Sunday, February 3, 2019

Clear As Crystal poem

Clear as crystal flows the river
From the throne of God above;
’Tis the water pure, of eternal life,
From the Fount of endless love.

Clear as crystal, clear as crystal
May Thy truth forever be;
Clear as crystal, clear as crystal
In our hearts, O Lord, from Thee.

Clear as crystal, like a jasper,
Is the heav’nly city’s light,
As the wall appears, and the pearly gates—
To the pilgrim’s ravished sight.

Clear as crystal, like the wondrous
Sea of glass before the throne,
Where the joyful cry rises day and night
To the glorious Three in One.

-George Root

Friday, February 1, 2019

Identity Crisis

IDENTITY CRISIS: Have You Sold Your Christian Birthright?
Preached January 27, 2019
Bible Baptist Church, Sharon, Tennessee
(The following words were typed and set as a booklet, so please try to overlook any formatting errors that might appear.)
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  (Gen. 3:1)

Let’s meditate on these words:  “the serpent was more subtil.”  Of course, we know from the story, and from other Biblical texts, that the serpent here is the means through which Satan deceives Eve and brings sin into the human race.  But the very FIRST thing that we are told about Satan is that he is “subtil.”  Webster defines “subtil” with words like “sly . . . cunning . . . crafty” and “deceitful.”  Revelation 12:9 says that Satan “deceiveth the whole world.”  Even the most casual reader can easily see Satan’s deceptive ways utilized throughout God’s account of human history.  This is supposed to be so well understood by believers that by the time we reach Paul’s writings around AD 60 we are reminded that “we are not ignorant of his devices.”  (II Cor. 2:11).

Or are we?  Are we really mindful of Satan’s cunning ways, keeping our guards up 24/7, or have we allowed the world to remove those guards?  As we shall see, the latter is most definitely the case.  In the subtil names and causes of good intentions, political correctness and Christian unity, we have allowed the deceiver to walk right into our lives, our homes, and our churches, and swindle us out of our spiritual birthright.  Just as Esau “despised his birthright” (Gen. 25:34), most Christians today despise their birthrights by working overtime to devalue themselves and pull away from the high and holy status that Christ has given us.  It’s almost as if we are ashamed of who we are and that we must remain in a perpetual mode of apology in order to stay in good standing with the world and with other Christians.  Come what may, this preacher refuses to play along.  God has shown me all too clearly what has happened and what continues to happen, and woe is me, if I fail to sound an alarm!  I have no intention of spending the remainder of my days watching the devil laugh as utter stupidity prevails among the ranks of my “Bible-believing” brethren.  I don’t use those quote marks to suggest that my brethren don’t really believe the Bible AT ALL.  I use them to stress that there are times when even the best of us can be blind-sided and fall short of exercising true faith in the Book that we profess to believe.  This is one of those times, and I’m tired of “beating around the bush” about the matter in hopes that a comment or two or a paragraph or two will suffice.   No, it’s time for an all-out offensive.  It’s time for this message to be preached, printed and published, and all the little idolatrous groupies with their favorite preachers and idols can do as they please.  I know what the Book says, and when this message is finished, you’ll know what it says.  Nothing else matters.

I guess this whole message is the fruit of good seeds sown over twenty years ago when I heard a preacher tell an instructive story.  He said he had been to a preacher’s fellowship where two men preached one morning before lunch.  The first man had spent most of his time running Christians down with terms and statements like “We’re all just a bunch of slime balls and maggots and sinners!”  Naturally, as they had been conditioned to react, most of the preachers yelled “Amen!  Preach it, brother!  You got my number!” and so forth.  Then the second preacher stepped up, who was actually younger and less experienced than the first.  In so many words, he said the following:

“Brethren, I know that the previous speaker’s intentions were noble, so I have no criticisms of what he tried to accomplish, but I must strongly disagree with the message itself.  I must disagree because I am NOT a slime ball, I am NOT a maggot, and I am NOT a sinner!  I am a SAINT, a born-again child of God, and I now possess abundant and eternal life as a NEW CREATURE in Jesus Christ!  I used to be those other things, so I used to be a loser, but now, thanks to the grace of God, I’m a WINNER, a blood-washed child of the King, and I will not identify as anything less.  Maybe we can start thinking of ourselves as winners instead of losers.  Maybe this is the key to the coveted life of victory that we seldom enjoy.”

Maybe he’s right.
There are thirty-two teams in the National Football League.  In fifty-two years of Super Bowls, the Steelers have won six, and the Patriots, 49ers and Cowboys have won five each.  That’s twenty-one out of fifty-two Super Bowls being won by only four teams.  Thirteen teams have never won a single Super Bowl, and four teams have never even played in one.  Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, once said, "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength or lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."  Joe Green, who won four Super Bowls playing with the Steelers and made the Pro Bowl ten times in thirteen years, said, “It wasn’t about playing well . . . it was about WINNING.”

Some well-meaning, yet very mistaken individual once coined the maxim, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.”  Seriously?  Do you think any Super Bowl coach has ever encouraged his team with that line before the big game?  Maybe some pee-wee coach or maybe a soccer mom, but no professional coach talks like that.  He trains men to WIN, so he wants a WINNING ATTITUDE.  Sure it matters how you play the game, but the GOAL is winning, not merely playing the game!  My whole point is that today’s Christian needs some of that.  I’m not saying that we need to be motivated by dramatic pep talks.  To the contrary, we need to reclaim sound Bible doctrine and find motivation in our true identity as defined by the scriptures!  We are victors, not victims, and we should be living like it and talking like it.

Mike Wagner was a safety with the Super Bowl Steelers of the 1970’s.  He has four Super Bowl rings.  I once heard him say that losing never entered their minds.  He said that it never occurred to the team that they could lose a Super Bowl.  It was never discussed.  The team was all about winning, so that’s all they talked about.  As a result, they had a winning attitude and THEY WON.

Satan wants us LOSING, not winning, so he has smoothly swindled us out of our blood-bought birthright in Christ.  No, you can’t lose your salvation, but you can still be a loser in your Christian life, and the devil is working very hard to that end.  Precious Bible truths and fitting Bible terms have practically vanished from the lips of Christians as we have slowly accepted and embraced a defeatist vocabulary and mentality. Satan has turned us into losers, and we’ve welcomed it with smiles and open arms.  In an effort to show tolerance, grace, humility, and other Christian virtues, we have sold our birthrights and lost our identity.

I’d like to address a few of these defeatist philosophies, phrases and clich├ęs, because I am just sick of all this apologetic nonsense that I hear coming from our pulpits and from our pews.  I am a born-again son of God Almighty, and I owe no one an apology for it.  The lost people of this world and most professing Christians have no use for my God, my Bible, or my convictions, and I have no desire to move even an inch towards them by being apologetic for who I am and for what Christ has done for me and for those dear to me.  Hopefully, this message will allow some of us to push the “reset” button and start holding our heads high for the glory of God and living like the winners that God says we are.  Let’s get started. (BLOCK CAPITALIZATION used for emphasis.)

“I’m just a sinner saved by grace”

That’s utter nonsense, and you should kick it back to hell where it belongs.  To be a “sinner saved by grace,” you would have to still be a sinner, and the word of God says you are a “saint” and a “new creature” in Christ.  Ephesians 2:19 says, “Now therefore ye are NO MORE strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the SAINTS, and of the household of God.”  Why can’t Christians use some of those words and terms?  A few verses earlier, Paul said, “. . . ye WERE without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: BUT NOW in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes WERE far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”  (Eph. 2:12-13) Sure, you still sin at times, but that doesn’t make you a sinner.  LEARN SOME DOCTRINE, PEOPLE!  Your new identity is that you are NOT a sinner anymore, but rather a saint.

“But didn’t Paul say he was chief of sinners?”  Seriously?  In light of the scripture I just gave, you are still wanting to argue in favor of being a sinner?  “But what about what Paul said?”  STOP!  We’ll get to that, but first examine your mind and check your thoughts!  WHY are you so set on being identified as a sinner after Christ has WASHED YOUR SINS AWAY?  Who would want you to think of yourself as a sinner, God or Satan?  “Well, Brother Jones said . . .”  I don’t care what Brother Jones said or what anyone else said.  I’m showing you what GOD’S WORD says.  You can believe it and be a smart winner, or you can reject it and be a dumb loser.  Your pastor or favorite preacher isn’t flawless and above reproach.  If Noah, Abraham, David, Job and Peter can be tricked by the devil, then so can any preacher that you care to quote, and you are told to be on the lookout and keep your guards up.  One day it will be YOU alone at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and no preacher will be there beside you.  Maybe it’s time to pay more attention to GOD’S WORDS than man’s words.

Paul uses the terms "sinners" and "sinner" nine times in his epistles.  Only in one of these occurrences does he classify himself as a sinner, and even then it’s subject to context: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (I Tim. 1:15) He only labeled himself as a sinner in the context of pointing out WHO benefits from Christ's atoning work (including himself), not in the context of his present doctrinal standing as a Christian.  This is obviously true, otherwise Paul would be saying that he was presently a greater sinner than any lost person, including the likes of the demon-possessed Roman emperor Nero.  Paul spent his Christian life feeling regret over the fact that he had persecuted Christians and opposed Christ before being saved, and this might be what he had in mind when calling himself the chief of sinners.  This is brought out well in I Corinthians 15:9:  “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  But he doesn’t stop there.  Had he done so, his words might be akin to the defeatist line “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”  He says in the next verse, “But by the grace of God I AM WHAT I AM: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I LABOURED MORE ABUNDANTLY THAN THEY ALL: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”  If Paul lived today and uttered those words, he would be condemned by defeatist fundamentalists for being self-centered and boasting.  No, he was praising God for making him a winner in Christ after he had once been such a loser opposing Christ.  In no other place does Paul call himself or any other Christian a sinner, nor does any other New Testament writer.  In fact, “sinners” are usually presented as the OPPOSITE of believers, as is found in a verse in the immediate context of Paul’s chief of sinners remark:  “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a RIGHTEOUS MAN, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for SINNERS, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers . . .”  (I Tim. 1:9)  Either Paul contradicted himself only six verses later, or six verses later he’s making reference to what he HAD BEEN when Christ CAME into the world to save him.  Christians can sin, yes, but we are not doctrinally classified as sinners.  I always change the oil and the filters in my vehicles, but that doesn’t make me a mechanic!  Most reading this would agree that attending church services doesn’t make one a Christian, so why would committing sin make one a sinner?  If you are born again, then you are a NEW CREATURE in Christ (II Cor. 5:17), and that new creature is not a sinner.

“Well, I’m no saint.”

The words "saints" and "saint" are found forty-one times in Paul's epistles, and EVERY occurrence refers to Christians.  The Bible record is clear: unsaved people are sinners, and saved people are saints. This doesn't mean that a lost person can't perform a good deed, nor does it mean that a saved person can't perform an evil one, but the doctrinal terminology is very clear in the Book: sinners are lost people and saints are saved people.  If you still want to be foolish by clinging to I Timothy 1:15 and calling yourself a sinner, then I still have you beat 41 to 1.  You lose.  In fact, you need TWO or THREE witnesses to have your word established (Mat. 18:16; II Cor. 13:1; I Tim. 5:19; Deu. 19:15).  The score is 41 to 0.  You lose.

“I’m no better than anyone else”

Probably every serious Christian has heard someone say something like, “You Christians think you’re better than everyone else.”  I’ve learned to question everything, especially the things that people SAY.  After all, we all got plunged into the realm of sin and death when the devil SAID something (Gen. 3:1).  Now, think about this.  I am fifty-five years old, and I’ve never heard any Christian say that Christians are better than lost people, and you probably haven’t either.  Even if you have, it’s certainly not a common thing.  Lost people are NOT being told this by Christians.  Yet, they still have it in their minds.  WHY?  Why would a lost man think that we think that we are better than him?  I believe the Holy Spirit tells this to sinners when He performs his divine work of convincing the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).  I believe he speaks to the hearts of sinners and says, “You need to listen to that Christian and receive Christ.  Not only can you escape hell, you can have a BETTER marriage, a BETTER family, BETTER friends, and a BETTER life in general.  Jesus Christ can make you a BETTER person.” I believe that basic message is burnt on the hearts of millions of lost people, and they can’t get it out of their minds.  They KNOW it’s true, but they love their sins more than they love a chance at a better life.  So their claim that “You Christians think you’re better than me” is really their reaction to the still small convicting voice of the Holy Spirit who has told them that we ARE better and that THEY can be better also.  Yes, I have scripture for that, and plenty of it . . .

“The righteous is MORE EXCELLENT than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.”  (Proverbs 12:26)

“And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is BETTER than thou.”  (I Sam. 15:28)

“And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and BETTER than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.”  (I Kgs. 2:32)

“But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were BETTER than thyself.”  (II Chr. 21:13)

“If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is BETTER than she.”  (Est. 1:19)

“He that is slow to anger is BETTER than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”  (Pro. 16:32)

“BETTER is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.”  (Ecc. 4:13)

“For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is BETTER than a dead lion.”  (Ecc. 9:4)

Now that we have set the table, how about some meat and potatoes?  How about a verse that contrasts someone who is NOT born again to someone who IS born again?  How about a verse that contrasts someone who is NOT in the kingdom of God to someone who IS in the kingdom of God?  For a bit of  sauce on that steak, let’s get it straight from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ himself:

“For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is GREATER than he.”  (Luke 7:28)

That’s your BIRTHRIGHT, Christian!  Why in God’s name would you give it up just to be more closely identified with worldly, Christ-rejecting sinners?  Doing so defies all common sense and scripture.  If the righteous is more excellent than his neighbor, if David was better than Saul, if Abner and Amasa were better than Joab, if Johoram’s ancestors were better than himself, if Esther was better than Vashti, if the slow to anger man is better than the mighty, if a poor and wise child is better than an old and foolish king, if a living dog is better than a dead lion, and if born again believers are better than John the Baptist, then why shouldn’t Christians see themselves as BETTER than they once were and BETTER than those who continually reject Christ and live in sin?

If a believer EXALTS HIMSELF and claims superiority out of a spirit of pride, then that’s a different thing altogether and that’s wrong, but this message isn’t about anyone exalting themselves.  This message is about how GOD has exalted us in position by Christ’s atoning work on Calvary and how we are shooting ourselves in our spiritual feet with all of this politically correct and religiously correct Laodicean lingo that spews from everywhere but the Bible itself!  Christians are allowing themselves to be defined by the world, instead of the word, and Satan is bent over with laughter as millions are selling their birthrights for Laodicea’s poison pottage.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a sinner will never be moved to repentance, if he sees the Christian as no better than himself.  Why any Bible-believing Christian would want to degrade himself for the appeasement of the sinner is far beyond this preacher’s comprehension, UNLESS he’s been feeding on some poison pottage.  If other preachers do not want to address the issue, that’s not my problem.  My problem is that I have a pulpit and a press, and I will give account for both at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  God forbid that I remain silent since “no one else is saying these things.”  These are things that NEED to be said, and that’s all that matters.

“I’m just so unworthy”

When I set out to write and preach this material, I was very hesitant to do so because of the misunderstanding and the misrepresentations that would follow.  I’ve travelled this road for over thirty years, and I know all too well how it works: A non-traditional truth is presented, and, regardless of how much scripture is given and how many bases are covered so as to avoid confusion, some Christians are just bound and determined to reject any change or challenges that aren’t already embraced and preached by their camp’s leading preachers.  While claiming that this message is rooted in a spirit of pride and arrogance, in reality, it is THEY who are ruled by such a spirit, not I, because they are the ones rejecting the word of God being presented in favor of their anemic, worn-out, and unscriptural sayings and philosophies.  Having said that, let’s tackle some more Laodicean lingo.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: A Christian gives a testimony and feels compelled to remind everyone that he’s just a sinner saved by grace and is “unworthy” of all of God blessings.  Why does he feel the need to say this?  Does he think that the congregation is under the false notion that he thinks he IS worthy?  This is a very strange spirit, indeed, for very few, if anyone, actually need to hear such words!  Why would the Holy Spirit lead thousands of Christians to make utterances that no one needs to hear?  Could it be that these “confessions” are more defeatist in nature than edifying, therefore serving Satan’s lukewarm and paralyzing cause more than God’s will for us to hold our heads high and lead confident and triumphant lives through the power of our risen Saviour?

“I’m just not worthy.”  Really?  Who would benefit the most from having you believe that, God or Satan?  For that matter, who TOLD you that, God or Satan?  “Now, Brother Melton, you mean to tell me that you were worthy of salvation?”  No, I was worthy of hell, but we aren’t addressing the past; we are addressing the present.  We are addressing the fact that a Christian’s past is GONE, therefore his losing status as an unworthy sinner is GONE.  Those who disagree are LIVING in the past and are handicapping themselves as soldiers of the Lord.  I WAS an unworthy sinner, but now I am a WORTHY child of the King because of the crowning work of Christ on the cross.

“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and JUDGE YOURSELVES UNWORTHY OF EVERLASTING LIFE, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”  (Acts 13:46)

The idea is that God counted them WORTH saving, yet they rejected salvation, thus counting themselves UNworthy.  By contrast, notice what is said of those who RECEIVE Christ:

“But they which shall be accounted WORTHY to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.”  (Luke 20:35)

No one is counted worthy due to his own merits, for worthiness comes only by the Lord Jesus Christ, but the “I’m not worthy” mentality is supposed to stop at Calvary, not to be continued as a sedating and crippling agent in the believer’s life.  In Luke 15, the prodigal son said twice that he was “not worthy” (15:19, 21), yet the father never used this term even once.  Instead, he said,

“Bring forth the BEST ROBE, and put it on him; and put a RING on his hand, and SHOES on his feet: And bring hither the FATTED CALF, and kill it; and let us EAT, and BE MERRY: For this my son WAS dead, and IS ALIVE again; he WAS lost, and IS FOUND.”

Then it says, “And they began to be MERRY.”  (Luke 15:22-24)  It doesn’t say that they began to play Laodicean lullabies in church and dwell on their unworthiness.  In fact, it was the self-righteous older brother, not the father, who felt that the prodigal was unworthy!   The father understood that the prodigal’s humble and repentant heart MADE HIM worthy.

To be “worthy” is to be WORTH something, so if you are UNworthy, then God made a bad business deal when saving you.  I reject that.  God has been successfully running the “Father’s business” for thousands of years.  He’s not in the habit of making bad deals.  I believe that God purchased a pearl of GREAT PRICE (Mat. 13:46) and that it is Satan who has conned us into selling our birthrights for a worthless bowl of Laodicean pottage.

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, ARE YE UNWORTHY to judge the smallest matters?  (I Cor. 6:2)

The implication is that believers ARE worthy to judge matters.  That’s because Christ has MADE us worthy as sons and joint heirs in his kingdom.  The believers at Sardis will walk with Christ in white “for they ARE WORTHY.”  (Rev. 3:4)

The elders that rule well are “WORTHY of double honour” (I Tim. 5:17),    and the Colossian believers were encouraged to “walk WORTHY of the Lord” (Col. 1:10), not to mope around crippling one another with their UNworthiness!  Believers who are caught up in the rapture do so because they have been “accounted WORTHY to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead” (Luke 20:35).

Here’s another one:  “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”  (Mat. 10:37-38)

The ones not worthy are the ones who choose to not follow.  So what are the ones who DO follow?  You’re scared to say it, aren’t you?  You’ve been drugged by Laodicea’s defeatist dope, and you refuse to clean up.

Okay, get Matthew 10:11-13: “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is WORTHY; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be WORTHY, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not WORTHY, let your peace return to you.”  Jesus didn’t say that none were worthy.  Some were worthy, some were unworthy.

The simple fact is that some people exercise faith in God and MAKE themselves WORTH more than others. Achan, for instance, took one piece of cloth home from war, and God had him killed.  David, on the other hand, committed adultery and murder, yet God allowed him to continue as king and blessed his memory.  In Lev 24:10-11, a young man blasphemes God’s name one time and is killed. Yet, Peter curses, swears, and denies the Lord three times and lives to be a great apostle and write two New Testament epistles.  Onan took advantage of God’s law to fulfill his own sexual desire on a woman, so God killed him.  But then Judah slept with a harlot and lives to be blessed of God with Christ coming from the tribe of Judah.  Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and were killed, yet Samson lived a careless and carnal life and ended up in the hall of faith (Heb. 11)!  How does one explain all of that?  The scriptures that we’ve already seen explain it for us.  Unworthy losers become worthy winners once they exercise faith in what God said and make themselves valuable.

That’s why God used and blessed crude and controversial men like J. Frank Norris and Dr. Ruckman, even though many proud and ignorant brethren thought they were unfit for the ministry.  That’s why some Christian ladies have a greater “price” than others (I Pet. 3:1-4; Pro. 31:10), and that’s why some believers have worthless tongues compared to others with tongues of “choice silver” (Pro. 10:20).

The scriptures are clear: If you are unworthy, it’s only because you CHOOSE to be unworthy by embracing a defeatist attitude sold to you by the devil.  If God says you have been made worthy by virtue of your new birth in Christ, then it is your duty to rejoice in that victory and make the most of it.  Pleading unworthiness amounts to selling your Christian birthright and welcoming an identity crisis.

“No one’s perfect”

Okay, this whole thing is lasting much longer than I had intended, so I’ll try to address this quickly and close.  I have an entire message on Biblical perfection titled “The Perfect Sermon.”  I would encourage you to get the message and study it through for a much more thorough treatment of the subject than I’ll be offering here.  If you’re on Facebook, look up “James L. Melton The Perfect Sermon.”  This matter of “nobody’s perfect” is from the same mess of pottage as the other Laodicean helpings that we’ve considered, and, like all the others, it’s harmful and unscriptural.

The psychology behind the “nobody’s perfect” excuse is basically, “Nobody’s perfect, so why should I even try?”  Like all the others, that’s a defeatist attitude straight from the devil.
First of all, the lame excuse shows disregard and disrespect to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is PERFECT.”  (Mat. 5:48)

Secondly, the excuse ignores the use of the term throughout the scriptures.  I Kings 15:3 tells us that David was perfect:  “And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not PERFECT with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.”  Notice how Biblical perfection concerns the HEART.  I Kings 15:14 says, “But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was PERFECT with the LORD all his days.”  Then we find that Job was perfect in Job 1:1:  “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was PERFECT and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”  II Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is PERFECT toward him . . .”  II Timothy 3:17 tells us “That the man of God may be PERFECT, throughly furnished unto all good works,” and Hebrews 10:14 says that we have been “PERFECTED for ever.”   So much for “nobody’s perfect.”  That’s nothing more than another lame excuse for living a defeated Christian life, whether you mean it that way or not.  A winner talks like a winner, not a loser.

The Believer’s True Identity

As a born again believer in Christ, your “state” is ever-changing (Plp. 4:11), but your STANDING is a rock-solid position that never changes.  According to the words of God, if you are truly a Christian, then you are . . .

PERFECT - Heb. 10:14
a SAINT - I Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:3; Col. 1:12
WASHED in the BLOOD of Christ – Rev. 1:5
a NEW CREATURE - II Cor. 5:17
BORN OF GOD - John 1:13; John 3:3-8; I Pet. 1:23
a SON OF GOD - John 1:12-13; I John 3:2
LOVED BY GOD - I John 3:1; Rom. 8:39
an OVERCOMER – I John 4:4; 5:4
a KING and PRIEST of God – Rev. 1:6; 5:10

Only Satan himself would lead a believer to take his mind off of that glorious list only to dwell on such defeatist notions as “I’m just a sinner saved by grace” and “I’m no better than anyone else.”  Those are lies straight from the devil, and you are giving place to the devil, if you subscribe to them.  We cannot have winning Philadelphia churches and lives, if we embrace losing Laodicean philosophies.

To the skeptic who would argue, “Oh, Brother Melton, those are just words and expressions that people use.  It’s doesn’t mean that they have a defeatist attitude.”  I disagree.  Words have meaning, and words have an effect on people.  Little by little, the wrong words can literally brainwash a society.  The politically correct pushers of Marxist socialism and communism know this, even if Christians don’t, and we should know it better than anyone (Isa; 30:10; 5:20; Jude 16; Gen. 3:1; Rom. 16:18; Pro. 26:25; II Sam.17:14; Jer. 6:14).   That’s the whole point of this message.

Fellow Christian, it is my sincerest prayer that you will not allow Satan to confuse you about this message.  Winners have winning attitudes, and Satan will stop at nothing to strip yours away and leave you helpless and defeated on the battlefield of this depraved world.  James Melton does NOT believe that anyone is anything of value apart from Jesus Christ.  But when you received Christ as your Saviour, EVERYTHING CHANGED.  It didn’t change because of you; it changed because of the atoning work of Christ within you.  You were BORN AGAIN, and you became a NEW CREATURE with old things PASSED AWAY (II Cor. 5:17).  Your sins passed away, your status as a sinner passed away, your alienation from God passed away, your unworthiness passed away, your status as part of the fallen creation passed away, and your life of loss and hopelessness passed away.  YOU ARE A WINNER NOW, and you owe no one an apology for it.  You’re on the championship team, and your Captain wants you to start thinking like a champion, speaking like a champion, and living like a champion.  Unlike 99% of the people who have ever set foot on this planet, YOU are a son of God, a child of the KING OF KINGS, an eternal member of the ROYAL FAMILY OF GOD!  Resist the devil and all of those who assist in spreading his contagious defeatism.  Lift high and steady the royal banner of God Almighty and hold your head high while marching straight to Zion.  Do so with humble and grateful hearts, yes, but also with a high and holy sense of righteous faith, honor, determination and distinction.  You might be surprised with the results.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”
(II Cor. 2:14)

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
(Rom. 8:37)