Archive for January, 2013

Miraculous Gifts Have Ceased

January 24, 2013

I Corinthians 13:8-10 says the miraculous gifts would cease “when that which is perfect is come.” But what does “that which is perfect” refer to? Because the perfect is contrasted with the part in this context, the perfect would have to be of the same nature as the parts (just like a piece of cherry pie comes from a whole cherry pie). Because the parts in this context have to do with the “partial” revelation of God’s New Testament law (verses 8-9), the perfect of verse 10 would therefore refer to God’s complete revelation, that is, the completion of the New Testament. Since the New Testament was completely written and all put together within a couple of centuries or so of Jesus’ death, then the miraculous gifts ceased at that time.

Zechariah 13:2 teaches true prophets would “pass out of the land” of the Messiah’s rule “in that day.” But when is “that day”? Let’s examine the immediate context. Zechariah 13:1 declares “In that day there shall be a fountain opened … for sin and for uncleanness.” 9:9 pronounces “thy King cometh unto thee, … lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a… donkey.” 11:12-13 prophesies “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver … cast them to the potter.” 12:10 reads “… his only son … whom they have pierced.” 13:6 asks “What are these wounds in thine hands?” And 13:7 states “smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” As you know all of these statements refer to the time period of the first coming of Christ. So Zechariah 13 agrees with I Corinthians 13 that prophecy (and the other miraculous gifts) ceased during the first century timeframe, and do not still continue on today.

To listen to a public debate on this subject, go to http://www.bibledebates.info/DebatesAudio/MiraculousGifts-WeatherlyDonahueDebate19960810/index.htm

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I Peter 3:21 Illustrates How One Verse Does Not Tell Everything A Person Must Do To Be Saved

January 18, 2013

If John 3:16 proves all one must do to be saved is believe because it doesn’t mention any other conditions, then I Peter 3:21 would prove all one must do to be saved is be baptized in water since it doesn’t mention any other conditions. The verse reads “There is also an antitype which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). You will notice I Peter 3:21 only mentions baptism as saving us; it doesn’t mention any other condition. Does that mean baptism is the only condition necessary? Certainly not; many other passages make belief, love, and repentance necessary.

We should never take only one verse when trying to determine what a person must to do be saved from his sins. Matthew 4:4 would teach us to take everything God has to say on this and every other topic. Passages like John 3:16 are not saying that faith in Jesus is the only condition of salvation; instead, they are saying that faith in Jesus is a necessary condition. Jesus said “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16a).

Acts 11:18 Illustrates How One Verse Does Not Tell Everything A Person Must Do To Be Saved

January 14, 2013

Continuing our study of why passages like John 3:16 don’t prove salvation is by faith only, we notice Acts 11:18b which reads “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18 obviously makes repentance necessary to salvation, but does the fact it mentions no other conditions prove repentance is the only thing necessary, to the exclusion of belief and etc.? Obviously not, or that would mean a person could be repentant of his sins and be saved even if he never believed on Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Other passages (such as John 3:16) teach a person must believe in order to be saved, and when you allow other passages to be considered, you find other conditions that must be met as well. One such necessary condition and passage is water baptism in I Peter 3:21 which we hope to deal with in our next message.

We learn from Luke 18:18 the rich young ruler was a “ruler” while we learn from Matthew 19:20 that he was “young.” Only by taking all the accounts do we get the complete picture. It is the same with determining what God’s conditions of salvation are.

All We Have To Do To Be Saved Is Forgive Others ?

January 9, 2013

A week or two ago we pointed out that if a verse stating only one condition in regards to salvation proves that is the only condition necessary, then John 5:24 would prove that a person can be saved without believing in Jesus because John 5:24 only mentions believing in God the Father in regards to salvation and doesn’t mention believing in Jesus. Another verse we can make the same point from is Matthew 6:14 which reads “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” This verse doesn’t mention anything about believing in Jesus or repenting of sins in order to be forgiven; it just mentions being willing to forgive others. Does that mean we don’t have to believe in Jesus (John 3:16) or repent of our sins (Acts 2:38) in order to be saved? Put another way, does that mean a practicing homosexual atheist can be saved? The obvious and scriptural answer is no, we must take all of what God says on the subject (Matthew 4:4), not just pick out one verse to the exclusion of all others. And when we do that, not only do we pick up belief and repentance as necessary conditions to initial salvation, we also pick up water baptism:

· Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

· Acts 22:16 – And now why tarriest thou? arise , and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord

· I Peter 3:21 – The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

We can’t have it both ways. Either we have to accept all the conditions the New Testament places upon salvation, or all a sinner has to do to be saved is forgive others.

Baptist Reasoning Would Mean All You Have To Do To Be Saved Is Love Your Brother

January 4, 2013

I John 2:10 is another verse that illustrates how passages like John 3:16 do not prove belief in Jesus (to the exclusion of obedience) is all we need to do to be saved. I John 2:10a reads “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light”. Notice that if the fact that John 3:16 only mentions belief as a condition of salvation proves belief is the only condition necessary, then since I John 2:10 only mentions loving your brother as a condition of salvation (abiding in the light), it would prove all a person has to do to be saved is to love his brother. Many an atheist would be saved if this reasoning holds true. But since the Bible clearly teaches atheists will not be saved (Hebrews 11:6), we know this is not sound reasoning.

The only condition mentioned by I John 2:10 is loving one’s brother, but we learn from other verses (like John 3:16) that belief is also necessary and so an atheist will not be saved. And we learn from other verses (like Luke 13:3 – “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”) that repentance is also necessary and so an unrepentant homosexual believer will not be saved. And finally, we know from other verses (like Hebrews 5:9 – Jesus “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him”) that in addition to belief and repentance, obedience is also necessary to being saved by the death of Christ.

The sum of God’s word is the truth (Matthew 4:4). We must take all it says on this and every subject.

To read a written debate on if salvation is by “faith only” click on:

http://www.bibledebates.info/DebatesWritten/CockrellDonahue/index.htm