Archive for December, 2017

Could Jesus Have Sinned? Heb 2:17-18

December 28, 2017

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to sin since He was God, but that overlooks the fact that Jesus was also a man. Hebrews 2:17-18 reads “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Passages like this one affirm that Jesus became a man fully. It says Jesus was “made like unto his brethren” and goes on to say Jesus was tempted and is therefore able to “succour them that are tempted.” Since Jesus was made like us, and we can sin, then Jesus could sin also. And if Jesus really couldn’t sin, then He really can’t succour (empathize) with our struggle against sin, because Jesus never had to face the actual possibility of sin as we do.

To say Jesus couldn’t have sinned eliminates the greatest accomplishment in human history. This man Jesus lived his whole life without committing even one sin, even though he was tempted to the same extent we are.

Is It “Water Salvation” To Teach A Sinner Has To Be Baptized To Be Saved?

December 22, 2017

Regarding baptism, certainly the power is not in the water; it is in the blood/death of Christ.

The question is → When does the blood of Christ wash away sins, before or after (at) water baptism?

· II Kings 5:14 – Naaman “dipped himself seven times in Jordan” and was cleansed of his leprosy. Was the cleansing power in the water? No, the power was with God. But when was he cleansed of his leprosy, before or after he dipped seven times in the water?

· Numbers 21:4-9 – The Israelites who looked upon a brass serpent set on a pole were healed of their snake bites. Was the healing power in the brass? No, the power was with God. But when were they healed of the poison, before or after they looked upon the serpent?

It is the same with regard to water baptism and the washing away of sins. Acts 22:16 (“arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins”) clearly teaches that a person’s sins are not washed away (by the blood of Christ) until said person is baptized.

Is It Wrong To Teach Topical Bible Lessons?

December 14, 2017

It seems that some are emphasizing textual (expository) sermons so much these days, it’s almost like they think to preach a topical sermon would be wrong. But Isaiah 28:9-10 teaches us that a perfectly valid way of teaching “doctrine” is “precept must be upon precept, … line upon line, … here a little, and there a little.”

As a matter of fact, almost all of the lessons in the New Testament are topical. For example the most famous sermon in the Bible, Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount (Matt 5-7) touches upon a large variety of topics and Old Testament passages. Peter’s first gospel sermon in Acts 2 quotes extensively from at least three different Old Testament texts, but has a common theme/topic throughout – “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (I Cor 2:2). And just a casual reading of Stephen’s Acts 7 sermon informs us that it references many different Old Testament passages; it is about as far from a one text expository sermon as you can get.

I’ve heard some say topical preaching allows the preacher to avoid touchy subjects. That is true, but so does textual preaching. I once heard a sermon by a “textual only” type preacher on a text that mentioned fasting, but no comment was made concerning Christians fasting today. If a preacher is not intent on preaching “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), he is going to leave off tackling controversial/needed subjects whether he is preaching topical or textual sermons.

Do I think topical preaching is superior to expository preaching? No way Jose – Absolutely not! I think the long standing custom of using the Bible classes (“Sunday School”) for studying assigned texts of the scriptures, and using many of the worship services for topical sermons is a good tradition. That way we get a healthy diet of both types of teaching, with one method not unnecessarily emphasized over the other.

The main thing we need to remember is that it is our duty to “preach the word” (II Tim 4:2). As long as we do that, it doesn’t matter so much whether it is via topical or textual arrangement.

Could Jesus Have Sinned? – Heb 4:15

December 8, 2017

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to sin since He was God, but that overlooks the fact that Jesus was also man. Hebrews 4:15 reads “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

So Jesus was “tempted like as we are.” Not only does “tempted” here imply the possibility of sin, but the fact that Jesus was tempted “like as we are” underscores the fact that He could have sinned just as we can. If it were impossible for Jesus to sin, then He really wasn’t tempted “like as we are,” was He? Temptation without the possibility of sin would certainly be a facade, wouldn’t it?

To say Jesus couldn’t have sinned takes away the greatest accomplishment in human history. The man Jesus lived his whole life without committing even one sin, even though he was tempted to the same extent we are.