Monday, April 16, 2007

Theology is Practical

Here at Celebration Baptist where I am pastoring we have had the awesome privilege of bringing in Patrick Abendroth to share the word with us for a couple of days. Pat is the senior pastor of Omaha Bible Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He is also the author of "The Truth About Water Baptism," which you can pick up on www.amazon.com. I have the privilege of knowing Pat via the former senior pastor here at Celebration Baptist.

Pat shared a great message with us last night on the matter of theology being practical and important in the life of the believer. He used Psalm 139 as his text to make this point loud and clear.

Psalm 139 says:



1 "O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 5You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

7Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," 12even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

19Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! 21Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"

I wont sit here and plagiarize Pat's message, but as this text clearly teaches that God is all knowing, all present, and concerned with you and me, you can see the point. It is impossible to say either "I just want theology, but I don't want to apply it" or "I just want to live the way God wants, but don't bog me down with theology."

It's impossible to really believe that God is with us everywhere we go, and that He knows our innermost thoughts all of the time and have that not affect the way we live as believers. Furthermore when the passage tells us that God has every day that we are going to live written before one of them comes to pass, that it is incredible thought that should effect us in our thinking about things like missions.

God is with me always, God knows me personally, and God will decide how long I live and when and how I die. I can walk with God into Iraq and I am safe in His arms because I won't go one day before He wants me to. I can boldly preach the gospel and nothing can stop me until God does.

Theology changes people in a good way, and it is very practical. And as to the other person who wants a set of rules to follow but no theology, they will not please God because they do not know Him!

Anyway, it was a great message. Pat is an awesome speaker and I recommend you listening to him on their church website: www.omahabiblechurch.org. You can listen to Pat's sermons as well as some by Erik Raymond who authors www.Irishcalvinist.com, and there are some great podcast interviews with people like John MacArthur and James White and a sermon or two from D.A. Carson as well.

Theology and doctrine matter, and they are quite applicable to our lives as Christians.

In Him -Jacob

17 comments:

Papa J said...

Jacob,

To continue our discussion on the nature of man. I read a verse from the preacher last night, in Eccl 7:29

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

I still say that God made us good. We deviate through sin, but we are fundamentally good.

risen_soul said...

hey Pat,

I agree that in the beginning God made man good, he says so in Genesis 1:31. But man long ago turned aside from God and is no longer "good" by nature.

I understand where you are coming from, but I cannot agree with you. I still hold to Romans 1-3 and the account in Genesis 3 and the curse that came upn man for his disobedience. The only way a person can get aroung Romans 3:10-12 is to dismiss it as "non-literal."

Barry said...

Well said Seth.

papa j,

I understand where you are coming from as well. As a friend of mine recently commented, in Genesis after God looked all that He had made, including man, and it was very good. (Gen. 1:31) My friend was also trying to argue that man is fundamentally good. But like my friend, I think you forget about Genesis chapter 3 where the fall of man is recorded. Man was created good but because he secumbed to the temptation, disobeyed God's command, and sinned, God cursed man. Man was no longer good and in need of redemption to God. There are many more verses in scripture that tells us that outside of this redemption found in the blood of goats and bulls in the old testament and the blood of Christ in the new, man is bad.

Barry said...

Sorry Jacob. My mistake in calling you Seth. Too much blogging. Have to stop.

risen_soul said...

haha,

I was wondering who you were talking to. I don't think Seth McBee has stopped over here much, or if he has I haven't heard form him.

Papa J said...

No, I you can't make Eccl 7:29 about fallen man. The preacher is talking about what he has learned about man's (and woman's) nature. We start out good and all deviate.

I think this reconciles my opinion with Romans 3 quite well.

There is none righteous...there is none that seeketh after God. The preacher explains it. We start out upright and go off course.

Adam's fall has been recovered and we shall all live again!

I must recover from my own fall if I want to receive the atonement.

Romans 3 says the same thing just longer. You can't hold this scripture out to me any longer with your interpretation.

So this carries us to your concept of calling and election. You claim you are chosen, I claim that we choose and I offer James 1:5 as my evidence.

If any of you (I assume he is speaking to the christians here) lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to ALL men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James is teaching us that if God will answer ALL men, surely he will answer the christian's prayers.

And he places a caveat on the teaching: You must ask in pure faith.

Then he goes further to explain how you are made elect in verse 12 of James 1:

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life whigh the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Our faith and trials create works that mark us worthy to receive the atonement. And then are our sins forgiven.

Faith first, then trial and then forgiveness.

The man lowered through the roof had proven his faith and had his sins forgiven of him.

The adultress the scribes and pharisees brought to Christ passed through an incredible personal trial. As Christ interviewed her on his own after he had diffused the situation, he had the perfect opportunity to declare her clean, instead he gave her two profound additional teachings. First, he didn't condemn her. He was the one without sin that could have thrown the first stone and he chose to let her live, then he counselled her. Go, and sin no more.

Prove your faith!

You can not simply cry, "Lord! Lord" and expect salvation. If you do, he will declare that he doesn't know you.

Luke 6:46

risen_soul said...

Ok, Pat, let's just call a spade a spade. You have to twist and deviate from the Scripture to support your heretical views the you hold as a member of the LDS.

The Scripture in Ecclesiastes says that "God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes." This speaks generally of mankind. God made man "good" but man rebelled and every man since the first of mankind follows in rebellion. Why? Because they are enslaved to sin as I have clearly demonstrated through Scripture.

If I or you or anyone truly was born upright, then why would EVERYONE turn away? I could understand that some would, but everyone? It's because there is an underlying force that drags away from God called sin. Nothing in Romans 3 implies that we are born good and end up bad. We are just bad. It does not say some seek fro God but then all stop. It says "no one seeks for God." And if no one seeks for God, then how do we get back into His good graces? We don't even want to.

You say we do good works make ourself right before God along with faith, but the point is, NO ONE DOES GOOD NOT EVEN ONE!

I can hold this Scripture "out to you" all day long because you refuse to simply deal with what it says. How can anyone do good to save themselves, when no one does good?

James 1:5? Again, no one seeks for God, no one does Good? Unless God intervenes and changes us no one goes to God for anything.

James doesn't even say that God answers all men, it says that He gives to all men with liberality, nothing is said about God answering all mens prayers. Where is that in the text.

Proverbs 15:29 says "The LORD is far from the wicked,but he hears the prayer of the righteous."

You say "You claim you are chosen, I claim that we choose."

Look at Romans 8:30

"And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

Who is "he?" Is it you? Do you call yourself, do you predestine yourself? Do you justify yourself?

You apparently think you do.

You speak of the "work" of the men lowering the man through the roof and you say that He was made well because of that work. NO!

Look at the Scripture, Mark 2:5.

5"And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."

It was not because of their works but their "FAITH" that the man was healed and forgiven.

I know that you cannot simply cry "Lord, Lord" that is what I have told you! I believe that works prove genuine faith, but clearly faith saves! NOT WORKS!

Ephesians 2:8-10

"8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

God's grace, through faith, not works.

But we are as believers to do good works, because real believers bear good fruit.

One day I will stand before God and be able to fall down at His feet and worship Him and say "You did it God, it was all you."

You propose a view that says to God "We did it." and you spit in the face of Christ and tell him that what He did on the cross was not enough for you.

But what a surprise. You are in a cult that believes that God was once a man created by another God. Even though God declares in Isaiah 45:5 "I am the LORD, and there is no other. Besides me there is no God."

You do not believe that Jesus and the Father are one, but separate gods. You are in a cult that teaches that man can become a God just like Yahweh.

Your religion is the very definition of Galatians 1:6-9.

"6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed."

Your faith claims that the church fell out of existence for hundreds of years but Christ said that He would establish his church and the gates of Hell would not prevail.

You believe in a religion that has no historical proof, or basis.

You need to repent of your sin, trusting in your own "goodness" and trust in Christ alone for salvation.

John 3:18-19

"18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil."

Papa J said...

Jacob,

You have twisted my words and the scriptures.

You can not hang your entire religious belief on one chapter of scripture. Romans 3 must be taken in context with the entire book of Romans, and the entirety of the books of scripture.

I do not claim, and the scriptures won't allow for any man to be saved solely by his works; however, faith and works are a formula. And they come in that order. Faith first and then works, then, when we have proven our faith, God applies his grace.

The first work that god requires of us once we have faith is baptism. Christ taught that to Nicodemus in John 3:5 This is how we commit to take Christ's name upon us. This is how a man is born again.

How is a man called? Hebrews 5:1-5

1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: (this is a calling to serve others)
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. (He will have human weaknesses like the people he serves.)
3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, also for himself, to offer for sins.
4 And no man taketh this honour (the calling to the priesthood) unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

You deride the LDS religion for "heretical" beliefs, yet your religion is an offshoot of an offshoot of Catholisism. They could brand you the heritic.

Yes, we believe in the apostacy. It is scriptural. 2 Thes 2:3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the second coming) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

Christ was also branded a heritic when he taught salvation through His sacrifice replacing the sacrifice of animals for sin.

When Christ taught that the gates of hell wouldn't prevail against "it", the "it" he was refering to is the Rock of revelation. Peter had received revelation regarding the divinity of Christ, "For flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee, but my Father, which is in Heaven" The divine word received from God. (Matt 16:13-19)If you honestly believe that the Rock he is refering to is the Church, you should be Catholic, or believe that your religion survive via secret society.

The last verse of Matt 16:13-19 is another argument for conveyed authority:

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatsover thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

This wasn't a keychain with one key labeled "the Pearly Gates." This is the authority to act in the name of God on earth. The holy priesthood.

The magician Simon offered to purchase this authority in Acts 8:19

It can not be bought. It is a gift. To be given by the laying on of hands by one who already has that authority.

So, I challenge you to state your line of authority. How were you called of God?

I was called by a prophet of God to serve a mission. I have been called by various other men who all derive their authority from callings from God.

God still speaks to man. He spoke to Joseph Smith directly. He has sent the ministering of angels again on the earth. He has restored the keys given to Peter back to man on the earth.

Aaron received his call through Moses, God did not deliver that call himself, but through his prophet.

You may call my religion whatever you like. When I think of cults I think of men deceived by other men, that lose their own power to freely reason and choose.

When I came to my religious crisis as a teenager I rejected the faith of my parents for a time. (About a year and a half.) They did NOT force me to accept their beliefs.

I made my own search for truth a matter of prayer and study.

God answered my prayer. I felt the fruits of the spirit and recognized them. I feel that feeling when I pray, when I fast, when I read the scriptures, when I exercise the priesthood. I know that the spirit has spoken to me, and will speak to "all men liberally" if they ask in faith. The spirit confirms what I learn in the scriptures, I know that Christ lived and died for us. I know that he will come again to the earth. And I know that he speaks to his prophets here on the earth now, as he did to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elija, Peter, Joseph Smith, and Gordon B. Hinkley (his current prophet.)

In His holy name,

risen_soul said...

Pat,

No sir, you twist the Scripture because you have no choice but to do so in order to hold on to your backwards doctrine’s of your false church and false prophets. You like Romans Catholic’s can only read the Scripture with the bias of what you have been told is infallibly true by your church. Just like a Catholic can’t argue that Mary had sin, or that she was assumed into heaven, because the church says so.

You constantly use verses that apply only to Christians and try to make them about all people. You ignore the straight forward teaching of Scripture that all mankind is sinful and darkened by that sin. Romans Chapters 1-3 paint about as clear of a picture as you could get that sin has radically effect all of mankind, but you just breeze by it like it can’t be taken literally.

I didn’t claim that you said works alone save, do you read what I write? But you do claim works + faith are needed. But what about Ephesians 2:8-9 that clearly say it is not by works? What about all of the passages that only refer to faith in Christ and do not mention works? What about the fact that I have explained to you time and again that works prove that a person has genuine faith, but it is the faith that saves?

I would hesitate to make your basis for baptismal salvation John 3:5, it’s a rather weak argument. First of all there is much debate of what “water”even refers to here. Some think it means baptism as you do, but other scholars have put forth that it refers to natural birth and then spiritual rebirth. Others say that it is symbolic of the word of God being cleansing, still other refer it to the Spirit itself like water as in the prophet Joel 2:28,
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”

Point being, many, many bright scholars disagree on what is meant here. The word baptism isn’t used and it’s not an interpretation that you can be dogmatic about. But if baptism is necessary for salvation, what about the thief on the cross whom Jesus promises paradise? What about Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8-9, John 3:16,18,36; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22,26 and Romans 4 that teaches Abraham was saved by faith in God and not works and countless other passages that mention faith in Christ, faith in the one God for salvation that make no mention of any work, no baptism or anything like it?

My view is consistent, yours is not. We are saved by God’s grace which He freely gives to those whom He chooses, we receive faith from Him and are saved not by works, but our works prove genuine faith! You think your “will” is so “free” but what do you do with Romans 9 that tells you that God is the potter, you are the clay and He can do whatever He wants to do with you? Before they did anything good or bad, God chose Jacob and “hated” Esau, so that His purpose of “ELECTION” might continue. We are not elect because we choose God, the elect are the elect because God chooses them by his grace for nothing that we do, but by HIS FREE AND SOVEREIGN WILL!!!

Who are you o man to answer back to God. You know not God and you know not the Scriptures. Your faith is idolotrous, you worship a created God, I worship the God of the Bible who is uncreated, you believe in many Gods, and think that you might get to be one, I call you an idolater!

There is one God, YAHWEH, Him and Him alone!

I do not stem from the Catholic church I stem from the true vine, Jesus Christ. The reformation was about putting out false doctrine that had crept into the church over time. Grammatically speaking the “it” is the church that is built on the rock, and the rock is the confession given to Peter from God that Jesus Christ is LORD!

Unless you repent of your sin, and turn your heart to the true, one and only God, you will be the kind on the day of the Lord saying, “LORD, LORD” and Jesus will tell you that He never knew you.

Your definition of “calling” has nothing to do with the Bible, it certainly doesn’t answer Romans 8:30.

I don’t expect the natural man to understand the Scriptures, you are unable to according to 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Isaiah 45:5

“I AM THE LORD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER, BESIDES ME THERE IS NO GOD.”

Papa J said...

Jacob,

I make no claim to worship other Gods. I do not exalt myself to God's status. I certainly don't worship any other God.

I do read what you write. I pray about it and ponder upon it. I believe it is clear we both delight in God's word.

Please don't ignore or so easily dismiss the doctrines I have shown you.

1. A man must be called of God as was Aaron. Heb 5:4

2. The apostasy was prophisied.
Amos 8:11 - There will be a famine in the land for the hearing of the word
2 Thes 2:3 - There shall be a falling away
2 Tim 3:5 men will deny the power of god, while having the form of godliness.
2 Tim 4:3-4 men heap teachers to themselves, but turn from truth

3. Authority is required to conduct sacred ordinances, such as baptism and bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost
Acts 13:3,
John 15:16 (one of your favorite scriptures I think) Christ ordained his apostles
Ephisians 4:11, Christ's church is organized and has a structure

4. Man is taught by the spirit as well as scripture.
You gave me 1 Cor 2:14 I give it back - these things are spiritually discerned. Ever do I seek to be taught by the spirit.

5. There is no special subset of the saved predestined to salvation.

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The world! Not the just a chosen subset. I do not deny we must do our part. Faith is important, but why does Paul put it behind Charity in importance in 1 Cor 13:2 and 1Cor 13:13? Because our love of God and our fellow men is more important. Why? Because it will move us to action!

Yes, faith is mentioned on it's own often throughout the scriptures, but it is the whole of scriptures we are talking about. The entire formula, not just the first part of the equation.

Your concept of the limited atonement is a scriptural construct created by taking limited scriptures out of context.

6. And lastly, the Nicean creed, that God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all manifestations of the same god. Yes, John does say they are one. But they are one in purpose not flesh. One in cause.

Upon baptism Christ was acknowledged by God. Upon the mount of transfiguration, in the garden of Gethsemene, Peter heard the words "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 2 Peter 1:17

Is the described relationship ficticious? Would God lie to us about Christ being his Son?

I'm afraid it is you that have accepted the heretical doctrine handed to you from href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea">a papal council that occurred well after the Catholic church had gone into apostasy. There was none there that could speak with authority.

I worship no false God, only God the Father.

risen_soul said...

Pat, first let me apologize for getting a bit heated at you. I tend to get a bit worked up over these issues that I so passionately care about.

Now as far as your worship of God, I didn't mean to tell you that you worship "other" or multiple gods, however your relgion does teach that there are other gods besides Yahweh, does it not? And your religion does teach that the ultimate achievement of man through obedience to the law of God and faith is deification, does it not?

"As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become."

That is taught, is it not? Therefore I presented you with Scripture from Isaiah where God says that He alone is God, and no one beside Him is God. I can certainly present more Scripture throughout the Bible that teaches the same thing.

This is indeed the basic assumption of the Bible, that there is one God, the Almighty.

Deuteronomy 6:4

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Interesting to note that if one looks at the Hebrew there we see that the plural name Elohim for God and then calls that same God "one." It doesn't say "one in will" or "one in mind" or anything like that. Simply the Lord is one. There is one God, but He exists in three persons.

When the Bible continually raises the banner time and again that there is only one God, and then name three different persons as God, the only harmonization allowed is that there is one God in three persons.

It is not that there is only one God that matters, there is only one God period. Not just one God to us, but one God alone.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with your statement from Hebrews 4:5. Because I agree that man is called by God. Man does not call himself, that would be nonesense. That is my entire point with Romans 8:30. It is God's action to call, predestine, justify and glorify, and if He does one, He will do the next.

As far as the apostasy goes, what about those four Scriptures you quoted is untrue at this present day?

Many people this day don't care to hear the word of God, many raised in churches, even LDS churches "fall away" and no longer follow any concept of God. Many people today say they are Christians and look like they are, but are not. And many look for teachers that will tell them what they want to hear.

None of the verse you gave teach that this will be across the board to where the true church falls off the face of the planet. And as I said all of those Scriptures describe the majority of people to this day.

As far as your third point, authority of anykind is given not by man but by God Himself. John 19:11. And I agree that Christ's church has a purpose and structure and is organized. And that as you gave Eph. 4:11 that God gave some to be apostles and prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers. But I'm not sure what point you are tryin to make by this.

on point 4, we agree, except I think that (to be blunt) you are the natural man who cannot comprehend the things of God's Spirit, because you lack the Spirit of God.

and on point 5, your wrong. I've given ample Scripture that clearly teaches that God predestines, elects, sets aside people for himself. God is absolutley in control of all things. Salvation, life, death, even our very will. Or could Judas not have betrayed Jesus? Could pharaoh have resisted God's hardening?

As far as John 3:16 goes, did you know that a litteral translation of "whosoever believeth" is "the believing ones?" And regardless of how it is translated, whosoever, doesn't mean that anyone can, only that those who do will receive eternal life.

I point you back again to the Scripture I have presented you about God choosing us and not us choosing Him.

On 1 Cor. 13. God put love before faith because He is making a point, that all things are worthless if they are not motivated by love. The kind of faith that is being spoken of here is a miraculous faith, not saving faith. This discussion is outside the context of salvation and not relevant to our current discussion.

I will certainly agree that Scripture must be interpreted within itself and by the whole. But if Paul is witnessing to someone and telling them what they must do to be saved, would he not tell them the whole gospel? But Paul tells the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30-31 that he must "believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." And there are many other examples. Point being, if I am preaching the gospel and if I were to believe that baptism is part of salvation, I would say "Trust in Christ and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins" it would be nonesense to do anything less. So why would paul tell someone to merely believe for salvation if more was necessary?

Limited atonement is very clearly spelled out in Scripture. You can write it off if you want to, but it's taught. And I gave Scriptural support to this doctrine which you have not even begun to answer.

on point 6, again you misunderstand the trinitarian concept of God. We do not teach that there is one God with three "manifestations" of Himself. But that there is one God in three separate and distinct persons. Three persons, one being. We very much recognize the difference between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We do not confuse them as the same person, but we believe as Scripture teaches that these spearate persons, are one being, of the same essence, each eternally God, never created, never a man, always God.

I don't consider church councils as authoritative, I am not a Roman Catholic. I believe Scripture alone is authoritative in the life of the believer. But I believe this creed did effectively put into plain language what Scripture teaches about the nature of Yahweh.

Your apostasy is false. Though there have been times of much confusion throughout the churches history, and times where horrible things were done in Christ's name such as the inquisition, and the crusades, that doesn't mean that there weren't true believers in those days who placed their hope in Christ.

You say you worship only the Father, do you not worship Jesus? And if you do, is Jesus not a separate God then the Father in your view?

Papa J said...

Jacob,

To answer your questions:

That baptism is taught as essential:

Matt 3:15 Christ says to John, "Suffer it to be so now...to fulfil ALL righteosness."

John 16:16 He that believethe AND is baptised shall be shaved.

Luke 3:21 Pharisees rejected Gods council, being NOT baptised.

The resurrected Christ taught in Matt 28:19-20

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: (There's that works things again.)

Acts 10:34-48 After the gentiles heard of Jesus, believed (had faith)received the manifestations of the spirit(a sure witness to them that their belief was real), they are COMMANDED to be baptised by Peter, the head of the church.
There's that formula I keep talking about: 1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ 2. Repentance 3. Baptism for the remission of sins 4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

Christ's words to the apostles AFTER his resurrection in Mark 16:15-16
15 Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is very safe to say that the scriptures teach of the necessity of baptism.

If Paul ignores the topic occassionally, it should be forgiven because most of what he wrote was to faithful, already baptised, saints. It most certainly is taught in the scriptures as a requirement.

On Eternal progession:

You insist on visiting the doctrine of eternal progression, that man MAY become like God. I will offer you the scriptures that teach this. You will close your eyes.

Psalms 82:6

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Even if he is speaking to Israel, and how they turn from God, what else could be meant by this verse but what it says?

If you think this is blasphemous, I refer you to Christ's teachings on the matter.

John 10:34-38
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do no the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.


On the Godhead:

Christ himself taught us not to worship him, but his father

Matt 4:10 Christ tells the devil that we should only worship God the Father.

I do not worship Christ, I worship through Christ. He is my advocate with the Father. I come up short quite often, but I do try to be worthy of his representation. It would be just as nonsensical to worship the Holy Ghost. Christ himself taught us how to pray: OUR FATHER who art in heaven...

About authority.

When Christ was approached by the centurion Matthew chapter 8 we see a very good explanation of authority. You can not derive authority by knowledge of a subject alone (the demons KNOW who God is, better than we do, yet they have no authority by their knowledge.) You can not derive authority by works (I'm pretty sure you agree with me totally there.) It is delegated. This is what caused the apostasy. No man retained the rights of the priesthood and it passed from the earth. Hebrews 5:4 is about this exactly, no man may take God's authority, the priesthood, unto himself unless God himself, or one to whom he has already granted that authority, gives it to him. Aaron was not ordained BY god. Yet because God's appointed prophet, Moses, called him to be the High Priest he was called OF God.


If the scriptures were the only authority we needed to receive ordinances and blessings from God, don't you think that Christ would have said something like, whosoever believes these things can baptise? Ludicrous. He called and ordained by the laying of of hands the leaders of his church. If it is no longer necessary, when did this practice change? Who eliminated it?

Which really only leaves you the options of 1. believing one of those that claim to have received that ordinance by the laying on of hands, or 2. claim that man does not have that authority, the priesthood of God. In which case we are STILL in apostasy.

The apostasy is real. Man did not overcome it. God did, through his servants here on earth, the prophets. This is how he works. Has God sealed the heavens? Only man closes himself from God. The atonement IS offered to all mankind, if we chose to accept it.

You have reasserted that I am a natural man, not able to head the spirit. I confess I am a weak man. But I know the fruits of the spirit. I feel them as we discuss god here on your blog. I feel them when I pray. I feel them now as I write these things. I know that he lives. I know that he sent his son. And I know that he saves me from my sins.

risen_soul said...

pat,

hey there, I am swamped this week so I'll respond as soon as I can.

risen_soul said...

Pat,

You brought up Matt. 3:15 when speaking about baptism and making one righteous. Do you believe that Jesus was not already righteous before His baptism? I certainly do, He is God. I know you don’t think that He is Yahweh, but perhaps a god. Nevertheless, Christ was perfectly righteous since birth, He knew no sin in his life. How do you become more righteous than that?

John 16:16 doesn’t say anything like that, where did you mean? Regardless, I know Scripture words it similar to that several times, but I can show you verses that simply say that whoever believes will be saved. A believing person in Christ will be saved, so certainly one who believes and is baptized will be saved.

Luke 3:21 doesn’t talk about the Pharisees? What’s your point anyway? Obviously the Pharisees were self righteous losers most of the time.

Matt. 28 is perfectly consistent with the reformed interpretation of Scripture. I do not deny the importance of Baptism! It’s a command from Jesus and to not be baptized is disobedience and sin. But baptism is not conditional to Salvation. And as far as works go, as I have said, works will take place in the life of a true believer. A true believer will desire to do the will of their Father. Works do not justify, they demonstrate true saving faith.

Acts 10:34-48 is a great passage which is right in line with my position. As Peter taught the gospel, the gentiles believed Christ, they received the Holy Spirit showing the Jews that salvation really was for the gentiles as well. And once Peter saw that they hade saving faith, evidenced by the Spirit of God (Eph. 1:13-14) obviously he said “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people.” They had become Christians, the Spirit came into them, they then should be baptized as is right in obedience to the Lord’s command. But they already had the Spirit of God which is the seal of the saved. Your four part formula you gave is not in the order of what happened here in Acts 10.

As far as Mark 16:15-16 goes, two things here. One, many Scholars (conservative ones) do not think that Mark 16:9-20 is originally part of Scripture because the earliest manuscripts do not contain it.

Be that as it may, verse 16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” What is it that will condemn someone? Lack of works? NO. Lack of faith in Christ. Again, my view is consistent.

I agree that baptism is important because Jesus commanded His followers to do so, but it is not salvific. As far as forgiving Paul because he fails to mention that works are necessary for salvation, I don’t think I need to. He doesn’t mention it because it is not needed. The example I gave is where He was preaching to unbelievers in Philippi, not telling believers about the gospel. Paul surely wouldn’t have withheld vital information from unbelievers.

As far as Eternal Progression, I think it is a very important discussion. Because the Bible teaches us that there is ONE GOD. There are no other God’s!

Isaiah 46:5-11

5"To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike? 6Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales, hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship! 7They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries to it, it does not answer or save him from his trouble. 8"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me, 10declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' 11calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”

There is no one like our God, God is the only God, all other gods are merely idols. You brought up Psalm 82:6. These lower case “gods” are human judges. They are gods in the sense that God has set them over people to rule with authority, but as it says about them in verse 7 “nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” Do genuine gods die? These are merely men whom God calls gods in a sense because they are rulers over people like gods.

I agree with Dr. Constable on this issue, you may go to www.soniclight.com and click on study notes and find the appropriate books and verses. Point being, we must interpret Scripture with consistency. God says that He alone is God and there is no other, so these “gods” cannot be gods in the sense that God is God. It was a metaphor, like we see so much of in Psalms anyway.

On the Godhead.

Jesus doesn’t teach that we should only worship the Father in Matt. 4:10, he teaches that we “shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” And sense Scripture teaches that Jesus is the Lord, the God of Israel, He is equally worthy of our worship. In John 8:58 Jesus clearly identifies Himself as the God of Israel that led them out of Egypt and all of that by saying:

“Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

Any reasonable Scholar knows that Jesus Identified Himself as I AM because that is what God told Moses to tell the people of Israel His name was. Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Jesus is God as much as the Father is God and as much as the Spirit is God, three persons, one God.

Jesus receives worship all over the New Testament and unlike angels He does not stop people from worshiping Him.

John 20:26-29

“26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." 28Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Revelation 5:1-14

“1Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" 3And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."
6And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying,
"Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth."
1Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Now who do you think this “lamb” who appeared as “though it had been slain” might be who gets the exact same worship that the Father gets who is seated on the throne? Jesus!

Hebrew 1:5-6

“5For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"? Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? 6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."

The angels of heaven worship Jesus as well. How about this, Matthew 2:1-2, 7-8, 10-11

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.’ ... Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.’ ... When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh."

They sought Jesus so that they might worship Him.

And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’" (Matthew 14:33)

"And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Hail!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him... And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted." (Matthew 28:9, 17)

I could go on. Jesus deserves worship for He is God, HE doesn’t ever refuse worship when it is given even though the angels refuse it, Rev. 22:8-9 “8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

And the Apostles refuse it, Acts 10:25-26 “25When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man." But Jesus accepts it because it is fitting that He be worshiped.

On Authority,

Authority comes from God and His word. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. Because of Christ in the life of the Christian we can all boldly go before the throne of God with Christ as our mediator. Why is it that God would allow such an apostasy to take place as you believe? It seems to me that He clearly said that His church would not fail.

As far as your feelings go , just know that our feelings can be deceiving, they are relative and subjective. We are called to compare ourselves to the word of God to see if we are in the faith.

Papa J said...

Jacob,

I apologize. I misspoke. Firstly, we do worship Jehovah, or whatever else you wish to call him. He is the God of the Old testament. And, he is also Jesus Christ. I do not dispute that. If I argued against that I was wrong.

I do not pray to Jesus, however, I pray to God the Father, in the name of the son.

I do believe that the physical nature of God is important. I can reconsile the nature of God into three beings with one purpose very easily. With every scripture you have shown me, there is not one that makes God into a split personality. While no man knows God's ways, you do have to ask yourself why God would represent himself in three forms, even going so far as praying to himself, standing next to his sitting self, pronouncing himself his own beloved son in whom he is well pleased, professing a need to visit himself when Mary went to touch him, saying that there is someone else that is going to come and baptise you with fire but it's really me. These are things one does in two party relationships. The whole concept of one person playing three roles makes reason stare. And it was a decision that was made by man, trying to understand scripture without the spirit, and without authority.

So again I ask, if there was no apostasy. What happened to God's authority? This is not a made up concept. It is scriptural. The laying on of hands is clearly demonstrated. The passing of God's authority, the need for an inspired leader. Christ did not remove these things. He continued them in a new form. Peter received heavenly manifestations after Christ died. Paul received heavenly manifestations after Christ died. John received revelation after Christ died. When did these things pass from the church if the church did not pass into apostasy? WHY did these things pass from the church if it hasn't gone into apostasy? Has God gone mute after millenia of speach?

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Prov 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish.

And certainly the confusion that was created during the dark ages can be attributed to nothing else but a lack of vision. Man was not enlightened because there was no man speaking for the Lord.

God declared what the foundation of his church should be: Christ (1 Cor 3:11), apostles and prophets (Eph 2:20), and revelation (Matt 16:15-19). Christ is the cornerstone. Revelation is his tool, given to apostles and prophets.

When did that mechanism end? When did that foundation fail? How can you build his building without his foundation.

All churchs claim Christ as their foundation. What gives them the right? The scriptures? So is the smartest or most scripturally versed the authority. Does the smartest or the theologian with the most degrees speak for God?

Let's return to the story of Simon the magician. What is it that Simon sought? (Acts 8) The power to lay hands on others to give the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Remember this point I'll come back to it.) If this power were simply the testimony of Christ, and enough study to be able to teach it, why was Simon offering to purchase it? He recognized the authority of God as a real thing.
You can not take that honor unto yourself. Heb 5:4.

Now going back to the order 1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2. Repentance 3. Baptism, for the remission of sins 4. The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Yes, a man may feel the holy ghost before he receives the gift of the holy ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost is conveyed by priesthood authority. The promptings of the Holy Ghost are available to all men. So that they may feel the spirit teaching them. Confirming truth to them. And when they feel that spirit, they are moved to repentance. I did not make a mistake when I said that the Holy Ghost comes after baptism.

Which leads us back to baptism. You already said it, but I will emphasise it. If Christ, who was perfect, had need of baptism to fulfill all righteousness, how much more then do we, who are sinful?

You may believe in Christ all of your life. Baptism is the covenant we make to take Christ's name. To be adopted into his family. It is required obediance. You can not be saved without it unless you are innocent (like children.) Galatian 3:25-29 explains this quite poetically:

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (the old Jewish law).
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, three is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (One in purpose by the way. I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't argue for us being literally Jesus' body.)

One last point. Yes feelings can deceive you. It is the fruits of the feelings that can finally show you where they come from. When the spirit moves you to help another person in need. I comes from god. When your own feelings move you to selfish actions. They do not come from God. A couple of examples should illustrate this quite well.

A teenager feels very strong emotions when he/she sees a potential boyfriend/girlfiend. Not bad feelings, just not from God. These feelings move you to self serving behavior. (They are not evil feelings either, but they are not from God.)

Upon hearing the word of God. A man/woman believes that Christ lived and died for us. More than believes, he FEELS it. These feelings come from God.

Galatians 5 really is meant as a tutorial on how to feel the spirit. It IS a small voice. Very hard to feel. But very real. I have come to trust that feeling. When we pray, don't we listen as well?

I feel the spirit as a burning in my chest. A warmth. It confirms truth when I read it. When I study and ponder it. It brings a steady feeling of peace. A lack of contention. Or even of a desire to contend.

God speaks to man today he has not changed. He speaks to both prophet, and simple man.

Christ said,"My sheep HEAR my voice." This hasn't changed.

risen_soul said...

Pat,

I'll have my response tomorrow.

risen_soul said...

Pat,

Fair enough, if you miss spoke then we’ll let that one go. Your exact words were however“Christ himself taught us not to worship him, but his father” and that is why I gave the onslaught of citations about Christ being worshiped.

In regard to whom we pray, I agree that Christ taught us to pray to the Father. Jesus Christ is our mediator and intercessor who gives the believer the privilege of carrying prayer right to the Father. This is on reason why I criticize the Roman Catholic concept of praying to the saints. Why pray to them when you can go to the Almighty?

As far as the person of God and the trinity, I understand that you want to say that there is one God head, and that they are one in purpose, but Scripture very clearly says that there is but one God and He knows of know other.

Isaiah 44:6-8

“6Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:"I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. 7Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. 8Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any."

It does not say there are several gods that are one in purpose. It says there is one God. And remember the verse I pointed out about “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one.” Using both the plural and singular forms of the word God while calling God one. It doesn’t say “one in purpose.” Those are LDS assertions that are added.

Why would God reveal Himself this way? Because that is who He is. God is not just a split personality, that would be a gross misrepresentation of the trinity. God is three very separate persons, who together are the one God. Each is fully God, not just one third of the puzzle. But they are individual persons, yet the same God “YAHWEH”, “ELOHIM.” It is a concept beyond human comprehension. I cannot fully contain this idea in my own head. But I don’t expect to worship a God that I can fully understand with my human finite mind. God is unlimited, I am limited.

However if Scripture is to not contradict itself, the only harmony that there is with statements like “there is one God” and “There is no other god” along with calling the Father God and the Son God and the Spirit God, that there is one God in three persons. That position holds the most fidelity to the text of Scripture. God is not “one person playing three roles” as you have said. God is three persons fulfilling different roles, and yet co-eternal and co-existing as one God.

As far as the apostasy and this authority that you speak of, I don’t know what to tell you. Not because I concede to your point, rather I just have such a different view than you on this issue I don’t really know how to respond. You say “What happened to God’s authority?” I would say He still has it.

You make an assumption that God must continually speak today as He did to Peter and Paul and John for the church to not be in apostasy. I disagree. I believe that God set aside apostles for a specific time when Scripture was being written, for the purpose of putting His word into written form and for the initial spreading of the gospel. After the last apostle died then the canon of Scripture was complete and it became our sole rule for faith and our authority as God’s inerrant word for guiding the believer into God’s truth. I don’t believe that we need continued revelation from God but that He has given us everything we need to be sufficient in faith and every good work. I think it is an unscriptural assertion that because God does not speak to people in the manner that He did to a select few for a short time that the “true church” disappeared from the earth. Everything needed for salvation and walking with God is found in the pages of Scripture.

I similarly disagree with Roman Catholics about this issue in regard to their Papacy, and claim that Peter was the first pope and there has been an unbroken chain since then of popes.

I think the Lord speaks for Himself today through the Bible. Faithful teachers speak for the Lord in the sense that they proclaim His word from Scripture, but God has said everything He wants to say to us already, and He speaks to us through the Scripture.

When did this prophecy and revelation end? I would say with the last apostle, John. But I don’t believe the foundation has failed by any means. I believe that it is completed. The foundation that you speak of isn’t being built endlessly, it is now done and being built upon.

God speaks for Himself. The Spirit of God reveals His truth to His people. Those who have the Spirit are enabled to understand Spiritual things according to 1 Cor. 2:15. This doesn’t mean that they are incapable of error, but that they are capable of finding the truth as they were not before the Spirit came into their life.

You did make a mistake when you said the Spirit comes after baptism, because the Spirit is received when one places their faith in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14). They need not wait for baptism or some laying on of hands. The instance in Acts 8 was not normative but a way of God validating the gospel as open to Samaritans whom Jews had hated for so long. I give you the following link for a concise but accurate discussion about this topic: http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/acts.pdf

You did not grasp my point about baptism. The reason Jesus was baptized was out of obedience to the Father. This is the same reason I was baptized. But it was not to make Christ more righteous (He was perfect), nor does it make me anymore righteous (I am imperfect). Christ did what He did as a way of submitting to the Father, so do I. But it is not necessary for salvation. Or do you think that the thief on the cross went to Hell? Or that a person who believes Christ but dies before he is dunked goes to Hell? (No I know you can baptize them after they are dead.)

Did all the people who professed Christ in the “apostasy” you speak of go to hell? After all the “true church” was absent. The church is the body of Christ, it is made up of those who believe upon and follow Him. The church hasn’t ceased to exist just because there were no more apostles.

I don’t think we should trust our feelings because as you have admitted our feelings can be deceiving. I think we should trust Gods revealed will as given in Scripture. When I pray to God, do I listen? Yes, but not in the way I think you do. I believe God speaks to me in the pages of Scripture and as I pray, the Spirit might bring Scripture to my mind and speak to me in that sense. But I don’t believe that God as anything to say to me that He hasn’t already revealed in Scripture. I used to be a charismatic, and when I was a zealous little teenager I remember asking God to speak to me and then I just sat silent in my room for a long time “listening” for God. Never heard a thing. God chooses to speak to us today by His word, the Bible.

What does God sound like? How do you know it’s Him? What if it’s just your own wishful thinking that allows you to think God has said something to you? What if the devil speaks to you? I trust the revealed will of God. The fruit of the Spirit are markers of proof that a believer is genuinely a believer. Not indicators of whether God told me to do something.

By the way, since you do worship Jesus, and you do worship the Father... do you not worship more than one God since they are two different gods? The Trinitarian view harmonizes this just fine, but I don’t see how you can possibly say that you worship one God when you say Jesus and the Father are two different gods with one purpose.

-Jacob