1. Should a wife submit to her husband?


Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to submit to their husbands in everything.”


As I read this verse, the question we’re trying to answer could be broken up into 2 questions:


One, what is submission?


Two, what is headship, or put another way, what does it mean to have authority?


So the first question – what is submission?


Well, it depends on the context. The same Greek word used for submission in the Bible is used not just for husbands and wives, but with civil authorities, church elders, other believers, employers, and private institutions. So I’m going to propose a definition that covers all these bases. Are you ready?


Submission is a heart-attitude that honors authority, obeys its legitimate commands, forgives its misuses, and respectfully declines commands that are outside of its jurisdiction to give.


The first part of this definition – the part about giving honor and obeying legitimate commands protects the heart against the sin of rebellion. The second part – the part about forgiving misuses and respectfully declining illegitimate commands – protects the heart against the sin of unforgiveness.


When you put them together it’s like putting an impenetrable force-field around the one thing in life that matters most, which is our relationship with God. No matter how unjust or oppressive of an authority a person finds himself under, submission will render that authority powerless to harden a person’s heart toward God.


So, the Bible’s commands about submission are meant to protect us and empower us. Submission is not weakness. In fact, it is the most powerful action a person can take in response to oppressive leadership because it invites the power of God into the situation.


Now let’s look at the second question – What is headship or what does it mean to have authority?


Well, this also means different things in different contexts. For example, church leaders have authority to teach, comfort, or rebuke in a church context. Civil rulers have authority to punish evil if it violates someone’s life or liberty or property. Parents have authority to teach and discipline children.


Furthermore, the Greek word used for authority in the Bible does not only mean the power to make someone do something, but it can also just mean grace or anointing from God to do something you’re called to do.  For example, Mathew 7 says Jesus taught with authority. In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul said God gave him authority for building up the Corinthian church.


So the real question here is, what type of authority does the Bible give a husband?


I believe that the authority given to husbands in the Bible is to love, serve, protect, provide, and lead by example.


Now I know some will say this definition softens what the Bible says to make it more palatable to our politically correct culture. And honestly, I appreciate that kind of challenge. I think Christians and Christian leaders more and more are backing away from hard biblical truths in our culture because they don’t want to offend.


But if that’s your stance here, let me put the burden of proof on you for a moment and ask where do you see in scripture that the specific type of authority given to husbands includes the authority to give a command, or having the final say in a major decision?


Now you might say, well Jesus gives the commands to the church, therefore husbands can give commands to their wives because that’s the metaphor that Ephesians 5 uses. Ok, well let’s think about that.


A husband does not literally die on a cross for the sins of his wife, right? A wife will not appear before the judgment seat of her husband after she dies, will she? Obviously not. So the marriage metaphor has limits.


Well, what are those limits? To find out, we should examine portions of scripture where Christ is specifically portrayed as a husband, or where the Father is portrayed as a husband to Israel, or other passages that speak specifically about godly marriage. Here are several examples:


Ephesian 5:25-33, Isaiah 54:5-8, Hosea 2:14-23, Revelation 19:7-9, Isaiah 62:4-5, Song of Solomon, Jeremiah 31:32, Ezekiel 16:8-14, Ruth 4-5, 1 Peter 3:7, Colossians 3:19, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Timothy 5:8


When I look at these and other passages, the impression I get is that husbands are given authority to love, serve, protect, provide, and lead by example.


Now in contrast to these, whenever Jesus is depicted as giving commands, it’s usually in the role of a king or a judge or a master or a creator, not a husband. Those metaphors don’t apply to marriage.


So for a wife, we might say submission is heart-attitude that honors her husband’s calling to love, serve, protect, provide and lead their family, forgives him when he falls short of this calling, and respectfully declines commands (or force or pressure) since they are not within his jurisdiction to give.


My marriage was nearly destroyed in part because I thought submission meant I should always have the final say in every major decision. After God restored my marriage, I began seeing my wife more as a partner and wise counselor, often providing discernment and insights I would never have thought of. This has brought us much closer together and has vastly improved the marriage model we present to our daughters.






2. What was the Impact of the Fall on Society and Family?


In general, God created men to be more accomplishment-oriented and women to be more relationship-oriented. This is why Adam’s primary commission from God was in the area of labor and accomplishment – to cultivate and keep the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). Eve’s primary commission was in the area of relationships, as a helper and partner to her husband (Genesis 2:18).


Correspondingly, when mankind fell to sin, Adam and Eve’s curses were also related to labor and relationships. For Adam, the ground was cursed so his labor would become toilsome. For Eve, God multiplied her pain in childbirth and warned her about the effect of sin on her marriage (Genesis 3:16-19).


Of course, men also have a relational side and women also esteem labor and accomplishments. This speaks of our primary orientations, not our only orientations.


Impact of the Fall on Adam’s Labor


Before the fall, I believe both the environment and Adam’s mental and physical abilities were flawless. His labor would have been unimaginably fulfilling, marked by fluid creativity and innovation. Over time, he would have experienced success after success, his influence always expanding, like a career path that goes from one plateau to another.


As the population grew, all people would have used their unique gifts and abilities and labored harmoniously alongside one another. Adam and his descendants would have built homes, cities, technologies, and governing/organizational structures completely devoid of sinful influence.


There would have been an abundance of every kind of valuable good and service. No one would have worried about how to survive. The earth would have been far beyond any conception of utopia fallen mankind has contrived.


After the fall, Adam’s labor became a frustrating struggle. He faced opposition from the environment and diminished mental and physical abilities. He faced setbacks, injuries, and confusing problems with no solution.


As the population grew, people frequently worked against one another, vying for position, ruled by selfish motives. Leaders enslaved and dominated others. People toiled to make ends meet and worried about the future. There was poverty, starvation, and violent conflicts over valuable resources.


Impact of the Fall on Eve’s Relationships


Without sin, Eve’s relationships with her husband, children, and others would have been completely pure. She would have given herself to her husband unreservedly. She would have been delighted to help him because she knew he always had her best interests at heart. She would never have questioned his motives or worried he might try to dominate her. She would never have felt jealous because she knew his romantic desire was for her alone. She would have felt no compulsion to control him because she knew he perfectly relied on God’s grace to lead their family.


She would have freely poured out love and wisdom into her children. She would have watched her beautiful legacy expand to grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and on and on. Her family line would have been forever devoid of pain, fear, or grief. 


After the fall, Adam and Eve’s marriage was distorted by sin. Pain and distrust crept in. Just as God warned (Genesis 3:16), Eve was prone to idolizing Adam, looking more to him for her sense of value and security than to God. This caused her to often feel jealous and insecure.


Also, as God warned, Adam was prone to ruling over Eve from selfish motives (Genesis 3:16). This caused her to become fearful about how he led their family.


She also experienced multiplied pain in childbirth, which paralleled the pain she experienced in their spiritual development. She saw her children rebel, hurt one another, develop addictions, and cause her heavy grief.


Hope for the Future


This contrast between what is and what could have been can honestly be really sad and heavy to think about, but the good news is that for those of us who know Jesus Christ, everything that mankind lost by rebelling against God will one day be recovered.


We will spend eternity as part of God’s eternal family enjoying pure, fulfilling relationships. And we will labor and accomplish incredible things working side by side in a perfectly restored new heavens and new earth.  This is the wonderful hope and the redemption that Jesus Christ purchased for mankind on the cross. This is our future.





3. Are Women a Higher Order of Creation?


When God began to create living things in the Genesis account, each life form He created was progressively more complex and beautiful than the last. This pattern continued in the creation of mankind. Eve being created last means she was the culmination, or highest part, of all that God created.


In a previous video, I discussed how God in general created men to be accomplishment-oriented and women to be relationship-oriented. This was reflected by their commissions from Him. With that in mind, consider the following three logic steps:


Step 1: Men, in general, typify the strength of God and the building, protecting, accomplishing nature of God.


Step 2: Women, in general, typify the beauty of God and the relational nature of God.


Step 3: If there were no beauty, there would be nothing worth protecting. The reason strength exists is to protect and serve that which is beautiful. Likewise, if there were no relationships, building and accomplishing would be empty and meaningless. The reason we build societies is so that relationships (families, communities, churches) can exist and thrive.


 In other words, the strength of God exists to protect and serve the beauty of God. The building nature of God exists to protect and serve the relational nature of God.


I’ve occasionally heard Christian leaders say there is no greater joy in the universe than beholding the beauty of God. It’s not an accident that they choose beauty as His attribute that is most worthy of marveling at. All of God’s attributes are worthy of worship, but there is something truly special about His beauty.


Even King David agreed with this. In Psalms 27:4, when he considered what He would ask of God if he could make only one request, he said:


“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD.”


Women, in a sense, are the culmination of God’s creation, because they uniquely reflect His incredible, relational beauty.




4. Are Women Weaker than Men?


1 Peter 3:7 says, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman…”


This passage can feel insulting to some women because it highlights how women, in general, are physically weaker and emotionally tenderer than men. However, is this actually a negative statement? If we interpret scripture using scripture as we’re often exhorted, it makes sense to ask the question: What does the Bible say about weakness? Consider these verses:


 “…God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)


“And [Jesus] has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ …therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses… for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)


“I was with you in weakness.. my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith [would] rest on… the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5)


Now let’s summarize the verses we’ve read:


1) God’s power is perfected in weakness.

2) When we are weak, then we are strong.

3) God uses the weak to shame the strong.

4) Women are weaker than men.


When I first put these verses together, I started to feel envious of women! So much of the power that is available to believers comes from embracing a position of weakness and dependence on God. Paradoxically, I believe women in some ways are uniquely qualified to steward the power of God because they are inherently weaker. They can be entrusted with authority because they will more naturally acknowledge their dependence on Him.




5. Do Women Belong In the Home?


If someone said to me, “Women are just as competent and qualified as men for the most important jobs in society, so why should they stay home and raise children?” I would say, “You just answered your own question.” The bigger problem in our society is not inequality in the workplace, but the eviction of motherhood from its rightful place of honor.


I fully support equality in the workplace. My mother was a police officer and a therapist during different seasons of my upbringing. My wife worked as a marriage and family counselor. In my professional life, some of the best managers I’ve reported to were women. I don’t deny that women often aren’t compensated for the value they create in the marketplace in the same way as their male colleagues. Nor do I deny that this inequality is wrong, detrimental to society, and should be pointed out in public discourse.


But the idea that a woman who chooses to be a stay-at-home mom is somehow missing out or settling for less is a ridiculous notion. When exactly did raising the next generation, sacrificially teaching them integrity and kindness and wisdom and work ethic day in and day out come to be considered less important than the labor of doctors or lawyers or accountants? How is caring for people’s bodies or companies or money more important than the formation of their souls? It’s not. In the long term, I’d argue it’s less important.


Motherhood is the ultimate act of service, the greatest sacrifice, and the most pressing need. Women are indeed just as competent and qualified for the most important jobs in society. In some ways they are more qualified. This is why those who choose the most important job of all – staying home to raise children – should be held in the highest esteem.




6. Why and How Do I Need to Be Saved?


The following sequence explains the history and future of the universe according to the Bible:


One. Before God created mankind, He created a race of beings called angels. There are different categories of angels. For example, some are warriors (Revelation 12:7), some are given charge over a new convert (Matthew 18:10), some worship before God’s throne continually (Revelation 4:8), some deliver messages (Luke 1:19). Some rank higher in authority than others (Daniel 10:13).


Based on these and other Bible passages, we could surmise that before sin existed, God delegated various authorities and responsibilities to the angels He created in the administration of His heavenly kingdom.


Two. According to the Bible, one angel named Satan was initially full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, and completely blameless. However, he chose to become evil, was filled with violence, and wanted to displace God. Therefore, Satan was banished from heaven (Ezekiel 28:12-19, Isaiah 14:12-14). Thus, Satan became the ruler of his own kingdom in opposition to God’s kingdom (Matthew 12:26, Luke 11:18). Many other angels also rebelled and likewise received worship in place of God (1 Kings 11:4-8, 2 Kings 17:16, 21:3, and Acts 7:39-43, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6).


While this narrative may sound fantastical, it’s worth noting that a fairly large percentage of people believe in the existence of evil spirits and many even believe they have experienced them. Likewise, large percentages of people also believe in the existence of God and guardian angels.


YouGovAmerica, 10/21/2019, “Many Americans Believe Ghosts and Demons Exist”

USA Today, 10/28/2021, “2 in 5 Americans Believe Ghosts Are Real and 1 in 5 Say They’ve Seen One, Survey Says”

New York Times, 10/28/2021, “Many Americans Say They Believe in Ghosts. Do You?”

Newsweek, 10/21/2019, “More Than 45 Percent of Americans Believe Demons and Ghosts Are Real: Survey”

Gallup, 6/29/2016, “Most Americans Still Believe in God”

ABC News, 9/18/2008, “Most Americans Believe in Guardian Angels”

CBS News, 12/23/2011, “Poll: Nearly 8 in 10 Americans Believe in Angels”

Pew Research Center, 4/25/2018, “When Americans Say They Believe in God, What Do They Mean?”

Time, 9/18/2008, “Guardian Angels Are Here, Say Most Americans”


Three. When God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, He gave them authority over the earth. In Genesis 1:28, God told them to fill the earth, subdue it, and rule over it. Likewise, Psalm 115:16 says, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.”


In the original Hebrew, the language used Genesis 1 is completely unique in the Bible and there is no consensus on how it should be interpreted. In fact, there are over a dozen different views, ranging from literal to quasi-literal to purely symbolic. Here are three examples from the more literal end of the spectrum.


One view is the six days of creation in Genesis 1 were literal twenty-four-hour periods, but God created everything with the appearance of age. He did this, they say, not to be misleading, but because it was logically impossible to create everything in six days without the appearance of age. For example, the first humans, animals, plants, rocks, and soil all had to be in a mature state for an ecosystem to function properly. Otherwise, there would have been nothing but a bunch of seeds and embryonic cells scattered on barren, still-cooling volcanic rocks with no nurturers, no food supply, and no way to survive.


Similarly, the sun, moon, stars, and planets all had to initially exist at certain stages of development to provide appropriate heat and light, to compose a functioning solar system, and to be visible from the earth. Likewise, since landmasses and geological features have time associated with them, creating dry land in one day required the appearance of age. Advocates of this view compare the creation event to Jesus’ first miracle of creating wine, which would have had the appearance of age since wine is aged by definition.


A second view is that the six days are symbolic of six much longer time periods that correspond roughly to mainstream natural history.


A third view similar to the second was proposed by MIT nuclear physicist and orthodox Jew Dr. Gerald Schroeder in his book, Genesis and the Big Bang. He says that while the universe is about 15 billion years old from the perspective of earth, it is just over six days old from the perspective of where the Big Bang originated since time passes differently depending on where you are in the universe. He also points out that all animals appear fully formed in the fossil record on days five and six, from the Big Bang’s perspective, just as Genesis 1 describes. Therefore, he proposes Genesis 1 is told from the perspective of the Big Bang’s origin. Afterward, the perspective shifts to earth.


Dr. Gerald Schroeder, 1991, “Genesis And the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible”


Four. Adam and Eve chose to obey Satan and disobey God (Genesis 3). In so doing, they realigned themselves under Satan’s authority (ex. Luke 4:6, 1 John 5:19). This is why when Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth, he said, “…all this domain and its glory… it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:6) This is also why the apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:19, “…the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”


Five. As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were separated from God’s presence and forced to live in a creation now under a curse (Genesis 3:17-19, 24, Romans 8:20-22). Romans 8:20-22 says:

“…the creation was subjected to futility… in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”


Also as a result of their disobedience, every person born into the world thereafter was subject to sin and death, both by choice and environmental influences (Romans 3:23, 5:12-19). Romans 5:12 says, “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…”


Six. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived in perfect obedience under God’s authority as a representative of humanity. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 says God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf”. 


As a final act of obedience, Jesus made payment for the sins of mankind by undergoing execution on a cross so that God might be both perfectly just in His condemnation of sin and perfectly merciful in extending forgiveness of sin to all who receive it as a free gift. Ephesians 1:7: “In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”


The famous Roman non-Christian Historian Flavius Josephus wrote in Antiquities of the Jews (book 18, chapter 3, section 3) in A.D. 93: “At this time [of Pontius Pilate] there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and die. But those who had been his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”


Flavius Josephus, A.D. 93, “Antiquities of the Jews” (Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 3)


The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are recorded in the four gospels attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most non-Christian scholars assert that these gospels were originally anonymous and their authorship was forged nearly a hundred years later to bolster their credibility.


This theory was popularized in the late 1800’s by two German scholars (Adolf von Harnack and Theodor Zahn) who believed the gospels were folklore rather than literal events. However, there are massive problems with this theory.


First, there are no original sources to support it. Every single early manuscript in existence ascribes authorship to Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.


Second, by the time the gospels were allegedly named in the late second century, all four had circulated throughout Rome, Syria, Africa, Egypt, France, etc. It makes no sense that they would have remained anonymous while circulating for nearly a hundred years since the churches would have needed a way to differentiate between them during gatherings. And even if they did somehow remain anonymous that whole time, they would have eventually been named independently of one another in different communities around the world, resulting in a diversity of titles, as we have seen with many truly anonymous documents from antiquity.


Third, if authorship of the gospels was forged to bolster their credibility, as the claim goes, it makes no sense that two of the four gospels would be attributed to non-eyewitnesses.


Fourth, all of the earliest Christian writings by authors who either knew the apostles firsthand, or were one generation removed, were unanimous and unambiguous that the gospels were indeed authored Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  


Fifth, in the first few centuries after Christ, even pagan writers such as the Greek philosopher Celsus, who attacked the gospels as fiction, still accepted that the gospels were written by their namesakes.


The only purported evidence for the anonymity theory is that the gospels share some material in common. For example, advocates ask why it appears that Matthew used Mark’s gospel as source material for portions of his gospel since Mark was not an eyewitness and Matthew was. However, multiple early church fathers explicitly stated in their writings that Mark was a disciple of the apostle Peter and his gospel was based on his memory of what Peter told him. Therefore, since Peter met Jesus before Matthew and spent more time with Him than Matthew, it’s not at all surprising that Matthew chose to incorporate some of Mark’s gospel into his. 


Some argue that the apocryphal gospels, such as the gospels of Thomas, Judas, and Peter are accurate, unflattering records of Jesus that the early church rejected to save face. However, both the early church fathers and virtually all modern Christian and non-Christian scholars agree that these gospels are forgeries that were falsely attributed to apostles long after they were all dead.


Brant Pitre, 2016, “The Case for Jesus,” Ch. 2-5


Some people argue that the Bible has changed over time. And they’re right. There are countless minute textual variants amongst the thousands of early surviving manuscripts. The vast majority of these variants are inconsequential grammar or spelling changes. Regardless, by comparing all the manuscripts we have, both Christian and non-Christian scholars have thoroughly mapped out all variants in existence and can easily trace back to the original content. Furthermore, the early church fathers quoted the New Testament over 36,000 times in their writings and virtually the entire New Testament as it was originally written can be reconstructed and corroborated from their writings.


There are other reasons to trust the accuracy of the New Testament. For example, the book of Acts, which was written by the same author as the gospel of Luke, includes over 80 details that have been confirmed by historical and archeological research into numerous cities or regions across the ancient Roman world. For instance, it describes ship port locations, prevalent languages, pagan religious customs, political hierarchy structures, location of landmarks, and identities of high-ranking officials. The gospel of John also includes dozens of historically and archeologically confirmed details such as landmark locations, regional topography, and religious customs and hierarchy. In fact, the New Testament writers included more than thirty historically confirmed people in their writings.


But the reasons don’t stop there. The disciples also included embarrassing details about themselves and Jesus, and they included many difficult sayings of Jesus.


Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, 2004, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” Ch. 9-12


Further, one of the most important pieces of evidence for the gospels being authentic accounts is their many divergent details. True eyewitness or secondhand witness accounts never perfectly match. If they did, it would only prove that the witnesses had collaborated or been coached.


This point was highlighted the nationally renowned cold-case homicide detective Jim Wallace, whose solved murder cases have been featured a record six times on NBC’s Dateline. Wallace was a devout atheist until age 35 when he was provoked by a Christian friend to investigate Jesus’ death as a cold murder case and the gospels as witness accounts. Wallace set out the debunk the gospels as inauthentic, but instead converted to Christianity.


J. Warner Wallace, 2013, “Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels”


Seven. Jesus Christ’s payment for the sins of mankind created a way for human beings to escape out from under Satan’s authority and realign under God’s authority (Acts 26:18, Colossians 1:13).


Acts 26:18 says Jesus chose to die on the cross “so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Likewise, the apostle Paul explained in Colossians 1:13:

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”


Eight. In the future, Jesus Christ will return with God’s people from every generation to take authority over the earth (Daniel 7:27, Matthew 5:5, Revelation 2:26, 11:15-18, 2:26). However, Satan, fallen angels and all humans under their authority from every generation will be eternally separated from God and His people (Isaiah 24:21-22, Daniel 12:1-2, Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50, 25:31-46, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10, Revelation 19:20, 20:10-15).


The prophet Daniel wrote: “Then the sovereignty, the dominion… of all the kingdoms under… heaven will be given to… the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him… those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”


Let’s review what we’ve covered.


One, God Created Angels.


Two, Satan and Other Angels Rebelled Against God’s Authority.


Three, God Created Mankind and Gave Them Authority Over the Earth.


Four, Mankind Gave Satan Authority Over the Earth.


Five, All Human Beings Were Born into Spiritual Slavery.


Six, Jesus Christ Lived in Perfect Obedience to God’s Authority and Made Payment for the Sins of Mankind.


Seven, Human Beings Who Put Faith in Christ Realign Under God’s Authority.


Eight, Jesus Christ and Redeemed Men and Women Take Authority Over Earth. Fallen Angels and Unredeemed Men and Women Separated For Eternity.


How can I be saved? If you are reading this and have not yet put faith in Jesus Christ to save you from your sins and restore you into relationship with God, you can do so right now. God sees you, hears you, knows your thoughts, and is present with you right now. You can speak to Him. Let me walk you through three steps.


First, acknowledge your need for God’s forgiveness. Second, put your faith in Jesus’ payment for your sins on the cross and in God’s mercy rather than your own moral performance to save you from His just judgment. You can say this to God out loud right now from your heart:


“God, I know I am a sinner. I know I need your forgiveness. I know I can never save myself from your just judgment with my best attempts at moral performance. I believe You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins because you love me. I receive Your free gift of forgiveness and eternal life with You. Thank you for saving me.”


If you prayed that prayer, congratulations! We now belong to the same wonderful family! You have just entered through the narrow gate.


Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14:


“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”


As Jesus said, the path to eternal life is both a narrow gate and a narrow way. The narrow gate is the initial decision to give your life to Christ, which you just made. The narrow way is walking in relationship with Jesus Christ for the rest of your life. This is step three.


To follow the narrow way, there are three things you cannot do without: Prayer, God’s Word, and God’s people.


Prayer is talking to God. Do this often, every day if possible. Common elements of a prayer time include praise (thank God for who He is, what He has done, and what He means to you), entreaties (ask God to help you become the man or woman He created you to become), confession (ask God to forgive you if you are aware that you have sinned recently), and intercession (pray on behalf of others who need God’s help).


God’s Word is the Bible. He has given it to mankind to reveal who He is and what He had done. Read at least one chapter often, every day if possible. Start with the gospels and continue through the New Testament. Pray for God to give you understanding as you read.


God’s people are Christians. Immediately find a church nearby to attend. Pray for God to guide you to the right church. It should be a church that believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God and teaches directly out of it every week. Then introduce yourself and develop relationships with men and women who have walked with God for years who can help you on your journey.


If you are afraid that you might stumble back into old sinful patterns, don’t worry; you will.

If you are afraid you don’t have what it takes to remain faithful to your commitment to Christ for years and decades to come, don’t worry; you don’t.


If you are afraid that Satan is much more powerful than you and you aren’t strong enough to overcome him, don’t worry; you aren’t.


The only thing you need do is keep turning back to God! It does not matter how badly you stumble, how far you fall, or how long you stray. God will never, ever, ever give up on you or stop loving you. Just keep turning back to Him. Keep turning back to prayer, His word, and His people. If you do this, He will bring you safely into His heavenly kingdom no matter how difficult the narrow way becomes. It will be His accomplishment, not yours because He loves you, and “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).






Does Evolution Disprove God? Part 1


The four major origin questions are:


1. Where did our time/space/matter/energy universe come from?

2. Where did a finely tuned environment that can potentially support life come from?

3. Where did the first life come from?

4. Where did the diversity of life on earth come from?


Evolution only purports to address the last question. Setting evolution aside for the moment, there are valid arguments for the first three origin questions pointing to the existence of God.


First, where did our time/space/matter/energy universe come from?


Most scientists agree that the evidence indicates the universe had a beginning, called “The Big Bang”. If that’s true, it means time, space, matter, energy, and the natural laws that govern them did not exist prior to the Big Bang. This means the cause of the universe was outside of time, space, matter, energy, and natural laws, which by definition means the cause was supernatural – outside of nature.  


In other words, science supports the idea that the universe had a supernatural cause. 


A simple yet profound question worth asking is: If there is no God, why is there something instead of nothing?


Second, where did a finely tuned environment that can potentially support life come from?


Scientists have identified well over a hundred life-enabling constants with very small margins for error that are present on earth or in the universe that are necessary to sustain life. Examples include the earth’s oxygen level, atmospheric transparency, interaction with the moon, carbon dioxide level, water vapor level, crust thickness, rotation speed, and on and on.


The odds of every necessary condition occurring simultaneously for any single planet is astronomical, no pun intended. A Christian astrophysicist named Hugh Ross calculated it as roughly 1 in 10^138, which is more than the total number of atoms in the entire universe.


Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, 2004, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” Ch. 4, pg. 106


Some prominent atheists and agnostics have also made statements to the effect that the earth and universe at least give the appearance of being designed to support life. For example, Cambridge astrophysicist Fred Hoyle famously said:


“A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worthy speaking about in nature.”


Fred Hoyle, “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November 1981. pp. 8–12


Likewise, the famous atheist author Christopher Hitchens, who won the Richard Dawkins Award for exemplary contributions to secularism and rationalism, stated on camera:


“At some point, certainly, we are all asked which is the best argument you come up against from the other side. I think every one of us picks the fine-tuning one as the most intriguing… It’s not a trivial [argument]. We all say that.”


Quoted in Chapter 16 of “The Miracles Answer Book,” 2019, by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg


Similarly, Cambridge physicist, author, and SETI chairman Paul Davies has said:


“There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned’ for life… rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires.”


Smith, W. S., Smith, J. S., & Verducci, D., eds., Eco-Phenomenology: Life, Human Life, Post-Human Life in the Harmony of the Cosmos (Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2018), pp. 131–32.


Some have argued that the Many-worlds theory, which is one interpretation of quantum mechanics, renders the fine-tuning argument moot since there are potentially an infinite number of other universes that are not finely tuned.


However, the Many-worlds theory is under ongoing debate and it is not based primarily on the scientific method where one conducts measurable experiments to test hypotheses. In fact, some scientists consider it unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific because the proposed parallel universes are defined in such a way that no information can be passed between them.


Bunge, M. (2012). “Parallel Universes? Digital Physics?”. Evaluating Philosophies. New York: Springer. pp. 152–153.


Ellis, G.; Silk, J. (2014). “Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics”. Nature. 516 (7531): 321–323.


Third, where did first life come from?


The simplest form of life on earth, a one-celled organism, is incredibly complex. It’s like a factory full of delicate instrumentation, communication systems, transport systems, defense systems, production and assembly systems, quality control and repair systems, etc. On top of all this, the DNA message in every cell is equivalent to the complexity of 1,000 encyclopedias.


The process by which first life is theorized to have arisen on earth is “Chemical Evolution” in which a fully functioning, self-replicating cell naturally developed through unguided chemical processes. However, life has never been observed to spontaneously arise from non-life even in the most sophisticatedly idealized conditions contrived in laboratories by top scientists, much less in nature. And due to the cell’s immense complexity, a growing number of scientists are acknowledging the enormous challenges this theory faces.


The cell’s breathtaking complexity has led some secular scientists to consider that an advanced alien race may have designed and seeded life on earth. For example, biophysicist Francis Crick, who won the Nobel prize for deciphering the helical structure of the DNA molecule, first proposed this idea in the 1960s.


Crick, F. H.; Orgel, L. E., 1973, “Directed Panspermia,” pgs. 341–48.


New York Times, 26 June 2007, “Human DNA, the Ultimate Spot for Secret Messages (Are Some There Now?)”


Since then, numerous papers and articles in publications such as Scientific American and National Geographic have discussed the possibility.


Scientific American (blog), 10/15/2012, “The Panspermia Paradox”


National Geographic, 9/5/2013, “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?”


Also see: Paul Davies, 2010, “The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence”


In 2008, the famous atheist and Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins stated:


“It could be that at… somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved… to a very, very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded on to perhaps this planet… it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the at the detail of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.”


“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” 2008, Richard Dawkins Interview


In 2013, various mainstream and scientific publications covered a paper in which scientists claimed to have found a “signature” like the one Dawkins mentioned. The paper’s summary says:


“…the proposal that [life] might have been seeded intentionally cannot be ruled out. A statistically strong intelligent-like ‘signal’ in the genetic code is then a testable consequence of such a scenario. Here we show that the terrestrial [DNA] code displays a thorough precision-type orderliness matching the criteria to be considered an informational signal.”


“Simple arrangements of the [DNA] code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of the same symbolic language. Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing… The signal displays readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality [i.e. design]…”


Vladimir Cherbaka and Maxim Makukovb, 2/17/2013, “The ‘Wow! Signal’ of the Terrestrial Genetic Code”


Huffington Post, 4/9/2013, “ET Genetic Code May Be Found In Human DNA, According To Kazakhstan Scientists’ Biological SETI Theory”


Evolution News, 3/12/2013, “In the Planetary Science Journal Icarus, the ‘Wow!’ Signal of Intelligent Design”


Of course, these sources don’t say anything about God, only aliens. But the point is that life on earth gives the appearance of having been intelligently designed. Many secular scientists philosophically rule out a supernatural cause as impossible prior to examining any evidence. Richard Dawkins and Harvard Evolutionary Biologist Richard Lewontin, for example, have said as much outright. So that really leaves aliens as the only possibility they are able to consider.


The New York Review of Books, 1/9/1997, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” by Richard Lewontin


Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, 2004, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” pg. 122 (quoting an e-mail response by Richard Dawkins)


Some have argued that perhaps we just haven’t discovered the answer yet and when you begin explaining things you don’t presently understand with “God did it,” you move away from science and into religion. You resort to “God-of-the-gaps.” It’s a copout.


However, in this case we’re talking about acknowledging positive evidence for intelligent design. This is not resorting to “God-of-the-gaps” any more than the scientists I just mentioned are resorting to “aliens-of-the-gaps.”


Let’s review what we’ve covered. The four major origin questions are:


1. Where did our time/space/matter/energy universe come from?

2. Where did a finely tuned environment that can potentially support life come from?

3. Where did the first life come from?

4. Where did the diversity of life on earth come from?


Regarding question one, we learned that science supports the idea that the universe had a supernatural cause.   


Regarding question two, we learned that the odds of every necessary condition to sustain life occurring simultaneously for any single planet is astronomical.


Regarding question three, we learned that the simplest form of life on earth is incredibly complex, seems to defy chemical evolution explanations, and gives the appearance of having been intelligently designed, which has prompted some leading scientists to theorize alien-seeding.


Clearly, evolution does not disprove God since it only purports to address the last question. But what about question four? Has evolution fully explained the diversity of life on earth? We’ll address this question in part 2. If you’d like to learn more, you check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.







In part 1, we discussed the first three origin questions, which are:


1. Where did our time/space/matter/energy universe come from?

2. Where did a finely tuned environment that can potentially support life come from?

3. Where did the first life come from?


In this video, we’ll discuss the last major origin question: Where did the diversity of life on earth come from?


This question has been conclusively answered by overwhelming evidence for evolution, right? I mean even today we observe new species spontaneously appearing in nature. What more proof do you need?


New York Times, 11/14/2022, “While Other Insects Played, This Species Evolved the Blade”

Scientific American, 12/18/2011, “Evolution: Watching Speciation Occur”

BBC, 11/23/2017, “Galapagos Finches Caught in Act Of Becoming New Species”


Actually, new species appearing is completely irrelevant. This is because standard genetics tells us that new species not only can appear, but they inevitably will appear due purely to natural reproduction.


The major classifications in animal taxonomy are: 1) Domain, 2) Kingdom, 3) Phylum, 4) Class, 5) Order, 6) Family, 7) Genus, 8) Species.


Let’s pretend just for the sake of argument that creationism is true. In this scenario, there is no need for all species to have existed in the beginning. There is only the need for animals that existed in the beginning to be able to produce every known species through natural reproduction, as opposed to DNA mutations. Genetics tells us that this aligns most closely with the family classification.


Take the cat family, for example. If you start with just one male and one female cat, all the genetic information is present for every cat species on earth to appear over time, including tigers, leopards, jaguars, lions, panthers, cougars, small cats, and domestic cats. It can happen through simple reproduction. In fact, as stated, it is inevitable that new species will continuously appear over time through natural reproduction within all animal families.    


Natural selection, common descent or ancestry, gradualism, gene flow, genetic recombination, genetic drift, endosymbiosis. All of these terms refer to processes that are known to occur within families.


All of them are observable and established by the scientific method.


And all of them have nothing to do with debunking creationism.


New species spontaneously appearing, and all the mechanisms by which this happens, are compatible with evolution, but they do not prove evolution any more than they prove creation.


So why do we sometimes read about new species appearing as evidence of evolution? This is something that creationist scientists complain about – evolutionists quote-unquote debunking arguments they have not made for decades or, in some cases, over a century, while never addressing their current arguments.


For example, Harvard geneticist and creationist, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, wrote a book called “Replacing Darwin,” which explained the aforementioned reproduction example, among other concepts. After publishing the book, he gave an open invitation for evolutionary biologists to debate him on the content. The invitation was accepted by Dr. Herman Mays of Marshall University.


In his opening statement, Dr. Mays brutally attacked Dr. Jeanson as a pseudo-scientist and then attempted to debunk what he apparently thought were several claims that Dr. Jeanson promoted in his book. Every time, Dr. Jeanson responded by asking Dr. Mays to specify where he found those claims in the book, which Dr. Mays couldn’t do because the book didn’t contain any of them. Dr. Jeanson later stated that Dr. Mays displayed almost no evidence of having read the book at all, despite having claimed to read it twice. In subsequent interviews, Dr. Jeanson pointed out that it is illegal in the United States for public schools to teach intelligent-design-related concepts, which is why most scientists have never considered natural reproduction rather than DNA mutations to explain our planet’s biological diversity.


Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson and Dr. Herman Mays, 9/25/2018, “Nonsequitur Presents Replacing Darwin: A Debate on Origins”


Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, 2017, “Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species”


For creation to fully explain biological diversity on earth, all you would need is at least one male and one female member of each animal family to be present at the beginning of the diversification process. You wouldn’t even need much time for this to occur.


Have you ever heard that old trick where you ask someone whether they would choose $1000 dollars right now or one penny today, two pennies tomorrow, four pennies the next day, and so on for 30 days?


The trick is that is that, if you chose the pennies, after 30 days you would have over a billion pennies, or over ten million dollars. After 40 days, you would have over a trillion pennies, or a hundred billion dollars. And so on. That’s the power of exponential growth.


The same is true of animal reproduction. Of course, animal numbers are limited by what the available habitats can sustain, but the potential for genetic diversification in even just a couple dozen generations is nevertheless staggering.


Incontrovertible evidence for evolution in accordance with the scientific method would require observing either the emergence of a new animal family by natural causes or one animal family converting into another, which has never been observed. And whatever paleologists assert the fossil record establishes, the hard evidence for such an occurrence resides in the DNA sequences. In fact, over 99% of an animal’s biology is found in the soft tissue. Fossils do not and cannot constitute observable, incontrovertible evidence for evolution in accordance with the scientific method.


Furthermore, even if we set this aside and look for evidence of such occurrences based only on hard skeletal structures, the fossil record still runs into a gargantuan problem known as the Cambrian Explosion or the Biological Big Bang.


The reason it is called the Biological Big Bang is because virtually all major animal phyla, which is three taxonomy classifications above family, appear in the fossil record suddenly and fully formed – not gradually or in stages. How is this possible?



New York Times, 9/17/1993, “Biology’s ‘Big Bang” Took A Mere Blink of the Eye”

Nature, 2/16/2016, “What Sparked the Cambrian Explosion”

Natural History Museum, 2/19/2019, “The Cambrian Explosion Was Far Shorter Than We Thought”


Also see:

Budd, G. E.; Jensen, S., 2000, “A Critical Reappraisal of The Fossil Record of The Bilaterian Phyla”

Budd, G.E., 2003, “The Cambrian Fossil Record and the Origin of the Phyla,” pgs. 157–165.

Steven Gould (Harvard Biology Professor), 1977, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” pgs. 13-14

Jonathan Well, 2000, “Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong,” pg. 37

Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, 2004, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” Chapter 6


Interestingly, in 2018 a team of nearly three dozen scientists published a paper in Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology positing that the Biological Big Bang occurred as the result of… you guessed it: Alien seeding. The study focused largely on Cephalopods due to their genetic material supposedly being able to survive travel through space, but the larger takeaway was that life on earth appeared to defy unaided terrestrial evolution, in their assessment. The paper’s abstract stated:


“In our view the totality of the multifactorial data and critical analyses assembled by Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and their many colleagues since the 1960s leads to a very plausible conclusion… living organisms such as… fertilised ova and seeds have been continuously delivered… to Earth… which has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and which has led to the emergence of mankind.”


Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology (Volume 136, August 2018, pages 3-23), 2018, “Cause of Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic?”


The natural emergence of a new animal family or one animal family converting into another could only happen through DNA mutations. It cannot happen through natural selection, common descent and any other family-contained mechanisms.


This likely explains the wording chosen by the “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” statement which over one thousand Ph.D.’s in scientific fields have publicly endorsed. The statement reads:


“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”


The signatories include about 180 biologists, 250 chemists, 120 doctors of medicine. It also includes about 450 university professors (approximately 100 of whom are professors of biology, chemistry, or medicine).


See: https://dissentfromdarwin.org/


Nevertheless, the National Academy of Sciences put out a statement falsely claiming:


“…there is no debate within the scientific community over whether evolution occurred… scientists continue to debate only the particular mechanisms that result in evolution, not the overall accuracy of evolution as the explanation of life’s history.”


Ironically, National Academy of Sciences member and Penn State Chemistry professor Philip Skell is one of the Dissent from Darwinism signatories.


American Civil Liberties Union, undated, “What the Scientific Community Says About Evolution and Intelligent Design”


The Dissent from Darwinism website asserts the list exists in response to efforts by some to quote “deny the existence of scientific critics of Neo-Darwinism and to discourage open discussion of the scientific evidence for and against Neo-Darwinism.” The website also adds that signing on to the statement does not imply endorsement of any alternative theory, such as intelligent design or creationism.


As one example, the New York Times interviewed atheist and Brooklyn College Biology Professor Stanley Salthe, who said he signed because evolutionary biologists were unfairly suppressing any competing ideas deserved and to be prodded.


A number of criticisms of the Dissent from Darwinism list have been voiced. Let’s take a look at several. One is not well supported. A few are valid but need qualification. One is irrelevant to the core issue, which is that no mechanisms of evolution have been observed to cause the appearance or conversion of any animal family, much less higher taxonomy classifications.


The New York Times ran a derisive article in 2006 asserting that quote “many” of the signers were evangelicals. While this could theoretically be true, the article offered no percentage estimate and the claim was based on interviews of just twenty of the signatories, of whom quote “some” or quote “several” were evangelicals. The twenty interviewees accounted for less than 5% of the signers at the time.


The article also argued that only a quarter of the signers were biologists, whose field is most directly concerned with evolution. This is a valid point, although it could also be added that any science-based Ph.D. probably most non-Ph.D.s can easily grasp the core issue.


New York Times, 2/21/2006, “Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition”


The National Center of Science Education called the wording of the statement quote “spin” and quote “misleading” because it only mentioned natural selection and mutations and didn’t name any other mechanisms associated with common ancestry. However, this criticism is irrelevant to the core issue.


National Center of Science Education, 2/26/2016, “Doubting Darwinism Through Creative License”


In his 2015 book “Basics in Evolution,” evolutionary biologist Michael Muehlenbein pointed out that the Dissent from Darwinism statement was created by the Discovery Institute, which promotes intelligent design and creationist ideas. This point is worth raising. However, as stated, signing on to the statement does not imply endorsement of any alternative theory, including intelligent design or creationism.


Muehlenbein also pointed out that the sum total of the signers accounted for well under 1% of the total number of Ph.D.’s in the world that are qualified to sign it if they chose. This point is also worth raising, although it includes no information about what percentage of those qualified individuals is, one, aware of the list’s existence and, two, aware of the core issue it raises.


Michael Muehlenbein, 2015, “Basics in Evolution”


Nevertheless, to Muehlenbein’s point, it’s fair to say that only a small minority of biologists and other scientists express skepticism of evolution’s ability to fully explain animal diversity.


This raises an important question: Is it theoretically possible for a large majority of experts in a given field to be wrong?


The answer to this question is obviously yes. And there are many examples to point to.


It can happen with governments and intelligence experts, taking many nations to war based on information that turns out to be completely false.


It can happen with economics and financial experts, who somehow fail en masse to detect massive structural problems that plunge the world into a global recession.


U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 7/7/2004, “Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq” (Conclusion 3)


Foreign Affairs, November/December 2013, “Never Saw It Coming,” by Alan Greenspan


And it can happen with scientists as well.


While scientists enjoy the highest public trust of any group of professionals, the trust is arguably not well deserved.


YouGovAmerica, 2/8/2021, “Scientists and Doctors Are the Most Respected Professions Worldwide”

Pew Research Center, 9/29/2020, “Science and Scientists Held in High Esteem Across Global Publics”

Guardian, 8/2/2019, “Scientists Top List of Most Trusted Professions in US”


For example, in 2005, Stanford Professor of Medicine John Ioannidis showed that most published research findings are false because they are framed to satisfy confirmation bias.


Public Library of Science (PLOS) Medicine, August 2005, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” by John P. A. Ioannidis


Scientific retractions are nothing new. But in 2012 a major study of over 2000 retracted scientific articles found that the vast majority were retracted not because of error, but because of misconduct, plagiarism and fraud.


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, Vol. 109, No. 42, 10/1/2012, “Misconduct Accounts for the Majority of Retracted Scientific Publications”


Guardian, 10/1/2012, “Tenfold Increase In Scientific Research Papers Retracted for Fraud”


Guardian, 9/5/2011, “Publish-Or-Perish: Peer Review and the Corruption of Science”


In 2013, another major study of over 1,500 scientists uncovered a major quote “crisis of reproducibility” in which the majority of published and supposedly verifiable findings by scientists could not be replicated.


Phys.org, 9/20/2013, “Science Is in a Reproducibility Crisis: How Do We Resolve It?”

Nature, 9/25/2016, “1,500 Scientists Lift the Lid on Reproducibility”

Economist, 10/1/2013, “How Science Goes Wrong”

Washington Post, 8/27/2015, “Many Scientific Studies Can’t Be Replicated. That’s A Problem.”


The fact is that scientists, like all other field experts, are human beings that are subject to confirmation bias, worldview bias, normalcy bias, groupthink, peer pressure, career advancement pressures, self-preservation, and at times just good old-fashioned dishonesty and corruption.


This certainly includes the field of evolutionary biology, as was powerfully illustrated by what was once considered possibly the most important discovery in human history. In 1912, the New York Times heralded that some of the world’s foremost evolutionary biologists had finally found definitive proof of the long-sought missing link between apes and mankind. The human skull with an apelike jaw was dubbed Piltdown Man and was estimated to have lived 750,000 to 950,000 years ago.


The incredible fossil was introduced as proof of evolution during the infamous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. United States public school children were taught that Piltdown Man conclusively proved Darwin’s theory for more than forty years. And over 500 scientific papers were written on it.


There was just one problem: Piltdown Man was an abject fraud.


The teeth were filed down to make them look human. The jaw was boiled and stained to make it look older. Jaw and skull fragments were planted at the site. The ultimate science conspiracy theory was in reality, just a conspiracy. And all of the world’s foremost scientists were none the wiser.


New York Times, 12/22/1912, “Darwin Theory Proved True”

New York Times, 5/26/1925, “Scopes Is Indicted in Tennessee for Teaching Evolution”

Time, 11/30/1953, “Science: End as A Man”

Time, 3/16/2010, “Top 10 Shocking Hoaxes: Pack of Lies; Piltdown Man”

LiveScience, 12/8/2021, “Piltdown Man: Infamous Fake Fossil”

BBC, 2/17/2011, “Piltdown Man: Britain’s Greatest Hoax”


Let’s return for a moment to the topic of public education. Many evangelical Christians have asserted that intelligent design or creationist concepts should be taught alongside evolution in biology classrooms. In response, a number of reputable scientific organizations have vehemently protested the notion.


For example, the American Anthropological Association has stated:


“Science describes and explains the natural world: it does not prove or disprove beliefs about the supernatural.”


The American Astronomical Society has stated:


“Science is not based on faith, nor does it preclude faith… the teaching of important scientific concepts… should not be altered or constrained in response to demands external to the scientific disciplines.”


The National Association of Biology Teachers has stated:


“Explanations or ways of knowing that invoke non-naturalistic or supernatural events or beings… are outside the realm of science and not part of a valid science curriculum.”


The Geological Society of America has stated:


“Science, in contrast, is based on observations of the natural world. All beliefs that entail supernatural creation… fall within the domain of religion rather than science. For this reason, they must be excluded from science courses in our public schools.”


The Paleontological Society has stated:


“…creationism is religion rather than science… because it invokes supernatural explanations that cannot be tested.”


American Civil Liberties Union, undated, “What the Scientific Community Says About Evolution and Intelligent Design”


In my opinion, these are fair and valid statements. As a Christian, I’d say the sciences are the study of what God has created, but the actual act of God creating something out of nothing defies science by definition, as we discussed in the last video. This creation act is the subject of theological study, not scientific study.


However, I also believe science should play by its own rules.


There is no evolutionary biologist on earth who has argued or would argue that mankind has observed a present, living animal family spontaneously appear due to natural causes or convert into another animal family.


While some paleontologists claim the fossil record shows this, despite lacking hard DNA evidence, in reality the fossil record shows not only families but virtually all phyla appearing suddenly and fully formed, in seeming defiance of evolutionary explanations.


Thus, science has not conclusively answered the question of how animal families originated, much less the higher classifications. This is a glaring gap in the scientific body of knowledge and science textbooks should acknowledge it.


They also should not claim without evidence that all life evolved from single-celled organisms. And, going back to the last video, they should not claim without evidence that single-celled organisms spontaneously arose from a primordial soup via chemical evolution.


If science textbooks authors want to acknowledge the glaringly obviously appearance of design in one-celled organisms, fine. If they want to add that some scientists speculate without evidence that the cells could have been brought to earth by beings from another planet, fine. But then they should also point out that some scientists speculate without evidence that the origin of the cells could be attributable to the same cause as the Big Bang. The latter speculation is at least as reasonable as the former.


The Paleontological Society is correct that science cannot test or study supernatural causes. However, this also logically means science does not have the ability to rule out supernatural causes until a natural cause has been conclusively identified.  


Science has not identified a natural cause for the existence of our time/space/matter/energy universe.


It has not identified a natural cause for the existence of a finely tuned environment that can potentially support life.


It has not identified where the first life came from.


And it has not identified where animal families and higher taxonomy classifications came from.


Therefore, it has not ruled out a supernatural cause for any of these things.


Furthermore, science will never rule out supernatural causes. Even if we met the aliens that seeded the first cells and traveled to the parallel universes that explained the life-enabling properties of earth, we still wouldn’t have proven the first clue about where those aliens and universes came from.


If there’s no God, why is something instead of nothing. Even an eight-year-old can understand that logic.


If you like to learn, you can check out my free book at the link provided. Thanks for watching.






9. Is It Arrogant to Say Christianity Is the Only Way?


The truth is that every major religion and worldview claims exclusivity on many points. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, secular humanists, new agers, and others all claim that certain beliefs they hold are true and whatever contradicts them is false. And they should. This simply acknowledges that there is such a thing as truth. And it acknowledges that truth is true irrespective of whether it is comfortable or believed in by any individual or group.


The points of disagreement between the different religions and worldviews are not trivial. They typically involve questions about the existence of God, the nature/character of God, the origin of mankind, the problem of evil, the origin of death and suffering, the nature of the spiritual realm, the existence of angels and demons, the nature of the afterlife, etc.


So the real question is not whether Christians are arrogant to claim exclusivity on key points since every other belief system also does. The real question is: What is true? 


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.







10. Is Kindness More Important Than Doctrines?


Some people assert that treating others with kindness is more important than adherence to any particular religious doctrine. However, in some cases, this assertion is based on an underlying belief that having solid truth convictions and treating people with different convictions kindly are mutually exclusive. They aren’t. In fact, that’s the definition of tolerance. Tolerating another person’s beliefs doesn’t mean saying their beliefs are true. It means treating them with kindness and respect despite disagreeing. And it means respecting every person’s right to choose what to believe.


This, by the way, does not exclude proselytizing. For example, if two Muslim and Christian friends care about each other and sincerely believe they know the correct way to live in relationship with God, it is natural and commendable for them to try to respectfully persuade the other over time. This can absolutely be done with tolerance and kindness. Many people have relationships that could be characterized by this kind of tolerance. It’s not uncommon.


Some opponents of religion claim that any attempt to persuade someone to abandon their beliefs for another set of beliefs is offensive. However, this is only true when it is done with intolerance – that is with unkind or disrespectful pressure, anger, or force. 


Unfortunately, intolerant proselytizing is also common. It happens all over the world, with every major religion and worldview, including Christianity. There are countless instances in which people have tried to intolerantly force their views onto someone else. There are a number of reasons people do this.


• Maybe they are sincerely concerned for the person’s soul and think intolerant pressure is justified.


• Maybe they are subconsciously insecure about their own beliefs and it helps them feel more secure if they can persuade others to agree with them.


• Maybe they attribute certain evils in society to another worldview and feel a civic duty to oppose it.


• Maybe they look up to parents or clergy who have modeled that it is ok to intolerantly force their beliefs on someone.


• Maybe they have been taught that those who reject their worldview deserve to be mistreated.


I admit that I am guilty of intolerant proselytizing in my life due to more than one of these reasons. Nevertheless, for Christians, the Bible specifically commands the opposite. For example, 1 Peter 3:15 says to share one’s faith with gentleness and respect.


Obviously, we’re all human and we all make mistakes at times in how we relate to others, including how share our deepest beliefs. But I don’t believe the answer is to reject any notion of absolute truth when it comes to religion or worldview. This is self-contradicting because it essentially claims that it is true that there is no truth and the beliefs of anyone who says otherwise are false. It’s nonsensical. Not to mention, there are plenty of intolerant people working to promote this view just like every other view. So obviously non-absolutism does not eliminate intolerance.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.






11. How Can a Loving God Allow So Much Suffering?


How can a loving God allow so much suffering in the world? This is a great question.


First, I think it is important to point out that a large portion of suffering in the world is the direct result of human choice. Theft, violence, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse fill homes and streets in every town and city in the world every single day.


Where, how, and when should God intervene to prevent this kind of suffering?


If God simply removed everyone who did something abusive, there would eventually be no people left in the world. If He removed evil, powerful leaders, the vacuum left behind would just be filled by someone else.


If He took away the free will of everyone who did something abusive, the world would be full of robots with no capacity for authentic love or kindness or compassion.


Of course, there is also a great deal of suffering in the world due to things like death, disease, and scarcity. The Bible says God introduced these things into the world as a result of sin. For example, after Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis, God told them they would “die” and that the agricultural productivity of the ground was “cursed.” Likewise, the apostle Paul said in Romans that the creation was “subjected to futility” by God and is now in a state of “corruption.”


However, I would argue that God doing this actually diminished human suffering overall, not increased it.


Now, maybe you’re thinking to yourself: “Hold on. Did you just say God introducing death and scarcity into the world diminished human suffering? That makes no sense.”


Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

Let me try to explain with two illustrations that, ironically come from cartoons.


In the first cartoon, the grim reaper went on vacation so no one could die. Two guys got in a bar fight and one shot the other in the head. To their brief astonishment, he didn’t die. Then the fight continued. This realization quickly spread around the world until all the restraints typically associated with the fear of death were cast off and the world was plunged into anarchy until the grim reaper returned and resumed his function.


We have countless examples from history of how wickedly people treat each other just in the absence of law enforcement. How much more would this be the case in the absence of physical death?


In the second cartoon, the human race invented machines that performed all labor so well that there was no scarcity or discomfort and no need for anyone to work. Society gradually became more and more indulgent of every carnal appetite. Subsequently, human beings became dumbed-down pleasure addicts until their machines finally broke down and they had to start civilization over from scratch.


Now imagine putting these scenarios together – no death and no scarcity. The potential for evil in the human heart to be realized outwardly would multiply exponentially. I think life might literally become hell on earth. So the root problem with the world is not external, but the corruption inside our own hearts.


The good news for those who know Jesus Christ is that someday, after God’s final judgment, there will be a future with no death or scarcity for those who have been restored into relationship with Him.


The apostle John wrote of that time in Revelation 21:2-6


“Behold, the tabernacle of God is among [mankind], and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”


“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new… I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.’”


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.












12. Does Marriage Prepare Us For Eternity?


In general, a man values respect and success. He instinctively understands hierarchies (such as in companies, ministries, or governments) and where he fits into them. He wants to build something significant and rule over a domain. He wants to impact the world around him.


However, he is called to do this with kindness and selfless motives. When he builds an organization, his goal should be to serve others, not exalt himself. When he leads others, he should value the people more than his position. Learning how to lead and cover a relational wife trains him how to do this. It is how he forms God’s character and becomes who he was created to be.


In general, a woman desires love and security. She understands relationships and wants to feel close and connected to others. She wants to be seen as valuable, beautiful, and worthy of being pursued. However, she is also called to fill a position in God’s kingdom, both in this age and in the next. God’s kingdom is built upon order and hierarchy. There will always be things to build and accomplish and rule over. Learning how to show respect for a husband and submit to his leadership trains her for this.


God thinks long-term in His dealings with us. This 70 to 80 year life is very short compared to eternity. This life is largely about training and preparation for our eternal positions. The choices we make and the characters we develop now will be with us for eternity. God gave us headship and submission in marriage because it was the best possible way to mold us into the image-bearers we were intended to become.


Have you noticed in Ephesians 5 that husbands and wives are both commanded to do the opposite of what comes naturally to them? Respect comes naturally to men, but they are commanded to love (vs. 25). Love comes naturally to women, but they are commanded to show respect (vs. 33). This is how God transforms us. True obedience is not doing something because it comes naturally, but because we want to please God.







13. Can Women Have Authority? Part 1


Relationships are the most valuable things in the universe. Women possess an innate appreciation for this truth since they are generally more relationship-oriented than men. This equips women to become excellent stewards of authority when they also learn to assimilate pursuits that sometimes come more naturally to men, such as building, defending, and respect for hierarchy.


Stewarding authority also has a lot to do with wisdom and there seems to be a special connection in the Bible between women and wisdom. It was the desire for wisdom, pursued in a forbidden way, that caused Eve to disobey in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6). And in the book of Proverbs, a book all about wisdom, wisdom is personified as a woman (chapters 3-4, 8-9) and it culminates with a woman (chapter 31).


It is important to recognize that marriage is the only context where headship and submission applies. The Bible does not say that every man is the head of every woman. A woman can be a pastor, a president, or a CEO. She can have authority over countless people. The only thing a woman can never be is the head of her husband.


This is because authority that bears spiritual fruit requires grace from God. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how gifted or talented of a leader a woman is; she still does not have grace to be the head of her husband. Nor does it matter how much her husband prefers to follow; he does have grace to be the head if he chooses to believe God for it.


If a woman stewards authority over other people, like a CEO or a pastor does, it does not mean she is answerable to her husband for how she operates in those roles. He can counsel her and pray for her, but the authority is hers, not his. A husband’s position as the head only gives him authority in the area of their marriage and family. There may be some overlap between her family life and her other roles, but God can give couples wisdom to navigate through unclear areas when they ask Him for it. Headship and submission can look a little bit different in every marriage. God gives grace for each couple to apply His word to their unique relationship, personalities, and circumstances.








14. Is A Wife Analogous to the Holy Spirit

If a husband represents Christ to his wife, how does a wife represent God to her husband? When God was about to create Eve, He called her Adam’s helper. The same Hebrew word for Helper (ezer) is used to describe God as our Helper in several passages such as Psalm 70:5 and Psalm 121:2.


In fact, the role of a helper is such an important aspect of God’s nature that it is a primary title given to a member of the Trinity. Jesus repeatedly called the Holy Spirit “Helper” in John 14-16 (NASB translation).


The etymology of the Greek word used for the Holy Spirit in this passage means called to one’s side, just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s side. The Holy Spirit may provide the best model for how wives relate to their husbands.


Sometimes God relates to us as a King or a Master – He gives specific commands and expects obedience (ex. Luke 17:10). However, when God relates to us as a Helper, it is different. A Helper does not give commands. Instead, He gives counsel. He makes suggestions and offers support. He doesn’t step out in front to lead; He comes alongside and encourages. 


This is an incredible aspect of God’s nature. God is infinitely wise so He could easily tell us exactly what to do in every situation. But instead He comes in humility and offers assistance. When we dig our heels in and ignore the Holy Spirit’s help (as we all have) He does not become resentful. He may be grieved, but He accepts our decision and does not abandon us. He stays with us and works to bring about redemption. He still tries to guide us into as much blessing as possible on the lesser, harder path we chose. God’s ability to not hold a grudge over a bad decision, but continue helping us in humility, is truly amazing.


My wife has modeled this to me many times. She knew deep in her heart that some choices I made were not right. She communicated it clearly and respectfully and I wouldn’t listen. Even though it affected her deeply, and even though I did not recognize I had done anything wrong for a long time, she did not become bitter. She continued to support me and encourage me.


When the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, He is gentle and reasonable, not pushy or demanding. Have you noticed that? Even when He rebukes us or convicts us, we can feel that He loves us and wants what’s best for us. Many times when my wife has spoken to me about things I didn’t want to hear, I had that same feeling. I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking through her.


The helper ministry may be the most beautiful, gentle, and humble way that God relates to people. And the Bible designates this aspect of God’s nature for wives to emulate as the most effective way to bless and guide their husbands.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.









15. How Should a Couple Make Major Decisions?


When a couple faces a major decision, I believe there is no single formula for how to handle it. Instead, there are different biblical principles that could apply depending on the situation and how God is leading each spouse at that time. Here are several possibilities for how God may lead a husband and wife through a major decision together:


One, there are multiple options within God’s will. There is room for discussion, personal preference, and compromise.


Two, the husband and wife are in agreement about how the Lord is leading them. Unity comes easily and they proceed together.


Three, the Lord impresses upon the wife to submit to her husband’s lead. She knows her husband is being led by the Lord. This is a picture of Christ acting as the head of the church. Ephesians 5:22-24 applies.


Four, the Lord impresses upon the husband to listen to his wife’s counsel. He knows his wife is being led by the Lord. This is a picture of the Holy Spirit acting as the Helper.


Five, the Lord impresses upon the wife to submit to her husband’s lead, but she does not know whether her husband is being led by the Lord. She only knows the Lord is asking her to submit to him.


Six, the Lord impresses upon the husband to defer to his wife. He does not know whether his wife is being led by the Lord. He only knows the Lord is asking him to defer to her. This may have been the case with Sarah and Abraham in Genesis 21:12.


Seven, the Lord impresses upon the wife to submit to her husband’s lead even though she knows he is not being led by the Lord. He is either deceived or he is intentionally disobeying. However, the Lord asks her to entrust herself to His care and pray for her husband’s heart. 1 Peter 3:1 applies. This is a picture of how the Holy Spirit continues to love us and pursue relationship with us even when we are disobedient. 


Eight, the Lord impresses upon the husband to defer to his wife even though he knows she is not being led by the Lord. She is either deceived or she is intentionally disobeying. However, the Lord asks him to lay the situation down before Him and pray for his wife’s heart. This is a picture of how Jesus treats His church when we resist His will for us. This also how God led the prophet Hosea to treat his wife. 


We can only control our own response to a major disagreement, not our spouse’s. Whatever he or she does, scripture exhorts us to still represent God to them. If a husband believes his wife should submit to him about a particular decision, but she is unwilling, he should accept it without becoming bitter, just as Jesus frequently does with His church. Then he should seek God for his next step. Likewise, if a wife believes her husband should listen to her counsel, but he is unwilling, she should accept it without becoming bitter, just as the Holy Spirit frequently does with us, and seek God for her next step.


With many decisions, the process is actually more important than the outcome. If one or both spouses honor God and each other in how they walk through the decision-making process, they can be victorious in His eyes regardless of what decision is made.


If you’d like to learn more you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.






16. How Can A Wife Change Her Husband?


1 Peter 3 gives a specific strategy for a specific kind of situation with a specific goal in mind. This strategy is tailored according to how men are designed and motivated. The first two verses state: 


“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”


The Situation is  a husband is being disobedient to God.

The Strategy is a wife’s chaste, respectful, submissive behavior toward her husband.

The Goal is the husband’s repentance.


Why is this strategy effective? Men tend to value respect, leadership, and hierarchy. When a man is treated with unconditional respect by his wife, even when he doesn’t deserve it, it can awaken something inside of him. It can remind him of his calling to be a noble, sacrificial leader.


When men are made responsible for other men, they usually consider it a sacred charge. For example, if a man is made the captain of a ship and the ship is sinking, he is the very last one to disembark. He makes sure everyone else gets to safety first because that is his duty. He doesn’t even have to be a particularly moral man. He considers it an honor to be entrusted with a position of such authority and he acts accordingly.


Next, verses 3-6 state:


“…let [your adornment] be… the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands… without being frightened by any fear.”


These verses discuss the battle between fear and faith that a wife is likely to experience while executing the strategy God gave in verses 1-2. There is incredible vulnerability in treating someone with undeserved respect who has a measure of authority over you. It is very easy to become fearful that nothing will ever change. A woman who chooses to employ this strategy for changing her husband really has nothing to hope in except God. She relinquishes all of her own tools and methods.


The passage encourages a wife to adorn herself with a gentle and quiet spirit because at times she will be filled with loud, fearful thoughts. Therefore, the only way to persevere in this strategy is to somehow become quiet before the Lord so He can sustain her with His peace. By the way, the posture of having a gentle and quiet spirit is equally valid for men when battling against fear or anxiety.


God’s kingdom works oppositely to how the world and the flesh lead us. We humble ourselves to be exalted. We give to be entrusted with more. We serve to become leaders. We bless when we are cursed. Along these same lines, wives treat disobedient husbands with chastity, respect, and submission in order to change them.


The world and the flesh tell wives to become forceful, fearful, controlling, or manipulative. God tells a wife to respect her husband as the head of their marriage and pray that he feels the burden of leadership God has placed on his shoulders. God tells a wife to share her input with her husband honestly, gently, respectfully, and pray for God to change his heart.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.








17. Spiritual Maturity Part 1: What is the Foundation of Christianity?


What Is Spiritual Maturity? How does the Bible define it?


There are a handful of passages that speak to this. I am going to draw primarily from three: Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:4-11, and Romans 12. These passages each identify various steps on the road to spiritual maturity. There is some overlap between them, so I’ve combined them into one expanded list.


1. Repentance from Dead Works (Hebrew 6:1, Philippians 3:4-9)

2. Faith in God (Hebrews 6:1, Philippians 3:9)

3. Knowing God (Philippians 3:10)

4. Sanctification / Mind Renewal (Hebrews 6:2, Romans 12:1-3)

5. Walking in Unique Gifts & Calling (Philippians 3:10, Romans 12:6-8, Hebrews 6:2)

6. The Fellowship of Christ’s Sufferings (Philippians 3:10)

7. Being Conformed to Christ’s Death (Philippians 3:10, Romans 12:14-21)


This list presupposes that an initial surrender of overt, willful sin took place at conversion. Also, each of these steps is an area we hopefully continue to grow in our entire lives so I don’t want to give the wrong impression that one step must be fully conquered before moving on to the next.


Step 1: Repentance from Dead Works (Hebrew 6:1, Philippians 3:4-9)

The writer of Hebrews identified “repentance from dead works” as the “foundation” of Christianity. Every time we do something that appears quote “good” or “Christian” or “spiritual”, but subconsciously seeks to feed our sense of self-worth or compensate for underlying guilt, we perform a dead work.


This does not mean we shouldn’t exercise discipline. It does not mean we should stop praying, reading scripture, or gathering with other believers if we do these things out of guilt or self-righteousness. But it does mean being honest with God and others about the condition of our hearts and asking Him to change us.


We can also use parenthood or our careers as dead works – really anything we rely on to help us feel acceptable through performance apart from God. However, dead works are especially toxic when infused with religion and spirituality. Dead works are at the heart of every false religion. Even atheists want to feel like good people and often expend a tremendous amount of effort to convince themselves they are.


In Philippians 3:4-9, Paul listed several factors from which he might have derived self-worth – his nationality, his family of origin, his impeccable moral behavior, his career advancement, his respectability in the eyes of his peers. Yet he gave up finding any value whatsoever in these things, saying:


“…those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ… I have suffered the loss of all things so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law [i.e. dead works]…”


Dead works are serious and dangerous. In a way, they are more deadly than overt sin because they are so deceptive. They have the appearance of righteousness. They cause some believers to think they are growing closer to God when they are actually pushing Him away. They cause other believers to think they can never be good enough for God and give up following Him under a cloud of condemnation.


Because repentance from dead works is so foundational, it is often the most heavily attacked area of a believer’s life. Satan constantly pressures us to try to earn God’s acceptance through moral performance, and then gets us to pressure others (including our children) in the same way. The way to combat this is found in the next step – Faith in God.


Dead works are ingrained in our fallen nature even from childhood. When I was four years old, I stole several dollars’ worth of quarters from my dad’s home office. For the next two days, I felt physically sick with guilt. I was afraid to expose my sin to my father, so I secretly brought the money to church the next Sunday and put it in the offering, hoping to alleviate my guilt.


It seemed to work. I began to feel better. My relationship with my father had not been restored since I was still hiding something from him. But at least I could reason to myself that I was not a bad person since I ultimately gave the money away to a holy cause.


This is the quintessence of a dead work. It hides the truth of our condition. If I had the courage to tell my dad the truth, he would have reacted exactly as God does – he would have forgiven me and reaffirmed his love for me.


Incredibly, God kept my pursuing my little 4-year-old heart. The senior pastor of this large church happened to see me put the money in the offering and mailed a letter to my parents praising their son’s virtuous character! When my parents read it and began telling me how proud they were of me, I knew I was a fraud. God gave me a wonderful opportunity to come into the light and confess my sin, but I still chose not to out of fear. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful illustration of the deceptive nature of dead works.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.








18. Spiritual Maturity Part 2: Do I Really Know God?


What Is Spiritual Maturity? How does the Bible define it?


As stated in Part 1, we are drawing primarily from Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:4-11, and Romans 12


In part 1, we covered step 1: Repentance from Dead Works.

In this video, we’ll cover steps 2 and 3: Faith in God and Knowing God.


Hebrews 6:1 and Philippians 3:9 identify the second step of maturity as “faith toward God” or “faith in Christ”. Faith in God does not just mean believing He exists; it is agreement with the Bible about what He has done and what He is like.


This means believing our sins are really forgiven, He really loves us, and our relationship to Him is the foundation of our purpose and value. When we believe this from our hearts, dead works are no longer necessary — there is no reason to work for something we already have.


Jesus said in John 15:9-10, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.” Christ loves us exactly as the Father loves Him – infinitely. It never changes or wavers in the slightest. Our obedience or disobedience to His commands doesn’t affect it one iota. It only affects whether we “abide” in it, which means we allow our lives to be directed and shaped by it.


Step 3 is knowing God.

The apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10 sets apart “…that I may know Him…” as distinct from other steps. This refers to knowing God relationally and experientially. It means having a unique personal history together. Like any relationship, it means two-way interaction.


Relationship with God can be hard to define since He is invisible and inaudible, but it is probably more familiar to each of us than we might initially realize. For example, ask yourself the following questions:


• Have you ever experienced God giving you wisdom about a situation in your life?

• Has He changed your desires or priorities over time?

• Has He ever orchestrated circumstances in a way that His hand was evident?

• Have you ever gone to church and the message “coincidentally” addressed exactly what you were going through?

• Have you ever felt His presence in a palpable way?

• Has He ever opened your eyes to a sinful pattern you were previously oblivious to?

• Has He ever healed you from a past emotional wound?

• Has He ever comforted you during a time of grief?

• Has He ever empowered you to overcome a fear or anxiety or bitterness that previously seemed insurmountable?

• Has He ever guided you through an important decision, perhaps by imparting a sense of peace or clarity about what to choose?

• Has He ever touched you with overwhelming emotions during a time of worship?

• Has He opened your mind to understand a scripture you did not previously understand?

• Has He shown you how to pray for someone by guiding your thoughts during the prayer?

• Has He given you just the right thing to say to a hurting friend in need of encouragement?

• Have you ever had a dream you felt was from the Lord?

• Has He ever spoken something timely and personal to you through His word, during prayer, or through other believers?


Most believers have experienced several, if not all, of these. Knowing God is our source of life. It is what enables us to live out every other step. It is how biblical truth moves from our minds to our hearts.


No matter how much we agree intellectually with correct doctrines, we will only give up dead works to the extent we experience how much God loves and values us. We will only find freedom from guilt to the extent we experience His forgiveness. We will only be sanctified or fulfill our calling to the extent we experience His grace at work in our lives.


I’m not saying there isn’t a place for exercising faith when our feelings or experiences don’t seem to line up with biblical truth. But there is nevertheless a maturation that only takes place as a result of time and experience.


Christians are often encouraged to read our Bibles, spend time in prayer, and assemble in community. However, we are not as frequently told why to do these things. These are primary vehicles through which God’s Spirit interacts with us. They are food and water. We cannot grow spiritually without these things any more than we can grow physically without eating or drinking.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.











19. Spiritual Maturity Part 3: Does God Restrict Me?


What Is Spiritual Maturity? How does the Bible define it?


In this series, we are drawing primarily from Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:4-11, and Romans 12


In parts 1 and 2, we covered Repentance from Dead Works, Faith in God and Knowing God.


In this video, we’ll cover step 4: Sanctification and Mind Renewal (Hebrews 6:2, Romans 12:2-3)


The author of Hebrews listed “instructions about washings” as an important maturity step. This refers to being washed spiritually, which is called sanctification. Sanctification means letting go of sinful habits and attitudes and replacing them with righteous ones.


Similarly, the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Mind Renewal refers to letting go of false, worldly beliefs and replacing them with righteous ones.


Let’s break up Sanctification / Mind Renewal into four categories:


1) Exercising Self-Control

2) Responding to Conviction

3) Viewing God Accurately

4) Viewing Ourselves Accurately


Part of sanctification is exercising self-control. This is why “self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Self-control means repeatedly rejecting sinful thoughts, words, and actions and instead choosing righteous ones until they become habitual. This pursuit is greatly affected by what media, relationships, and biblical teaching (or lack thereof) we let into our lives.


Proverbs 24:16 says “a righteous man [or woman] falls seven times, and rises again”. People do not form new habits instantly; it’s simply impossible. It takes time and practice. Therefore, there is no shame in stumbling as long as we get up and keep going. God is very patient and gentle with our sincere attempts to grow in righteousness.


2. Responding to Conviction

Conviction is a wonderful gift. It is the most loving thing God can possibly do when we are in sin and don’t realize it. Or maybe we do realize it, but we don’t realize how serious it is.


Conviction is cause for rejoicing. It is like a wise doctor seeking you out on his own initiative and telling you you have a very early, very treatable form of cancer. Then he offers to remove it for you first thing tomorrow morning free of charge. Wouldn’t you be filled with gratitude toward such a doctor?


God never convicts us without providing grace to overcome. The very fact that He is convicting us means He is also offering us the power to change. This is why conviction is cause for celebration even though it may initially feel grievous.


There is an awesome picture of this in Nehemiah 8. When Ezra began reading God’s law to the people they were deeply convicted. They began to weep because they had disobeyed for so long. However, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Levites said to them:


“This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep. …Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. …Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.”


After this word, they celebrated with a great festival. The people understood that God’s goal was not to weigh them down with sorrow, but to offer them a new beginning. Conviction stands in stark contrast to Satan’s counterfeit – condemnation – which points out a problem but offers no lasting solution. Condemnation leaves us ashamed and discouraged, but conviction is accompanied by hope.


When we ignore God’s conviction (as we all have), it is like telling the wise doctor we don’t want to address the cancer he found just yet. Instead, we tell him the operation sounds inconvenient and uncomfortable. We’re not ready to give up the lifestyle that caused the cancer in the first place. So we put it off. The longer we wait, the more serious it becomes. The operations required to remove it grow more numerous, painful, and expensive. Eventually, it becomes deadly. The cancer of unrepented sin can kill our relationships, our calling, and even our faith. Therefore, a major part of Christian maturity is learning to embrace and celebrate God’s conviction.


3. Viewing God Accurately

God is not a Restrictor, but a Fulfiller. He does not withhold good things from us; He protects us with wise boundaries. There is nothing in the universe God cannot give us or would not give us. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” The ironic truth is that the vast majority of sins Christians commit are in pursuit of things God already plans to give us!


Here is a list of several common sins followed by short descriptions of the godly desires they seek to fulfill:


• Sexual Immorality – Godly desire for sexual fulfillment

• Witchcraft – Godly desire to connect to the spiritual realm, since God is a spirit, as are we.

• Greed / Jealousy – Godly desire to steward wealth/possessions, provide for loved ones, exercise generosity; enjoyment of a home, food, travel, experiences, and everything money can buy.

• Pride / Envy – Godly desire to be affirmed and feel valuable or significant

• Fear / Anxiety – Godly desire to make wise plans and see them fulfilled

• Substance Abuse – Godly desire for encouragement, refreshment, and relief from pain or stress

• Unforgiveness – Godly desire for healing and a restored relationship

• Idolatry – Godly desire for any good thing that is not prioritized above our desire to know God and obey Him


Satan’s tactic since the beginning of creation was to offer a forbidden shortcut to something God already planned to give. In Genesis 3, he said to Eve, “In the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” God wanted Adam and Eve’s eyes to be opened eyes (ex. Ephesian 1:18). He wanted them to be like Him (ex. Ephesians 5:1). He wanted them to discern good and evil (ex. Hebrews 5:14). Each of these attributes would have increased in them the longer they walked with God.


Satan tried the same thing with Jesus. He offered Him authority over the earth if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:9), even though God already planned to give Jesus this authority.


Sin is often pleasurable. The Bible doesn’t deny this. Hebrews 11:25 says Moses chose to abstain from “the passing pleasures of sin”. However, the path to freedom often feels like bondage at first, and the path to bondage often feels like freedom at first. If we were allowed to indulge our most base desires (lust, greed, pride, etc.) as much as wanted for as long as we wanted, it might initially feel like freedom, but it would quickly grow into an addiction, resulting in slavery. Not only would it no longer fulfill us, but we would need it in ever greater measures just to feel ok.


However, if we trust God’s boundaries and pursue the good things we desire His way, our ability to enjoy them is richer and deeper. By learning how to make God our primary source of fulfillment, the joy we derive from all our secondary desires is magnified.


It is true that not all of our desires will be fully or even partly fulfilled in this life. This is where an eternal perspective is vital. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says:


“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”


This life is very short compared to the endless millennia we will exist beyond it. The depths of joy, peace, love, fulfillment, etc. we will experience in the future is far beyond anything we can imagine right now. Having an eternal perspective is crucial when we must lay down a deeply-felt desire, either temporarily or permanently, in order to follow Jesus.


Part of sanctification is learning the Lordship of Christ, which means to see Him as our King and Judge. It means we would do or surrender anything we knew with confidence He was asking of us, even if it involved pain or sacrifice, because He created us and paid for us. We belong to Him and we are accountable to Him.


4. Viewing Ourselves Accurately

Paul wrote in Romans 12:3, “…I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment…” Another part of Sanctification / Mind Renewal is replacing trust in ourselves and our abilities with dependence on God. The truth is that we are all far more dependent on God’s grace and protection than we realize. If God gave the enemy full access to us, allowing him to orchestrate any temptation he wanted for as long as he wanted, we would all fall headlong into bondage. The perfect combination of temptations, wounds, and weaknesses is all that stands between us and the sin we think we could never commit.


We also have no ability to accomplish anything of eternal significance apart from God’s empowerment. This is why Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” God exalts the humble (James 4:10), displays His strength through our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and makes wise the simple (Psalm 19:7). However, he opposes the proud (James 4:6), debases human strength, and nullifies human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). He even does this with His own children – not just the lost. If we feel self-confident and capable to accomplish what God is calling us to, we are not ready. However, if we feel vulnerable and aware of our weaknesses and limitations, that is the safest place to be.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.








20. Spiritual Maturity Part 4: Why Am I Here?


What Is Spiritual Maturity? How does the Bible define it?


In this series, we are drawing primarily from Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:4-11, and Romans 12


In parts 1 through 3, we covered Repentance from Dead Works, Faith in God, Knowing God, Sanctification and Mind Renewal.


In this video, we’ll cover step 5: Walking Out Our Unique Gifts & Calling, which is the next step identified by all three passages (Philippians 3:10, Romans 12:6-8, Hebrews 6:2)


In Romans 12:6-8, Paul exhorts every believer to “exercise” our spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ.  In Hebrews 6:2, the writer lists “laying on of hands”, which is frequently associated in scripture with being commissioned for ministry or bestowed with spiritual gifts (ex. 1 Tim 4:14, 5:22, 2 Tim 5:22). And Philippians 3:10 identifies “the power of His resurrection”, which is a reference to spiritual gifts since scripture repeatedly points to them as the evidence that Christ rose and ascended into heaven (Ephesians 4:8, 1 Corinthians 1:6-7, Luke 24:49).


How do gifts or a calling relate to spiritual maturity? Let’s divide the answer to this question into four parts:


1) Our Calling is Natural

2) Our Calling is an Inheritance

3) Our Calling is a Friendship

4) Our Calling Takes Time


1. Our Calling is Natural

Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.” When a branch becomes mature, it does not have to strive to bear fruit. Nor does it become anxious about whether it will produce enough. It simply abides in the vine and fruit comes naturally. In the same way, bearing eternal fruit is a natural consequence of becoming mature in Christ and living out the things He puts in our hearts to fulfill.  


Our calling is often connected to our dreams and passions. God does not ask us to be someone we’re not or exercise gifts we don’t have. He does not squeeze us into someone else’s mold. He helps us discover the unique purpose He created us for and live it out.


Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Notice the verse does not say God gives us what we desire; it says the desires themselves come from Him. As we mature, God shapes our desires to align with the purposes He created us for.


The things we dream about when we mature are often very different than the things we dreamt about when we were younger. The world and the flesh have a way of drawing us after things God never intended for us. They evoke dreams of people being impressed with us, recognizing us, and affirming us. However, godly dreams seek to serve others in humility, not draw attention to ourselves. Colossians 3:3-4 says our true life and the glory God ascribes to us is not actually recognizable in this age. It is hidden. It will only be fully revealed when Jesus is revealed at His second coming. It states:


“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”


2. Our Calling is an Inheritance

Paul told the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:13-14) that the Holy Spirit was given “as a pledge” of their inheritance. And Jesus said the Holy Spirit’s role is to empower us to be His witnesses (Luke 24:48-49, Acts 1:8).


We normally think of our inheritance as salvation, eternal life, or a place in heaven. That is part of it, but it is also more than that. We are heirs of His Kingdom. This means our inheritance includes the spheres of influence we are called to impact in this life.


Maturing in Christ can involve a gradual expansion of influence. First, we are given authority over our own hearts. The Lord begins showing us what He wants to do in that sphere and invites us to labor with Him. If we are faithful, He may expand our influence, for example, to family members, friends, and coworkers.


A person’s calling is multi-faceted. We can be called to get married and raise a family. We can be called to exercise certain spiritual gifts or lead a particular ministry. We can be called to a certain field or industry in the marketplace. We can be called to minister to a specific age group, ethnic group, city, or geographical area.


There is nothing more threatening to the enemy’s kingdom than mature Christians. Mature Christians change the world around them. Their prayers and acts of obedience help destroy demonic strongholds that enslave family members, friends, and coworkers.


The journey into spiritual maturity is the most valuable pursuit a human being can undertake, but Satan has many Christians convinced the pursuit of hobbies, money, comfort, or human affirmation is somehow more worthwhile. The truth is many Christians do not reach the maturity we are called to. Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 that some believers’ lives will bear no fruit and they will be judged for this, even though they are still saved. Likewise, Jesus said many who receive the gospel remain unfruitful because “the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)


3. Our Calling is a Friendship

Would a father treat his six-year-old son like a peer? Would he discuss in depth his marriage, his career goals, or his trials? Of course not; he would only share what is appropriate to the boy’s age. The fact that the boy is only six years old does not cause the father to love him less, but it does affect how he relates to him. It affects how deep and mature of a friendship bond they can share.


Jesus relates to us in the same way – in accordance with our maturity level. This is why it took three and half years of spending nearly every waking moment together before Jesus could say to the disciples:


“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)


The essence of friendship with Jesus is Him sharing what He is doing, or wants to do, around us. He lays His burdens, dreams, and desires on our hearts. This is also a foundation of our calling. Calling and friendship go together.


I have heard pastors quote this verse and say that Jesus has called everyone who is saved His friend. If that is true, why did it take so long before He could call the disciples His friends? In this context, being Jesus’ friend is more than just being saved. It is an indicator of spiritual maturity.


Notice how John 15:15 says being a “slave” comes before friendship. A prerequisite to our calling is submitting our lives to the Lordship of Christ, which means we would do or surrender anything we knew with confidence He was asking of us, even if it involved pain or sacrifice. John 14:21 confirms this:


“He who has My commandments and keeps them [Lordship] is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him [deepening friendship and maturity].”


If we spend our whole lives as spiritual children we can miss out on friendship with Jesus, forfeit our inheritance in this age, and greatly diminish it in the age to come. We can also set ourselves up for a difficult judgment when we appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. 


4. Our Calling Takes Time

God is very patient and careful about opening doors to our calling. Why? Because if there is anything we want more than closeness with Him, we are not yet mature enough to have it without turning it into an idol. Many Christians have found out the hard way that if we don’t learn to be content before stepping into our gifts/calling, we won’t be content afterward without feeding our flesh. We will start deriving our self-worth from the good things we are accomplishing and the human affirmation we are receiving (dead works). We will drift into pride and self-sufficiency, which Satan is immediately ready to exploit.


When Moses was about 40 years old, he considered himself “a man of power in words and deed”. He mistakenly thought it would be obvious to his brethren that “God was granting them deliverance through him” (Acts 7:22-25). However, from God’s perspective, Moses was a long way off from being ready for such a responsibility. At eighty years of age, God finally called Moses to do the thing he felt ready for at forty. Only this time Moses knew he was totally inadequate and had nothing but God’s presence to depend on (Exodus 3:11-12). He was finally ready by God’s standards.


Spiritual maturity, like physical maturity, is inseparable from one key ingredient – time.

While it is certainly possible for time to pass without maturing (Hebrews 5:12-13), the opposite is not true. It is impossible to mature without time passing. It does not matter how passionately we worship, how diligently we study scripture, how zealously we minister to others, or how consistently we fast or pray. All these things are a good investment of time, but they can never be a replacement for time.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.









21. Spiritual Maturity Part 5: Am I In Pain?

What Is Spiritual Maturity? How does the Bible define it?


In this series, we are drawing primarily from Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:4-11, and Romans 12


In parts 1 through 4, we covered Repentance from Dead Works, Faith in God, Knowing God, Sanctification/Mind Renewal, and Walking Out Our Unique Gifts & Calling.


In this video, we’ll cover step 5: The Fellowship of Christ’s Sufferings (Philippians 3:10)


The second to last maturity step Paul identified in Philippians 3 is “the fellowship of His sufferings”. Jesus’ identity as a sufferer is one of His most important characteristics. For example, consider Isaiah 53, arguably the most lucid description of Jesus in the Old Testament. Verse 3 says:


“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”


Many Christians read this and immediately think of the crucifixion. That is certainly part of it. But does it also refer to something more enduring? Something, perhaps, He carried with Him His entire life?


To answer this question, consider another passage where men despise, forsake, and hide from Jesus – John 3:19-20. For clarity, I will replace “the Light” with “Jesus Christ” or “Him”. It says:


“Jesus Christ has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than Him, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates Him, and does not come to Him for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”


There it is. This is why Isaiah said Jesus was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. When men despised, forsook, and hid from Him, Jesus was grieved for their sakes, not His. He was concerned with what their rejection meant for them, not Him. They despised and rejected Him because they loved evil and feared exposure of their true condition. Jesus’ grief and sorrow were not results of the cross as much as they were motivators for it. Grief and sorrow, combined with love, are what caused Jesus to leave heaven and come to earth in the first place.


In fact, even throughout the crucifixion process, Jesus’ grief and concern were more for others than Himself. When women wept for Him as He carried His cross, He grieved over the horrors they and their children would experience in a few decades (Luke 23:28). When He saw His mother from the cross, His concern was that she be well taken care of when He was gone (John 19:26). When He saw the Pharisees taunting Him, His still longed for their forgiveness and salvation (Luke 23:34). The greatest sorrow He always felt was for others, not Himself. This is the same sorrow the Father felt in Genesis 6:6 when He saw how evil man became and watched countless souls being lost forever day after day: “He was grieved in His heart”.


The Christian worldview is simultaneously more wonderful and more terrifying than anyone can fully imagine. To the same degree that God loves us (immeasurable), He is also severe toward sin. To the same degree that eternity for believers is wonderful, the second death is likewise horrible. 


Our God is a grieving Father. We cannot possibly grasp the pain He feels over the souls that are lost day after day, hour after hour. Every single one was meant to be His son or daughter forever. Instead, they will spend eternity in separation.


Several years ago, I felt an understanding of the reality of hell that shook me to the core. I had trouble eating, sleeping, or thinking about anything else for about two weeks. Now that I am a father, the idea of one of my children dying without Christ is more awful than I can bear to think about. Yet this is the pain God feels continuously, multiplied by infinity. 


I hate thinking about hell. I hate that there are countless people there now and countless more will go there in the future. I hate that angels rebelled, that mankind fell, and all the terrible things that have precipitated as a result. I hate this war and can’t wait for it to be over. I don’t hesitate to use this language because I believe God feels the same way. He hates it too. He never wanted this, but the possibility of it was an inescapable byproduct of creating beings with free-wills, beings that could actually choose to love and worship and were not controlled like robots.


In the last video, we talked about how our calling takes time and requires a close friendship with God. However, it can also be very painful because it can involve internalizing God’s love for people that, in some cases, will die without Him. This may be the most terrible suffering a Christian can experience. This is part of what Paul referred to when said he knew “the fellowship of His sufferings”.


Jesus was rejected by close friends and family members. He was constantly attacked by spiritual and political leaders. He endured heavy demonic opposition. He was ultimately imprisoned, tortured, and crucified. But He chose all these things willingly because He viewed them in light of the souls that would be saved as a result. The apostle Paul and many others also endured various kinds of suffering on behalf of God’s kingdom. Modern-day believers likewise can experience rejection or persecution from friends, family members, or even governments for their faith in Christ. This is another part of “the fellowship of His sufferings”.


A final aspect of the “fellowship of His sufferings” is experiencing Christ’s compassion. “Compassionate” is the very first word God used when He declared His nature to Moses in Exodus 34:6. The word compassionate means to suffer with. Because He is compassionate, God experiences our suffering as if it is His own.


Many of the trials we experience are not directly on behalf of God’s kingdom, but are just part of living in a fallen world. For example, we may face health issues, a rocky marriage, a difficult boss or coworker, a broken friendship, or a rebellious child. All of these can mature us if we turn to Jesus in the midst of our pain and discover that He is suffering right there alongside us because He cares for us.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided.








22. Spiritual Maturity Part 6: How Will I Die?


Spiritual Maturity Part 6: How Will I Die?

What Is Spiritual Maturity? How does the Bible define it? 


In this series, we are drawing primarily from Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:4-11, and Romans 12


In parts 1 through 5, we covered Repentance from Dead Works, Faith in God, Knowing God, Sanctification/Mind Renewal, Walking Out Our Unique Gifts & Calling, and The Fellowship of Christ’s Sufferings.


In this video, we’ll cover step 7: Being Conformed to Christ’s Death


Paul concluded the Philippians 3 passage with “being conformed to [Christ’s] death”. This refers to a lack of desire left to live for worldly or temporal things because only things of eternal value matter. This is likely how Paul felt when he said in Galatians 6:14, “…the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”


Perhaps this also coincides with the final step of Romans 12, which commands us to return love and a blessing to those who do us harm. Sincerely returning love in response to being intentionally, maliciously inflicted with pain or loss is no less miraculous than the blind seeing or the lame walking. It completely defies temporal explanation.


Unconverted Jews tried to kill Paul several times, yet he was not only willing to die for their sakes, but even to trade his salvation for theirs if that were possible! He said in Romans 9:3:


“For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”


Moses felt the same way toward people who repeatedly accused him and rebelled against his leadership. In Exodus 32:32, he said to God:


“But now, if You will, forgive their sin – and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!”


After covering the seventh and last step on the road to spiritual maturity, maybe you’ll reach the same conclusion I did, which is that spiritual maturity is rare. In fact, I don’t think I’ve met anyone who is mature in all of the areas we have covered, although I’ve met some who are mature in some of them. But maybe this rarity is unsurprising. After all, people zealously pursue all kinds of lesser things such as wealth, fame, career accomplishments, advantageous relationships, physical fitness, etc., but relatively few people greatly excel at any of them, much less all them. How much more then could we expect the far greater pursuit of spiritual maturity, in its many facets, to be lacking plentiful examples in such a dark and fallen world?


However, I want to close with this crucial point. I believe it is more important that we are growing than where we are in the journey. We don’t need to have arrived at a particular milestone to be an effective model. In fact, when others see changes taking place in us, it can actually be more impactful than if we didn’t need those changes to begin with because it demonstrates the transforming power of God and His word. This is why Paul told Timothy to obey his instructions “so that your progress will be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). Timothy was younger and less experienced than many of those he was leading, but he could still serve as an example because of the direction he was headed in, not because of how far he had gotten.


If you like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.







23. Was Sarah Blindfolded?


Abraham had no doubt he was in the center of God’s will for his life. The Lord appeared to him physically or in a vision at least 4 times over a 25-year period (Genesis 12:7, 14:18, 15:1, 15:17) and clearly spoke to him on several other occasions (Genesis 12:1, 13:14, 15:4). He received powerful revelations of God’s long-term plan for his family line, the nation of Israel, and the salvation of mankind. These encounters sustained Abraham and enabled him to sacrifice so much – his homeland, his friends and family, everything familiar, any hope of a normal and stable life as he wandered about in the wilderness.


What did Sarah have to sustain her? Only Abraham’s claims. That’s it. As far as we know, she received no visitations from the Lord, no revelation about some great calling, and heard nothing from God about leaving her home and family to start a new nation. All she had to go on was a conviction from God to submit to her husband’s leadership (1 Peter 3:4-6). As Abraham’s wife, Sarah was bound to make all the same sacrifices as him, but with none of the encouragement. If we were to compare Abraham’s faith to walking on water, then Sarah was walking on water while blindfolded. 


This was the great trial that stared Sarah in the face for 25 years. Having no confirmation her husband was really hearing from the Lord, Abraham’s claims looked more and more doubtful every year. And this mission from God, as Abraham called it, was costing her dearly – costing her everything.


Sarah’s victory was not that she trusted Abraham, but that she kept entrusting herself to God when she didn’t know whether she could trust Abraham. In so doing, she became a great champion in God’s eyes. She is the only wife mentioned in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. The apostle Peter called her a spiritual mother and a model to wives in every generation since (1 Peter 3:4-6). The apostle Paul even called her a symbol of the New Covenant (Galatians 4:24). Though neither Abraham nor Sarah realized it, God was changing her nature into a that of a princess and a mother of nations (Genesis 17:15-16).


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.






24. Was Elizabeth Depressed?


Elizabeth was a godly woman. Descended from Aaron, married to Zacharias the priest, the Bible says she “walked blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6). This does not refer primarily to rituals or ceremonies since the Old Testament is filled with commands for the heart such as do not covet (Exodus 20:17), love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18), and love God with all your heart (Deuteronomy 6:5). Elizabeth had a blameless heart in the sight of God.


Elizabeth overcame so much. She was barren her whole life in a society where a woman’s entire worth was based on childrearing. To be barren, in the eyes of many, was a curse from God. Imagine the pain she must have endured year after year while she waited, hoped, and prayed for God to give her a child. She must have wept herself to sleep countless nights after noticing other women whispering behind her back in the marketplace, either pitying her or judging her.   


Perhaps Elizabeth sensed the call to be a mother from an early age. It must have been tormenting and confusing as she approached her 40’s and then her 50’s and the calling didn’t diminish. Maybe she thought she was going crazy. Maybe she wavered from one day to the next about whether she should keep believing God for a child or accept that it wasn’t His plan. Maybe she begged Him with all her heart to take away her desire to be a mother.


Now she was advanced in years, well beyond the ability to become pregnant. All hope was lost. Many women in her situation would have been overcome by bitterness long ago. They would have either blamed God, envied others, or despised themselves. But not Elizabeth. She determined to serve the Lord with all of her heart despite her shattered dreams and constant grief. She turned her pain into worship.


She must have thought to herself a thousand times that she wouldn’t know why God allowed this until she got to heaven. Little did she realize that all of heaven had been watching her the entire time. All of this had merely been preparation for stewarding the life of a man whose arrival all of Israel had been awaiting for hundreds of years, whose ministry was prophesied of by both Isaiah and Malachi (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 4:5), and of whom Jesus said, “…among those born of women there is no one greater” (Luke 7:28).


The angel Gabriel appeared to Elizabeth’s husband Zacharias. He announced the coming of their son John and explained his destiny. When Elizabeth became pregnant, she kept it a secret and remained in seclusion for five months. Why? What was she doing those five months?


Luke 1:25 tells us exactly what she was doing. She was telling herself, “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.” In other words, Elizabeth spent those five months alone with the Lord, settling in her heart that this miraculous pregnancy was nothing less than the hand of God. She was preparing her heart for what lay ahead.


Elizabeth knew Gabriel’s prophecy about her son would be hard for others to swallow. It must have sounded so grandiose and delusional to imagine telling friends and family who her son was. “So you’re saying your son is a forerunner for the Messiah? He’s the one those scriptures in Isaiah and Malachi are talking about? And who did you say told Zacharias this – the angel Gabriel?”


In all likelihood, many of them would sincerely fear for her sanity and think she needed help. Others would probably believe she was deceived by an evil spirit and perhaps even that this child was from the enemy. Other practical-minded people might suggest she prepare for a miscarriage or that the child could be born with health problems or deformities since both of its parents were so old.


If Elizabeth announced her pregnancy prematurely, she would have unnecessarily exposed herself and her unborn child to all kinds of skepticism, attacks, and negative talk. Satan was just as interested in this child as God was. He was ready at the drop of a hat to begin stirring up controversy in hopes of thwarting the child’s destiny. Elizabeth wanted to be sure she was ready for this onslaught. God had already protected her from doubt and skepticism once – He made Zacharias mute for doubting Gabriel’s word. Now Elizabeth wisely did her part.


She did everything she could to make sure both she and her miracle child were ready to face a doubting world with boldness and confidence.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.








25. Was Mary Naïve?


Mary loved God with all her heart, but had no concept of the great cost of being used by Him. She had likely never experienced rejection or ridicule by those closest to her. She was a pure, innocent teenager engaged to be married to a godly man. She had her whole life ahead of her. Mary had childlike faith that easily believed God for something miraculous. When the angel Gabriel explained that God would cause a child to supernaturally conceive in her womb, Mary replied, “May it be done to me according to your word.”


In her youthful zeal and naiveté, perhaps she even imagined the people in her life would celebrate with her for having been chosen for this honor. She was likely completely unaware of the firestorm that could be unleashed when word went out that she was pregnant out of wedlock and claimed to be carrying God’s Son. Would she be stoned for sexual immorality? Would she be committed to some kind of asylum for the mentally unstable? Would she be handed over to the religious leaders for deliverance and indoctrination? These were all real possibilities in her culture.


However, Gabriel also told Mary of Elizabeth’s pregnancy and she immediately went to visit her. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was a seasoned veteran of trusting the Lord through difficult trials, as we discussed in a previous video. If Mary needed a confirmation that her pregnancy really was from the Lord, she got it the moment she entered the house. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, John leaped in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she cried out with a loud voice: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” This moment was God’s seal that Mary had come to the right place to be strengthened for what lay ahead.


Elizabeth spent an entire lifetime laying a foundation for her call to raise John. Now she would have three months to pass her wisdom on to young Mary. Mary desperately needed a mentor to prepare her for what she was about to face and Elizabeth was perhaps the only woman on earth who was qualified. Mary’s challenges were similar to Elizabeth’s, only greater. Elizabeth had to give birth when she was too old; Mary had to give birth while she was a virgin and potentially unmarried. Elizabeth was tasked with raising a prophet; Mary was responsible for raising God’s Son. Elizabeth faced possible skepticism and ridicule; Mary faced becoming an outcast or worse.


Through their long talks, Mary likely became aware of what was at stake. She had no guarantees of what to expect when she returned home. Would her fiancé bring her before the authorities? Would her parents disown her? If no one believed her, what would she do? How would she survive? A short time ago she was carefree and engaged to be married. Now her life, as she once knew it, was over. She began to see the great cost of being used by God in this way. She began to realize what it meant to lay down her life. As they discussed her options, Mary knew she needed to do what Elizabeth had spent the last five months doing. She needed to settle in her heart that, despite whatever accusations may come, this was nothing less than the hand of God. She needed to stand boldly and confidently on His word even if every single human being in the world disbelieved her, save this one godly relative.


Because Mary had Elizabeth, she knew she was not alone. At least there was one person who could relate to her unimaginable circumstances and understand what she was going through. Thanks to Elizabeth, Mary knew that doing what God was asking of her was possible. If Elizabeth could do it, so could she. Elizabeth had went before her and paved the way. After three months of prayer, mentoring, and faith-building, Mary returned home ready to face whatever may come.


If Mary tried to tell her fiancé Joseph the truth, perhaps it went as well as could be expected. Joseph did not believe her story, but at least he still cared for her and wanted to shield her from public shame. He made plans to end their engagement quietly. Mary must have felt heavy grief mixed with a deep, abiding peace. She didn’t know what was next, but she knew she had obeyed the Lord and that He would not forsake her. Then …a miracle! An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and confirmed everything! In one night, everything changed. Now Mary was going to have a husband who believed her, who would protect and provide for her, and who would treat her Child like his own Son. Now she had a covering and a partner in the inconceivable task of raising the Son of God. God came through. He proved to be faithful in the end… just like Elizabeth promised He would.  


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.







26. Was Mary Frustrated?


Three times in Matthew 2, Joseph uprooted his new wife and baby to move to a completely unknown region because God spoke to him in a dream. This would be difficult on newlyweds even today, but moving was must more difficult in those days. Most people never went more than fifty miles from their birthplace during their entire lives. There were no freeways and moving trucks – just camels and feet. 


Whenever I read this passage, I can’t help wondering if Mary ever felt indignant or frustrated that God kept speaking only to Joseph about such major decisions that affected their whole family. After all, Mary certainly knew the Lord’s voice. She had been visited by an angel. She had been given a special role in God’s salvation plan. She had been entrusted with the responsibility of raising God’s own Son. So why was He only speaking to her husband about their futures?


Perhaps God was preparing her. Perhaps submitting to Joseph’s leadership about such major decisions in those early years prepared her to remain submitted to God’s authority in the years ahead. Mary was completely inadequate for her calling – raising the Son of God to maturity. She would never be able to do this even remotely well through her own wisdom or sincere efforts. She had to be completely dependent on the Holy Spirit’s leading. She could not do things her own way; it had to be the Lord’s way. Faithfully submitting to an imperfect husband would prepare her to submit to God’s authority when she did not always like or understand what He wanted her to do.





27. Was Mary Broken?


In Luke 7 Jesus dined with a Pharisee named Simon who invited Him to his home. In the middle of the meal, a woman who was known to be a sinner, perhaps a prostitute, came into Simon’s home. She anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume and wiped them with her hair as she wept with brokenness over her sins. Scholars point out that we don’t know for sure whether this was Mary Magdalene. However, this act bears a striking resemblance to Mary anointing Jesus just before His crucifixion. Plus, like this woman, Mary Magdalene came from a sordid past, having been delivered by Jesus from seven demons (Luke 8:2). Finally, at the end of the passage, Jesus identifies this woman by her immense love for Him, which is what Mary Magdalene is known for throughout the gospels. Therefore, it is not surprising that many Bible teachers believe this was indeed Mary Magdalene at the time of her conversion.


Imagine how vulnerable and embarrassing this act would have been for this woman if she had been self-aware… weeping uncontrollably and wiping Jesus’ feet while everyone just stared at her silently. To add to it, she was in the presence of a well-known spiritual leader in her community who she probably knew condemned her. Yet, she somehow didn’t care. She was so intent on expressing her brokenness to Jesus that she abandoned every semblance of discretion.


The single most destructive type of fear that plagues the human race, including the church, is the fear of having our sin exposed. This is the fear that keeps us hiding from God, buried under guilt, compelled to perform religious works to appease our consciences. However, the most foundational form of courage is the willingness to expose our sin, before God and others, so we can be set free. Mary, if it was her, embodied this courage. She did the opposite of what Adam did in the Garden and what mankind has instinctively done ever since. Instead of hiding from God because of her shame, she actively sought Him out and voluntarily exposed it.


Simon the Pharisee did not understand what was happening. At the same moment the woman was being set free from bondage, Simon manifested his bondage. He began to criticize her in his heart for being a sinner. Jesus, knowing his thoughts, came to her defense, saying “Her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much.” Jesus then turned to the woman and said, “Your sins have been forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”


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28. Was Mary Accused?


In Luke 10, Mary and Martha welcomed Jesus and His followers into their home. This wasn’t an ordinary occasion – it was the biggest event in the history of the homestead. Their large group of guests included some of the most famous people in the nation – Jesus and His disciples. Plus, it’s possible that many more of Jesus’ followers were present since the seventy he sent out to various cities had just returned to debrief with Him.


What an incredible burden of hospitality! Imagine the pressure and anxiety that Martha must have felt, and that Mary should have felt. Even in our culture, women can become extremely stressed with the preparations involved in entertaining guests. How much more would this have been the case in their culture, where a woman’s entire identity and social value came from her domestic life?


The weight of expectations for Mary to fulfill her hostess duties would have been enormous. But she disregarded them. Instead, she sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teaching. To Martha and probably many others, this was inexcusable. But for Mary it was worth it. She valued the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet so highly that any amount of derision paled by comparison.


Jesus knew Mary’s heart and affirmed her choice. Martha, a godly woman, took offense and brought the matter to Jesus’ attention, sincerely expecting Him to stand up for her and correct Mary. Instead, He stood up for Mary and corrected Martha.


The fear of not living up to the expectations of family members, friends, employers, or one’s culture can be overwhelming. This fear can make it seem impossible to find time for the one thing in life that matters most – sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet and being changed by His presence. Mary is a model for overcoming this fear. She had courage to accept the scorn and criticism that is often associated with choosing heaven’s priorities over mans’. 


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29. Was Mary Ridiculed?


Shortly before Jesus’ crucifixion, in the middle of a meal, with her family members and all the disciples present, Mary took a vial of perfume worth tens of thousands of dollars, broke it over Jesus’ head, anointed His feet, and wiped them with her hair (John 12, Mark 14, and Matthew 26). Imagine how vulnerable and embarrassing this would have been if Mary had been self-aware. To make matters worse, those present were indignant and scolded her, calling it a waste.


Perhaps Mary’s family members thought she was being dramatic and wanted to be the center of attention. Perhaps the disciples thought she was being self-righteous and holier-than-thou. However, Jesus knew her heart and He defended her. He was so moved and honored by her expression of love that He promised it would be told to every generation afterward for all time. This must have made everyone else’s criticism seem completely meaningless to Mary. She was only concerned about one Man’s approval.


Someone who pursues Jesus with all her heart and passion, without regard for appearances or reputation, may be ridiculed by other Christians, friends, and family members. She may be called too extreme or unbalanced. There’s nothing the world hates more than a Mary Magdalene and it is not difficult for this world’s spiritual rulers to find people to agree with their accusations. However, those who pursue Jesus like Mary are willing to endure it because the joy of having Jesus’ approval makes all the criticism seem meaningless by comparison.


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30. Was Mary Persecuted?


After Jesus was crucified, Jesus’ disciples went into hiding for fear of the Jews (John 20:19). Mary Magdalene might easily have been subject to the same fear since she was known for having gone around from city to city with Jesus and the disciples (Luke 8:1-2) and was also known as Lazarus’ sister, whom the Pharisees sought to kill after Jesus raised him from the dead (John 12:10). However, her desire to honor Jesus’ body overruled any fear she might have felt. As a result, she has the honor of being the first witness of Jesus’ resurrection (Mark 16:9, John 20:16).


Afterward, she was once again subject to ridicule and was once again defended by Jesus. When she jubilantly announced to the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead, they thought it was nonsense and refused to believe her (Mark 16:11, Luke 24:11). Shortly afterward, Jesus Himself appeared to them and reproached them for not believing her testimony (Mark 16:14).


Jesus actually set Mary up to be misunderstood and ridiculed. He commanded her to tell the disciples of His resurrection (John 20:17) knowing they might reject her testimony, but He wanted to test them to see if they would seek the Holy Spirit’s perspective rather than trusting their own reasoning. Mary’s encounter with Jesus was completely outside their paradigm for what was possible. They could not consider her testimony was true so they had no choice but to dismiss it as nonsense. Many people cannot accept a believer’s testimony about their journey with the Lord if it doesn’t fit into their worldview or their paradigm for how God works. This can often lead to ridicule. This is another kind of courage Mary modeled – the courage to share her testimony about God’s activity in her life even though others might dismiss it or deride her for it.


There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). Therefore, love inspires the greatest acts of courage. Mary’s life is a picture of this courage. She was criticized (possibly) for her transparency and brokenness over her sins. She was criticized for violating cultural and family expectations so she could sit at Jesus’ feet. She was criticized for expressing overt passion and generosity in her worship of Jesus. And she was criticized for sharing her experience of Jesus’ resurrection. Every great thing she ever did was opposed and ridiculed by others, usually other believers, and every time Jesus affirmed and defended her. She refused to be ruled by fear because she was ruled by love.


She was like a prophet, except instead of being persecuted for declaring God’s judgments or future events, she was persecuted for her shameless love for Jesus. The blessing Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount certainly applies to her life:


“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.