Archive for October, 2021

False Arguments Made For The Truth That Christians Must Worship On The First Day Of The Week

October 28, 2021

For sure “Christians are no longer required to keep the Law of Moses” (Heb 7:12, Gal 3:24-25), and we should worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7, I Cor 16:1-2). The Sabbath law is no longer binding (Col 2:14-17, etc.).

But the Bible never says (teaches) the following three statements (by Sean Cavender, Grow Magazine, Oct 2021) …

The ‘Lord’s Day’ (Revelation 1:10)” is “the first day of the week” – The Bible does not tell us when the Lord’s Day is. We don’t even know that it was a weekly occurrence.

The primary REASON the first day of the week became the day on which local churches assembled to worship and observe the Lord’s Supper was because it was the day the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead” – God never gives that as a reason, and one could just as strongly argue we must worship on Friday because it was the day the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

A … REASON the first day of the week became the day of worship was that the apostles first proclaimed the gospel on the first day of the week, and the church was established on that day” – Those two facts are true but the Bible never says either of the two facts is why we worship on the first day.

Actually the reason for first day worship is because God wanted it that way and so He thus instructed.

When a Christian really knows he can conclusively establish a point of truth from the Bible, he doesn’t feel the need to make unsubstantial/speculative arguments for that truth.  Regarding such type arguments my good friend and brother Carroll Sutton used to say something like “that may be so, that may not be so; the bible doesn’t really tell us one way or the other.”  In the late 1980s a preacher told me we had to keep the 7th day Sabbath today because there were 7 churches written to in Rev 2-3.  My point?:  Whenever we make an argument based upon what may or may not be coincidence, we are making an unsound argument.

Can A Brother Perish?

October 21, 2021

There are many passages that clearly teach a child of God can fall from grace (e.g., Galatians 5:4). However, many try to get around this truth by saying one of two things about every passage that teaches it.

About some passages the argument is made the person involved had never been truly born again. Other passages are passed off with the comment that the passage in question is just teaching the unfaithful Christian will lose some of his heavenly reward, not that he will actually be lost. But without fail, the passages in question are teaching a person, once saved, will be lost if he doesn’t live faithfully unto God (Rev 2:10).

Those who get around the Bible’s teaching in this way need to deal with I Corinthians 8:11. The passage reads, “And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?” There can be no doubt this passage is talking about a brother; it says “brother.” Likewise there shouldn’t be any doubt about what is to happen to the brother according to this passage. Does “perish” sound like to you the brother is going to go to heaven but just not have as much reward as others in heaven?  Or does it sound like he is going to be lost? (see “perish” in John 3:16)  The last phrase of the verse reads “for whom Christ died.” Paul’s point here is Christ provided the opportunity for this man to be saved by dying on the cross, but that opportunity is going to be wasted by this man. If this man were still going to heaven, then Christ’s death would still be everlastingly beneficial to the man, and there would no point to Paul saying, “for whom Christ died.” Contrary to Calvinistic opinion, a person for whom Christ died can be lost (Jesus died for all, not just the elect) – that is, if you believe I Corinthians 8:11.

The Bible teaches in many places a person, once saved, can “fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). I Corinthians 8:11 is one of those places. It is talking about a “brother” and it says that brother will “perish.” Yes, the Bible shows a brother in Christ can perish.

Death To Sin in Romans 6 Is Referring To Our Repentance Not Baptism Per Se

October 14, 2021

In Romans 6 we find the phrase “dead to sin” in verse 2 and 11. Based upon the fact that the context talks about baptism, I hear some teach baptism is when one dies to sin, that if one has not been baptized, they have not died to sin. But I don’t think that is actually Paul’s point. Let’s discuss what is really being said …

Death involves a separation. Physical death is the separation of body from our spirit (James 2:26) – when a person dies, his spirit leaves his body; all that’s left is a big ole hunk of flesh. Spiritual death is the separation of our spirit from God (Gen 2:17, Isa 59:2, Rom 6:23) – when we sin we die spiritually, because our sin separates us from God. Separation is involved in both cases.

So likewise our phrase under consideration “dead to sin” would involve a separation – separation from sin. And that does happen at baptism in the sense that our sins are forgiven at baptism (Acts 22:16), that is, we are separated from the spiritual consequences from our sins at baptism. That is what God does for us when we become a Christian, but there is another sense in which we (not God) must separate ourselves from sin. And that is when we decide to quite serving sin and start serving righteousness (Rom 6:17-18). That is called repentance (Ezek 18:21), and that is what “dead to sin” in Romans 6 is referring to. That is not baptism per se, but the repentance that should immediately precede baptism.

Acts 2:38 says one must “repent, and be baptized … for the remission of sins.” So it is true we are separated from sin at baptism in the sense of being forgiven of them, but we also decide to separate ourselves from committing sin when we repent of our sins in conjunction with our baptism. And the context shows the latter is what Paul has in mind by the phrase “dead to sin” in Romans 6. Let me elaborate.

Paul does teach one is forgiven of their sins at baptism in Rom 6:3, but the death to sin of the context is not talking about forgiveness at baptism, but the decision to quit serving sin by the one being baptized. Notice the phrases “walk in newness of life” (4), “old man is crucified with him” (6), “that henceforth we should not serve sin” (6), “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body” (12), “neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin” (13), “ye were the servants of sin” (17), and “ye became the servants of righteousness” (18) – all of these phrases point to what _we_ do (repent, change our life in regard to sin) not to what God does (forgive).

And we know from Eph 4:22-24 that putting off the “old man” and putting on the “new man” does not refer to baptism.   Instead it is something a Christian is to keep on doing even after he is converted. That would be repenting / continually changing one’s life for the better, and certainly not baptism (a Christian does not keep on getting baptized).  We are supposed to “die to sin” (separate ourselves from sin) every day; it is not just a one time act like baptism.

Conclusion: God does separate us (forgive us) from sin when we are baptized, but the phrase “dead to sin” found twice in Romans 6 is not referring to that (what God does), but what we do to separate ourselves from sin – repent of them and follow through on that commitment to live a different way, a holy lifestyle (I Pet 1:16).

Book, Chapter, and Verse for Book, Chapter, and Verse

October 7, 2021

In his article, “Attacking the Basics,” in the July, 1988 issue of Faith and Facts Quarterly, Ronny Milliner correctly pointed out some people’s decreasing regard for God’s word as their authority, by quoting one as saying, “‘There is no book, chapter and verse for book, chapter and verse!'” What about that? Is there really book, chapter, and verse for book, chapter, and verse? Does the Bible actually teach that we have to always back up what we preach with our finger on a verse?

The answer is a resounding yes! The Bible says Apollos “mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28). Wouldn’t the example of Acts 18:28 be just as binding as the example of Acts 20:7? Paul didn’t just assert that things were so, he proved it (Acts 9:22). How can a listener “prove” (I Thessalonians 5:21), or test a sermon, if the speaker doesn’t prove what he says by the scriptures? Unless verses are given, how would the listener know if the teaching was from heaven, or from men (Matthew 21:25)?

Notice in Acts 8:35 that Philip “began at the same scripture, and preached unto him (the eunuch) Jesus.” Acts 28:23 says that Paul persuaded men “concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” Acts 17:2 shows that Paul “reasoned” with those in the synagogue “out of the scriptures.”

Have you ever wondered why some preachers read a verse and then proceed to talk about everything else under the sun except the passage read? Notice in Nehemiah 8:8 that the sense of the passages read was given, not a great explanation for the different experiences in the preacher’s past life. Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is God’s power to salvation, not “good words (or good ideas of men) and fair speeches” (Romans 16:18). If the scripture itself is not read and taught, where does that leave God’s power? True faith only comes from hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17). The scriptures themselves are the only thing profitable for doctrine (II Timothy 3:16). How could we say a man is speaking “as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11) when he delivers a forty minute sermon and only refers to an oracle of God once or twice?

Read Acts 2:14-36 and Acts 7:2-53 and notice how often inspired preachers made reference to the scriptures in their sermons. I count eleven out of the twenty-three verses recorded of the sermon in Acts 2:14-36 as being quotes from the Old Testament scriptures. If men, whose very speeches became scriptures, saw fit to quote the Bible so often, how much more should the uninspired Christians of today use the actual texts of the Bible in their lessons. Some might say, “But what about Jesus’ parables and Paul’s sermon in Acts 17:22-31? These lessons don’t have much, if any, quoting of scriptures in them.” The answer is simple. God tells us to “preach the word” (II Timothy 4:2) not our own stories and jokes. Inspired men didn’t have to quote scripture to preach the word (although most of the time they did). Their very words were God’s words (I Corinthians 2:13). Jesus spoke by His own authority (Matthew 7:29), He didn’t have to speak by the authority of the Old Testament. We are not inspired. Our words are not God’s words. To preach God’s word, we must use His words to back up (prove) anything we say.

Yes, there is “book, chapter and verse for book, chapter and verse.” Paul’s speech and “preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power;” he “came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom,” but instead declared “the testimony of God,” that the hearer’s “faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1-5).