Changes or Just Illusions?

i1I want to suggest all UBFers to consider this piece from an article Control Mechanisms in the ICC and to answer the question: Are changes in UBF real or they are just illusion which serves for keeping UBFers in? I am not claiming they are not real as I don’t really know. I myself just can not consider the changes which are going in my chapter (Kiev UBF) to be real because of the fact that reconciliation with my family has never happened yet. So please read this article about the ICC and ask the question, are the changes real or just illusions?

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How do Christians relate to culture?

In Jesus’ final great prayer, he prayed for his followers to not be taken out of the world and at the same time remember that they are not “of the world” (John 17:15-16). Since then, followers of Christ have had to deal with these two realities: citizenship in the kingdom of God and practical life in the world.

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Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit (Part 3)

In his prior two articles, Part 2 and Part 1, David began reviewing Jonathan Edwards’ writing, “The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God”. Edwards explained some marks that may be good, but do not necessarily prove that a certain work was indeed inspired by the Holy Spirit. Some football teams or rock bands have done marvelous works with the characteristics that Edwards mentions, but they were clearly not the work of God’s Spirit of Truth.

The important question then, is what are the marks of a work that is done by the Spirit?
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Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit (Part 2)

Continuing in the discussion of Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God by Jonathan Edwards, here are the five remaining “negative signs.” Remember: by calling them “negative signs,” Edwards is not saying that these marks prove that the Holy Spirit is not at work. He is saying that these signs do not conclusively prove or disprove that the Spirit is working. These signs may be present in a true movement of the Spirit, but they may also be found in counterfeit movements.

5. When people are stongly influenced by the personal example of others. Personal example plays an important role in human life and in all interactions among people whether or not the Spirit is moving. If many people begin to take action after being influenced by someone’s personal example, and if many people or many groups begin to exhibit similar thoughts and behaviors, it means nothing.

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Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit (Part 1)

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

Jonathan Edwards was a witness to and one of key figures in the Great Awakening (c. 1730-1745). During this great revival, the Holy Spirit came and worked in new and unexpected ways. This revival touched many lives and had many followers, but it had many strong opponents as well. The opponents pointed to unusual phenomena within this movement, claiming it was not the true work of the Spirit, and because of it questioned the validity of whole movement.

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Mission Versus Sanctification

In a comment on the article Word, Spirit, Gospel and Mission (Part 8), Joe pointed out that in UBF we rarely preach about sanctification. In Reformed theology, sanctification is an essential part of the process of salvation; it follows justification and precedes the glorification of the saints. Instead of talking about sanctification, we tend to focus on mission. We present mission as the purpose of our salvation and the defining feature of our lives in the world.

I found that statement pretty interesting, and I have been personally wrestling with this issue for some time. Although many things have already been said in articles and comments on this website, I decide to write a piece about the relationship between mission and sanctification, in order to clarify these things in my own mind.

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