Could Jesus Have Sinned? – I Peter 2:21-22

July 14, 2017

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to sin, but consider I Pet 2:21-22 – “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”

Our text says Jesus’ perfect life is an example for us to try to follow. But how could He be our example in avoiding sin if it were impossible for Him to sin in the first place? To be our perfect example, Jesus must have faced real temptation to sin like we do (Heb 4:15), and overcome it. That should be our goal – to do the same thing as He did – face temptation and overcome it.

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Some People Never Say They’re Sorry

July 8, 2017

James 5:16 reads “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Unfortunately, some Christians obey that verse next to nothing. It is not that they never do anything wrong to hurt another person. It is more that they are insensitive to their own faults (Prov 16:12) and/or are not humble enough to admit wrong (Luke 18:14, Col 3:12, James 4:6, I Pet 5:5, etc.).

Similarly, some Christians never say “thank you” to others, but they ought to (Acts 24:3, Col 3:15).

Admitting wrong to others is very important (Matt 5:23-24), but confessing wrong to God is even more important. I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What About The Gay Church Argument That Old Testament Censures Against Homosexuality Are Not Binding Today?

June 30, 2017

First, I agree 100% that none of the Old Testament laws are binding today, including the prohibitions against homosexuality. But I would ask – does that mean sex with animals (condemned in the very next breath in the Lev 18:22-23 and 20:13-16) is not wrong?

With their argument, the Gay Church is admitting homosexuality was wrong under the Old Testament for Israelites. This then admits:

• Saying “I was born this way” is not a valid excuse. If any Israelites were “born homosexuals,” they would still have had to abstain. Of course Rom 1:26-27 proves nobody is born that way.

• God would have required Israelites with a homosexual “orientation” to go against their “nature.” This contradicts the Gay Church view that as long as you go with “your nature,” you are okay.

So really the Gay Church’s admission on the Leviticus passages proves wrong its position on the New Testament passages that do prohibit homosexuality today:

· Rom 1:24,26-27 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves … For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

· I Cor 6:9 – Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. Neither homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

· I Tim 1:9-10 – We also know this: The law was not made for a good man, but for people who are lawless, rebels, ungodly, sinners, unholy, not religious, father-killers, mother-killers, murderers, sexual sinners, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, and those who break promises. These and other things are against the healthy teaching as found in the glorious gospel of the blessed God which He trusted to me. (Simple English New Testament)

The Little Word “If” Proves Salvation Is Conditional

June 23, 2017

The word “if” means – “on condition that … a condition, requirement, or stipulation” (Random House College Dictionary)

Illustrations:

Bobby, if you eat your carrots, Mommy will let you have some ice cream.

If you finish your homework, you may go out and play.

If you take this medicine, it should make you feel better.

Now notice some verses that use the word “if” to show our salvation is conditional:

Matt 6:14-15 if ye forgive men their trespasses, your … Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Rom 10:9 if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

I Cor 15:1-2 … the gospel … By which also ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you

II Peter 1:10 … for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

Conclusion: Salvation/Election is “if” (conditional)

II Cor 5:21a – For He Hath Made Him To Be Sin For Us

June 16, 2017

II Corinthians 5:21a (“For he hath made him to be sin for us”) is saying the same thing as Isaiah 53:6c. God “made him to be sin for us” is the same as God “hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Suppose a Mob boss ordered a small potatoes underling to take the rap for a crime some more important mobsters did. The mobsters let off the hook could accurately say – “For the Boss hath made him to be dirty for us.” Wouldn’t that mean the low man on the totem-pole substituted for the big wigs, he took their penalty for them?

In a similar way, Jesus was “made … to be sin” means he was literally treated like a sinner by God:

· not in the sense that Jesus sinned or was made guilty of sin – not in any shape, form, or fashion – He was the most innocent lamb that ever lived

· we see this in Isaiah 53:5 – Jesus took our chastisement so we could have peace with God

· I like the way David Lipscomb put it on page 81 of his Gospel Advocate commentary on II Corinthians – “God had made Jesus who committed no sin to suffer as though he had sinned.”

Jesus made to be sin for us = took our sins in our place = Substitute

Where Were People Being Baptized Ever Told To Get Out Of Their Unscriptural Marriage?

June 9, 2017

Several times in debate I have been asked where the Bible ever tells those being baptized to get out of an unscriptural marriage? My response (in part) has gone something like this …

· Where were homosexuals ever told specifically to get out of that relationship when they were baptized (Rom 1:26-27)? Does that mean God allows them to continue to be a practicing homosexual even after they become a Christian?

· Where were thieves ever told specifically to quit stealing when they were baptized (Eph 4:28)?

· Where were polygamists ever told specifically to get out of their extra marriages when they were baptized (I Cor 7:2)?

It’s all right there in the important command to “repent” in Acts 2:38. When a person repents before he is baptized to become a Christian, he will quit being a homosexual, thief, polygamist, … and adulterer (Matt 19:9) – as the case may be.

I Cor 6:9-11 does show people got out of adulterous marriages when they were converted – “adulterers … and such were (past tense) some of you” – meaning they had quit being an adulterer when they obeyed the gospel. And Mark 6:17-18 shows in principle it is unlawful to stay in an unscriptural marriage. Read it in your Bible.

Salvation Passages – Taking Them From Where They Are

June 3, 2017

In answer to the question, “How do you get to Atlanta from here?,” someone from Birmingham would answer differently from his house than I would from my house in north Alabama. The question is correctly answered based upon where you are.

It sometimes happens this way in the Bible when a person is told what to do to be saved:

· In Acts 16:31, unbelievers were told to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” to be saved. (they were baptized 2 verses later)

· In Acts 2:38, believers were told to “repent, and be baptized” for the remission of sins.

· In Acts 22:16, a penitent believer was told to “be baptized” to get his sins washed away.

What should we conclude? That all conditions stated as necessary by God for salvation should be obeyed. They don’t all have to be in one verse.

We Ought To Say ‘If The Lord Will’

May 26, 2017

Instead of just assuming certain things will happen in the future, James 4:15 instructs that we “ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Notice this verse is talking about an “ought” (requirement), not just a suggestion. And the text says we ought to say, not just that we ought to think. There’s a difference you know.

Paul made a practice of doing this very thing – actually saying “if the Lord will” (Acts 18:21, I Cor 4:19, I Cor 16:7, Heb 6:3). We should follow those approved examples, shouldn’t we (Phil 4:9)? There’s more than just one New Testament approved example you know.

When the Oneness Pentecostals incorrectly insist in debate that we must orally pronounce a “baptismal formula” over the baptismal candidate that includes the word “Jesus” (so that “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is considered unscriptural), we respond that if they can find even one verse that tells us what the baptizer “said,” we will say and bind that. Aren’t we being disingenuous if we don’t follow through on that claim with James 4:15?

I think this would be like when our parents told us to say “You’re welcome” whenever someone said “Thank you” – they meant for it to be voiced, not just thought.  If God says we “ought to say” something, why don’t we teach we ought to say it?

If We Deny God, He Will Deny Us

May 19, 2017

II Timothy 2:12b says about God “if we deny Him, he also will deny us.” This verse absolutely and conclusively refutes the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine. A little grammar tells us that “we” and “us” include the writer and his audience. The “we” and “us” in this verse then most definitely includes Christians as Paul the apostle is the writer (II Tim 1:1) and Timothy the preacher (II Tim 1:2,4:2) is the one being written to. God will deny Christians (will not save them) if they deny Him.

Some might retort that a true Christian would never deny God, but why would Paul warn Christians against denying God if that were impossible?  Many scriptures show it is possible for a Christian to change his mind. Let’s take as one example Hebrews 3:1a,12 which reads “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling …Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” So it is very possible for a brother in Christ, one who has partaken of the heavenly calling (a true Christian), to change to become an unbeliever and depart from God.

Is short, it is possible for a Christian to deny God, and if he does, God will deny him. He forfeits his salvation (Matt 10:32-33). The Old Testament teaches the same in II Chron 15:2 – “If You Forsake Him, He Will Forsake You.”

If Mark 11:24 Doesn’t Mean “Faith Only” Then Why Would John 3:16?

May 11, 2017

Jesus said in Mark 11:24 “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Even though the only condition stated in the verse for receiving what you pray for is “believe” that your will receive them, nobody thinks that is the only condition for such.

We all know other passages state other conditions for our prayers being answered, for example:

· I Pet 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

· James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

· I John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

So if everybody can see Mark 11:24 doesn’t mean “believe only,” then everybody ought to also be able to see that passages like John 3:16 don’t mean “believe only.” Both Mark 11:24 and John 3:16 state a required condition (believe) for the benefit under consideration, but do not state all the required conditions. They are exactly the same in the respect we are talking about. We must take all the Bible says on both prayer and salvation to get a complete picture.