Posts by Jim Elliff

Posts by Jim Elliff

Why Do Some Pastors Deliberately Avoid Teaching Their Church Doctrine?

I have been involved in leading churches for four decades, with an emphasis on church planting in the last few years. I’ve also visited and addressed hundreds of churches around the world and have had the privilege of meeting thousands of Christian leaders. Through this time I’ve watched an unintentional doctrinal imprecision on the part of many pastors become intentional. In other words, I have witnessed a new “conventional wisdom” emerge. Simply stated it is the “wisdom” of attempting to…

A Letter from Jim | January 2018

Dear CCW family, I hope you will take some time to look over the collage of photos in this letter. We can’t begin to show even one photo from each of our ministry experiences this last year, but we wanted you to see some. What a year!  Our team spoke hundreds of times in the US and several venues overseas, such as Canada, India, South Africa, Zambia, Colombia (2x), Ethiopia, and Peru. Now we are working on 2018, filling in…

Culture is the Backdrop for the Real Story

Christians, God is infinitely more concerned about the heart, faith, behavior and unity of true believers in our country than the politics, economics, social trends, racial tensions, sexual downgrade, and international relations of the country. But that does not mean these things have no meaning or present no concern at all. We learn about this priority of God for the true church above culture from examining the emphasis of the New Testament during the time when Christianity was not conjoined…

Rebuilding Our Churches with Bible Reading

I’m no prophet, but I believe we may soon see a swelling interest in reading the Bible both together & alone that could rebuild our faltering churches, and improve the good ones. My information is purely anecdotal but substantial. I’m certainly not the only one seeing this tremendous need and trying to do something about it. Perhaps God will use each of us who care about this to repair the crumbling base in these slanderous, corrupt and morally compromised days.…

We Must Live With This

“Let anyone who has no love for the Lord be accursed.” (1 Cor 16:22, NET) This verse seems to dangle there with no immediately apparent connection to what precedes it or follows. Paul placed this thought in the very last handful of sentences in the first letter to the Corinthians. He’s given the readers some final punctuated reminders to end up his long epistle. It has a strength there, even if all alone. But maybe it’s not totally alone. It’s…

A Letter From Jim | December 2017

Dear CCW Family, Please take a good look above. This is our main CCW “communicators” team — Jim Elliff (and Pam with Laura. Benjamin and Bryan not pictured), Steve Burchett (and Patty with Katie, Luke and Lilly), Kole Farney (and Rachel with Karter and Russell) and Bryan Elliff (and Joey with Lucas and Zion). Behind these there are several other workers and board members who help us to do our work in strategic ways. Thanks for praying for us, encouraging…

What Does it Mean to Believe in Christ?

To believe in Christ is to whole-heartedly, with mind and life, buy into the supreme value and status of Christ along with the system of truth and way of life He represents. Trust, or faith in Him, who has alone done what is necessary for our forgiveness and complete salvation now and forever, is a main tenet of that system. If a person says he believes in Christ, yet does not demonstrate that he has bought in fully through his…

Seeking Assurance?

The “security of the believer” is the unchanging objective reality that God has forgiven us and has accepted us through Jesus Christ forever. The “assurance of the believer” is the sometimes shifting subjective confidence that God has forgiven us and has accepted us through Jesus Christ. Do you have assurance? And do you have good reason to have it? Faith is assurance, true, yet the faith of real believers is sometimes weak allowing doubts for a variety of reasons. An…

Tolerance Trouble

The Corinthian church boasted about its tolerance of the incestuous man who was permitted to retain membership and acceptance within the Corinthian church. They were congratulating themselves for such open-mindedness when they should have been weeping. Their tolerance was beyond even what Roman law allowed. “We should note that under Roman law both this man and his stepmother would be sentenced to exile on an island, his possessions would be confiscated, and his social status would be repealed.” (Schnabel: Paul…

Missionary or Missionary Worker?

Missionaries must have other workers, long and short term, to assist. Many of these will naturally come from among those who show promise as converts through the missionary’s efforts. Paul, though perhaps exceptional in his management skills, had 38 whose names appear as likely assistants at various times. He was always traveling and laboring with a coterie of faithful helpers. There could have been even more! Some of Paul’s workers were women (18%, according to Schnabel, p. 251), although no…

He’ll Stand

The following words by Paul the Apostle make for tangible peace between sincerely conscientious Christians who differ in convictions: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4). A true believer will ultimately stand justified before God, regardless of differences in those matters about which God has chosen to give no definitive command. In such areas we…

Law Confusion

It is an often repeated mistake for Bible readers to assume that “the works of the Law” means any good work or act of obedience to God. However, Paul appears to mean by this term in his first century context “the externalities of the Mosaic Law”. If someone said, “You have to be circumcised to be saved, and obey Old Covenant separation laws, feast days and dietary restrictions” he would be talking about what hopeful Gentile converts in the first…