Bible Questions & Discussion PAGE 8

  • Adam - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Hello David, you seem familiar- did we already discuss this topic some months or years before?

    If I remember right you don't believe in free will? If so, my challenge to that is then did you write this or someone else? Do you think God made you- or forced you to (beyond your will). If there's no such thing as choice, then how do you explain Paul saying he was wrestling with his fleshly temptation of sin? It's possible you just don't like the word freewill but might believe you are the one who chooses things, like if you are given a menu at a restaurant and order- is that truly you ordering a burger or someone else.

    "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 KJV

    "I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee." Ezra 7:13 KJV

    "Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways." Proverbs 3:31 KJV

    "Choose." The Bible does say we have the ability (freedom) to choose. How many verses can you provide that says we have no choice whatsoever? God bless.
  • Chris - In Reply - 1 week ago
    I agree David0921 that "receiving or accepting the gift of salvation is not contributory towards our salvation". What I meant by my comment was that salvation is received with gratitude as a response to what God has done & given to us - and this response is not contributory to our salvation, but a result of it.

    However, to the rest of your comment (& we've been down this path before), I don't see eye-to-eye with you on it. I do believe that the Lord knows who will come to Him & He, by His Spirit, will draw that soul. But that soul needs to hear the Gospel, the Spirit will energize him to understand, be convicted, & repent. These aspects are not contributory to one's salvation, but are a result of the Spirit's operation in the life. Without these, then one must come to believe that a person is first saved by God's Work alone, then he will be enlightened & Spirit-charged so that he will repent of his sins. To this I don't agree, as it's 'putting the cart before the horse'.

    When I read several Scriptures that confirm this, including Acts 2:21, "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" and Acts 2:38, "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", they speak of a soul who repents, calling upon the Lord to save him - and when he is saved/forgiven, the Holy Spirit is given (all simultaneous I'm sure). The sinner's act of repenting & calling upon the Lord for salvation, I don't see as contributing in any way to his salvation, but a response from the heart as he is under the Spirit's convicting Work.
  • Chris - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Indeed bro Giannis. Leaving aside the matter of the water (whether it means from the Word or the flesh), I too sense the difficulty in understanding John 3:9,10 (..."Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"). As a teacher of the Scriptures, Nicodemus should have picked up, even a little, on what Jesus was trying to convey to him. My thoughts though turn to Psalm 51:10, Ezekiel 11:19,20 & Ezekiel 36:25-27 as passages that should have alerted Nicodemus' mind to Jesus Who was pointing him to a coming spiritual re-birth. And maybe his questions would have centered around those passages & what Jesus was speaking about. Unfortunately, Nico's mind couldn't recall those prophecies. GBU.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 1 week ago
    However Chris,

    I would not agree that our "receiving" or "accepting" the gift of salvation is contributory towards our salvation in any way whatsoever.

    Whether or not an individual becomes "saved" is God's choice. Not our choice.

    And if I am in anyway trusting that I am safe a secure BECAUSE I have taken some action in order to become saved or contribute to my salvation, I am not trusting in the gospel of the Bible.

    And I don't think this is an insignificant point. It is fundamental to the Nature of the salvation program in which we are trusting.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Thank you Chris,

    And I agree absolutely that the "sprinkling of clean water" in Exekiel 36:25 is indeed a reference to the Word of God, the Gospel.
  • David0921 - 1 week ago
    Becoming Born Again

    John3:3-12

    3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

    Christ is here teaching Nicodemus and us something about the nature of salvation. The "water" is the Word of God, ie the gospel. As we read in John 7:38 and Rom 10:17.

    The "Spirit" is God Himself as He applies salvation to the life of someone whom He is saving by miraculously giving them a New Resurrected Soul in which they have become a "new creature in Christ" and will have an earnest ongoing desire to be obedient to the law of God, ie to not commit sin. John 3:9 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. This is becoming Born Again, ie becoming "saved".

    This is what God is teaching in Ezekiel 36:24-31
  • David0921 - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Adam,

    I would askHow do you understand these verses?

    Gal 4:19-31

    19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

    26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

    Gal 2:16,27

    16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    Rom 3:10-31.

    Where is free will found in the Bible? Apart from God's salvation I see that I'm in bondage to sin and Satan.
  • Oseas - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Hi Spencer

    I think it is you are using only half the verse. Peter apostle was/is not saying what you have posted.

    Blessings
  • Chris - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Thanks bro S. Spencer. I can see from what you've shared, & bro Giannis has also added to, that if we look at Jesus' Words to Nicodemus as purely from a spiritual point of view/understanding, then of course "to be born of water" must have a spiritual connection & not physical. But of course, I don't read that verse in that manner, rather as Jesus' direct answer to Nicodemus' question, which can be paraphrased, 'Yes, there is a physical birth but there is also a spiritual birth/re-birth which I'm telling you about' - 'that a man has to be born, yes physically, but also spiritually to enter God's Kingdom'.

    A couple of Bible commenters have even suggested that this being 'born of water' (or, born of the flesh, John 3:6) is a reference to the amniotic fluid which surrounds an embryo in the womb. That this fluid is the water (representing the physical nature of birth) that Jesus refers to, and then to the other birth, which Nico had no inkling about, which is the new birth, not physical but from God's Spirit. But to this meaning (i.e. amniotic fluid), I would be cautious about. Anyway, remaining open over such passages is the key to spiritual enlightenment & understanding. Blessings.
  • Chris - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Thanks David0921 for your comment, to which I fully agree. And welcome back to this Discussion Page. When you quoted Ezekiel 36:24-32 and verse 25 states, "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean...", I thought you intended to address the 'sprinkling of clean water' as reference to the Word, as some understand John 3:5 ('born of water'). However, you made no mention of this, so in respect of your comment, I agree, that salvation is all of God's Work - we contributing absolutely nothing to it, except to receive the Gift in brokenness & faith. GBU.
  • Chris - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Hello SeanPaul. 2 Peter 3:8 can be understood in a couple of ways. One, similar to what Oseas has shared here, & the other (which I strongly lean to), is that Peter in this verse, is not giving us a specific number of years to calculate from; rather, that we are to understand that with God Who lives in eternity (i.e. outside of time), that even one of our earthly days, or a thousand, or even a million of our days, is to God as inconsequential & remains unaffected by them. God doesn't work based on our time scale but according to His Plan & Will for things to happen; and His Will is not governed by our clock. However, where certain days are given to us (e.g. Daniel 12:10-12, of the time of the Great Tribulation), then we are obliged to use those numbers to learn from. So I see a difference in how we are to read such Scriptures.
  • S Spencer - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Thanks Giannis.

    That is the way I have it as well.

    God bless.
  • Giannis - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Hello Spencer

    This is how I understand it. Jesus says to Nicodemus that if one is not born again he can not see the Kingdom of God. So Nicodemus understands that Jesus is talking about a physical birth and asks Him how this can be done, enter his mother's womb and be born again? In his mind Jesus is talking about a physical birth. Then Jesus answers him and explains that he is talking about a spiritual birth. So these "water and Spirit" are the spiritual birth. Next Jesus talks to Nicodemus about salvation, verses 11-21. eg. "14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.". So Jesus talks to Nicodemus about having faith in Him in order to enter the kingdom of God. Faith is something that occurs when one hears the gospel and accepts it. That is why I don't take that water as the physical birth. In any case it can not be, in my opinion, the water of baptism. But what I don't understand is why Jesus is expecting Nicodemus to know these things as a master of Israel. How could Nicodemus knew about these? And from verse 11, I understand that Nicodemus had a doubt on what Jesus said.
  • S Spencer - 1 week ago
    Hi Oseas.

    I have a question on the verse you quoted to build your time line. ( 2 Peter 3:8)

    You do know you are using only half the verse to determine your time line right?

    Here is what the verse says;

    "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, AND A THOUSAND YEARS AS ONE DAY.

    How do you determine what half of that verse to use?

    Blessings
  • S Spencer - 1 week ago
    Amen Brother Chris and great point. That's why I can not be dogmatic on this.

    If the water does represent the "hearing" of the word in this passage, Jesus didn't answer him.

    That would make no sense to Nicodemus, being that he was a Teacher of the law.

    If water represents a physical birth that would ring a bell.

    But I'm not sure Jesus was trying to give him anything earthly or fleshly in this discourse when I consider verses 11 and 12.

    "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

    If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

    I sort of lean towards the scriptures you provided in Ephesians and Romans 10:8-9. "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Again, That may be inconclusive.

    God bless you Brother.
  • Adam - In Reply - 1 week ago
    God gives us freewill to choose whether or not to follow Him. God will save his followers (sheep) not the wolves who do not believe or follow Him. 1 John 3:10. We aren't puppets and God is not a genie here to do everything for you.

    1 John 2:23-26 some choose to go astray. This is a warning to remain in the truth, and be on guard against lawlessness. 2 Peter 3. God made it 100% up to each of us to choose who and what we want to follow. And many will choose unwisely. Matthew 7:13
  • Oseas - In Reply - 1 week ago
    GOD'S days as being 1 day = 1000 of our years--> 2Peter 3:8

    John 5:17-My Lord JESUS said:My Father worketh hitherto,and I work.

    GOD sent JESUS in the turn from the fourth Day to the fifth Day, i.e.around 4000 years after Adam,and around 1500 years after Moses.As JESUS said,GOD the Father still was working,in fact until the end of the recent last millennium,the sixth millennium.

    Based in the Word of God,on GOD's six Days of creation and one Day of rest(a total of seven days)plus the Scriptures that teach that one Day is with the Lord as a thousand years,so MANKIND would go through six GOD Days of 1,000 years each(a total of 6000 years)plus a Millennium of 1000 years rest(now a total of 7,000 years)

    Biblical Chronology- Genesis 5

    Adam lived ..........................130 yrs-begat Seth

    Seth lived ............................105 yrs-begat Enosh;

    Enosh lived ............................90 yrs-begat Kenan;

    Kenan lived.............................70 yrs-begat Mahalalel;

    Mahalalel lived ........................65 yrs-begat Jared;

    Jared lived ............................162 yrs-begat Enoch;

    Enoch lived .............................65 yrs-begat Methuselah;

    Methuselah lived......................187 yrs-begat Lamech;

    Lamech lived...........................182 yrs-begat Noah;

    From Noahs birth until the Flood.600 yrs.

    Total yrs from Adam to the Flood=1656 years

    SIX PERIODS OF BIBLICAL TIMES ------------------DURATION

    I- From Adam to the Flood-(Gen.5 plus 7:11)------1656 years

    II- From the Flood to Abraham-( Gen. 11&12)-------427 years

    III- From Abraham to Exodus-(Gal.3:17)-------------430 years

    IV-From Exodus to king Saul-(1Reis6:1(480-84)-----396 years

    V-From Saul to the fall of Jerusalem ------------------508 years

    VI-From the fall of Jerusalem to Jesus ----------------587 years

    Thus,from Adam to the 1st coming of Jesus --------4004 years

    From Jesus to our days(Christian Calendar)---------2023 years

    Total from Adam to our days -------------------------6027years

    GOD BLESS
  • Jesse - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Jaz,

    Thank you for reading my message. I will respond back as soon as I can. We are meeting up with some friends from out of state so my day today will not allow me much time.

    Blessings to you in Christ!
  • Jaz - In Reply - 1 week ago
    I agree , we are obedient to God because we trust Him , we have faith in Him and in His wisdom and righteousness and love for us , therefore we try always to make the right choices and do only what we know that He would want us to do but , as we are all still human we will occasionally fail . This is where our Sinless Redeemer comes in , covering our sin with his innocent blood . God is perfect in all of His ways and His dealings with us , we must trust Him at all times and be obedient . May God bless you and all of us who are trying to do His will .
  • SeanPaul - In Reply - 1 week ago
    I have seen this where you mention and other people mention GOD'S days as being 1 day = 1000 of our years. Is this in the Bible? If so can you point me to where to find this? I am not questioning you I'm looking but can not find.

    Please help.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 1 week ago
    God does 100% of the WORK to SAVE.

    One of the very best passages that addresses this fundamental and essential principle of salvation is Ezekiel 36:24-32

    24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 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. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

    Noticed that every single action is GOD's. action, not OUR action. Not our acceptance, not our belief, not our repentance, not our confession, not water baptism, no work whatsoever that we do can initiate, nor contribute to, nor assure the salvation that God applies to those whom he has chosen to be saved.

    We can only cry to God for mercy in the very real hope that God might save us and that our sins might have been paid for.

    Any good works that we do are the RESULT of our salvation. They are NEVER the cause, nor the means by which God saves us. Eph 2:1-10 Rom 9:11
  • Jaz - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Dear Brother what an excellent message , thank you for it . I wholeheartedly agree with everything that you said except the very last bit , we must not stop trying to do those things that we know are acceptable to God and to avoid doing those things that we know are not pleasing to Him , remember the unprofitable servant of Luke chapter 17 verses 7 through to 10 . We are at best unprofitable servants and that is the best we can hope to achieve but , it is something that we can aim for . I used to enjoy gambling and I would still be doing it if I didn't know that God does not want me to . Many times in our lives we will be faced with temptations and when we succeed in resisting the evil choice and choosing the right thing in God's sight , then we are being unprofitable servants , only doing that which was our duty to do . That's how we must always see ourselves , not as masters of our own desires but as unprofitable servants doing only what is our duty , because we know it's what God wants us to do or not to do as the case may be . We cannot overcome our sinful nature any other way other than by the way God has prepared for us , obedience . Children only know how to do the right thing because their parents tell them it's the right thing . Their desire is to eat sweets all day and it seems like a good idea to them , only because we tell them that it's not good for them do they know that it's not the right thing to do , they don't overcome their own desires , they listen to their parents guidance trusting that their parent knows best . That's how we should be . I know that I could win money if I gamble , I've done so in the past , and I could use that money for all kinds of good things , so I think . God knows better . I must trust Him and not my own understanding , Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 to 8 . God bless you Brother .
  • Oseas - 1 week ago
    Joe M

    As you know,in the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.(heaven/singular as if it was only one heaven is wrong, GOD created the 1st,2nd and 3rd heavens,and the heaven of the heavens).In the other hand,in Genesis 1:1 the NAME of JESUS,the beginning,still was in occult because could not still be revealed,the revelation of the NAME of JESUS would be only in the fourth Day,around 4000 years after Adam,i.e.only in the turn from the fourth to the fifth GOD's Day,NEVER before.By the way,without JESUS was not any thing made that was made.When the Word was made flesh-the Word is GOD,GOD Himself,self-executing-,JESUS said to the Jews:My Father works hitherto,and I work- John 5:17.It still was the beginning of the fifth Day or around 30AD.

    John 1:1

    1In the beginning(in JESUS) was the Word...and the Word was GOD.

    3All things were made by Him;without JESUS was not any thing made that was made.

    4In Him was life;and the life was the light of men.

    10He was in the world,and the world was made by Him,and the world knew Him not.

    11He came unto His own,and His own received Him not.

    12But as many as received Him,to them gave He power to become the sons of GOD,even to them that believe on His NAME:

    Exodus 3:13-15

    13Moses said unto GOD(unto the beginning-JESUS),Behold,when I come unto the children of Israel,and say unto them,The GOD of your fathers hath sent me unto you;and they shall say to me,What is His name?what shall I say unto them?

    14And GOD(JESUS)said unto Moses,I Am That I Am:Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel,I Am hath sent me unto you.

    15...Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel:The Lord GOD of your fathers,

    the GOD of Abraham,GOD of Isaac,GOD of Jacob,

    hath sent me unto you:this is my NAME FOR EVER...

    Exodus 6:3-I appeared unto Abraham,Isaac and unto Jacob,by the name of GOD Almighty( Revelation 1:8),but by my NAME Lord GOD-JESUS-was I not known to them.(NOT by esoteric and kabbalist Jehovah,not by the demonic tetragrammaton YHWH)
  • Chris - In Reply - 1 week ago
    Bro S. Spencer, thanks for your thoughts here. It was bro Giannis who shared 1 Peter 1:23-25, though my reference to Ephesians 5:26 wasn't intended to lend support to the belief that Jesus' Words to Nicodemus meant that 'Unless a man be born by (from) the Word and of (from) the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God'. I'm not sure that by telling Nicodemus that a man must be "born of water (really, the Word)" would have given him any satisfaction that his question was answered. To him, Jesus would have still been talking in riddles. Jesus could have stated that 'a man must be born again by hearing & receiving the Word of God and also His Spirit' which seems to make more sense in answering his question. But Jesus' use of being 'born of water', when Nicodemus is given no explanation that actually water represents 'washing by the Word', doesn't seem helpful.

    But I agree, that John 3:5 has nothing to do with water baptism, since water baptism doesn't generate a new birth, rather a declaration of one's identification with Christ's Sacrifice & Resurrection after the new birth, as an act of personal & public witness. Unlike today in Western countries, such a baptism being undertaken in other countries holding to anti-Christian faiths, most likely meant rejection, or incarceration, or even death to the new believer. Blessings.
  • Jesse - 1 week ago
    Sinless Perfection (Part 3):

    There is so much more that can be said here, but I am going to end with this:

    In 1 John 2:1, it literally reads: "My children, these things I write to you, in order that you should not sin; and if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;" John states that he is writing so that they "should not sin." The verb tense here is an Aorist Subjunctive. This means that John is referring to an act of sin, not a lifestyle of sin. John is speaking to new believers. John doesn't tell them that they are now without sin, or they will no longer commit sin. In fact, gives them advice on what to do if and when they do sin. He says that "if anyone should sin," and he's using an Aorist Subjunctive which is expressing a single act of sin. If anyone should commit an act of sin, we have an advocate (defense lawyer) in Jesus Christ who will intercede for us.

    Will we as believers ever reach a state of sinless perfection? Yes, we will, but not until we receive our glorified bodies. As long as we are on this earth living in this body of flesh, we will never be sinless, we will never reach sinlessness, nor will we ever be perfect. But someday, at God's appointed time, He will make us perfect, and He will make us sinless ( 1 Corinthians 15:53-55). We can't reach this state on our own, so we need to quit trying!
  • Jesse - 1 week ago
    Sinless Perfection (Part 2):

    Is there anyone here that can honestly say that everything you do 24/7 is by faith (under the persuasion of God's Spirit)? What about hobbies? What if you decide you want to go to the movies? What if you want to go play basketball or any other activity you like doing? Do you ever choose to go do something that God's Spirit is not persuading you to do? Remember, that which is not of faith is sin. You see, sin is very deep. We might be doing something that seems perfectly fine, but anything we do that is not under the direction or persuasion of God's Spirit, that is sin.

    We have to be able to differentiate between the flesh and the spirit. God's Spirit fills and seals our spirit the moment we receive Christ, but our flesh will never submit to God. In fact, the apostle Paul talks about his own personal struggles in his walk with the Lord. At no time does Paul claim that he or anyone else is able to reach a state if sinless perfection.

    Every believer will sin on occasion. However, a Christian can no longer live a lifestyle of habitual sin as they did before salvation because they now have God's Spirit in them to convict them when they do sin. It is inevitable that every believer will commit an act of sin at some point in their life. Why? Because we are still in this corruptible body of flesh and we still have the capacity to commit sin. Life is full of choices, and there is a constant battle going on between our flesh and the Spirit of Christ that dwell in us and God allows us to choose. But if we have Christ in us, we can no longer sin habitually. It is impossible for a believer to live a lifestyle of habitual sin because God's Spirit is there to bring conviction and discipline.
  • Jesse - 1 week ago
    With the recent discussions going on, I would like to share some of my personal thoughts about "sinless perfection." These are just my thoughts, so you take it or leave it as the Lord leads.

    (Part 1):

    First off, I want to make a point-blank statement. I have been born of God's Spirit, but I am still considered a sinner. I am a sinner saved by God's mercy and grace! I believe this goes for every born-again believer. Some might disagree and say they are not a sinner.

    To those who say they are not a sinner, I would point out 1 John 1:8-10. Is it possible to be a Christian believer and also a sinner? I believe the answer to that is yes! I say yes because in the flesh, we still have the capacity and capability to sin. God does not remove that when He saved me. Does anyone believe that their flesh has been made perfect? Does God save the flesh? Or does God save our spirit?

    There is no place in scripture that tells me that I can reach a state of sinless perfection while I am in this body of flesh. A believer who has been born of God's Spirit has the sinless and perfect one dwelling inside them, but the person themselves are not without sin. Put another way, God's Spirit in me is perfect and sinless, but I myself am neither perfect nor sinless. Does this mean that I am constantly living a sinful lifestyle? Absolutely not!

    But sin goes deeper that we can imagine. As someone here has recently said, we sometimes sin without even realizing we've sinned. That is a factual statement. The bible says that which is not of faith is sin. Wow! If I understand correctly what faith is, it puts things into perspective. The word faith comes from a Greek word that literally means persuasion. It's when God's Spirit persuades me to do something or believe something. That's what faith is.
  • Richard H Priday - 1 week ago
    Sin is in the camp: Duty of elders AND laypersons.

    The story in Joshua 7 where Achan's sin caused defeat and death for Israel in invading the territory of Ai shows us how the cursed thing that was taken from Jericho which was destroyed with God's help in Joshua 6 suddenly affected the Lord granting victory.

    1 Corinthians 5 also discusses heinous sin in the midst of the church with a man with his father's wife. The fact that something that extreme could be tolerated is shocking in the early church; but shows us how we ARE to judge things in the house of God.

    This is where the gift of discernment comes in. I can only speak for myself experientially; but when I sense something is wrong; specifically an evil spirit affecting someone then usually God reveals the sin to corroborate things; at that point someone is duty bound to warn a brother or sister to repent. I cannot think of any time that I have tried to uncover things; if the Lord doesn't show me something sometimes the person themselves says something or someone else may mention it. As with the Corinthians passage it is usually sexual sin of some sort. What many don't realize is in the spiritual realm things CAN affect other people; at the very least the spirit is quenched because of influences a person has that they may or may not realize that is driving them to sin. For Paul in this case to deliberately be removed so that Satan can be allowed to decimate him yet his spirit saved in the end; this man apparently in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 that man did repent.

    My current church contains a number of people who faithfully visit; transport and minister to elderly members as well as those confined at home (mainly older demographics). These are all people in their fifties and sixties; probably a few younger folks getting more involved would be good. I suppose some have the gift of compassion or mercy. As important as it is to know your gifts; we all should bear good fruit and practice what we preach.
  • S Spencer - 1 week ago
    Hi Brother Chris and Giannis.

    I have heard and studied both views on John 3:5 with the water mentioned being either the word of God or the physical birth.

    Your in good company either way it goes.

    I lean over to the water mentioned in John 3:5 is the word of God because of the verses you both sited

    1 Peter 1:23-25.

    Ephesians 5:26.

    However, I don't see how it relates to water baptism.

    I don't believe water baptism represents a washing.

    I believe it testifies in one's belief in the death of Christ and the resurrection.

    I believe the washing by the word has to be taken place prior to water baptism.

    John 15:3.

    God bless.
  • Richard H Priday - 1 week ago
    Further thoughts on seeking insight today.

    I am of the firm belief that a church SHOULD basically involve a scriptural framework with a Pastor associated with elders; and at least one or two deacons. Also; of course I believe that many churches tend to be one sided and while correctly taking care for the flock that no outsiders introduce false doctrine and that spiritual maturity is demonstrated by those who do teach they seem to ignore the fact that the church needs people with other gifts to sustain it.

    One of the practical things which we could consider is others who have a teaching ability; whether specialized in youth ministry; women teaching younger women; or someone qualified to teach Sunday school. This coming Sunday; for example the person who normally plays piano will also teach Sunday school; since he's a teacher in a Christian school the Pastor had no problem asking him to fill in when out of town; also our Deacon will preach as he occasionally is given that role. Again; I have heard some issues that occured with a Pastor that at the time wouldn't have others under him; now he has my friend as a Deacon there after my other friend had spent some time doing some sermons as an understudy; maybe he helped to convince him that having others could be helpful. Being a Pastor doesn't guarantee teaching on an individual level is best mastered; hence for Discipling small group leaders are helpful.

    In allowing people to head up other activities; some supervision is needed because at times certain mind games involving people obsessed with running the show can get in the way. This is why delegating responsibility should be something that isn't avoided but done with caution; nonetheless. It seems those gifted with wisdom who the Lord has given natural abilities that could be paid adequately to get a job done right rather than always doing the cheapest work possible or volunteer work with unskilled workmen is a choice too often made.


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