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What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity

By Dr. Bill Gillham [Ed. Note: This is the first in a series of articles based upon Dr. Gillham's book by the above title.] I shudder at the title of this book! How presumptuous! But I rest in God's grace that He's confident of my purpose. I selected this title partly in hopes that it would prompt you to glance through the Contents pages (listed at the end of this article). I also chose it because I'm that comfortable with the truths in the pages that follow--not my truths, you understand, but those found in the Bible you love. What you perceive as truth greatly influences your beliefs. To illustrate this, try to connect these four dots by making three straight lines through them (the possible solutions are at the end of this article).

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A second factor the devil uses to block us from God's truth is our emotions. Let me illustrate. Extend your arms forward and clasp your hands. Notice which thumb is on top. Now unclasp your hands and then reclasp them, interlacing them with the other thumb in the topmost position. Now rotate your clasped hands back and forth a bit. Feels weird doesn't it? You've programmed your brain to feel more comfortable in the first position. The second doesn't feel right. A wise Christian will guard against discerning truth via his emotions. Folks, they're not trustworthy! They can't even think! We've programmed them in this world. If your perceptual mind-set and conditioned emotions dictated that all potential solutions must be boxlike, they limit your ability to discern truth. If you've fallen into the trap of feeling that teaching that doesn't feel right is error, your ability to receive God's truth has been limited. Satan uses this same principle to blind you in spiritual matters. We create a perceptual/emotional filter screen that we call "truth" and automatically delete or misconstrue all teaching that sticks in its web. A. W. Tozer said that nothing so twists the soul of man as a distorted view of God. I urge you to pray: "Sir, if there's any biblically documented truth in this book that will enhance my relationship with Jesus and the Father, teach it to me. You alone can show me how to eat the meat, but throw away any bones that Bill may have included inadvertently." Test your religious tradition, and my teaching as well, by trusting only the Holy Spirit and the Bible as you read, not your own opinion or emotions (Prov. 3:5). Someone has wisely said that the Bible is the best commentary on the Bible. I have sought to document the teachings in this manuscript by the Word of God, not by human opinion. I have not documented each point by referencing the works of honored scholars, as in my doctoral dissertation at Oklahoma State University (which makes for tedious, laborious reading). I have written primarily as layman to laymen, although seminary-trained theologians are certainly encouraged to study and critique the work. The book came from

years of Bible study, listening to mentors, checking Christian readings, hearing sermons, doing counseling, brainstorming in the shower and while mowing my lawn, etc., always testing ideas by biblical documentation and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Although the book is not intended as a theological cousin to the "For Dummies" software manuals, my purpose is to produce a simple (not simplistic) explanation of certain profound truths from God. My target audience is all disciples who have a passion to walk in vital union with Jesus Christ. Although the topics covered do not comprise an exhaustive list, they cover a wide spectrum of problem areas for many Christians. My prayer is that understanding these truths and "lifing them out" will bring you the inner peace that I enjoy, as do the thousands of folks whose testimonies have graced my mailbox over the years. Note: I will depict the time dimension as God's freeway upon which man travels. We will visit "rest stops"--refreshing oases--for pilgrims who long to experience that elusive place which the Bible calls "God's rest." A fellow pilgrim, Bill Gillham Two possible solutions to the puzzle:

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Contents: God Wishes Christians Knew... ...That There is More to the Cross Than Forgiveness ...That the Normal Christian's Experience Is Not the Normal Christian Life ...That Only Christ Can Live the Christian Life Through Us ...That at Salvation Christ Became Their Life ...That Birth, Nor Performance, Determines Identity ...That We Are Not Fighting an Inner Civil War ...What It Means to Be Free from the Law ...Where the New Covenant (Testament) Begins ...That the Ascended Christ Discipled Only One Apostle ...That They Are Sanctified ...That They Have All the Faith They Need ...Why He Allows Us to Suffer ...That We Are Being Trained on Earth to Reign in Heaven ...The Folly of Self-Generated Self-Acceptance God Wishes Christians Would Stop Asking Him to Forgive Them God Wishes Christians... ...Embraced a Christ-Generated Self-Acceptance ...Embraced "God's Rest" Foreshadowed by Israel's Experience Beyond the Jordan God Wishes Christians Knew That They Are the Beloved Bride of Christ. 5PCGillham999



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