Ask Your Preacher
My pastor does not have the Holy Spirit to his admission, and he believes that it is not needed. He is a wonderful pastor, should I continue to go to this church? I do have the Holy Spirit?
Neither of you have the Holy Spirit if what you mean is that the Holy Spirit speaks to you directly or the Holy Spirit allows you to perform miracles – that doesn’t happen anymore.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit that allowed people to perform miracles was received through the direct laying on of hands of the apostles (Acts 8:17-18). This dwelling of the Holy Spirit no longer exists because it died off with the last person that the last apostle laid his hands upon.
Christians do have the Holy Spirit dwell in them (Rom 8:9) – but not literally. The Holy Spirit dwells in christians in the same metaphorical way that Christ dwells in christians (Rom 8:10). The Holy Spirit and Jesus do not physically dwell inside christians miraculously. They dwell within christians in a figurative way because a christian’s life follows the path the Holy Spirit and Christ set for them.
The Holy Spirit dwells in those that follow the Bible and put to death their previous sinful lifestyles (Rom 8:12-14). The Holy Spirit gave us the Bible, and when we follow it, we are led by the Spirit (see this post for further details). Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God, and the Spirit dwells in them (Rom 8:14-16).
Does Satan live somewhere? If God lives in heaven, does Satan have somewhere to dwell… like in hell?
Looking For An Address
Dear Looking For An Address,
Satan roams to and fro on the Earth (Job 1:7). Satan spends his entire existence seeking souls that he can devour and destroy (1 Pet 5:8). When Jesus died on the cross, Satan was cast down from the heavens (Rev 12:9-11). Satan is called the prince of this world (Jhn 12:31), and he secretly roams amongst men until God casts him into the lake of fire reserved for him (Matt 25:41).
What is your view on homosexuality?
Looking For Perspectives
Dear Looking For Perspectives,
People may give mixed reviews on homosexuality, but the Bible is very clear – a homosexual lifestyle is a sinful lifestyle. Rom 1:27 makes it clear that homosexuality is one of the deepest forms of depravity in this life. Jude 1:7 makes it clear that God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the people “went after strange flesh”, i.e. homosexual behavior. From the beginning, God designed romantic and physical relationships to be between one man and one woman – for life (Matt 19:4-6). Any other type of relationship is wrong.
All right, so I have always considered myself a Christian, but lately, something has bothered me. In the Old Testament, in order to make up for the things humans did, they would sacrifice things. Jesus dying on the cross was supposed to be the ultimate sacrifice, right? So, why would a loving and caring God want/need death or Jesus to die in order to make everything right? Couldn't He have just forgiven us on His own out of the goodness of His heart?
Live And Let Live
Dear Live And Let Live,
God sent Jesus to die on the cross, so He could be both a just God and a loving God. If God had simply forgiven us of our sins without paying for them, He would be a liar because God says that sin is deserving of eternal death (Rom 6:23). It wouldn’t be right for Him to simply remove our guilt without paying for it. It would be akin to a judge letting people go free simply because he liked them – a judge like that would be corrupt.
Instead, we see that God is both just and our justifier. Jesus’ blood pays the price of our sin (1 Jn 1:7). There are two ways to pay for sin. We can pay for the sin ourselves by spending eternity in hell, or God’s blood can cover the cost of sin. The Son of God came down and gave Himself to purchase us (Acts 20:28). Rom 3:25-26 says that God sent Jesus, so He could show that He was loving and still righteous.
We went to a church that believed if you were married more than once you couldn't be a deacon or preacher. This is because the Bible says you can only be the husband of one wife. Is this a correct interpretation?
Dear Counting Criteria,
The qualification you are referring to can be found in 1 Tim 3:12. The phrase ‘husband of one wife’ literally means a ‘one-woman man’ in the Greek. He must be devoted exclusively and faithfully to his one wife. A man who is widowed and then remarried could still be properly described as a ‘one-woman man’ because he was completely devoted to his first wife until her death, and now is fully devoted to his current wife.
The question a congregation has to wrestle with is if a divorced brother has shown the character trait of monogamous fidelity. Why did he get divorced? Was it for infidelity? Was he always faithful to her? Did she leave him, or did he leave her? How does he behave with his current wife? How long has he been married to his current wife? The answers to these questions will help assess whether he is a faithful ‘one-woman man’.
Divorce is a red flag that should make us pause before appointing a man as a qualified deacon, but depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce, the man may still be qualified.