More of James Merritt's heresies are obvious in his 8/31/14 sermon " The Right Connection " , which was probably the same sermon aired 6/29/14 . Mr. Merritt says he doesn't use the word Christian any more , calling it a misunderstood word . The apostle Paul accepted the derrogatory title in Acts 11:26 . The term Christian was so well understood in the days of the early church that King Agrippa used it and said that he was almost persuaded to become one . Peter said , " Yet , if any man suffer as a Christian , let him not be ashamed . " Peter wasn't suggesting that the name Christian should have been shunned by followers of Christ . My Strong's concordance defined Christian in the Greek as " followers of Christ . " Why doesn't Mr. Merritt want to apply the name of Christian to those of us who follow Christ ?
Mr. Merritt lies when he says that " you can't live the Christian life " and that trying to do so " is impossible . " He said the only person in the world who lived the Christian life was Christ . Ergo , according to Mr." Rightly " dividing the word of truth Merritt , neither did Paul nor any of the disciples fulfill Christ's mandate to become like him . Mr. Merritt's blindness never ceases to amaze me .
Mr. secret signal man Merritt also said regarding the Bible that " you'll never find anywhere in this book where Jesus says I want you to live for me . What you find is Jesus saying I want to live for you . " Thus , Mr. Merritt suggests that Christians not even pick up the cross , but expect Jesus to pick it up and carry it for them throughout their lives without any of their help , which is clearly unbiblical . Living for him is exactly what Christ meant when he said , " If any man will come after me , let him deny himself and take up the cross daily and follow me . For whosoever will save his life shall lose it : but whosever will lose his life for my sake the same shall save it . " Once someone believes in the truth of Christ he must die daily to his old man , putting off the deeds of the flesh . Jesus said he would work inside Christians to enable them to do that , but they must daily make conscious efforts to do it by being obedient to the words he wrote in the Bible . You can't just simply sit back and expect Jesus to simply overpower you and assume that everything you think and do will be constantly manipulated from heaven . You must daily conquer the sin that confronts you . The thief on the cross was made perfect by faith and wasn't allowed the luxury of added years . Most believers are given time necessary for the refinement of their soul so that it becomes fashioned similar to that of Jesus .
In the book of 1st John verses 28 and 29 of chapter 2 tell Christ's children to abide in Christ " that when he shall appear , we may have confidence , and not be ashamed before him at his coming . If ye know that he is righteous , ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him ." Doing righteousness is walking by faith as Christ walked . That was Christ's purpose for coming to earth , so that he could through his Holy Spirit give us the capacity to emulate him by applying his words to our lives . A few verses later in chapter 3 , verses 2 and 3 Jesus spoke through John saying , " Beloved , now are we the sons of God , and it doth not yet appear what we shall be : but we know that when he shall appear , we shall be like him , for we shall see him as he is . And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself , even as he is pure . " Christians can do that because Christ says in the fourth chapter of the same book ; " beacuse greater is he that is in you , than he that is in the world . " Each believer must purify himself by faith so that he may become without blemish or spot . Purifying yourself takes conscious effort .
And Christ said we could be like him in this present world , 1st John 4:15-17 , stating ; " Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God , God dwelleth in him, and he in God . And we have known and believed the love of God hath to us . God is love ; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God , and God in him . Herein is our love made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment : because as he is , so are we in this world ." Maybe Mr. Merritt didn't read this passage , " as he is , so are we in this world . " Becoming like him in this world is possible and expected of Christians by the One who created them .
Romans 8:29 states that Christians were predestined " to be conformed to the image of his Son , that he might be the firstborn among many brethren ." 2nd Corinthians 3:18 says ; " But we all , with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory , even as by the Spirit of the Lord ." Colossians 3:10 states that Christians " have put on the new man , which is renewed in knowledge , after the image of him that created him . " Clearly the Bible says Christians are to be conformed to the image of Christ .
Throughout the epistles the Holy Spirit tells Christians to put off the former conversation the old man , which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts , and to be renewed in the spirit of their minds , putting on the new man , which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness . Paul knew by faith that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him , and that he had not yet become perfect , but was striving for the mark . Paul told Christians to follow him emulating his example of striving for perfection . I have never heard one modern day preacher suggest that Christians follow their example . But Paul said it , because he continued to grow in Christ by faith and obedience . There's the rub . Preachers use the hollow excuse of being " human . " What an excuse not to pick up the cross . But if you truly trust Christ you have superhuman power to become like Christ as did the disciples , the apostles , and Paul . Though Paul said he did things he did not want to do , surely he was very much like Christ . Paul's quick temper when smited may have been a besetting sin he had to overcome . I doubt that Paul had not conquered much of his old man by the time he finished leading the Gentile church , or prior to it for that matter . The disciples must have done likewise . Or were those obedient and courageous faithful men merely spiritual whimps who used the excuses Mr. Merritt uses to prohibit Christians from reaching their full potential given them by the God who made them ? Billy Graham and Charles Stanley both said you can never be perfect . But that is what Jesus demands . Years ago I made blogs refuting their heresy . They are on the net under " David Jeremiah Blasphemy ", Jesus Says You Must Be Perfect , and , Sin No More . After so recently associating Joseph Prince with Alice Bailey because of her love for " Right Thinking " I could not help but associate Mr. " Right Connection " Merritt with her also .