Isaiah 53:6,5 Teach Jesus’ Substitutionary Death – Reject These Verses At Your Own Peril

July 11, 2018

Maurice Barnett said “It is said that Jesus took every sin of mankind into Himself on the cross … I deny that any … scripture says such a thing but to the contrary the scriptures deny it.” (Gospel Truths, July 2010). Gene Frost said “To the Calvinist that means … they were put on Him … Where is the passage that says that God put the sins of the world on Jesus?” (March 2000 sermon, Louisville, KY). How about Isaiah 53:6c?: the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jesse Jenkins said “Jesus took our sins upon Himself … It is plain Calvinism.” (Feb 21, 2014 email).  Our brethren calling Isaiah 53:6c Calvinism should bother us. In effect it is saying Calvinists hold the scriptural ground, and we must try to get around it.

Look at one of the phrases in Isaiah 53:5 – “the chastisement of our peace was upon him.” Think about what that is saying. Chastisement means “punishment.” God the Father placed our chastisement (punishment) upon Christ so we could have (spiritual) peace with God. In other words, Jesus took the punishment for our sins so we wouldn’t have to.

Our sins on Jesus instead of on us – that’s substitution.  Elaborating, our punishment on Jesus instead of on us – that’s substitution.  Doesn’t that settle this issue?

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Is The Best Preacher The One Who Doesn’t Make Anybody Mad?

July 5, 2018

The other day I heard a mature Christian indicate the best gospel preachers were the ones who preached without making anybody mad. Nothing could be further from the truth. Notice who sometimes made their audience mad enough to stone them by preaching and standing for the truth …

· Old Testament Prophets Luke 13:34

· Jesus John 8:59, 10:31, 11:8

· Stephen Acts 7:58

· Barnabas Acts 14:5

· Paul Acts 14:19

· John the Baptist lost his head Mark 6:16-18

I guess the above were not very good preachers because they sometimes made their audience mad?  I guess Jesus was not a very good preacher because his teaching in Matt 15:3-12 “offended” the Pharisees?  Just the opposite – Jesus’ preaching is so good because it is always directed to what the audience in front of him needs, instead of what somebody who is not there needs.

It is easy to preach to not make anybody mad. Just be careful to avoid saying anything your audience disagrees with, i.e., avoid stepping on your audience’s toes. I’ve heard a few gospel preachers teach many times without once saying anything their audience would disagree with – they simply preached every time to the choir (https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/preaching-to-the-choir/ ), and at people who were not there; they pandered to their audience (https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/pandering-to-our-audience/ ).

The outstanding gospel preacher is defined by passages like Acts 20:26-27 and Ezek 3:17-21 – they declare the whole counsel of God (practicing kind and tough love) so both their listeners and themselves will be saved. When somebody does not believe or practice the truth on a particular subject, are we doing them a favor by always preaching on what they already agree with, avoiding the very thing they need? This method of preaching is perfectly described by II Tim 4:3 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

We should always be kind and gentle in our teaching (Col 4:6), but when we preach the “truth in love” (Eph 4:15), sometimes someone is going to get perturbed with us (Matt 13:57, John 6:60-66). If not, something is wrong with our preaching (Luke 6:26, Isaiah 30:10, I Kings 22:8).  If we preach the truth that our audiences need, we will make enemies (Gal 4:16).

The “Handle A Rattlesnake” Debate Challenge

June 28, 2018

I’ve attended a lot of religious debates and I am persuaded that some arguments used for the side of truth are not sound. For example when debating the miraculous gifts subject, some gospel preachers challenge their opponent to “take up serpents” or “drink … deadly” poison (Mark 16:18). But this text is not talking about Christians doing those things on purpose. You can tell that from passages like Matt 4:7 where Jesus said “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” in response to a similar challenge by the devil. What Mark 16:18 is talking about is what we see in Acts 28:3-6 where a snake just happened to bite Paul but he was protected by God miraculously.

Now the “handle a rattlesnake” challenge is usually very effective with the brethren (they eat it up), but that doesn’t make the argument sound. When discussing the scriptures with our friends and neighbors, we should be proving the truth (John 8:32, Acts 9:22, 18:28), but we should only do it with arguments that are true to God’s word.

Personal Indwelling Of Holy Spirit Is Given “Because Ye Are Sons” – So Not Miraculous

June 21, 2018

Acts 2:38 and 5:32 are sentinel verses teaching one receives the Holy Ghost when becoming a Christian. But many say Acts 2:38 and 5:32 are referring to the miraculous measure of the Spirit and therefore do not apply today.

This won’t work, as the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is given “because ye are sons”:

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts …

Acts 2:38 … repent and be baptized … for the remission of sins … and ye shall receive the gift of … Holy Ghost

Acts 5:32 … the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him

But the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit is not conditioned upon being a son, being baptized for salvation, being obedient. Notice:

• Cornelius received the miraculous gift of the Holy Ghost before he was a son, before he was baptized (Acts 10:47), before he completed his obedience.

• I Samuel 19:15,20,21,23,24 King Saul and his messengers had a miraculous measure of the Spirit and prophesied, even though they were plotting to slay David (God’s chosen), and even though Saul lay down naked all day and night.

• Consider Caiaphas (John 11:49-52) and Balaam’s donkey (Num 22:28-30) in the same regard.

Conclusion: Acts 2:38, 5:32, and Gal 4:6 cannot refer to the miraculous, therefore are referring to the non-miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit. People still receive that today!

Submitting To God’s Word Only, Makes One A Christian Only

June 13, 2018

God does not approve of all the divisions (different teachings) represented by the different denominations (and so neither should we):

· I Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

· Eph 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Obviously submitting to Baptist doctrine makes one a Baptist. Submitting to Methodist doctrine makes one a Methodist. Submitting to John Calvin’s doctrine makes one a Calvinist. And so on. But submitting to Bible doctrine (alone) makes one a Christian only.

Illustration: Many years ago someone set up a joint gospel meeting with preaching by different types of preachers (Baptist, Methodist, Calvinist, Christian, etc.) alternating every night for a month. Audience members who obeyed the gospel throughout the month met as a congregation until the revival was over. At that time the Baptist, Methodist, and Calvinist preachers asked the congregation what denomination that would like to be a part of. The congregation replied – “none, we will just stay like we are and not join a denomination.” Was there anything wrong with their decision? Didn’t they make the right decision?

That is exactly what true churches of Christ are; congregations full of converts to Christ (Acts 2:38) who haven’t joined any denomination. Striving to be Christians, and Christians only, following the Bible only. It is never too late for you to be one of the them also. All it takes is obeying the gospel (II Thess 1:8) and being part of a congregation like the ones we read about in the Bible before any denominations ever existed.

Presbyterian Changes On Homosexuality

June 6, 2018

All born before about 1985 or so have seen the rapid change in U.S. society toward accepting homosexuality and gay marriage. But recently I heard a sermon by my friend Frank Richey which included the below quotes showing how the Presbyterian church has changed dramatically on homosexuality over the last few decades …

1978 – …Homosexuality is not God’s wish for humanity…On the basis of our understanding that the practice of homosexuality is sin, we are concerned that homosexual believers and the observing world should not be left in doubt about the church’s mind on this issue during any further period of study. (Minutes of the 190th General Assembly [1978], United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., pp.261-62)

1980 – Homosexuality presents a particular problem for the church. It seems to be contrary to the teaching of scripture. (Minutes of the 192th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in the United States, p.213)

1991 – The church should “re-evaluate its definition of sin to reflect the changing mores of society.” … the church should sound “a call for widening the circle of the faithful—not with children, but with non-reproductive gays, lesbians, and heterosexual singles who practice ‘safe sex.’ We feel that marriage is not what legitimates sexual gratification. (Roll Over John Calvin, Time Magazine, 5-6-91, p.59)

2010 – Presbyterian leaders voted Thursday to allow non-celibate gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy, approving the first of two policy changes that could make their church one of the most gay-friendly major Christian denominations in the U.S. … “What this is about is making sure we uphold what Christ taught us, to not judge one another,” said Dan Roth, a church elder from Sacramento. … Several major Christian denominations have voted in recent years to allow non-celibate gays to serve as clergy if they are in committed relationships. Among them are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the U.S. Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ. … Benjamin Wind, a nonvoting young adult delegate to the assembly from Syracuse, N.Y., said Presbyterians of his generation greatly favor the change. (Newsmax.com, 08 Jul 2010)

2015 – The Presbyterian Church made a historic decision … to formally recognize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to marry in its congregations. … The …denomination voted to redefine the church constitution on marriage to include ‘a commitment between two people …’ (Time Magazine, 3-18-2015)

What does the Bible actually say about homosexuality? Here are just a few of the passages that clearly condemn it …

Romans 1:24,26-27 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves … For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

Leviticus 20:13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death …

I Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. Neither homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

Does the Presbyterian church have a right to change in such way?

Did you know that many other churches have made the same change?

If a church changes from one position to another, can they be right both times?

And did you know that most churches have made similar deviations from the Bible on other issues? Here are some examples:

· Matt 19:9 acceptance of adulterous marriages led to this new acceptance of gay marriages

· Acts 8:37 addition of infant baptism

· Gal 5:4 teaching Once Saved Always Saved

· Acts 20:7 denominations changed the frequency of the Lord’s Supper from once a week to less often

· I Corinthians 14:34-35 almost all churches used to forbid “women preachers” – now almost all allow it

Read II John 9 to see if churches/people who change away from what the Bible teaches are going to be saved anyway.

to hear my recent Bible Crossfire SiriusXM radio program on this topic, go to: http://www.bibledebates.info/BibleCrossfire/BibleCrossfire-180603.mp3

John 3:5 And The Old Man / New Man Analogy

May 30, 2018

The OldMan/NewMan, OldCreature/NewCreature concept (e.g., Eph 4:22,24, Col 3:9,10, Rom 6:6, Gal 6:15, II Cor 5:17) is but an extension of the “born again” concept. Rom 6:3-6 shows that the death of the old man of sin, and the resulting birth (resurrection) of the new man happens at baptism. Here’s how:

· “our old man is crucified” (verse 6) – when we are “planted together (with Jesus) in the likeness of his death” (verse 5) – “planted … in the likeness of his death” has to be immersion in water, meaning, water baptism looks like a burial and resurrection, right?

· we begin our “walk in newness of life” at baptism according to verse 4

Here is the point: Since Rom 6:3-6 teaches the Old Man / New Man transition happens at the time one is baptized in water, it confirms the new birth of John 3:5 happens at the time one is baptized in water since it really is the same analogy. So John 3:5 becomes another verse that conclusively proves a sinner has to be baptized to be saved.

Is It True That Since All Of Us Sin, It Must Be Okay To Sin?

May 23, 2018

Many believers seem to have the attitude “Since All Of Us Sin, It Must Be Okay To Sin.” But this runs contrary to what the Bible teaches. For example James 2:10 says “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” And II John 9 says “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

Instead of settling for spiritual mediocrity, our goal should be to live perfectly – that is what we are commanded to try for by I Pet 2:21-22 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”  None of us will reach that goal completely, but it is sinful not to try.  And we should repent everytime we fail – Acts 8:22, I John 1:9.

Rom 6:1-2 makes the same point this way “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.

We had a caller to the Bible Crossfire radio program on June 24, 2018 express a perfect example of this philosophy – everybody sins therefore it is okay for me to sin.  Because of his misunderstanding of Matt 18:9, he thought I didn’t do what the Bible said in that instance, therefore it was okay for him to ignore what the Bible said in whatever cases he chose.  I run across this idea quite frequently – since nobody does all of what the Bible says, then I don’t have to obey the parts of the Bible I don’t like or don’t agree with.  Their mistake is assuming that nobody out there is trying to obey all of God’s word.

It is true none of us live perfectly our whole lives without sin, but we can and should do what the following Old Testament saints did …

I Kings 9:4 And if thou wilt walk before me … in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments

Gen 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Dan 9:4 O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments

Deut 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

How Is Jesus Our Passover?

May 16, 2018

The last part of I Corinthians 5:7 reads “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” What did Paul mean calling Jesus our passover? We all remember the original passover as recorded in Exodus 12. The text informs us the Israelites were to take the blood of a lamb and “strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses.” This was a token to God to pass over that house when He killed all the firstborn in Egypt (the tenth plague). In this way all the Egyptian households lost their firstborn, while the Israelite households did not.

The analogy to Christ is that based upon His shed blood, God passes over us when it comes time to give us what we deserve for our sins (spiritual death, Rom 6:23). We can be so thankful for that, but we don’t receive such benefit unless we meet God’s stipulated conditions – trust and obey (II Thess 1:8). Are you trusting and obeying God like you ought (Heb 5:9)?

Luke 12:46-48 And Sins Committed In Ignorance

May 8, 2018

Luke 12:46-48 illustrates “The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

This passage is so clear on the “sins of ignorance” subject, no explanation should be needed. However, notice ..

The servant of verse 48 knew NOT his lord’s will.

Nevertheless, that servant stood condemned for his actions that were committed in ignorance:

· the things that he did were worthy of stripes (condemnation)

· he received stripes (will there be any stripes in heaven?)

· he was cut in sunder, and appointed his portion with the unbelievers

Question: According to this passage, what is the condition of a saint or sinner who commits a sin of ignorance?