Mike Ratliff

Seventy Times Seven

It is impossible to be forgiving unless one is first humble yet it is very easy to be unforgiving because all that takes is to be full of pride, which is natural for all of us. Perhaps its time we spend some time at the Throne of grace confessing our sins and making things right.

21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21–22 Legacy Standard Bible)
Pride is poison to the Christian. Oh, our flesh loves it, but it is unredeemed and has nothing to do with God. On the other hand, all truly in Christ are New Creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and that part of them that is redeemed is of God not of the flesh and this lost and dying world. However, all of us would be liars if we said that we have not found ourselves in situations in which we were completely controlled by our flesh and pride. In those situations, we react fleshly just like the world. We lie, cheat, steal, and refuse to forgive when wronged. Then we become bitter and the cycle just spirals downward. All of this happens because we are walking in the flesh with our pride in control instead of in the Spirit, humbly before our God. It is impossible to forgive from the heart without first humbling ourselves and that takes a work of submission to the Spirit of God. 
Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post. Do you believe Jesus knew what He was talking about? Do You believe He meant what He said? Then why don’t we do it? I believe that most Christians walk in the flesh and are, therefore, not humble because they do not fully comprehend the magnitude of the forgiveness of God without which they would be on their way to Hell. Here is the parable our Lord told to explain His statement to Peter in v-22.
23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 
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Filling Up What is Lacking in Christ’s Afflictions

Persecution does not eradicate Christianity. Instead, the more Christians suffer, the stronger the “Church” is wherever that is. On the other hand, where Christianity carries with it little, if any, resistance, the “Church” becomes weak, cold, dead, and nothing more than empty religiosity. Christianity is strong when it is turning the world upside down. It is weak when it is in power and institutionalized. 

 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:24-27 (NASB)
In this post let us reexamine the role of persecution and suffering in the Gospel. Also, we must agree that God is very actively awakening His people who are in the Scarlet Woman. Persecution comes to Christians who are truly obedient to their Lord. When they obey Him they do not practice empty religion, but, instead, they pursue holiness, abide in Christ, and are Spirit-led, hence their lives are Christlike and this does three things. It brings the wrath of the enemy down on them in various forms of persecution. Their suffering glorifies God and it fills up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.
If you haven’t read Foxes Book of Martyrs, I suggest that you do. Why does the world hate the Gospel? It hates it because it is not of the world and cannot be discerned by people who are in their sins and are of the flesh. Only by the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of people can they understand spiritual things correctly. In the United States, at least right now, we can proclaim our faith and live Christian lives and not have to worry about people killing us. However, in most of the World, its okay to be religious, but it isn’t okay to be a Christian who shares their faith. Why is there a difference? Why is it that Christians in China are arrested and tortured, but in the United States, we don’t? The worst that happens to us here for being active in our faith is disdain or ridicule or being falsely accused. I contend that the reason we don’t suffer as they do in China is for two reasons. God has given us an environment in the United States where Christianity is not seen as a threat. The other reason is that we don’t actively proclaim the gospel and live godly lives, as we should. We don’t live out what we proclaim. The reason  Christians in other countries are tortured and killed is that they actively proclaim the gospel no matter that they are in the midst of people who hate Christianity. Their ministries bear fruit. Those who instigate these types of attacks hope to intimidate Christians. However, that is not how God operates.
Our God is sovereign. The suffering and death of believers for the sake of the gospel is always horrible, but their lives are poured out before the Lord as an acceptable offering.
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Effectual Calling and Conversion

Through the effectual calling, God gives life to the dead. The outward call of God to faith in Christ is communicated everywhere through reading, preaching, and explaining the gospel. In the inner, effectual call the Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and renews the heart of those God has chosen so that the gospel is accepted as the truth of God, and God in Christ becomes the object of love and affection.

3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:3-4 (NASB)
Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter X 
Of Effectual Calling
All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.
As many of you know, I was born in 1951 and grew up as a Southern Baptist. I never heard of the Westminster Confession of Faith until 2006 or so. That article above is entirely biblical and I had read those passages from where they were drawn, but I had never heard Christian Conversion described that way. No, what I heard continually in church services, Sunday School, Youth Groups, and Revival Services was all about us making a decision. It was all about what we did, not what God did.
I can remember vividly the encounters back in 2005-2006 after God had drawn me into the truth of Reformed Theology. I had become so at peace and full of joy because I had ceased struggling and striving and began my journey as a Pilgrim resting in the finished work of Christ. Because of this, I became content and people in the Bible Study class I was teaching and the other Deacons began coming to me for spiritual matters. I suppose God wanted me out of that church because the conflicts with radical Arminians began where it became impossible to teach, even to read passages from the Bible without being heckled.
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Praying in Times of Trouble

Learning to pray when there’s an emergency or when something is frightening us requires a lot discipline. Instead of praying, we tend to torture ourselves with anxiety and worry. All we can think about is trying to get rid of the problem. The devil often tricks us when temptation or suffering first begins, whether we are dealing with spiritual or physical matters. He immediately barges in and makes us so upset about the problem that we become consumed by it. In this way, he tears us away from praying.

In our study of temptation for the believer it has become apparent that our major weapon in this battle is prayer. Jesus told us that we should pray as He showed us in what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It ends with this, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is a cry to God that He not allow us to be drawn into temptation which is not the same thing as being tempted. In any case, God has given us this prayer as part of what we do in seeing as we become holy and separate from the world. God allows us to be stressed so that we will pray.
by Martin Luther
14 Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the LORD saying, 16 “O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Isaiah 37:14-16 (NASB)
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Redemption in Christ

Our salvation is the product of God’s redemptive work through Christ on the cross. Through it we have forgiveness of our sins and that according to the riches of His grace. Those in Christ have had God’s grace lavished on them. Notice that the result of this is the gift of knowing the mystery of God’s will through His wisdom and insight. This is all according to God’s purpose. 

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30 (NASB)
The unregenerate cannot conceive of a religion unless it is fully entwined with the exercise of free will as an expression of devotion or belief. Genuine Christianity is not a religion if that is how religion is defined. Authentic Christianity consists of God’s work in the hearts of those whom He gave and drew to Christ. The Holy Spirit regenerated them at the will of the Father as they heard the gospel thereby enabling them to believe and repent. From that time forward they serve their Saviour and God as His disciples. Their divine faith, a gift from God, overcomes the world as they obey Him, love Him, and love their brethren. They share their faith with others thereby being obedient disciples whom God uses to bring others into the Kingdom.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 (NASB)
The Greek word translated as “Blessed” here is eulogētos. We get the English word “eulogy” from this word, which means to praise or commend. Why did God create the Universe? It was for His glory. The supreme duty of all of God’s creatures is praise Him and bring Him glory. However, in Genesis 3 we learn that Man fell into sin. This caused our entire race to be born spiritually dead. Because  this truth about God and His glory is not apparent to the spiritually dead they do all for self. However, they are without excuse because the glory of creation points all to the creator.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:18-21 (NASB)
Since all unregenerate people live this way, no matter how religious they are, God did a magnificent work to redeem some of them for adoption into His family. Paul tells us that these are “blessed” in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.  Here in Ephesians 1:3 we have the adjective, participle and noun form of what is translated as “Blessed” or “Blessings.” We have looked at the first one, the adjective, where God is glorified. The participle, eulogeō, describes how God has blessed “us.” This is an aorist participle in active voice. This means that it could signify action prior to that of the main verb if its relationship to it is temporal. There are no verbs in v3 but vv3-6 is one sentence. We see the noun form where Paul states that all in Christ have every spiritual “blessing in the heavenly places.”
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Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

Those whom the Lord regenerates are new creations and the Lord’s Law is in their hearts, but they must still work out what God has put in them. Of course, the Lord will empower them to do so. These are the ones who have peace with God even in the maelstrom of this sin sick and demon infested world.

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,But let your heart keep my commandments;2 For length of days and years of lifeAnd peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2 (NASB)
The Protestant Reformation was not a reforming of Christianity, but a rediscovery of God’s Truth that had been covered up, squandered, perverted, and misrepresented by the Roman Catholic Church for several centuries. Christianity has once again reached a point of contention where there are those who claim that the Protestant Reformation went astray and we need another reformation. I agree that the Church is very sick right now. However, the fault isn’t with the Reformers or what they did. The problems seem to be centered on a complete loss of godly wisdom spawned by there being no fear of God. Man is seen as sovereign and God is seen as subservient to Christian leaders.
This environment has been the breeding ground of neo-evangelism that is so devoted to evangelism that it suppresses and does away with Bible Study, discipleship, and all other things that distract from their evangelical push. They do this to such an extent that evangelism has become their golden calf. Admittedly, there has been much wrong with the church since the end of Spurgeon’s time. Aberrations of Christianity has always plagued the Church, but it seems that since the latter part of the 19th Century with the passing of Spurgeon and Broadus and their contemporaries, there has been an increasing emphasis on man-focused religion. The current push into neo-evangelism and the emergent church movements are actually quite natural expressions of rebellion against what these folks see as deadwood religion. If we take a look at TBN, for example, it is clear that something is very wrong.
The answer is not the reforming of our churches into the seeker-sensitive, post-modern, flesh-pleasing enterprises that are run by marketing experts and MBAs. Their solution is to build churches based upon what sells. If we study the ministry of our Lord and the Apostles we find very quickly that they did not use that model for a very good reason. Christianity is not supposed to be an evangelical push. Instead, it is a declaration of the Good News that there is peace available between God and men made possible by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection and ascension. The call to this Good News is to those who will believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour as they die to self and live out their lives for Him. That is not a message that will sell well. However, that is not the point. The point has never been about quantity of converts. Instead, it is about quality.
Puritans would never allow people to profess Jesus openly and join their church without examining them first. They understood that the call to salvation could produce false converts. They knew that they did new converts no favor if they indulged any false conversions. That is something to ponder in our time when anyone can claim to be a Christian simply because of his or her religiosity or feelings.
Again, what is the answer?
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By this We Know the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error

What is truth? Pilate asked this rhetorical question sarcastically. Jesus told him the truth, but since he was not “of the truth” he did not hear it. If you are in Christ then you are of the truth and you have heard our Lord’s voice and are hearing it right now. The Holy Spirit is bearing witness with your spirit right now. You are held firm in His hands. He will lose none the Father gives Him. This is the truth.

5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:5-6 (NASB) 
Several years ago when I still worked in an office I had a fellow with whom I worked, when he found out that I was a Christian, demand that I listen to his “reasoning” why “everything is relative.” I told him I would listen to him if he could refute the following statement, “Aren’t you making an ‘absolute statement’ when you say, ‘there are no absolutes’?” He chuckled nervously and left my cubicle. I still pray that God will save him. My brethren, the scourge of relativism is a blight within the visible Church. It causes people to flee from the absolute. When truth is seen as relative then in what or whom can anyone have faith and trust? Do we read the words of our Lord in Sacred Scripture ever saying, “Well, it depends?”
33 Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. John 18:33-38 (NASB) 
This is, of course, the Apostle John’s version of the trial of our Lord before Pilate. Pilate asks our Lord if He is a king. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world-to bear witness to the truth.” Notice how our Lord ties His Kingship or Lordship to His bearing witness to the truth. The Greek word translated as “bear witness to” is martureō. It means to be a witness or testify.
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Cynicism, Bitterness and Sacrifice

When we find ourselves reacting to our circumstances with bitterness and becoming more and more cynical we will also discover that we have moved our focus away from God and onto ourselves. Instead of walking through our day with our eyes on Christ we get our focus on ourselves which is idolatry. We have made of god of having our own way. It is as if there is a part of us that tries to make us believe that if God really loved and cared for us and we really belonged to Him then things would always go our way. That is a lie folks and it is born from a flesh focused heart.

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:29-32 (NASB)
Steel is made through the smelting of iron ore. Iron becomes steel as carbon is added while the iron is very hot. What makes steel much harder than iron was not really understood by the ancients who created it. All they knew was that at a certain point in the shaping of a sword they would lay the red hot blade into the coals for a few minutes then resume the process of hammering, cooling in water, re-heating, hammering, cooling in water, et cetera. The finished product was a sword that would not bend in battle and could be sharpened over and over. The blade was actually made up of many pieces of iron rods that were heated, flattened, and folded upon itself over and over. It was hard work, but that was what it took to create a fine, usable steel sword.
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
When we are born of the Spirit at regeneration we are new creations. However, that does not mean that we become instantly sinless. Nor does it mean that we are instantly mature and able to know the will of God in walking before Him for His glory alone. No, these attributes come over time and after much “smelting, hammering, cooling, re-heating of us in the fires of sanctification. When I was a young Christian I remember many times being on the verge of walking away from my faith. Why? It seemed that I was “in the fire” all the time. I am very glad that God preserved me, but I want to share with all of you reading this that God has not stopped this process in me. I have been a believer since 1986, but I am no where near complete and this is obvious as God has not relented in showing me how much I must suffer for the name of Christ.
Early in my walk I heard a sermon which was titled, “Are you picking fruit or pulling roots?” The fruit the preacher was talking about were things like anger, bitterness, cynicism, and many other negative things that our hearts produce. I sat in that pew struggling big time as it seemed he was talking about me. Before God saved me I was a cynical, bitter person much of the time. After I was saved I found that I was better, but there were times when that negativity seemed to rise up in me when my circumstances took a turn I did not want. The sermon I was listening to described the process of not reacting to the fruit, but going after the roots. What he didn’t tell me is that over 36 years later I would still be doing this. What are the roots of bitterness and cynicism?
Bitterness and cynicism are born of broken gods; bitterness is an indication that somewhere in my life I have belittled the true God and made a god of human perfection. – Oswald Chambers from Not Knowing Whither, 913 L.
When we find ourselves reacting to our circumstances with bitterness and becoming more and more cynical we will also discover that we have moved our focus away from God and onto ourselves. Instead of walking through our day with our eyes on Christ we get our focus on ourselves which is idolatry. We have made of god of having our own way. It is as if there is a part of us that tries to make us believe that if God really loved and cared for us and we really belonged to Him then things would always go our way. That is a lie folks and it is born from a flesh focused heart.
Over the last several months I have become increasingly aware of this lie trying to take root in my heart. I keep pulling it up, but it seems that I am only picking fruit because the root remains. However, I have become convinced that God is working within me to educate and change me through this struggle to recognize this happening much earlier in the process than I have in the past. He has also been showing me that the circumstances in my life that seem to be provoking this to happen are being allowed by Him to exacerbate the problem. He is deliberately putting me in the fire, hammering me, cooling me, re-heating me, et cetera in order to shape me even further.
The difference now as opposed to my early days as a Christian is that bitterness does not lead to cynicism like it used to.
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Losing Your Life for the Sake of Christ

Genuine saving faith, which only those who have lost their life for the sake of Christ have, is proven valid and is completed by works. These works are the proof of genuine saving faith. These are righteous works, not just religious activity. These works are acts that conform to God’s revealed Word. James tells us that these are acts of compassion such as giving to the poor and helping them to be warm and filled instead of just telling them that you will pray for them. We are not saved because we do these things, no; we do these things because we are genuinely saved.

34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38 (NASB)
Jesus is coming back soon. Are you ready? Are you trusting in man-made or self-made religion to be what God will recognize as sufficient so that Christ will be your Advocate before the Father when you are judged? Without Christ as your Advocate, you will have no defense. How does Christ become our Advocate? How do we know if He is our Advocate? Let us examine Christ’s own words about this.
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26 (NASB)
What does it mean to “come after” Christ? Is this simply the act of joining a church? Jesus is taking to people who have been following Him and listening to His teachings as He ministered to them. He turns to this large group of people and tells them plainly that to be His disciple one must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Christ. If one does not do this then they CANNOT be Christ’s disciples. What does it mean to deny self? This is relinquishing personal control of one’s life in surrender to Lordship of Christ who is control of it. The taking up ones own personal cross is referring complete commitment to Christ even if it means death or persecution. When Christ says that His disciples must follow Him He is referring to living ones life according to His example as well as coming into fellowship with His other disciples.
Christ then tells us that these things sum together into a losing of ones life for His sake. Those who deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Him have given up a self-centered life of rebellion against God for the sake of Christ and the gospel. In return, they will find everlasting communion with God. On the other hand, those who live a self-centered life focused on the present world will not find eternal life with God. Those who have found eternal life with God have lost their life for Christ’s sake, but have actually saved their life.
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Christian Character

If we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand of sanctification, we will submit to those whom God wills. We will worship Him instead of self. We will walk by faith not by sight. That means that temptations to not be honorable can be defeated and left powerless because they depend on our functioning within our flesh and pride.

18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:18-21 (NASB) 
R.C. Sproul shared the following story in the September 2007 issue of Tabletalk magazine. “Several years ago I was participating in a discussion with some business men in Jackson, Mississippi. In the course of the conversation, one of the men made reference to a man who was not present at the meeting. He said, ‘He is an honorable man.’ When I heard this comment, my ears perked up as I thought for a moment I was hearing a foreign language being spoken. I realized that I was in the middle of the Deep South where customs of old had not entirely been eradicated, yet I still could not get over that somebody in this day and age was using the word honor as descriptive term for a human being.”
Is the term ‘honor’ as a descriptive term for a human being out of place in our day and time? If we look up ‘honor’ in our dictionaries we will find that its chief synonym is ‘integrity.’ Before we begin to determine the lack of this characteristic in the current body of Christian believers, especially among its leadership, let us define what we mean. Integrity describes one who has an uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles. It describes one who possesses soundness of character. There are many more definitions, but this is enough for now. A honorable person is a man or woman of principle. He or she puts principle ahead of personal gain. Also, they do not compromise their principles. That would mean that once they grasp the truth they would never let go, no matter the cost.
One of the major attacks against my posts on the doctrines of grace over the last several years was that I presented them as truth. Sometimes, this aroused some very ugly attacks because I did not say what I presented could possibly be wrong and the opposing views could be right. If I believed that then I wouldn’t have bothered posting them. What sort of truth is it that we can say, “this is the truth, but I could be wrong and your view could possible be true too.” That’s not standing on principle. That’s called compromise. Some would call it political correctness. This is why I despise our political system in the United States. Politicians must often compromise everything, including their principles in order to function. That is not right. That is why I could never hold public office.
Compromise is with us wherever we go. It seems that our entire lives are challenges to our principles. Those of us who are Christians experience this on an even higher plane. I promise you, the world system is anti-everything that God tells us from His Word that should makeup genuine Christian character.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  
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