Archive for March, 2017

What Does I Cor 12:13 Mean When It Says “All … Have Been … Made To Drink Into One Spirit”?

March 31, 2017

I Corinthians 12:13 reads “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been ALL made to drink into one Spirit.”

This verse considers three different things all involving the “one” concept:

1. by (through the teaching of) one Spirit

2. are we all (water) baptized into one body

3. and have been all made to drink into one Spirit

#3 is not the same as #1

Consider the third clause further. In the phrase “drink into one Spirit”:

• “drink” is a metaphor (like “pour” in “it is pouring rain outside”) meaning to partake of or receive

• “Spirit” is the literal Holy Spirit

Conclusion: All those who have been baptized, all Christians, have received the Holy Spirit – when they were baptized into the body/church (Acts 2:38). If you have been baptized scripturally, then you should thank God for this wonderful gift.

Does God Love Everybody Or Just Those Who Love Him?

March 23, 2017

The answer to that question is yes. The scriptures teach that God loves everybody, but the scriptures also say He loves those that love Him.

God loves everybody in the sense that He wants what’s best for them, especially regarding their spiritual welfare. He loves everybody so much He was willing to send His son to die on the cross so that everybody has the opportunity to be saved from their sins. The most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, teaches that. II Pet 3:9 teaches the same when it says God “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” That’s everybody.

But God only loves those who love him – in the sense that He only saves those who love Him. Following is a sampling of the passages that teach such:

Prov 8:17 – “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

John 14:21 – “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

John 14:23 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

So only if we love God, will God love us in the sense that He fellowships us and gives us eternal life. And loving God is defined by John 14:21 above as keeping God’s commandments. Are you keeping God’s commandments? You must if you want God to save you from your sins.

“Calling On The Name Of The Lord” – What Does It Mean?

March 15, 2017

“Calling on the name of the Lord” was not equal to prayer in Saul’s case. Saul prayed as a believer in Acts 9:11 (“for behold he prayeth”) but he didn’t call on the name of the Lord until Acts 22:16.

“Calling on the name of the Lord” is equated with:

· repenting and being baptized for the remission of sins Acts 2:21 / 38

· being baptized Acts 22:16

· obeying the gospel Romans 10:13 / 16

Some definitions for the phrase “call on the name of”:

· call on or upon, a. to require; appeal to: They called on him to represent them – The Random House College Dictionary

· to appeal to one, make appeal unto – Thayer

God grants us salvation when we comply with such conditions as He has specified. We “call on the name of the Lord” by meeting those conditions (similar to how we make an appeal to God in I Peter 3:21 by being baptized). In meeting His conditions of salvation, we appeal to (call on) God for the salvation He has promised.

Have you “called on the name of the Lord” to be saved?

We Choose To Be Saved Or Not

March 10, 2017

The Calvinist view of predestination is that one is either of the elect or not; he has no choice. But the following passages prove we do indeed have such a choice ..

Josh 24:15 if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served … on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Psalms 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth …

Isaiah 66:4, 65:12 I also will choose their delusions, … they … did choose that wherein I delighted not. [the same word is used for God’s choice and for our choice]

Judges 5:8 They chose new gods …

The Calvinist position is that each and every person’s eternal destiny is unchangeably set. But these verses prove that for any particular person, his or her eternal destiny can go either way. It is his choice.

The Walls of Jericho by R.J. Evans

March 4, 2017

In Joshua 6:1-6, the Israelites were instructed by the Lord to march around the city of Jericho once each day for six days. The priests were told to bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark, and on the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times and when the priests blew the trumpets, all the people were to shout and the wall of the city would fall down flat. The remainder of chapter 6 tells of their obedience to God’s instructions, the wall falling, and the city being destroyed.

Marching around a city thirteen times in seven days, blowing trumpets and making a great shout — who ever heard of such a thing? The wall was of such considerable size that houses were built upon it (Josh. 2:15). How safe the inhabitants of Jericho must have felt. How easy it would have been for the soldiers and commanders on the walls to laugh and ridicule the marchers as they encompassed the city. But suddenly on the seventh day, there was an incredible event — the walls fell! (v. 20).

Now how did the walls fall? Was this some common military procedure that had been used successfully in the past? Absolutely not! “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30). Yes, it took great faith to carry out such an unusual command. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). It took faith in “things not seen” — “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

But there are skeptics who laugh and mock at the events recorded in Joshua 6. They say it is absurd to believe that the walls of Jericho fell down after the Israelites marched around them. However, let us consider the following portion of information taken from HALLEY’S BIBLE HANDBOOK, New Revised Edition, pp. 159-161: “Dr. John Garstang, director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and of the Department of Antiquities of the Palestine Government, excavated the ruins of Jericho in 1926-36. He found pottery and scarab evidence that the city had been destroyed about 1400 B.C., coinciding with Joshua’s date, and, in a number of details, dug up evidence confirming the Biblical account in a most remarkable way. ‘The wall fell down flat’ (20). Dr. Garstang found that the wall did actually ‘fall down flat.’”

There are many lessons learned from Jericho: (1) We learn that God’s ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). Man would have planned some scheme to allow a few to enter the city and open the gates or build mounds, use sling shots to pick the soldiers off the wall, use ladders, etc. (2) We learn the meaning of grace. “And the Lord said to Joshua: ‘See! I have given Jericho into you hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor’” (Josh. 6:2). Yes, it was a gift, but it involved active obedience. The same is true today — salvation is a gift from God (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8), yet there are certain conditions that must be met (Matt. 7:21; Jn. 6:29; Mk. 16:16; Lk. 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 5:9). (3) We learn the meaning of obedient faith (Heb. 11; Jas. 2:24). (4) We learn that God’s way will work no matter how foolish (in man’s eyes) it may seem (1 Cor. 1:18-31).

The Apostle Paul told the Romans that “whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). The Israelites placed their faith and trust in God when they marched around the city of Jericho. We place our faith and trust in God when we are baptized for the remission of our sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). When we faithfully obey the Lord we can hope for and enjoy the blessings and rewards He has promised (Matt. 6:33; Rev. 2:10).

Again, we emphasize — “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30).