Monday, August 30, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 10

Are all churches apostate? Of course not, but many are drifting (or have drifted) partially or completely into it; I can’t help but believe denominational segregation has aided in weakening the body of Christ against an infiltration of false doctrine. Are all church schisms evil? Paul wrote, “For first of all when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you,” 1st Corinthians 11:18-19.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 9

The church is in a woeful state of morass and suffers from myopia; we have let go of the faith that is in Christ that brings life, power and godliness; we have reached out for the ring of worldly conformity in some futile bid to bring the unsaved into a building so that pews might be filled. We cannot hold both, Matthew 6:24; James 4:4. The church is not for the unsaved, like the Bible is not for the unsaved.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 8

Too many search for salvation that drifts away from Jesus under the unspoken (or even unrealized) assumption that humanity exists in an “as-is” condition. To explain: there was no Fall, no breach between us and God that God Himself must reconcile if we hope to return to Him. Or, if there was a Fall, we are not without innate righteousness that can be refined and magnified, via works and/or obedience. Christ is demeaned simply because we neglect and forget the necessity of obtaining His righteousness by grace through faith via the new birth. Only Christ’s righteousness is an acceptable righteousness to be clothed in before a holy God.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Evolution's Religion

Is Evolution a religion?

I pose the question due to the fact that so many proponents of Evolution label followers of ID (Intelligent Design) as religious. ID, in case you are unfamiliar with it, assumes the presence and guidance of a rational mind that was the causation of organic life. The argument, broken down simply, goes like this: since it is nigh inconceivable that inorganic matter spawned organic life, and that non-intelligent blind chance and chemical processes produced intelligent coded information, Evolution has failed to explain the origin of life. Evolution cannot even take its first step, really. A hypothetical "cosmic egg" was said to have contained the elements of the universe within it, and then it exploded or "hatched" perhaps, and the universe went rushing outward, and has been rushing outward since. The Big Bang is what this theory is called.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 7

Paul reminded the Corinthians that it was the message of the cross that possessed the power to save; not denominational allegiance. He compelled this church to be of the same mind, which implied a mutual growth in spiritual maturity that would put away carnal thinking and divisive behavior. Not only that, but he wanted them to have the same judgment; that is, purpose or resolve. Paul asked “is Christ divided?” Today He is, as dozens of churches and sects claim His name, oft-times excluding one another for doctrinal issues that are secondary to the matter of one’s salvation. If believers have Christ in common they have all things; a proper view of the deity of our Savior is the criterion that separates Christians from non-Christians.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 6

The Christian’s life after being saved is no longer about staying saved, but about being sanctified, Hebrews 10:14; John 15:1-8. The language of Hebrews is too strong to suggest anything less: “For by one offering He has perfected forever (past tense; continual tense) those who are being (present tense) sanctified.” I know that some want to make much of Jesus’ words in Revelation 2-3 which speak of the overcomer, using these verses to suggest that faithfulness equates into salvation’s retention. Yet did John not write: “For whoever is born of God overcomes (same Greek word) the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1st John 5:4-5.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 5

Likewise Catholicism has taught for centuries that the Lord’s Supper (the Eucharist) is truly Christ’s body and blood brought to the altar by the invisible “miracle” of transubstantiation. Luther and Calvin never divorced themselves from such idolatrous notions during the Reformation. This shouldn’t shock us too much, since both men were devout Roman Catholics all of their lives before “Protesting” about certain activities the Roman Church “indulged” in.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 4

Another Point of Confusion: Conditional Salvation

I have said much about this topic in prior Posts, so I will not reiterate the Scriptural arguments I previously set forth against this doctrine. But I find a link between the belief in water baptism/the Lord’s Supper being essential for salvation and conditional salvation. The link may be more simple than I thought; that link being legalism. It is not my intent to impugn anyone, but rather to point out. Let us consider: Either Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sin was perfect or it was not. If it was perfect then sin (not sins; but the entire issue of sin in a legal sense) was dealt with forever at the cross. John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus would take away the sin (singular) of the world, John 1:29. These were not individual sins that Jesus paid for; Christ was made sin for us so we might become the righteousness of God in Him, 2nd Corinthians 5:21; of course also paying for our “sins” as well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 3

Peter’s discourse (Acts 2:38) follows Jesus’ command from Mark 16:16. Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” No mention that failure to be baptized condemns. Everyone who believes is saved; so it is logical also to simply say everyone who believes and is baptized is saved. I fail to see why the emphasis falls on baptism rather than faith. Jesus never baptized anyone, John 4:2; a strange practice if water baptism was necessary. Peter preached, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Acts 2:38.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 2

Two points of confusion: Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

God’s plan of salvation was in place before the world was founded and before time began, 2nd Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2. Circumcision was the water baptism of the Old Testament; a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham, Genesis 17:10. Yet before circumcision was given to Abraham Eber, Shem, Noah, Enoch, Abel, et al. were saved. The patriarchs prior to the Flood were saved solely by grace through faith in God, plus nothing else. All of the Old Testament saints were saved by God without water baptism; the concept was foreign to them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Simply Christian

When we consider the Christian church today, what do you suppose is the conversation piece that tends to surround its members? I would wager when Christians meet, they tend to have this question on their mind: “What denomination are you?” Save for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to preserve the integrity and purity of the gospel, I personally believe denominational boundaries have caused considerable harm to the name of Christ and His professing children. The goal of this Post is not to deride denominations, but to urge a recollection of who genuine believers belong to.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 4

9:27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem
Shem is where the term “Semite” originates; the Semitic people are descendants of Shem. Here Israel is especially in view. Japheth was the father of the Greeks, the Romans, and more: in other words, he was the father of a vast portion of the Gentile world. This prophecy came to pass at Pentecost. Though Gentiles had been saved by coming to faith in God during Old Testament times, it was a peculiar occurrence of the New Testament era, that when Peter preached in the power of the Holy Spirit on that first day of the church age that people from every nation under heaven was present, Acts 2:5.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 3

9:17 this is a token of the covenant
“Token” in this verse simply means “sign” or “symbol.” This Hebrew word was the same used to describe the “mark” God gave Cain, Genesis 4:15. God gives tokens or signs when He covenants. For Abraham it was the sign of circumcision, Genesis 17:11. Water baptism is the symbol in the New Testament, 1st Peter 3:21. The term “like figure” in 1st Peter is the Greek “antitypos,” which means “copy or representation.” Physical baptism represents the inward act of spiritual regeneration, Colossians 2:11-12.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 2

9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require
God is clearly telling Noah and his sons that human life is sacred; it is not to be abused or destroyed unnecessarily. Human life is valued above animal life or the lifeless mass of our planet. Animals are to be preserved and cared for (Proverbs 12:10) and the planet is not to be ransacked, but cared for by us; stewards charged with the responsibility (Revelation 11:18). Yet God cares for man over these, and it was for men that Christ died and rose again.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine

9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons
The same was said of Adam and Eve; they were blessed and sent out to subdue the earth, Genesis 1:28. Note in both instances Adam and Eve were joined by God (in matrimony) as Noah and his sons were already married. The institution of marriage, founded by God in Eden for our first parents, is not to be trifled with. God loves the institution He created and calls it holy, Malachi 2:11. Likewise He hates divorce, Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:4-6. Fornicators and adulterers who belittle God’s institution of marriage will be sorely judged, Hebrews 13:4. God created marriage so that we might have a partner in this life on earth; He likewise created marriage so that one husband and one wife might raise up children to God, Malachi 2:15; Psalm 127:3-4; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Proverbs 5:18-19. Adultery, fornication, and homosexuality are not God’s desire for intimate human relationships. The nuclear family began in Eden with our first parents was ordained by God.
All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.