Ad Hominem & Personal Attacks pt 4 Campbelite

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]

We must always remember not to respond in kind with our own personal attack. This would not be the example that Jesus gave when He responded to His attackers. [1Peter 2:23; Isa 53:7]

The fourth ATTACK sounds like this: “Your method of determining AUTHORITY (Command, Apostolic Example, Necessary Inference and the prohibition of Silence [CENIS]) are made up by Alexander Campbell who is the founder of the church of Christ.”

I’m blending 2 separate attacks into one as they’re related. 150 years ago, until about 30 years ago, the attack focused on calling members of the Lord’s body, ‘CAMBELLITES.’ (this is why we’re putting this as an ad hominem attack) The attack was an attempt to show that the church of Christ in America was founded by Alexander Campbell. This is easily refuted noting that Campbell never sought to START a new denomination, rather that he sought to RESTORE the church we read about in the New Testament. Evidence exists that shows the church of Christ was small but already present in America before A. Campbell was even born!

In more recent years, this argument still exists but focuses on the fourfold pattern of how to determine Scriptural Authority (Command, Apostolic Example, Necessary Inference and the prohibition of Silence [CENIS]). The objectors say that Alexander Campbell invented a new Hermeneutic (a method or theory of interpretation). This short article will show that CENIS is the way people communicate.

HOW WOULD YOU ORDER A PIZZA?

COMMAND. A direct command is to give an authoritative order of what you specifically desire. “I want a pepperoni pizza.” This direct command eliminates all other variety of toppings. When specifying a thing, you automatically eliminate all other unstated options.

EXAMPLE. “one that serves as a pattern to be imitated or not to be imitated.” Miriam-Webster. Another way of saying example is with the word “show.” When ordering a pizza, I can show you a picture or description of it from the menu. This becomes the “approved example.” There may be other examples on the menu, but those are unconnected to the command.

NECESSARY INFERENCE. To infer is what we do when another implies (to express indirectly) in their communications. It’s implied in my ordering a pizza that it will be a round bread, with Italian style sauce and cheese baked in an oven. The remaining toppings to be specified by direct statement. We Necessarily Infer when we have only one option available from the indirect command. We necessarily infer bread, sauce & cheese unless otherwise indicated.

SILENCE. That means absence of direction. When you order a pepperoni pizza, your silence about soup, salad or other items prohibit their inclusion. Would you pay a bill, charging you with extra items for which you didn’t order nor desire? You would very likely REFUSE them altogether. Silence is not a blank check to do whatever you want. “You didn’t say not to” is not a viable excuse.

Some argue that we can do whatever God hasn’t specifically prohibited. Try ordering a pizza by listing all the things you DON’T WANT. People communicate by stating, showing & implying what they DO WANT. Silence prohibits.

If this is wrong, please educate me without Telling me (command), Showing me (example), or Implying (we infer).

Alexander Campbell didn’t invent this, God did. He created humans and communication, therefore He created this logical reasoning on how to know what He wants. What He orders is much more vital to our life than pizza. [Matt 4:4]

Ad Hominem & Personal Attacks p2; You think you’re only ones going to heaven

Christianity Is Exclusive. 2 The Gospel is For All Mark 16:15: Preach the  gospel to every creature 1 Tim. 2:3-4: God desires all to be saved & come  to. - ppt download

 

Ad Hominem & other Attacks p2

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]

We must always remember not to respond in kind with our own personal attack. This would not be the example that Jesus gave when He responded to His attackers. [1Peter 2:23; Isa 53:7]

The second ATTACK feels & sounds like it’s right: “You THINK you’re the only ones going to heaven!”

This sounds like a doctrinal rebuttal, but it is based on emotional feelings alone. It carries the presumption that denominational divisions are authorized by God. This attack brings upon the brethren ridicule, mocking and antagonism. “INTOLERANCE” is another code word that often accompanies this attack. Other words tossed in for good measure are, cult, mean-spirited and judgmental. In reality, it has zero scriptural foundation and is thus an Ad Hominem attack.

HOW CAN WE RESPOND? Because the attack has zero biblical foundation, we MUST appeal to the bible for our response. One of the more effective ways is through the seeking of common ground, showing of a bible passage and the asking of a question.

First, I admit that the statement is TRUE. One passage, among many, that can be shown is 2Thessalonians 1:8. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” The question then is, “What does this scripture teach about who will be saved & who will be lost?”

Next, you could show them 1Corinthians 1:10 or Ephesians 4:4 (Eph 1:18) or Matthew 16:18 and ask, “HOW many churches does Jesus want?” The unmistakable is answer is ONE.

Then you could show them INSTANCES where Jesus was exclusive in His statements. You could show them Matthew 7:21-29 and Luke 6:64-49. The question with these passages is, “Will Jesus save based only on the confession one has that they believe, or is He making the distinction between those who believe only vs those who believe AND obey?”

You could show other INSTANCES of God requiring obedience. Cain and Abel [Genesis 4:1-8], Noah [Genesis 6:22], Abraham [Genesis 26:5], Moses [Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:7-12], Nadab and Abihu [Leviticus 10:1-3], Uzzah [2 Samuel 6:6-7], Ananias and Sapphira [Acts 5:1-11].

You should then note that NOT every believer has obeyed and is thus excluded. “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:” [John 12:42] This clearly shows that belief must move into action. [cr. Romans 10:9,16].

James 2:14-26 shows salvation is a working faith and NOT by faith only. Will those who believe only be saved? [cr Jas 2:19]

Lastly you can show that just because there’s only one church doesn’t mean that God is trying to exclude or KEEP anyone out of heaven. God desires that all men repent & obey the gospel. “The Lord… is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [2Peter 3:9b] The gospel is for all, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” [1Tim 2:4] Unfortunately, some will exclude themselves, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matt 7:13-14] The question to ask is, “What does God expect of us?”

There will be those that refuse to obey the gospel and be added to His church, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” [Heb 5:8-9] It is said of these that there’s no love of God in them for, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [Joh 14:15,21,23; 15:10,14; 1John 5:3]

Thus, the scriptures teach that only group of people will be saved, those who have obeyed the gospel and have been added to the church of Christ. [Acts 2:41,47]

–Spencer

6 More simple objections pt6; The Jailer is just told to believe.

Philippian Jailer Story of Salvation – The Afton Wesleyan Church

SIMPLE OBJECTION #6; ‘The Jailer in Acts 16 was just told to believe. “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30]

The Objection goes like this: “This is the only time in scripture that someone asks the question, ‘what must I do to be saved?’ He was told to just ‘believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ Therefore, the way to be saved is by faith only.” We answer this simple objection by just looking at the text.

JESUS was unknown to him. Was this pagan Jailer in a position at that moment to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? No, he would have to be taught Who, how, and what to believe. He still needed to hear. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:17]

He ASKED how to be saved. He recognizes action upon his part. If the error about miraculous drawing to God is true, wouldn’t his response be different? The error claims that man can do nothing on his own! He asks what to DO! “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” [Romans 10:16]

He is INFORMED about who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke records: “they spoke the word of the Lord to him” [Acts 16:32]. They preached Jesus to him which is the Gospel [cr. Acts 8:35-36]. The urgency is present, for all of this took place the same hour of the night which is just past midnight [v25].

He LISTENED to the Gospel. If John 20:30-31 & Romans 10:17 can be trusted, the words that Paul & Silas told the Jailer were sufficient to generate faith in him. Those same words preaching Jesus certainly included the information about repentance & baptism [cr. Acts 8:34-36] for how else did he know to wash their stripes and be baptized ‘the same hour of the night?” [Acts 16:33]

He EXPEDITIOUSLY OBEYED the Gospel. The Gospel is the Death, Burial & Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see the Jailer doing exactly that, obeying the gospel having HEARD, BELIEVED, REPENTED, CONFESSING (inferred) and being BAPTIZED. [cr. 1Cor 15:1-4; Rom 6:3-4; 10:9]. The Jailer did it the SAME HOUR OF THE NIGHT! He didn’t wait until morning or until any monthly scheduling of group baptisms. If baptism is not essential to salvation, why the urgency? In Acts 8, why stop the chariot?

He REJOICED after he repented (washed their stripes) and was baptized. It was only AFTER the Jailer had heard, believed, repented and was baptized that he was able to REJOICE having believed in God. It is clear that belief & obedience truly are connected [Rom 10:16]. “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 7:24ff]

A careful examination of the context shows us that the Jailer obeyed the Gospel. When you add with this account the other accounts of those being saved in the book of Acts you will find a complete picture about how to be saved.

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

What is the church of Christ?

Continue in the LORD Daily!! | Kristi Ann's Haven

 

What is the “church of Christ?”

The word “church” means the “called out ones.” The church is composed of those who have been “called out” of the world by the Gospel unto Christ (2 Thess. 2:14). Thus, these “called out ones” are simply Christians trying to be just what the followers of Christ were in New Testament times (1 Thess. 1:5-6).

In New Testament times, each local congregation of God’s people was a church of Christ. For example, there was a church of Christ at Philippi, a church of Christ at Corinth, a church of Christ at Jerusalem, etc. (Phil. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 8:1; Romans 16:16).

What We Are

The Saved – The church is the saved (Eph. 5:23). The church is NOT the Savior; Jesus is. The church is the body of Christ, with Jesus as its head (Eph.1:22-23). ALL who believe in Jesus, repent of their sins, and are baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of sins are saved (Mark 16:16); that is, they are “added to the church” by the Lord (Acts 2:38, 41, 47). The church at Samaria consisted of the saved, those who had believed and been baptized after hearing the things concerning the kingdom of God (i.e., the church of God), and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:5, 12).


Subject to Christ – Jesus is “the head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:24). We have no synods or conventions to guide us. We are not part of any amalgamation or association of churches. We are subject only to the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17).


What We Are NOT:

A Denomination – We are not associated or affiliated with denominationalism. The creeds of denominations are foreign to the Bible teaching on Christ’s church. The only church founded by God is the one mentioned in the Bible (Matt. 16:18).

 Catholic or Protestant – We are not a Catholic Church. We honor and revere no man or human authority such as the Pope (Matt. 28:18). We are not a “Protestant” church in the popular sense. We “protest” sin, false doctrine, ungodliness, and immortality, but we are not allied with Protestant denominationalism. Catholics and Protestants are not referred to in the scriptures; Christians are (Acts 11:26).


A Social Club – The church was purchased with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). The Son of God did not die for a social organization, but for a “spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). We are not a glorified social center. We are the church. We worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24), not by fun, food, and frolic (Romans 14:17).

Why the Name “church of Christ“?

In New Testament times, the church was called: 

“the church” (Acts 2:47; 5:11; 8:1)
“the church of God” (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Tim. 3:15)
“the body of Christ” (Col. 1:24; Eph. 4:12)
“the churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16)
“the church of the first-born” (Hebrews 12:23)

 Since Christ…

Christ Promised to build His church. Mat 16:18

Christ died for the church. Eph 5:25

Christ purchased the church with His blood. Acts 20:28

Christ is the Head of the church, which is His body. Col 1:18; Eph 1:22-23.

Christ is the savior of the body, which is His church. Eph 5:25.

Wouldn’t the most accurate & scriptural designation be ‘the church of Christ?’

 

Individual members of the church were called:

“Disciples” (Acts 11:26)
“Saints” (Romans 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2)
“Brethren” (1 Cor. 1:10; Gal. 6:1)
“Christians” (Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16)

Whatever we do in word or deed must be by the authority of Christ (Col. 3:17). Jesus Christ is the only creed of the church (Matthew 16:16-17). Anything more or less is of human origin (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

As Christians, How Do We Worship The Lord?

The New Testament says, “Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, the same hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). Christians must conduct worship consisting only of those elements found in the New Testament church (John 4:24).

These are:

Prayer (Acts 2:42)

Singing (Colossians 3:16)

Gospel preaching or teaching (Acts 20:7)

Observing the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Acts 20:7)

Contributing of our means (1 Cor. 16:1-2) for the work of the church (Eph. 4:12)

All of these actions of worship are privileges of the members of the Lord’s church and in no way will be forced upon our visitors.

How Can You Tell If a Congregation Is of Christ?

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…” (John 8:31-32; cf. 13:34-35).

We live in a world where there are hundreds of different kinds of so-called churches, all of them differing in name, creed, and in practice: And yet many of them claim to be Christian and headed by Christ. How can one be sure which church, creed, or practice is what Jesus wants and which is of man? Answer: By examining what is taught and practiced against the only standard available – GOD’S WORD (1 John 4:1).

How Does One Become a Member of the church of Christ?

The Lord adds to the church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). One does not “join” the church. To be saved, one must do the will of God, as expressed by the New Testament (Matthew 7:21).

For the sinner to be saved he must:

HEAR the Gospel (Rom. 10:17)

BELIEVE in Jesus (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6)

REPENT of their sins – a change of mind involving action (Acts 17:30-31; 26:20)

CONFESS faith in Christ (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:10)

Be BAPTIZED for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38)

People are saved and added to the Lord’s church today in the same manner that they were in New Testament times (1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:47).
Please contact us with your comments or questions.

 

originally posted at: http://www.trustingodamerica.com/churchBrief.htm

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 pt7

almost objection meme | Vladyboy1337 | Flickr

OBJECTIONS #10; Salvation by Grace ALONE, through Faith ALONE, in Christ ALONE.

This objection sounds like this; “We are saved by Grace ALONE, through Faith ALONE, in Christ ALONE. That’s what Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches. We who are chosen by God are gifted with salvation, nothing, not baptism nor faithfulness has anything to do with our salvation.”

In case you’re unfamiliar, this erroneous viewpoint has its foundation in Calvinism. Calvinism is the error that God chooses before hand each individual that will be saved and each individual that will be lost. If God hasn’t chosen you, there is zero way for you to be saved regardless how much you try to obey Him. Conversely, if He has chosen you, there is no amount of rejection you can do to prevent it. Eventually you will have your heart changed by the Holy Spirit (even if against your will) and submit to God.

HOW CAN WE RESPOND?

Grace is a GIFT; it is unmerited favor. It is God’s part of our salvation in the demonstration of His love by giving His Son. Rom 5:8-10.

When people point at Eph 2:8-9 to prove that baptism is useless, we should remind them what Paul taught the Ephesians when he first encountered them in Acts 19:1-5. He taught them to be IMMERSED in water (baptized) in the name of Jesus Christ.

Next, you can show them that FAITH is man’s part of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “through FAITH.” Grace is God’s gift; FAITH is our response to His gift of Grace. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing.” In Romans 10:16 the Holy Spirit uses faith & obedience interchangeably. “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?””

“Through faith” is our part, it’s our trust in God’s working when we’re baptized. “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” [Colossians 2:12]

Jesus points out that belief is a work we are to do [John 6:29; cr. 1Thess 1:3; 1John 3:23]. This evidence demonstrates that man has a work to receive the grace of God, which brings us to the next point…

Verse 10 shows that we’re given a TASK to do from God. This work (Eph 2:10) is prepared by God that we should walk in them. This verse is not rejecting any work, just the work that man invents. There are two kinds of work.

1) Works that mankind invents, in which they can boast.

2) Works of God that God commands us to obey, through which God works. [Col 2:12]

“buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” [Col 2:12] (emph. mine seb)

Baptism is that kind of work. Obeying the Gospel is a work of faith on our part, fully trusting in God’s promise to save. None of us has the power to wash away our sins, God does that. None of us can die & take ourselves to heaven, God can.

Our job is to do His works, through our faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” [Heb 11:6]

–Spencer

Objections pt4

Objection! | Know Your Meme

 

OBJECTIONS to the GOSPEL pt4.

We need not view all challenges & objections to the truth as a bad thing. Some folks are just trying to work through the differences from what they’ve been falsely taught.

For the most part it is a necessary step in presenting the gospel. Challenges and objections are necessary to help a person to learn how to study and determine scriptural authority.

It can be viewed as a sign that a person is interested. It can also be a sign of someone who is rejecting the gospel.

As long as they’re asking questions, we can be prepared to answer them. [Col 4:6; 1Peter 3:15].

 

OBJECTIONS #7; I THINK.

This is a subtle objection that I find myself saying. The phrase “I Think” needs to be replaced with “God’s word says.” We live in a world that has embraced the idea of ‘my truth, your truth’ as if everyone has their own version of what is true. We need to have discussions about what does the Bible say?

Naaman is a great illustration for this very point. [2Kings 5:1-14] He had leprosy, learned of the cure and was told by ‘then man of God’ what he had to do to be cured. His first words? I THOUGHT… He thought the cure should look different, be more dramatic or at least be more comfortable. [v11] What we want things to be, doesn’t change the way things are. We need to obey the cure God commands.

For some they think the way to go is through TRADITIONS of their family or culture. Jesus pointed out that the religious leaders were laying aside the commands of God for their TRADITIONS. “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” [Mark 7:9]

Others thing that their HEART will lead them to the truth, that they can feel they’re saved. Experience tells us this is no way to go. Emotion neither proves nor disproves anything. It’s possible to believe a lie, [2Thess 2:11-12; cf. Gen 37:30-35]

God’s word says through the Apostle Paul, IF ANYONE preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. [Gal 1:6-10] We need to check out everyone, especially our own selves. Search the scriptures [Acts 17:11; 2Tim 2:15; 3:16-17].

This touches on the real problem. More and more people, even among believers, just do NOT KNOW the Scriptures. Jesus pointed this out to the Sadducees in Mat 22:26; “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” God said it this way, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,” [Hosea 4:6]

The last part of this objection comes in the form of an appeal to what our KIN folk have done. Very similar to tradition, but this takes it further by adding an emotional spin to it. “I go to the church my grandparents used to go. I even sit in their pew.”

What if your parents, grandparents were wrong? Are you going to allow yourself to be lost because they got it wrong? Here’s a question to ask yourself, What do your grandparents want for you now that they have sight? [cf. Luke 16:27-28] No parent or grandparent wants their children to repeat their mistakes.

Jesus gave a very difficult saying, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” [Mat 10:34-38]. This is not a physical sword, rather it’s a spiritual sword. [cf. Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12]

The solution to I THINK is to ask;

  • What does the BIBLE SAY?
  • What does GOD SAY? (I repeat myself)
  • What does JESUS SAY? (I repeat, repeat myself)

This is my beloved Son: hear him.”

[Mark 9:7; cr. Heb 1:1-2]

 

–Spencer

OBJECTIONS TO THE GOSPEL pt 2

www.bgreco.net/objection/objection.gif

 

OBJECTIONS #3; John 3:16 is all we need.

It’s not enough to know Him, we must obey Him. [Mat 7:21-23; Luke 6:46;]

Jesus does Love you. He died for you. [Rom 5:8; 1John 3:16]. His love was demonstrated toward us while we are without strength, sinners & enemies. But this doesn’t eliminate our part to receive His grace & love.

Obedience is our Love for Him. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [John 14:15]. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” [1John 5:3].

He wants us to voluntarily submit & worship Him. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” [John 4:23-24]

Eternal life is given after obeying the gospel. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” [Hebrews 5:8]. “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].

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”

[Rom 10:16]

So, you see, belief and obedience are interconnected.

 

OBJECTIONS #4; “What if you’re on the way to be baptized?”

This is mostly an emotional response. Emotionalism is not the source of authority. Emotion never proves or disproves a fact. God’s word is truth [John 17:17]. ‘What if’ questions can go on ad infinitum. Here’s a question, what if a person is on their way to hearing the Gospel and believing in Jesus, can they be saved without belief? This is not the way to know the truth.

We didn’t bring up or invent baptism. God did:

  • Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
  • Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
  • Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
  • Acts 8:36 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?
  • and more…

Baptism is submission to God’s commands. He does the work in the water, not you or me. Grace is a gift, that is what Jesus did in giving His life. Through faith is our part. Faith is dead without obedience. [Jas 2:24]

“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.”

[Col 2:12] (emph mine seb)

 

–Spencer