Archive for September, 2018

Does Paul Being Called “Brother” Before He Was Baptized Prove He Was Saved Before He Was Baptized?

September 21, 2018

Some preachers make the argument that since Ananias calls the apostle Paul “brother” before he was baptized, then Paul must have been a brother in Christ before he was baptized. But Paul was called “brother” in Acts 9:17, not because he was a fellow Christian to Ananias, but because he was a fellow Jew to Ananias. Notice some similar examples:

· Romans 9:3 “brethren, kinsmen according to the flesh”

· Acts 3:17 Peter calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 13:26 Paul calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 22:1 Paul calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 2:29 Paul calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 23:1 Peter calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

If Paul was a “brother” in the sense of fellow Christian in Acts 9:17, then:

· Paul was a “Christian” before he called on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16), something everybody agrees is necessary to salvation.

· Paul was a “Christian” while he was still in his sins, because Acts 22:16 teaches he still needed to have his sins washed away.

Who can believe that ?

Anybody ought to be able to look at Acts 22:16 and see exactly when Paul’s sins were washed away!

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To Prove Debating Is Worthless, We Will Have To Cut These Verses Out Of Our Bible

September 12, 2018

Darrell Clark said on Facebook on 9-8-2018 – “Public debates solve nothing … public debates are worthless.” This kind of comment is typical of most Christians, and supports the fact that most Christians determine right and wrong by what they think is best or by what other Christians around them think, instead of by what God thinks as revealed by His scriptures. According to Darrell’s thinking, I guess Jesus and Paul wasted a lot of time debating. If we say religious debates are not approved of God, or do no good, or we just don’t like them, following are some of the verses we will have to cut out of our Bible:

· For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate Acts 18:28 NIV

· And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God Acts 19:8

· he (Paul) departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years Acts 19:9-10

· This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them Acts 15:2 NIV

· And after there had been much debate Acts 15:7 ESV

· he (Paul) … disputed against the Grecians Acts 9:29

· Then there arose certain of the synagogue … disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake Acts 6:9-10

· Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him Acts 17:17

· A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him (Paul) Acts 17:18 NIV

· And he came to Ephesus, and there he left them; and he went into the synagogue, and disputed with Jews Acts 18:19 (Wycliffe)

· I am set for the defence of the gospel Philippians 1:17

· that ye should earnestly contend for the faith Jude 3

· Debate thy cause with thy neighbour Proverbs 25:9

· They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them Proverbs 28:4

· One of the teachers of the law came and heard them (Jesus) debating Mark 12:28 NIV

How Should We Teach Those In Religious Error?

September 5, 2018

When we have a chance to have a face-to-face meeting with a person in religious error (such as a denominational person or fallen away Christian), we have a good illustration of how we should proceed in Acts 18:24-26. Here is that text in the NKJV – “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Notice Apollos was a religious man, but in error, so Aquila and Pricilla “explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

So there is nothing wrong with doing exactly that whenever we have opportunity. When a person is in error, it is our duty to warn them of such error (Ezek 3:18, Acts 20:31, James 5:19-20). As II Cor 5:11 puts it – “knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”

It is a very, very good thing to read the Bible, but later Apollos’ teaching was not just reading the scriptures; instead it was “shewing by the scriptures” (Acts 18:28). In Acts 28:23, Paul didn’t just read out of the law and the prophets; instead he was “persuading out of the law … and … the prophets.” And in Acts 17:2-3, Paul didn’t just read the scriptures; instead he “reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”

It is every Christian’s responsibility to get out and try to reach the lost (Acts 8:4, Matt 28:19). Don’t let anybody convince you that how Aquilla, Priscilla, Apollos, and Paul did just that is a bad method. When someone is off doctrinally, there is nothing wrong with directly confronting their error (in a kind way), as Paul did with Peter in Gal 2:14, and as Jesus did on many occasions with those in religious error in His day (e.g., Matt 23).