Modern Christianity teaches that we were born with the bad part of our nature. How can that be, as God made the creation, including Adam and Eve, and said, “This is good?” If we are not born with it, how did we come by it?
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Humans can create soaring works of art and music and they can kill twelve million people in gas chambers – great kindness and great cruelty. And what’s even more astounding, people can do both at the same time. If we think about pre-World War II Germany, they had the best education – science, music, art – the most efficient governmental structure at every level, and yet, the colluded to gather to kill, in a horrific way, twelve million helpless people. Most of us, in the Church of God, would say the same thing Flip Wilson’s Geraldine would say, “The devil made him do it.” For me, that’s not a satisfying explanation. I always want to know how he did it.
Today, we’re going to take a look at what the Bible says about the nature of humans. And we’re going to find something disturbing and, at the same time, helpful and encouraging, if we will look at it deeply and put the knowledge to use.
Let’s look first at the modern Christian view, as a way of comparison. Both views know that we have a body. And they say that we have a self, an eternal soul, which is our consciousness, and an evil part – the fallen nature. We were born with an evil part in our mind – that’s what they believe – and they call it the lower nature, or the fallen nature. And we got this part of us when Adam and Eve fell. (That word fell, it is kind of true. They did make a big mistake.) So, after the fall we all inherited this element from our parents, they tell us. And it’s now a part of our created self – sort of like being born into a life that is a test that we have to take to attain eternal life, but we were born with an F already, although we didn’t know about the test and had never taken it, and there’s no way to take the test, then, because we failed it by being born. And that was passed to us by Adam and Eve. All we need to do is accept Christ and His sacrifice, and His A will cover our failure, no effort needed on our part. Christ did away with any need to obey. Christ is our obedience now. Christ is our Sabbath now, our worship, our everything. I did not quote any scriptures to prove this because there are none. This reality is starting to be recognized by some people.
A number of years ago, I was somewhere on a highway out of Buffalo, Wyoming, headed for Albuquerque, very late one night. There was only one radio station I could pick up out there in the wilderness. So, I listened to a Presbyterian minister talking about the soul. He quoted scripture to show that there was no thought in the Bible about an immortal soul. Now, that fact was not new to me, but it was new to me that a Presbyterian minister understood this, since their doctrines include that concept. I still remember his comment after his explanation. He said, “You can search the Bible for a teaching on the immortal soul and you just won’t find it.”
It originally was a Greek concept. The reasoning goes: Since we have an immortal soul, if we accept Christ’s A on the test of life, our immortal goes immediately, upon death, to be with God in heaven – no commitment required. If we don’t learn about Christ, or we deny Him, we still have an F – fail the test – the test that we could never pass – and go to hell to suffer an eternal fire forever – whether we knew God or not. We were born evil – never passed the test of perfect obedience or accepted Christ. And many, many, many people have never had even the chance to do that. I can’t quote any scriptures here about the idea of a fallen nature or an immortal soul, because those scriptures are not in the Bible. The whole doctrine is a house of cards. Scriptures used to support this idea – that I’m aware of – are Genesis 4:7…. Here God is talking to Cain, and he says:
Genesis 4:7 – “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Oh, you mean, there is something we have to do? And He says: “If you do not well” – if you do not do well – “sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
So, the door sin is crouching at, according to some of these folks, is the door of the womb. How they got that, I don’t know. It’s not in the Bible. Somehow that proves that we’re born with an evil nature. But, what does this really say? Just read it. Sin is always looking for a way to get into us, and we can and must rule over those desires. So, there is something we must do. We must rule over sin.
What is sin? Well, it’s the violation of God’s law. So, there is a necessity to obey God. Additionally, the first part of the verse says clearly, we have to do well to be accepted – a concept that clearly refutes the idea of nothing required of us but to accept Christ. Sin, as you know, is the violation of God’s law. So, from the very first verses of the Bible, we see the need to obey God.
Now, here’s another verse that they use – this is probably even more prominent than one I just read – Psalms 51:5, where David said:
Psalms 51:5 – Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
What does that really say? Is David here telling us he was born sinful? Or, is it that his parents were sinful when he was born? Clearly, seems to be the latter to me. What about you? So, all we have to do to understand all of this is to lay aside the idea that we were born evil, because we all believe that to some degree. It’s so much a part of our culture. To do that, we need to look at a newborn to know the truth.
Have you ever looked at a baby? There’s nothing evil there. They’re just a little innocent blank sheet to be written on. So, we believe an idea hatched by man with no biblical proof for it. So, what is in the Bible about our nature? How did we get to the state where sin is so easily accepted into our lives?
Now, to successfully understand this, again, we have to let go of that idea that there’s something evil in us when we’re born – that we’re born with it. So, just read the scriptures with a neutral mind on the subject. Let’s do that now. Let’s look at a human being from God’s perspective.
Paul tells us that we have a body – that’s the physical part of a person. The body includes our brain. It is neither righteous nor unrighteous, but the part of us that controls it can be either one. It can be used for good or for evil.
Next, the word psuche is used in the Greek, and that has been translated repeatedly soul. Now, this word can be used two ways in the Bible. A living soul – the psuche – is about our life, our consciousness – the living soul, we say. So, it’s our life. How do I know that? Well, it also just means life. In Romans 16:4, Paul says Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for his psuche. They saved his physical life. In this usage, there is nothing immortal, but instead, it’s related to physical life only. So, we have a life – God even talks about it – the life is in the blood. So, that’s what the Presbyterian minister saw when he studied the word. It was not immortal. Psuche just means your life, your being.
And the third one is pnuema – spirit. In the Church of God, we’ve called this the spirit in man over the years. I think the Bible even uses that term, if I remember correctly. Everyone has a spirit. With all this new brain research – I like to talk about how the brain works and all that – but the great brain researcher, Daniel Siegel said, “You can’t explain everything that goes on in the human mind with brain science.” So, after all his studying, that’s what he learned. There’s something else there. And we call that the spirit in man.
Now, this is tricky, because there’s another spirit that God can give us – the Holy Spirit. What’s tricky about this is, as we read this Bible, that in various translations, the translators differ on which spirit it’s talking about at any given time – our natural inborn spirit or God’s added Holy Spirit. They usually put Spirit in capital – initial case – if it’s the Holy Spirit, and leave it small if they think it’s man’s spirit. And when Paul writes about this spirit in man, which is a natural part of a person, he uses it to show us that it controls our thoughts, our actions, our passions, our emotions – our mental activity. The Bible also uses some terms, like heart, conscience, mind, will – we could add personality – although that’s not from the Bible. These functions are all functions of the pnuema – the lowercase s – spirit – the human spirit – the spirit in man.
The Bible tells us that animals have a spirit too. But their spirits are not the same as the human spirit. The spirit of a dog is different from the spirit of a cat. We can clearly see the differences, can’t we? Not just how they look, but how they act.
Paul also tells us that our pnuema is the part of us that God communicates with. So, in humans, their link to the Holy Spirit is through their own spirit. The human spirit shows our relatedness to God. It was designed as a receptor for the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:1 through 17 – I’m not going to read the entire passage, but, if you want to get the picture, that’s an excellent set of verses to look at – Romans 8:1 through 17. Paul says in verse 6:
Romans 8:6 – For to be carnally minded is death – the word carnal there is the word sarx – that means the flesh – carnal; that means fleshly – to be carnally minded in death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
This is really important. We want God to come and change our minds, but He has given us free will. And for God to change our minds, we have to make a choice. In Colossians 3:1, it says:
Colossians 3:1 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above – that’s the choice you have to make. You have to seek those things – …where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
So, notice that this idea of doing something – setting our minds on God’s things, instead of our own – is directly connected to attaining salvation. And it’s also directly connected to how we act, behave and think. If we set our minds on the things of God – the things that are given to us by the Holy Spirit, instead of the things that come from another source – we’re going to be changed.
So, we have to make a choice. Our pnuema – or our spirit – has to make a choice on God’s way. If we can focus our pnuema on God, then we’re connected with him. This aspect of us – that changes when we ask for and receive the other Spirit – the Holy Spirit – that comes and takes up residence and communicates with our spirit. When we set our spirit on the Holy Spirit, our spirit begins to become holy, or sanctified. There’s so much in the Bible about how that works. It doesn’t stay the same. It changes. It becomes godly. That’s how God’s miraculous sanctification process works. A change takes place in our spirit. A life and peace we never had before begins to show itself – just like it says in Romans 8:6. The Holy Spirit brings life and peace.
Notice something else in 2 Timothy 4:22 – Paul’s talking to Timothy, a younger minister. He’s mentoring Timothy and he said:
2 Timothy 4:22 – The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
Now, Paul, in several places, tells his Christian friends, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” So, there we see it. It isn’t that it just comes in and takes over. It comes in and it interacts with our spirit. It’s with us. So, there we see it – God’s Spirit being with our spirit – an important concept to remember to understand this whole idea.
So, this happens when we set our spirit on the Spirit. And we all pray to God that He gives us His Spirit, when, in fact, after our commitment to God, we have His Spirit, but it’s whether we choose to set our mind on it or not. You want a scripture? Romans 8:5.
Romans 8:5 – For those who live according to the flesh – that word there is sarx in the Greek – doesn’t have anything to do with your body – set their minds on the things of the flesh – those things of the sarx – and we’re going to learn more about what that is in a minute – but those who live according to the Spirit – capitalized – Holy Spirit – set their minds on the things of the Holy Spirit. Paul talked a lot about the gifts of the Spirit and the fruits of the flesh. Which way are you going to go?
So, does the Bible call the Holy Spirit a part of a human? Well, no. A person chooses to accept Christ’s sacrifice and commit to God. Then God and Christ take up residence in our mind by the Holy Spirit. But that is something apart from the natural man. It’s a presence there. That’s a Spirit of God that transforms our spirit, but only as we set our minds on it.
Now, there’s another element in humans that Paul talks about. I alluded to it just a few minutes ago. What is it? The sarx – translated, the flesh. Is it just another word for our body? Well, look what Paul says here – Romans 7:18:
Romans 7:18 – For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out – because of the sarx. In his sarx, there is nothing good.
Now, the other word that is used for the body – soma – is not like that. When God created the somas of Adam and Eve, He said that was good. We won’t take the time to quote them, but the scriptures tell us that our soma is created by God – that it’s redeemable, that it can be resurrected, and it can be used for good as well as evil. And, in the natural man – in his spirit – God tells us He has written His law. He says we have a conscience, which, when informed by God’s Spirit, can be good. We see natural love of parents for children built into us and natural empathy, as a part of human beings. And all these things, at least in the beginning, are a part of every human. But the flesh is something else. It’s evil completely.
Okay now, put on your preceptivity hat and read what else Paul says about the sarx. This is a huge clue for what is yet to come. Romans 7:20:
Romans 7:20-21 – Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So, he doesn’t consider actually a part of him, does he? It’s something else. It’s the sin that dwells within me. So, Paul is talking here like the sarx really isn’t a part of him, but something sinful that lives in him. Look further. He says: So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. We might say, “Crouches at the door,” like God told Cain. There’s that concept – sin lies close at hand. And he said it was a law. He says in verse 22: For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being – that me, the real me – but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. So, it’s an – you might say – an alien presence trying to invade. This sarx is enemy of all humans. And, if we follow it, it will eventually kill us and rob us of eternal life. It makes war against anything good in us.
So, every culture, past and present, has a way to talk about this universal phenomenon – a battle that rages in the soul – good against evil. It’s a universal human experience. But are we born with it? And is it a part of us, like our body, or our life, or our spirit? Well, it seems like the sarx can lodge wherever in us – in our heart, as Paul said in Hebrews 3, and in our body, as he says in this verse too. But how did this happen? If we were created perfect, how did this happen?
When I learned the answer to this, I was dumbstruck. I was at a loss for words. How could it possibly be that the whole Christian world believes we were born with it when it is explained in Genesis, chapter 3, as plain as day. You don’t really have to be that perceptive. All you have to do is lay aside the lie and read what happened. It’s all right there – right under our noses. So, let’s read this with new eyes, leaving aside the preconceived notion that we’re rotten to the core. Genesis 3:1 – I might say, rotten to the core from birth – it says:
Genesis 3:1-7 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’? I mean, it’s hard for me to believe that He could say that?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” See, Eve was smart. She had a good memory. She almost gave a word for word quote of what God said. But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. God is withholding the really good stuff from you. This tree is the best thing in the Garden and He won’t let you eat of it.” Now, notice, from that time forward, what starts to happen almost immediately. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate – she believed the devil, not God. And she wanted to know good from evil. So she took of the tree and ate, against His orders. …and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. “Oh, God didn’t tell us we should be wearing clothes. I wonder what else He’s left out?” The more they thought about it, the more they doubted God’s motive. “I mean, if He lied to us once, what else has He done?” So, they’re suddenly afraid of Him and hiding from Him. They don’t trust Him anymore. They’re so afraid, they begin trying to pass the blame off of self. Adam blamed her, she blamed the devil. So, now they’re all liars in attempting to deceive God.
This is all that is said about this issue, but did you catch it? It’s right there! Did you get it? He didn’t do brain surgery and implant the sarx into them, nor did God. No, he just talked to them. He knew that they would be fascinated with the forbidden fruit, and went there immediately in his argument. That’s all he had to do. He knew humans were social creatures and that doubt would spread to their children, and from there, through a thousand paths, into the spirit of every human being. The resentment they must have felt, due to the losses they suffered – and they did lose a lot, didn’t they. They lost God, they lost their home, their job, the perfect place to live. So they must have felt resentment from that. And the devil started the snowball rolling with that gentle nudge, and downhill it’s all gone from there.
What the devil did was pass on a way of thinking, which we have all passed down through the ages. I mean, that’s the explanation in the Bible for how we came to be in possession of an evil nature.
So, has it become a part of us? As your body is a part of you – like that – or like your life, or like your spirit? Is the sarx like that? Let’s read more. Let’s look at what God said to Cain in Genesis 4:6.
Genesis 4:6-7 – The LORD said to Cain – after Cain delivered a withering barrage to God about His unfairness – “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? I mean, fair is fair. We see Cain was a willing receptor to the attitude that his parents undoubtedly had. By the time his parents attitude spread to Cain, he thought God wasn’t fair. And he thought fair would be him doing whatever he wanted and God accepted whatever he chose to do – just what his parents did, isn’t it? And look at what God says next: And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. It’s waiting. It’s looking for a way in. It’s not in yet, but it’s at the door and it’s waiting. Its desire is contrary to you – it doesn’t want you to be free. It wants to control you. It wants to pervert you, to twist you – but you must rule over it.” Sin is the violation of God’s law. And we have to fight against the desire to go against God.
So, what didn’t Adam and Eve do well, because they weren’t accepted? Well, the didn’t believe God, and instead, believed the devil. And he lied to them. What was his lie? Well, his lie was essentially that God was a liar. So, the devil is looking for a toehold. All he needed was just a little toehold. And they gave it to him. It’s not that sin comes in, sets up shop, and declares itself a fourth part of human beings. You can’t find that in the Bible. But we can find sin crouching at the door, just waiting for an opportunity to enter.
Did you read it? How does sin get into us? How does the idea of crouching and waiting inform our understanding of how we got to be who we are? The term in the Bible that’s used is warfare – spiritual warfare. Paul used that. So, let’s also use that. That would be fair, right?
If you have watched documentaries on World War II – and there are many of them you can look at on YouTube – they usually put up a map of Europe and show the German advance into France. It’s usually animated, so France begins to change color as the German lines advance. The same thing with Russia, as they march east toward eastern Europe and into Russia. And also, into Luxembourg – the north coast cities of Europe, the small cities. And this animation shows the different colors as it seeps across Europe. Can we get the picture of it? Remember anything like that? When the allies attacked the Normandy beaches, they usually show a little red, or blue, or purple spot on the fringe beaches, where they started to establish a bridgehead. And that’s how they got their foothold. In this case, it was just tiny – a few hundred yards. But once they had that bridgehead, they fortified it, and they began pouring troops and tanks and other material onto their bridgehead. And from there, they began moving across France, and then into Luxembourg, and the other small nations on the north coast of Europe. And then finally, across the Rhine into Germany, where the map begins to rapidly increase in red until all of Germany is engulfed by it. They show this animated map turning red that all started from a tiny spot on Omaha beach, or the other beaches – I guess, all of them. We might say, before the attack, they were crouching at the door. And the Germans let them in by failing to be prepared for their attack. There was a lot of subterfuge in that attack. They made a fake army not far from the place they knew Hitler suspected they would first launch their attack. It was all a trick. But once in, the Germans did not have the power to stop them as they conquered all of western Europe. Once the allies were there, they were there to stay. The allies fought hard to get a bridgehead, but once it happened – and there are lots of records of this – even the Germans in the army knew the war was lost.
Now, if we read the story of Adam and Eve, doesn’t it sound more like that than brain surgery or swearing allegiance to a new lord. It does, doesn’t it. It was a foothold. And then the rest was history in the most real sense of the word.
So, is the sarx a part of all humans, as in having a life or a body? Well, not according to the Bible. It’s a part of all humans, yes, but in a different way – a profoundly different way.
Romans 8:7 – For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. And yet, we want to obey God – especially if we have the Holy Spirit.
So, this is a foreign entity that has entered into us. And notice what gives the flesh its power is our setting our minds on it – thinking that way. And isn’t that exactly what Adam and Eve began to do? Once the devil asked his question, they threw off all trust in God. He had his bridgehead at that point. And when the serpent told Eve she could eat the fruit and nothing would happen, that’s what she started thinking about.
So, it gets down to, who are we going to believe? Are we going to believe the devil, or are we going to believe our Father? Jesus said to the people, that were thinking carnally, that they were the children of the devil. He was their daddy, because they believed what he said. So, that is the battle.
Notice this comment from Proverbs. It’s about a miser, but it’s not the part I want to bring up – it’s not about a miser. But let’s read it:
Proverbs 23:6 – Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. He says, “Eat and drink,” to you, but his heart is not with you. He’s only letting you eat his stuff because he wants to get something from you. So, you have to be able to perceive that, because a miser is always a miser. As he thinks in his heart, so is he.
So, what makes a miser a miser? Is there an inborn part of him that makes him a miser? No, it’s how he thinks. And we can change how we think, can’t we? He wasn’t, probably, always a miser – when he was born a baby. But things happened, and he accepted, and finally, it twisted him around to where he was selfish miser. It’s how he thinks.
So, what makes us selfish, hateful, easily victims for sin? Well, it’s how we think that makes us who we are. We just read that right out of the Bible – for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. When God calls us, He does not do brain surgery on us and give us a different brain, because we have the ability to change our brain with God’s help. But He needs us to do the thinking.
Matthew 15:18 – here’s another one. This is what Jesus said:
Matthew 15:18-20 – But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the thing which defile a man. So, a heart is a part of our spirit, and it is where we think. So, how we think, what we believe, makes us who we are. We decide who we are going to be by what we think about.
Now, I don’t mean that we consciously decide and that we plan to be evil, but I mean that, by deciding what we’re going to think about, that unwittingly changes us. And, if we set our minds on the flesh, we’re going to be hostile towards God. We’re going to think of the Sabbath as something that’s difficult and hard to do – something that’s not fair. If we set our minds on the Holy Spirit, then we’re going to see the Sabbath as a great blessing.
So, what’s the main point of this? Have you ever seen someone start hanging out with the wrong crowd? Sometimes they become so corrupted by the experience, it seems like they were born that way. But it’s not genetic. It’s influence. It’s the belief system, according to Jesus. Our thought process can override any genetic predisposition. To make the point, we were not born rotten. We have chosen to be.
Now, what makes it seem like genetics is that the sarx is not just a part of us. It enters us at a bridgehead, crouches at the door, and then, as the effects of our distrust of God, or desire to do our own thing, start to take hold and morph into much, much more, the sarx seeps into every corner of our being, tainting and corrupting every aspect of us, if we let it. Even the great apostle Paul said, in Romans 7:21:
Romans 7:21 – So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand – crouching at the door. So, it’s like a law, he said – something that he had to do. It almost felt like it was built in, but he knows it’s not. Notice how he talks about the evil in us in Hebrews 3:12:
Hebrews 3:12 – Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart…. Oh, you mean, by taking care, you can prevent that? That’s exactly what he means! Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed – if indeed – what is this we have to do? It’s not just a game – a test that we flunked – and God’s just going to take it away – no – if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. And that’s the part that Adam and Eve blew, isn’t it? …in we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
I want to read you a quote. It’s from a book, Flesh and Spirit, by William Barclay. The concept of bridgehead – I can’t claim as my own. I got it from his book. He’s a gifted Christian writer, but what’s really noteworthy about him is, he’s willing to buck the trend. He says;
“But where does this bridgehead come from? Where does this enemy within spring? It’s a universal experience of life that man fits or unfits himself for any experience. He makes himself such that he will or will not respond to certain experiences.” We know that, right? “The flesh is what man has made himself, in contrast with man as God meant him to be.” Let me read that again. “The flesh is what man has made himself, in contrast with man as God meant him to be. The flesh stands for the total effect upon man of his own sin and the sin of his fathers and of the sin of all men who have gone before him.” That’s how it got passed down. “The flesh is human nature as it has become through sin. Man’s sin – his own sin – and the sin of mankind has made him, as it were, vulnerable to sin, and has made him fall even when he knew he was falling and even when he did not want to fall. It has made him as such that he can neither avoid the fascination of sin, nor resist the power of sin. The flesh stands for human nature, weakened, vitiated and taken with sin. The flesh is man as he is – apart from Jesus Christ and His Spirit.”
So, how do we make war against that? Well, this presentation has run long, so, if you really want to see more, I want you to think about a series I’ve done. It’s on my Website. It’s called Waging Spiritual War and it shows exactly how to make war against the sarx. To find it, just click on the link, in liferesource.org, right across the top – Presentations – and then that will show you to another menu, and then select Presentations by Series, and you will find it toward the bottom of the page.
Let me just say, before we go, as powerful as the sarx is, it is no match for God and Christ in us. All we need to do to defeat it is to make a daily effort to control it and to control our thinking about it, as we have repeatedly today in the scriptures. Once we do that, it’s Jesus Christ and God the Father to the rescue. We will be saved from the sarx.
This is Bill Jacobs for Life Resource Ministries, serving children, families and the Church of God.
We’re a youth advocacy ministry. So, why did we talk about this topic. Well, one of the reasons we made this presentation is to strengthen you in the faith, not just for yourself, but so you can help all your congregation, including its children who are a vital part of your spiritual family. A strong congregation is made up of committed Christians who walk by the Spirit rather than the flesh. Remember, as an adult member of the congregation, you are responsible to help promote peace, safety and inclusiveness – qualities of the Spirit. And, if you contribute these efforts, then you’ll be providing the children in your congregation with the things they need most from their congregation to grow into a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.
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