Uniformity – (i) – (form) = Unity

Uniformity - (i) - (form) = UnityI am an unabashedly simple-minded person, and I will will keep this simple so that I will be able to understand it later.

Christians for centuries have mistakenly believed that the way to achieve the unity Jesus prayed for (John 17) is through uniformity.

Wrong. Pretty sure about that. Here’s why I think so:

First of all, unity isn’t ours to achieve, but to maintain (Ephesians 4:3).

Secondly, there has always been room for diversity in the body of Christ, including political opinion. A quick review of the apostles’ views will confirm that; they ranged from tax collector/collaborator to zealot. We are all different members of the body, with differing gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14).

Finally, while there are core beliefs to which every Christian pledges his/her soul, there are other beliefs that are interpretation, which is a churchy way to say “opinion.” There are things that man says and things that Christ says. They don’t always overlap. We’re not always going to agree on opinions; and a short review of Romans 14 will verify that, as well as advise us on how to deal with it.

The real barrier to unity has been our opinions, hasn’t it?

Things like:

  • I know what form of worship should be used.
  • I know what form of atonement was in operation at the cross and the tomb.
  • I know what form the Holy Spirit takes regarding beleivers.
  • I know what form of millennium will shape the future.
  • I know what form of day God meant when describing the span of His creation.

And so on and on and on. No others need apply.

Wow. It really sounds as arrogant as it truly is when I phrase it that way. Yet we’re convinced that we have to – and do – know all the answers in order to have a relationship with God.


This whole walk with Christ is a matter of faith, not knowledge (2 Corinthians 5:7). We have enough knowledge to know who God is, that He loves us, that His Son died for us and lived again so that we could too and that He wants us to live as He lived: humbly, lovingly, self-sacrificingly.

If there’s anything that Job learned from his encounter with the-God-who-showed-up, it’s that you don’t have to know all the answers in order to have a relationship with God (Job 40-42).

So, I’m thinking we don’t have to leave all of our opinions at the church door.

There’s room enough inside for folks who want to believe that God wants to save everyone and will; and for those who want to believe that God wants to save everyone yet won’t.

There’s room enough inside for believers who want to believe we should rejoice that justice was done at the death of Osama Bin Laden and for those who want to mourn yet another soul who did not accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

There’s room enough inside for people who think they know all about God and for those who are just beginning to realize they don’t know much about God at all, but sure want to.

What there isn’t room for is putting up an opinion-poll table next to a crossing gate at the church door and only admitting the folks whose opinions line up with our own.

You see, that violates the very Spirit of the prayer Jesus prayed in the presence of those very diverse disciples on the night He was betrayed by one of them:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

For too many centuries, we believers have clung to the opinion that we’ve all got to be and believe exactly the same thing, down to the last opinion … we’ve been wrong. We’ve divided over opinions. We’ve decided that our right opinions were worth our effectiveness as ambassadors of the one kingdom of the one God through His one Christ.

Being brought to complete unity lies in accepting the simple glory of the simple Christ, a radiance that the simple of heart can see in those who love each other and give themselves up for each other the same way that their Lord did.

(This post is part of the synchroblog inspired by Rachel Held Evans’ “Rally to Restore Unity.” Be sure to look her up and all of the other synchrobloggers who are hoping to remove a few bricks from a few walls dividing believers. And while you’re at it, send a few bucks to Charity: Water, the beneficiary of this little online experiment. Right now, my region – Central Arkansas – is aflood and our own water safety could be at risk within hours. Find out what Charity: Water does to improve water quality in developing nations.)

82 thoughts on “Uniformity – (i) – (form) = Unity

  1. KB, I can know and do know what a day was when God created all things. It would be the same ‘day” Moses understood when he penned Exodus 20: 8-11. I agree that matters of opinion do cause problems. But what many call matters of opinion often are matters of faith. Those who refuse to believe God created all things in 6 days and rested the seventh, is a matter of faith, to be hoodwinked by evolutionist and to believe in man made ideas is to disbelieve your God. In other words one would be calling Him a liar. Did Moses not understand? A good question to ask oneself, what makes one a believer?

  2. No argument from me, Jeff. But do we know how many hours were in each of those creation days? How fast the earth was rotating? Whether a day was shorter or longer than a year … a century … a millennium? We don’t, because no one among us was there. Some matters of “knowledge” just aren’t worth insisting on.

    • KB, did you read Exodus 20:8-11? Are you saying its possible that they worked a century or a millennium? then rested. Was Moses inspired when he wrote? Moses understood what a day was. Do you not believe Genesis 1:5. He called the light day and dark night,the evening and the morning were the first day. Do you think God gave us the creation account so that we could know? Men who don’t believe in God came up with the idea of evolution, why would you side with them? Why can’t we just believe God and forsake men who deny Him. To deny such a simple concept given by God, is to question Him, to question Him in this way is to call Him a liar. Oh ye of little faith.

      • I have read and believe both passages, Jeff. I also believe it’s unwise to hang one’s faith on assumptions like the one you have made – that both days were exactly the same length in hours and that anyone who does not share one’s faith in that assumption is a person of little faith and sides with evolutionists.

        Why do you do that, Jeff? Why do you insist that there’s no room in the Lord’s church for those who do not share your opinions and assumptions?

      • So kb, what Moses had to say about the creation and how he equated it to what the Israelites were to do is an assumption in your mind? So your saying, Moses assumed a day was a day? For me to believe what God has said, is an assumption on my part? kb, if the days of Genesis one are to be long periods of time, millions if not billions of years, what problem does that create for botany? Plants came to be the third day. how would plants survive billions or billions of years in total darkness? How would plants who depend on insects survive millions or billions of years between day three and day five? KB you have sided with evolutionist or you would be defending the creation account. You are a Theistic evolutionist, one who wants to believe in God, but also wants to believe in man made ideas. To join the two, you are calling God a liar. There is no room in the Lord’s church for anyone who teaches false doctrine. We can know the truth and it will set us free.

      • Are you saying that the Christian confession must be “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God … and that God created the world in six 24-hour days,” brother?

      • kb, How can you believe Jesus is the Son of God, when you refuse to believe that He the Father created all things in six days? Jesus said in Mark 10:6 “from the begining God made them male and female.” God created them, at the Begining, they didn’t evolve. Jesus was there according to John one, He should know. How can you believe Christ rose from the dead? how can you believe He will come again, why is a literal six day period of creation such a problem for you? If we can’t believe Genesis one, how can we believe any of it?

  3. Actually, believing that God created everything in six 24-hour days is not a problem for me at all. Neither is the possibility that those days might have been much longer – or even shorter! – than 24 hours. They’re all within the capability of God. He can turn the sun back in its steps. A day is as a thousand years with Him, and a thousand years as a day. He can sustain the parts of His creation until the next stage of creation of things on which they will depend. Nothing is impossible with Him.

    What’s a problem for me is making an opinion – anything that isn’t directly expressed in scripture – a cause for accusing and excluding others from fellowship. Why do people do that, Jeff?

    I like to view every person I meet as a potential believer … rather than viewing every believer I meet as a potential heretic because they don’t share my opinions on everything.

    • KB, it is a problem for you or else you wouldn’t bring it up. Genesis 1:5 Exodus 20:8-11 just believe. God created all things in six days, He rested the seventh, Moses understood how long creation took, that is what I base my belief on. I have no right to question God, You assume he could and did other than what He said He did. You have formed your opinion on the thoughts of man, ideas that are not expressed in scripture. If God tells us he created all things in six days, and Moses understood them to be six literal days, all other possibilities are out of the question. God is not the author of confusion, He can not lie. As for those we meet, we will know them by the fruit they bear, (ie what they teach.)

      • I’m a little surprised that you seem to know what I believe better than I do! Or is that just a nice way of saying that I’m lying?

        Either way, you continue to avoid the question at the center of this post – as you have for many months now, brother:

        Why do people judge others over opinions?

      • kb, Are you telling me that what you say on this post are things that you don’t believe? Am I to take your word like you do God’s? You say one thing, but mean something else? You have a strange way of communicating. I believe I said in the first post, judging people over opinions can be a problem. I will say judging opinions is not always wrong. There are opinions like yours which do not agree with God’s word. We judge people over opinions because we have the right to do so. Opinions are just that, opinions. Stating what Moses said about days is not an opinion, its a matter of fact. Its your opinion that God meant something else in Genesis one, an opinion which is not based on scripture.

      • We have the “right” to do so? Where is it found in scripture that we are to go into all the world and “out” all the heretics? Does it make us more effective at winning souls to God by drawing lines, choosing sides, accusing heresy and condemning fellow believers? Or does it make us arrogant Pharisee clones whom no one would want to hear or follow?

      • kb, Jesus called out the heretics in Matt 23, Paul called out the Corinthians, in 1 Cor.5. Paul called out the Galatians in chapter 1, should I go on? Jude instructs us to defend the gospel, to contend earnestly. Christ drew the line in the sand. We have to decide who we will follow, Man or Christ. By the way, the gospel of Christ calls out all heretics. God calls every man to repentance, which would be calling out all heretics.

  4. Jeff said, “You are a Theistic evolutionist, one who wants to believe in God, but also wants to believe in man made ideas. To join the two, you are calling God a liar. There is no room in the Lord’s church for anyone who teaches false doctrine. We can know the truth and it will set us free.”

    Does this apply to Isaiah as well, where God said many times, I am the only God, there is no one beside me. yet there are many in the church who, as you say, believe in the man made doctrine of “The Trinity” God in three persons, I would like to get you opinion on that “man made doctrine” When those who teach such a doctrine, do they also call God a liar, and are you one of those who do so?
    Is this a case of the “pot calling the kettle black” it not why not.?

  5. Laymond, The word trinity does not appear in scripture but the concept surely does. matt. 3:16,17 “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold the heavens were open to Him, and He saw the spirit of God decending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him.” John 17:20 ” Jesus said, I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe their word, that they all may be one, as you Father are in me and I in You,that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. And the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. I in them and you in Me that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them, as You have loved me.” In John 14:16 we see all three, Jesus said, ” I will pray the Father, and He will send you another helper…..” The Holy Spirit was sent to guide them into all truth. Three persons being one are not possible in the human mind, but they are in God’s. It takes God’s word to understand and faith to believe. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the God head, is not a man made doctrine Laymond, it is clearly taught in scripture.

    • kb, I suppose a sermon, informing mankind that they are lost in their sins, telling them to believe in Christ, telling them to repent of their sins, confess Christ as Lord and telling them to be baptized for the remission of their sins, to live a faithful life to Christ unto death, is out of the question? I’m reminded of Acts 2, Peters sermon, where he called out the heretics and charged them with murder. They gladly recieved his words and obeyed the gospel. kb, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, thank God that those who are in Christ, can repent and once again be in His glory.

  6. Jeff, the tack you took with me above would not win my heart. You assumed you knew what I believed and denounced me based on your assumption. You attacked. You labeled. All based on your opinion, based on assumption about the length of a day. I even pointed out scriptural references to the fact that a day is as long as God wants it to be. But you made your opinion into doctrine, and I was cast into your personal outer darkness wiyh evolutionists and Theistic evolutionists.

    The fact is, my personal opinion agrees with yours. I think God created in six literal days, probably about 24 hours in length. I could be wrong about that. If I am, I don’t believe that God will exclude me from His live because I didn’t grasp relativity or quantum mechanics. What I can’t agree with is making my opinion on that into an issue of salvation, fellowship – because it is by no means as explicit in scripture as you maintain.

    I believe God could have created in any fashion or span of time He chose, and He chose six days, possibly because it makes a great story. We tell it to our children and they remember it. We sing Bible school songs about it. That’s a lot easier for us to accept and transfer as a matter of faith than pages of boring science text on everything from stellar formation to astronomy to geology to chemistry to biology to relativistic physics … etc. ad nauseum. But I have to concede that – based on what little I understand of Einstein’s theories and supporting evidence – the flow of time can depend on the nature of an observer … and a day for God could be / could have been quite different than a day for you and me. How could there be evening and morning a first-third day before the sun was created on the fourth to separate light from darkness? God could make the light He created on the first day yield evening and morning.

    Now, as to the efficacy of accusation as an evangelistic tool … Acts 2 is not the only sermon in scripture, you know. Not every audience is immediate post-resurrection Jerusalem. Not all audiences can be guilt of heresy, because not all of them have been exposed to the light of Jesus Christ in order to accept or reject Him. Jerusalem had largely rejected Him. Sin, yes; but not heresy. (See the tack that Paul took in Athens, Acts 17.)

    And among the attributes of heresy are assuming things about scripture, adding to scripture, and causing factions based on the doctrines of men. Should I go on, brother?

    • kb, As to my tact, to whom i am speaking, decides the tact that i would use. You kb are the one who puts himself out there when you started this blog. You I assume are a member of the house hold of faith. One who puts himslf out there as a teacher. Therefore i would treat you different than one i was trying to bring to Christ. In your article you stated 5 things that you see as barriers to unity. I picked one, “I know what form of day meant.” I stated in my first post a statement, that i can know what form “day” meant. I backed this up with clear scripture, not my opinion but the exact words from scripture. It is not an assumption, it is seen as an assumption only when one refuses to believe what they just read. Genesis one is clear, but if its not read Exodus 20:8-11 and Moses will tell you what a day is in relation to the creation and a work week. According to you kb, after Moses clears this up for us, its an assumption to understand it like he did. If kb, you beleive in a literal six days as i do, why would you list this a a barrier to unity? unless that is what you truly believe? You defended the position. Fellowship begins with you and i having a “right” relationship with God. If one of us doesn’t we cannot have fellowship, nor unity. Our unity is based on God’s word. When one of us refuses to believe God’s word fellowship can not follow, and unity would be impossible. Assuming things about scripture, now kb, which one of us is quilty here. I based my belief and faith in scripture, those i sighted. You assumed and let your mind run wild. A day is as a thousand years, this is not teaching that days can be longer, all it means is God is not restrained by time. And your correct, God could have created all things in any way He wanted, He has the power to do so, but He didn’t and we have His word on it!

  7. “He saw the spirit of God decending like a dove and alighting upon Him”

    Jeff, show me where the powers of God that decended, and abode upon Jesus is said to be an indivigual person. Or for that matter the “comforter”. ]

    Isa 11:1 ¶ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

    Isa 42:1 ¶ Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
    (if there is any doubt that this verse is speaking of Jesus, lets look at what Jesus said)
    Mat 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
    Mat 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

    I believe this is the very thing Keith’s post was about, opinions, and as long as you share mine we can be brothers, but if you deviate from my opinion, you are doomed.
    (I will be waiting on you to show me where it is said that the spirit of God, is an indivigual person.) Like Keith said opinions are true because it is your opinion.

  8. Laymond, 1 John 5:7 is clear to the fact that tere are three.” For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word (Christ) and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. Now what could a seeker of truth come away with after reading this passage?” In John 14:25,26 the Holy Spirit is refered to as “He”, also in Heb. 10:15. The H.S. can speak, Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the H.S. said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” In Luke 3:22 the Spirit took on a bodily form as in a dove. The H.S. is a “who” not a what. I beleive 1 John 5:7, I beleive it to be fact, its not my opinion, its not John’s, the H.S. guided him into all truth, thus John cannot be wrong. Therefore my faith causes me to beleive. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

  9. eff said, ” I beleive 1 John 5:7, I beleive it to be fact, its not my opinion, its not John’s”
    Jeff, you are right (1 John 5:7) was neither your opinion, nor John’s truth, it was not included in John’s writings at all, it was added later. (check it out)

    ” In John 14: 25,26 the Holy Spirit is refered to as “He”
    No! the word “ekeinos” was translated he, it can also be translated “he, she it, etc.” (check it out)

    “In Luke 3:22 the Spirit took on a bodily form as in a dove.”

    Did you ever think it strange, that Luke who was no where around at the time of Jesus baptism, is the only one who said the spirit (looked like a dove)

    Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
    (Mark who was Peters companion, said the spirit descended (like a dove) not in the body of a dove.

    Why not just accept the eyewitness to the event, John the Baptist, and what he said.
    Jhn 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

    “like a dove, and it abode upon him” do you know what abode means? surely one person didn’t live on the back of another. look at the word “hōsei” it means
    as it were, (had been), as though, as, like as, like.
    It simply meant that the spirit descended like a dove landing out of the air. Unless you think Jesus walked around with a bird living on him, the Luke version is incorrect. (check it out)

  10. Jeff, I asked you to not believe me, CHECK IT OUT and let me know what you find. Do you think I misrepresented the meanings of the “greek words” It is astounding to me that anyone could believe the “spirit” took the form of a bird, and abode on the person of Jesus, for the rest of his walk upon this earth.— It is a historical fact that the verse you refered to in 1st John, did not exist in the first translation of John’s leter.— look at all the times in the old testament, that the prophets through whom God spoke, said (there are none beside me)
    Isa 43:11 I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no saviour.
    Isa 44:6 ¶ Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God.
    Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared [it]? ye [are] even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, [there is] no God; I know not [any].
    Isa 45:5 I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
    Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else.
    Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring [them] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the LORD? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; [there is] none beside me.
    Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.

    One God
    Mal 2:10 ¶ Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
    Mar 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (I believe the scribe was talking to Jesus at the time)
    1Cr 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

    Do you believe all these statements were made out of ignorance of the facts, or were they just lies.?

  11. Jeff, this is always the way people of your belief end a conversation, when they can’t answer a question about scripture without getting in trouble, they accuse.
    You are absolute proof, the holy spirit does not endwell all christians .
    I think you need to read the bible a lot more.

  12. Laymond who said i was ending, i simply asked you a question, i need to know where you are coming from. who do you think the spirit is? OR what do you think the Spirit is? to answer your question, I agree with every verse you quoted, there are three that make one God.

  13. Jeff, It is not as hard to understand God as a lot of people would like you to think. He didn’t leave us in the dark.
    The following is not hard to understand, and I believe it fully explains Jesus Christ and the spirit of God that descended upon him at his baptism.

    Isa 11:1 ¶ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    (vs. 11:2 tells us just what the “spirit of the Lord” is. and describe how it will come to rest on Jesus)
    Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
    (does this sounf familier? it should) Jhn 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

    The holy ghost—
    Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (he shall teach you all things, does this sound familier?— look back to Isa 11:2 “the spirit of knowledge”
    Jhn 15:26 ¶ But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
    Jhn 16:7 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.
    Jeff, why was it necessary that Jesus leave, before the comforter could be sent.?
    (think about it) Yes I know the word “he ” is used to represent the the spirits, but as I have said before the word “it” could have been used just as well. as I seem to recall Jesus said there were no genders in heaven, why would there be genders in spirits.

    • Jeff, it seems to me you are the one who thinks God is an it, a godhead comprized of a three person commitee. I see God as the single supreme being.

  14. God is a spiritual being, and always has been. Jesus Christ was a human being,that now is a spiritual being. The spirits from God are attributes of God, and are not now, or ever have been indivigual beings, human or spiritual.

    The spirits that ascended upon Jesus are attributed to Gods powers, as well as the comforter that was sent to the apostles. that is as plain as I can convey the facts that surround the attributes of God.
    The “word of God” is a power attributed to God, and was there from the beginning. That power was placed with Jesus Christ, that is how the “word” became flesh and came to the world, instead of God speaking through the prophets, he spoke through his son Jesus. It is not so hard to understand, if one only trys.

    • Laymond, its hard to follow you. You just said that Jesus was a human and is now a spiritual being. In the very next line you call Him an attribute of God who never was an indivigual human or spiritual. I don’t think we can have it both ways. So I can safely say by your own words that you don’t believe Christ to be God. Isa. 7:14 Immanuel, do you know what that means Laymond, it means God with us. God calls Christ God in Heb. 1:7-8. After the ressurection, Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” 1 Timothy 3:16 “God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by the angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, recieved up in glory.” Romans 9:5 “of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God, Amen.” Laymond, do you call yourself a “christian”? if you do, why? By your own words Christ is not God. Do you just follow a man? Christianity is built on the fact that Christ is the son of God and that He is God himself. One who has been given all authority by God the father. What about Rom 16:16, “the churches of Christ salute you.” It is also called the church of God, did Christ build one and God built another? If Christ is not God, then we have nothing, the bible would then be only a lie. Laymond, if you beleive this way, why do you worship with those of the church of Christ? I think a Jewish temple would be more in line.

      • Jeff, the Church I attend does not congregate to worship Jesus’ we worship and sing praise to God. And I have never attended a CoC that didn’t do likewise.

        I believe that is what Jesus said to do.

      • Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

      • Isa. 7:14 Immanuel, do you know what that means Laymond, it means God with us.

        Why did they call his name Jesus, if it was supposed to be Immanuel.? I think you had better look into this a little more.

  15. “Laymond, its hard to follow you. You just said that Jesus was a human and is now a spiritual being. In the very next line you call Him an attribute of God who never was an indivigual human or spiritual.”
    Jeff if this is truly whatyou saw in what I said, I am wasting my time.
    Are you now a human being, and do you expect to become a spiritual being. If not then there is no way for you to enter heaven.

    1Cr 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
    NLT – 1Cr 15:27 – For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.”* (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.)

    1Cr 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. NLT – 1Cr 15:28 – Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

    I call myself a christian, because I try to follow the example, and directions Christ gave us.I call myself a christian because I am a desciple of Christ.

    Why do you call yourself a christian ?

    • so Laymond, You follow a man named Jesus, whom you do not believe to be God? So when you confessed Jesus before men, you confessed that he was what? Are you saying Jesus didn’t exsist before he was born of Mary?

  16. Jeff, I don’t know about you but I clearly remember the question I was ask when I was baptized ” do you believe Jesus Christ is the “SON OF GOD” not do you believe Jesus is really god.
    Evidently Paul didn’t believe Jesus to be God either.please explain 1Cr 15:27,28 to me.

    Jeff asked “Are you saying Jesus didn’t exist before he was born of Mary?”
    You are asking questions I do not have an answer for, I don’t believe the “Human Body” of Jesus existed before his birth. I don’t know if your spirit existed before your earthly birth either. If you know how that works, let me know I have wondered about that since I was a kid, maybe I have finally found the man with all the answers.give us your version of how this spirit, soul, body thing works.
    Can you tell me why you believe Jesus did exist “in spirit” before his birth.?
    Do you think you and I existed before our birth?

  17. Laymond, You would be correct to say that the physical body of Christ didn’t exsist before He was born, i’m asking if He exsisted before that. God is spirit, He must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Are you now going to say that John chapter one was not in the original? According to John one, He Christ was there, nothing that was made was made without Him. Many who met Jesus didn’t believe He was who He claimed to be, but many others did, encluding the Apostles. Jesus Himself claimed to be Deity/God was He lying? God Himself refers to Jesus His son as God in Hebrews 1:7,8, was He lying? As for 1 Cor. 15:27,28 Paul quotes Psalms 8:6 which is a pronouncement by God that all things would be subjected to Christ. The purpose of Christ coming (how could he come if He didn’t exsist?) is to defeat God’s enemies and bring glory and honor to the Father. I would say that the goal of Christ subjection is so that God may be all in all. I don’t know if my soul exsisted before i was born or not, i don’t care, but God’s holy book tells us in many places that He, Christ was there in the begining. Do you Laymond believe Jesus when He said “I am”. Let me remind you of John 5:23 Jesus said, ” that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father,He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Are you Laymond, denying Christ the honor that is do Him? You should read verses 16-23. The Jews wanted Him dead because He made Himself equal with God. Do you Laymond side with the Jews?

    • I think you have misread John ch 1. It says the “word” was there, nothing is said about Jesus being present. And I believe I explained earlier how the “Word” became flesh in the body of Jesus.
      Yes the Jews accused Jesus of saying he was equal to God, but he did not ever say such a thing. Point to scripture where HE said he was God’s equal.

      • Matthew 19:17

        “17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

  18. Laymond, who pray tell was the word? Are you suggesting that literal words became man? God sent “words” to become flesh and bones and save the world from its sins? John 3:13 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of man who is in heaven.” John 6:48 Jesus said, “I am the bread of life, verse 50, This is the bread which comes down from heaven.” Jesus just said that He came down from heaven! If He is not God, how could that be? If He is not God, why was He concieved by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary?John 8:13,14. “the Pharisees therefore said to Him, You bear witness of yourself, your witness is not true. Jesus answered and said, Even if I bear witness of myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going.” Laymond, remember John 8:48f, Jesus said “before Abraham was, I am.” Laymond, why do you follow a “man” that you beleive was not God nor sent by God? A “man” who said He was from God, led many to believe he was God. Laymond, you stated that you worshiped with others who believed the same. I’ve been in the Lord’s church for over 40 years. I have never known anyone, never heard a sermon or lesson of any kind, never read anything in any brotherhood paper that would lead me to believe that Jesus was not God. I have never worshiped with anyone who believes as you. You must be one of a kind? By the way, the website of your home congregation, under beliefs, and I quote, We believe that, “God came to this earth in the form of Jesus Christ.’ Sounds like you might be in the minority even at home.

  19. Jeff, I tend to go with Tertullian who invented the word Trinity or Trias.

    “There are some who allege that even Genesis opens thus in Hebrew: “In the beginning God made for Himself a Son.” As there is no ground for this, I am led to other arguments derived from God’s own dispensation, in which He existed before the creation of the world, up to the generation of the Son.

    For before all things God was alone – being in Himself and for Himself universe, and space, and all things. Moreover, He was alone, because there was nothing external to Him but Himself. Yet even not then was He alone; for He had with Him that which He possessed in Himself, that is to say, His own Reason.

    For God is rational, and Reason was first in Him; and so all things were from Himself. This Reason is His own Thought (or Consciousness) which the Greeks call logos, by which term we also designate Word or Discourse and therefore it is now usual with our people, owing to the mere simple interpretation of the term, to say that the Word was in the beginning with God; although it would be more suitable to regard Reason as the more ancient; because God had not Word from the beginning, but He had Reason even before the beginning; because also Word itself consists of Reason, which it thus proves to have been the prior existence as being its own substance….

    He became also the Son of God, and was begotten when He proceeded forth from Him (from chs. 5,7).

    This was the common view until the liberal 19th century and the neo-pentecostal movement among churches of Christ. Even now, our Word and Wisdom proceed from us. However, they are not separate gods or persons.

  20. Laymond,I believe Satan has a hold on you in the form of human wisdom. I go with God’s word. If it is not true, neither of us has any hope.

  21. Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    Jeff, do you think this says that Jesus made all things, that Jesus was the God of creation? If you do how do you justify what was said in Isaiah ? Which one is wrong?
    Isa 44:24 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
    Isa 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise [men] backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

    Believing the way you do, you have to choose what you believe. I believe both are true.It is time you started doing a little explaining, instead of just giving your opinion, and accusing others.

  22. Jeff asked, Laymond, In John 1, just who was this light of the world?

    Jeff, in order for you to ever understand the bible, you are going to have to acknowledge that everything that is called “he” is not male in gender.
    Many of these statements are metaphoric, even the word light does not refer to a shinning beam pearcing the darkness. It refers to truth and knowledge. together with the spiritual purity associated with it. So Jeff in our present day understanding, the light of the world was a “what” not a “Who”. And John was not the bearer of that “truth and knowledge” he was the fore runner of the one who was, Jesus Christ.

  23. Laymond, the “word” became flesh and dwelt among us.” who could that be? Isa. 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” who could this be?

  24. Jeff asked, “Laymond, the “word” became flesh and dwelt among us.” who could that be?”
    Jeff I will refer you to comment #34 on this thread. I believe you are asking questions that have alresdy been answered.
    As for Isa. 9:6. I believe this is a prophetic statement concerning the future birth of Jesus. That is what prophets did.

  25. The miracles attributed to Jesus in the bible

    1 Changing water into wine
    2 Healing of the royal official’s son
    3 Healing of a man possessed by a demon in Capernaum
    4 Healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law
    5 Healing the sick during the evening
    6 Catching a large number of fish
    7 Healing a leper
    8 Healing a centurion’s servant
    9 Healing a paralyzed man
    10 Healing a withered hand
    11 Raising a widow’s son
    12 Calming the stormy sea
    13 Healing the Gerasene demon-possessed man
    14 Healing a woman with internal bleeding
    15 Raising Jairus’ daughter
    16 Healing two blind men
    17 Healing a mute man possessed by a demon
    18 Healing a man who was crippled for 38 years
    19 Feeding 5000 men and their families
    20 Walking on water
    21 Healing of many in Gennesaret
    22 Healing a demon-possessed girl
    23 Healing a deaf man with a speech impediment
    24 Feeding the 4000 men and their families
    25 Healing a blind man in Bethsaida
    26 Healing a man born blind
    27 Healing a boy possessed by a demon
    28 Catching a fish with a coin in its mouth
    29 Healing a blind and mute man who was possessed by a demon
    30 Healing a woman with an 18 year infirmity
    31 Healing a man with dropsy
    32 Healing 10 men suffering from leprosy
    33 Bringing Lazarus back to life
    34 Healing Bartimaeus of blindness
    35 The withering fig tree that produced no fruit
    36 Restoring a severed ear
    37 Catching of the 153 fish

    Jeff does this sound like a God who emptied himself of all his Godly attributes, or a Man who recieved all the powers of God?

  26. Keith,

    Why are you stopping the Truth? Do you believe in the truth? Your misconception of Unity is taking you to paths that are not safe. The sheer truth is, God not only gave us a faith (Jude 3), he expect us to be able to mantain UNITY when we receive that faith (Jn. 17:21; 1 Cor. 1:10;Phil. 3:16).

  27. keith,

    The Lord’s church has always confront the problems since his beginnings. This was true in the early days of the church, and it is likewise true today. The apostle Paul saw much of the same thing beginning to the place at Corinth. His first epistle to those brethren was written in part, to prevent full-blown division from taking place. Consider, though, what he says in 1 Cor. 11:18
    “For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it”
    This is the case with the ongoing situation in the church. It is truly the time for faithful brethren to stand for the truth of God and resist all attempts to transform the church into a denomination.
    “Timothy was a young preacher who was thoroughly familiar with the scriptures. When Paul wrote his final epistle to this young minister of Christ, he set forth some truths which ought to characterize God’s people, notice what he said in 2 Timothy 3:14-17:
    “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
    When one examines this passage carefully, he sees certain points applicable to the situation today.
    First, Timothy was to “continue in the things which thou hast learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” He was to keep on practicing what he had been taught from his family. What he has been taught? The holy Scriptures. Timothy has been “assured” of the things he had learned. Those things weren’t speculation, psychology or human creeds; rather, they were the truths of the Scriptures. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures.” “Timothy was able to understand the truth of God from the time he was a lad. How different this is from what we are hearing, reading in some circles today. Notice also, he had “known “the holy scriptures.” Not the opinions and doctrines of men, but the Word of God. Those Scriptures had been committed to writing and are described as holy. That is, they are pure and free from any mistakes in teaching or contradictions. It is not like the infidel who desired to find a contradiction in the Bible; he thought hr had found one when he saw the dimensions of the ark given to Noah, and then turned over to the place where the priests were carrying the ark of the covenant on their shoulders! Often, supposed contradictions are more in the mind of the critic than anywhere else. (1 cor. 14:33). Our Lord Jesus during his ministry on Earth he confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees, The Pharisees called the Lord Jesus : “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.” Mt.22: 16,29 Later, the Sadducees comes with bad motives and call our Lord “Teacher” and the Lord Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
    Note further, those Scriptures “are able.” The Bible and his Gospel message is the only instrument by which man can come to know God and Christ; it is “able” in the sense that it has life and power. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” The Scripture “make thee wise” (2Tim. 3:15). They are intelligible, understandable, and give wisdom. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130). “The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Pro. 1:7). If a man desires to have the wisdom of the Almighty , need to study the Word of God diligently and rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15) .
    God’s word gives “salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Acts. 4:12. God wants all men to be saved. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth” (1 Tim. 2:3,4). However Jesus said of those who would find the strait gate and narrow way, “Few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).
    The salvation God offers is accepted through obedience. “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Heb. 5:8,9).
    This obedience is what Peter speaks on if 1 Peter 1:22-25. “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because “ All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
    The salvation is “in Christ Jesus.” That is, it is in his body, the church (Eph. 1:22,23). One cannot be saved outside of that one body of Christ that is equal to say “church o Christ” because the body is the Church that belong to Christ. ( Col. 1:18, Eph. 5:23; Eph. 4:15, Eph. 4:1-6) or in denominational bodies. To proclaim such is not a new teaching but simply what the New Testament teach about the one Church.
    Paul says, “ All scriptures is given by the inspiration of God.” Notice, all Scripture is inspired. The apostle further states the Scriptures “are profitable.” The Bible builds up the man spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It supplies him with practical means by which to face life’s challenges, and bold truths by which we can pattern our life. It inspire us to new heights by showing examples of great men and women of old who were faithful to God in spite of difficulties. The Scriptures profits families by telling them how to be Christ-centered, not self-centered. It instructs parents how to raise their children properly. It teaches children how to obey their parents and respect them (Eph. 6) . It instruct husbands and wives regarding their responsibilities to one another, and the type of love they should show each other in everyday life ( Eph. 5:25-28,Col. 3:19,Eph 5:22).
    God’s word profits congregations in supplying a pattern to service to God and man (Fil.3:16). It furnishes elders with what they need to shepherd the flock properly. It tells preachers what to preach, how to preach it, and how to conduct their personal lives. It shows deacons the requirement for his service in the church and what are they to a accomplish in their work in the church (1 Tim. 3:12) It instruct all the members on how they are to treat one another, as well as their fellow man.
    God’s word profits communities,states,even countries. If the principles of the Scriptures were put into practice in a general way, how much better our society would be. Contrary to the infidel who claim the Bible is the source of all man’s trouble and a collection of man wisdom, Paul wrote,” These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.´(1 Cor.2:13, 1 Peter 4:11) , God’s word is the source of all comfort to those who submit to it.
    Notice, the Scriptures are profitable for “Doctrine” ; that is , they are profitable for teaching the whole counsel of God Acts 20:27 As our Lord Jesus Command us. “ teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen ( Matt. 28:20).
    The word of God is profitable for “reproof” This indicates conviction. Not only must the man of God convict others with the word of truth, he himself must be convicted. When the truth was taught in Acts 2, the people were “pricked in their heart” (Acts 2:36) They were convicted. The specific truth the gospel will be taught and will cut to the soul of man: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb.4:12). When utilized properly , the sword of the spirit is an effective weapon against the father of all lies, indeed (Jn.8:44).
    The Scriptures are profitable for “correction.” There are times when the preacher will have to preach against specific sins and troubles in the congregation; the Bible provides the instruction needed to do so. It corrects men’s lives, whether they be wrong morally or doctrinally. Sadly, many today refuse to heed correction. Correction simply indicate a returning to the right way.
    God’s word is profitable for “instruction on righteousness.” Just as a child must be trained by his earthly father to be able to grow properly and to mature, even so our heavenly father instruct us through his word so we may grow and mature spiritually. One of the fundamental needs of the church today is for it to grow. Now the growth is not necessarily numerical growth, because it is God who take cares of that (1 Cor. 3:3).Rather, the growth needed result from the studying the Scriptures and nourishing the Soul. (Eph. 4:13-16) “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
    “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (1 Pet.2:2). Just as the infant craves his bottle, so we must crave the word. There comes the time, thought, when we must progress from the bottle to table food.
    For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
    Notice that Paul says the Scriptures give “instructions in righteousness,” but the Hebrews writer says those who are still on the bottle are “unskillful in the word of righteousness.” How true this is!
    Paul tells timothy that the Scriptures make the man of God “perfect” This word indicates the child of God is made complete mature by the Word. One will never be complete spiritually by heeding man’s doctrines, creeds, and opinions. Rather when he feast upon the scriptures, he will derive the nourishment he craves and will be balanced as a result.

    • Look, Guest for truth, I know you must have thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. You’re done here. No more comments. Don’t bother to try. I can delete them from my iPhone. I would do the same to anyone I caught pilfering from others’ books or web sites, whether I agree with them or not. You can’t do tgat here anymore. Goodbye.

  28. Guest for truth … how can you be so sure that I and others are wrong, and you are right? That God will approve only your interpretations of scripture, but not anyone else’s?

    Is being right more important than doing right? Jesus in Matthew 25 talks about everyone being judged by their works, not by how correctly they interpret scripture.

    Is being right and separate from others who are wrong more important than being one and maintaining unity with those who share the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, crucified for our sins and resurrected so that we might live anew also? Did He pray for us to be “right” and seperate, or believing and unified in that belief and Spirit?

    Isn’t it divisive even using the word “denomination,” drawing lines and attaching labels?

    What is truth? Pilate asked. Your truth? My truth? Someone else’s? You keep quoting scripture and then telling me it means only what you say and think it means. Isn’t it enough to just let scripture say what it says and mean what it means?

    Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He didn’t say that a correct collection of interpretations was any of those things.

    You say my approach to unity is dangerous. Is it dangerous to the unity of the body of Christ ir dangerous to your “Truth,” and to some exclusive division that you want to claim as the body — because I am willing to call a scripture “a scripture,” an interpretation “an interpretation,” and an opinion “an opinion” … rather than lump it together and call it all Truth, which is Christ?

    • Keith,
      Peter said, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The prophet does not make a private interpretation of events. Peter says prophesy does not come by the will of the prophet. Rather, the prophet is moved by the Spirit of God. “ The Bible interprets the Bible “ is its own best teacher. The Bible however is not arranged like an encyclopedia that you can go and find all the information in that section. Why don’t people know more about the God and his will ? why so much ignorance of God’s word exists, I do know of one major cause that contributes to the problem: Most people simply do not read the Bible and study diligently 2 Tim. 2:15 .
      Is being right more important than doing right? Compare what the inspired writer wrote “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17) see what Jesus said “17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matt. 7:17-19) It’s impossible to do right if the person don’t know what is right!. Looks what God said : For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) God really knows everybody and their intentions. For sure, if some is right his moral response should be doing right. Can people believe a lie and think that is true. sure. They may contradict themselves, but the “truth is the truth” and nobody can change the truth. In Romans 3:4 “ Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar” (Num.23:19,Tit.1:2,Heb. 6:18). To lie is evil, and God can not even be tempted to do evil (James 1:13). God is true, and his prophets rejoiced in His faithfulness (Jer.23:28). Yet remember, even though God used humans in the past to communicate with the fathers by the prophets (Heb.1:1), the final product of inspiration is called “the word of God” (Gen.15:4;Numbers 4:45;Deut. 5:5; Joshua 8:27; 1 Samuel 3:1) Scripture is breath out by God (2 Tim. 3:16:17), so the finished product is called His word. Scripture, being His word, must partake of His character, so there can be no lies, no deceit, no mistakes, slips or flaws.
      Notice” The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.” (Psalms 12:6). His word is called “holy Scriptures” (Romans 1:2), “Truth” (Psalm 119:14); Psalm 119:40,John 17:17; 2Samuel 7:28). If scripture contained error, all this could not said.
      It is truth, also because the Holy Spirit speaks truth and can not speak error (Jn.16:13). Jesus the Living embodiment of the truth means that He contained no error. If he had the least sin or error Jesus could not call Himself Truth (jn.14:6). The same is true of Scripture. So again, God can not lie, and Scripture is His word.
      We must realize that there is truth in the spiritual realm.This truth provide the answers to the mysteries of the soul and the unseen world. The philosophical question that have been asked – where have we come from, what are we doing here, and where are we doing- are all answered by Scripture. Not every detail to answer all the questions has been given (Deut.29:29) but, we have been given the things necessary for “life and Godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
      Your question: Is being right and separate from others who are wrong more important than being ONE and maintaining UNITY with those who share that Jesus is the Son of God, crucified for our sins and resurrected so that we might live anew also? The Lord’s Church has been torn apart by preachers that don’t love Jesus and his word (1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:4-6). What do you think about the preachers that don’t teach the whole counsel of God? Acts. 20:27. Or teach half true and half lie? Is that the whole truth? Unfortunately, may false preachers are out there teaching what the people wants to hear and the people are under the impression that they can live a sinful life and go to the heaven after all. Are you of those that says: I am not going to preach the truth because that is going to offend the people. See what God said about those preachers in Gal. 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Acts 5:29). Why the apostle Judas wrote in Judas 1:3 “ I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints?” 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” 2 Tim 3:6-8 “6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;”
      Paul wrote,”And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them” (Eph.5:11). The fellowshipping of the denominations is sinful. John wrote, 2 John 2:9-11 “9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
      Paul said concerning the very inception of the Great Apostasy , “Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:30). One Example: Do you believe that Mr. Harold Camping, et al. Just because they claim that they believe that Jesus is the son of God that make them “Christian”? Not because they claim they are Christian that make it so, also the Demons believe and tremble! , (James 2:19) “14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
      Why we should be feel that is wrong to call things by what they are? Does the word “Denomination” does not exist. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
      Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! If we speak the truth in Love and show them what God has commanded us.
      Do you believe that the Body (Church) of Christ is a Denomination? Founded by Alexander Campbell like the Baptist and others are saying?
      What is the truth? As pilate posed the question to Jesus, (Jn. 18:38) . We constantly face those who deny the existence of absolute truth, or who say that even if it existed we would be to know it. Isn’t it estrange that one would suggest that he could know the truth about my inability to know the truth? How does he know, if it cannot be known?
      The whole truth is , of course , the Word of God given to a man and as found within the pages of the Bible. When I use the word Truth in the spiritual realm, the word of God including the Gospel that is from the same nature, I am referring to that which will make man free by obedience to it (Jn. 8:32;17:17;Rom.1:16;Eph.1:13;James 1:21-22).
      But what of its origins? If truth exists, then it, as well as every finite thing, had to have a point of origin. According to the inspired writer John, truth came by Jesus (Jn. 1:17). This was true because He was the embodiment of truth (John 14:6). We would expect truth to come from the source of truth, would we not? That only stands to reason.
      What will truth do for man? As already noted, it will set man free (Jn. 8:32). But from what are we being set free? The answer to the question is rather simple: we are set free from guilt of and service to sin (John 8:33-36). It is by the truth that we do that which resultsw in our being “free from condemnation” (Rom.8:1).Truth will sanctify man. The term sanctification simply means to set apart for the service of God. God’s word will do this to us when properly applied to our lives (Jn. 17:17). Truth will purify man (1 pet.1:22), and purity is in the list of things we are to focus upon (Phil. 4:8). Truth also possesses the ability to protect man (Eph. 6:14). The protection is associated with our obedience to it, which causes us to maintain the state of faithfulness to God that is required of us.
      How have people reacted to the truth? Within the New Testament we see those who received and obeyed the truth (Acts 2:41; Rom.6:17). These are ones of whom it could be said that they “walked in the truth.” On the other hand, the were those who became infuriated by the truth, such as in the case of those who stoned Stephen to death (Acts 7:54). The apostle Paul wrote of those who resisted the truth (2 Tim. 3:8). He further mentioned those who “turned their ears from the truth’ (2 Tim. 4:4). James , the brother of Jesus, wrote of those who erred in regard to the truth (James 5:19). Peter wrote of those who spoke evil of it ( 2 Pet. 2:2). Of course, all of this has nothing to do with us, except that we can see what others have done. The all important question before us is not what have people in the past done with truth, but what are we going to to with it?
      God has provided truth on every subject for life and godliness. As we turn to thye new Testament Scriptures, we find God’s truth about everything that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). This includes God’s truth on the important New Testament topics:
      Church membership ( Acts 2:47)
      Baptism’s role in salvation (Jn. 3:7;Acts 2:38;22:16;1 pet. 3:21)
      The necessity of worship (Jn. 4:24; Heb. 10:24-26)
      The fruit of the Spirit in contrast to the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-23)
      1.- Obedience to the truth is necessary if it is to be of benefit to man (Rom.6:17;Heb.5:9) If there is to be any result from truth, it must be obeyed (Matt. 7:21-23). In the passages of the New Testament we see apostolic commendation of those who obeyed from the heart the things required of them by God (Rom.6:17). Perhaps we may ask ourselves how committed we are to hearing and accepting things that God has taught. Do we welcome His truths, no matter what they are? Do we teach them to our friends and family? The actual culture is one that denies the possibility of absolute truth (Skeptics “secularist”).
      We consider the ultimate end of truth, as revealed by the apostle Paul (2 Thess. 2:12-13). It will save some, and others will be lost. In the end, the choice is ours. The Lord’s absolute TRUTH is reliable and absolutely knowable. Will we accept and apply it, or will we turn our backs on God and His Word? (Titus 1:1-3) “ Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;”
      The myth that the bible is too complex to understand is exploded by the Apostle Paul when he said: “… by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Eph. 3:3-4). This teaches that we can and should have the same understanding as the apostle Paul had. Does anyone today claim to have a better understanding than the apostle Paul had? Do we need to have a better understanding than he did to be saved and remain save?
      Why would the bible have been written in the first place if it were only going to generate controversy because it is too hard to understand? The reason that it was written, however, is not left to our speculation. Again, the apostle Paul instructing the younger Timothy (2 Tim. 3:16-17):
      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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
      Now if the scriptures have the capacity to “thoroughly furnish us unto all good works,” what happens when we ignore them and look elsewhere to determine what is and is not a good work? Can anyone read the passage quoted above and believe that the apostle Paul thought that the scriptures were too difficult for the common man to understand?
      In the preface we introduced the fact that the one and only way that the bible indicates that we can produce faith within ourselves is through hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17): “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This theme recurs throughout the New Testament, and it is critical to our salvation that we know and understand what produces faith. We will take up the subject of faith in Chapter 3; for now, we wish to confirm that to obtain the faith that saves, we must hear the truth that is written in the bible.
      The apostle John provides the authority for this conclusion (John 20:30-31): “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Did John think we would have the capacity to understand what he wrote?
      Those who think they have created faith within themselves by some means other than a study of God’s word have faith in something, but it is not faith in God. Some trust their experiences, their charismatic leaders, humanism and the wisdom of man. But those are not God’s ways for granting us faith. The apostle Paul makes it quite clear that it is the gospel (good news) of Christ which is the sole basis for salvation in Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
      No one in the bible was ever chastised for honest bible study — the bible never discourages anyone from independently studying the bible for himself or herself and thereby “working out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). The bible has no such motive; only men possess motivation in the direction of discouraging independent study. The thrust of the scriptures are in the opposite direction as exemplified by Paul’s command to Timothy (1 Tim. 2:15): “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
      Neither is there ever a stigma on challenging our religious leaders by comparing their teaching to the scriptures. Consider Acts 17:10-12:
      And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Note three points from this passage:
      1. Those of Berea were more noble because they “searched the scriptures” and validated the teaching of no less a teacher than the apostle Paul himself. If they were noble for checking up on an inspired apostle, we should not be intimidated from challenging our teachers today to provide book, chapter and verse for what they are putting forth. The burden of proof is upon the teacher, and the standard of proof is the written word of God.
      2. “Therefore, many of them believed.” Note once again that the honest study of God’s word produces faith, a recurring theme throughout the New Testament.
      3. As is true today, there were many false teachers in the first century. The test of validity was one of consistency with that which had already been revealed and written down: the scriptures. How much more is this the standard in a day and age when multiple copies of the Holy Scriptures are in each of our homes?
      The scriptures were recognized as the standard of authority even in the first century when the Holy Spirit was directly inspiring the apostles and prophets to reveal the truths of the New Testament. Can anyone argue that God expected them to understand the scriptures? Since we know that God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), we know that he expects that same thing of us today.
      As the New Testament was being compiled from recognized inspired writings, it became the standard of authority for the churches in the first century. The apostle Peter made this clear when he expressed the purpose of his writing (2 Peter 3:1-2): “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.”
      We also know this from the writings of the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37-38): “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”
      This cannot be misunderstood! The written words of the apostle Paul are the commandments of Jesus. Do you think that Paul or Peter thought they were too complex to understand? I realize that this destroys a cherished myth that is believed by many in the denominational world. But these are not difficult passages to understand. If we refuse to recognize that the writings of Paul (and the other inspired writers) are the commandments of the Lord, then what else can be said of us other than that we are willfully ignorant? “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”

  29. kb. Christ built only one church, it is an exclusive body, all are welcome, if, you are willing to meet the terms of entrance. We have the new testament to show us what it looks like, how to be added to it, how to worship in it, the earthly leadership of it, etc. Christ has told us these things, we don’t have to wonder. Man has established many false bodies. 2 Cor. 6:11-17, Paul reminds them not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. An unbeliever is anyone who has not obeyed the gospel. Satan believed Christ was the Son of God, and he knew for a fact that He rose from the dead, but that doesn’t make him a believer. Paul says, “what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? what communion has light with darkness? What partnership has Christ with belial? What part has a believer with a unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God (the church) with idols”? That is exactly what a denominational body is, a man made idol. Paul continues and says “be ye separate, come out from among them”. 1 Cor. 10:19-22 Paul said, “What am I saying then? that an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy”? In comparison, those outside of Christ, would be the Gentiles, everything they offer is to demons. That may seem divisive, but it is God’s way. He knows who are His. In religous matters, we are to separate ourselves from those who are outside of Christ and abide in Him. Why would anyone call believers to do the opposite? Matt 7:21, “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of God.” This would be those who call Christ Lord, and then do as they wish. The biblical call for unity,was for all believers to be one, not beleivers and those outside of Christ. Even unity between believers can be broken due to lawlessness. And only repentance can bring them together again. 1 John 2:29, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” Man cannot even begin to practice righteousness, until he is born again, John 3 tells us how that is done. Yes, it is better to be right, right in the sight of God, or else what we offer, is offered to demons.

    • So … if I have fellowship with someone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, but doesn’t interpret scripture and obey it exactly the same way you do … or if I don’t interpret scripture and obey it exactly the same way you do … then I am worshiping Satan?

      Wow. That’s pretty self-assured, self-righteous stuff there, Jeff.

      But I’m not insulted, brother. Just sad that it is so difficult for you to distinguish what scripture says from the opinions and interpretations – teachings of man. And that it has made you so exclusive, accusative, aggressive and judgmental.

      I’ve been condemned by nicer people than you before.

  30. kb. is it possible for someone to say, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and then live a life of lawlessness? Is it possible to worship vainley? Is it possible for someone to enter the kingdom by other means, excluding, belief, repentance, confession and baptism? Does one need to live faithfully until death?
    You call me self assured and self righteous. I am assured, the scriptures have told me what to do, I believe, therefore I try to live a righteous life, which means, living rightly, according to Gods word. I can know the truth and it has set me free. Its a matter of submitting to the will of the Father. Forsaking what I think and just submitting to the word. Let scripture interpret scripture and be submissive to it.

    • Again, wow. Your response is unique in my experience, brother. Most believers would have denied judging or condemning me, knowing that scripture permits neither. Jeff, you have said before that you believe you have the right to do so, and here it is demonstrated.

      “We judge people over opinions because we have the right to do so.” ~ #13

      Because you “try to live a righteous life, which means, living rightly, according to Gods word.” (above)

      You have deduced and inferred and decrypted all of the correct “laws” as you see them in scripture and yet you only try to live a righteous life? Trying alone gives you authority to judge? Assures you of salvation? God will forgive you if you knowingly disobey Him, but not if you misunderstand what He has said in scripture? Or have never heard of Him?

      What if you’re wrong about even one of your opinions about scriptures that you believe are laws?

      Will God overlook one misconception, but not two? Two but not ten? Are we arguing like Abraham over Sodom at this point?

      Living a life of lawlessness is different from misunderstanding, isn’t it? Lawlessness is willful disobedience; doing what you know God has said is wrong. Not doing something different from what someone else says God meant.

      Did anyone say anything about entering the kingdom by other means? And what happened to church governance as a part of that salvational formula? You added it above.

      It IS important to be right in the sight of God, but it ain’t you or me that can do that; only Christ can and does. Nothing adds to what He alone can do. Not astute decoding of “laws” and “commands” from what are assumed to be examples or “necessarily” inferred from negatives.

      You really should forsake what you think and just submit to the word. Just the Word. Just what He says, not what someone has told you he “knows” it means; not what you think it means. Just what the Word says. Here, you and I agree.

      We just disagree about where it stops saying.

      Above, you also said, “An unbeliever is anyone who has not obeyed the gospel.”

      “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” ~ Romans 10:14

      But that would mean having fellowship with them, to some degree – wouldn’t it? Should Prisca and Aquila not have taken Apollos aside privately – in fellowship – to teach him more accurately? (Acts 18:26) They should have just thrown him out – the misunderstanding, wrong-teaching heretic! – shouldn’t they? Unbelief is the same as misunderstanding, isn’t it?

  31. kb, your right, I can’t judge or condemn anyone, but scripture can. You have a problem with absolute truth don’t you? Truth to you is subjective, something that can never be abtained. I believe God provived us with a pattern, yes I said it a “pattern” a pattern that can be understood and followed. After all it is the words of Christ that will judge us. We can use it as a guide and measure ourselves by it. We can know for sure if we are walking in the light or if we are practicing lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness wether we know or not. Saul was sincere and clueless, but yet he was living in sin. I can judge what you say kb, it would be a righteous judgement if its based on God’s word. I can’t judge your heart. The question to ask is, are we seeking after righteousness or are we simply dismissing parts of God’s word to satisfy some selfish desire to be inclusive. Narrow is the way that leads to righteousness, wide is the way that leads to destruction. I asked the questions in post 61 to see what you would say. Are these absolutes or can they be dismissed? Just what are you willing to do away with, not to be seen as devisive? Everyone who desires to call on the name of the Lord, must believe first, then they must repent, confess His name, and then be baptized for the remission of their sins. When they have done this, they have called on the Lord, to save them. We all have unbelievers that worship with us and thats a good thing. Do they participate? are they teachers, lead the singing, lead public prayers? I hope not. Our fellowship/partnership with them is limited. Those of the household of faith are to be united, of one mind, how can that happen if we don’t or can’t follow the same guide? It can’t! nor should it. Unity to many is nothing more than compromise. They desire to find what they have in common and disguard the rest. Matt 10:34f Jesus said don’t think that I came to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set man against father, mother against daughter… this is the power that His message has, some will accept His words gladly others will not. Some will become heirs others will not. Matt. 12:37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”.

    • You’re avoiding the questions, Jeff. You just change the subject, preferably with another accusation. Brother – that’s your “pattern”!

      I don’t have a problem with absolute truth, biblical truth. I have a serious problem with people who claim that their interpretation – especially when it obviously adds meaning to scripture that isn’t there – is the one and only absolute truth with no margin of error, perfect in every way. And with people who can no longer tell the difference between what scripture says and what they “know” it means.

      Christ remains our pattern, Jeff. Nothing in the New Testament describes a series of laws as our pattern. Laws cannot save. Christ can.

      • kb. Eph 4 tells us there is one faith, it was once and for all delivered. Timothy was told to guard it to contend for it. We must understand it, follow it. God didn’t give us something that we all can’t understand. There are 27 books in the new testament, 21 concern christian living, what we are to believe and what we are to do. It is a pattern for the christian to follow, it is law not a suggestion. A biblical believer is one who accepts these things and obediently follows, follows what? the law of Christ, the new covenant. Jesus said, if you love me, keep my commandments. What is a commandment? Nothing short of LAW. The law of Christ will save you if followed.

  32. Jeff said, “The law of Christ will save you if followed.” and he is is right.

    But you see Jeff most churches follow the rule of Paul, not Jesus. You once asked me why I thought I was a christian, well I believe you would be better discribed as a follower of Paul.

    1Cr 11:1 ¶ Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.
    NLT – 1Cr 11:1 – And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.*

    Mat 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    I believe there are many in the church today who follow those who claim to follow Jesus, is that good enough, I doubt it. Read the word of God that was brought by Jesus and follow those words. Did Paul have good intentions within his heart, I believe he did, but Paul is not the one we are supposed to follow.

    Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
    Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. Mar 12:31 And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    I don’t see anything here that says we are going to “hell” if we associate with sinners.

    • Laymond, Do you remember the words of Jesus when He told His disciples to go out, He said, “those who hear you hear Me, those who reject you reject Me.” The Apostles were given authority to speak in the name of Jesus. Those who refuse to hear Paul or any other inspired writer, are in fact refusing to hear Jesus. We associate with those outside of Christ all the time, but we do not partake of their lawlessness.

  33. All due respect, gents, but law cannot, will not save anyone. Please see Galatians 3-5 … John 1:17ff … Romans 5:20ff. Christ came to set us free from law through grace, not to bring new law. Obedience to Christ is through the Spirit, not law.

    • kb, with all due respect, let us remember that the gospel was first brought to the Jews. This new Covenant (law) was first preached in Jerusalem. The Jews had a hard time leaving the old law of Moses. They continued to go back to it. The old law could not save anyone. They were the ones who needed to be freed from the law. We are indeed saved by grace, through faith. The through faith is our part. kb, we are to be obediant to what? If we must be obedient to Christ, then that would be THE LAW, the perfcet law of liberty. Christ came to bring a better way. Grace is God’s part, we must act on that grace in humble obedience. If all we are saved by is grace, then all men are already saved, because grace has appeared before all men. If grace is all that is needed, we are done, there is nothing more we need to do, let us live our lives however we wish, grace has us covered. But Scriptures teach that all men need to accept that grace, and they do that by being obedient to the perfect law of liberty. We are saved by the blood of Christ. The shedding of that blood began the new covenant between God and man. We need to understand what grace is, under the old law, if you were guilty of certain sins, death was the penalty. Under the new law we have grace, we can repent and draw near to God once again, now thats a better way.

  34. Zec 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts [as] an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

    Obedience to Christ is through the Spirit, not law
    Yes Keith another example of following Paul, but I do believe we need to reread
    Rom 8 with an open mind.

    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    Not just this but the whole ch. No even Paul thought there were rules and regulations.

    Mat 5:17 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

  35. I didn’t say that there were no commandments from Christ. The commandments just don’t save us. Disobeying them can sever one’s relationship with Christ, to be sure. But obeying them don’t earn us a place in the sky or a poke in the eye. Salvation is His free gift (Revelation 22:17; Acts 4:12; 1 Peter 1:9) received through our faith and expressed in obedience.

    As far as the law of Christ goes, even He obeyed it – at the cost of His own life (Hebrews 5:8ff).

    And, should anyone wish to be contentious that the passages I cited above refer to “THE law” and therefore refer only to the law of Moses, let me point out that they do not generally include the definite article “the” nor does anything tie them exclusively to the law of Moses. That is an assumption. They speak of law, law generally, any kind of law, not just Moses’ law. That, at least, is what little I understand of the Greek involved there.

    Our obedience is not to law, but Christ who supplants law as something – Someone – far superior (Hebrews 8:6). Obedience does not earn, but expresses our love and respect for Him (2 John 1:6).

    • kb, hey, this is the contentious one, Gal 3:5, John 1:17 and Rom 5:20 all are comparing the old law to the new. Context kb context.

      • Jeff, there is absolutely NO context in those passages which compares the “old law” to “the new.” They contrast law and faith in Christ, law and the grace of Christ, prophecy and the Christ who fulfills it.

        Whoever told you otherwise lied to you. You should hold it against them, Jeff, and forgive them when they repent of it.

      • Keith, I know you don’t believe that everyone is saved, so why would you believe everyone was lost to begin with?
        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.

        Looks like if everyone was lost by actions of the first Adam, everone would be saved by actions of the second Adam. Please explain why you don’t think so.

      • Because there is an assumption between “all are sinners” (scripture) and “therefore they are lost.” The assumption is that God can’t or won’t forgive certain sinners – those who have not heard of Him and therefore don’t believe. That the blood of Christ is insufficient to save those who God chooses to save if they have not heard of Him. That if you don’t obey the “command” to hear – whether anyone is speaking the gospel to you in your language or not – that is a sin, and furthermore, an unforgivable one that keeps you from obeying the other four finger-commands.

        Does that sound just to you?

        Because if we really believed that, and every soul depended entirely on this one-and-only five-fingered-plan-of-salvation, then every believer who didn’t spend every dime he owned and every waking moment preaching gospel would be guilty of loving so poorly that millions will go to eternal hell – and he would deserve no less himself.

        Now, I ask you, do we act as if we believe that? Do we really believe it? Or do we believe that God will judge all with perfect fairness by their works and save whom He wills?

      • kb, by the works of the law, Gal 5:3, pray tell what law could he be talking about? What “law” had the Jews been under? John 1:17 “for the law was given by Moses”. how many laws were handed down by Moses? Rom 5:20, under the old law of Moses sin continued to abound, the new law of grace did much more, it removed it. If “law” means any old law, why would Peter in 1 Peter 2 tell Christians to obey every ordinance of man? If there is no “law” there is no transgression of law, therefore their would be no sin. So what you are saying is, there is no “law” everyone lives under the “law” of grace. Do what you want, your covered. Now thats a wow moment!

      • Jeff, you have a knack for adding the meaning you desire to the words of others. Do you do that with scripture?

        The law of Moses is the law that these writers often refer to. They are also writing to Gentile Christians, and so the general principle of law itself is also in view.

        We do not live under a law of grace. We who believe live under grace rather than law. We obey out of gratitude for grace, rather than fear of retribution or obligation.

        I know what I’m saying. You don’t have to keep repeating, “So what you’re saying is ….” You’re the one who is intentionally misunderstanding what I’m saying and redefining it.

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