......................................................... . Updated June 4, 2018

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Faith A Word Of Action



“Faith is the only thing that one can do without doing anything.”

This affirmation is a textbook case of contradiction.

The following examples will clearly reveal that genuine faith is not a mere attitude; rather, it is a word of action.
  1. Jesus was teaching in the city of Capernaum. The crowds so pressed around him that some who sought his presence could not gain access to the Lord. Four enterprising men brought a lame friend, climbed to the rooftop of the house wherein Christ was teaching, and lowered their impotent companion through the ceiling. Significantly, the inspired writer comments: “And Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).

    What did Christ see? He literally saw the action of these men (including the sick man who obviously endorsed the activity). But the action is called faith. In a similar vein, James challenged: “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith” (James 2:18).

  1. John 3:16 is perhaps the best-known verse in the Bible; but it is one of the most misunderstood: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    Does the “belief” of this passage include obedience, or exclude it? A comparison of this verse with Hebrews 5:9 reveals that the former is the case. In John 3:16, believing results in eternal life. In Hebrews 5:9, eternal salvation is said to issue from obedience to Christ. It thus should be quite clear that the belief that saves is one that manifests itself in obeying the Son of God. True faith is not just a mental process.

  1. Note this declaration from the Lord: “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36, ASV).

    We have cited the American Standard Version here because it is more accurate in its rendition of the original language than is the King James Version. The term in the latter portion of the verse is apeitheo, which, according to Balz and Schneider, literally means “to disobey” (1990, 118). In this passage “believing” is set in vivid contrast to disobedience.

    Is not Christ suggesting that the one who obeys the Son is promised life, but the person who disobeys will not receive such?

    Observe a similar usage in Acts 14:1-2: “[A] great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed. But the Jews that were disobedient stirred up the souls of the Gentiles, and made them evil affected against the brethren.

    In the book of Hebrews we are informed that God was displeased with many rebellious Israelites who died in the wilderness. They were condemned because they were “disobedient”—yes, they were not allowed to enter the promised land due to their “unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18-19). Continuing that analogy, it will be those who have “believed” who will enter the final rest (Hebrews 4:3), but those who are “disobedient” will not (Hebrews 4:6).

    The Bible knows nothing of true faith that is divorced from obedience.
  1. When a jailor in the city of Philippi feared for his life during an earthquake that rocked the prison, he pled with Paul and Silas: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” God’s messengers proclaimed to him the gospel. Evincing repentance (for having beaten his prisoners), the jailor washed their stripes. Subsequently, he and his family were immersed (Acts 16:31-33).

Significantly, this entire process is summed up in this fashion: “And he . . . rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God” (Acts 16:34). It is clear that the participle, “having believed,” includes the jailor’s repentance and his baptism.

  1. The book of Romans demonstrates that faith is an action term. For example, Paul commends the “faith” of these saints, which, says he, is “proclaimed throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). As he concludes the epistle he again congratulates them: “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men” (Romans 16:19). Faith and obedience are parallel in these verses. In fact, at the beginning and end of the book the expression, “obedience of faith,” stands like guardian sentinels, defining the character of biblical faith (Romans 1:5, 16:26). In Romans 10:16, those who refused to “obey the gospel” fulfilled Isaiah’s prediction that some would not “believe” the divine report.

  1. That the “faith” system of the New Testament is not merely a mental phenomenon is evidenced by Galatians 3:26-27. There Paul declares: “For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For [a conjunction of explanation] as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.

    Immersion was an integral part of the faith process. Later, to the same people, the apostle affirmed that the faith that avails is that which is “working through love” (Galatians 5:6). The fact of the matter is, believing itself is a work (cf. John 6:27-29; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:3).

  1. James shows the connection between faith and obedience when he writes: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works [obedience], in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? You see that faith operated with his works [obedience], and by works [his obedience] was [his] faith made complete; and the scripture was fulfilled which says, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God” (James 2:21-23).

     
  2. If faith plus obedience constitutes one as a “friend of God,” how would one be characterized who has faith minus obedience?

  1. Those who possessed genuine intellectual-emotional faith were granted the “right to become” children of God (John 1:12), but they were not, by that faith, automatically constituted sons of God.
That faith alone is invalid as a means of redemption is revealed by a number of biblical examples.
  1. There were many Jews who “believed on” Christ (John 8:30-31), but their faith was not operative, hence, the Lord appropriately described them as children of the devil (John 8:44).

  1. There were those among the Hebrew rulers who “believed on him [Christ],” but because of Pharisaic pressure they would not confess their faith; they loved the glory of men more than that of God (John 12:42).

    Will anyone contend that these proud egotists were saved simply because they “believed” (cf. Matthew 12:32)? What was the flaw in their theology?

  1. Luke records that when Christ was preached, “a great number that believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21). The construction of the original language indicates that the “believing” was prior to the “turning,” hence, turning to the Lord involved something in addition to their faith.


Source

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Carry Your Cross



Luke 14:27-28

Can these thoughts help us ESTIMATE and CARRY our cross for Christ?

A.R.E.

A-CCESSIBILITY: Can I reach you?

This means staying open to your troubled brother or seeker of Christ even when you have doubts and feel insecure. It often means being willing to struggle to make sense of your emotions so these emotions are not so overwhelming. You can then step back from disconnection and can tune into your brother’s hesitant cues.


R-ESPONSIVENESS: Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally?

This means tuning into your troubled brother or seeker of Christ and showing that his or her emotions, especially fellowship needs and fears have an impact on you. It means accepting and placing a priority on the emotional signals your brother in Christ conveys and sending clear signals of comfort and caring when your brother needs them. Sensitive responsiveness always touches us emotionally and calms us.


E-NGAGEMENT: Do I know you will value me and stay near?

The dictionary defines engaged as being absorbed, attracted, pulled, pledged, involved. The bible says we don’t lose heart, and we commend ourselves to everyone (2 Cor 4:3). Engagement here means the very special kind of attention that we give to those we love. We pay attention to them longer, we fellowship with them on a deeper level. This is often spoken of as being emotionally present.


John 15:7 Christ explicitly tells us,

“If you make yourselves at home with Me and My words are at home with you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.”


Our prospective hearers are watching closely as to whether we are genuinely interested in their life situation. Are we openly Christlike in action and deed? Will we walk more than a mile with them? What they see, hear and feel determines if they can trust us in a relationship that can lead them to salvation.

A.R.E.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

13 Objections To Baptism

Baptism in the Christian faith unfortunately is a much debated topic. There are many reasons and man-made doctrines that have all been debated and fought over for hundreds of years by scholars and bible students alike. Yet God's instructions and commands on baptism are clear and forever. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/10/objections-to-baptism-pt1.html

“JESUS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS BECAUSE HE WAS SINLESS; THEREFORE, PEOPLE TODAY ARE NOT BAPTIZED IN ORDER TO BE FORGIVEN. THEY MERELY IMITATE JESUS’ EXAMPLE.”
 
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/11/objections-to-baptism-pt2.html


“THE THIEF ON THE CROSS WAS NOT BAPTIZED, AND HE WAS SAVED.”

 

https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/11/objections-to-baptism-pt3.html
 
"THE BIBLE SAYS, 'CHRIST STANDS AT THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART,' AND ALL WE HAVE TO DO TO BE FORGIVEN OF SIN AND BECOME A CHRISTIAN IS TO INVITE HIM INTO OUR HEARTS."


https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/11/objections-to-baptism-pt4.html

“A PERSON IS SAVED THE MOMENT HE ACCEPTS CHRIST AS HIS PERSONAL SAVIOR—WHICH PRECEDES AND THEREFORE EXCLUDES WATER BAPTISM.”


https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/12/objections-to-baptism-pt5.html


“WE ARE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST AND BECOME HIS CHILDREN WHEN WE PLACE OUR FAITH IN HIM.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/12/objections-to-baptism-pt6_19.html

 "BAPTISM IS LIKE A BADGE ON A UNIFORM THAT MERELY GIVES EVIDENCE THAT THE PERSON IS ALREADY SAVED."
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2016/12/objections-to-baptism-pt7.html


“BAPTISM IS A MERITORIOUS WORK, WHEREAS WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE, NOT WORKS.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2017/02/objections-to-baptism-pt8.html

“NOT ONLY IS BAPTISM NONESSENTIAL TO SALVATION, EVEN FAITH IS A GIFT FROM GOD TO A PERSON. MAN IS SO DEPRAVED THAT HE IS INCAPABLE OF BELIEVING.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2017/02/objections-to-baptism-pt9.html

“THE PREPOSITION ‘FOR’ IN THE PHRASE ‘FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS’ IN ACTS 2:38 MEANS ‘BECAUSE OF.’ HENCE, THEY WERE BAPTIZED BECAUSE OF SINS FOR WHICH THEY WERE FORGIVEN WHEN THEY BELIEVED.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2017/02/objections-to-baptism-pt10.html

“WHEN THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER ASKED WHAT TO DO TO BE SAVED, HE WAS SIMPLY TOLD TO BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2017/02/objections-to-baptism-pt11.html

“SAUL WAS SAVED BEFORE AND WITHOUT BAPTISM WHILE HE WAS ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS WHEN JESUS APPEARED TO HIM.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2017/02/objections-to-baptism-pt12.html

“IF BAPTISM IS NECESSARY TO SALVATION, JESUS WOULD HAVE SAID, ‘BUT HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE AND IS NOT BAPTIZED WILL BE CONDEMNED’ IN MARK 16:16. AND BESIDES, THE LAST TWELVE VERSES OF MARK 16 ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE OLDEST AND BEST GREEK MANUSCRIPTS.”
https://scripturesweekly.blogspot.com/2017/02/objections-to-baptism-pt13.html


“ROMANS 10:9-10 INDICATES THAT ALL ONE NEEDS TO DO IS BELIEVE AND CONFESS JESUS.”




Dave Miller, Ph.D