Episode 234 – Truth In Tension

Disciple Up # 234
Truth In Tension
By Louie Marsh, 10-27-2021

reThink #8 – Loving My Neighbor: http://riverchurchparker.com/sermons/08-rethink-loving-my-neighbor/

Quotes from The Weight of Glory, By C.S. Lewis:


“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor.

The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken……

There are no ordinary people.

You have never talked to a mere mortal.

Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.

But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play.

But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.

And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

Sinful Nature of Mankind

9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”” (Jeremiah 17:9–10, ESV)

21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:21–24, ESV)

5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5–8, ESV)

It’s not either, or – it’s both.

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Episode 233

Disciple Up #233
Should I Dump My Denomination?
By Louie Marsh, 10-20-2021

Websites Used In This Episode:





10I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:10–17, ESV)

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Episode 232

Disciple Up # 232
Should Worship Make Me Comfortable?
By Louie Marsh, 10-13-2021



Going to Church makes me uncomfortable, but I want a good relationship with God. Should I just go?


Nathaniel Ziegler  Answered May 6, 2019

If I were you, I would start looking into other churches and other denominations to see if I could find one where I was more comfortable. The discomfort you feel might be God’s signal that this particular church is not right or good for you.


God meets people where they are at and tries to guide them down the path toward His Kingdom. Sometimes, a congregation, pastor, or church is focused on a spot where an individual is not. In such a case, it is best to find another church.


It helps a relationship with God to attend a church. However, it is possible to have a relationship without church. If you decide not to attend church, you will need to be open to God in other ways. You will, also, need a support system outside a congregation (good to have, anyway, but vital if you are not getting any support from a congregation).


Best wishes! I hope you find what you are looking for soon. Let your sense of discomfort/comfort be your guide. And, stay open to messages from God in other areas of your life. If you want a relationship with God, you will have one. Peace!


Barrie Davis  Updated May 7

If going to church makes you uncomfortable. then stop going.


You cannot “buy” a relationship with God by enduring discomfort.. otherwise you would be able to buy a better one by scourging yourself..


… (whipping your body with a chain that’s got spikes on)..


… and that idea is not on trend any more, even amongst the most devout.


My advice is, get back in your comfort zone, give the religious rituals a rest, and then see what happens to your relationship with God. It may improve, it may stay the same, it may even disappear altogether…


Whatever it is, you will not have been forced into it by the expectations of other church-goers.


You were talking about YOUR relationship with God, after all.


Shawn Murphy, Studied over 18 religions   Answered May 7, 2019

This is what Jesus tells about prayer and worship.


Matt 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.


Jesus did not say to go to church to find God, He taught that we need find God in our heart and soul, not wear our belief on our sleeve. The best way to discover God and His Laws is in nature – studying His creation. If you study His creation, you will find few churches that teach His Laws.


Religion and churches are man’s creation, not God’s.


There is one important thing that Jesus told us about community to remember. When two or more are gathered in my name, do this in memory of me. (Matt 18:20) So, it is good to get together with like minded people, who believe the Jesus is our King, and remember Him. You do not need a church to do this. You can remember the Last Supper every time that you sit down to eat with your family.



20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”” (Matthew 18:20, ESV)


13When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13–15, ESV)


1Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:1–3, ESV)


24Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,” (Acts 16:24–25, ESV)


10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 12Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:10–18, ESV)

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Episode 231

Disciple Up # 231
Dead Works
By Louie Marsh, 10-6-2021

Good Works vs. Dead Works

The Bible has much to say about good works and also about dead works. Most people assume that dead works refers to overtly sinful stuff and “bad behavior” while good works talks about things like showing acts of kindness towards others

Serving God is Good!

 I’m not saying serving God is bad. But I am saying that you don’t become acceptable to God through your works, and sometimes works can be dead and a stumbling block to our spiritual growth!

Dead Works

In the Bible the phrase “dead works” is only found in the book of Hebrews.

1Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And this we will do if God permits.” (Hebrews 6:1–3, ESV)

Repentance from dead works is a foundational thing. Repentance means to change the way we think. Do an about face, go in the exact opposite direction.

Some Possible Dead Works:

 Praying can be a dead or good work.

Attending church can be a dead or good work.

Reading the Bible can be a dead or good work.

Telling others about Jesus can be a dead or good work.

Biblical Examples:

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’— Matthew 7:22-23

1“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “ ‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” (Revelation 3:1–3, ESV)

15“ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” (Revelation 3:15–18, ESV)

I know a lot of people who are serving in a ministry or a position in their church purely because they don’t feel they can say no. There’s no real joy in it for them. They view it as a drag on them and are only doing it because they are people pleasers who refuse to tell the Pastor, Elder, etc. no when asked to serve.

Those could be great examples of dead works.

What are the end result of dead works?

10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:10–15, ESV)

You can do all sorts of good things but do them in your own power, or do them for your own purposes (like being noticed, praised, becoming popular, etc.) that would render those good things as dead work.

Dead works can be good works.

4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:4–6, ESV)

The Cure for Dead Works:

1) Repentance.

This means we have to turn away from them. We have to learn how to say no when that’s necessary!

2) Revive Our Spiritual Lives.

Get back to Christ and do whatever you’re doing in Him! Apart from him lie only dead works. It’ll look good to people, but it’ll be dead in God’s sight and disappear in a puff of smoke on the judgement day.

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