New Birth Contrasts and Consequences

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Jun 19, 2016.

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  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Here are some premises to begin this post:

    1. God is Light,Life, and Holy

    2. Sin and spiritual separation is universal among mankind since Adam till now

    3. Justification is the only solution to sin because sin must be remitted and righteousness has to replace it or there can be no reconciliation between God and a sinner.

    4. Regeneration is the only solution to spiritual separation because it is the restoration of light, life, and holiness lacking in all fallen man.

    5. Without regeneration all mankind are in an unregenerate state from Adam to present which state is described as follows:

    Ephes. 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
    19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.


    A. The unregenerate state is UNIVERSAL and IS a STATE OF BEING:

    1. WITHOUT LIGHT - darkened understanding, blindness
    2. WITHOUT LIFE - alienated from the life of God
    3. WITHOUT HOLINESS - given...over...to...all uncleaness

    B. Regeneration's positive and negative sides

    1. POSITIVELY RESTORES LIFE: - "you hath he quickened" (made alive spiritually) - Eph. 2:1,5
    1. NEGATIVELY REMOVES DEADNESS - "you who were dead" - Eph. 2:1

    2. POSITIVELY RESTORES LIGHT - "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." - 2Cor. 4:6

    2. NEGATIVELY REMOVES DARKNESS - no longer the children of darkness in the kingdom of darkness

    3. POSITIVELY RESTORES HOLINESS - "created in righteousness and true holiness" - Eph. 4:24/Col. 3:10
    3. NEGATIVELY REMOVES INNER FILTH OF SIN - "the washing...of regeneration" -Tit. 3:5

    C. Regeneration is a CREATIVE act of God
    1. Quickening or new birth is a creative act of God - Eph. 2:1, 5, 10 - "created in Christ Jesus"
    2. Restoration of light is a creative act of God - 2Cor. 4:6 "For God who commanded the light to shine"
    3. Restoration of holinesss is creative act of God - Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10 "created in righteousness and holiness"

    D. Regeneration is an act of God's will - Jn. 1:13; James 1:18

    E. Without regeneration man living prior to the cross universally would be:

    1. Without the LIFE, LIGHT and HOLINESS of God

    a. Spiritually DEAD in tresspasses and sins.
    b. Alienated from the Life of God
    c. Living in darkness
    d. Given over unto all uncleaness

    2. No Human Being existing in that state can please God - Rom. 8:8

    E.There is no other solution to spiritual separation from God than spiritual union with God by regeneration.

    F. There is no other solution to being without life, light and holiness than restoration of life, light and holiness by regeneration.

    This why BEFORE the cross and before Pentecost Jesus told Nicodemus using the PLURAL PRONOUN "you" that except "A MAN" be born again, he cannot enter or see the kingdom of God, but remains in the kingdom of Satan/darkness/death/depravity.

    There are only two possible kingdom's (the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan)
    There are only two possible spiritual conditions (saved or lost)
    There are only two possible conditions (in Adam or In Christ)
    There are only two possible spiritual states (in the flesh or in the Spirit OR unregenerate versus regenerate)
     
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  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The universal problem is sin and spiritual separation and it makes no difference if you live before or after the cross.

    The only possible solution for this universal problem of sin and spiritual separation is justification and regeneration and it makes not difference if you live before or after the cross.

    Justification before God (Rom. 4:1) requires the problem of sin to be resolved by remission of sins (Rom. 4:7-8) and replaced by righteousness that is acceptable to God (Rom. 4:5-6). Together they constitutes justification. Without one or the other there is no possible solution for in and there is no such thing as justification.

    Justification can only have its basis in the cross as animal's cannot provide MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS except in type (shadow - Heb. 10:1) or remission of sins except in type! Yet gospel believers before Pentecost (Acts 10:43; heb. 4:2) were "justified" by faith IN CHRIST (Gal. 3:17; Acts 10:43). They were justified WITHOUT divine ordinances (circumcision, sacrifices) - Rom. 4:9-11 and "without works" (Rom. 4:5-6) even those like David who lived "under the law" (Rom. 4:6-8; 16). Such shadows or types (divine ordinances = cirucumcision, sacrifices) were only DECLARATIVE of already justified born again believers in the gospel - (Heb. 11:4 "BY WHICH he obtained WITNESS that he WAS righteous").

    Hence, they were fully justified before the cross based solely upon "the blood of the EVERLASTING COVENANT" applied to them based upon God's promise that he would provide the provision (Rom. 3:24-26).

    Apart from justification and regeneration there can be change in a sinners position and/or condition before or after the cross. There can be no reconciliation, thus no fellowship as two must be reconciled before they can fellowship one with another, thus no peace as two must be reconciled before peace can exist between God and sinner. Without regeneration there can be no life, light or holiness and no fruit of the Spirit.

    Since the problem of spiritual separation is WITHIN FALLEN MAN, then any solution to those three INTERNAL problems requires INTERNAL UNION between man's spirit and God's Spirit and that is called "indwelling".
     
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  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Hi Mark....I view both of your posts as the academics of Christianity & I totally understand .....plus I agree with them. May I ask, are you attempting to teach this to some target audience, or perhaps stimulate conversation?
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

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  5. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Both! The proper understanding of the "acedemics of Christianity" not only thoroughly repudiates the salvationist view of the baptism in the Spirit, but completely repudiates the universal invisible church theory or what should be called the church salvation theory.
     
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  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    So what is the biblical responsibility of the "House Church?"
     
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  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I would also ask if someone asked you to describe "church"
    using only the Bible, what would you say?
     
  8. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    Describing the church using only the bible you would find that the word "churches" (plural) occurs 37 times in the New Testament, thus disallowing a "universal, invisible, mystical 'church'." The word "church" (singular) occurs 80 times in the New Testament.

    The vast majority of the time we see the word "church" (singular) it is accompanied by a geographical location: "the church at Corinth." "The church of the Galatians" etc.

    Once the word is used for the assembled people of Israel in the wilderness.

    Every time the singular "church" is used without a geographical reference it should be understood to mean "no church in particular, all churches in general."

    The "church" is a local, visible, assembly of baptized believers gathered to keep the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

    One of the problems today is that so many Christians ignore the "New Covenant" while claiming to be "New Testament (Covenant) Christians." The New Covenant was made with the same people as the Old Covenant, Spiritual Israel. The New Testament believers are engrafted into the Olive Tree of Israel. And the sign that signified the New Covenant was the one time public event of the immersion of the church (generically) into the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus Christ. This was accomplished in two stages, first to the Jews, the recipients of the Old Covenant, and slightly later was shown to include the gentiles in the Covenant relationship with God.

    So, after the completion of the sign of the Covenant, Paul could state, categorically, there is "One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism." The ONLY Baptism still in effect is the ONE Baptism of the total immersion of the believer in water as a symbol of the new believer's participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    One thing you NEVER find in the New Testament is language that says "the Church is made up of all believers everywhere from all time periods." There is such an entity in the New Testament but it is NOT ever called "The Church." It is called the "Family of God" or the "Kingdom of God" (the rule of God in the hearts of His people - not to be confused with the yet future Kingdom of God on Earth).

    Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

    The Family of God.

    I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
    I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
    Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
    For I'm part of the family,
    The Family of God.

    (Bill Gaither)
     
  9. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The "Biblical Responsibility" of the "House of God" fits that motiff ("house of God") from the Jewish perspective. When a Jew (Paul) or a Jewish raised man (Timothy) heard the phrase "the house of God" there came immediately to mind a public designated place of worship where the ministry, ordinances and manner of worship are all in keeping with a due order after a divine pattern. The phrase "house of God" is used in Scripture the 85th occurrence in 1 Timothy 3:15 out of a total of 87 occurrences in Scripture. In all previous 84 occurrences it always without exception referred to a local visible public place of worship where a public qualified ministry (1 Tim. 3:1-13) offered up public qualified ordinances (1 Pet. 2:5) for acceptable worship.

    The general responsibility is spelled out in Matthew 28:19-20 where the mission of the "house of God" is to reproduce after its own kind until Christ returns. There is one primary verb literally translated means "make disciples" that defines WHAT the church is to do, followed by three adverbial participles telling the church HOW to do it.

    The term "disicple" means to be a follower and thus "make followers." A follower is not one who inovates his own doctrine and practice - that is a heretic. A follower is one who PATTERNS his doctrine and practice after the Master - thus reproduction of like faith and order.

    There is a specific PATTERN in this text. The first participle translated "go" is Aorist tense and its relationship to the main verb demands that its action precedes the action of the main verb. Meaning, evangelization of "all nations" with the gospel (Mk. 16:15) precedes the act of discipling through baptism and observation. Blood before the water as the Old Baptists used to say.

    There is a specific ADMINISTRATOR in this text. One must distinguish between "ye" and "all nations" and "them" as three different parties. Those to be evangelized are "all nations." Those to be baptized and taught how to observe all things ("them") are those evangelized from among "all nations". Those authorized to make disicples are those who "have" already been through this three-fold process/pattern.

    There is an organic physical contact reproductive pattern. In that period of history it is impossible to evangelize, baptize and teach to observe without physical organic contact between the administrator and "them." There is first a natural reproductive cycle. The evangelized are to be baptized and the batpized are to be taught how to observe ALL THINGS commanded which in turn begins the process all over again by going with the gospel, etc.

    There is a supernatural repoductive cycle. Jesus promises to be with those reproducing after their own kind (disciples) literally "all the days until the end of the age" or as one Greek scholar translates it "day in and day out" demanding that not one day of any generation is without like faith and order disciples.

    There is a reproduction of like faith and order as Jesus says teaching them whatsoever "I HAVE COMMANDED" - meaning going with the SAME gospel, administering the SAME baptism and teaching to observe the SAME faith and practice. Why? Because those who go with "another gospel" are "accursed" (Gal. 1:8-9). Why? Because those who administer another baptism "reject the counsel of God against themselves" (Lk. 7:29-30). Why? Because those who teach another faith and order have departed from the faith (1 Tim. 3:15) and in all three cases produce ANOTHER kind of disciple than a follower of Christ and the apostles.

    Moreover, baptism is administered only by those who are like faith and order with Christ. This commission is not given to padeobaptists, sacramentalists, anti-trinitarians, or free lance preachers or ministries, but to churches of like faith and order.

    Finally, this commission is restricted to a plural "ye" who are like faith and order existing in a CONGREGATIONAL STATE of existence. It is impossible to administer any aspect of this commission without physically assembling with "them." It is impossible to administer the last aspect of this commission outside of congregational membership where both "ye" and "them" exist as members of the same body. Why? Try observing Matthew 18:15-18 outside of church membership. Who can "tell the church" except members of that church? Trying observing Matthew 26:12-30 outside of actual physical assembling together in one place (1 Cor. 11:18-20; 33-34).
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Were the assembled people of Israel in the Wilderness the Church, the Body of Christ?


    God bless.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    If they ignore a clear commandment by Christ for making disciples, does that disqualify them as a true Christian Church?
     
  12. Darrell C

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    The Covenant of Law was not made with Spiritual Israel, it was made with National Israel.

    That is why God had to promise a New Covenant...because Israel did not keep the Covenant God established.


    God bless.
     
  13. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    A group of people can be Christians without be a true church of Christ. To be a Christian only requires essentials of the gospel. However, to be a true New Testament church requires proper constitution by a church of like faith and order where there is a qualified ministry and qualified ordinances manifested in New Testament faith and practice.

    For example, if the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch. You cannot teach what you have not been taught. The quthorized "ye"" of the Great Commission had been taught (Acts 1:21-22). Among them existed a qualified leaderhip and qualified ordinnaces were being administered.

    For example, a group of believers who administer sprinkling and call it baptism cannot be found in the Scriptures, nor can it be called a New Testament church as the very nature of a New Testament church is an immersed body of believers.

    For example, a group of believers who administer the Lord's Supper as a sacrament cannot be found in the New Testament and the very practcice denies the very nature of a New Testament Church as it conflicts with the foremost doctrine of a true New Testament church - salvation b y grace through faith without works.

    New Testament churches are not a result of spontanity or self-organization but are a product of like faith and order and that is the function of the Great Commission.
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    We are talking a bout a "new Testament" church. The New Testament provides the characteristics of such a church and those characteristics include immersion in water of professing believers, properly qualified ministry with properly qualified ordinances that promote and practice "the faith" once delivered, thus making it the "pillar and ground of the truth."

    So, no, the assembly at Mount Sinai was not the "body of Christ" the Church. Indeed, it is placed in direct contrast to the church in Hebrews 12:17-23.
     
  15. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Because of the importance of this topic, which in my view is one of the most misunderstood issues concerning salvation in Christ, I will address the assertions of the OP, and welcome those who disagree to address my response. Please refrain from simply presenting an opinion on what I say, rather, try to address the points made and the Scripture presented to support those points.


    This is very true. God is the source of truth (light), spiritual life, and even the holiness we as believers are brought into through union with God.

    God has always enlightened men to truth, rather than men analyzing data and drawing conclusions from their own mental processes. The question is, do we really believe that?


    This too is true. Adam lost the direct relationship with God that he shared, and was thrust out of that abode created for him and personal relationship with God. From that time until Christ we see provision for man's sin given in regards to remission of sin...

    ...animal sacrifice.

    Abel did it. Noah did it. Abraham did it. Job did it. Joshua did it. David did it.

    And Christ did it. Yes, that's right, Christ participated in the sacrifices of the Law. He had to. To disregard the Law would conflict with the fact that He gave it to men, and not to participate would have been seen as disobedience, thus interfering with His role as He Who knew no sin.

    Mankind's true problem is not that they are born with a disease that is passed down from generation to generation, but a condition. That condition is separation from God. As the Op states rightfully, "...regeneration is the only solution to spiritual separation." Where the OP veers off track is equating the justification of the sinner with...spiritual "re-union" with God.


    Romans 5:9-11

    King James Version (KJV)


    9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

    10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

    11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.



    A few truths to consider from Paul's statement here:

    1. We are justified by His Blood (death);

    2. We are saved from wrath through being justified by His Blood;

    3. We were enemies when we were reconciled to God;

    4. We were reconciled to God by His Blood (death);

    5. What is more, being reconciled by His Blood (death), we are saved by His Life (God is Life);

    6. We have joy in God through Jesus Christ;

    7. We have received Atonement...

    ...through Jesus Christ.


    Something to ask is, "Did men have these things prior to Christ actually dying?"

    The answer is no. That does not nullify God's justification of men through faith, but it does not mean we equate the Atonement to the systems/economies that were in place prior to Christ dying in the stead of the sinner.

    Who died in the place of the sinner prior to Christ?

    Animals.

    Are the two equal?

    Yet most will embrace a view that the Old Testament Saints were "saved on credit." Actually...they were not. They were saved by grace through faith...alone. That is the consistent pattern of Scripture. The truth is, even those who are not regenerate, from an eternal perspective, are "saved," because there is no possibility that something might arise in which their eternal destiny might escape the hand of God.

    But we don't consider them regenerate until they are immersed into God. Their sins are not forgiven until Christ's death is recognized as the payment for the penalty of their sin...by God. When they are born, they are born in that condition of separation, and until that day when God enlightens their minds to their condition, they recognize their condition and the truth of the Remedy of Christ, that He alone is Righteous and that He died in their stead...they are not regenerate. They are not renewed to relationship with God until that time.

    Now, if a person is born again, and they decide, "Well, you know, that sacrificial system had some benefits. It's a sacrifice I can see and it would make me feel better to see a sacrifice God has said brings forgiveness of sins," what would we say? "You do not need to offer up that sacrifice, because Christ has made that Sacrifice that brings complete remission of sins.

    Right?

    Now...could the Old Testament Saint forego those sacrifices, as we do?

    No.

    They were commanded to, for example, observe the Passover. We, on the other hand...memorialize Christ's death in Communion. Do the two bring about an equable remission of sins? Both truly brought about remission of sins, but only one of those brought about complete remission of sins to the point where there was no longer sacrifice for sin required on the part of the believer.

    So when we equate the literal benefits of the provision of the Old Testament to the benefits of relationship with God through Christ, we do an injustice to the very Work of Christ, both before, and after the Lord's birth, death, resurrection, and ascension.


    Continued...
     
  16. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Now we will look at the OPs next "premise:"


    No, Justification is not the only solution to sin.

    This demands that those justified in the Old Testament enjoyed the benefits of the New Covenant, one such benefit being the complete remission of sins promised by God in the Old Testament, and only realized when Christ died in the stead of the sinner, and that death was applied to the sinner, rather than the sinner making payment himself. We see God's grace throughout the entirety of Redemptive History, in that He did not exact payment for the sins of men immediately (though there are a few exceptions to this rule, i.e., Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira). Instead, until that day when Christ would hang on the Cross, He provided vicarious animal sacrifice.

    The fact is, even the Just of the Old Testament, those who placed their faith in God...still had but one solution for sin, and that was through animal sacrifice. That is not the case for those brought under the New Covenant. We have received the Atonement, thus are forgiven in completion concerning the penalty of sin. Because a believer might not understand this, they sometimes despair at the fact that they still sin, and wonder if perhaps that sin might nullify their relationship with God. But when we understand sin and rightly understand the difference between the temporal and eternal, we understand that remission of sins in Christ is drastically different than the remission of sins received by the faithful of the Old Testament...specifically because it is complete.

    God promised it...


    Jeremiah 31:31-34

    King James Version (KJV)


    31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

    32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:

    33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.



    ...and God always delivers on His promises...


    Hebrews 10:15-18

    King James Version (KJV)


    15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

    16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

    17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

    18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.



    Now the point of drawing you attention to remission of sins through Christ is to point out the obvious difference between the provision of the Covenant of Law in regards to remission of sins (which is the pattern prior to the Law as well). When we equate the remission of sins in the Old Testament Eras to the remission of sins in this Age, again, we do a great injustice to the Work of Christ.

    And when we begin to look at the Promise of the Spirit, we will see there is no less a distinction between the provision provided in this Age, as opposed to all those that came before it. We understand that the Ministry of the Spirit of God has always been an internal working of the Spirit within the hearts of men, but, even as eternally indwelt believers can, after salvation, be either filled with the Spirit or not, even so the unregenerate Old Testament Saint could be.

    One of the greatest errors in regards to regeneration we see in our modern times is to equate salvation in the Old Testament with salvation in Christ, just as many equate remission of sins in the Old Testament with remission of sins through Christ. Because of the rise of the popularity of certain Doctrine, the belief that the indwelling of God is constant throughout Scripture has led to confusion concerning regeneration. The Old Testament Saint was filled with the Holy Ghost at times, but this does not mean we nullify the fact that God placing His Spirit within us on an eternal basis was a promise, or that the Eternal Indwelling of God equates to the filling of the Spirit for the purpose of empowerment.

    So first I would ask that you consider the distinction between the Eras concerning remission of sins. If you agree with this...


    Then you are forced to conclude two things which stand in direct opposition to the consistent teaching of the New Testament:

    1. Justification can be apart from the Blood of Christ;

    2. Reconciliation can be effected apart from the Blood of Christ.


    Some will argue this is not the case, but it is. There was a necessity of Christ literally dying, He makes that clear Himself. That is the very reason He, God, took upon Himself the form of man, that He might accomplish that which was necessary to restore the relationship that was lost in Adam.


    Continued...
     
  17. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Again, the premise is wrong.

    The simple truth is that God gives light (understanding of truth) to all men. Not one person will stand before God and say "But...you didn't tell me! That's not fair!"

    I agree regeneration is the only solution to spiritual separation, but that does not mean that God does not minister in the lives of men prior to regeneration.

    That is, after all...how we are born again to begin with.

    Cornelius is a good example of an unregenerate man in relationship with God through a system delivered unto the Jews. He was a proselyte to Judaism, and not a Christian until regenerated.


    John 16:7-9

    King James Version (KJV)


    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;



    I stop at verse 9 because the focal point is again sin. We can consider a few points in Christ's teaching here:

    1. Christ tells His disciples He must go away (return to Heaven);

    2. His going away is expedient (advantageous) for/to the disciples;

    3. If He does not go away the Comforter (the Spirit He teaches about in John 14) will not/cannot come;

    4. If He departs He will send the Comforter;

    5. When the Comforter comes/is sent He will reprove/convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment;

    6. "The world" refers to the unregenerate (those who do not believe on Christ).


    The point here is that we see here the Ministry of the Spirit of God, Who has always dealt with man's heart, is going to be different than that which preceded this Ministry.

    In the Old Testament we can see that the Word of God played a role as Comforter, for the Word of God also brought about conviction of sin and the understanding that the only Remedy could be found in God. Christ also played a role as a Comforter, for He was the Consolation of Israel, He that they awaited.

    While both the Law (the Word of God) and Christ detail the promises of God, it is not until this Ministry starts that a specific and direct ministry concerning Christ and His Work begins.

    When we understand that, then we also understand this...



    ...disregards the distinction between the roles played by the Word of God, Christ, and the Comforter in this Age.

    Because it is not understood that God has always had to enlighten the natural mind to spiritual truth, the thought that one could understand spiritual truth and come into obedience to that revealed truth is rejected, and it is assumed that men had to be regenerated in order to please God. The fact is that what pleases God is...

    ...obedience to His revealed will.

    Men were not saved because they did not commit adultery, for example, but God was pleased with the heart that did not look upon another woman with lust in his heart. When the Law was broken (which pretty much includes every man who has ever lived, beginning with Adam), they were indebted to offer up sacrifice for that sin, rather than the penalty being exacted upon themselves.



    Galatians 3:22-27

    King James Version (KJV)


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



    All means all. There is no distinction drawn concerning those justified through faith and the unjust.

    All were still under sin until the Promise was fulfilled in Christ.


    23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.



    Look at the link. In view is a distinction between those who were under the Law (which would include Gentiles, it is all inclusive, because the Law was the only provision for relationship in that Age) and those in Paul's day, who had the Faith of Jesus Christ. Now consider that God was pleased with those who came into obedience to His will as expressed in the Law, and was not pleased with those that kept not His Law. In view is not those who did not keep the Law...but those who did.

    And the conclusion? There was the faith of Christ yet to come, which should be, afterwards...revealed.


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



    The Law, like a shepherd, led those of faith towards an understanding of Christ (Messiah). Many times the Apostles appeal to the Law to prove that Christ was indeed the Messiah they awaited on. Again, the faith of Christ was not revealed while the Law was their Schoolmaster, so we do not, and should not...equate faith in Christ with obedience to the Law. As I said, we can see the Role of the Word of God whihch is similar to that of Christ and the Comforter, but we can also see the difference between the Law revealing the Promise of salvation in Christ, which we can in retrospect see clearly, and the Comforter beinging conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment directly to the heart of the sinner/natural man.


    25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.



    Paul is not saying "The Word of God is no longer in effect," he is simply distinguishing between the role of the Law (both the Written Word as well as the Covenant) and the fact that the Faith of Christ is now revealed. We are no longer under that Covenant which served to show man his sin, and was established because of man's sin.

    The primary point to take from this verse is...there is a clear distinction drawn between the Age of Law and the Age in which we now reside. If the Faith is now come, now revealed, the obvious corollary is that it was not revealed while men were under Law.


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



    And when we look at the relevant passages that teach about Regeneration, we are going to see this is a consistent basic principle of the New Birth. Christ came unto His Own, that is, the Jews, and they received Him not. But to those that did receive Him, to them God gave the power to become the sons of God.

    The point Paul makes is "You are no longer under the Schoolmaster (the Law), because you children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

    And there is not one person, not even among Christ's disciples, who can be shown to have faith in the Person of Jesus Christ and His Work prior to Pentecost.


    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.



    Some view this to refer to water baptism.

    But when we understand that reconciliation is indeed the "re-union" of God and man, we can negate that error and place this in a proper context: we are children of God because we have been immersed into Christ, just as He taught the disciples this would take place after He had "gone away (returned to heaven)."


    John 14:23

    King James Version (KJV)

    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.



    Look at Paul's statement again:


    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.



    How does one "put on Christ?"

    It is answered in the Promise of the Father:


    Ezekiel 36:27

    King James Version (KJV)

    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.




    Continued...
     
  18. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    This "premise" is true, though many deny that it pertains to the Just of the Old Testament. Paul teaches about the Mystery of Christ in regards to Gentiles specifically, but we have other passage which make it clear that all were in the same boat until the Promises of God were fulfilled through the establishing of the New Covenant.

    Christ makes this truth very clear:


    John 6:47-51

    King James Version (KJV)


    47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

    48 I am that bread of life.

    49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

    50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

    51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.



    The "Living" and "True Bread" is Christ. He contrasts the Provision of His death ("My flesh," v.51) with the provision the "fathers" had (and this would include Moses, specifically referenced in John 6:32-33), which sustained physical life in the Wilderness.

    We see a set point in time for this Provision, it is when Christ came from Heaven, and is specific to, not His ministry to Israel (which was also specific, rather than a general ministry to the world as a whole), but His death.


    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.



    It's not usually argued directly as to whether one has to place faith in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. But it is argued, and denied, indirectly...when Eternal Redemption is imposed prior to Christ's death, at which time men could believe on Christ, specifically that He died in their stead.

    Belief in Christ and His Work produces the result of "re-union" with God:


    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.



    Many impose this indwelling prior to Christ's departure, His Return to Heaven, but, if we pay attention to what Christ actually taught, we will se the magnitude of what Christ accomplished in His death, and in His Resurrection:


    John 14:15-18

    King James Version (KJV)


    15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.




    John 14:21-23

    King James Version (KJV)


    21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.




    The indwelling in view here is given in a prophetic tense, that should be fairly obvious to most. What might not be obvious is that Christ is here teaching that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost will all..indwell the believer. That is not a hard concept for us that are Trinitarian to understand, for we know that God is One.

    But what does seem to be a hard concept to understand is that...this is not happening at the time of Christ's teaching here.

    So we see the progression of Christ's Work: He comes from Heaven, He dies, He is resurrected, He Returns to Heaven, He sends the Comforter, and men begin to be indwelt on an eternal basis by God.

    We don't confuse Christ's presence with the disciples with the indwelling He teaches will being occurring after these things have been fulfilled.

    This is the teaching referred to here:


    Acts 1:4-5

    King James Version (KJV)


    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.



    We cannot have Atonement apart from Reconciliation, and the simple fact is that we know God was in Christ...reconciling the world unto Himself.

    And when we equate the Promises of God with the provision given men under Old Testament Economies, as I said, we detract from the Work of Christ, and minimize the great magnitude of that which Christ accomplished. We cannot find "It is Finished!" prior to the Cross of Christ, for it was, as the Writer of Hebrews makes clear many times in his Epistle...incomplete.

    That should only cause the believer to rejoice, when they give Christ the glory He properly deserves, when they know that, yes, we do have something better than the Old Testament Saints had. The Security of the Old Testament Saint is parallel to that we have, but, the Provision of the New Testament is far better than that enjoyed by the faithful prior to those Promises being bestowed. We do not equate manna to the True Bread, not intentionally, so why would we equate the indwelling of God to the Ministry so clearly contrasted by Christ?


    God bless.
     
  19. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    You are talking about...

    New Birth Contrasts and Consequences

    And water baptism has nothing to do with Regeneration apart from it being a ceremony commanded of those who profess they have placed faith in Jesus Christ, thus they are baptized in association and identification with Christ.

    Before one gets to the "characteristics" of the Church, they must first understand how one becomes a member of the Body of Christ, which is an issue distorted by most.


    How, if men were born again in the Old Testament...could they not be the Church?

    Nevertheless, I agree with you, they were not the Church, which is why I asked the question of TCassidy, who said...


    This is error.

    The Covenant of Law was not made with a "spiritual people," it was made with sinners because they were sinners.


    This is vague and more likely to confuse people than help them understand what the Tree of Romans 11 speaks about, which is provision for relationship with God.

    When Christ states "I am the True Vine," in view is the contrast between the "Tree of Provision" under Law and the Provision for true relationship with God on a spiritual and eternal basis.

    This too is confusing, as well as humorous, because it insists that there is a "one-time public event of the immersion of the Church (generically) into the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus Christ," then we are told this happened...

    ...in two stages.

    This implies that the Church existed and the Baptism with the Holy Ghost was a mere formality, rather than what it is in truth...the very creation of the Church. Not a "spiritual people" that pre-existed.

    We also see a contradiction in what is stated when we compare these two assertions:



    The fact is that the Church, the Body of Christ...began on the Day of Pentecost. That is when men began being immersed into God in fulfillment of the Promises of the Father and taught by Christ.

    There is a difference between "the church" in the Wilderness and the Church herself, the members of the Body of Christ. We can see a physical Temple in the Old Testament, and a Spiritual Temple in which God resides in under the New Covenant.


    God bless.
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Well we meet in my home & study the bible daily. Therefore, you would not consider that a "Church" by your definition.
     
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