"Baptist Bride" Debunked

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Mark in another thread attempted to "assert" the truth of Baptist Brideism. In this thread I will help my fellow BB members to debunk this false teaching.

    None of the scriptures Mark supplies give clear and unquestionable evidence for your theory that"the "Baptist Bride" position is truth.".

    Mark says:
    Wow! what a leap in logic! Mark says if we accept the fact that some Christians will receive greater reward than others(which I agree is scriptural) than "it is easy to understand and accept the truth that some saved people will be in Christ's bride and some will not."

    Up to this point, and no where in the following do you prove that anytime in the scriptures being part of the Bride is seen as a reward that must be earned.

    Lets examine your Mark's proof text:
    Does II Corinthians 11:2 proove Mark's assertion that being part of the Bride of Christ is a reward given to only certain Christians? Don't see anything there. Paul is simply telling them he has promised them to God as a chaste virgin. He is not telling them that they must make themselves a chaste version or they will not be a part of the body of Christ - really no one can make themselves pure, only God can, and only he will when he gives us our glorified bodies.

    So II Corinthians 11:2 is offers us no proof that some Christians will be part of the Bride and some will not.

    What about the passage from Ephesians - once again does Paul state here that some Christians will be part of the Bride and others will not?

    Nope. And on another note - does paul even mention "a congregation of baptized believers" as Mark asserts is so plain from this passage? I don't see that anywhere.

    While Paul does exhort us to Holy living in other passages, he is not here. He is speaking of Christ washing us and making us spotless(our eventual glorified bodies) - remember Paul says "That he[Christ - not us] might present it to himself a glorious church..."

    Nothing we do, accept for our belief on Christ, will "result" in our being a part of the Bride of Christ - nothing from this passage even comes close to backing up Mark's assertion.

    In fact, Paul tells us elsewhere in Ephesians that it is very clear when I was included in Christ(not just the family of God):

    "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."
    Ephesians 1:13-14(NIV)

    When I heard the Word and believed, I was included in Christ - that is plain reading of the scriptures.

    Mark wraps up his "evidence" with these passages:
    Lets take a closer look at Revelation 3:1-5

    "1"To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
    These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels."

    John is speaking of a church full of spiritually dead people - these are unbelievers. Those who "obey" and "repent" are those who believe and "obey" the Gospel of Christ. So Paul in this passage is clearly speaking of believers and non-believers - he makes no distinction hear between some Christians who will be part of the Bride of Christ and some who will not. In fact this is a great eternal security passage, for Paul states of believers that God "will never blot out his name from the book of life". What an awsome promise! My name can never be removed from the book of life.

    And what about Mark's last "scriptural proof" from Revelation 19:7-9:

    Does anyone in the audience see anywhere in this passage where it says some saints will be invited to the marriage supper of the lamb and some won't? Does it say some saints won't be dressed in fine linen and some will? Nope.

    There you have it my friends, Baptist Bridism debunked.

    IFBReformer
     
  2. IfbReformer

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    One other thing to note:

    In other thread where Mark has replied he always quotes passages that show Christians can receive greater rewards or loose rewards.

    This we all agree on. But then he injects into those passages that one of these rewards that can be gained or lost is being a part of the Bride.

    Nowhere do we see this in these passages - it must be read in.

    IFBReformer
     
  3. Mark Osgatharp

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    IFBReformer,

    You said,

    Since we agree that some Christians will receive greater reward than other then the only question between us is whether or not being a part of Christ's bride is a reward of faithfulness or an automatic blessing given to all the saved. So let's examine your argument; you said,

    But the text was an exhortation to the Corinthians to remain faithful to the true Christ and Paul expressed a fear that they would not. You say, "no one can make themselves pure", which is true in the respect that we are not sinlessly perfect; but in a relative sense it is not true, for we are exhorted to keep ourselves pure and told that we will be judged as to whether or not we do. For example, Paul told the Colossian,

    "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel."

    Here our blamelessness in the day of our presentation to Christ is conditioned on our continuance steadfastly in the gospel. Peter made a similar statement in his second letter; he said:

    "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

    That it is possible to render blameless service to God is proved by the example of Zecharias and Elizabeth of whom it is said,

    "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

    Note that this was a righteousness before God resulting from their Christian walk. It does not mean that they were sinless, for Zecharias was stricken dumb by God for the sin of unbelief. But as far as his overall service to God he, and his wife, walked blamelessly. But you say,

    Paul mentions the "church" and a church is, according to the word of God, a congregation of baptized believers and therefore a congregation of baptized believers is the spouse of Christ. Furthermore, Paul was exhorting this congregation of baptized believers to faithfulness, just as he was in II Corinthians and Colossians and just as Peter did in his letter. But you say,

    Simply because our "spotlessness" is attributed to Christ does not mean we have no part in it, any more than the fact that God effected the new birth meant we had no part in it. In fact, we have a very similar statement in Hebrews where it says,

    "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

    Yes, Christ is the one who, through His blood, perfects our service but we must be willing and obedient if we are to be so perfected; as Jesus said Himself in John's gospel,

    "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

    Only when we abide in Christ does He work in us that which is well pleasing in His sight. But you said,

    To which I say, if the "dead" at Sardis were unsaved people then we must concede the whole argument of the Catholics, Pentecostals, Methodists, Campbellites (et al) that being saved is conditioned on faithfulness; for the text makes it clear that those at Sardis rebuked by Christ were those who had fallen - not those who were never believers. They were those whose deeds were not found perfect before God.

    Furthermore, those who were faithful were those who had not defiled their garments which could only be said of a saved people who had remained consistently true to their profession and therefore their counterparts - those who had "fallen" - must have been believers who had not been true to their profession and thus soiled their garments. Unbelievers never had any white garments to soil but were conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity!

    The cold hard fact is that those who were to walk with Christ in white were to do so because they had not defiled their garments and because they were worthy - not simply because they had been born again. So the passage either proves that some believers will be in the bride and some will not or else it proves final apostacy. TAKE YOUR PICK!

    As for the statement about those who "overcome" - all I can conclude is that speaks of a different class of people from those who had not defiled their garments. If we do not make that distinction then, I say again, our only recourse would be to give up the whole idea of eternal security. Therefore:

    A. Those who "have not defiled their garments" are the faithful Christians who will have the special reward of walking with Christ because they are worthy.

    B. Those who "overcome" are all believers who, though they will be clothed in white, will not have the same reward as those previously mentioned and their names will not be taken out of the book of life.

    This interpretation perfectly harmonizes with the statements of John that all believers have and will ultimately overcome the world but that only those who abide in Christ will be unashamed at His coming. See I John 2:13, 2:28, and 5:4.

    Finally you say,

    What the passage says is that the bride of Christ is the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem who has "made herself ready." If you read the end of the chapter you will find that "the nations of those who are saved" will not be living in the New Jerusalem but will come there to worship God. So you tell me on what basis will it be judged as to who lives in the city and who does not. I will tell you in advance what Jesus said about it,

    "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy."

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ June 06, 2004, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Let's omit the personal names, okay? Quote the statement, then refute/expound.

    No need to take extra stabs with personal names. We are dealing with ISSUES not INDIVIDUALS.

    Thanks
     
  5. Bartholomew

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    Excellent points, Mark. [​IMG]
     
  6. Pluvivs

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    Let me ask a question: when does my wife cease to be my wife? Even a fornicating and adulterous wife is still married to her husband unless her husband gives a writing of divorcement (the likes of which Christ has never indicated He would ever do in scripture). The exhortations to present the Corinthians as a pure and chaste virgin do not mean that the bride could lose her position, but that she cease from sin, the constant declaration of the NT.

    In one of the other threads, I posted a link to someone's position on this issue with sound Biblical backing. I again invite a discussion of such, as I don't believe I could put the argument any better (or better edited).

    Mark, you stated "Paul mentions the "church" and a church is, according to the word of God, a congregation of baptized believers and therefore a congregation of baptized believers is the spouse of Christ." This is the core of the argument, since the bride==the church==the body of Christ according to Ephesians 5: can you show where "official" water baptism is necessesary for entrance into that body?

    -Pluvivs
     
  7. Pluvivs

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    Another question: as a show of hands, who hear believes that those not in the bride will be "cast into outer darkness" with "weeping and gnashing of teeth"?

    My vote, Nay.
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

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    Pluvis,

    You asked,

    The question you should have asked is, "when does my wife start to be my wife?" The answer is, when you get married. The church is the prospective spouse of Christ; the marriage has not yet taken place. Those who will be counted as His bride will be those who have been counted faithful to Him. But you said,

    But a man has the right to reject an espoused wife who is found to be unfaithful to him during the period of espousal; and that Christ has certainly said He will do. Just consider the following Scriptures directed at different churches.

    Ephesus: "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove the candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

    Sardis: "Strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die."

    Laodicea: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth."

    But you said,

    So you say; but I say the text screams out that an unfaithful church will not be presented to Him as a chaste virgin. The Levitical priesthood was typical of Christ's priesthood and those priests were forbidden to marry any but a virgin. Will Christ be less righteous than they? But you said,

    Yes, I can. John the Baptist explicitly said that his followers were Christ's bride. He said,

    "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled."

    We find this written in Acts:

    "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.

    Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

    And a few words later:

    "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

    This passage explicitly says that when people had been saved and baptized the Lord added them to the church. You asked:

    I say "yes", with the qualification that I do not think "outer darkness" is a location or a place (such as the Roman Catholic idea of purgatory), but rather a metaphor for the state of mind that a child of God will experience when he realizes that he has forfeited his place at the table of the marriage supper of the Lamb. When Jesus commended the Roman centurion for his great faith, He stated that,

    "many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    But in the parable of the tares Christ said that the children of Satan would be cast into a furance of fire while the "children of the kingdom" will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Putting these two passage together, I conclude that the unfaithful "children of the kingdom" will be deprived of reward, which will indeed cause weeping and gnashing of teeth, but afterward they will live happily in God's kingdom in whatever capacity they are assigned.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. Daniel David

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    Mark sez:

    1. Ephesus: "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove the candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

    2. Sardis: "Strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die."

    3. Laodicea: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth."

    4. Yes, I can. John the Baptist explicitly said that his followers were Christ's bride. He said,

    "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled."


    __

    1. So the lampstand (candlestick if you are catholic) is supposed to represent the marriage in your mind? Oooooookkkkkkkaaaaaayyyyyyy. That is original.

    2. What does this have to do with the marriage?

    3. These aren't unfaithful believers, they are lost.

    4. Explicit? Hardly. John is only stating that he is a friend of the bridegroom. The verse actually proves that John WASN'T part of the church. Sorry 'bout that.
     
  10. Pluvivs

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    As my last quick post of the morning, I have never been able to understand how people can turn "outer darkness" and "weeping and gnashing of teeth" into something that saved people will experience in Heaven where all tears will be dried and there is no darkness. Mark, your statement that it is a "metaphor" desperately needs more backing.

    -Pluvivs
     
  11. IfbReformer

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    I think you and I would agree that there are two kinds of "blameless" or "perfect" in the Bible. One refers to the blamelessness or perfect righteousness of God(or Christ in the N.T.) and the other refers to that of the saints.

    When it speaks of the saints in their earthly walk calling them blameless or perfect, it in essense means "almost-perfect" because the Bible is clear no man can be completely perfect.

    On this much I think we would agree. Where we disagree is as to what kind of blameless or perfect it takes to be a part of the Bride of Christ.

    I believe it is the perfection of God, not of saints that is required to be a part of the Bride. It is not the "almost perfect" righteousness when refering to our living in these sin-cursed bodies.

    Christ is and must be my "righteousness, holiness and redemption."(1 Corinthians 1:30)

    You would say this only refers to our salvation, not us being a part of the Bride, I see no where from any passage you have stated where being saved and being a part of the Bride are two different things - they are one and the same.

    Mark,

    Actually Mark, while I may disagree with my
    those who use this passage to attempt to destroy
    eternal security, theirs is much better interpretation than yours.

    You hack up the passage, say those who "overcome" in the same passage are different from those who don't soil their clothes - there is not way than can be a valid interpretation. I at least accept they are the same.

    The question is what does "not soil their clothes" and "overcome" mean? I believe these are ones who have "overcome" their unbelief(through the power of the Holy Spirit) and have not given up their belief("soiled their clothes").

    And which part of the text makes it clear that the "dead" here are those who have "fallen", I don't even see "fallen" in the passage.

    When Christ says "Wake up!"(verse 2), he is those who are not saved(which is the majority at this church) to get saved!

    You say "Unbelievers never had any white garments to soil but were conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity!" Thats true that unbelievers will never have white, but while believers still walked they did not have white either. He did not say they have not soiled their "white" clothes, he just said they did not soil their clothes. He then says those who have not soiled their clothes "will walk with me, dressed in white" - he does not say they already are dressed in white.

    So those who soiled there clothes could be those who claimed Christ, but God sees their hearts and knows they are not his.

    As to your statement here "So the passage either proves that some believers will be in the bride and some will not or else it proves final apostacy. TAKE YOUR PICK!", once again I don't see Bride anywhere in the passage. It says those who have not soiled there clothes will walk with Christ, it does not say those who have not soiled their clothes will be be part of the Bride of Christ and the other believers will not. Its just not there, you have to read it in there.


    Revelation 21 (NIV)
    "2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband...
    7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son...
    9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
    10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
    11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
    12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
    13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
    14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb...
    24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
    "

    I think it is interesting in this passage that while it clearly calls the new Jerusalem the Lamb's Bride, it never tells us who is in this city.

    Some indicators may be that it has the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles names inscribed on it, but this still is not clear.

    The reality is that the "bride" as seen in the New Testament is somewhat of a mystery. There is never one verse in the New Testament that says "the church is the bride".

    There are passages that say Christ is the bridegroom, he uses it a lot in parables in the Gospels. But after John chapter 3, the word Bride is never used again till Revelation chapter 18. Does anyone else out there find this interesting?

    But Paul only refers to believers in two ways, either as the church, or as the body of Christ, and in some passages he connects the two and say the church is the body - so there is no doubt there.

    This is just an observation, make of it what you will. That is why usually when I speak of this argument I refer more to the body of Christ, and those who are members in it, then the Bride.

    So Mark, does it say in Revelation who lives in the city? You say the nations of those who are saved don't, but does it say who does?

    IFBReformer
     
  12. Mark Osgatharp

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    IFBReformer,

    Frankly, I find it inconceivable that anyone can read Christ's letter to the church at Sardis and conclude that He was rebuking unbelievers. Such an intepretation is so patently wrong that I really don't know how to address it, but I will try. You asked,

    Christ said,

    "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and repent."

    This is a plain statement that the unfaithful at Sardis had "received and heard" at some point in their experience. Furthermore, Christ was not even talking about their personal faith in Him; rather, He was talking about their DEEDS.

    "I have not found thy works perfect before God."

    Now why would Jesus rebuke a bunch of lost people because their works were not perfect before God? If your argument proves anything it proves that Jesus told these people to start rendering perfect works so they could be saved! But you said,

    If walking with Christ in white means being part of the Bride then it IS there - for there can be no question that the text is making a difference between obedient believers and disobedient believers. If walking with Christ in white simply means being saved then the passage teaches salvation by faithful works.

    So your choice is simple: faithful church bridism or "falling from grace" Arminianism. But you ask,

    It was Christ, not I, who said that the nations of those who are saved will bring their honor and glory into the city. The same Christ said that they city was a bride who had "made herself ready" and that her fine linen is "the righteousness of saints" - not the righteousness of Christ but the "righteousness of saints" - as in,

    "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  13. IfbReformer

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    Mark,

    Just as you find it inconceivable that anyone can think Christ is rebuking unbelievers in this passage there are those of use based upon the whole reading of the N.T. that find it inconceivable for someone to say some believers are a part of the body of Christ, and others are part of the family of God(as if they were two different things). I know that will ruffle some of my dispensationalist buddies but lets not get off track here.

    Others would find it inconceivable that you actually try and seperate those who overcome from those who have not soiled their clothes - this is completely inconceivable.

    I actually think this is a great passage to illustrate the fact that just as God addressed Israel as a whole(believers and unbelievers), the visible church is the same, with believers and unbelievers in it.

    Many times in the Old Testament God speaks to the unbelieving in Israel and tells the to turn to him. This is the same in the New Testament age with believers and unbelievers.


    When you "hear" or "receive" the Gospel, that does not necessarily mean you belief.

    Ephesians 1:13-15
    "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

    When we "believe" is when we receive the Holy Spirit and our saved. It is not when we just hear or "receive" it. So there were many in this church that heard the Gospel, over and over each week, as many do today, some even pretending to believe it and join, but in their hearts they do not.

    So, does this phrase of Christ's "I have not found thy works perfect before God." proove he was speaking of works - either for salvation or for being part of the Bride? Yes it does, but it speaks of works for salvation. Now before everyone has a heart attack let me explain the what works Christ wanted to be "perfect".

    He speaks of these "works" that are required for salvation in the Gospel of John:


    "27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
    28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
    29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

    John 6:27-29(NIV)

    So what perfect works did Christ require from the church of Sardis: The same works he required of in John - "to believe" on him as Savior and God.

    Mark you keep trying to say there are only two ways to view this passage while in fact there are three as I have clearly pointed out. Only two of these views actually see correctly that that they who have not soiled there garments are the same as those who overcome. Yours is the only view that has to seperate these simply because it would blow apart you whole interpretation of the passage.

    Revelation 3:5(NIV)
    "5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."

    Mark are there two shades of white here? It says they who overcome will be dressed in white, and those who have not soiled their clothes will be dressed in white. So how do you explain that? You say those who have not soiled their clothes but walk with Christ is white, are different from those who overcome and will be dressed in white - does anyone else see a big problem here with this interpretation?

    Here are few passages for you to think as well:

    Romans 12:4-5(NIV)
    "4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

    I know your camp and even some non-brider Baptists like to insert local church into this passage, but it is clearly speaking of the universal body of Christ. Paul in its context is speaking to the Christians at Rome, and even if you say it was one church, Paul was not a member of that church, yet he said "we"(including himself) - "who are many form one body".

    Ephesians 4:25(NIV)
    "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."

    Just a little note on Ephesians 4:25, notice Paul does not say put of "falsehood" or you will not be a part of the body, he says put off falsehood because we ARE members of one body.

    Ephesians 5:30
    "for we are members of his body."


    Just some things to think about

    IFBReformer
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

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    I am astounded to hear such a statement coming from one who professes to be a Baptist. One of the primary doctrines of Baptists is a regenerate church membership. And one of the primary distinctions between Israel and the church is that Israel was a fleshly nation with a mixed multitude whereas the church is strictly a spiritual body.

    There are certainly those who go through the formalities of joining a church without regeneration; but Christ never acknowledges these as His church. Again, it is obvious that the letters to the churches of Asia were directed at regenerate people. But you say,

    All of which is senseless and absurd in light of the vast difference between "work" and "works." Jesus said there is one thing - "work" if you will - a man does to be saved - believe on Jesus. In stark contrast He told the church at Sardis they had not held fast to the word of God and had not rendered perfect "works."

    And that doesn't even touch on the fact that the faithful were those "who had not defiled their garments" which statement would be totally unintelligable if the only thing that distinguished them was be saved.

    Do words mean anything? You ask,

    What distinguishes a bride is not such much what she wears as with whom she walks. All the redeemed will be clothed in white, and none will have their names blotted out of the book, but only those counted faithful will walk with Christ. As Christ told the church at Thyatira,

    "He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers."

    I would still like to know who you think will be living inside and outside New Jerusalem.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Mark,

    You say ""church is strictly a spiritual body." - this could not be further from
    the truth.

    The church has two aspects, one which is spiritual and one which is physical. In this
    age there are physical assemblies of professing
    believers all over the world.

    These local, visible assemblies of believers are
    manifestations of the spiritual, universal church. These are physical churches, just like Israel was a physical nation. And just like Israel, they contain true believers and false professors.

    Why all the talk of church discipline in the New Testament? What about the warnings of false teachers and those who would preach another Gospel and Paul saying they will be accursed! These were people in churches!

    Of course sometimes God refers to unbelievers within churches just like he refered to unbelievers in Israel.

    God does not speak to unbelievers? What about when he sent Noah to speak to an entire city of unbelievers? When God does speak to unbelievers it is always short and sweet though - Repent and Believe!

    As far as your statement about Baptist distinctives - I agree completely that we as Baptist believe that only those who profess faith in Christ and are Baptized may join a local assembly of believers. The fact is as you have acknowledged, some of these people are not genuine and thus we have the unregenerate with the regenerate in our physical churches just as Israel was populated by true believers and false professors.


    Mark,
    so there is a "vast difference between "work" and "works.". I was not aware of such a "vast difference".

    But don't worry, we have another passage which will make this plural for you:

    1 John 3:21-23(NIV)
    "21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.?"

    So see just like in this passage, John refers to commands, then calls these two a "command"(singular) it is just as possible for Christ to refer to a "work" in the Gospel and call it "works" in Revelation.

    And what are the "commands" or "works" Christ requires? To believe on his name and love the brethren.

    By the way, you have not provided us with a list of what you speculate the many "works" are that are required for being part of the body of Christ instead of just a lowly member of the family of God. I would be interested for you to supply us with the scriptures for these.


    So those who "walk with Christ" will be in the body of Christ and those who don't won't? I can't find a verse in the entire N.T. that say some believers will walk with Christ and others will not? And I still can't find a verse that says some believers will be a part of the body of Christ and others will be a part of the family of God because they did not do enough works.

    Your theory that those who overcome are just saved people are not necessarily a part of the body of Christ is shattered by these two passages:

    Revelation 3:12
    "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

    Revelation 21:7
    He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

    You say, those who overcome are saved(which we agree on) and the Bible say those who overcome will be a pillar in the temple of God and they will have the new name of the heavenly Jerusalem written on him(might this mean he gets to go in the New Jerusalem?), and just in case he left anything out God say those who overcome "inherit all things".

    So class, which one is a bigger stretch? Is it a bigger stretch to say the "works" Christ speaks of is the same "work" he spoke of in the Gospel of John - or it a bigger stretch for Mark to say "inherit all things" does not including being part of the body of Christ?

    IFBReformer
     
  16. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Are we saying that at my home church (Liberty Baptist) there can be NO unsaved members?

    A year ago, brother Dan Parke got gloriously saved. He had been a member, trustee, teacher, etc for 25 years in our church, but came to a realization that he was not born again.

    Oh, I'm afraid I will agree that within our baptist churches are DEFINITELY some unsaved.
     
  17. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Jesus said to one of His churches, "I have not found thy works perfect before God" and then called on them to remember, repent, hold fast and watch. By contrast, He said a few in the church had "not defiled" their garments.

    You say this simply means, "some of you have believed on me and some of you haven't." Friend, that is not a "stretch" that is a downright perversion of God's word.

    The Scriptures plainly teach, as you have already admitted, that some Christians will receive a greater reward than others. Therefore "inherit all things" cannot possibly mean "have the exact same standing in every detail" and so the statement proves nothing in favor of your position.

    The only way to escape this conclusion is to resort to the Arminian interpretation which says that faithfulness is a condition of salvation and therefore all the saved will have the same reward in the end.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Dr. Bob,

    First of all, I am not "we." I am Mark Osgatharp and I don't mind you addressing me by name and, frankly, didn't appreciate your silly rebuke a few days ago about addressing one another personally in our posts. If you are that afraid of offending someone, or of someone being offended, you must live a horribly miserable existence.

    But to answer your question, here is what I actually said:

    "There are certainly those who go through the formalities of joining a church without regeneration; but Christ never acknowledges these as His church. Again, it is obvious that the letters to the churches of Asia were directed at regenerate people."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Mark,

    Now I know you are running out of substance when you call my very valid interpretation, that many other Christians believe, to be a perversion of God's Word.

    You keep throwing up the strawman that there are only two choices, your view or the Arminian view in hopes that those who believe in eternal security(as I do) will come running to your position.

    The problem is, this one passage from Revelation 3 that you keep quoting as the core of your belief never once mentions the Bride or body of Christ.

    You imply that "walk with Christ" means be a part of the body, but it simply does not say that. I hestitate to call anyone's interpretation a perversion, although on a few times an obvious passage has been perverted.

    But by no means, could you call my interpretation of a passage in Revelation 3 a perversion and be justified in doing so.


    Mark,

    I never said "inherit all things" means everybody gets the same rewards. Thats just it - you have never proven from any passage that being a part of the body of Christ is a reward for doing some mystical list of things and is not something all believers take part in. There is absolutely no scripture for your position.

    IFBReformer
     
  20. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Dr. Bob,

    In Marks defense(although he reall does not need it) we were discussing whether God ever speaks to the unsaved in the New Testament.

    Mark concedes that he does in the Old, but that was with Israel only. He refuses to admit that God also speaks to the unsaved in the New Testament.

    I was saying Revelation 3, where Christ tell some in the church at Sardia that their works were not complete, that Christ was saying they had not truly believed.

    He says when Christ says their works are not complete, he is speaking to believers and if there works are complete(which we never know what complete means then) then they will walk with Christ(which Mark says means get to be a part of the body of Christ and Bride of Christ).

    Just some clarification.

    IFBReformer
     

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