Anchors of My Faith

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anchor“Jesus said to them, my wife…” the rest of the sentence found written on the ancient papyrus fragment is missing. The discovery of this scrap of Sixth Century text—which was eagerly validated by Harvard Divinity School a few days ago—set off a flurry of speculation as to the marital status of Jesus Christ.

It should go without saying that if Jesus was married, everything Scripture teaches about Him must be called into question. And isn’t the point of highlighting a discovery like this—to discredit the trustworthiness of the Bible?

Of course, when I read such things, I immediately dismiss them as the theoretic nonsense they are. Why would anyone be surprised to hear that some fool living in the Dark Ages would attempt to twist the Truth of Scripture? False teachers have been plying their trade since biblical times.

I’m sure your faith is also hardy enough to handle such blatant assaults on Truth. Nevertheless, this sort of thing is a good reminder that attacks upon our faith will only intensify in the days ahead. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to mention a few of what I will call “Anchors of My Faith:” trustworthy reminders of why we believe what the Bible says about God.

My Testimony: The first place I turn when considering the veracity of my faith is what God has done in my life. Thirty-two years ago I was so miserable and hopeless that I put my off-duty revolver to my head, ready to end it all. Today my inner life is one of peace and joy. The secular world has no psychotherapeutic program or scientific formula that can produce such a radical change in a human being. Yet, this is exactly what Scripture promises to the believer who will obey the Lord.

Answers to Prayer: I have enjoyed a long history of clear-cut answers to prayer. True, most have been unspectacular in their impact, and yet their consistent existence has been an ongoing reminder of God’s involvement in my life. While I could mention many phenomenal examples of answered prayer, I will offer one that just occurred yesterday. I was experiencing a moment of doubt about the current course of my life when I blurted out to the Lord, “I wish you would give me a clear cut word that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.” Later in the morning, I received a brief email from a Pure Life board member thanking me for one of my sermons he listened to on the EW website. But it was his second sentence that caught my attention: “I hope you and Kathy are feeling increasingly affirmed that, at least for the time being, you’re in the right place.” Clearly, there is Someone up there who is listening to me!

Creation: If it wasn’t so sad, the level of confidence that evolutionary scientists have in their suppositions would be amusing to me. When I look at Creation, I see the Lord’s fingerprints everywhere. It is clear that the rationale of these scientists goes something like this: “Since we know that there is no God, evolution must be true.” Yet, when I look upon the vast realm of Nature through eyes of faith, I am continually amazed at the Lord’s imagination and brilliance. All of it points to a Designer and only a hardened, deceived person could actually believe the preposterous conclusions of evolution.

The Truth of Scripture: Everywhere I look in the Bible, I find evidence of its veracity. Not even the “school of higher criticism” has shaken my faith in the inerrancy of Scripture. However, it is amazing how many times these God-slanderers have triumphantly announced some “proof” that Scripture is errant, only to be disproved later by some new piece of evidence. More importantly, anyone reading the Bible with an open and humble heart instinctively knows that every word of it is true.

Fulfilled Prophecies: There is much that could be said on this subject but I will limit it to one item: Israel. Over 2,500 years ago the Bible predicted that Israel would play an important role in end time events. What is fascinating to me is to read commentators who wrote in the 19th Century about the day that the Jewish people would return to their homeland. How could they have envisioned the Holocaust, the formation of the modern state of Israel and the subsequent Israeli victory over five standing Arab armies? It was an incredible series of events supporting the credibility of biblical prophecy.

God’s Character: I have known the Lord (including a dark, backslidden decade) for 44 years now. All of His dealings with me have only strengthened my belief in Him. He has loved me, disciplined me, blessed me and covered me with such incredible expertise and care that I will forever love Him. No one could ever make me doubt His existence or the goodness of His character.

My Heart: Perhaps the most important anchor can be found in my heart—not in my mind, not in my emotions—but in the deepest part of my being. I know that God exists, that what He says is true, that what Scripture says about Him is true and that what He has promised is true. The other six anchors are helpful, but it is the inward certainty of God’s existence, the veracity of His claims and the reality of His involvement in my life that anchors my faith more than anything else.

We can be sure that the future will produce many more assaults on the veracity of Scripture. Mockers will continue to do their utmost to discredit Christianity. The tenets of the faith will be twisted and perverted to add to the confusion. Spiritual deception will increase to inconceivable heights. And yet God will have a people who will maintain their faith through it all.

Did Jesus have a wife? You will have to come to your own conclusions about that notion. For myself, all such questions have long since been settled. But should the enemy catch me in a moment of weakness, I can always bolster my sagging faith by reminding myself that locked in my innermost being are some pretty impressive “Anchors of My Faith.”

 

 

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About the Author:

In 1986, Steve founded Pure Life Ministries (PLM), the first ministry in the world to sexual addicts. Over the years he and his wife Kathy did their utmost to create a spiritual atmosphere for men who entered the PLM residential center. It was part of God's plan for him to begin this ministry, but over the years the Lord laid a burden on Steve's heart to call the Church back to holy living. In 2008, Steve stepped down from running PLM to devote the rest of his life to exposing the great apostasy, calling people to repentance and leading Christians into an eternal perspective. Follow Steve Gallagher on Google+
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Comments

  1. Linus  April 30, 2014

    I really appreciate this. Especially you sharing your moment of doubt in Answers to Prayer. It is always very encouraging to me that others experience uncertainty as to whether they are in the specific will of God. Thank you for this website. It helps keep me grounded in what is important in the Christian life.

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  2. Laurabeth  April 30, 2014

    This article is so confirming for me! Thank you, Brother Steve! I agree that our strongest “anchors” are within us, if we know the Lord. I was so glad to find out about this email at the Alumni Conference this past weekend! Words cannot express what a blessing you and Kathy have been to my family! Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in expressing your struggles. It is so helpful to know that someone you respect in the faith struggles with knowing what God wants you to be doing! I know that whatever your hands find to do, you will be doing it with all of your might for the glory of God! God bless you Both!

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    • Kathy Gallagher  April 30, 2014

      This is what faith isn’t it? It’s the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We are standing on Christ our solid rock.

      Bless you guys as you hold onto this precious faith in our glorious Lord.

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      • Carol Bourque  May 1, 2014

        “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

        My hope is built on nothing less
        Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
        I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
        But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

        When darkness veils His lovely face,
        I rest on His unchanging grace;
        In every high and stormy gale
        My anchor holds within the veil.
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

        His oath, His covenant, and blood
        Support me in the whelming flood;
        When every earthly prop gives way,
        He then is all my Hope and Stay.
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

        When He shall come with trumpet sound,
        Oh, may I then in Him be found,
        Clothed in His righteousness alone,
        Faultless to stand before the throne!
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

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  3. Robert Sturges  April 30, 2014

    Years ago When I first come to know the Lord , I got really low because Even though I had been born again I struggled with my mind being so evil continually from all the years of porn and perversion. Every service, evil thoughts tormented me. Every time I tried to pray evil thoughts plagued me. During a service at a local church I reached a critical moment. I said to the Lord I cant make it unless you help me , I am so wicked. So I went to the isle for prayer. the elders came anointed my head with oil then moved on to the next person. The lord baptized me with the Holy spirit and gave me such a revelation of the reality of Jesus Christ , it Has even till now never left me. and through the years he has renewed my mind. Fools mess with the scriptures to their own destruction. It is sad that their blasphemies may discourage some ,especially young people. But God promises everything we need for life and godliness.

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  4. john white  May 2, 2014

    Amen, Steve! I think my greatest anchors in the faith are when Jesus presses into the atmosphere of my life and I am able to recognize Him. So often, these times are like those you described in your own personal testimony – answers to prayer, speaking through other believers, through clear-cut evidence of His creativity in the things He makes. Life with Jesus really is an adventure…despite the devil’s attempts to keep the world in blindness.

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  5. Ted Heath  May 5, 2014

    and to that list I think you could reasonably add the fact that virtually every discerning sentence that comes out of the tip of your ink pen amounts to the equivalent of spiritual “00” buck shot dispatched at close ranger into the heart of the of the reader, a gift so rare that it could have only been imparted supernaturally by God to a completely sold out and surrendered believer such as yourself…………and are there not massive numbers of people who are grateful for that ? !!!!!!

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  6. Russell  May 6, 2014

    It amazes me how anyone’s faith can be shaken by this. I’ve heard of other people who are given the name Jesus, but they weren’t the Christ. Furthermore, how can so much authority be attributed to a scrap of papyrus with a sentence fragment written on it? It could have been part of a fictitious story or secular joke. But then the scientific community expects me to believe a lot of far fetched theories like a meteor is able to strike Mars creating such a great impact that a chunk from the planet’s surface can be ejected with enough force to reach escape velocity then travel 140,000,000 miles through space and just happen to get caught in Earth’s gravity, survive passing through our atmosphere, crash on the ground and still be in one piece; which is then located by scientists, examined, and declared to be of Martian origin.

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  7. Nate  May 21, 2014

    I know that there have been times when I have read things such as this that really shook me. I believe it’s important to remember as well that behind these ideas are powerful agents of the enemy that are trying to influence our mind, and so they can also come with strong feelings of fear, confusion and doubt.

    However, in those times I cry out to the Lord to help me to hold fast to His truth, and I hold tightly to the perfectly true Word of God, knowing that we must accept his Truth by faith. This faith is what the world calls foolish, but what God calls more precious than gold.

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