Fifth of Seven Musts of Salvation; BAPTISM

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” [1Peter 3:21]

When presented with this passage and the others in this article, you’d think that a believer would jump at the opportunity to obey the commands of God & His Son Christ Jesus. Sadly, most will argue using denominational dogma to argue against God.

We didn’t invent baptism for salvation, God did. It perfectly matches His word. It matches what Jesus did. He died, was buried and was resurrected. [1Cor 15:1-4]

We’re commanded to obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9], but how does one obey DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION?

BAPTISM in water through faith in the working of God!!!

#5, we must be BAPTIZED: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV

  1. Matthew 28:19
  • Mark 16:16
  • Acts 2:38
  • Acts 10:48
  • Acts 22:16
  • Rom 6:3-4
  • Gal 3:27

These are just a few of the many verses that command & show a believer must be water baptized to have their sins washed away and be saved. We didn’t bring this up, God did.

What is

BAPTISM? Mat 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:35-33; 22:16

It is a BURIAL and a resurrection. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

It is AUTHORIZED by Christ’s command. [Mark 16:16]

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is PART 5 of conversion. [Acts 2:38]. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess and be BAPTIZED.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It TRUSTS God’s working, not our own. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

We are baptized INTO Christ & a putting on Christ.

[Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27]

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism SAVES you. [1Pet 3:21]

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us”

It is done at MIDNIGHT, midday, or the same hour upon H-B-R-C. Not a scheduled monthly social event. [Acts 16:33]

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

If your denomination schedules baptisms, they don’t believe it is essential for salvation. People in the bible obeyed God IMMEDIATELY, the same hour. [cr. Acts 8:36]

Spencer

Fourth of seven Musts of Salvation; CONFESS

“…because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” [Rom 10:9]

This oft quoted verse from the ‘faith only’ error crowd doesn’t teach faith only. Notice that a person must do something to be saved, ‘confess with thy mouth.’

This is just one of a few things that man MUST do to be saved. The scriptures teach that man must participate in salvation. Grace is what God does for man; faithful obedience is what man does in response.

By citing this verse, they must admit that man has a duty toward God in responding to His Grace.

Confession is the fourth duty of man in obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

#4, we must CONFESS: All quotations are from the ASV

Let’s see the lesson about what to CONFESS and why.

First, let it be known that the confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” is the solid rock upon which Jesus has built His CHURCH. [Mat 16:16-19]. Neither Jesus, nor Peter are the rock, that would remove them from their places in the picture. It’s the confession that JESUS is THE CHRIST, THE SON of the LIVING GOD.

Next, we will note from these passages, is that confessing Jesus is done OPENLY before men. Not kept in secret, not hidden in your heart. It must be spoken & lived out daily. [Mat 10:32-33; 2Ti 2:12]

Related to this, one must NOT be ashamed. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.” [Luke 9:26; cr. Rom 1:16. 1Cor 1:18]

This statement was first revealed to us by our FATHER in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus and at His transfiguration [Mat 3:16-17, 17:5.]. Jesus repeated this statement of truth at His mock trial, the pivotal evidence that would sign His death sentence [Mat 26:63-64]. The Holy Spirit revealed this truth to all mankind by teaching it to the Apostles, and written in the New Testament scriptures so that all may know and believe. [John 20:30-31] The truth was preached by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit [Acts 2:36; 8:35-37; 18:28].

One day EVERYONE will. Better to do it now. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God” [Rom 14:11].

The foundation of our confession and our belief is this STATEMENT, ‘Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ We don’t confess Him as just a good teacher, or a prophet. No, Jesus is the Christ (lamb of God) the Son of the Living God (making Him equal to God). [John 1:29; 5:18]

Finally, as is clearly stated, SALVATION requires it. “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:” [Rom 10:9]

Spencer

Third of seven Musts of Salvation; REPENT

Wherefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and TURN to God, doing works worthy of repentanc.” [Acts 26:19,20. emph mine seb]

The preaching of the Apostle Paul, from the beginning of his baptism, included repentance and works worthy of repentance. John the baptizer taught the same, [Mt 3:8].

Repentance was Jesus’ teaching and it is taught as a part of preaching Jesus today.

#3, we must REPENT: All quotations are from the ASV

  1. “From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mat 4:17
  • “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.” Luke 13:3
  • “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
  • “Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
  • “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:” Acts 17:30
  • “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9
  • “…be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev 3:19

The false teaching of salvation by faith only must deny repentance. If one teaches repentance, as written in scripture, they must deny faith only. What does it mean to REPENT?

The definition of repent is to RECONSIDER, to make a change of heart. Repentance begins in the heart with an examination of your life and ways. However, biblical repentance goes further.

Biblical repentance is preached. Jesus said, ‘EXCEPT ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:5]. He also said that repentance was to be preached as part of the preaching of the gospel. [Luke 24:47; 5:32; Mar 6:12; Mat 4:17]

Biblical repentance goes beyond a reconsideration in the heart, it includes the penitent to PERFORM the commands of God. Jesus said, “Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.” [Rev 2:5; cr. Jas 1:22; Luke 3:8; Mat 3:8; Mat 21:28-32].

Repentance is an EMOTIONAL response of sorrow that leads to repentance. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” [2Cor 7:8-11]. People often accuse the church of Christ of being heartless and legalistic. This is false. Repentance is a very emotional and heartfelt response to our self-examination compared to the scriptures.

There will be NO opportunity to repent after death or upon Christ’s return. Esau could not repent after the blessing was given [Heb 12:17]. The judgement scene clearly shows this, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Mat 7:21-29; Mat 25; Luke 6:46].

Repentance can and must be practiced toward our fellow man, but repenting unto salvation [Acts 2:38] is TOWARD GOD. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Acts 20:21].  The person repenting for salvation is TURNING toward God. “that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” [Acts 26:20].

Seven Musts of Salvation #3: REPENT.

REPENTANCE

Wherefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and TURN to God, doing works worthy of repentanc.” [Acts 26:19,20. emph mine seb]

The preaching of the Apostle Paul, from the beginning of his baptism, included repentance and works worthy of repentance. John the baptizer taught the same, [Mt 3:8].

Repentance was Jesus’ teaching and it is taught as a part of preaching Jesus today.

#3, we must REPENT: All quotations are from the ASV

The false teaching of salvation by faith only must deny repentance. If one teaches repentance, as written in scripture, they must deny faith only. What does it mean to REPENT?

The definition of repent is to RECONSIDER, to make a change of heart. Repentance begins in the heart with an examination of your life and ways. However, biblical repentance goes further.

Biblical repentance is preached. Jesus said, ‘EXCEPT ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:5]. He also said that repentance was to be preached as part of the preaching of the gospel. [Luke 24:47; 5:32; Mar 6:12; Mat 4:17]

Biblical repentance goes beyond a reconsideration in the heart, it includes the penitent to PERFORM the commands of God. Jesus said, “Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.” [Rev 2:5; cr. Jas 1:22; Luke 3:8; Mat 3:8; Mat 21:28-32].

Repentance is an EMOTIONAL response of sorrow that leads to repentance. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” [2Cor 7:8-11]. People often accuse the church of Christ of being heartless and legalistic. This is false. Repentance is a very emotional and heartfelt response to our self-examination compared to the scriptures.

There will be NO opportunity to repent after death or upon Christ’s return. Esau could not repent after the blessing was given [Heb 12:17]. The judgement scene clearly shows this, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Mat 7:21-29; Mat 25; Luke 6:46].

Repentance can and must be practiced toward our fellow man, but repenting unto salvation [Acts 2:38] is TOWARD GOD. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Acts 20:21].  The person repenting for salvation is TURNING toward God. “that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” [Acts 26:20].

Spencer

Seven Musts of Salvation #2, BELIEVE

The Holy Spirit uses the Word for His work

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” [John 11:27]

Almost no one would deny that believing in Jesus as the Christ is essential to salvation. Except those who practice infant baptism, universalism, Joel Osteen or any other who thinks that just because you are a decent, non-murderous person you will go to heaven.

Belief is a work. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” [John 6:29; cr. 1Thess 1:3; 2Thess 1:11]

#2, we must BELIEVE:

Some have the false impression that we in the churches of Christ lack faith. This is far from the truth. We BELIEVE, and we know it is essential to salvation. What do the Scriptures teach about what we are to believe?

We believe that Jesus was BORN in the flesh. “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” [1John 4:2]

Verse 2 says, “and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist,” Thus, we believe that EMMANUEL, God is with us. [Isaiah 7:14]

We believe that faith must be a LIVING, working faith. “Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself… Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.” [James 2:17, 24]

We believe that Jesus IS the Christ, the Son of the Living God. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” [Acts 8:37; Mt 16:16; Acts 8:37; Joh 6:69; 9:35,38; 11:27; Ac 9:20; 1Jo 4:15; 5:5,13]

We believe that ETERNAL life is only through Jesus. He is the way the truth and the life. [John 14:6]

We believe that Jesus is without sin and that He has VICTORY over death. “But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” [1Cor 15:54-57; cr. 1Pet 2:22; Acts 2:24]

We believe in the EXISTENCE of God and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. [Heb 11:1,6]. We believe that without faith it is impossible to please Him. We seek to do those things He has commanded to be found well pleasing to him. [Gal 1:10; 1Thess 2:4; Jas 4:4;]

We BELIEVE, do you?

Spencer

1. All quotation are from the ASV

Seven Musts of Salvation #1, HEAR

Conversions in Acts

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

These are the words of the Philippian Jailer in Acts 8. Going against today’s popular opinion, the Jailer recognized that there was something one must do to be saved.

If you asked your pastor this question, would he take the same steps that Peter takes with the Jailer? Before you answer, compare all the conversion stories in Acts and then answer.

  • Jews @ Pentecost. Acts 2:38
  • Samaritans. Acts 8:5-13
  • The Eunuch. Acts 8:36-41
  • Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:1-9
    • 22:16; 26:12-19
  • Cornelius. Acts 10:33-48
  • Lydia. Acts 16:13-16
  • The Corinthians. Acts 18:8
  • The 12 men from Ephesus. Acts 19:1-5

Would your pastor teach all these things?

#1, we must HEAR:

Hearing is the first MUST of salvation. Without hearing and understanding you cannot move any further. To LISTEN to the word of God, or to hear, is to understand and goes beyond the physical sense of hearing.

To hear you must LET the word of Christ get through. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;” [Colossians 3:16] Most people cannot hear because they’re talking over the message or the messenger. “But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord;” [Acts 7:57]

A good hearer INVESTIGATES the message to see if it is so. “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” [Acts 17:11]

A good listener will SEEK clarity by asking questions. The good evangelist encourages people to seek for clarity and loves getting questions, even if they challenge the message. “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him.” [Acts 8:30-31]

The same word you must hear also encourages you to TEST or prove for accuracy by the word, what is being said. “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” [1Thess 5:21; 1John 4:1]

Another way you can tell if you have heard & understood is by EXPLAINING back to the speaker what you have heard. This is a great practice for anyone trying to learn something new. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” [Acts 8:35-36]

Lastly, we must understand by the verses at the beginning of this article that hearing is NECESSARY to salvation. This disqualifies babies (they are safe; Matt 19:14). Salvation will not be separate or apart from the revealed word of God. God is expecting us to study, to read, to learn.

–Spencer

1. All quotation are from the ASV

Ad Hominem & other Attacks p7, You’re not SMART enough

The Bible’s Marvelous Unity

We’re addressing how to answer Ad Hominem ATTACKS; Ad Hominem means; in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

Christians are to expect ATTACKS both personally & physically. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” [Mark 13:13]

Today’s attack is arrogant and full of pride. “You’re not SMART enough to understand.” We know what God says about pride; “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” [Proverbs 16:18]

The SEVENTH ATTACK sounds like this: “Religion is a crutch for the weak minded.” Another way this attack is framed; “You’re not SMART enough to understand.”

This attack is used by both unbelievers and denominational believers alike. Jesse ‘the body’ Ventura said this, “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you’d want them to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.” (If you believe Jesse, please ignore the part about the golden rule, which is from Matthew 7:11-12)

Another fellow said to me, ‘you need to be reading more difficult books.’ He is a denominational believer (2Cor 11:4) and was being critical of a group of us that were studying just the Bible.

“You’re a SPIRITLESS church” is another way this attack is stated. Supposedly, according to the attacker, if the worship is without instrumental music, hand clapping or other bodily gyrations & speaking in tongues, then the Holy Spirit is not with you and is proof that you’re wrong. This line of reasoning ignores the Scriptures about the operation of the Holy Spirit, and substitutes bible study for emotionalism. [cr. 1Cor 12, 12, 14 for a more complete understanding of the operation of the Holy Spirit]

Atheists are prone to say that we ignore the MATERIAL evidence supporting evolution. This is a presumption on their part. Many of us have looked at the same MATERIAL evidence and are compelled to believe in a Creator. [Romans 1:18-20]

Others will frame this attack by saying we’re heartless ANTI’S, because we don’t help people with their physical needs the way that they do. Once again, this is a presumption on their part because they don’t know the scriptures nor the power of God. [Matt 22:29; cr Matt 7:21-23]. We in the church of Christ are very benevolent. The difference is we follow the doctrine of Christ about HOW & WHO is responsible for it. They have shifted the work of benevolence from the shoulders of those responsible, according to the scriptures, to the ‘NEW CART’ of institutionalism. [cr. 2Samuel 6:1-9]

Still others accuses us of being irrational or having a ‘blind faith.’ I’ll readily admit that many denominational errors are completely irrational and foolish. Paul stated this in 1Corinthians 14 verse 23, “will they not say that ye are mad?”

If you deny the truth because of the abuses and errors of denominationalism, that’s on you. Don’t call good evil because someone is doing it wrong. We’re as much against irrational faith as the next. Irrational faith is more common among denominational believers and atheists than it is in the Lord’s church.

God’s word is very RATIONAL. The internal evidence of the Bible is very compelling and the faith we hold is not without evidence. [Hebrews 11:1]. The evidence of UNITY is very compelling. Written over 1600 years, by about forty men in separate intervals of time and place, under varying circumstances and without contradiction, yet one crimson thread (the theme of human redemption) runs throughout the entire 66 books. The other evidence from prophecy, scientific accuracy before scientific discovery and its indestructability just add to a RATIONAL faith.

Lastly, we hold the rational position that there is one TRUTH. The attacker often claims many truths (ie; your truth, my truth) much of which is contradictory. The TRUTH of God’s word has stood the test of time. “Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.” [John 17:17]

The TRUTH of God’s word is transparent and available to all. Unlike those bodies that keep secrets [Jude 1:3]. It is researchable by all [Acts 17:11]. It has universal application to all men, for all time, in all places [Mark 16:15]. The bible is expansive to all levels of thinkers. From the least to the greatest of minds, the wisdom is undeniable [Proverbs 1:4-6]. Lastly, the words of scripture are heaven sent, they come from God.

Never believe it when someone says you’re not SMART enough to understand. Becoming a Christian is the SMARTEST thing anyone can do.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.”

[James 3:17]

–Spencer

Ad Hominem & other Attacks p6, women’s ROLES

WOMEN NEEDED IN THE CHURCH

We’re addressing how to answer Ad Hominem ATTACKS; Ad Hominem means; in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

Christians are to expect ATTACKS both personally & physically. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” [Mark 13:13]

One thing you’ll notice in these attacks is the complete lack of scriptures in defense of their position. We must always respond with biblical truth, and the best way to do this is to open the Bible and let them see it for themselves.

The SIXTH ATTACK sounds like this: “You hate women because you won’t let a woman preach.” Another way this attack is framed; “Paul was a misogynist.”

This is a highly charged and emotional attack against God. In light of current cultural beliefs, many will avoid giving any kind of defense [cr. 1Peter 3:15]. We need not be afraid; the scriptures reveal great things about women. Why would we hide these powerful examples?

The objection is stated in a way that makes it appear that God, and by extension the church of Christ, places a lower value on women. This is patently false. God highly esteems women and so do we.

The true defense to this attack is by reframing the discussion to be about the various ROLES God has given us, both male & female. There are roles for men, for women, for children, for servants, for Elders, for teachers, for masters, for younger, for older etc. To claim a person is less of a person because of the different roles assigned is to be ignorant or dishonest with the word of God. Let’s examine the ROLES of women.

The wife being in subjection to her husband has been the RULE from the beginning [Gen 2, 3; 1Tim 2:9-15], and still continues [1Cor. 11:3; 1Tim. 2:11-12; Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18; 1Pet. 3:1]. However, if we stop there we will miss the whole truth. Many overlook many passages that gives a complete picture.

The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife.”

[1Cor 7:4; cr. 1Pet 3:1-9; Eph 5:22-23].

Those who give this attack are also unaware of the OUTSTANDING women examples in scripture. Here’s a list of some of the named OUTSTANDING women:

What these folks fail to see is that God has assigned roles to people and these are simple LABOR DIVISIONS. He gives His rationale for women’s roles in 1Timothy 2. The man was created first [1Tim. 2:13]. Woman was created afterward for a helper and companion to man [Gen. 2:19-25]. She is to be in subjection to man; he will rule over her [Gen. 3:16]. But this labor division doesn’t make her any less of a person. There are many labor divisions in scripture for all sorts of people, both male & female.

Women & men are EQUAL in the eyes of God. “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.” [Gal 3:28; Gen. 2:22; 1Cor. 11:7-9].

The SAD reality is that those who press this false narrative are actually harming the women they’re seeking to help. Many women who want to be homemakers are disliked, despised or strongly prejudiced against for their choices by those who think the church is keeping them down. On the contrary, the word of God clearly demonstrates the STRENGTH of women. –Spencer

Ad Hominem ATTACKS pt5; Your mind is CLOSED

What are the pros and cons of a Fixed Mindset vs a Growth Mindset? - Quora

An open mind doesn’t mean acceptance of error.

 

The FIFTH ATTACK sounds like this: “You already have your mind made up. It’s obvious you’re CLOSED minded.”

Objectors (whether atheistic or religious) to Biblical truths will say that they’re objective and open minded, that it is people in cults like the church of Christ that are CLOSED minded. They may use words like; ‘fanatical’ ‘legalist’ ‘rigid’ ‘without grace.’ Is this true and is it fair? How could we answer this attack?

First, it’s important to note that they are just as CONSTANT in their position as you. Is it only the other guy that is closed minded? How come I’m the one that’s closed minded when they’re the ones arguing against the bible? Does the one who gives the attack first get to be the open minded one?

One of the ways to prevent this attack is to LISTEN before you respond. So often we begin answering before we even understand what the other person is asserting. “He that giveth answer before he heareth, It is folly and shame unto him.” [Prov 18:13]. It’s key that we LISTEN to understand them before we’re able to answer them effectively.

I am OPEN MINDED. I left the world and became a Christian based on the evidence for God, both internal scriptural evidence and external evidence. I am OPEN MINDED because I’ve accepted their challenges, listened to every one of their discussion points and then asked questions about them, citing scriptures. I am OPEN MINDED because I examine the scriptures daily to see if these things are so. [Acts 17:11; 1Thess 5:21] I am OPEN MINDED because I examine myself, whether I’m in the faith. [2Cor 13:5]

Being ‘CLOSED MINDED’ is the terminology used by the antagonist. The Bible uses the word ‘STEADFASTNESS.’ We are to remain steadfast in our faith. “Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee the crown of life.” [Rev 2:10] Steadfastness, faithfulness will be perceived as being closed minded to the unbeliever. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEDFAST, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.” [1Cor 15:58] How this verse sounds depends on the hearer, whether they believe the scriptures or disbelieve. (emph. mine seb)

Being closed minded is approved in other areas of life. There are EXAMPLES of their minds being made up. Are you closed minded against 7×7=28? Are you closed minded against the idea of a flat earth? Are you closed minded in favor of the idea that man went to the moon? Are you closed minded for the truth that George Washington was a real person?

DO NOT GET ANGRY and do not take it personally. Ad Hominem attacks usually come at the end of a person’s ability to defend their position. Maintain a positive and friendly demeanor as the scriptures say, “but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” [Eph 4:15] Always remain calm. If the person had a scripture, they’d produce it. The ones they do produce are taken out of context & distorted to prove their point. This is predictable, so prepare for it. “…as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” [2Peter 3:15]

Finally, we’re not here to win arguments, we’re trying to win souls to Christ, to show people the way to heaven. Always remember that.

–Spencer

 

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not LOVE, it profiteth me nothing. LOVE suffereth long, and is kind; LOVE envieth not; LOVE vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. But now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

[1Cor 13:1-7, 13] ASV