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Showing posts from December, 2011

What is Salvation, Part 4

Q: What is salvation and can you lose it?

There's the saying "once saved always saved". Using the scripture that no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers hand. (John 10:29) but it says in verse 27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me. So the no snatching is referring to those who hear and follow, in other words who are obedient to His Word. So, the ones that do not heed the call of the Lord and follow can be snatched?

What about sin hardening the heart? (Hebrew 3:13)

Shipwrecked faith? (1Tim 1:19)

I have heard the saying - "It's not how you start the race but how you finish it."

In Hebrew 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

If you aren't a true follower of Christ then how can you have the strength on your own to even run the race. It is because of Christ and who He transforms you to be that you would even want to run the race at all. So…

What is Salvation, Part 3

After taking a look at the past (Part 1) and present (Part 2) elements of salvation, it's time to turn to the future element of salvation.

To briefly recap, salvation is being rescued from the penalty of sin (the past element) and the power (the present element) of sin, death and the devil by the grace of God. In the future, we will be saved from the presence of sin.

God is Holy and Righteous, so no sin can dwell in His manifest presence (Habakkuk 1:13; Psalm 5:5; 76:7; 130:3) and in the final state (what some theologians refer to as "The Eschaton") God will be manifestly present among His people in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-4). Since this is the case, sin will necessarily be dealt with fully and finally prior to ushering in the final state of Heaven at a time yet future (see these posts for more about the current state of Heaven and Hell) by God.

As part of the coming judgment, God will bring every thought, word and deed into light and will recompense each ind…

What is Salvation, Part 2

In Part 1 we looked at the reality that salvation has a past element and that for those who have received salvation, they have been saved from the wrath of God, the penalty of Adam's rebellion (enslavement to the Devil) and the penalty for their own personal sin.

In Part 2 we will now turn to the facet of salvation that deals with the present. God does not offer salvation simply to save us from the penalty and power of sin, but also for something else: His glory. If the past element of salvation can be summarized as a being rescued from the penalty of sin, then the present element can be summarized as being set free from the power of sin.

Understanding that Adam's rebellion against God sold humanity into slavery to death and the Devil should lead us to understand that the Enemy of our souls was given great power over us to deceive and lead us towards destruction. Jesus explicitly taught that the Devil is a liar and had strong words for the "religious" of His day, wh…

Unforgivable Sin?

Question - "In the Gospels (Matthew 12:31, Mark 3:29, and Luke 12:10) what is the "definition" of sinning against the Holy Spirit?"

Answer - According to Jesus' own words recorded in these scriptures...
Matthew 12:31-32, 37 (I added verses 32 and 37 for content) - (31) "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. (32) "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him either in this age or in the age to come... (37) "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (NASB)Mark 3:28-29 (Verse 28 added) - (28)"Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; (29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness; but is guilty of an eternal sin". (NASB)Luke …

What is Salvation, Part 1

Q: What is salvation and can you lose it?

There's the saying "once saved always saved". Using the scripture that no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers hand. (John 10:29) but it says in verse 27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.  So the no snatching is referring to those who hear and follow, in other words who are obedient to His Word.  So, the ones that do not heed the call of the Lord and follow can be snatched?

What about sin hardening the heart? (Hebrew 3:13)

Shipwrecked faith? (1Tim 1:19)

I have heard the saying - "It's not how you start the race but how you finish it."

In Hebrew 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

If you aren't a true follower of Christ then how can you have the strength on your own to even run the race.  It is because of Christ and who He transforms you to be that you would even want to run the race at all.  So maybe some were never…

Cultural Commands, Part 2

Q: Why is it that there are parts in the new testament like, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, that have direct commands but really don't seem to need to be followed by today's culture - is it as simple as that was just the culture back then?

A: For the introduction to this answer, please read Part 1.

Now, we’ll turn to the text:

1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a wo…

Cultural Commands, Part 1

Q: Why is it that there are parts in the new testament like, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, that have direct commands but really don't seem to need to be followed by today's culture - is it as simple as that was just the culture back then?

A: It’s important to point out in this first part that the Bible contains God’s timeless word contained in writings captured in human history. Critics of the Bible often claim that the Bible is merely a human book. They are partially right … the Bible is very human. It was written by human authors, to human recipients, in human cultures and contexts, at certain times in human history. Yes – the Bible is very much a human book. But not merely a human book.

God was pleased to reveal His divine and eternal word through the agency of humans (see 2 Peter 1:21). To ignore the humanity of the Bible is to make a mistake when interpreting the text. Similarly, to deny the divine inspiration of the Bible is also a mistake and can lead to erroneous conclusions …

Casting Lots

Q: What’s the story behind casting lots in the bible??
A: After Pastor Scott’s excellent answer about Divining Spirits, it seemed like a good time to tackle this question about casting lots. As P. Scott pointed out, the Bible routinely condemns practices such as divination, witchcraft and the like … so what makes casting lots different and what is it?
First, let’s let the Scriptures speak for themselves:
10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, NASB)
The Bible strongly condemns practices that seek to manipulate and/or seek the help of the spirit world outside of the prescri…