Every one of us have had times when we have felt that our faith is weak and our victory is lost. This sermon will teach you what to do in those times. Be blessed and enjoy!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
The Government has told parents to discuss sex with their children without “trying to convince them” of what is right and wrong. Should the Government tell parents not to pass on values? The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert discusses the issue on BBC Three Counties Radio. The advice comes in a new booklet, called Talking to your Teenager about Sex and Relationships, which is to be made available at pharmacies nationwide.
It has prompted criticism from family campaigners who say it is “outrageous” for the Government to tell parents not to give children clear moral guidance on sexual relationships. Although the Government says it is keen for parents to discuss sex with their children, it recently emerged that parents’ views were ignored during consultations on making sex education compulsory in primary and secondary schools. The new booklet tells parents: “Under the NHS, contraception and condoms are free and there are lots of safe and effective methods that are suitable for young people – encourage your teenager to visit their local clinic or GP so they can make a choice that’s right for them. “Why not offer to go with your daughter or encourage them to take a friend to support them? “Or, if you have a teenage son, suggest he talks to his girlfriend about it and visits a clinic with her.” It cautions: “Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own. “Remember though, that trying to convince them of what’s right and wrong may discourage them from being open.”
Children’s minister Beverley Hughes said the Government “doesn’t bring up children” but “does have a role to play in supporting parents and giving them access to advice and information”. But Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: “The idea that the Government is telling families not to pass on their values is outrageous. “Preserving children’s innocence is a worthy goal. We would like to see more of that kind of language rather than this amoral approach where parents are encouraged to present their children with a smorgasbord of sexual activities and leave them to make up their own minds.”
Author and researcher Patricia Morgan, who is completing a book on teenage pregnancy, said: “All the evidence from the United States is that if parents say they disapprove of underage sex, the teenagers are less likely to do it. “If parents talk about underage sex and do not disapprove of it, the children go on to do it. It is pretty basic stuff,” she added. “Parents are not allowed to know if their child is being given contraception or getting an abortion. But they are being told to teach their children about sex in a manner dictated by the State.”
Meanwhile FPA (formerly the Family Planning Association) has been given £530,000 by the Government to train parents in how to teach their children about sex. FPA is the group behind “Let’s grow with Nisha and Joe”, a comic-style sex education booklet for six-year-olds. The group was one of the most vocal proponents of the programme of compulsory in-depth sex education which the Government intends to introduce for school children as young as five.
FPA was criticised last year for promoting a video to schools along with a leaflet telling teenage girls as young as 14 that warnings about the negative consequences of abortion are just ‘myths’. “Women may feel relieved, have mixed feelings or feel sad. Only a few women experience long-term psychological problems and those women who do often had similar problems before pregnancy,” it read. But earlier that year the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) warned that having an abortion can damage a woman’s mental health. The RCP said women should be warned of the risks before proceeding.
I honestly do not know any Bible teacher of any generation who can explain the gospel in a more clear, more convincing, more enlightening manner than Derek Prince does in this 9 minute video.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Few of us have ever recognized the fact that the Scriptures teach that Satan is defeated as far as the believer is concerned.
He was not conquered by the believer; he was conquered by Christ for the believer in His Substitutionary Work.
The Victory Christ wrought belongs to the believer, because we were identified with Christ in His Substitutionary Work. Right there in the presence of all the hosts of darkness, Jesus conquered the Prince of Darkness.
Rotherham’s Translation is graphic: “He paralyzed the death-dealing power of Satan.”
He paralyzed him. He broke him. Now this is what I want you to notice: This was an Eternal victory. Satan was Eternally broken, Eternally conquered.
Did you notice how Peter puts it? I Peter 5:8,”He goes about like a roaring lion,” and he says, “Whom withstand steadfast in your faith.”
Our combat has been fought and won. There isn’t any battle for you to fight except the battle of faith. You are to fight the good fight of faith. What does that mean?
You are to win all your victories with Words.
You are to learn the words of this Wonderful Book, and with Words, you will conquer the enemy.
You see, your combat is not against flesh and blood, as the Spirit tells us in Ephesians 6:12, but it is against the defeated principalities and powers.
These principalities and powers have all been conquered. Their defeat is spoken of in Hebrews 9:12 as an Eternal redemption from them.
You are Eternally set free. They are eternally defeated,whipped,conquered. You get your liberty by remembering these words and then acting accordingly.
Can’t you see what it means? That Satan knows he is whipped but he doesn’t want you to know it. He wants to keep you in ignorance of it.
Well, that is what the book of Genesis says – it says Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. Jacob, the great patriarch is prophesying over his sons on his death bed and he prophesies over Benjamin that he would be a ravenous wolf.
The context is that Benjamin was given 5 times as much food as his brothers, and the Lord spoke this to me in a prophetic word when I was only 20 years old. The Lord told me that He was going to open up His Word to me and show me many things as long as my attitude was always that of a ravenous wolf to His Word. The prophecy was given to me by an old and trusted friend, who was the person who laid hands on me when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time.
Many times when I have been tired of the battle, or haven’t felt like reading the Word, I have remembered that prophecy, and like Paul told Timothy to do, I have waged war with the prophecies that I have been given. I have confessed that I am a wolf towards the Word of God: hungry and ravenous for it, and that I feed on it ravenously. I then would pick up my Bible and start to read it, confess it, meditate on it and study it, picking every piece of meat up that I could get. Thinking about wolves for me has always been a positive experience based on a powerful prophetic word that has beat in my heart for many many years.
Imagine my surprise last month to be called a wolf in a negative way by a blogger who I thought was trying to have a debate on healing in the atonement.
I always thought that the point of a debate is to have a healthy discussion of what the Word of God teaches. It amazed me to see Christians put forth their ideas and opinions based on tradition, based on experience, based on what a certain preacher said and not based on the Word of God. I would try and bring the discussion back to what the Word of God teaches which is that Jesus Christ on the cross completely redeemed us from all sickness (Gal. 3.13, Deut. 28.15-68, Isaiah 53.4-5, 1 Peter 2.24), but people wanted to talk about all sorts of things other than the Word of God!
People are quite prepared to call you names, but not deal with the Word of God!
Eventually two of my posts were actually moderated and not put up in the debate. Then someone had posted a genuine question for me, which I wanted to answer, but I could not. But the person running the blog, well she left the question to me up on the blog, but never allowed me to reply, which to me made it look like I wasn’t answering a genuine question or could not answer the genuine question.
I send a post to the lady running the blog saying could she either politely explain publicly that she was moderating my posts and that is why no answer was appearing to the question, or could she at least remove the question and pass on my contact details to the person who asked if she did not feel that she wanted her debate on healing to continue.
Now this is where it gets interesting: she then, directly because I asked her to be honest in the way she moderated her blog – and bear in mind we are talking about someone who is supposed to be a Christian, sent me a post (which is public and I can direct you to it if you are interested!) in which she called me a heretic, a supporter of evil, a mocker and a total disgrace. She then closed her rant with the comment: You are a wolf Ben.
As I read the last 5 words of this rant, which clearly did not come from the Spirit of the living God, I was reminded again of something I haven’t really thought about for a while, probably not since moving to London and starting Tree of Life Church: Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.
Since that moment, I have had such a hunger for the Word of God like I have not had for years – and I have been a Word person for 11 years now, ever since the 1997 International Believer’s Convention in Birmingham, England.
You see people who argue for this, that and the other and don’t talk about the Word – I don’t hate people like that, I feel compassion for them. They have to fight feelings of shame, guilt, and rejection without the Word. They have to fight rejection without the Word. They have to fight sickness without the Word. They have to fight poverty without the Word.
When every wind of doctrine and heresy comes through the church, they cannot stand because they don’t know the Word. And I have committed to God what I committed to Him many, many years ago when He first called me to plant a church: Tree of Life Church will always be a Word based Church. Every doctrine we teach, every practise we indulge in will be based on one question: WHAT SCRIPTURE DO YOU HAVE FOR THAT.
Tree of Life Church is a word of God based, word-faith, charismatic cell-church. I promise I will never forget that. And if you listen to the Word as we preach it and blog it and podcast it, and however we get it out there, then your marriage will be restored, your body will be healed, you will get out of debt. Your life will be changed. You will be able to stand before God without fear of shame or fear of embarrassment.
Jesus is Lord!
The word “righteousness” has become a religious cliché that has lost its meaning to many people. Even Christians are confused about what righteousness is and how to receive it. This has left our society without a clear understanding of what it takes to have a relationship with God. This is reflected in our nation’s moral collapse. It’s imperative that we get back to the basics of righteousness.
“Righteousness” and its counterpart, “righteous,” appear 540 times in 520 verses of the Bible. In contrast, “faith,” “faithfulness,” and “faithful” are only used 348 times in 328 verses. This means that there are 1.5 times as many scriptures about righteousness as there are about faith. Righteousness is important.
A layman’s definition of righteousness is simply, “right standing with God.” Righteousness is the condition of being in right relationship with the Lord. This can only happen through TOTAL faith and dependence upon Christ. There is no other way, and there is nothing we can add to our faith to obtain right relationship with the Lord (Rom. 11:6).
One of the things that blinds people to a true understanding of righteousness is confusion about how we become right in the sight of God. It is commonly thought that our actions are the determining factor in God’s judgment of our righteousness. That’s not true. There is a relationship between our actions and our right standing with God, but right relationship with God produces actions, not the other way around. That is to say, we are not made righteous by what we do.
Righteousness is a gift that comes from the Lord to those who accept what Jesus has done for them by faith (Rom. 5:17-18). The gift of salvation produces a changed heart that, in turn, changes our actions. Actions cannot change our hearts. It’s the heart of man that God looks upon (1 Sam. 16:7), and we must be righteous in our hearts to truly worship God (John 4:24).
The mistake of thinking that doing right makes us right is the same error the Pharisees made. Religion has always preached that if we clean up our actions, our hearts will become clean too. Jesus taught just the opposite (Matt. 23:25-26). It’s through a changed heart that our actions change. The heart is the issue. Actions are only an indication of what is in our hearts. Actions are the fruit the heart produces.
Modern-day Christianity often puts the emphasis on actions instead of issues of the heart. This is reflected in Christians’ excessive efforts to legislate change in people’s actions instead of changing their hearts by the preaching of the Gospel. It’s the Gospel that contains the power of God, not political action groups (Rom. 1:16). Laws only affect actions. The Gospel changes hearts. Once hearts are changed, actions change.
Contrary to popular belief, Christianity does not promote receiving justice from the Lord. Praise God for that! The Lord has a much better plan. We get what we believe.
I once developed pictures in a photography studio for a living. People would come into the studio to look at their proofs and say things like, “This picture doesn’t do me justice.” I never had the nerve to say this, but I often thought, Lady, you don’t need justice, you need mercy.
That’s the way it is with God. We sometimes call for justice but that’s not what we need. As the Scriptures say, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6). Again, in Romans 3:23 the Scriptures say, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).
The wonderful plan of salvation is that those who put their faith in Jesus and what He did for us get what He deserves. On the other hand, those who do not put their total faith in Christ will ultimately get what they deserve. Believe me, that is not what they want. Religion has subtly instructed people to trust in their own goodness instead of God’s. This will never work. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
The Biblical story of the handwriting on the wall illustrates this point (Dan. 5:1-31). Belshazzar was the king of Babylon. His father, Nebuchadnezzar, had conquered the nation of Israel and brought all the wealth of the temple, along with most of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, back to Babylon. During an extravagant feast, with 1,000 of his lords in attendance, Belshazzar chose to toast his gods using the golden vessels from the temple in Jerusalem, which was in open defiance of the God of Israel.
The Lord moved swiftly and dramatically by creating an image of a man’s hand, with fingers that wrote on the wall in front of Belshazzar and all his guests. Belshazzar called on all his magicians and wise men to decipher the writing, but none could. Then the queen reminded Belshazzar about Daniel who had interpreted the dreams and visions of Nebuchadnezzar when no one else could. Daniel was summoned and the writing explained.
The message from God revealed that Belshazzar had been weighed in the balances and was found wanting. Therefore, his kingdom was divided and given to the Medes and Persians. This came to pass that very night. Belshazzar was overthrown, and Darius, the Mede (Persian), took control.
If we were weighed in the balances against God’s righteousness as Belshazzar was, we too would come up short. God’s righteousness is always more in quantity and quality than ours will ever be. Our righteousness is as filthy rags compared to God’s righteousness (Is. 64:6).
Someone might say, “That’s not fair. No one can compete with God’s righteousness.” That’s exactly right! However, God’s righteousness is the standard by which everyone must be measured. So then, how can anyone be saved? The answer is that no one can be saved, if they are trusting in their own righteousness. We all must have a righteousness that exceeds anything we could ever produce through our own effort. That’s where Jesus enters.
Jesus was in right relationship with God as no one else can be. He is the Son of God. He is God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). He is holy and pure and without sin, yet He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), through no wrongdoing on His part. He took our sin in His own body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:4-5).
In return for Jesus taking our sin, those who put their faith in Him get His righteousness instead of their own. It’s not our actions that make us acceptable to the Father. It’s our trust in Jesus that imparts the righteousness of Jesus into our born-again spirits that makes us in right standing with God.
Those who don’t understand this righteousness, which comes from God as a gift, become frustrated trying to establish their own righteousness through good works (Rom. 10:3). It won’t work. It’s an all or nothing situation (Rom. 11:6). We must trust completely in what Jesus did for us to obtain right relationship with God. Any trust in our own goodness will void the atonement Christ made for us (Gal. 5:4).
This is precisely the condition of millions of people in the body of Christ today. They receive salvation by putting total faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, but then they return to believing that the Lord still relates to them on the basis of their works, even after their salvation. That’s not true.
Colossians 2:6 says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” That means if you were saved by putting faith in God’s grace alone, then you maintain that relationship in the same way. Some people sing “Just As I Am Without One Plea” when they are born again. They need to sing this song all the way through their Christian lives.
Failure to understand this truth is at the root of all guilt and condemnation. Satan’s only inroad into our lives is sin. If we understand our right standing with God on the basis of what Jesus did for us, and not by our own actions, then Satan’s power to condemn is gone. Those who live with a feeling of unworthiness are not trusting in God’s righteousness but are looking to their own actions to obtain right standing with God. That will never work.