Archive for December, 2016

False Arguments For The Truth – Some Examples

December 30, 2016

Matt 23:8-10 and its context most definitely teaches it is wrong to elevate one above another in the Christian brotherhood. But it is a false argument for that truth to say “in the Bible the term ‘reverend’ is applied only to God.” Can you locate the instances where a form of that word is applied to others?

I’ve heard many say that everything the Holy Spirit does He does through the word, that God’s word is said to do everything the Holy Spirit is said to do. It is truth that God’s word is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16, 10:17) not the miraculous, but I find at least one thing the Bible says the Holy Spirit does for us that the word does not do. Can you find it?

Passages such as Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Gal 3:26-27, Col 2:11-13, and I Pet 3:21 most definitely teach water baptism is necessary to salvation. But it is a false argument for that truth to say baptism is always mentioned before salvation in passages where both are mentioned. Can you locate a text where salvation is mentioned before baptism?

Passages such as Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16 also teach water baptism is necessary to salvation. But it is a false argument for that truth to say “baptism is mentioned in all conversion accounts in the book of Acts.” I have found 18 conversion accounts in Acts where baptism is not mentioned. How many can you find by reading that book?

Many teach there are only five conditions of initial salvation – hear the gospel (Rom 10:13-17, etc.), believe in Jesus (John 3:16, etc.), repent of sin (Acts 2:38, etc.), confess Christ (Rom 10:9-10), and water baptism (I Pet 3:21, etc.). But if you do a thorough reading of the whole New Testament you will find several additional conditions. I challenge you to look for the others.

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What Does The Bible Mean When It Says Jesus “Bore” Our Sins?

December 23, 2016

I Peter 2:24 says about Jesus “Who … bare our sins in his own body on the tree”

Hebrews 9:28 reads “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many”

Isaiah 53 identifies for us the meaning of Jesus “bearing” our sins. Verse 12b (“he bare the sin of many”) and 11b (“he shall bear their iniquities”) is defined just 5 verses previous in 6c as “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

So Jesus bore our sins in the sense our sins were laid on him. Just like when a heavy load is “laid” on a pack mule, the mule “bears” or carries the pack. Except as regarding sin, we mean spiritually not physically.

The scapegoat of Leviticus 16 affords the same definition for “bearing sin”:

v.22 the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities

v.21all their sins,putting them upon the head of the goat

In our case, “bearing sin” means Jesus took responsibility for our sin – Lev 24:15-16:

… Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

Jesus took responsibility for our sins by taking our curse (Gal 3:13), our penalty (II Cor 5:21), our consequences (Matt 27:46), our punishment (Isa 53:5). Many are hesitant to give Him the glory for doing that!

What About All Those Hypotheticals?

December 16, 2016

No matter what questions, hypotheticals, or scenarios are raised, it is still going to be true that …

If a person teaches the commandments of men, his worship is vain (Matt 15:9).

If a person follows a false teacher, he will fall into the ditch, be lost (Matt 15:14).

If a person teaches a different gospel, then he will be spiritually accursed (Gal 1:6-9).

If a person violates God’s law in even one point, he is guilty of the whole thing (James 2:10).

If a person does not abide in the teaching of Christ, he does not have God (II John 9).

If a person worships differently than the way God instructs, God will be sorely displeased (Lev 10:1-2, John 4:24).

If a person adds to or subtracts from God’s word, his name will be taken out of the book of life (Rev 22:18-19, etc.).

If a person does not continue in Jesus’ word, he won’t be Jesus’ disciple (John 8:31).

If a person does not believe and practice the truth, he will not be set free from his sins (John 8:32).

Does It Matter How A Christian Lives?

December 9, 2016

Unfortunately you can’t tell some believers from unbelievers by looking at their lifestyle. It seems many only want to be a Christian on Sundays, and live like the world Monday through Saturday. This raises an important question: Does God care how we live? Does it matter how a Christian lives?

A passage like I Cor 6:9-10 would certainly indicate that it matters. It reads “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NKJV) Doesn’t that passage make it clear that if we are guilty of such sins, we won’t inherit the kingdom of God, we won’t be saved? And it was written to Christians.

Gal 5:19-21 says about the same thing – “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” So if a Christian commits the sins of adultery or fornication, or becomes a homosexual or a thief, he will not inherit the kingdom of God, he will not be saved.

This idea that a Christian can live any ole way he wants to and still be saved, sometimes called Once Saved Always Saved, is a popular notion. Sam Morris, the Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Stamford, Texas put it this way – “… a Christian’s sins do not condemn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul. … All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger …”

Notice how II Pet 2:20-22 refutes this Once Saved Always Saved position – “For if after they have escaped the pollutions (we’re talking about sin here, not smog) of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” So if a Christian falls back into the sins of the world, he is in a worse condition than if he had never become a Christian to begin with – he becomes lost of course.

One more text that especially shows how very careful we should be about how we live our lives. James 2:10 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” This text teaches that even if we are doing most things right, if there is just one sin we refuse to quit, to stop, we are guilty of the whole law. So God does not tolerate the practice of even one sin.

To hear this past Sunday’s Bible Crossfire SiriusXM radio program on this topic, go to:

http://www.bibledebates.info/BibleCrossfire/index.htm

Is The Bible Out Of Date?

December 3, 2016

Many today claim to believe in the Bible, but they say much of it is out of date. For example, I’ve heard some say that we ought to switch the elements of the Lord’s Supper to fried chicken and coke, even though Matt 26:26-29 clearly shows bread and fruit of the vine ought to be used. But they say fried chicken and coke would fit more in with our times.

However the Bible represents its instruction as being permanent. Psalms 33:11 says “The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” So God’s counsel is not just cultural in duration.

This same “Bible Is Out Of Date” reasoning is what the gay church uses to justify gay marriage. Notice one of their quotes – “These are just a few of the biblical views that are totally different from the way we see things today. Become familiar with the cultural setting of the Bible.”

However the Bible teaches that not only is homosexuality a sin; it is unnatural. Rom 1:26-27 says “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 recompence of their error which was meet.” Whether something is natural or not doesn’t change.

Isn’t the justification for women preachers done the same way? The rationalization goes something like this – “Yes, we know women preachers were condemned in the New Testament, but the culture was different back then; times have changed; it is okay to have women preachers today to be in accord with the norms of our society.” I Tim 2:11-12 is one of the passages that condemns women preachers. It reads “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Notice the next verse gives the reason for the instruction as “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” Since the prohibition against women preachers is based upon creation, and the creation doesn’t change, then neither does God’s instruction against women preachers.

On a related topic, hasn’t the Bible’s instruction about wives being in subjection to their husbands come under fire lately because of the women’s liberation movement? Texts like Eph 5:22 tell us God’s requirement on this – “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” If we don’t have the right to change the Lord’s Supper to fried chicken and coke, why would we have the right to change the teaching of Eph 5:22?

Perhaps the most egregious illustration of believers thinking the Bible is not relevant to today’s society is the subject of modest dress. I Tim 2:9 reads “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety …” Knowing what the Bible says about modest dress, and what it says about lusting after the opposite sex in Matt 5:28, why would any Christian young lady want to go to the beach in a bikini? But many of them do. Evidently they think what the Bible teaches on this matter is out of date.

Jeremiah 6:16 says “ … Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls …” That verse makes no sense if God’s way continually changes with custom. The question is – do we really love God enough to obey his commandments (John 14:15) even when it makes us different than those around us?