thereby living God-honoring lives and creating God-honoring cultures, starting with our families, churches, arenas of work and, ultimately, nations. As this happens, the nations are blessed, just as God promised they would be (Genesis 12:1-3).

God loves His Bride, and we see increasing evidence that He is awakening her to this inward threat. We believe God has raised up the DNA to be part of the solution, and we are grateful for your partnership in the endeavor.

In Galatians 5:13, Paul tells us Christians:

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Here, “the flesh” refers to the sinful nature of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit. You see, it’s not “natural” for us to be godly. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. But Jesus shows us how to live righteous lives and commands us to do so. (Romans 12:1-3)

WWJD? The Revival is not just another fad

Our mission is to help Christians strive to be Christ-like. It’s not easy. We are tempted by the world on a daily basis. That is why the small-group study that we’re preparing is so vital. When discussed in the small-group setting, the group members hold each-other accountable. That makes a big difference from just reading a daily devotional.

Please follow WWJD? The Revival on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We will keep you updated on the progress of the study and when it will be available. In the meantime, look for devotionals, bible passages and encouragements.

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Author
@giselleaguiar 

How Satan Speaks

How Satan Speaks
This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series WWJD?

Satan and his helpers are all around us. He speaks to us in the form of temptations — dangling pretty things in front of us and trying to get us to lie, cheat, steal even kill to get them.

If you put your trust in the Lord and trust that He’ll guide you where He wants you to go, then when an idea comes to mind or your instinct is telling you it’s the right thing to do, stop one more time to ask, “Lord, is this really what you want me to do?” Or “What would Jesus do?

If you still have that urge, then it’s the right thing.

Be aware, that Satan is always trying to steer you in the wrong direction. Whether it’s through an offer that seems too good to be true or the carrot stick of power and money, you’ve got to make sure that it’s not Satan. The risk then may be too great.

Discernment: How do you discern if the message is coming from God or from Satan? It’s not as simple as the angel and the devil on either of your shoulders whispering in your ears. We know to follow the angel’s advice, but end up following the devil’s temptation because it’s too good to pass up.

Satan wouldn’t make fun of you. He’d want to be your buddy so you’d hang around with him. Bad idea.

Follow Christ. Satan’s days are numbered. Christ will come back and rule forever.

Jesus: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” ~Revelation 21:8

Additional Reading:
The devil made me do it. 
Are You Part of the Chosen? 

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out: www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1


Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Our world today – the seven deadly sins

Our world today – the seven deadly sins
This entry is part 10 of 23 in the series WWJD?

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

Doesn’t this passage describe our world today? Kind of describes the seven deadly sins: greed, pride, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath, and envy – the things responsible for the status of our current situation. Let’s break each one down:
Greed: wanting the best, fastest, newest, hottest; wanting more money. We bought houses we couldn’t possible afford and the banks let us. 
Pride: boasting that you have the best, fastest, newest, hottest, most luxurious.
Gluttony: wanting more food than our bodies need. Over 1/4 of Americans are overweight or obese. 
Lust: sex is everywhere you look. When advertisers discovered that “sex sells”, we were bombarded.  There’s no such thing as love at first sight – it’s lust at first sight.
Sloth: we are a sloppy bunch. Single people tend to be guilty of this. Who cares if the house is dirty? No one else is going to see it. 
Wrath: anger – uncontrollable desires for malice or revenge. “Going postal” doesn’t mean you’re mailing a letter – you take a gun, go into the office of the employer who just fired you and start shooting at random. 
Envy: better than the Joneses. Envy goes together with greed and pride. Someone boast that they have a new car and you need to go out to buy a better one. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side. 
That first passage was written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy a young pastor in a church in Ephesus in the first century A.D. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Paul ends this passage by saying, “Have nothing to do with them.” Easier said than done, right? 
So how does one avoid that. Look at the seven heaven virtues: charity, humility, temperance,  chastity (purity), diligence, patience, kindness. 
Those are very similar to the fruits of the Spirit: 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. ~ Galatians 5:16-25

When you accept Christ as your savior and are baptized, you receive the Holy Spirit in your heart and you have access to these fruits. You don’t automatically get them, but when you need them, all you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for help. 
Notice that self-control is the last, but I think the most important one. The devil’s temptation is everywhere and the only way we can fight it, is to call on the Holy Spirit.  

When you’re about to lose your self-control, that’s when you need to ask your What Would Jesus Do?
WWJD bracelet green glow in the dark WWJD wristband
God Bless,
Giselle
Soli Deo Gloria