Saturday, January 24, 2009

Faith Before Rising In Newness Of Life … A Sunday School Lesson

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Ro 6:3-4 AV)

This is a glorious statement of the new birth experienced by souls who have placed their trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke of this regeneration in his conversation with Nicodemus referring to this as being born from above or born of the Spirit (our common expression of being born again). The analogy of death, burial and resurrection is a picture of Christ's atonement and resurrection. The faith through which this newness is realized is that of trusting Jesus and what He did for us in the same manner Jesus trusted His father in all things. It is through faith that we experience regeneration or the born again experience. To see this need for faith to precede regeneration or rising in newness of life, we can observe the following.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Ga 3:26-27 AV)

Many of our Calvinist friends are fond of insisting that men must be regenerated before they can believe because dead man can do nothing if not first becoming born from above. However, most Christians understand the texts provided above leave no room for regeneration (rising in newness of life) occurring before being baptized into Christ (itself preceding our rising in newness of life). The long-standing position of the church over these 2,000 years is that of faith in Christ through the preaching of the cross of Calvary as the precursor to baptism and regeneration as a child of God.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It Takes Faith To Be A Child Of God

An interesting charge was brought to light recently in a comment concerning the atonement as articulated by the Calvinist internet muse, James White. This is an old charge often repeated by many among our Calvinist brethren.

Let there be no misunderstanding at this point. The Arminian limits the atonement as certainly as does the Calvinist. The Calvinist limits the extent of it in that he says it does not apply to all persons...while the Arminian limits the power of it, for he says that in itself it does not actually save anybody. The Calvinist limits it quantitatively, but not qualitatively; the Arminian limits it qualitatively, but not quantitatively.

There is some measure of truth in what he stated but it is not in the denial of the power of God. The atonement in and of itself saves not one soul. I had commented on this recently in a post entitled Christ's Atonement Never Saved A Single Calvinist. As lovers of Christ who grasp the incredible purpose and need for the Gospel to be preached to a lost world, we know the unbounded power of God found in the preaching of the Cross. The scriptures declare it (1 Cor 1:18). Christ calls out for more of the few laborers needed for a plenteous harvest (Matt 9:37). John declares the extent of the atonement as for the whole world (1John 2:2). More importantly, the scriptures put James White's inference in the bucket of a multitude of lies spread about those who love Christ and refuse the unique distinctives of White's errant denominational teachings. It takes faith to be a child of God.

Ac 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Ro 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Ro 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Ro 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Ro 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Ro 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ro 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Ro 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Ro 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Ga 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Ga 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Ga 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Ga 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Ga 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Heb 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

Heb 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

Heb 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Words To Die For

Liar, false, heresy, counterfeit, fake, fraud, imposter, unorthodox, profane, disgusting, error, apostate, inaccurate, synergist, Pelagian, semi-Pelagian, Molinist, open theist, Universalist, pagan, heathen, Roman, blasphemous, wicked, pious, irrelevant, immaterial, revolting, repulsive, deceitful, pseudo-Christian, pseudo-orthodox, enemy of Christ, another spirit, erroneous, undesirable, non-elect, reprobate, fallen, sinful, satanic, devilish, hell-bound, out of the pits of hell, seed of Satan, seed of Cain, Pharisee, unwelcome ….. Arminian …

Have you hugged a Calvinist today?