Beware of the Gap Theory

Today I want to consider the ruin/reconstruction version of the Gap theory. There are those that say that Genesis 1 is not referring to just creation but to a creation, ruin of that first creation, and a reconstruction. Proponents of this theory claim that there is a gap of time between Genesis verses 1 and 2. They also argue that the fall of Satan took place prior to verse 2 and a flood destroyed the original earth created in verse 1.  Please note that this particular theory is different from those motivated primarily by a desire to accommodate an evolutionary process. There are those that also claim that God used the process of evolution to create the world as we know it. That argument is beyond the scope of the theory in question, but as we will see, there are arguments against one that also works against the other.

So for the ruin/reconstruction version of the theory, let’s look at a few points of contention. Proponents of this view make the claim that Genesis 1:1 records the creation of the original earth. Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. So what I think is described in the whole chapter, they think is described all in verse 1. Now if that is not hard enough to believe, they say that Satan’s fall must take place before verse 2. Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Part of their reasoning is that the phrase “without form and void” and the word “darkness” must indicate God’s judgment. This begs the question of how they would come up with such a thing. Now what happens is that they look to other places in the Bible where “without form and void” is in context of a previous destruction. Likewise they also allude to places where darkness is referred to in terms of evil or judgment.

Next they draw from passages that they feel demonstrate Satan’s fall and the result of that fall. One such passage is Isaiah 14:12-19 Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (Here they say “Lucifer” is referring to the devil. They assume that he fell and his fall caused damage to the nations.) Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (They assume here that Satan wanted to be like the most High. However the surrounding context says otherwise.) Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isa 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; (Verse 16 is referring to a “man” – the King of Babylon – not a male fallen angelic being.) Isa 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? (Satan did not make the world wilderness. This was the earthly king’s doing.)  Isa 14:18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. Isa 14:19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. (Here we have one earthly king being compared to another.) Isa 14:20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. (Satan did not have rule over people. He could not have slain “his” people.) So verse 14:4 says who this passage is all about: Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! (From this we can gather that there is no reason whatsoever to think that this passage has anything to do with Genesis verses 1 and 2 since it is not talking about Satan’s fall but the king of Babylon.) Another passage used is Ezekiel 28:12-19 Eze 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. (Now I have heard at least one proponent of this view claim that it is arrived at by good hermeneutics but look first at who this is in reference to. Verse 12 makes it clear that this is talking primarily about the king of Tyrus. And beyond that, the surrounding context has this in a section where various other earthly kings ad groups are being discussed such as the king of Babylon ch 24, the Ammorites, Edomites, Moabites, Phillistines ch 25. Chapters 26 and 27 describe the city of Tyrus and its people. Then chapter 28 deals more specifically with the king of Tyrus and follows on in verse 21 to go on to talk about the city of Zidon. So why in all of this should we necessarily assume that God intends for us to understand that the lamentation given to the king of Tyrus is authoritative teaching about Satan and his fall? There are some like Scofield and Ryrie that have written commentaries that basically claim that these verses refer to Satan. One problem I see is that the Bible typically uses figurative language to refer to something that will happen in the future and not something that happened in the past. For me, even if you can prove this is talking about both the king of Tyrus and figuratively of Satan, it would be a foreshadowing possibly of the antichrist. But there is no need to be dogmatic about that because there are plenty of more clearly defined passages.) Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tablets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. (This is where they say they can place the fall of Satan in Genesis. However, Eden can just be the area where the garden was.) Eze 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (Anointed cherub could refer to an earthly king. The English meaning carries with it the idea of beauty and innocence while the Hebrew meaning carries with it the idea of a winged creature. Possibly like the one set to garden Eden.) Eze 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (Many presume this is Satan being perfect until he sinned but that is possibly presuming too much. It very well could be talking about the ways of the king. Also look at the next verse.) Eze 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. (Satan did not have merchandise but this would fit the king of Tyrus being that the city was known for its trade.) Eze 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (The beauty mentioned here fits with the cherub analogy.) Eze 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Satan did not have sanctuaries. Also multitude of iniquities and iniquity of thy traffick fits better with the king of a port city.) Eze 28:19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. (How would the people have known Satan? This is referring to a king of earth. Notice also that there is no time frame given as to when Satan’s fall may have taken place. More on that later. So basically we have two passages where the bulk of the evidence points to them referring to earthly kings and absent of any time frames in reference to anything in Genesis 1.) Now I say that the ruin/reconstruction theory is strange and is not true for the following reasons. 1) There is no reason to read Genesis 1:1-2 as if it is not a straight forward account. There is no further revelation in scripture that adds anything in. 2) There is no reason to think that these five verses describe more than one day. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (So from verse 1 to 5 we have the first day.) 3) “Without form and void” in verse 2 simply describes the earth before it had been further shaped. There was darkness because light had not been created yet. It in no way indicated that the earth had been destroyed…. in fact it was just the opposite. It was just newly formed in its raw initial state. 4) Isaiah 14:12-20 and Ezekiel 28:12-19 are used to try to support this view but lack any time table placing events before Gen 1:2. They are also more likely referring to earthly kings. 5) The Bible elsewhere comments on creation. In Exodus we see the following: Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (The week of creation (7 days) was a pattern that God used. The Israelites were to rest the seventh day just as God had rested. This eliminates a gap otherwise the comparison is not a true one.) 6) There is no reason to think that Satan’s fall had direct physical ramification for the earth. God did not punish the earth or mankind for Satan’s fall. 7)  It appears unlikely that Satan’s fall took place before the end of creation’s week when God declared everything good in his sight. Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (This is one of the stronger arguments.) 8) Proponents of this theory like to point out the word replenish as if the world had been destroyed and needed filling a second time. The word “replenish” in verse 1:28 means to fill. It does not mean the earth was destroyed and it had to be re-filled. 9) Sin and death came into the world through Adam’s sin in the garden. Rom 5. So therefore there could have been no sin that affected the world before Adam’s sin. 10) There could have been no death before Adam’s sin including death of any living thing. (This also refutes the idea that God used evolution.) Death was a result of mankind’s fall which brings us to one of the most important things that could be lost if the Gap is true. Let’s consider: 1 Cor 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Also, look at Romans 5 especially starting with verse 12. Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Sin could not have entered the world by any other than Adam. It was his sin that brought the curse not Satan or any other being. Satan was the serpent that brought the temptation. There is plenty of time between the end of the week of creation and the fall (Adam’s sin) for Satan to have fallen.) Rom 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (If we allow for the gap and a ruin/reconstruction view we do away with this “figure of him that was to come.” It becomes an odd analogy if there was sin prior to Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden.) Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Rom 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (Why take away one end of this equation? Judgment by one… Adam). Rom 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Sin and death came due to Adam and Christ has brought salvation for all should we choose to trust Him alone for it based on who He is and what He has done. (I Cor 15:1-4). If creation in Gen 1 is not true then couldn’t someone accuse the Bible of containg lies. If it contains lies then the comparisons and contrasts between Adam and Christ are suspect and the whole Word of God loses credibility. Why should it though based on unfounded imaginations and speculations? There is great damage potentially done to theology when we begin to mess around with the Genesis account. There is a reason why we are to balance and compare scripture with scripture using the more clear passages to shed light on less clear passages and not the other way around. I plead with those who may currently hold this gap view or anything similar to prayerfully reconsider based on clearer passages in scripture such as Romans 5. For the rest of us let us boldly proclaim the truth and lovingly seek to explain these things to anyone that may be placing a Gap where it does not belong. In Christ’s love, Jim Floyd

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Bible Basics: Is Your Gospel Good News?

All too often I hear people talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ yet something is off.  How many of you remember receiving mail from Publisher’s Clearing House and it said something to the effect that you may have won 10 million dollars. They did everything they could to package it and dress it up to try to make one think, hey this really may be possible. They often hid the fine print that declared the odds. Overall it was just a gimmick to sell magazines. They were using what seemed like good news to get something out of you. Too many times our gospel presentations are the same.  They are dressed up to look like good news but can’t and won’t actually deliver.

Let’s look at some examples of false good news.

1) God might love you but He also might hate you
2) God may have selected you for salvation (but he rejected the vast majority).
3) God sent His Son to only die for the elect.
4) God expects you to turn from your sinning to be able to receive the gift of eternal life.
5) God expects your faith to include commitment to discipleship.
6) God gives salvation to all who trust Christ for it based on the gospel but if you stop believing at any point you lose it by forfeit.
7) Salvation can be lost if you sin too much
8)Sinning too much means you are never really one of the pre-chosen.
9) If you desire to be saved from the penalty of sin then start praying now that God will grant you repentance faith, and perseverance etc.
10) God expects you to make a public confession in order to receive the gift of eternal life
11) God expects you to do good works to help earn eternal life.
12) God will save everyone so don’t worry about it
13) God will regenerate you if you are the elect and at some point you will repent, believe, and live right. (Happy fruit inspecting and introspection to see if it has happened yet.)
14) Btw… of course all true believers will (fill in the blank with a behavior or practice) tithe. (So start giving 10 percent plus or you know the story… you may not really be saved – guilt, guilt,guilt…manipulation using fear, and verses taken out of context).
15) God expects you to be saved just by believing in Christ’s name (crossless gospel) but nothing else needs to be known about Him or what He did.

If you have changed the gospel into bad news then I suggest you go back and look at the actual good news. After all, the word “gospel” itself means just that… good news.  It then should get our attention when someone twists it into something bad. Such as Calvinists with their idea of election or crossless gospel advocates who leave out basically all of the pertinent information. The good news allows a person to KNOW now that they have eternal life! It can be known from the very moment they believe. If they are waiting around to know, then it wasn’t really good, or, complete news—was it? My view is that the gospel of Jesus Christ ought to be be best news we have heard or ever will hear. So let’s consider:

1) All of mankind is born in sin and is under the penalty of sin (eternal separation from God in the lake of fire). Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

2) Mankind has no way to escape that fate without a Savior.

So then we have the good news:

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus told Nicodemus that He would be lifted up on a cross and that the world might be saved through Him. And, this actually took place as the apostle Paul gave testimony:

1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

In the book of Romans we see that the law can’t save but that faith in Christ will.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4 goes on to confirm that just as Abraham was justified, so can we be justified by faith.

Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Those who add elements of sanctification, Christian living, obedience, or law, to the gospel are changing it into bad news. Look back at Romans 4:4.

Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

The good news allows a person to KNOW now that they have eternal life! It can be known from the very moment they believe. If there is waiting around to know then it wasn’t really good or complete news was it?

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

If we don’t have peace positionally with God, are we dealing with a good news gospel? How does hand wringing, fruit inspection, begging in remorse etc indicate positional peace in practice? Or that our salvation is secure? Where is there any rejoicing in a message that leads to the conclusion that you cannot know if you have eternal life??

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Rom 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 58
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 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.
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Believers in Christ based on the gospel have received the atonement. It is finished in Him. Praise the Lord for that!

Please beware of those that teach a bad news gospel and feel free to comment with any other false or bad news gospels that you have heard. If you have any question about these, please let me know.

Blessings in Christ,

Jim F

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Ray Comfort – what’s wrong with his gospel?

Do not be fooled by Ray Comfort and his gospel. For more please consider a recent blog post from Holly Garcia at Redeemingmoments.com

Jim F

Redeemingmoments

The Accursed Message of The “Way of the Master”

Isn’t that kind of strong?  Harsh?  My judgment is made on Ray’s doctrine and his teaching from his own videos and blogs and home page.

I’ve had some people ask about Ray Comfort’s Gospel. Some have shared they have family and friends that are completely sold out to his gospel.  They LOVE the Way of the Master program.  They swear by it.  Some, well, they love to go around calling others ‘false converts’…. (never once asking if they have believed the gospel, which is the ONE condition to be saved).

the_evidence_bibleA friend recently asked me, “So what is it about Ray Comfort’s gospel that is a problem”?

I intend to answer that.  But first, I am going to start with a mini-blog and allow comments, pro or con, assuming it is relevant and without malice, (no preaching his accursed message please)…

View original post 1,389 more words

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Bible Basics: Do Good Works Prove Salvation? Part 1

Eternal Salvation is a tough enough concept for people to comprehend but also consider the idea of good works. Some people believe the gospel and receive the spiritual birth of the new man but are deceived by the world’s wisdom and counterfeit teaching concerning the Christian life. The Galatian believers were drawn back to law keeping. Sadly, some people never get to the point of faith because of all the hype about good works, fruit inspection, and more. Christians need clarity on this. Let’s consider the Biblical view of works and then look at various misrepresentations and verses used to try to prove that works prove our eternal standing.

What role do good works have in the Christian life? In essence, what is the big deal?

God always intended for believers to do good works.

Eph. 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2:14

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify
unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

(Sometimes Christians get the idea that they are saved and therefore can relax knowing that they have their “ticket” to heaven. However, as we will see we were intended for great things. Note here that it does not say that we will do good works.)

2 Tim. 3:14-17

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

(The Word of God is capable not only to make us wise unto salvation but to equip us with the instruction needed for good works. Part of what people have to understand is that good works are just that – work. Likewise preparing yourself for good works takes effort. There is no effort needed to believe the gospel and be saved but the believer needs to study the Word to know what is expected of them by their Savior. We need to also understand who God is and build our ongoing relationship with Him. 2 Pet 1:1-9)

Do good works without weariness. Keep in mind the eternal profit.

2 Thes. 3:13

But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

1 Tim. 4:10

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living
God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

Gal. 6:9

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint
not.

I Cor. 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in
the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the
Lord.

Make use of your faith and standing in Christ.

James 2:14-17

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?
can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

(God intends for us to be faithful in good works and not just to be content with a useless
faith. Also remember, when we don’t live in good works we are less effective in our
witness.  Is the person needing food in this case more likely to be receptive to the gospel having had their needs met and having seen the love of Christ on display? Yes.)

Titus 3:14

And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not
unfruitful.

1 Tim. 6:17-19

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in
uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

1 Tim. 5:8-10

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath
denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

Good works please and glorify God

Heb. 13:20-21

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

Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies            a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Mat. 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 Good works are a good testimony to others

1 Pet. 2:12

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1 Pet. 3:15 -17

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to     every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

To be continued in part 2….

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Bible Basics: What is Eternal Salvation?

Questions abound when it comes to the Bible and Christianity.  I will attempt to develop a series of posts that answer the important questions starting with eternal salvation .

Eternal Salvation:

Why do people need eternal salvation

Since the sinful transgression of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, mankind has been far from perfect. We are sinners. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are born with sin natures and do sin of our own volition. We stand guilty before a Holy God and the sentence is eternal death. This eternal death is separation from God forever in the lake of fire. It should be then easily understood that there is great need to be delivered from this pending fate.
(Gen 2:16-17, ch 3, Rom 3:23, 5:12, John 3:18, Rev 20:15)

What is needed for eternal salvation?

Perfection. This means perfect righteousness. Thankfully this was provided potentially to all in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and is the only person to have lived a sinless life here on earth. He wasn’t just any regular man. He had no sin nature because He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He lived perfectly meeting God’s standard of perfection. He suffered, bled, and died on the cross as a payment for the sin of all men. He didn’t stay dead. He rose again three days later and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three persons in One. This Triune God as has provided all that is needed for you to be saved from eternal punishment.
(Rom 5:18, 1 Cor 15:1-4, 1 John 5:7, 11-13, John 3:16, Col 1:12-14)

What is grace in relation to eternal salvation?

Grace is unmerited favor. Some may say that it can’t be true that God had provided all that is needed for man’s salvation. But He has. It is by grace that it has been provided. The opposite would be that man must do something to earn salvation. In that case it would no longer be by grace but by works. Also grace is not a supernatural force that makes us do something. Eternal salvation is referred to as a free gift. So if we work for it, it is not free. If it is forced then it is not a gift. For it to be a gift it must be able to be accepted or rejected and it must be free.
(Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:25-28, 5:20-21, 6:23, Gal 2:16, 21, 3:13-14)

What is faith in relation to eternal salvation?

Faith is the channel by which we receive the gift of eternal salvation. It is trusting Christ alone that He, as the perfect sacrifice, died shedding His blood on the cross for you. We are to trust Him for salvation as He is our risen Savior.
Eph 1:13, 2:8, Rom 10:14-17, Acts 16:31)

What is repentance in relation to eternal salvation?

Some will ask what about repentance? If we are saved through faith then where does repentance fit in? In relation to eternal salvation, repentance is synonymous with faith. Repentance is changing one’s mind from something other than Christ for salvation to trusting Christ alone for salvation. Let’s think of some examples. If I think that Christ plus my good works save me eternally then I must repent (change my mind) and trust Christ alone. If I trust a false god for salvation then I need to change my mind and trust Christ alone. So basically it is turning from unbelief to belief in Christ alone for salvation. It matches with faith (trusting Christ alone for salvation). Faith implies repentance (changing our mind) because no one is born with faith in Christ alone for salvation.
(2 Pet 3:9, Acts 3:19, 20:21.)

What should I do concerning eternal salvation?

You should understand that you are a lost sinner in need of salvation and trust Christ alone for that salvation this very moment.

How do I know that I am saved?

Some will say that we know we are saved based on the good works or good things that we do in this life. However, think about what we just covered above. We weren’t saved by our works and we aren’t kept saved by our works. We can know from the moment we believe that we are saved forever because God is trustworthy and it is taken care of in Him. We as believers are declared eternally innocent in Christ thereby having obtained the righteous perfection required to enter heaven and be in God’s presence. This is because Gods looks at us and see Christ’s righteousness covering our sin. We are sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit until the day or redemption when we will see Christ face to face in heaven. No works ever enter in the picture. They didn’t get us saved, they don’t keep us saved, and they don’t even prove that we are saved. Good works are for believers to serve and glorify God. All believers will be given rewards for our faithful service and good works. Those who live sinfully as believers will not receive rewards for those things that were not done while walking with the Spirit (doing that which He would not have us to do). So to understand fully, works do not indicate salvation but works indicate faithfulness. Faithfulness is a good testimony to others but is not infallible proof of salvation. Many people can live moral looking lives and do good faithful looking things in public yet be unbelievers.
I John 5:11-13, Eph 1:5, 13-14, Rom 8:15-17, 29-30, 8:34, John 3:18, Phil 3:9, Eph 2:10, I Cor 3:11-15, 2 Cor 5:9-10, Matt 7:22-23)

What should I do as a believer in Christ?

Tell others about your salvation! Study the Word of God and try to find solid Bible teaching and preaching preferably in a strong Bible believing church or among a solid group of believers. Praise the Lord for your salvation and go to Him in prayer for anything. Rejoice.

In Christ,

Jim F

Posted in Bible Basics, Salvation | 10 Comments

He Is Alive !

Praise God that Christ is risen!  Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God came to earth, lived a sinless perfect life, suffered, bled, and died for the sin of all mankind. As amazing as that is, He also rose again. He is alive today and is our Savior if we have placed our trust in him alone, that what He did, was for us personally.  Today I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am saved eternally because I have trusted in an all sufficient risen Savior.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You too today can praise a wonderful loving Savior. Perhaps you yet need a Savior. If so, consider the gospel message:

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1Co 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Won’t you decide today to put your trust in Christ alone to save you from the penalty of sin? If you are saved you can rejoice greatly and share this message with others. We do have unspeakable joy in Christ. Let’s let it be seen and heard. Praise the Lord, He Is Alive!

In Christ,

Jim F

 

Posted in Free Grace, Salvation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Gospel – The Truth about Lordship “salvation.”

Please take time to listen to this excellent explanation of false gospels and the one true gospel. Credit goes to Mark Andre on his fine work.

Jim F

Notes From A Retired Preacher

Our friend Mark Andre has produced an amazing Biblical video, proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Grace and exposing all that is wrong with Lordship “salvation,” Calvinism and other false teachings.

Mark called several months ago asking permission to use some material and ideas from ExPreacherMan.com. We are happy we consented.

The progression of the video keeps your attention — Mark explains the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace and then, naming names, he exposes the preachers and proponents of “works salvation” (Probation). This mission is especially important to Mark because his is a former member of John MacArthur’s church. He realized the Truth, abandoned the lie perpetrated by JMac and is dedicated to exposing those who insist on adding works to the Gospel of God’s Grace.

This is a must watch video. Please recommend it to your friends, especially those who may be mixed up in false teaching…

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments