Author: Charlie Handren

Testing the Spirits

The heart of God is to welcome us into the fellowship of the Trinity, the very joy of God in God, by faith in his Son and the power of his Spirit. As John writes in 1 John 1:3-4, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” Therefore, one of the primary aims of 1 John is to open...

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Fullness of Joy

In the summer of 1986, I was a hopeless drug addict. I had been strung out since 1979 when I was only twelve-years-old, and I had reached the point where I wanted to commit suicide. Thanks be to God that I didn’t have the courage to follow through on that desire because soon he would bring me to himself. Early that summer, a drug-addict friend of mine named Brandon gave me a Bible. We were good friends and this was a token of our friendship, but I had no idea what a Bible was or what I should do...

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Marriage and the Glory of Christ

The Christian life is a life of worship. It’s a life focused on God and lived for the glory of God in Christ. Therefore, Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-21 not to be drunk with wine but rather to be filled with the Spirit who will teach us to speak in the words of Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, to sing and make melody to the Lord in our hearts, to give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of Jesus, and to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This...

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Worship and the Call to Submission

Worship and the Call to Submission Ephesians 5:22-6:9 is one of the most beautiful and controversial portions of the New Testament. On the one hand, it paints a vivid and captivating picture of the love of Christ for his people. But on the other hand, it calls his people to submit to one another and serve one another in specific and inescapable ways. Unfortunately, the reactions to this call to submission have often clouded the beauty of the glory of Christ that’s here, and they have suppressed the joy of those who would otherwise read, understand, and obey the...

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Be Filled with the Spirit

“Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). That’s a bit of an odd command, isn’t it? On the one hand, it is odd because it’s hard to understand how Paul can command us to manage the level of God we have within us! But on the other hand, it’s not odd at all because in the words that follow we see that Paul is essentially calling us to a life of worship: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,...

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