Distortion of Scripture

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Sirach, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Sirach

    Sirach
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    Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
    30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.


    How do you think we can know that we are not distorting the Scriptures?

    I've heard many people accuse others of twisting or distorting scriptures, how can we really know who is distorting them?

    I read the scriptures and there are many other people that do also and yet we all read something different... how is this what Christ wanted?


    Why are we divided when the Scriptures tell us not to be?


    1 Corin. 1:10-15 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.


    God Bless,
    Sirach
     
  2. D28guy

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    Sirach,

    (deleted by D28guy, double posting...see next post)

    Mike
     
  3. D28guy

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    Sirach,

    You quoted...

    A wonderful passage of scripture, and we see these things happening, just as God said it would be.

    Jehovahs Witnesses, Mormonism, Catholicism, etc.

    A great passage of scripture.


    By trusting fully in God...through the Holy Spirit...to open our understanding to truth. And to always seek to allow scripture to interpret scripture. And its always good to consult the wisdom of others who are wiser.

    The following is EXCEEDINGLY IMPORTANT!!!:

    Its wise to consult wiser ones as long as they understand justification through faith alone, and the principle known as "sola scriptura". Meaning, those wiser ones hold to those same priciples themselves, and they NEVER expect you to take anything they say to be the truth simply because of who they are, but rather they encourage you to go to the scriptures yourself, TRUSTING only the Holy Spirit to teach you truth.

    And...in the same vien...we are to never, under any circustances allow any religious organisation to take the place of the Holy Spirit as your teacher of truth.

    Rather, the believer should flee any organisation as that like the plague.

    If we have a teachable heart, and we are trusting only Gods Holy Spirit to teach us, it will become clear who is and who isnt distorting scripture.

    Because He has told us to expect it, regarding any number of non-foundational areas...

    "Why do you judge your brother...let your brother be fully convinced in his own mind...to his own master he will stand or fall, and God will make him stand"

    (And many times there will be wonderful truth to be found in both views.)


    1st...the body of Christ is not divided. The body of Christ consists of all the born again people who are alive on earth. Period. The name of their particular organisation...if they have one...is 100% irelavent.

    Regarding how we intereact with members of the one body of Christ who are part of different earthly groups...we can sometimes do better with that.

    Why? Because we are not in heaven yet, so imperfections will be a part of life until we are.

    I LOVE THOSE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE! Those are among my favorite passages of Gods word. They are a GREAT encouragment to all of us who are NOT a part of unscriptural cult groups like the JW's, Mormons, and Catholicism to remember that we are part of Christs ONE BODY, and we should always be loving towards our brothers and sisters when we are contending for truth with them.

    God bless,

    Mike

    [ July 03, 2005, 09:45 PM: Message edited by: D28guy ]
     
  4. Marcia

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    How Not to Distort Scripture:

    Let the text speak for itself.

    Always read passages in context of surrounding passages, then in context of the chapter, then in context of the book the passage is in, then in the context of the OT or NT, and then of the whole Bible.

    Don't read meaning into the text.

    Take into account the grammatical-historical-literary factors.

    Compare scripture with scripture.

    Books that will help:
    How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

    Scripture Twisting, by James Sire.
     
  5. D28guy

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    Marcia,

    GREAT advice!

    Blessings,

    Mike
     
  6. Sirach

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    Mike,

    God Bless and thank you for your reply. Please bare with me as I try to fully understand what you are saying...

    How is this biblical?


    Where is this in the bible? You say faith alone, but be honest with me... What does James 2 have to say about that?

    If I trust the Holy Spirit to teach me the truth, you do the same, and others do the same, and we all end up with a different interpretation, then how is that biblical? How is it what Jesus wanted?

    John 17:21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    22. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one


    Again, where is this in Scripture? The question that I get from the Scriptures is which Church is the Church of Scripture because Christ is quite clear and the Apostles are clear that the Church has the teaching authority.

    In John 14 Christ promises to the Apostles that the Holy Spirit will guide them in all Truth, and in Matt 16, Christ promises that the Church will never be overcome, In Matt 18, Christ says take disagreements to the Church, In Matt 5, Christ tells the Apostles that they are like a city on a mountain which cannot be hidden, that they are the light of the World, This tells me that the Church will always be visible yet so many claim to be the bible Church... In 1 Tim. 3:15, Paul calls the Church the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.


    .

    That's not what Scripture says... If trusting only God is trusting Scripture, and Scripture shows that the Church is the authority, then it seems like to me what it comes down to is which Church?


    Who is to decide what the non-foundational areas are?


    There are many of us divided. "Different earthly groups" = divided.


    There are many people who love Christ disagree with many things you say...

    Are you right or are they right?

    How do we know?

    Are you infallible, in other words, can you ever be wrong about interpretation of Scripture?


    God Bless,
    Sirach
     
  7. Sirach

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    Marcia,

    God Bless and thank you for your reply.

    How are books by men going to help me, they are not Scripture?

    Please help me understand with a Scripture basis of how we are to know who distorts scripture.

    God Bless,
    Sirach
     
  8. BobRyan

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    These are good rules for exegesis. The objective method for reading scripture. But you will see in your OWN study "incentives" to toss some of these out the window. TO The EXTENT that each Christian church DOES THAT - there are DIFFERENCES between them.

    The LESS objective you allow yourself to be with scripture the more of a truth VOID you create and the MORE of man's traditions and biased ideas that will insert themselves into that void.

    The disciples had this "blinders on" approach to the idea that the Gospel would go to the gentiles. The Holy Spirit worked directly against that part of man's tradition and showed them their error over time in the NT church.

    Simply "mindlessly following their upbringing or church leadership" like faithful drones was not going to get them out of the rut of error.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. D28guy

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    Sirach,

    I said...

    And you said...

    Trusting God to open our understanding?...

    "However, when He, the Holy Spirit has come, He will guide you into all truth"

    And...

    "These things we speak, not in the wisdom that mans wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comaring spiritual things with spiritual things"

    As well as multitudes of other passages.

    I said...

    And you said...

    1 Corinthians 2:6-16
    John 14:26 and 14:26-27

    As well as scores of other passages.

    James clearly teaches that when one is born of the Spirit, through faith alone. there will inevitably be fruit that makes evident that the profession of faith in Christ is legitimate and not merely paying lip servce for any number of reasons. However, it goes without saying that the "works" have no part whatsoever in attaining justification.

    God does not contradict Himself.

    The reason it as Jesus wanted is because Jesus tells us through the scriptures to...

    Let you brother be fully convinced in his own mind...who are you to judge anothers servant? To his own master he will stand or fall, and God will make him stand."

    Notice God says "your brother". This of course does not apply to those proclaiming false gospels or damnable heresies.

    (And the scriptures identify those)

    I said...

    And you said...

    "However, when He, the Holy Spirit has come, He will guide you into all truth"

    And...

    "These things we speak, not in the wisdom that mans wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things"


    And...

    "These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but there heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

    And of course common sense will tell you that if a *professing* christian group keeps their people in bondage to them, using the identical fear tactics and control mechanisms as cults like David Koresh, the Jehovahs Witnesses, Jim Jones, and the Mormons, something is very very VERY wrong.

    Particularly in light of the fact that God tells us...

    "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entagled again in the yoke of bondage"

    All organised religious bodies are subject to the AUTHORITY OF THE SCRIPTURES, and not the other way around.

    WE, the church...(all born again people)...are to hold denominational bodies accountable by means of the scriptures.

    That is incredibly important and so very healthy.

    Paul Himself traveled through the lands in the 1st century, and the Bereans were commended because they did not accept what he taught because of who he was, but rather they were commended because they...

    "searched the scriptures daily, to see whether these things are so."

    God even alludes to this in Isaiah...

    To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because their is no light in them"

    And He did do that. He lead them to inscripturate every word that he wanted written to complete Gods written revelation to mankind, and His people..the church. And He continues to do that...in a different sense...by opening the understanding of every christian alive to His wonderful truth.

    Praise God thats true.

    Of course. If two brothers or sisters cant resolve the issue, then we gather with other brothers and sisters to finally resolve things.

    Thats whet we born again people are, and praise God for it!

    Of course it will always be visible. Do we...christians...suddenly become invisible after we are born again?

    The church...all born again people...is indeed the pillar and foundation of truth.

    Why? We are in possesion of...

    The Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive in each of our hearts, and He is "the way, the truth and the life".

    The Holy Spirit, who is the "Spirit of Truth".

    And Gods scriptures, which of course is Gods written revelation of truth to us...

    "Forever Oh Lord your word is settled in heaven"..."Thy word is truth".

    Hope this helps,

    Mike
     
  10. Marcia

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    The Bible has been studied for about 2,000 years and during that time the church has held a historic faith that has not changed in the essentials. When someone suddenly has a new way to interpret something or makes a claim never made, then red flags should be raised. If it was already in the text, then it would not suddenly be discovered.

    Books by men can help when what they teach is in line with this historic faith and with God's word. God's word is not a puzzle; it is plain and God wrote it for us to understand. Therefore, we can use books by men as long as we are discerning. It does not mean we have to accept everything they say.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Here is the true "blinders on" approach from Sirach. AFTER complaining that the ECFs should be READ as our "interpreters" because THEY are much better understood than actually "picking up any Bible today" -- Sirach THEN Argues that NO author today speaking on something so simple and obvious as exegesis should be read!!!

    Since the answer to this was just posted I will not respond to that part - but it will be interesting to see if Sirach follows this with "WOW! Directly from scripture itself! That was so clear and obvious -- I will start practicing exegesis starting from today intead of looking for some LATER author to spin Paul around in some effort to prop up the errors of Catholicism"

    I am just curious as to whether that post will be seen.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. bmerr

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    Sirach,

    bmer here. Well, you've got quite a bit of advice so far. Some has been good, some has not. Some have told you to let the Holy Spirit teach you, some have recommended uninspired authors. D28guy said to trust only the Holy Spirit, and then advocated "sola scriptura", or "only Scripture". What would the Spirit say that the Bible wouldn't?

    My council is worth two cents like anyone elses' (though some say the price is too high!), so here's my advice.

    First, I'm surprised that nobody has referenced 2 Tim 2:15, which reads,

    "Study to shew thyself approved unto God,a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

    You may have noticed that the apostle Paul didn't tell Timothy to "let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth". The reason for this is that the promise of the Holy Spirit for the guiding into all truth was given to the apostles, not to Christians of all time (John 16:13). He was also promised to "...bring all things to your rememberance, whatsoever I have spoken unto you" (John 14:26).

    Jesus was speaking to His apostles, not to all of mankind. If the Holy Spirit was still guiding men into all truth, there would be no need to study, and there would be no divisions (denominations). Sadly, there are myriad denominations, all claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit, and teaching different doctrines. This is contrary to Christ's prayer in John 17.

    So we need to study.

    Second, we need to be objective in our study. What I mean by that is that we need to let the Bible speak, and have the final word. What happens often (and I've been guilty of this, too) is that people approach the Bible with preconceived ideas about what it has to say.

    For example, someone mentioned the doctrine of "faith only" earlier. In the past, I have held to this doctrine, myself. As a result, many passages of Scripture just didn't make sense. One of them was Mark 16:16, which says "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved".

    That verse conflicted with my "faith only" idea, which I had been taught, and quite frankly, was avoided like the plague in the religious organization I was a part of. Yet, for all of our avoidance, the verse stayed in the Bible.

    That conflict between evidence and belief is called "cognitive dissonance". Evolutionists are afflicted with it all the time, and to compensate, they keep changing their theory.

    You see, there are only two ways to deal with cognitive dissonance. One is to discard the evidence in favor of the held belief. The other is to discard the held belief in favor of the evidence. MANY PEOPLE choose the first option, but the evidence remains. I chose the second, myself.

    So we must study with objectivity, and be willing to make changes as the evidence requires.

    Third, we must seek the whole council of God on any given topic. The Bible is not an encyclopedia, and is not set up as one. I can't think of a single Bible topic that one could turn to one verse of scripture and have found everything God has said about it.

    For example, many rely almost exclusively on Eph 2:8,9 to teach concerning salvation. As a result, many teach salvation by "grace alone through faith alone". Strangely enough, neither the word "alone" or "only" is found in the text. (You mentioned the only place in the Bible that has the phrase "faith only", James 2:24). But that doesn't matter, since they've already decided that that is what the text MUST mean.

    Fourth, and last for now, is that we must understand how the Bible teaches us. The Bible teaches us using commands, examples, and implication. Examples are:

    Commands - When the Lord instituted the Lord's Supper, He gave the command, "This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19, 20). Here we have a direct command to observe the Lord's Supper.

    Example - Keeping with the Lord's Supper example, there is no direct command as to when to observe it. However, we have the example of the early church in Acts 20:7, where we find that it was "...the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread..." This is widely accepted as referring to the communion. So by example, we are taught to observe the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week. "But weekly, as in every week" one might ask? I'd say so, since every week has a first day. Strange how there's no confusion when it comes to taking up a collection every Sunday (1 Cor 16:2)!

    Implication - In Acts 8:35, 36 we find Phillip preaching to the Ethiopian Eunuch. The text says that Phillip "preached unto him Jesus", but the first thing the eunuch wanted to do was to be baptized. By implication, the Bible teaches that to preach Jesus correctly is to include teaching on baptism.

    Like I said, that's my two cents worth. I hope it helps.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  13. D28guy

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    bmerr,

    You said...

    I mentioned the truth that the Holy Spirit will guide the believer into all truth...without specific mention of "studying"...because of course the studying part is a given. Doesnt really need to be said.

    I never advocated sitting in a room all alone in a lotus position and waiting for the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth.

    The Holy Spirits ministry of opening our understanding to truth goes hand in hand with regular feeding on..(or studying).. the scriptures.

    The very fact that one is advocating "sola scriptura" clearly assumes spending regular time in the scriptures studying them.

    God bless!

    Mike
     
  14. bmerr

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    D28guy,

    bmerr here. I'd have to disagree, sir. If the command to study was not needed, Scripture would not contain it. The significance of the command to study, coming from Paul, (who had the guidance of the Holy Spirit), to Timothy (and the rest of us), indicates that we would not have the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

    The Spirit of God works through the word of God to convict men of sin, and convince men to become Christians. The word of God is the sword (tool)of the Spirit (Eph 6:17).

    The promise of the Holy Spirit was given to the apostles, not to Christians of all time (John 14:25, 26).

    2 Tim 3:16, 17 tells us that the scriptures are all that is needed for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, and are able to throughly furnish us unto all good works.

    The only thing required for our understanding of the Scriptures is an honest and good heart (Luke 8:15). Those with an honest and good heart are there identified as those who hear the word, and keep it, bringing forth fruit with patience.

    God's word does not require divine intervention for us to understand it. Never has, never will.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  15. RTG

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    bmerr,A few ?'s if you don't mind.Since you believe that baptism is needed for salvation what of the thief on the cross?To earn salvation by works would be to put God in mans dept would it not.God some how owe's someone salvation,for the works they've done or the fact that they have been baptised?What need of grace?To me it seems many twists come from those that create a beleif or doctrine out of a book or verse in the bible.We need to study the whole book.
     
  16. bmerr

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    RTG,

    bmerr here. I don't mind at all. I don't have all the answers, but I'll do my best.

    The thief on the cross (ttoc) was unquestionably saved, but under what Testament? Under the NT, men are saved when they believe and obey the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Since ttoc was speaking to a still living Christ, he was still under the OT. There were no NT conversions until Acts 2:41.

    If man could earn salvation by doing good works, then yes, God would be indebted to him. However, we both understand that God is debtor to no man.

    There's a difference between earning something and meeting prescribed conditions to receive something. As we've already determined, man cannot earn salvation from God.

    However, God has given conditions which man must meet in order to be saved. If salvation were unconditional, then all would be saved, would they not?

    Why without grace, man cannot be saved! But what is grace? "God's riches at Christ's expense" some might say, and I would not disagree. But how is the grace of God manifested to Man?

    Titus 2:11, 12 reads,

    11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
    12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

    Titus tells us that it is the grace of God that teaches men how to live. It is the grace of God that instructs man in what to do.

    For example, in Gen 6:8, we find that Noah found grace in the eyes of God. Immediately following this statement, we find God instructing Noah on how to escape the coming judgement. Noah believed God's gracious instruction, and obeyed by building the ark. As a result, he was saved.

    Is there more to the grace of God than instruction on how to be saved? Probably, but even if that was all there was to it, that would still be more than Man deserves.

    I agree. We also need to remember that one verse concerning salvation does not "trump" another, but that each is complemented by the others.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  17. DHK

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    The thief on the cross (ttoc) was unquestionably saved, but under what Testament? Under the NT, men are saved when they believe and obey the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Since ttoc was speaking to a still living Christ, he was still under the OT. There were no NT conversions until Acts 2:41.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Baptism in not needed for salvation. That is one of the oldest heresies known to Christendom. To believe so is to believe a pagan superstition borrowed from Hinduism that water can wash away sins. It is a pagan superstition. Here is an exposition of Eph.2:8,9 that shows how it is impossibe for baptism to be part of salvation. I posted it in another thread. But instead of explaining the whole thing all over again, thought that I would just paste it in here.

    I am honest, and quite frankly this is one of the lamest arguments I have ever encountered. By using it you align yourself with occult and witchcraft. You suggest that certain words have certain powers just like incantations, curses, spells, and so on. In other words you don't believe that the English language has synonyms and can use other words to exress the same thing. You readliy admit that the word Trinity is not in the Bible, but you believe in it anyway. But somehow you want the Baptist, the Protestant to find the magical incantation "Faith Alone...Faith Alone...Faith Alone...Faith Alone..." as if the phrase itself must be found in the Bible in order to be true. That, my friend, is a teaching of the occult. We don't believe in spells and incantations. We believe what the Bible teaches. Here is what the Bible teaches. I will be honewst. Will you?

    Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    "By grace are ye saved"
    This has nothing to do with baptism, sacraments, man's works, or any other similar thing. It is one way of saying: faith alone. Let's see how many ways Paul emphasizes this point in these two verses.
    The grace referred to is God's grace. Grace literally means "the free unmerited gift of God." It is an undeserved gift; that which we do not deserve. Those things like sunshine and rain are a result of God's grace to mankind. We don't deserve the sunshine and rain. We haven't worked for them. We have done nothing to merit them, but God gives us the sunshine and rain in spite of our sinfulness and rebellion against him. And not just to us, but to the whole world--to the most sinful and rebellious creatures you can think of--he graciously gives sunshine and rain. That is the grace of God. It is Him giving even when we don't deserve it. Here is a good definition given by Paul:

    Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    Paul states if there is any amount of work done; then it is not grace. Grace is wholly of God. There is no work on man's behalf. It is all of God. If it is all of God, and a gift of God, it can only be accepted by faith and faith alone, for any work (like baptism) would negate the very fact it is grace. It wouldn't be grace if there were works involved, like baptism. That is what Paul is stating in Rom.11:6. Therefore if salvation is by grace, it must be by faith alone.

    The grace referred to in Eph.2:8 is specifically speaking of the grace of God in reference to salvation, that is when Christ died on the cross for our sins, and paid the penalty with his blood through his death. He did this out of grace. We didn't deserve it; but he died for us anyway. It was out of his grace; God's grace. We are saved through the grace of God, because Christ paid the penalty for our sins, when nothing else could do. Man cannot pay the penalty for sin. Not through praying the rosary, not through spending time in purgatory, not through baptism, not through any of the sacraments, not through keeping the Ten Commandments, not through anything that you do. Christ paid it all. John 10:30, He uttered the words:
    It is finished.
    There is nothing that man can do. The work of salvation is finished. Christ paid the entire penalty Himself. It is left to man to accept His work of grace by faith and by faith alone. For by grace are ye saved. By grace he provided a way of salvation--through the blood of Christ--the blood that was shed for us on Calvary--the blood that paid the penalty for our sins. Faith and faith alone in that sacrifice will save a person. For by grace are ye saved.

    "through faith This is the next part of the verse in Eph.2:8. We are saved through faith. It is faith in the sacrifice provided by the grace of God. It is faith and faith alone. This is understood. Faith alone is an expression understood, and understood by the most simplest of readers. It doesn't have to say "alone." It is implied and any reader understands that. It does nto say: "faith and baptism," or "faith and sacraments." It says "through faith," with an obvious meaning of "faith alone." This is especially true after stating that we are saved by grace. Paul didn't have to be redundant and state "faith alone" because the very fact that it is through grace tells us that it is by faith alone. If it wasn't by faith alone, then it wouldn't be of grace. Any work involved would negate the definition of grace, therefore it must be by faith alone. Logic demands this. Read again Romans 11:6.

    Faith is confidence in the word of another. It has absolutely nothing to do with works. It is trust. So Jesus said you must have faith as a little child. A little child has implicit faith in his parents that they will provide for him. That is what Christ was referring to--the faith.
    Do you have faith and faith alone in the sacrifice of Christ, that it is sufficient, in and of itself, to save you and forve your sins? That is salvation by grace through faith. Savation is provided by the grace of God. It is accepted by faith in order to be saved. It is a gift.

    "and that not of yourselves" What does this say? It says "Faith alone." Not of yourselves. That means, not of any work that you can do including baptism and any other sacrament or keeping the law or the Ten Commandments. It means doing nothing. "That not of yourself." There is absolutely nothing you can do to merit salvation. It is to be accepted by faith alone; not by baptism or any other work; but by faith alone. "Not of yourself," but by faith, because it is of the grace of God. This is really very simple theology. Paul states over and over again how that salvation is by faith alone. It can be no other way.

    Romans 4:4-5 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    "it is not of yourselves."

    It is the gift of God
    This is the next part of the verse in Eph.2:8, and goes along well with the first part
    Salvation is a gift. A gift cannot be earned. It cannot be worked for. It can only be accepted by faith and faith alone. That is what makes it a gift by very definition. Here again Paul emphasizes that it is by faith alone. If salvation is the gift of God, it can only be accepted by faith alone. There is no other way a gift can be accepted. How can one work for a gift. If you work for a gift, then the gift is no longer a gift. It is a debt to be owed for the work that is done.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Verse nine starts out by saying
    Not of works another phrase emphasizing "Faith alone." For the very fact that it is not of works it must be by faith alone. How many times has Paul emphasized this now? It is not of works. It is by faith; it is by faith alone. How direct does Paul have to be here. Not Of Works!! It can't be any plainer can it? Those works include baptism, sacraments, Ten Commandments, etc. Any good work that you can think of, it includes.

    Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    That is what God thinks of your good works, your righteousnesses--filthy rags. That is all they are good for. They won't help get you to heaven. The only way to heaven is by faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus Christ provided by the grace of God. It is not of works. Put your works away. They are only filthy rags in the sight of God anyway, baptism included. Salvation is not of works; but by faith alone.

    Then finally Paul states
    lest any man should boast
    He says that because if you could get to heaven by baptism or any other religious rite or good work, you would be in Heaven boasting about it: "See what I have done, See what I have done." It wouldn't matter that Jesus Christ paid 99.9999999999999999% of the penalty of your sins. You boast in that little part that you had done to get entrance into heaven. And you would do it for all eternity. You would be sure to remind Christ about it too.
    No Christ paid the penalty in full. You have nothing to boast about. He paid the full penalty of the burden of our sins, and not only ours, but of the sins of the whole world. It is by faith and faith alone that we must accept the payment of that penalty--His blood that was shed for us. If we do we will trust him as our Saviuor, admitting that we are guilty sinners deserving only of Hell, and ask his forgiveness on the basis of his sacrifice, once and for all. He paid the penalty of our sins. Will you accept what he has done on the cross as payment for your sins, accepting it by faith and faith alone. That is the teaching here.
    DHK
     
  18. bmerr

    bmerr
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    DHK,

    bmerr here. Hey look! I just figured out how to copy and paste! Seriously, I did. Watch this:

    We also need to remember that one verse concerning salvation does not "trump" another, but that each is complemented by the others.

    That's the part I copied from my last post to RTG.

    It applies to what you copied. If you keep that in mind, you won't have to avoid Mark 16:16 and other similar passages like the plague anymore. You'll be able to read them from the pulpit without having to explain them away as though they don't mean what they say.

    You might even realize you're blaspheming the Holy Spirit by condemning baptism as a pagan ritual. You really need to stop doing that, sir.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  19. DHK

    DHK
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    Your right. In another thread I posted a couple dozen Scripture references which show that we are saved by faith alone. They were just from John, Acts, and the first five chapters of Romans. I got tired after the fifth chapter Romans. The fact is that the entire Bible thunders through and through with this one great truth that man is justified by faith alone. It is also true that cults use just a very few verses out of context to twist Scripture and create a new doctrine. They do just like the Mormons do. Let me give you a couple of examples:

    Mormon justification of polygamy:
    found in Proverbs:
    "He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing"
    Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    Mormon justification for multiple baptisms of unsaved ancestors:
    1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

    This is exactly what you do with a vew isolated verses pertaining to baptism. Because you may not understand the context (like the above verse), you twist it to make it fit into your own theology. What, do you also baptize for the dead, just because you may not understand the verse or its contexts?? :rolleyes:

    I don't have to avoid those passages at all. I know what they mean, and their proper explanations. Just because you don't, doesn't mean that the rest of the Bible is wrong. Now that's a joke.

    1. That is a serious charge that you had better refrain from making on this board.
    2. I highly doubt if you know what you are saying.
    3. In your own ignorance you have demonstrated to me that you have no understanding what that passage means. Here is what I want you to do. Quote the passage on this board. Then give the context of it, and explain what it means, and how it applies (in context) to the believer today.
    DHK
     
  20. bmerr

    bmerr
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    DHK,

    bmerr here. The requested passage is found in Matt 12:22-37 and Mark 3:22-30. For the sake of brevity, I will give the passage from Mark.

    22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the pricne of the devils casteth he out devils.

    23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

    24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

    25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

    26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

    27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

    28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

    29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

    30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

    These scribes had attributed the work that Jesus had done in healing one who had been possessed by a blind and dumb spirit (Matt 12:22).

    Jesus explains to them that attributing the work of God to Satan was blasphemy against the Spirit of God. For this, they were in danger of eternal damnation.

    So how is it that I refer to this text when you say that baptism is a pagan ritual?

    In 1 Cor 11, Paul speaks of the eating of meats that had been offered to devils in their pagan rituals. He basically says that there's nothing wrong with the meat itself, but for conscience' sake, one should not knowingly partake of meat so offered.

    The thing that makes a false religion false is its teachings, or doctrines. These pagans in Corinth were doing sacrifice unto devils (1 Cor 11:20). Their pagan religions and doctrines were based upon devil worship. Behind every false doctrine is a devil.

    On the other hand, the Holy Spirit inspired men to give us the Bible. Jesus Himself is recorded in the Bible commanding baptism as a requirement for salvation (Mark 16:16). This was to be a baptism performed by man (Matt 28:19), and was not Holy Spirit baptism as some suggest.

    In Acts 2, Peter and the rest of the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4). Under this divine influence, Peter commanded baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

    In Acts 22:16, we read that Ananias was sent by Christ to Saul of Tarsus. At this point, Saul had seen and believed in the resurrected Christ. He had repented of his former activities. He had been praying and fasting for three days (maybe it was the sinner's prayer)(Acts 9:9).

    And yet, what did Ananias (who had been sent by Jesus Christ Himself) tell Saul, believing, repentant, praying Saul, that he must do (Acts 9:6)?

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    DHK, the work of the Spirit in the NT has been to deliver the word of God to us. He did that by speaking through men that sometimes didn't even understand the words that they were saying until much later (Acts 2:39). He did it by working miracles by the hands of those who preached the word in order to confirm it (Mark 16:20). He did it by inspiring men to write letters to address problems and give encouragement and instruction to the early church, and to the rest of us.

    And then you come along, and proclaim that the instructions concerning baptism in the NT, which were given by the Holy Spirit, and commanded by Christ and His apostles, are just some pagan (demonic) ritual that God condemned in some obscure verse in Jeremiah (where was that again?), which was spoken to idolatrous Israel who actually was involved in pagan rituals.

    You attribute the work of God to Satan. That is my understanding of the passage, and that is why I give you warning.

    Also, you did not give a couple dozen verses explaining how we are saved by "faith only". Not one of those verses said "faith only". But that is how you distort them, and thus you conflict with other Scriptures dealing with salvation.

    Your turn.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     

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