Archive for August, 2013

I Peter 3:21 Says Baptism Saves Us

August 30, 2013

I Peter 3:20-21 reads “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (NASV)

According to this passage, the physical salvation of eight souls through the waters of the flood prefigures our spiritual salvation at water baptism. This type and antitype have two things in common:

· both involve water

· both involve salvation (the 1st is physical salvation, the 2nd is spiritual salvation)

This is not saying baptism procures/earns our salvation, but that baptism is a condition we must meet in order to receive the salvation provided for by the death of Christ.

Conclusion: Many say water baptism has nothing to do with our salvation. This verse says “baptism doth also now save us.” Don’t you see a significant difference?

Two Gospel Meeting Preachers

August 23, 2013

Two Christian men each traveled to preach a gospel meeting for a congregation of Christ a few hours away.

The first preacher limited his preaching to the truths the congregation already believed, not thinking it was his job to touch on brotherhood issues. Instead he did a great job of encouraging the congregation to continue to practice all the truths they already embraced. The second preacher likewise did a good job of encouraging the congregation to continue to practice the truths they already accepted, but he also understood it was his duty to warn (Ezekiel 3:18) the congregation of their sin, to expound unto them the “way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:26) in areas they needed it.

The first preacher did a great job of preaching how Christians should love their fellow man, and the brethren ate it up. They fell in love with that preacher. The second preacher likewise did a good job of preaching how Christians should love their fellow man, but he also demonstrated great love for the members of the congregation by preaching “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), not just the parts they already agreed with, even at the risk of some getting perturbed at him. He truly loved the souls of his brethren so he wasn’t about to leave there without discussing areas where he thought their doctrinal knowledge was off.

The first preacher was immediately signed up to come again the same time next year (II Timothy 4:3). The second preacher was never invited back, but left having learned more of the truth than ever before, because of in-depth Bible discussions with members prompted by the topics he had covered in his sermons during the week.

Matthew 5:33-37 Condemns All Swearing

August 17, 2013

Jesus taught in Matthew 5:33-37 that it was okay to swear under Old Testament law (as long as you performed your oaths), but that today we should never swear. It is a good example of how God’s law has changed on a particular.

“You shall not swear falsely” in verse 33 (NKJV) is a quote of “ye shall not swear by my name falsely” in Leviticus 19:12. Note the consistent Old Testament teaching on this point:

· Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

· Psalms 15:1,4b Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? … He that sweareth to his own hurt (detriment, ptd), and changeth not.

· Deuteronomy 6:13, 10:20, 23:21-23, Ecclesiastes 5:4

Matthew 5:33 could not be a false interpretation of the old law by the Pharisees, as it unequivocally condemns their very practice (as described by Matthew 23:16-22).

The essential ingredient in swearing that Jesus condemns here is adding a guarantee to your word – implying you are more likely to tell the truth than without that guarantee (Matthew 5:37b). A Christian whose word can be trusted shouldn’t need to add a guarantee, and when he does, that cast doubt on what he says when he doesn’t add that guarantee.

What is Jesus saying here in this text? The Old Testament taught you could swear, but you had better do what you swore you would do. The New Testament stricter teaching is – you shouldn’t ever swear to begin with (“Swear not AT ALL”), not even in a court of law. Instead, just let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay.

Should Mark 16:16 Not Be In The Bible ?

August 9, 2013

Because Mark 16:16 teaches so clearly that baptism is necessary to salvation, many say Mark 16:9-20 is not in two of the three oldest manuscripts (Sinaitic and Vatican), so Mark 16:16 shouldn’t be part of the Bible, and therefore cannot be used as proof that baptism is necessary to salvation.

I don’t believe that for one minute!:

● The passage in question is in one of these three oldest manuscripts (the Washington).

● It is quoted by men such as Irenaeus and Hippolytus two to three centuries before these oldest manuscripts were written.

● There were at least ten translations done before these oldest manuscripts were written, all of which contain the passage in question.

● The Vatican manuscript ends at Hebrews 9:14. Do these naysayers reject this whole section of scripture also?

I Peter 1:25 says “the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” God does take care of his word.

I Corinthians 4:4 And Sins Committed Through Ignorance

August 2, 2013

Almost all denominational believers and even many brethren believe that as long as we are sincere we don’t have to worry about the sins we may commit due to incomplete Bible knowledge (sins of ignorance). This is commonly called the “continual cleansing” view. But notice something Paul said in I Corinthians 4:4 – “I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me” (RSV). If one of the greatest Christians of all time wasn’t assured of personal justification just because he didn’t know of anything he had done wrong, then surely the same would be true of the rest of us. Conclusion: It is required that Christians must repent of and confess any and all sins to be forgiven of them (Acts 8:22, I John 1:9).