Amazing claim...help!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ReformedBaptist, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. ReformedBaptist

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    I read an article by someone that made a claim that seemed very surprising to me. It goes like this, "In the evangelism in the book of Acts, sinners were never told that they needed to believe and repent because 'Christ died for you.'"

    His affirmative claim, limiting the view of evangelism to Acts, that the claim that Christ died for sinners is there, that the command to repent and believe is there, but the statement being made to a person or group that "Christ died for you" therefore you should repent and believe is never made.

    Can anyone quote a Scripture from the book of Acts to refute this or correct it somewhat?
     
  2. mparkerfd20

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    It sounds like they are saying that the terms "Christ died for you" wasn't said in Acts. That is for the most part a correct statement in that that exact phrase isn't found in Acts. However, I briefly scanned through all the mentioning of 'Christ' in Acts and found this:

    Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
    Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
    Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
    Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
    Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.


    Also without seeing the article I don't know if they are just arguing semantics or what. However, there are many places in Acts where repentance and believing is mentioned.

    Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.







     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    I'd be glad to share the article, but I was wanting to get the claim out there separate from its context and argument. Basically, can the claim stand on its own. I came to the same conclusion as you did. It is true that none of the evangelism found in the books of Acts carry the phrasiology that "Jesus died for you" as we hear in our pulpits today. Acts is filled with the preaching of Christ and Him crucified, and forgiveness of sins through His blood. I just can't find the kind of preaching in Acts that says to an unsaved person or group, "Jesus died for your sins." I can find that Christ died for sinners.
     
  4. superwoman8977

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    Okay I have been told this numerous times if you dont agree with something that someone has written then get into the word and find the scriptural support to back up what the author is saying!
     
  5. mparkerfd20

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    Another thing we must consider is that we don't have the full expositions of everything the apostles preached or every word they said in the book of Acts. We get the highlights. I don't think we can confirm or deny that the apostles did or didn't say the phrasiology "Jesus died for you". I do think, however, that we can say that in what we have in the text of Acts we don't see this direct message. However, it does seem to be strongly implied from the scripture.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    Oh, I agree. I was just looking for what other's thought. :wavey:
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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  8. mparkerfd20

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    Thanks for linking the article Reformed.... It really is a good read.

    This question he raised really gets to the heart of the discussion...

    Did Christ die for everyone in general but no one in particular, or was there a specific purpose with a particular intent that moved the Son of God to give His life for sinners?
     
  9. Aaron

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    Yep. Great article. I agree with it completely.
     
  10. Allan

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    I'll bite.

    How about Acts 2 Sermon from Peter. First let us us mark out some presupositions that some may take.
    1. Every single person who heard Peter's 1st sermon got saved.
    2. Peter is speaking only to those who will be redeemed when he states "the promise is unto you.."

    Niether of these are factual but presuposition in which the person must first come the to the text and change it's contextual reading to fit a theological view.

    Peters first sermon was to every single person under the sound of his voice and no person or group imparticular - as in the elect alone. So when we read:
    and this one..
    We know that Peter is speaking in general to everyone in the crowd and see that even after the message when it speaks of them asking what must they do to be saved we see Peter speaking to them in general again:
    Peter is not here addressin that particular group of soon to be redeemed as some would assume because the context alludes otherwise, especially in light of the fact that soon there after we see the text state : "those who gladly received" meaning there were some who received and also some who did not. So it was to this group that Peter spoke in general to but notice if you will what he told them 'all' about what to do to be saved.

    Notice he said "unto them.. everyone of you..for the promise is to 'you'.."
    Here is states unequivicably that this is for them all individually (he is speaking to this group still) to repent and receive the remission of sins and the Holy Ghost. Notice also that the holy Ghost is given after their remission of sins, and that is after they believed/repented. - that is another thread though :)

    This isn't limited at all but general and to all for the remission of sins and gift of the Holy Spirit. And as I stated previously we know not all of them who cried out what must we do to be saved (who were pricked in the heart) received him based upon this preceding verse:
    However this promise was to them all, and their children and to those afar off. IOW - to all people everywhere.

    Now this part which seems to confuse those of the limited group:
    "whom God shall call" - Here some say that this limits the group to some special minority (the elect only) however that is not what is being stated at all here. What is being stated is simply that man can only respond to the active working of God (the call) and not just when men decide it might be something kinda cool.

    However does this limit the group as is postulated. No it does not for if it did that would mean that every person who is saved is assured that 'all' (each and everyone) of their children will be saved- bar none!. Remember the promise was to them all that Peter was speaking to (even though not all received the gift) and to their children (no qualifier to any limited group of them so it is designated toward all the children of those who hear), and to those afar off.

    In short the message and promise were to all whom God was working on through the revelation of truth (call) if they would receive it. I believe here we can see, though it is not stated specifically that 'Jesus died for you' the fact that the promise of the remission of sins which Christ death purchased shows the general nature of the Atonement but the specific nature of the redemption.

    Concluding thoughts:
    First- If Christ died for the remission of sins and that you might receive the Holy Ghost then when Peter states and this promise is to "you" (that group to whom he was speaking) it is quite apparent that Christ died for 'you' and thus we see it still even when it is not specifically stated exactly.

    Secondly - Jesus stated that when he is lifted up HE shall call "all men" unto Himself. He states there will be a calling of all men to Himself, we also know that Jesus is the light the enlightens every man and the Spirit of truth being sent 'into the world to convict it of..' so on and so forth. We know that in Acts 2 not all those who were pricked in their heart recieved this revelation of truth which was only done so by God since no man can come to understand spiritual things by himself. When God reveals spiritual truth we know that He is calling men unto Himself for secripture states that God desires all men everywhere to repent and come to the knowledge of truth. Thus God was calling them but they rejected the truth and traded it for a lie and it was because of their rejection He gave them over that they might be damned (Rom 1:18-32; 2 thes 2:10-12)
     
    #10 Allan, Jul 1, 2008
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  11. David Lamb

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    I must say that I agree with the statement. I cannot think of any verse in the New Testament where unsaved sinners are told, "Christ died for you," or similar phrases, like "Jesus loves you". It is only in words addressed to saved sinners, in the epistles, for instance.

    Unsaved sinners are told that Christ died for sinners, and that they must repent and bedlieve on Him.
     
  12. Allan

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    They are there David, you just choose to over look or redefine them.
    God so loved the world.. He is the propitiation of our sins and not ours only but of the Whole World.. this promise is to you (when speaking to a crowd of containing both soon to be saved and unsaved).. and in examples like Moses lifting up the serpent so Christ must be lifted up, the wedding feast, and many many more.

    So yes, there are myrids of scriptures of which speak to such truth.


    _____________________________________________________________________
    (in accordance with the OP)
    What is 'amazing' is the denial of scriptural or biblical truth.
     
    #12 Allan, Jul 2, 2008
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  13. David Lamb

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    Sorry Allan. I thought that this thread was asking specifically about whether in evangelism, unsaved sinners are told, "Christ died for you." I didn't take it as being about the extent of the Atonement. Sorry if I have misunderstood, and thereby caused confusion.
     
  14. Allan

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    I was merely responding to your statement that encompassed the NT and not just Acts however would it not include the 'extent of atonement' as well??
    Here is your statement I was responding to:
    It appeared to me you were including the extent of atonement by indicating 'it is only in words addressed to saved sinners" but if I was wrong then I appologize as well brother :)

    In any case when Peter was addressing the crowd it included all people (both the soon to be saved and those not) but he stated "the promise is to you" regarding Christ's death for the remission of sins. Thus Peters statement is specific that Christ died for all of them even if the words are not specifically stated the meaning is still clearly there.
     
    #14 Allan, Jul 2, 2008
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  15. ReformedBaptist

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    Allan,

    Thanks for your response. Your reply is what I was looking for a "second opinion on" and what I was trying to do as well, and that was to punch holes in the argument. I do agree with the author's statement, but I wanted to test the argument. I do believe it is sound. And I do disagree with your conclusions. For example, the verse in Acts that you are referring to concerning the promise doesn't really work as an example of the Aposltes teaching that Christ died for you.

    Take a look see:

    "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Acts 2:38-40

    The promise spoken of here is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The command is to Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. The promise, of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and by implication, the forgiveness of sins, is for "you" and "your children" which we know are Jews. "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." verse 5. But not only Jews, but also "all that are afar off" which I take to mean either Jews not then present, or else Jews not then present and Gentiles. Since this was Peter preaching to whom was committed the Gospel of circumcision, and since Peter had not yet seen the great sheet let down from heaven, I conclude that he was speaking of Jews who were afar off.

    And the text does not allow me to say each and every single Jew. The context limits the semantic range of "all" to "as many as the LORD our God shall call" which is the self-same (to me) as saying the elect. The promise then is for as many as the Lord calls. I do not take this "calling" as being the general call of the Gospel because it appears to me to implied in the text that those whom the LORD shall call, are the self-same as those who "Then they that gladly received his word..." verse 41 and who are also the ones who "continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. " verse 42.
     
    #15 ReformedBaptist, Jul 2, 2008
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  16. David Lamb

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    I can see how my words could have been interpreted that way. Sorry. I need to give more care and attention to clarity. :)



    But regarding Acts 2.39, is Peter really saying (in effect), "Jesus died for every one of you"? What was the promise he was speaking of? Acts 2.38-39:
    38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."


    Those who repented (turned to Christ and from sin and self) would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, because of the promise that such people (those who repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins) would indeed receive Him.

    Could I ask what meaning you would give to the word "for" in the phrase, "Christ died for you"? I understand it to mean that He died on my behalf; He died in order to save me, not just to make my salvation a possibility. His very name, Jesus, was given because He would save His people from their sins, not that He would make their salvation possible. (John 1.21)

    Anyway, apologies again for the fuzziness of my earlier message.
     
    #16 David Lamb, Jul 2, 2008
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  17. Allan

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    Ok, but let us first take into consideration the context. Whom makes up the 'you' that Peter was speaking to. Are you arguing that everyone who heard Peter repented and recieved salvation?? That is not the case at all.

    As I said the sentence constuct implies something entirely different Notice that it's not that they all received but "then they that gladly received his word" denotes specifically there were those to whom Peter spoke that did not receive what he stated with gladness.

    Let me state that I do not dispute it was to the Jews here but that does not make any difference to my argument.
    Remember the 'you' was to this entire group because Peter did not qualify it to some select group. Peter stated the 'promise' is to you (all the Jews who were there - he was street preaching) and to your children (all their offspring) and those afar off (all other Jews). Yes, this sermon was to the Jews (and eventually the Gentiles) but my point of contention is that Peter stated the promise (Christs death for the remission of sins and the coming of the Holy Spirit) was to all those who were hearing, not yet having heard, and eventually will hear.

    The call is not limited here unless you bring that presupposition to the text. God calls all men everywhere to repent via the Spirit of God who convicts the world of sin, His righteousness, and the Judgment to come. His calling here is not limited as in to some certain people because that is not intent of phrase here. The truth contextually is seen not about 'who' He will call but 'that' all men will be called in His timing and they can only respond 'when' He calls. It can only be seen this way because, again, Peter states to all those present that the promise is to you (all of them), and all those who are present the promise is toward all of their children as well and it also included all the rest of the Jewish people. Remember again that everyone in this group according to verse 37 was pricked in their heart (God's calling) but not all received it with gladness (vs 41). This is a statement that goes back to the atonement which was made on behalf of all of Israel but only those who received it by faith had it appropriated to them. The promise is to them all but is only applied by faith.
     
    #17 Allan, Jul 2, 2008
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  18. Rubato 1

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    Off the top of my head, I like the OP, because it is truly in the promise of God that we trust, not the set of facts concerning the death, burial, etc.

    Abraham was saved by believing the promise; Noah was saved by believing the promise; we are saved by believing the promise(s) (we have more promises than they did - Heb 11-12).

    The facts of the gospel? Even the devils believe those, and tremble because of them.

    The promises fulfilled in the gospel? Those are for repentant sinners who are seeking the Lord.
     
  19. Allan

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    I'll get back with you on this :) I got off work - 3rd shift and am very tired.
     
  20. nunatak

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    I think there is some confusion re: Peter's sermon in Acts 2.

    First, it was only to Jews, not to the whole world. Thus it was limited in scope.
    Second, in v. 37, those who responded to Peter did NOT ask "What shall we do to be saved?" They asked, "What shall we do?" This is noteworthy when you consider the rest of Peter's sermon, and also consider the gospel plan of salvation.
    Third, the gospel plan of salvation is NOT Acts 2:38. Now, I don't think anybody is stating that this is the case, but to provide clarity, I point out that following Acts 2:38 is not the plan of salvation.
    Fourth, notice Peter did declare unto his hearers the plan of salvation, by quoting from Joel in v.21:
    "'And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'"
    This is important to note because by the time he was interacting with his listeners in v. 37,38, he had already preached Christ, and declared that faith expressed by confessing Christ leads to salvation. The ones who asked the question in v. 37 were the ones who received the word with gladness, had the grace of faith, called on Christ, and were baptized.
     

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