Fighting For The Faith With Chris Rosebrough – Joel Osteen’s I AM Teaching on Oprah’s Life Class
Here is the video of this transcript > http://youtu.be/Z5L0nC7yOJ0
If you want to listen to the full podcast just subscribe to the Fighting For The Faith Podcast in iTunes. The name of this episode is Is the Joel Osteen’s I AM Teaching on Oprah Life Class’s Which was originally broadcast on 30/11/2012 – Friday November 30th 2012.
[First Segment – 00:10:57 – 00:12:04]
Chris Rosebrough, “We are going to be listening to Joel Osteen’s first appearance on Oprah’s Life Class. They are talking about I AM, which is really kind of a blasphemous topic. The way they are handling it, but we are not going to review the entire thing. I have pulled out some segments that I think will help make the point. Now I have had the audio for this segment of Joel Osteen appears on Oprah’s Life Class. I have had the audio of that since they recorded it, a few weeks back, actually more like a month back. But I have not decided to respond until the day it airs. But the same thing with Rick Warren’s appearance on Oprah’s Life Class, will not be responding about it formally until it airs in January. So if you are thinking well Chris we saw you tweeting about it. We saw you. You know listen you don’t want to critique something that hasn’t officially broadcast yet, even though you might have an advanced copy. That is just all I am so saying so we are going to be listening to Joel Osteen today.”
[Second Segment – 00:49:04 – 01:20:02]
Chris Rosebrough, “We have a Joel Osteen update that requires us to play this.”
[plays audio music]
When I’m feeling lonely
Sad as I can be
All by myself on an uncharted island
In an endless sea
What makes me happy
Fills me up with glee
Those bones in my jaw!
That don’t have a flaw
My shiny teeth and me
My shiny teeth that twinkle
Just like the stars in space
My shiny teeth that sparkle
Adding beauty to my face
My shiny teeth that glisten
Just like a Christmas tree
You know they walk a mile just to see me smile
My shiny teeth and me
(shiny teeth shiny teeth)
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah that is our Joel Osteen update music, alright so Joel Osteen has appeared on Oprah’s Life Class and the name of the Life Class that we will be referring to today, well the topic is I AM. You are thinking I AM. Yeah I AM. You see this is some dangerous stuff. Here is the reason why in Exodus 3 remember God the Lord appears to Moses in a burning bush. Okay, Moses asks the Lord, “What is your name?” Okay so that I can you know I can tell people. What is your name? And the Lord gives His name as I AM eh yeh אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה. Okay this is the name that God gives Himself from the burning bush. Now Jesus Himself picks up that same phraseology several places in the book of John.
This is the you know the disciple John, the apostle John writes about this. For instance okay Jesus has this long running battle with the Pharisees and the Jews in his day in Luke 8 and he makes some wild statements in there that have got to be listened to and heeded. Because what Jesus is saying here is super important. In fact this divine name I AM. Jesus applies it to Himself and He does so, so that you won’t mistake who He is. Okay in fact let me read to you a passage from The Gospel of John chapter eight. If you have your Bible go ahead and flip on over, we are going to be looking at John 8 starting at v21. I am going to just do a couple of highlights here.
John 8 v 21-24 (ESV – English Standard Version)
21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
Okay now the Greek construct there could not be clear. It is strange construct, because normally it is a you know. It is a emphatic sense here because Jesus says, “egō eimi ἐγώ εἰμι.” I unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. Jesus is not saying unless you believe that He exists that you are going to die in your sins. Here he is invoking the divine name from Exodus 3 and basically applying it to Himself. Okay but we continue. I am going to fast forward a little bit in this exchange that Jesus has.
John 8 v 48 (ESV – English Standard Version)
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
Oh yeah this conversation is going really well yeah right. This is put your big boy pants on here. This is a politically incorrect confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. This would not be tolerated by the way today. Jesus would arrested for upsetting the Pharisees and breaking politically correct rules. Okay just so you know how this would go down today. So that’s anyway.
John 8 v 48-51 (ESV – English Standard Version)
48 “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
Again He keeps His Word, He basically is equating His Word with the Word of God right.
John 8 v 52-53 (ESV – English Standard Version)
52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Okay great question.
John 8 v 54-59 (ESV – English Standard Version)
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.
Now Jesus here is giving some information regarding Abraham that ain’t recorded in The Torah. It is as if He knows Abraham right. So He says
John 8 v 56 (ESV – English Standard Version)
56 Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. So apparently Abraham knows Jesus right?
John 8 v 56 (ESV – English Standard Version)
56 He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Okay so here you know you take a passage like Exodus 3. You take this passage from John 8 and there is a couple more passages you could look to and you have got to understand what we are dealing with here. When we start talking about I am language we are talking about the very name of God. One of the revealed names of God and one of the names that Jesus applies to Himself, to demonstrate and prove that He is God. That is who Jesus is making Himself out to be. Jesus isn’t some fly by night angel. Jesus isn’t some self appointed human. Jesus is none other than God in human flesh and He is the reason why He is using this I am language is to demonstrate that point.
Okay so now we come to the Oprah Life Class that aired last night on The Oprah Network and she had Joel Osteen on to discuss the topic of I am. Now I happen to have the recording of when was this was being taped, not when it aired and I think that is going to be instructive to help you figure out what is going on here. So who is Oprah with? Well none other than America’s most favourite pastor Joel Osteen who is not a Christian pastor in any sense of the word. He is an ear tickler extraordinaire and I will explain to you a little bit about you know how to identify a false teacher in just a minute. But you have got understand what is going on here is that this is a blasphemous programme because of the topic itself as it was billed as The I am Life Class. But here is Oprah and Joel Osteen from part way through the basically the opening of the programme to discuss their topic and Joel is going to talk to somebody who has called in. You are going to hear Oprah give some advice. This segment is going to run a little bit long. We have got about eight minutes that I want to cover here. But here is Oprah and Joel Osteen.
Oprah Winfrey, “We are talking about the power of two simple words I am. Saul from Miami Lakes Florida is in our audience. Stand up Saul. What is your question for pastor Joel Osteen?
Saul, “Well it is an honour to be here with you guys. My question was when I was eleven years old.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Okay I have got to back up. Already see I will assume that I can tell that this is going to be a long segment, work with me. Okay listen again to Oprah.”
Oprah Winfrey, “We are talking about the power of two simple words I am.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Biblically there is no power in these words. The power is the fact that these words reveal who Jesus is none other than God in human flesh. It is not as if the words I am have any special magical power to make anything happen in our life. In the Bible the words I am, the significance is they point us to the one true God Jesus Christ. We continue.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Saul from Miami Lakes Florida is in our audience. Stand up Saul. What is your question for pastor Joel Osteen?”
Saul, “Well it is an honour to be here with you guys. My question was when I was eleven years old my father passed away. He committed suicide. He left my mother to these four kids on her own. I developed this inability to trust people that I looked up to authority figures, people I respected. Because I felt that if I trusted them that they would fail me and as an adult I find that this is blocking me. I find that my inability to trust people is keeping me from fulfilling my full potential. So my question for you is how I can I heal this inability to trust in order to fulfil my full potential?”
Joel Osteen, “Yeah Saul our heart goes out to you. You know I think the starting point….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Notice the complete narcissistic focus.”
Joel Osteen, “You know I think the starting point is Saul you have got to realise you know that nothing that has happened to you is a surprise to God. You know as hard as that is and our hearts break for you but God knew everything you would go through. So he has already equipped you and empowered you with everything you need. So I think every day you have to remind yourself. You know what I had some hardships, but I am well able to live a victorious life and you know it is just, it comes to a part where you say, “God you know I didn’t have a father. But I am going to let you be my father. You trust in Him and God will give you that. You know because it goes back Saul.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Now this has got an applause line. My question trust in God for what….to reach my full potential? We are just going to skip right over the cross. So now we are just going to utilise God so that I can achieve my full potential using the words I am.”
Joel Osteen, “I think it goes back to this because it is hard when you have been hurt. Because you have got to say I am not going to try to get my approval from people. I am going to get my approval from God. Because you know people as good as they are. They will disappoint us and what a disappointment, what a hurt to have a father like that. But you have got to say, “you know God it is not a surprise to you. I know I am a person of destiny. You breathed your life into me so I am going to….”
Chris Rosebrough, “I know I am a…..oh man seriously. I mean okay now I want to point something out to you. Now those of you who are familiar with Joel Osteen or you know have people that are friends or family who think he is just the bees knees, you know one of the things, “Oh he is just the nicest man. He is just. He is so positive and he is so uplifting.” As if somehow that exonerates him and doesn’t make him a false teacher. I would like to read to you a little red passage of scripture Romans 16. I will start at v17 warning us about false teachers. Okay here is what the apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says.
Romans 16 v 17-18 (ESV – English Standard Version)
He says, 17 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites,”
Now listen to the description.
Romans 16 v 18-19 (ESV – English Standard Version)
18 and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Joel Osteen bless his heart he is just as nice as chocolate milk right. How does the apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit describe those who teach false doctrine? As those who by smooth talk and flattery deceive the hearts of the naïve. Listen again okay this is smooth talk and flattery.”
Joel Osteen, “I am going to get my approval from God. Because you know people as good as they are. They will disappoint us and what a disappointment, what a hurt to have a father like that. But you have got to say, “you know what God it is not a surprise to you. I know I am a person of destiny. You breathed your life into me so I am going to dig my heels in. I know I am equipped and empowered. I am well able.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Smooth talk and flattery. He is a false teacher. This is exactly who the Holy Spirit was warning you about in Romans 16.”
Joel Osteen, “It just that attitude of moving forward and you know again I said it earlier but the Bible talks about God pays you back for the wrongs that have been done to you. So you keep moving forward and I believe the rest of your life this may sound odd but it will be better than if your father had been with you the whole time.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Smooth talk and flattery.”
Joel Osteen, “God has a way of making it up to you. So that is our prayer.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Exactly that is all a part of the plan for your life. Nothing is happening out of order with the divine order of your life and so the truth is that wherever you are in any given moment that is where you are supposed to be and again we are talking earlier about faith. True faith is knowing that no matter what you are going to be okay. So…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Woah true faith in who for what? Listen whenever you hear the word faith, okay understand that the Greek word underlying that New Testament word that you read in your New Testament where it says faith okay. If it is the noun it is the word pistis πίστις (Strong’s Concordance 4099). If it is the verb form you know faith it is pisteuo πιστεύω (Strong’s Concordance 4102) and what it means is a firm and certain belief and trust. Now understand this trust always has an object.
Now here Oprah is saying that faith is believing that things are going to work out well for you, that is different than New Testament biblical faith. Because New Testament biblical faith is faith and trust and certainty in Jesus Christ, the virgin born Son of God for the forgiveness of sins. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Okay that you know announcing to the world that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them. Right but that Christ became sin for us, so we can become the righteousness of God. That is what is going on, on the cross. So we have a very specific person whom we trust in and we trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins and right standing before God and the good news that we have been redeemed, purchased of the slavery brock, that we that God’s wrath has been propitiated and that we are, we stand justified and reconciled before God as a result of what Christ has done for us. We are not hearing that here. By the way therefore the biblical call, the call to everybody is to repent of their sin and believe in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. That is the call of biblical faith. That is New Testament faith, what she is describing is something very different and with that so add to this blasphemous attempt at mishandling the I am concept. But now we have got Oprah saying things like this…..”
Oprah Winfrey, “That is where you are supposed to be and again we are talking earlier about faith. True faith is knowing that no matter what you are going to be okay. So what are I am’s you have told yourself?”
Saul, “I think that….”
Chris Rosebrough, “What a weird question. What the I am’s you have told yourself? As if so the solution is you have to say these I am’s to yourself. You are going through a bad time, well you have got to say some I am’s. We are going to hear Joel Osteen lead Oprah’s Life Class in some I am’s, phew man talk about smooth talk and flattery. Joel Osteen excels in that. You see that is why the Holy Spirit warned us. False teachers they are the nicest people in the whole world. They build you up. They are very positive. They excel in smooth talk and flattery and the thing about flattery is it points you to you, not to Christ. Christ’s messengers call sinners to repent and to be forgiven. Big difference.”
Saul, “I think that some of the I guess, one of the primary I am’s I repeat is that I am afraid to trust. I am unable to trust because I feel that.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Okay I would say to you and I have, I am no pastor at all. But I would say to you can….”
Chris Rosebrough, “I would say amen to that, that is why you shouldn’t listen to her.”
Oprah Winfrey, “I would say to you, can you trust yourself? Would you say that?”
Chris Rosebrough, “Okay I have got to back that up. Listen to this. Biblical New Testament faith is faith and trust in Christ. We are trusting Him for the forgiveness of our sins. Listen to who she just said we should trust in.”
Saul, “I am unable to trust because I feel that.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Okay I would say to you and I have, I am no pastor at all. But I would say to you can you trust yourself? Would you say that too pastor?”
Joel Osteen, “Absolutely!”
Oprah Winfrey, “Can you trust yourself?”
Chris Rosebrough, “And there is Joel, “absolutely yeah, just trust yourself.” If I was sitting there I would say are you out of your mind? You are the problem. I am the problem. We don’t trust ourselves, we trust in Christ. We had to be rescued, redeemed and saved by God’s mighty hand. You telling people to trust in themselves, really?”
Oprah Winfrey, “Can you trust yourself? I mean you maybe afraid of what somebody else is going to do. But can you trust yourself? Do you trust yourself enough to know that if somebody harms you, if somebody is not going to be advantageous to you, then you can make a decision to move out of that relationship, can you trust yourself enough to do that?”
Saul, “I think so.”
Oprah Winfrey, “You think so, alright I love that.”
Joel Osteen, “That is good. I think that is perfect. Right, well I think…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Now does anyone find it shocking that Joel Osteen is having no problem with her bad theology whatsoever? Of course you shouldn’t have, you shouldn’t be shocked. He teaches the same nonsense that she teaches.”
Oprah Winfrey, “What I am’s can he start today. What I am’s can he start?”
Joel Osteen, “I am not fearful.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Uh huh okay so now so the solution to your problem is you say these I am’s. I am not fearful. I am whatever. This is blasphemous and it points us away from the real I am and that is Jesus Christ.”
Joel Osteen, “I am confident. I am excited about my future. I think Saul you have to realise that you know God will bring the right people across your path, part of that healing is being open to say, “Okay God I was hurt before and I couldn’t trust, but God I am going to be open enough, vulnerable enough to trust that you are bringing the right people across my path and like Oprah said you will feel that His Spirit in here the still small voice when something is not right. But you have got to know God has right people in your future and…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “So rather than pointing Him to God’s Word – The Bible, now we are pointing him to a still small voice, which is a complete mishandling of that text. The Bible does not teach and promise you that God is going to speak to you in a still small voice.”
Joel Osteen, “You know don’t let one bad break ruin the rest of your life. It doesn’t have to you, you can move forward.”
Oprah Winfrey, “I am excited about my future. That is what you are going to say every morning when you wake up. Okay I am excited about what the day is going to bring. I am excited about the people God is going to bring into my life and watch things change. I am going to get this book signed just for you Saul, and you are going to do this? Thirty one days straight then we will hear from you okay. We will be right back. We are sold. I am going to run out of books Steve.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Alright what you are going to hear next is was not broadcast last night because this was recorded when they recorded this live. You are going to hear Oprah addressing the crowd who showed up for her Life Class, you are going to hear her addressing them during the commercial break and what you are going to hear you need to hear. So listen carefully to this little clip that was that Oprah said during the commercial break.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Because this one has my notes in it okay. Saul I will get you another book.”
Staff, “Security needs to do a little bit of work.”
Oprah, Winfrey, “Okay.”
Staff, “Hey pastor this time I know we have all the information here for you.”
Oprah Winfrey, “This is the thing I say about faith.”
Staff, “If you want to go to that guy on Skype.”
Oprah Winfrey, “You know everybody goes to church and do the big service and then they go home and they worry about everything. What kind of God is that? You go to church, you praise and then you go home and you worry.”
Chris Rosebrough, “What kind of God is that? Well I don’t think the issue is God, don’t you I think the issue is the people who don’t trust Him and believe that they have a loving and caring God and Father. Why because they haven’t had their sins forgiven and they don’t understand the implications, the full implications of the gospel and what the forgiveness of sins really truly means. We truly understand God only through the cross of Christ and if that was really being driven home then you would have people trusting Him even through the difficult times in life. But listen to her snarky-ness, what kind of God is that? We continue.”
Oprah Winfrey, “I am excited about my future. I am excited about Saul’s future. I wasn’t trying put you on the spot. But the question is do you, can you trust yourself?”
Saul, “I do actually.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Well that is all you need.”
Chris Rosebrough, “That is all you need. I mean, “What kind of God is that now? Do you trust yourself that is all you need.” This was during the commercial break. Yeah no I don’t trust myself, in fact trusting myself would be foolish. I know that I am a sinner and I am really in serious and dire need of a Saviour. If Christ has died for me and risen from the grave, I have no hope and neither do you.”
Oprah Winfrey, “That is all you need.”
Saul, “I do trust myself. I think….”
Oprah Winfrey, “That is all you need.”
Oprah Winfrey, “You don’t have to worry about trusting other people, because you can trust yourself. You trust your discernment and if you are listening to the still small voice as this pastor was talking about.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah not listening to God’s Word. Listening to the still small voice.”
Oprah Winfrey, “It always lets you know.”
Saul, “Yeah it does.”
Oprah Winfrey, “If you can trust that, that is all you need.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah just trust the still small voice. Don’t trust God, don’t trust His Word, just trust yourself and the still small voice.”
Oprah Winfrey, “That is God speaking through you.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah the still small voice. That is God.”
Oprah Winfrey, “That is all you have to trust.”
Saul, “Thank you.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Guarantee it.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah and I guarantee you are wrong Oprah. What you have is just given is absolutely Satanic and deadly advice here.”
Oprah Winfrey, “And you do this, you are healed. [laughs] I do declare, what?”
Chris Rosebrough, “Now I am going to fast forward here to them coming out of the break a little later on and listen in as we continue with this I am segment with Joel Osteen and Oprah and this very deadly poisonous heretical false teaching that throws you back on yourself. It doesn’t you to trust in Christ, God and His Word, to trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins and all things. But no trust in yourself in a still small voice, we continue….”
Oprah Winfrey, “You have still got to sign I Declare for us all and you know I declare that if you were to do the declarations for thirty one days your life would change. That is what you did it for right.”
Joel Osteen, “That is exactly right. One day a month and you know you can continue to do them. But it is a great start.”
Oprah Winfrey, “You can watch pastor Joel’s entire I am sermon, we have it on oprah.com, also you know do the……”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah don’t worry. I will get to it and probably review part of it.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Do the I declare’s, because I am I do declare, in stores now. Final thoughts from you pastor Joel.”
Joel Osteen, “Well I think it is just so important to never speak negative words about yourself, your family, it may come to your mind. But don’t give your words life by speaking them out. Don’t ever say anything negative.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Now this is just flat out witchcraft and superstition. The Bible doesn’t teach this.”
Joel Osteen, “Don’t ever say anything negative about yourself. You may feel it. But just you know zip it up and make those positive declarations.”
Oprah Winfrey, “It takes time though because from the time I heard the I am sermon, I mean when it did it and I am hoping this is what is going to happen for all of you, who are watching, who are here. Is that you start catching yourself. Because you know if you are however old, you have the habit of feeding the negative tapes to yourself. I do too and so when you first catch yourself doing it, you switch it just as we have been doing here today. You switch the I am and it takes practice. That is why the I declare the declarations help you get into the practice of it.”
Joel Osteen, “Absolutely and it is not something you have to go out and do in public. You get up in the morning. You are in the shower or you are driving to work saying, “You know it thank you Lord I am strong. I make good decisions. I am healthy. Just simple things like that. It is just….”
Oprah Winfrey, “I am looking forward to my future.”
Joel Osteen, “Yes oh perfect.”
Oprah Winfrey, “I am looking forward to my future. Could you lead us in a few I am’s. ”
Joel Osteen, “Can we all stand?”
Oprah Winfrey, “Can we all stand?”
Joel Osteen, “Alright let’s stand.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Alright.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Okay so now they are now going to stand and be led in a bunch of I am’s and they haven’t heard about the I am, that is Jesus Christ, God in human flesh. So now everyone is going to stand up and they are going to declare their I am’s.”
Joel Osteen, “Alright just repeat after me. I am strong. I am healthy. I am confident. I am confident. I am secure. I am talented. I am creative. I am disciplined. I am focused. I am valuable. I am beautiful. I am blessed. I am excited about my future. I am victorious. Alright how about amen.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yes blasphemous, I would like you to compare what you just heard all of those I am’s statements to a story, recorded in The Gospel of Luke.
v9 Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and they treated others with contempt.
Luke 18 v 10-14 (ESV – English Standard Version)
10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayedthus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Joel Osteen, “Just repeat after me. I am strong. I am healthy. I am confident. I am confident. I am secure. I am talented. I am creative. I am disciplined. I am focused. I am valuable. I am beautiful. I am blessed. I am excited about my future. I am victorious. Alright how about amen.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Uh hmm….yet they were not taught to pray, “I am a sinner. God have mercy on me.” Instead they have exalted themselves. Therefore I fear of Christ’s words will come true, that they will be humbled on the last day, when He comes again in glory to judge both the living and the dead. Because they have exalted themselves and trust in themselves, rather than trust in Christ like the tax collector did and asked for merciful God, asked that God be propitious and merciful to Him and he was. You see the difference between the true gospel and the false gospel? One throws you on yourself and teaches you to trust in yourself, to exalt yourself. The other it is you on your face confessing what you truly are, a sinner in need of a Saviour and in Christ Jesus we do have a Saviour. God is merciful and He is kind and He is forgiving, so forgiving that He will even forgive self-exalting sinners like you and like me. Pray that those who have been deceived by this false teaching will be brought to repentance and faith and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and believe the true gospel and reject this false smooth talk and flattery that teaches you to exalt yourself, rather than humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.”
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