Archive for December, 2019

Religious MYTHS attributed to the Holy Spirit by Andrew Richardson

December 26, 2019

1. The Spirit communicates information via feelings, intuitions. FALSE. No scripture demonstrates such. Never did this happen in the Bible. The Spirit imparted truth through words of human language (1 Cor. 2:10-13). This is inspiration.

2. The Spirit causes uncontrollable movements, speaking, conduct, and experiences. FALSE. In 1 Cor. 14, in the context of congregation members being endowed with the Holy Spirit, Paul says, “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (v. 32). Meaning, the prophets have control of themselves when speaking in tongues and can remain silent as commandments. No falling on the floor and shaking in the Bible (“slaying in the Spirit”).

3. The Spirit supernaturally opens our understanding of the scriptures. FALSE. The Bible teaches that the Spirit gives understanding (of divine truth) through His word (the word of God). John 6:63. 1 Thes. 2:13; Eph. 3:3-5.

Eph 3:3-4 – The Bible Needs No “Interpretation”

December 24, 2019

A lot of theologians act like they think the Bible is written in some kind of code, and so the average Joe cannot understand it without their help.  So there has become a “science of interpretation” (“hermeneutics”).  Most of the Bible needs no interpretation. Instead we can just read it and understand it the same way you would read and understand a letter from your Mother. You don’t have to interpret your Mom’s letters do you? We see this from Eph 3:3-4 which reads “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).”

It is true a few books (cases in point Revelation and Daniel) might need some interpretation because they are highly figurative / written in symbols (Rev 1:1), but most all the other New Testament books (our law for today) are not like that. They are personal letters such as we’ve already mentioned, or books of history. The main thing is not to let the so-called “spiritual elite” scare you away from studying the Bible for yourself. We can understand it as well and as easily as they can.

What Does “Propitiation” in Rom 3:25 Mean?

December 19, 2019 defines “propitiation” as “by which it becomes consistent with his character … to pardon … the sinner.” Let me illustrate the concept being described. Suppose I were to tell my son over and over that I was going to spank him if he did such and such, but said child kept doing such over and over and I never spanked him. Instead I just kept “letting him off the hook.” Would you have any respect for me as a Father? Though my son would probably be glad to get out of a spanking, I doubt he would respect me either.

Similarly God has said “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23), but if He pardons us so that we don’t have to die for our sin, if He lets us off the hook so to speak, how can we respect God? The question boils down to this: How is it consistent for God to forgive us of our sins and still remain just? Romans 3:23-26 provides the answer, and bears out our earlier definition. God remains “consistent with his character” even as He does “pardon the sinner”  (let us off the hook), because Jesus is taking the due penalty for us.

We see this in Rom 3:24-25. When Jesus redeemed us thru His death, that very act did “declare His righteousness” for the “remission of sins that are past,” that is, all of the times he forgave Old Testament saints in their day. God was declared righteous in forgiving sins for centuries past by Jesus’ death which paid for those sins. We see the same in verse 26. Jesus’ shed blood enables God to be the “justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” and at the same time remain “just.” He doesn’t just let us off the hook with no one paying the consequences. Jesus paid the price for all so anyone choosing to be an obedient believer (verse 26, II Thess 1:8) can be “let off the hook.”

We need to very thankful for what Jesus has done for us, don’t we? And serve him accordingly out of that appreciation.

Does Eph 2:8-9 Prove Baptism Is Not Necessary To Salvation?

December 12, 2019

Ephesians 2:8-9 reads “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Many say that means we don’t have to be baptized to be saved.

What Eph 2:8-9 is really teaching is that we cannot earn our salvation by our works (something a man could boast about). The basis for salvation is Christ’s death/blood – not our obedience, not even our faith. But Eph 2:8-9 is most certainly not ruling out obedience as a condition to salvation (Heb 5:9, Matt 7:21, etc.). That would also rule out faith itself as a condition (John 6:29).

Illustration: The “Walls Of Jericho” fell by grace (Josh 6:2) through faith (Heb 11:30) not of works (Josh 24:13) – but that didn’t mean the Israelites didn’t have to do anything for those walls to fall. They had to meet conditions – walk thirteen times around the city, right? See the parallel to Eph 2:8-9 and our salvation?

Actually being baptized is admitting we can’t be saved on the basis of our works. Baptism is really an act asking God for his grace, forgiveness (Acts 2:38), and mercy.

Do Not Confuse “Literal” With “Physical” In Bible Study

December 5, 2019

To help us to see that “literal” does necessarily mean “physical” in Bible study, following are some definitions from with my Bible examples …

literal – in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical

John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

The word “dove” here is used literally. A timid person could be called a “dove” but that would be a figurative use of the word.

figure – representing by a figure or emblem; emblematic

John 2:19,21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. … But he spake of the temple of his body.

The word “temple” is used figuratively to represent Jesus body.

spiritual – of or relating to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature

Matt 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Jesus literally forgave the man’s sins, but that is not a physical thing; it is an non-material idea/concept that happens in the mind of God.

physical – of or relating to that which is material

Matt 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

The man was physically sick, not sick spiritually. Perhaps I Cor 11:30 is an example of someone who is sick spiritually.

The word “literal” is the opposite of “figurative” and “spiritual” is the opposite of “physical.” Just because something is not physical/material does not mean we can’t talk about it literally.