6 MORE simple objections pt5; It doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized.’

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he ...

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #5; It doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized.’

The Objection goes like this: “If baptism was important, how come Jesus didn’t say, ‘and is NOT baptized’ in the second part of Mark 16:16. If both parts are not present in the second half, then the part omitted is unnecessary.”

This falls under the silly category, not just the simple. Yet, I was given this objection recently in an online discussion. NO, the second part of verse 16 doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized,’ and it doesn’t need to. The second part is contingent upon the completion of the first part. Look at the following illustration.

OMISSION of the second part is completely logical without the presence of the first part. “He that has food & eats it shall be nourished. But he that does not have food will perish.” If you don’t have the 1st part, the second part avails you nothing.

When you TAKE AWAY any part you won’t be saved. The person without belief is condemned already. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:18] “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” [Heb 11:6]

6 More Simple Objections pt4; What if I’m in a desert?

What Really Turned the Sahara Desert From a Green Oasis Into a ...

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #4; What if you’re in a DESERT?

I heard his objection and the next one just this week in my public evangelism. They really are being used. An associate pastor [I don’t know what an associate pastor is] said, ‘What if you’re in a desert and want to be baptized, then what?” I replied, ‘Let me show you a bible passage.’ He ignored me and walked away. Folks, these are not straw man arguments, they are being used by error to justify disobedience to God. Let’s reason together and learn how to answer them.

The Objection goes like this: “Baptism isn’t required because if a believer was in a desert or on a battlefield, they would not be able to be baptized.” These kinds of “what if” arguments prove nothing and don’t change what God has said. They actually lead to error, ie, Sprinkling instead of immersion. God can extend mercy as He sees fit however, we are not God and only know what God has revealed to us. [Deut 29:29]

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

[1Thess 5:21]

DON’T GO beyond the word of the Lord. I cannot go beyond or below the word of the Lord. Consider carefully these passages about adding to or taking away from God’s word.

  • Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. [Deut 4:2]
  • What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. [Deut 12:32]
  • For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [Rev 22:18]
  • Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. [Prov 30:6]

EXCLUDING one command that saves EXCLUDES them all. What saves us? Look at the chart on the last page. All of these are essential.

SALVATION is at the place God puts it. Forgiveness is at faithful baptism. God drew the line of salvation at baptism. We’re not the final judge. All we can say is that such a person does not have a Biblical hope of salvation.

  • And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. [Acts 22:16]
  • 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. [Acts 2:38]
  • He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [Mark 16:16]
  • The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1Peter 3:21]
  • And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? [Acts 8:36]

EXCEPTIONS come from God, not man. God gave the children of Israel an exception to the Passover timing [Num 9:9-13]. God gave it, not man. We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord to do good or to do evil. [Mat 7:21-23] It’s presumptuous to speak where God is silent. “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” [Deu 18:20] While we have no authority for stoning law breakers, the principle still applies. God makes the rules. [cf. 2Timothy 2:5] There are no exceptions to baptism.

REPLACING commands of God has been tried & failed. Naaman tried that. [2Kings 5:1-14]. A key verse: “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” [v13]

TURNING AWAY from the command of God is rebellion & blasphemous. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” [1Sam 15:23; John 12:42; 6:66]

This objection leaves us to wonder if it’s really about ability or willingness.

–Spencer

6 More Simple Objections pt3; What if I die on the way to baptism?

Apologetics Press - Do We Die to Sin Before Baptism or In Baptism?

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #3; What if someone dies on the way to be baptized?

The Objection goes like this: “What if a person believes in Jesus and is saved, but on the way to be baptized they are killed before they can be baptized? I think God will save them because they were actively seeking to do the will of God.”

How to Answer: The first thing to note is that a usual part of this objection is the line, ‘they are saved after believing.’ There is no salvation by faith alone. It’s a subtle twist in the objection, so be sure you note it and correct it. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [Mark 16:16]

Once that is addressed, you can move on to answer the main objection. What if I die GOING to the water?

First, remind them of GOD’S PLAN. We don’t get our authority through ‘I think, my opinion’ etc. The Bible states that we must first believe the Gospel, that Jesus is the Son of God, repent from our sins and to be baptized for the remission of our sins:

  • “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
  • “Repent, and let every one 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).
  • “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:47).

Repent means to turn away from your sins. Remission means forgiveness.

Next, the objection stands if you can find just ONE PERSON who doesn’t need to be baptized. If so, then nobody needs be baptized. They want the made-up exception to be the rule. We have no authority to make exceptions to God’s commands.

IMMEDIACY is seen in the text. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16; cr. Acts 16:33).

NOBODY is saved until they obey the Gospel. [2Thess 1:8; Rom 10:16-17]. Believers Baptized in water is the dividing line.

GOD KNOWS the end from the beginning. If questions will lead to every kind of disobedience. Here’s one, what if a person is on the way & will hear the Gospel and would have believed, but dies before hearing? I’ve had folks tell me the person would be saved! That means they’re saved before BELIEF! This is an egregious error based on ‘what if’ scenarios. ‘What If’ questions have no part in determining authority. The Word from God written in His scripture is our source for information. [Col 3:16]

Now, what does baptism represent? It represents Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Rom 6:3-6). [cr. Col 2:12; Acts 8:35-37; Acts 22:16; Gal 3:27]

 

–Spencer

6 more SIMPLE OBJECTIONS pt1

Nice ways to say you're wrong in English - The London School of ...

 

6 more SIMPLE OBJECTIONS pt1.

These are called simple objections because they could have been easily answered by the questioner through a casual reading of the text. In some cases, the objection has a mocking tone and aren’t very serious. Even then, with the application of a bit of reason they are easily answered.

God has said, “Come now, and let us reason together,” [Isaiah 1:18]

Faith in God is not blind. There is a preponderance of evidence that we may reason & consider. [Heb 11:1,6]

These simple objections are presented with this in mind, Let’s Reason Together.

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #1; Was Saul (later called Paul) saved on the road to Damascus?”

This objection sounds like this; “Saul (later called Paul) saved when he fell off his horse on the road to Damascus.”

The Objection may be answered this way: Not everyone mentions a horse, but when they do you should recognize that this person either hasn’t read the passage or isn’t handling it aright. A casual reading of [Acts 9:1-9; 22:1-16; 26:12-20] will show that no horse is ever mentioned. This is a clear example of someone ADDING to God’s word.

This is an important first defense to many objections, are they accurately portraying what the text actually says? By going to the text, many misunderstandings could be readily cleared with a careful reading of scripture.

Here are 4 more answers to this simple objection:

If Paul was saved on the road to Damascus then why was he SAD, SCARED & SIGHTLESS for 3 days? For a saved person, he is the saddest saved person on record. Everyone else is rejoicing for their salvation. [Acts 9:6; 18; 22:10-16; cr Acts 8:39]

He was told to ARISE and go into Damascus to be told what to do. If he was saved on the road, he was saved without his knowledge of the gospel or the things he must do. ANANIAS had to tell him what to do. [Acts 9:6; 22:10].

His sins were yet UNWASHED. If he was saved on the way to Damascus, he was still in his sins. Ananias said, “arise and be baptized, washing away your sins.” [Acts 22:16] Can anyone assert that salvation occurs with one’s sins? This doesn’t make any sense.

Saul still needed to LEARN what he must do. Jesus didn’t tell him he was saved. For 3 days he waited Sightless & Afraid, deep in prayer and fasting. Why? Because he, as do we all, needed to hear the words of eternal life. Just as Cornelius in Acts 10:6, 22, 33. Romans 10:14, which Paul (previously Saul of whom we’re speaking about) wrote, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Instead of telling him what to do to be saved, Jesus sent him to Damascus where a preacher, Ananias, would tell him the words on how to be saved.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

[1Cor 1:21 emph. mine seb]

No, Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. He was saved when he obeyed the Gospel. The message hasn’t changed for us today. [Rom 6:3-4]

We must Hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, Believe it, Repent of our sins, Confess that Jesus is the Christ and be Baptized for the remission (removal) of our sins. We are then to live faithfully until death. It was the same for Saul, it is the same for us, it is the same for everyone. God is no respecter of person.

 

–Spencer

OBJECTIONS to the Gospel pt3

TLC_026: OBJECTIONS and SIDEBARS | Trial Lawyer Confidential

 

OBJECTIONS #5; You CAN’T lose your salvation. Once Saved Always Saved.

This Objection comes up as you discuss continued faithfulness after obeying the gospel and the possibility of apostacy. The key verse they use is, Romans 8:35-39. Nothing, they say, can separate us from the Love of God. What they fail to see is us, can we reject Him?

We can LOSE our salvation. We can stop LOVING God through our willing disobedience. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” [1John 5:3]

Can we escape through willful disobedience? “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” [2Thess 1:8; cf Luke 6:46; Mat 7:21-19, emph mine Seb]

Paul saw a connection between his SERVICE toward God as a Christian and the possibility of being disqualified. If Paul thought he could become disqualified, why do you think differently? [1Cor 9:27]

Paul wrote Timothy about those who have a shipwrecked faith. [1Tim 1:19]. The parable of the sower shows that we need to ESTABLISH ourselves in the faith, to grow roots in faithfulness and produce good fruit. [Mark 4:13-20; cf John 15:1-6]

Do you need further evidence? Galatians 5:4.

OBJECTIONS #6; The Thief on the cross wasn’t baptized.

You’re right, he wasn’t. He didn’t become a Christian either! You see, the Thief was a Jew (context bears that out) who lived and died under the Law of Moses, the Old Testament system. The New Testament didn’t come into play until after the death of Jesus. [Heb 9:15-17; Luke 23:32-43].

Therefore, the Thief HAD NO COMMAND to be BAPTIZED. That command came after the resurrection of Christ. [Mat 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38]

I often ask, “why pick the thief, why not be saved IN THE SAME WAY AS the rich young ruler?” [Mat 19:16-22] He asked for eternal life and was told to sell all that he had and give to the poor. When’s your garage sale?

An appeal to the Thief will not help you to ESCAPE God’s wrath [Heb 2:1-3; 2Thess 1:8-9]. ESCAPE only comes through obedience to the Gospel. [1Cor 15:1-4; Rom 6:3-4]

the Thief found FORGIVENESS before the removal of the Law of Moses, before the command to be baptized, before the New Testaments covenant of Christ, before the church was built, and before Christ died. Nobody today can meet those criteria to be saved like the Thief on the Cross.

 

–Spencer

Why does the church of Christ push baptism so much?

One of the criticisms against the Lord’s church and against His gospel preachers is that we emphasize baptism so much.

There’s a very simple and reasonable answer. To answer it, let’s look at what we have in common with the denominational world.

  • We BELIEVE in Jesus. They acknowledge Jesus as God & already know about Him, that He died, was buried and was resurrected. There are unbelievers, & for those I begin with HEARING God’s word.
  • We both agree that WORSHIP is found in the scriptures. We disagree about how to worship [in spirit & truth John 4:24], but we generally agree that Sunday worship is a part of the Christian life.
  • We agree that a person ought to be PENITENT, meaning that a person has to REPENT of sins. This is only denied by some denominational people.
  • We definitely agree that CONFESSING Jesus as the Christ is essential to salvation. The scriptures make confession essential. [Romans 10:9].

WHAT ABOUT BAPTISM?

This is where we divide widely. Actually, they’re not dividing from us as much as they’re dividing from the Scriptures. (see chart next page) We emphasize BAPTISM, because they don’t emphasize it at all regarding it being ESSENTIAL to salvation. They will baptize, even by immersion, but that is the end of the similarities. Here’s how I know they’re not following God’s word on baptism…

  • They SCHEDULE According to the word, folks who come to the knowledge of Jesus, are baptized immediately.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” [Acts 16:33]

  • They say, “BAPTISM DOESN’T SAVE.” This is a direct contradiction to the Apostle Peter, to Paul and certainly against Christ.

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;”

[Mark 16:16]

Why Did Jesus Appear to Saul

Why did Jesus appear personally to Saul (later called Paul) on the way to Damascus?

  • To tell him what to do to be SAVED? No
  • To PARDON him?

After His ascension, Jesus never appeared to anyone to pardon sins. Why? Because God has ordained a law of pardon [Mat 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38].

Jesus saves no one except through obedience to the gospel plan of salvation [Heb 5:8-9]. There is no scriptural evidence that He ever appeared and saved someone outside of gospel obedience. He did providentially bring sinners into contact with a gospel preacher who would tell them what to do to be saved.

Why did Jesus appear in person to Saul? The answer is to make him an Apostle [Acts 26:16-18].

The criteria to be an Apostle, a man must have seen the Lord Jesus Christ after He arose from the dead [Acts 1:22; 2Pet 1:16; 1John 1:1, 4:14]. Paul had not been a witness of the resurrection of Christ until the Lord appeared to him on the highway [1Cor 15:8].

  • Saul was a chosen vessel [Acts 9:15].
  • He was one ‘born out of due time’ [1Cor 15:8].

 

All of the Apostles were witnesses of the resurrection of Christ [John 20:19-31]. It was necessary for Paul to be made a witness also by this appearance of Christ to him on the Damascus highway. The purpose of the highway appearance was not to save him, but to make him a witness.

Ananias was instructed to go to Saul. He told him to “arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” [Acts 22:14-16]. Note what he DIDN’T tell Paul…

  • To pray and ask Jesus into his heart.
  • To get religion.
  • To speak in tongues as a sign that Jesus accepted him.
  • That he was already saved.

 

He told him to “arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Just as Christ had commanded [Mat 28:18-20; Mark 16:16]

What did Saul do to be saved? FIRST, we note that he believed. Jesus had appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Saul was on a mission of persecuting the church of Christ. Then the Lord appeared to him and told him that it was Jesus he was persecuting. Saul saw Him and heard His voice. Saul believed in the risen Jesus on that Damascus highway. [Acts 22:10; 26:14-18]

NEXT, he repented. Upon arriving to Damascus, he was blind and his attitude was changed [Acts 26:19]. He was ready and willing to do whatever the Lord would command despite his past [Acts 22:10]. He went to the house of Judas at the Lord’s command. He waited for 3 days in a penitent state [Acts 9:9].

THEN he was baptized. He was a penitent believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. There was but one thing left for him to do. He was already a believer, and had already repented. He needed to be BAPTIZED FOR THE REMISSION OF SIN [Acts 2:38; 22;16].

In his letter to the Romans, he tells us how & why he was baptized. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” [Rom 6:3-4]

Notice the pronouns ‘us’ and ‘we’ by which Paul is including himself along with these gentile brethren among those buried with Christ by baptism. When he took that step into baptism, he himself was putting on Christ. [Gal 3:27]

From Pharisee of Pharisees and Persecutor of the church of Christ to ALL IN PAUL for the spreading of the gospel. What a shining example of faith and duty.

 

—Spencer

What about those who never heard?

Romans 10 tells us that a person cannot confess Christ unless they have heard of Him.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” [Rom 10:14]

Many antagonists of the Gospel, this includes denominational believers, will often challenge obedience to the Gospel in Baptism by asking this question. This is one of the most challenging questions, but not unanswerable. As with all questions we turn to scriptures for the solution.

Before we answer, we must establish some undeniable facts about Christ. Here are 3 absolutes about Jesus:

1: JESUS is the ONLY WAY to the Father. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [John 14:6]

If reconciliation to God could be done by good works of man, Mohammed, philosophy, ignorance or any other way, then what was the need of sending Jesus to provide a sacrifice? No one will get to heaven without coming to Jesus the Christ.

2: JESUS is the author of salvation for all that obey Him. All of the saved are obedient to Christ [Luke 6:46]. This is exactly the meaning of Hebrews 5:9: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

There is no salvation by accident, ignorance nor faith alone.

3: OBEDIENCE to the Gospel is required. The knowledge of God and obedience in Baptism are essential to salvation. One is not saved by faith only [Jas 2:24], is not saved then baptized. We are saved when we are baptized (buried) in water through faith.

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” [1Peter 3:21]

There’s more that could be said, but this is sufficient to prove the point, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]

WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD?

We answer this with the bible and just a little bit of reasoning.

Allow me to offer 2 possibilities:

EVERYONE WHO IS SEEKING THE TRUTH, GOD WILL ENSURE THAT THEY HEAR IT. We have a few examples of this in the New Testament. The first is the house of Cornelius. He was a devout believer in God and had been praying about this very thing. God sent him Peter to, “who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.” [Acts 11:14]. We can also see this when Philip was urged to go down toward Gaza and encountered the seeking Eunuch. [Acts 8:26-39]. All the more reason we need to keep preaching to the whole world. [Mat 28:18-20; cr. Lu 10:2]

GOD KNOWS WHO WON’T ACCEPT THE GOSPEL EVEN IF THEY HEARD IT. The rich man in Luke 16 wanted Lazarus to go back from the dead to warn his brothers about the torment they were facing. The answer was, nope, if they’re not listening to the revelation they already have, they won’t hear even if someone were raised from the dead. [Luke 16:19-31]

Romans 1:20 tells us people are without excuse in light of creation. We all know that many reject God and they use His creation to do it. We could all think of a person that is NOT SEEKING the truth, rather they’re seeking THEIR TRUTH. [2Thess 2:8-10].

If they wouldn’t accept the basic light of creation declaring the existence of God, they won’t accept any more light. Jesus acknowledged this when He said, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” [Mat 15:14].

He also warned, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” [Mat 7:6]

There are those who just won’t believe regardless the effort, even if someone comes back from the dead. That’s what Jesus did, and many still won’t believe.

DUELING CONCEPTS

Entrepreneurship Ministry/Stewardship | Recycling Dollars

 

One of the questions I like to ask folks is, “Why do you go to your church?” The answers vary, but the least frequently mentioned reason is Biblical accuracy.

Even when someone does mention sound Biblical teaching, it usually falls under one of 2 categories, chief of which is, “I really like the Pastor.” Second to this is, “he uses the bible.”

This is my cue to ask another set of questions. It usually goes like this…

ME: “That’s cool, what does your pastor teach about salvation?”

THEM: “It’s about a relationship not a religion. If you ask Jesus into your heart you will be saved.”

ME: “Oh? What is that bible passage for that belief?”

THEM: blank stare “I don’t know the bible as well as I should, but I know it’s in there. Besides, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”” [John 3:16]

ME: “I was reading 1Peter 3:21 and I saw this. Maybe you can help me understand what it means, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” What do you think that means?”

THEM: “I have to go.”

The above was just an abbreviated version of several conversations I have every week. People are very happy to tell me of their feelings of faith. When asked for biblical clarity, many no longer want to talk.

I KNOW WHY

There are only a few reasons why a person won’t talk to me or another who asks for clarity of their beliefs.

  • EMBARRASSED: They can’t defend them & are a little embarrassed, so they must go before I discover their ignorance. Sometimes embarrassment becomes anger.
  • MISTRUST: Connected to the first, since they know they don’t know, they must run away from any who has a different gospel. Maybe they heard Gal 1:8-9 in reverse?
  • HOOKED ON A FEELING: This is exemplified by phrases like, “You can’t tell me that God isn’t speaking to me.” “I had an overwhelming feeling of peace…” (I’ve heard these lines from just about every denomination which begs the question, how do we know their feelings are accurate?)

There is a way to KNOW for certain. It’s in God’s word. We can read it in context and COMPARE it to what we are doing. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” [Matt 7:24]

The sayings of Jesus are recorded in the Gospels and His commands are in the rest of the New Testament, [1Cor 14:37]. “These are written that ye might believe…” [John 20:30-31].

The beauty of the written word is that we can all look at the same material and know the truth and be set free. [John 8:32]

In short, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

GOD SAYS

BAPTISM = IMMERSE in WATER

ESSENTIAL

ACTS 22:16; 1Pet 3:21

ONE CHURCH

EPH 4:4, 1:22-23

SILENCE PROHIBITS

Heb 7:12-14; 2Sam 7:7

LOCAL CHURCH AUTONOMY

Acts 20:28

LIMITED BENEVOLENCE

1Tim 5:5-16

FAITH through the WORD

Rom 10:14-17

ASSURANCE through OBEDIENCE

2John 1:9

NOT BY FAITH ALONE

James 2:24

 VOCAL SINGING

Eph 5:19; Col 3:16

MAN SAYS

BAPTISM, Sprinkling / Holy Spirit, Not ESSENTIAL

MANY CHURCHES

SILENCE PERMITS

A CHURCH WORLD HEADQUARTERS

UNLIMITED BENEVOLENCE

FAITH through A FEELING

ASSURANCE through A FEELING

FAITH ALONE

SING, PLAY INSTRUMENTS, BANDS, CHOIRS, SOLOS etc.

What are you Doing about it?

We can all agree that Jesus the Christ did not sin. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” [1Pet 2:22]. The rest of us have “sinned and come short of the glory of God” [Rom 3:23].

We’re not alone. The great bible characters dealt with this realization:

Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Peter & Paul. Each of these faced the reality of their own sin, Paul saying; “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” [1Tim 1:15].

This fact is no authorization to continue in sin even as Christ came to save sinners. Paul also wrote; “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? [Rom 6:1-2]

Through our obedience to the gospel we have found redemption through Christ Jesus, having our sins washed away in water baptism [Acts 22:16]. Although we’ve been washed, sin leaves a terrible mark on our psyche and scars on our bodies. What are we to do with this?

Paul wrote to the Philippians about this, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” [Phil 3:13-14]. However, in another place he reminded the church of their past sins, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” [1Cor 6:11]. What are we to do with that?

Putting these two passages together we come to this conclusion; Remember from where you’ve come and from what you’ve been saved, but close the door on your past so that you can move onward to do the work of God. There are THREE things about our past that need “forgetting” so we can please God today.

FIRST, we need to forget our past sins. Paul had plenty of sins in his past especially as it related to his persecution of the church. “And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” [Acts 22:4]. Our past sins are forgiven, but unchangeable. They are what they are and we cannot undo them. Therefore, they are to be forgotten.

SECOND, we need to forget our past successes. Whatever good we may have done, however many people we may have helped in the gospel, we cannot rest on those successes. We must continue to press toward the goal. Nowhere is “once saved, always saved” taught in scripture. Not after faith, baptism or any good deed.

THIRD, we need to forget (in a figure) our past sorrows. We’ve all experienced loss & pain, but those sorrows should not prevent us from moving forward with God. Some let the pains and losses of their past to paralyze them from continued service in God’s kingdom.

Rather than let our past paralyze us, it ought to MOTIVATE us into more & abundant service to our King. Being reminded of the forgiveness we have through Christ; our past sins should MOVE us to continual repentance [Acts 8:22-24; 1John 1:7-9].

Our past wins should continue to MOVE us to do more service for our King. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” [Titus 2:14].

Lastly, the pains of our past should MOVE us to reach out to the lost with the gospel message so that nobody dies outside of Christ. You can feel Paul’s sense of urgency about this for the unconverted Jewish nation; “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” [Romans 10:1, cf 9:2-4].

We have no control over our past selves and we have no control over our future selves except as it relates to our TODAY selves. Today is the largest amount of time within our ability and with that it is our only opportunity to serve God.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts… Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” [Heb 3:7-14].