Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 3 March 2014
Page 9

A Call for Moral Leadership

Gary C. HamptonAn online survey for Match.com (http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2013/February/Singles-Survey-Reveals-Casual-Views-on-Sex/) demonstrates the need for moral leadership. The inclination may be to ask the Centers for Disease Control and the President of the United States to sound the alarm. Such action would be in line with the huge emphasis placed upon the need to get control of the spiraling cost of healthcare, but it might also be a subtle form of passing the buck. God’s people should not follow the lead of Adam in the Garden of Eden or Cain in his flippant response, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Christians should be motivated to answer the call for moral leadership. There is a clear correlation between the rise in casual sex (44% of women and 63% of men say they have had one night stands) and epidemic numbers of sexually transmitted diseases (19 million new cases every year, with half being young people between the ages of 15 and 24). The monetary cost of treating this problem is more than $16 billion per year, while the spiritual cost is far greater.

This is not the time for handwringing. The body of Christ must, instead, step through the open door of opportunity. First, dads and moms need to teach their children that sexual relations are a delightful gift from God that can only reach their full potential of enjoyment in marriage. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). Second, they need to hear that sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful and will prevent one from inheriting the kingdom of heaven (Galatians 5:19-21). Third, clear teaching must be done in our Bible classes and from the pulpit.

True moral leadership demands that we warn of sin and plead for people to put it away (Acts 2:38, 40). Our Savior said, “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). Warning of the dangers of sin is ineffective without proclaiming God’s plan for cleansing.

Confidence: Is It in You?

Tim Childs

Tim ChildsConfidence is important in every area of life. When we were young babies, it was helpful as we took those first steps in learning to walk. If we lacked it, we preferred to crawl and perhaps did so a bit longer than others.

As an older child, upon receiving the first bicycle, again confidence became an issue as we learned to ride. For some in later years, there were training wheels that helped us keep our balance. Taking those wheels off could often be an agonizing decision for both child and parent.

In both of the examples above, it becomes apparent there is a correlation between one’s experience and one’s confidence. If the experience is one that is good and positive, confidence grows stronger and there is encouragement to try another step. However, if there is serious failure initially, then one’s confidence takes flight as on the wings of a dove.

Confidence is so greatly needed in our spiritual lives, too. We should be interested in knowing whether the message falling upon our ears is truly from God. Is the speaker or writer speaking as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)?

Upon determination the message is truly the message of God, confidence is needed in our hearts as we take those first steps in answering the call of the Gospel. We need confidence that God will keep His promise in cleansing our sins and forgiving our unrighteousness upon our obeying the truth of the Gospel. This is the biblical concept of being saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). “Faith” that is dead is non-responsive; faith that is living is active, responsive and obedient to Jesus, the Lord and Master (James 2:20).

Our confidence in our Heavenly Father grows over time by the positive experiences we have in our walk with Him. He is ever present at our side, watching for our well-being and protecting us in times of spiritual danger. Hear the confidence expressed by one of Jesus’ apostles: “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). It happened just as God said. To the brethren at Philippi he wrote with utmost confidence: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Is it any wonder that within the pages of our hymnal may be found the tried and true lyrics: “God Will Take Care of You”? Because He will never leave us nor forsake us, there is no reason to fear. Time and time again God has proven Himself worthy of our confidence.

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