Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Those Polluted Piggies

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
2 Peter 2:18-22

This is one of the classic Arminian texts used to dispel the notion of eternal security. They claim that those who do not remain faithful to Christ are in danger of being damned again and forfeiting the right to eternal life that was once their possession.

But trying to keep something I could not earn or deserve by my own faithfulness seems like nothing more than a disguised cloak of works-salvation; for if I can do anything to lose it, then I must ultimately do something to gain it.

The scriptures are abundantly clear that salvation is a free gift, neither earned or deserved and based in no way upon our own merit. That being said, why would the Lord promise something we must endeavour to keep? No this text must be dealing with something else.

Perhaps the key to understanding this passage is to know what Peter means by "escaping the pollution in the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". I doubt Peter was referring to some eco-friendly Jesus who could cleanse away the filth of carbon emissions and the like.

Let me ask you the reader these two questions:

a. What does it mean to escape the pollution in the world?

b. What does through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ mean?

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Price of Sin

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”
Matt 9:2-6a (NKJV)

While we know that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh (incarnate) and therefore had all power as a member of the Godhead, was not the forgiveness of sins the reason He came to die on the cross? Which of the following options do you think is most applicable in this situation?

1. Since He was God He was able to forgive the sins of whomever He wished. That is His prerogative.

2. Jesus knew that this man was one of the elect for whom He was going to die anyway, and therefore gave him an advance on His forgiveness.

3. He did it just to spite the Pharisees and show them that forgiveness does not come by keeping the law or being self-righteous.

4. He wanted to reveal His oneness with the Father by doing miracles of power that could only be attributed to God.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Perseverance of False Professors

The Calvinistic doctrine of Perseverance teaches that all believers will endure to the end in good works and fruit bearing. The idea that they will persevere is because the Holy Spirit will enable or direct them to continued fruit in their lives. This teaching is coupled with the doctrine of election which states that God has chosen the individuals who will be saved from before the foundation of the world and none of them will be lost, neither will any others be added to their numbers.

Assuming this to be true, what does it matter whether or not someone professes Christ but is indeed a "false convert"? If they were meant to be elect their salvation will indeed be genuine while those who were predestined to be damned will remain in the delusion of a "spurious" profession.

Ray Comfort states that 90% of professions are false. That may be the case in California and other parts of the US, BUT is hardly the case in nations where the Church is severely persecuted and mocked. What possible reason would a person have to pretend to trust Christ if they would risk their life for doing so? Why would anyone give up the comforts of life and pleasure unless they realized that a greater threat than physical death was imminent?

IF these doctrines are indeed true as many affirm, then what is the issue with haggling over requirements for salvation? The elect will get saved - end of story.

IF the number of the elect is already fixed and unchangeable, how should we as Christians be living and what should be our priorities in life?

A Tale of Two Servants

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Matt 18:23-35 (ESV)

This parable gives the contrast between two servants and the debts they owed. The first one owed an enormous debt to the king while the second owed a minuscule amount in comparison to his fellow servant.

A few questions for consideration:

Does anyone dispute that both of these servants depicted here signify believers in Christ?

What does it mean to be delivered to the torturers?

Did the first servant "losing" his master's forgiveness imply a loss of salvation? How could he possibly remedy his grevious situation?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Concerning The Elect

The Bible has many verses in the New Testament that refer to the elect. My question to you dear reader is the following;

Does the elect refer to a corporate group of people or individuals? Or can it include both groups?

The Origin of Sin

Do you believe man was born with a sinful nature? Is the reason all men have sinned because all men were born in sin?

Is this what is referred to as Original Sin?

I am curious, can you think of any verses that would prove man is born with a sinful nature?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This Is A Faithful Saying

"For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He will also deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself."

2 Timothy 2:11-13

I will start with the premise that Paul is referring to believers again in this text. He starts off by stating that "if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him". I think we could all agree that baptism expressly typifies this relationship with the Lord Jesus in that we were crucified, buried, and raised to new life with Him through regeneration (not baptismal regeneration but being born again by the Holy Spirit).

The next verse states that "if we endure, we shall also reign with Him". The very presence of the word "if" obviously denotes a possibility of not enduring. Thus the reigning is contingent upon our endurance.

Now here is where we segway into the previous post about denying the Lord. What exactly this means is I think open to clarification but it does seem to infer that the Lord will deny in someway those who have denied Him.

And finally His faithfulness is not reliant upon our continued faithfulness for He cannot deny Himself. I find comfort in that statement as I know He upholds the promises of His word regardless of my failures and weakness.