Doug Eaton

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Divine truth is the sword we wield. Countless theories, philosophies, and worldviews have been raised against the knowledge of God. The natural man knows God exists and that he is righteous and good. He also knows he has fallen short of God’s glory. Instead of turning to his creator in light of this knowledge, he runs away and works to suppress the truth he knows (Romans 1:18).

When Jesus walked among us, he did not take arms against his enemies. He did not hire a political strategist or form a coup. His weapons of war were much different, and as believers, so are ours. Though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. Our weapons are spiritual and have divine power to destroy strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). We have several defenses in our armory but only one offensive weapon: the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Divine truth is the sword we wield. Countless theories, philosophies, and worldviews have been raised against the knowledge of God. The natural man knows God exists and that he is righteous and good. He also knows he has fallen short of God’s glory. Instead of turning to his creator in light of this knowledge, he runs away and works to suppress the truth he knows (Romans 1:18).
In suppressing the truth, he builds his fortresses to buttress himself against God’s word. His complex interwoven arguments of naturalism, paganism, and other false religions cannot save him. Instead, they cut him off from the source of life.
In walks a Christian who has been set free from his self-destructive self-delusion by the Holy Spirit, and he is carrying a sword. It is the same sword that the Holy Spirit used to set him free.
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How to Wait Patiently for the Lord’s Return

Wait patiently for the Lord, as the farmer waits for the early and latter rains (James 5:7). Establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand (James 4: 8), and do not grumble against your fellow Christians so that you may not be judged (James 5: 9). Be examples of suffering and patience to one another, and do not wander from the faith. Those who remain steadfast are considered blessed. 

The days are evil, and some professing Christians are wandering from the faith. Others are sick, and many are suffering. Considering all of this, be patient until the coming of the Lord (James 5:7).
Some who hold power will use it to condemn the righteous. But take heart, Jesus will overthrow their authority on the day of his return. Their riches will rot, and their fine garments will be moth-eaten (James 5: 14). The laborer whose wages they held back is crying out against them. The Lord promises to hear their cry (James 5:4).
Wait patiently for the Lord, as the farmer waits for the early and latter rains (James 5:7). Establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand (James 4: 8), and do not grumble against your fellow Christians so that you may not be judged (James 5: 9).
The days are evil, and some professing Christians are wandering from the faith. Others are sick, and many are suffering. Considering all of this, be patient until the coming of the Lord (James 5:7).
Some who hold power will use it to condemn the righteous. But take heart, Jesus will overthrow their authority on the day of his return..
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Profanity and the Gospel

Profanity in the secular worldview is nothing more than a social construct that has no basis in objective truth. A worldview that is unable to define cursing has also lost the ability to bless. When you lose one, you lose the other, which is a significant step backward for mankind made in the image of God. For Christians, who are called to communicate the good news of the gospel, the greatest blessing of all, it seems absurd to be constantly cursing. 

Profanity is becoming more and more mainstream, but its constant use defiles us more than most people realize. Cursing only has one practical use. The act of being boorish has a way of waking people up when they have stopped paying attention. Using a swear word does have the effect of making people snap out of it and take notice. The problem is that it only works for a short time. If cursing becomes common, that utility is no longer viable, for the cursing itself will be tuned out. This truth is why much of today’s profanity is meaningless.
As Christians, how we communicate is of the utmost importance, and using the Lord’s name in vain is always off-limits. However, when it comes to slang, the rules are not as hard and fast. Outside of using the Lord’s name in vain, profanity involves various modes. One is taking something vulgar and applying it to things that are not. Scatological terms come to mind here. This could also include the slang used to describe a promiscuous woman or an overbearing man. Another form is taking something that is not necessarily crude, like the term used for a female dog or donkey and applying it to something more dignified like a human. Both are attempts to degrade or shock. A third use usually involves using obscenities as an expression of fear, wonder, or other emotion.
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No Blood Money in the Temple Treasury

After we admit our spiritual poverty, since we do not possess the righteousness we need, we must hunger and thirst for righteousness from another source. There is only one place we can find it.

How do the wicked not become overwhelmed with guilt? How can they boast, “only God can judge me,” without fear of that terrible day? The reality is that a morality of their own governs even murderers. It is a perverse and twisted virtue, and it should serve as a warning to the rest of us. If the wicked can blind themselves to their evil, so can we who seem to be morally upright.
Man’s ability for self-deception is astounding, and we get a glimpse of it in the chief priests who gave false counsel to have Jesus executed. No greater act of evil has ever occurred. They lied to kill the Son of God but notice what happens when Judas brings back the money they paid him to betray Jesus.
Judas hands them the money and says, “I have betrayed an innocent man.” The chief priests must then decide what to do with the money. They surmise they cannot put it in the temple’s treasury because it is blood money (Matt. 27:6).
Did you catch that? The same men who bore false witness to kill an innocent man are now concerned about adding blood money to the treasury. That would be like a human trafficker being concerned about properly paying taxes on his income.
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Social Media: A Downgrade of Culture

Social media is a form of culture which takes all the negatives of popular culture and heightens them. Even pop culture is too substantial and must be broken down into smaller bites on social media. If a post does not capture our attention in mere seconds, without user engagement, it will die a quick death as algorithms suppress it into oblivion. Post a few of those and you will learn quickly that you are wasting your time. You must conform if you want to be an “influencer.” Marshall McLuhan’s famous line, “the medium is the message,” takes on an entirely new dimension on these platforms.

If high culture is like a gourmet meal, folk culture like a homecooked dinner, and pop culture is like junk food, what is social media? We live in a culture that is quick to accept something simply because it is popular. Today, we often consider a cultural expression a “classic” simply because millions of people like it, not because it was necessarily good. How does this play into the phenomenon of social media? Do millions of people use it because it is good, or is it considered good because millions of people use it? Where does social media fit in the cultural spectrum? To take a closer look, let me start with a quick overview of the three cultural categories mentioned above as laid out by Ken Myers in his book, All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes.
High Culture
High culture tends to include classical music, literature, and works of art. Understanding these works takes effort. You can never fully appreciate a piece in one sitting. You must spend time with them to glean from their greatness. It may even take training. Even when we consider the fallibility of man and the false philosophies some works of art entail, these works encourage patience, and we find their worth in the intrinsic beauty they embody. In general, high art and culture point us to what is timeless.
Folk Culture
Folk culture tends to be more regional, but it still seeks to communicate morality, wisdom, and truth. Folk art takes less work to comprehend than high culture but often conveys morals that are not comfortable to the general public. Even with its errors, it, too, tends to encourage patience, contentment, and points to the true, good, and beautiful.
Pop Culture
Pop culture has almost none of the benefits of the first two. It is the most easily accessible form of culture, and it is, by nature, the lowest common denominator in cultural expression. It will not receive widespread acceptance if it requires any effort to enjoy. Hence, it eschews patience. If it contains any barb of truth or light that might rub against the relativism of our time, it must be filed down to please the populace.
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Spiritual Resilience

The heaviness of this life not only proves our faith is genuine but also causes it to grow. For those of us who have been Christians for a while, we know this is true. It has been true our entire Christian life, so why do we often forget it? Why do we flinch at every fatigue? If death could not hold Christ, neither can it hold anyone who belongs to him. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, you are a person with unquenchable spiritual resilience. 

Often, the very things we need to grow are the same things we work to avoid because we think we are fragile. Scripture uses the metaphor of running a race to describe the Christian life on more than one occasion. In running the race, there are weights we should cast off and weights we should pick up if we are going to compete to win the prize.
Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race set before us.” We are to cast off the sin that slows us down, but that is only half of the picture. 2 Cor. 9:24-26 reminds us that we are also to run in a way that we may obtain the prize. The way we do that is to discipline our bodies.
Here is the fantastic thing about the human body. It can handle much more than we think it can. In fact, the more adversity we throw at it, the more it rises to the occasion. There are limits, of course, but this is why athletes lift weights and train in difficult conditions to prepare for the competition. The stress they put on their bodies is the thing that makes their body stronger.
Our spiritual life is quite similar. We are much more resilient than we think we are, and our faith grows through training. However, if we want to stand firm in the faith when things get difficult, we need to prepare when things are easy, but how are we to do this?
Like an athlete preparing to race, we must not run away from every minor difficulty that comes our way.
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6 Reasons to Proclaim Christ Despite Hostility

We have two options in this life. Either we bow to worldly powers around us, which are governed by the prince and power of the air, and try to find acceptance and peace in this fallen world, or we are willing to lose our lives to follow Jesus. Only by being willing to lose it now will we ultimately find it, but whoever finds his life in the pleasures of this fallen world will lose it eternally.

If we live boldly for Christ, even in love, many people will despise us for it. However, in Matthew 10:26-39, Jesus gives us six reasons to proclaim his name anyway and not fear. These six reasons are incredibly encouraging and should motivate us all to preach the gospel even if we are not facing adversity for doing so. They remind us in whom it is we place our trust.
1. The Enemies of the Cross will be Exposed
Many people will accuse you of being on the wrong side of history. They will tell you that you hate science, you are a bigot, and they will twist what you say to make it sound terrible. Their goal in doing this is to link you with all kinds of evil. In their attempts, do not be surprised if they call you Hitler. However, Jesus says, “do not fear.” He will eventually expose them for what they are and what they do. They may say, “you are on the wrong side of history,” which may be true for a little while, but they are not looking far enough into the future.
2. They Can Only Kill The Body
Another reason we should not fear in the face of persecution is they can only kill our bodies, not our souls. However, the enemies of God must deal with one who can destroy both body and soul in hell. In choosing to fear either God or man, choosing to fear man is foolishness. For those who trust in Christ, not only will we live forever with him, but also, our bodies will be raised incorruptible in the resurrection.
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5 Benefits of Sickness

Winter storms often bring out the defects in a man’s house. In the same way, sickness often exposes the gracelessness of a man’s soul. Indeed anything that makes us find out the real character of our faith is a good.

I know the suffering and pain that sickness entails. I admit the misery and wretchedness that it often brings along with it, but I cannot regard it as an unmixed evil. I see in it a useful provision to check the ravages of sin in men’s souls. If man had never sinned, I would have been at a loss to discern the benefit of sickness. But since sin is in the world, I can see that sickness is a good. It is a blessing quite as much as a curse. I grant it is a rough schoolmaster, but sickness is a real friend to man’s soul. Here are some of the benefits that sickness may bestow:
1. Sickness helps to remind men of death.
Most people live as if they were never going to die. They follow business, or pleasure, or politics, or amusements as if earth was their eternal home. They plan and scheme for the future, like the rich fool in the parable, as if they had a long lease of life, and were always to live in this poor world. A heavy illness sometimes goes far to dispel these delusions. It awakens men from their daydreams and reminds them that they have to die as well as to live. Now, this, I say emphatically, is a mighty good.
2. Sickness helps make men think seriously of God, their souls, and the world to come.
In their days of health, most people can find no time for such thoughts. They dislike them. They put them away. They count them troublesome and disagreeable. Now, a severe disease sometimes has a wonderful power of mustering and rallying these thoughts and bringing them up before the eyes of a man’s soul. Even a wicked king like Benhadad, when sick, could think of Elisha (2 Kings 8:8.) Even heathen sailors on the boat with Jonah were afraid when death was in sight, and “every man cried out to his god.” (Jonah 1:5.) Indeed anything that helps to make men mindful of eternity is a good.
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How to Examine Spiritual Fruit

If we want to know if our fruit is healthy or diseased, we need to ask ourselves, “What place does the word of God have in our lives?” Do we recognize its authority as the words of Jesus himself and obey it, or do we treat it as simply the words of another errant scribe and mold it to our desires? How we answer that question will have eternal consequences.

As professing Christians, one of the first questions we need to ask ourselves is if we are a healthy tree or a diseased tree (Matthew 7:18), and the way to do that is to look at the fruit we bear. However, we must scrutinize the fruit because some fruit can look good outside but be rotten inside.
Simply because we say, “Lord, Lord,” in response to Jesus does not mean our fruit is good. Many will say, “Lord, Lord,” and point to their fruit as evidence. They will speak about the prophecies and mighty works they did in the name of Jesus, and he will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).
There is a standard we must use to examine our fruit. It is our obedience to the word of God. This standard is why when Jesus rejects the false converts, he calls them “workers of lawlessness.” To Jesus, the law and the word of God are identical. Determination of whether or not our fruit is good hinges on our obedience to Scripture.
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Understanding the Active Obedience of Christ

Jesus not only paid our penalty but also earned the reward for us. Because of this, we are not simply sinners who can no longer be punished. Instead, we are counted as those who had fulfilled the law with perfect righteousness, and we become co-heirs with Christ. Even now, he is keeping an inheritance for us: one that can never perish, spoil, or fade (1 Peter 1:4).

Can there be any greater blessing than being forgiven of our sins? The answer is, “Yes!” The man or woman whom the Lord does not count their sin against them is blessed indeed. However, as wonderful as forgiveness is, and how necessary it is for our salvation, we must not stop there in our understanding of what Jesus has done for us. Specifically, in our understanding of justification. In Christ, we are more than forgiven.
We must recall that all men and women are born under a covenant of works. The same covenant under which Adam found himself. The covenant of works is conditional. If Adam fulfilled it by walking in perfect obedience to God, he would live. This potential for eternal life is why there was a tree of life in the garden. It was the reward for obeying the covenant. However, if he violated the covenant and sinned against God, he would die. Adam failed, and immediately he, along with Eve, experienced spiritual death. Their bodies also began to die.
Every one of us is born under a similar requirement. Either we obey God and live, or we disobey and die. Blessing and cursing are held out before us. However, if Adam did not fulfill the covenant in paradise without a sinful nature, neither will we in a fallen world with spiritually dead souls.
Therefore, Scripture is clear that all have fallen short of the glory of God, and the wage of sin is death, but there is still hope. One glimmer of hope appears at first to be a curse. We see in Romans 5 that we are all counted guilty because of Adam’s sin. Our guilt in Adam may not appear to be a good thing, but it tells us something important; it tells us another person can be our representative.
Not only have every one of us fallen in sin and deserve the penalty of death, but Adam is our representative head (Romans 5:18). We are guilty in ourselves, but we are also counted guilty in him. Here is where that turns into good news. If we can be declared guilty in Adam, perhaps we can be declared righteous under another representative head.
Immediately, at the fall, God had promised that a child would be born who would crush the head of the serpent and set his people free (Genesis 3:15).
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