Archive for February, 2010

We Can Understand God’s Word

February 27, 2010

Many say that God’s word (the Bible) is not understandable by the common man, or without miraculous help. This theory was first invented by the Catholics in order to keep people from questioning their clerics, and has continued to be propagated by denominationalism for centuries. Those who go along with this idea must not think much of God’s ability to communicate.

The following passages show that we can understand the scriptures by reading and studying them …

Ephesians 3:3-4 – How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge

Matthew 13:23 – he that … (is) … the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it

II Corinthians 1:13 – For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand … (NASV)

Why people don’t understand God’s word:

Matthew 13:15 – For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted …

Baptism Sermon by Donald Fox

February 25, 2010

The year was 1967 when I purchased a book titled “Sermons Delivered in Louisville, Kentucky, by J. W. McGarvey”. One sermon was simply titled, “Baptism” and it was preached on the evening of July 2, 1893 by brother McGarvey. As I started to read the introduction to the sermon a few remarks caught my eye such as, “Why another sermon on that old hacknied theme?” McGarvey then proceeded with an interesting suggestion. He stated, “If you want to investigate any question without bias of mind, it is a good thing to throw out of your mind by an effort of the imagination, all you know or ever have heard about it… I propose then, that before we begin reading we shall each one imagine that we have never heard the word “baptism” pronounced in our lives.” What an interesting approach to a study!

Brother McGarvey wanted all to see what the Bible said about this strange and unknown word baptism. His sermon continued, “Now we begin at the first chapter of Matthew, and after reading that long list of names, and that account of the birth of the Lord, and his childhood, in the third chapter the writer introduces John the Baptist; and in verses five and six we read thus:—“Then went out unto Jerusalem and all Judea, and the region round about the Jordan, and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” Why, there is a word I never saw before; I never heard of it. I wonder what it means—that these people were baptized by that man in the river Jordan.”

From that point on brother McGarvey went through the New Testament, stopping each time the word baptism, baptized, etc. was used. Thus, gleaming more and more information as the meaning of this word, allowing the Word of God to interpret and explaining the usage of baptism, baptized, etc.

Upon conclusion of this plain sermon all learned in part: (1) That much water was needed. (2) That people were immersed, buried in the water. (3) That sinners responded after preaching, desiring to be immersed, baptized. (Acts 2:14-41) (4) That sinners required belief in our Savior. (Acts 8:12) (5) Those sinners repented of their sins. (Acts 2:37-38) (6) They confessed that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 8:37) (7) All upon these straightforward acts of obedience were baptized. (Acts 2:38-41) (8) Upon baptism, the Word taught that they were then saved; their “sins washed away” and they were added to the church. (Acts 2:38-47; 22:16)

In a few closing remarks brother McGarvey said, “Can there possibly arise in the heart of any human being, when these things are considered, any repugnance to the ordinance? Any feeling of disrespect toward it? Any other feeling than a most profound reverence for it, and for the God and Saviour who appointed it? I am sure there can not.”

I had never read or heard of a more simplified and honest way to learn about a subject that has been beat up and debated throughout the centuries. How could anyone deny, reject this approach to the subject of baptism? I cannot think of a legitimate reason, can you?

Limited Atonement versus II Peter 2:1ff

February 23, 2010

II Peter 2:1ff reads …

1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in d‑a‑m‑n‑a‑b‑l‑e heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

4,9if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to h‑e‑l‑l, and delivered them into chains of darkness, … reserved unto judgment; …The Lord knoweth how to … reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.

These “false teachers” were "bought" by the Lord (Jesus, 1:16), that is, He died for them:

· I Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 bought with a price

· Revelation 5:9 redeemed us to God by thy blood (also Revelation 14:3 and 4)

· Matthew 20:28 to give his life a ransom for many

· Matthew 26:28 this is my blood … which is shed for many for the remission of sins

These “false teachers” became lost:

· bring in condemnable heresies, bring upon themselves swift destruction

· denying the Lord

· pernicious ways, covetousness, feigned words, make merchandise of you

· their condemnation (stronger word in KJV) slumbereth not

· reserved unto the day of judgment to be punished

· servants of corruption

Therefore Jesus’ atonement is not limited to the elect/saved !

Separating From Unlawful Spouses In The Book Of Ezra

February 21, 2010

The book of Ezra describes the Israelites taking foreign wives in violation of Deuteronomy 7:3-4. Ezra 10:11 shows they were required to “separate” from these unlawful wives. We read pretty much the same thing in Mark 6:18 when John the Baptist told Herod that his marriage to Herodias was “unlawful” (because Herodias was previously married to Philip). Though these cases were not under New Testament law, we do learn from these examples that when people today contract adulterous marriages violating passages like Matthew 19:9 and Romans 7:2-3, God expects them to get out of those unscriptural marriages. Wonder why most churches today are not enforcing this teaching?

Passages That Prove Obedience Is Necessary To Salvation, And Not Just Faith Alone

February 17, 2010

Psalms 106:3 “Blessed are they … that doeth righteousness at all times”

Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Fear God, and keep his commandments … is … whole duty of man"

Matthew 7:21 "he that doeth the will of my Father … shall enter into … heaven"

Luke 6:46 "why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

Luke 11:28 "blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it"

John 12:42-43 belief by itself is not enough

John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments"

John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me”

John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love …”

John 15:14 “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you”

Acts 10:34-35 "he that … worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him"

Romans 2:6 God “will render to every man according to his deeds”

II Corinthians 5:10 "every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad"

Philippians 2:12 "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"

II Thessalonians 1:8-9 "them that … obey not the gospel … shall be punished"

Hebrews 5:9 "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him"

Hebrews 11 saving faith includes obedience:

4 "By faith Abel offered"

7 "By faith Noah … moved with fear, prepared an ark"

8 "By faith Abraham … obeyed"

17 "By faith Abraham … offered up Isaac"

Hebrews 11:30 faith saves "after" it obeys

James 2:14-24-26 "by works a man is justified, and not by faith only"

I Peter 1:22 "ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth"

I John 2:4 "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar"

I John 2:17 "he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever"

Revelation 20:11-15 "they were judged every man according to their works"

Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”

Ezekiel 18:20 versus The “Original Sin” Doctrine

February 15, 2010

Ezekiel 18:20 reads The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

This verse asks and answers the question of the "Do we inherit original sin from Adam?" issue:

Does the son bear the iniquity of the father?

The following is God’s answer to that question:

v.19 When the son hath done that which is lawful & right, … he shall surely live

v.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die

v.20 son shall not bear the iniquity of the father

v.20 the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him

And so I don’t inherit the sin of my biological father (nor the sin of Adam), and neither did Seth inherit the sin of Adam.

God says "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father." The Calvinist and almost all denominations say just the opposite.

For Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen

February 13, 2010

Matthew 22:14 reads “For many are called, but few are chosen.” This shows there is a difference in number in those who are called, that is, those for whom Jesus died (many), and those who are chosen, that is, those who actually receive the benefits of that death (few).This contradicts the Calvinist position that all who are called are chosen.

This verse teaches there are some who are called (by the gospel – II Thessalonians 2:14, given the option) to accept salvation, but who are not chosen (do not accept salvation). That calling is empty if Jesus did not die for them. You can’t be given the opportunity to be saved unless Jesus died for you; else the invitation would be a lie.

This falsifies the "Limited Atonement" position!

Romans 10:13-15 And Calling On The Name Of The Lord

February 10, 2010

Romans 10:13-15 is another passage which proves clearly that salvation does not occur at the point of faith. It reads, "For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? …"

Notice that verse 13 requires one to "call upon the name of the Lord" to be saved. But notice what is said in verses 14-15. A person can’t call upon God unless they believe first (that should be obvious), and a person can’t believe on Jesus unless they have heard about Him first, and a person cannot hear without a preacher, and that requires the preacher to be sent. In chronological order then the sequence is first the preacher is sent. He preaches and the candidate hears. Then the candidate believes. And after believing, the candidate calls upon God. Only then is the candidate saved.

Do you get the bottom line on the issue referenced in the subject line of this message? Verse 13 says a sinner must "call upon the name of the Lord" to be saved, and verse 14 shows that a sinner can’t call upon the Lord for salvation until after he has believed. Salvation then comes after faith, not at the point of faith. It comes when a person calls upon God, which Acts 22:16 shows is when that person is baptized.

Limited Atonement versus I Corinthians 8:11

February 7, 2010

In a recent message we showed how Romans 14:15,23 proves that some for whom Christ died will be condemned. So the “Limited Atonement” Calvinism position is just not true.

I Corinthians 8:11 (“through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died”) teaches the same thing in the same way. From this verse we see it is possible for one for whom Christ died to “perish.” This word “perish” is from the Greek word – Strong’s #622 – which is also found in the following passages in bold):

· Matthew 10:28 fear him which is able to destroy both soul & body in h-e-l-l

· Matthew 18:11 come to save that which was lost.

· John 3:16 … that whosoever believeth in him should not perish

· II Thessalonians 2:10-12 unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved … That they all might be d-a-m-n-e-d

· II Peter 3:9 not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Notice I Corinthians 8:11 teaches that some for whom Christ died will perish spiritually. This contradicts the Calvinistic “Limited Atonement” position which says all for whom Christ died will be saved.

The Bible teaches Christ’s atonement is not limited to those that are saved, the elect !

Acts 22:16 and Calling On The Name of the Lord

February 5, 2010

Two of our recent posts proved from Acts 22:16 that Saul/Paul was not saved at the point of his faith (which occurred at least three days earlier) and that water baptism is necessary to the washing away of sins by the blood of Christ. Let’s continue our study of Acts 22:16.

"Calling on the name of the Lord" is required for salvation (Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13, etc.). Many assume this means to call upon God in prayer. But not necessarily; we can call upon (ask for) something to happen with an action. For example, a football team can call upon (ask) the scorekeeper to add 3 points to the scoreboard by kicking a field goal. My employer tells me repeatedly that the way to ask for my paycheck is to fill out my electronic timecard and sign it. In our Biblical case, an action is indeed how we call upon God to forgive us of our sins based upon the death/blood of Christ. Acts 22:16 inasmuch says so as it reads, "… arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Notice that the way Saul was to call on the Lord is by being baptized. Acts chapter 2 confirms the same thing. In verse 21, Peter tells his audience that "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." But Peter goes on to in verse 38 to detail what it means to call upon God for salvation – "Repent, and be baptized … for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." God has told us that if you want to be saved, you must believe and be baptized (Mark 16:16). So the way you call upon God to save you from your sins is by doing just that.