A Primitive Baptist's look at John 3:16

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by changed_like_saul, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. changed_like_saul

    changed_like_saul
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    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    -John 3:16

    i have heard ministers speak on various part of this verse, such as
    ...God so loved the world,
    ...only begotten Son,
    ...whosoever believeth...
    ...everlasting life.

    but i have only heard one minister preach on the "For" of this verse. the minister's name that preach it is Elder Sonny Pyles out of Texas. one day i hope to see this message on line.


    Elder Pyles reminds us of the true picture of this verse begins in verse 14. one can not speak on this verse without including the 14th verse of the same chapter to have full understanding of the topic verse.

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: -John 3:14

    the "for" of the 16th verse is a summary word. it summarizes some statement. that statement was made in verse 14. let us look and examine verse 14.

    Christ said "And as Moses..." meaning just like Moses or the same as Moses. the action is meaning the same thing Moses did "...lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,..." . Christ went on to tell Nicodemus "...even so must the Son of man be lifted up:" which is to say just the same or just like that, must I (Christ) be lifted up. to really understand what Christ is talking about we must examine Numbers 21. as we know this chapter of the bible tells us about the fiery serpents God sent the fiery serpent upon the children of Israel because they spoke against God and Moses.

    6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. -Numbers 21:6

    so, we see the LORD God of heaven sending the fiery serpent among His people. the verse also tells us "much" or many Israelites died. now, let's look at this picture, we know not all the people died nor were all the Israelites bitten.

    next verse to consider.....
    And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. -Numbers 21:8

    God told Moses to make the fiery serpent and set it upon a pole. we all understand this to be a representation of Christ on the cross at Calvary. the verse goes on to say that "...every one that is bitten, when they look upon it, shall live." meaning each person that had been bitten when they looked at the fiery serpent would not die.

    at this point in the scriptures there are three types of people:
    1) those who have been bitten and died.
    2) those who have not been bitten.
    3) those who have been bitten and are alive.

    let's look at (1) those who have been bitten and died. those who are dead can not look at the fiery serpent of brass. so, the fiery serpent of brass is of no benefit to those who are dead. just like them, unless a person has been made alive by the quickening power of Jesus Christ, Christ being lifted up has no effect, because that person is dead. now for (2) those who have not been bitten. when and if they looked upon the serpent, did the serpent do anything for them which had not been bitten? no. what need did they have, they had not been bitten, they had not been stricken with any disease (sin). same with a person that doesn't know he/she is a sinner. that person has no need for the cross, he may appear to have life, but is dead spiritually. and Jesus Christ being lifted up has no effect on anyone who does not know he/she needs a savior. now for (3) those who have been bitten and are alive. these are the ones the promise of God is made. those who are suffering from the sting of the serpent. those who know they will die because of the sting. they know they are doomed. they are tormented by the pain of their afflictions. they seek a cure for their afflictions. what gave them that affliction? a fiery serpent with poison. where does the cure come from? another serpent (anti-venom). but this fiery serpent looked like the fiery serpent that bit the Israelites, however, this fiery serpent was made a brass (which is a compound metal, which represents Christ as the Son of God and the Son of man) and those who are aware of their state (those which have been bitten and are alive), when they look upon the fiery serpent of brass, it has an effect upon them. just like when a minister lifts up Jesus Christ today and it has an effect upon someone, that someone is keenly aware of his/her state. and that state is a state of sin, doomed to die, in which the cure is Christ and Him alone.

    only those who have been quickened or made alive by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have the ability to know the retched state man is in.

    i am thankful God has used Elder Sonny Pyles to enlighten me on this verse John 3:16. for using the word "for" to pull this out of God word to paint a vivid picture of a text that teaches eternal security.

    May the Lord richly bless each of us.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Chris - Dr. Robert Moyer, longtime dean of the old Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis (under Dr. W.B. Riley) has a book of sermons on John 3:16.

    He has a sermon on each word or two
    For God
    Loved
    The World
    So that
    He Gave
    His Only-begotten Son
    That Whosoever
    Believeth
    In Him
    Should not Perish
    But Have
    Everlasting Life

    I got my copy for $3.50 from Sword of the Lord (who I believe published it). It is worth its weight in gold!
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> only those who have been quickened or made alive by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have the ability to know the wretched state man is in. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A non-primitive Baptist says AMEN! [​IMG]
     
  4. EPH 1:4

    EPH 1:4
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  5. John Wells

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    That was great the second time I read it. The first time I kept thinking he's going to tell us we have to take up snakes and be bitten to be saved! :D :eek: :D
     
  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    That's Elder Sonny Pyles! I heard him preach 3 times. Two times at my church Little Bethany Primitive Baptist Church in San Diego and once at Elder Joe Holders Primitive Baptist Church in Bellflower California.

    Most able minister of the Primitive Baptist and his son David Pyles is also a minister.
    I believe his home church is in Graham Texas.
    Some of his sermons are on the Primitive Baptist web site... Just thought you would like to know... Eugene
     
  7. EPH 1:4

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    I have heard both Sonny and David Pyles preach, and what I like most is they don't take scripture out of context, just really good bible teachers.
     
  8. EPH 1:4

    EPH 1:4
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  9. swaimj

    swaimj
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    I think I recall that this sermon was posted earlier on the BB. I think the good elder's take on the story is slightly skewed. He focuses on three types of people:
    It is debatable whether #2 is even possible in the text of Numbers 21.

    First, it was all of the people of Israel who spoke against God and against Moses (cf. v.5). In the same way, it is all who are in spiritual rebellion against God in the matter of salvation.

    Second, God sent the serpents to afflict all of the people because they were all in rebellion. In the same way, the curse of sin has fallen upon all men and all are in need of redemption.

    Third, provision for healing was made for all who were bitten once the people came to Moses and confessed their sin. In the same way, Jesus' death makes possible salvation for all men.

    Fourth, healing was accessed by an act of the will. A person had to look at the snake on the pole to be healed. In the same way, people are saved today when they hear the gospel and obey the command to repent and believe.

    These applications of the elements of the story do not force a false importance upon people who are peripheral to the main point (such as those who died and those who were not bitten, if there were such). Rather, they focuses on the actual statements of the story and relate them to salvation. The natural flow of the story is what pictures salvation, not the process of forcing exegesis on the story to fit ones preconceived notions.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Ask a drug addict or someone in prison for a serious crime, if they know what a 'wretched state they are in.' They sure don't think they are on a pleasant vacation while behind bars. They know they are a sinner, but don't know the pathway out of their situation. That is where we come in. We have God Who is more than willing to forgive and to give inner peace.

    A lost human being knows his or her sinfulness and guilt, without being regenerated first. In the old days we used to hear the term, 'the conviction of the Holy Spirit.' This,of course, happened before someone yielded their lives to Jesus.
     
  11. Ray Berrian

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    Swaimj,

    Slightly skewed?

    When one believes correctly you don't have to run from the given text of John 3:16. Explain it grammatically, literally and don't hid behind a serpent's bite.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    Swaimj,

    You offered an excellent answer to the floundering Elder from the Lone Star state.
     
  13. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    changed_like_saul,

    Your post blessed my soul. Thank you very much for sharing that exposition with us. I say AMEN! to your post. [​IMG]

    [ May 17, 2002, 11:41 PM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  14. Andrey

    Andrey
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    changed_like_saul,

    The Saul of the New Testament was an avid Bible Scholar and well-known preacher and religious leader.

    Yet, despite his enthusiasm and great studies of scripture, he had no idea who Jesus was, or what God was doing, until he HEARD Christ's voice, which started his personal relationship with Jesus.

    I hope that all of us get "changed" like Saul!

    Andrey
    www.achievebalance.com

    John 5 39-40 (NKJV)
    "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
     
  15. Chris Temple

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    That's correct. When interpreted in context, and comparing Scripture with Scripture, John 3:16 is shown to mean that those who believe in Christ (those ordained to eternal life, Acts 13:48) will be saved. :D
     
  16. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    In the book "Elect In The Son" written by Dr. Robert Shank, he deals with this much misunderstood text.

    On page 183 he indicates that Almighty God did not use His unfathomable powers to unconditionally elect certain Jews into the Kingdom. In fact God takes the agency away from Himself and places it, if you will, on the heads of the Israelite people. So we read in Acts 13:46 ‘It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you; [John 1:11] but seeing YE PUT IT FROM YOU, and JUDGE YOURSELVES unworthy of everlasting life, we turn to the Gentiles.' In this verse we do not find a deterministic God who decides the fate of His human creation. If this is true for the Israelites then we might also believe that it was true of the Gentile population also.

    The good doctor of the church then goes into an extensive study of the difficult verse of Acts 13:48. ‘And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.'

    Here is the problem and its solution. The Greek was interpreted into the Vulgate {Catholic version} and the Authorized Version and Revised Version followed their lead. In this unintentional way Reformed theology has bowed to the shrine of Roman Catholic theological understanding.

    Alford, the Greek scholar, said on page 183 ‘The meaning of (tetagmenoi) must be determined by the context. The Jews had judged themselves unworthy of eternal life: the Gentiles, as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed. By whom so disposed is not here declared: nor need the word be in this place further particularized. We know that it is God who worketh in us the will to believe, and that the preparation of the heart is of Him: but to find in this text pre-ordination to life asserted is to force both the word and the context to a meaning which they do not contain.'

    The Vulgate version had interpreters of this verse like St. Augustine and his followers in the Western Church in treating the great questions of free will, election, reprobation . . . .' Some of the Reformed churches did not accept the Vulgate version and yet were swayed by their Greek translation into their version.

    If God in His sovereignty allowed the Israelites the will to determine their covenant relationship toward God in verse 46 then He would not in verse 48 choose some to life and some to everlasting destruction.

    (tetajmenoi) is used with reference to the word, ordained. Tetajmenoi is a perfect, passive participle meaning, {having been disposed}. Now when we gather together the words from perfect Greek it reads like this. ‘And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as having been (ordained) {meaning}disposed to eternal life, believed. Those who were not inclined, for whatever reason, remained in unbelief.

    The original intent of God written through the writings of the Apostle Paul would read like this. ‘ . . . and as many as having been disposed to eternal life, believed.' The determining fact rest not with God but human beings.
     
  17. KenH

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    The last I heard of Robert Shank he was a member of the Church of Christ and quite Arminian, at the least, in his theology. Having read his book, Life in the Son, I wouldn't put much stock in his interpretation of soteriology.
     
  18. swaimj

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    Ing,
    Perhaps you could convince us of your position by answering the substance of Ray Berrian's post rather than dismissing it on the basis of guilt by association.
     
  19. russell55

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    I looked this word up in a dictionary, a concordance, and a lexicon, and I can't find this definition listed anywhere. Are you sure this is in the accepted range of meaning for this word?
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    I used about three sources. The easiest to understand for laymen is "The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament." Zondervan Publishing House. p. 527 . . . Acts 13:48. 'And as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed.'

    Again, notice the context of verse 46 with reference to the Jews. 'Ye have put the Gospel from you . . . ' The Israelites missing their opportunity to spread the Gospel to the world was a matter of their personal volition, will, choice and not the alleged, determinism of Almighty God. Contextually and grammatically one has to come to this conclusion apart from Arminius or Calvin.

    As to the contextual aspect even a junior high school student would understand this.
     

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