Archive for November, 2010

The Definition Of Sin Rules Out Inheriting Sin

November 29, 2010

Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines the Greek word translated "sin" as:

• a missing of the mark

• a sinful deed, an act of sin

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines "sin" as:

• to miss the mark

• to do or go wrong

• violate God’s law

• evil deed, … a bad action

• that which is done wrong

The Bible defines "sin" this way:

• sin is the transgression of the law – I John 3:4

• to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin – James 4:17

Sin is not something that can be inherited; it is something you do. It is a missing of the mark, a deed, an act, something you do, it is going wrong, a violation, an action, a transgression, leaving off something that should be done.

Sin is not a trait that can be inherited like blond hair. It is an action that we do. It makes about as much sense to say that we inherit "washing our hands" as it does to say we inherit sin. You can’t inherit the act of washing your hands.

God’s definition of sin ("the transgression of the law") rules out the idea of inheriting sin.

That Written and Engraven In Stones Was Done Away

November 24, 2010

II Corinthians chapter 3 provides us with a detailed contrast proving the ten commandment law is no longer binding today. Verse 7 says that “written and engraven in stones, was glorious,” while verse 11 says “that which is done away was glorious.” See the point? The thing identified as “was glorious” in this context is that which was written and engraven in stones (the ten commandments, Deuteronomy 4:13) and was done away.

Notice also the following terms which are applied to the ten commandments / “old testament” (verse 14) law by this chapter – “done away” in verse 7, “abolished” in verse 13, “done away in Christ” in verse 14, and “taken away” in verse 16. So II Corinthians 3 says at least 5 times the ten commandment law has passed from applicability. I urge you to read the contrast and see for yourself if that isn’t so.

Does this mean it is okay to kill and steal today since we are no longer obligated to the ten commandments? No, the text says the “new testament” (verse 6) still “remaineth” (verse 11), and the new testament law forbids us from killing and stealing. We are certainly under God’s law today, but it is the “law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) we are amenable to, not the law of God given through Moses which Jesus blotted out, took out of the way, and nailed to his cross (Colossians 2:14-17).

To listen to a fair debate on the "Is The Sabbath Still Binding?" question, go to:

Matthew 5:17-18 – Jesus Did Not Destroy The Law

November 19, 2010

Seventh Day Adventists like to use Matthew 5:17 to try to prove we are still under the Sabbath law today. Here is how the verse reads, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, … I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

First notice that if this passage teaches the old law is still binding today, it would include much more than just the 10 commandments; it would include every “jot or tittle” (verse 18) of the old law, even animal sacrifices for sin, and even the “least” old testament commandments (like circumcision, no cooking on the Sabbath, new moon observances, the Sabbath year, the year of jubilee, the Levitical priesthood, etc., etc.).

But that is not what the passage is saying either. Notice the next verse: “… Till heaven and earth pass (that is, ‘it is easier for heaven and earth to pass’ – Luke 16:17), one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

So verse 18 says the law would not pass until it was fulfilled, and verse 17 says Jesus came to fulfill it. That would mean (assuming that Jesus accomplished what he came to do) the old law did pass when Jesus fulfilled it.

And Jesus did fulfill the law when he completed his earthly mission. In John 19:30 Jesus said (just before he died) “it is finished.” And Luke 24:44 teaches that Jesus fulfilled the law, the prophets, and the psalms.

Compare to a union boss saying: “till heaven and earth pass, we will not go back to work till all our demands are met,” That implies they will go back to work when their demands are met, right? See the parallel to Matthew 5:17-18? So verse 18 teaches all of the law (every jot and tittle) did pass, when Jesus fulfilled it.

Should I have an appointment with the dentist, and announce to the receptionist, “I have come, not to destroy my appointment, but to fulfill it,” I would complete all the appointment called for. I would have fulfilled the appointment and not destroyed it. Would the appointment still be in force? No, it was fulfilled. So it was with Christ. When He fulfilled the law, the law passed. Matthew 5:17-18 says so!

We are no longer under the Old Testament as our law anymore. Instead today we are amenable to Jesus’ New Testament law.

Does Exodus 20:5 Teach Inherited Sin ?

November 13, 2010

Exodus 20:5 reads – I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me

This is not saying children suffer spiritual death because of the sins of their Fathers (that would contradict Ezekiel 18:20), but it is saying God sometimes punishes the one who sins by causing or allowing his descendants to suffer physical consequences because of their ancestor’s sin.

Somebody could sure punish me by torturing or killing one of my children. Other examples are:

• II Samuel 12:14 – David’s son died physically because of David’s sin with Bathsheba and against Uriah. Did David’s son also die spiritually because of his Father’s sin? No, David said he would see him again (verse 23), implying his son would be in heaven.

• I Samuel 28:18-19, 31:6 – Saul’s three sons (including Jonathon – 31:2) died physically because of Saul’s sin.

• II Samuel 21:1,5-6 After Saul’s death, there was famine and seven descendants of Saul were killed, because Saul slew the Gibeonites.

• II Chronicles 33, II Kings 24:3-4 After Manasseh’s death, God brings nations against Judah because of Manasseh’s sin.

Jesus’ Brazen Serpent Illustration Versus The Limited Atonement Theory

November 8, 2010

As we’ve mentioned in recent “Doctrine Matters” articles, Calvinists use human reasoning to try to prove that Jesus only died for the elect (the saved). They argue that if Jesus died for people who don’t end up being saved, then some of Jesus’ blood was wasted, and the atonement was ineffective. This may or may not be good human reasoning (I Corinthians 2:5), but it is not the same as having a Bible verse to back up the position (Acts 18:28). No such passage exists. If you think there is one, please present it – so we can examine it.

In John 3:14-15 Jesus used the story of the Israelites being healed of snake bites by looking at a brazen serpent on a pole (Numbers 21:4-9) to illustrate how his upcoming death on the cross would allow believers to be saved. The passage reads, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

This analogy of Jesus helps defeat the “Limited Atonement” position. Remember that God provided physical salvation from snake bite for all the Israelites, but the only ones to take advantage of it would be the ones who looked upon the brazen serpent. Do you see the point? God provided healing for more than those who took advantage of it. But nobody would argue this physical atonement was ineffective, would they? No, it accomplished everything that God intended. His desire was that physical healing be available to any and all who were willing to meet his condition. God’s “brazen serpent on a pole” atonement accomplished everything he intended for it to accomplish.

It is the same with the spiritual atonement. Jesus died so that all who want to be saved (those who meet his conditions – Mark 16:16) can and will be saved. This death accomplished everything God wanted accomplished. It was 100% effective.

To listen to a fair and friendly debate on the “Limited Atonement” theory, click here:

The Scriptures Are Our Guide by Bill Hall

November 3, 2010

Two different views exist as to how one comes to a knowledge of Gods will. The first view is that one comes to this knowledge by carefully reading and understand­ing the Scriptures; that Jesus promised His apostles that they would be led into all truth by the Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13); that they, along with other inspired men, wrote that truth in the Scriptures; that when we read what they wrote, we may “understand (their) knowledge in the mystery of Christ’ (Eph. 3:3,4); that the Scriptures, con­sequently, are an all-sufficient guide from earth to heaven.

The second view is that each child of God is led in some direct way by the Spirit in understanding God’s will. People are often heard to say, “God is leading me into this understanding,’ or “God is leading me in this way,’ and in saying this they mean that He is leading them through some direct guidance. While they do not disregard the Scriptures altogether, they feel that they are led in some additional way into an understanding of God’s will, applying John 14:26 and John 16:13 to every ”believer.”

This writer confesses to holding the first view and would ask those who hold to the second view the following questions:

(1) If, indeed, all believers are led directly into an understanding of God’s will, why was it necessary for the first converts to continue “sted­fastly in the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42)? Would they not have had the same understanding of God’s will as the apostles had?

(2) How do we explain the dif­ferences in doctrine and practice that exist among those who claim to be led into their understanding directly by the Lord? Differences abound among those who claim direct guidance, while the Scrip­tures teach only “one faith” (Ephesians4:4-6). Is the Lord really leading all these people into conflicting ideas? Is He the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33)?

(3) If you could accurately com­municate to me – either orally or in writing – this understanding into which you have been led, could I place as much confidence in it as I do in the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc? Could I continue stedfastly in your teaching as the early Christians did in the apostles’ teaching? If so, how would I know to continue stedfastly in your teaching rather than in the teaching of some person whose under­standing conflicts with yours? With all these conflicts, would we not have to go back to the Bible to know what was right? And wouldn’t that, in reality, take us to the first view stated in this article, which I already accept?

The truth is — the Scriptures are Gods divine truth (John 17:17). One can read and understand them (Eph. 3:3,4). They are all-sufficient as a guide from earth to heaven (2Tim. 3:16,17). They will provide the basis for our judgment in the last day (John 12:48). Read them care­fully and obey them in love.