Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Acts 11:23

And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, Acts 11:21-23

Why exhort to remain faithful?

And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. Acts 11:21-23 NKJV

Why cleave to the Lord?

And the presence of the Lord was with them with power, so that a great number [learned] to believe (to adhere to and trust in and rely on the Lord) and turned and surrendered themselves to Him. The rumors of this came to the ears of the church (assembly) in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what grace (favor) God was bestowing upon them, he was full of joy; and he continuously exhorted (warned, urged, and encouraged) them all to cleave unto and remain faithful to and devoted to the Lord with [resolute and steady] purpose of heart. Acts 11:21-23 Amplified Version

If eternally secure,

  • Why the continuous exhortation?
  • Why the continuous warning?
  • Why the continuous urging?
  • Why the continuous encouragement?

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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Acts 5:32

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” – Acts 5:32 ESV

Obey Him.

That is the issue in this verse.  Of course some could say the initial belief is the act of obedience that is being referred to in this verse, but I wonder.

Some questions arise in my mind though.

  1. Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not believe?
  2. Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not obey Him?
    1. Are these the same question? Is believing the same as obeying?
  1. Is this an unconditional gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who at one point believes?
    1. If so, is one act of obedience/belief all that the Lord is looking for from us?

The Greek verb edoken (has given) is in the aorist tense. “Obey” is a translation of peitharchousin, which is a present participle. The literal translation is “obeying.” According to Robertson (Grammar, pp. 891-892) the “obeying” can come before, at the same time, or after the act of giving. It can even refer to past action still in progress. Obviously, much depends on the context.


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Conditional Security – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge– even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you– so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 ESV

Security

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would look at verses that seem to support the eternal security teaching and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these passages.

Today’s passage is found in 1 Corinthians 1:8, but I would like to consider the passage from verses 4 through 9.  Is Paul seeking to instruct the believers in Corinth about eternal security?  Or is he breaching upon their lack of stability?

Security and Confirmation

Verse 8 clearly states that Jesus Christ shall confirm them unto the end, which must surely mean that once a person becomes a true believer, Jesus Christ is responsible to independently supply the believers security and deliver that person to God at their death.  At least that is how I read it in the past and suppose it is the common understanding among those who lean toward the eternal security teaching.

But I do have a few concerns.

I would like to start with Paul’s description of the Corinthians confirmation in verse 6. The passage is telling me that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in the Corinthians. This is the very same word that Paul uses two verses later in verse 8.

So lets consider what is going on in these verses.

In verse 7, Paul states the purpose of the confirmation described in verse 6.  The testimony of Christ – that is the witness/proof of Christ, was confirmed in the Corinthians via the gifts they received, the knowledge and utterance they experienced.  The confirmation had a purpose.  The confirmation had two participants, that is, God supplied the gifts, but the Corinthians exercised these gifts of knowledge and utterance. This is important to consider.

In verse 8, Jesus Christ is confirming the believers for the purpose of presenting them as blameless in the day of Christ.

Lets think about this.

Security Synonym?

Is confirmation a synonym (a word that means the same) for security?

As I read this passage in my earlier belief of eternal security, I would have to say yes! But the question begs to be answered honestly.  Please remember that security has synonyms such as safety, defended, protected, sheltered, unharmed and shielded.  Confirmation does not relate to these concepts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Additional Questions

Is this confirmation something that is performed only in heaven?  Or is this confirmation something that is being accomplished within the believer’s life?

Of course, if it is some type of mystical confirmation in heaven that is a completely independent activity of Jesus Christ alone without the participation of the believer, then adherents to the eternal security may have a valid argument with this verse.

But if the believer participates in this confirmation by obeying the direction (however imperfectly ) of the Master, following His teaching and seeking His direction, then somehow verse 8 includes a human component, a willingness and desire to conform to a blameless life, under the power and enabling of the Lord.

The greek word used in both verse six and eight is βεβαιόω, and the root meaning is “to be firm”.  When used of persons, it signifies someone who is trustworthy, someone who inspires confidence.  In verse eight, the verb is in the future tense and active voice. The active voice represents Jesus Christ (the subject) as the doer or performer of the action.   Let me ask this simple question – As Jesus is confirming these believers to be blameless, would it not be obvious to all about?  Remember that to confirm someone is to produce someone who is firm, trustworthy, and one in whom you can trust and depend on. Would not this fruit be evident in the believer’s life?  A life that is becoming more like Jesus.

He is certainly firm, trustworthy and One in whom we can place our confidence!

This is most interesting since many in the eternal security camp may speak of those who have no outward witness of Christ living in them as still being believers that are eternally secure and guaranteed entry into heaven, simply due to some statement of belief in the past.

Of course this is a very difficult statement to say in these days of sensitivity, where we must not offend any.  But I wonder what engenders God’s trust in some believers who break covenant without concern about His teachings and who claim a vital relationship with Him in the midst of obvious sin and rebellion.

Consider.


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Conditional Security – Romans 8:17

and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. – Rom 8:17

Paul is in the middle of one of the greatest chapters in the New Testament, speaking to the church in Rome about the gospel, the justification, sanctification and glorification of the church due to the faithfulness of God. Of course, God’s faithfulness becomes an issue in the very next chapter and Paul spends three chapters explaining the faithfulness of God to Israel. Speaking on those chapters is for another post (or 40 posts!)

This post is to deal with Paul’s description of the church’s / believer’s glorification, and the relationship we have in our suffering for Him. Paul, according to my understanding, is linking the glorification of the saint with the suffering we undergo.

We are “heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him..

Now this sticks in my craw since I have always believed it is the blood of Christ that has provided sonship for all that believe, that trust the message God has provided. How can the glorification of the child of God discussed above be dependent on the child of God’s suffering?

I suppose a viable reading would be that as children of God, based on our faith, we will inevitably suffer with Him. This may be the possible reading, but then I would imagine that the verse should be read as

 …..if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we since we definitely shall suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Italics inserted by author

If suffering is inevitable for the believer (and I think it is – see Acts 14:22), what is Paul telling the church? Why does he introduce the “fellow heir” topic and link it, make it dependent on our suffering with Him. If suffering is inevitable, a simple admonition to endure may have been expected. (But then the Bible often does not provide what is expected!)

I think the logic for the short passage goes like this

  • Sons of God – led by the Spirit of God Romans 8:14
  • Not Sons of God – have spirit of slavery, live in fear Romans 8:15
  • Children of God – witness of Spirit of God Romans 8:16
  • Children of God = heirs of God, proven by suffering with Him Romans 8:17

As an aside, it is interesting that Romans 8:9 also introduces this “possibility” or “conditional” (if so be..) thought into a passage that for many years I saw as one of the strongest passages defending the OSAS (once saved always saved) position.

So can a person be a child of God and experience no suffering? In other words, if a child of God experiences no suffering, will they experience glorification?

This is a short post, primarily due to my lack of ability to understand this verse without my previous position influencing me.

I am very open to discussion on this (and any other post) that may cause you to question my thinking. Your challenges to my thoughts are warmly invited and I look forward to some giving my some clarity on this passage.


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

The security of the believer pops up often in the Word, under various topics.  The general topic in this post is the widows list.

Widows in the early church commanded a large part of the concerns of the apostles writing when discussing church issues with Timothy.  Not only did Paul direct Timothy about the support of deserving widows, but the danger the young widows fell into if included.

Paul actually commanded Timothy to refuse to “honor” (or assist) the young widows!

If I understand the situation, the churches would aid widows by supplying the widows needs. The list would contain the names of the widows being assisted and Paul is trying to define the character of a widow that is deserving of inclusion on the list.

Conditional Security

Lets read the passage before we dig in.

1 Timothy 5:11-15

But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

Security Problems

Some may imagine that the description above is simply Paul’s way of keeping young widows free from being on the “widow list”, locking into some benefit from the church, but not able to maintain their faithfulness to the Lord.  Since the young widows have not been tested (like deacons – see 1 Timothy 3:10 – “proved”) they may slip from a faithful lifestyle to that of being idle, tattlers and gossips.

What shocks me when I read a passage like this is that of these Christian widows, some have turned aside after Satan.  That can’t be good no matter how you slice it.  Unless, of course, the doctrine of eternal security is true, where a Christians security is based on a single act of saving faith, and lifestyle, character and conduct have no bearing on a relationship with Jesus.

As a matter of fact, when the Lord called His disciples, He did so using the same terminology Paul uses of the widows turning aside after Satan.  A very interesting passage reflecting this is found in Matthew 16.

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:23-24

When Jesus states If any man will come after me…. it is the same term Paul uses of the widows actions toward Satan. Those who follow Jesus are commonly considered Christians.  If a Christian follows Satan, is that person still a Christian?

If I am thinking properly, and a Christian maintains their identity as a Christian while following Satan, it empties the power of the original call on the disciples.  When Jesus said to follow, He meant to follow HIM, not simply follow anything or anyone!

But what I find even more interesting is the previous verse, where Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him.  When Paul tells of the widows turning aside after (or behind) Satan, some word studies explain that the term is identical to Jesus telling Satan to get behind Him.

So let’s get this picture clear – widows who once followed Jesus are beginning to follow after (behind) Satan.

Jesus simply commands Satan behind Him.

You see – Jesus is in charge of all – He has all authority – He is the only One risen from the dead, never to die again.

Following anyone else is foolhardy, and in the end,  life threatening. He is the only One placed on King Davids throne, reigning  over the Church and all creation. Security is found in the person of Jesus, and following Him is the key.


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Romans 11:29

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. – Rom 11:29 ESV

In the midst of a discussion on the security of the believer, it is important to find passages that deal directly with the topic.

Many believers who follow after the eternally secure (OSAS) teaching find support in the passage we are looking at.  God’s faithfulness is emphasized in the passage above, but the application of the truth to the security of the believer seems to be misapplied.

You see, a characteristic of God (His faithfulness) is revealed in this passage, but the object of God’s faithfulness is the nation of Israel, not the salvation of the individual believer.

Regarding the security of the believer, the passage is not particularly comforting.

Conditional Security

This verse is found near the end of Paul’s eschatological (end time) discussion (Romans 9 – 11) on the Jewish nation.  Paul is addressing the complex topic of God’s faithfulness to the nation of Israel, and how the church is relates to the promises given to the nation of Israel.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord made promises to the nation of Israel.  To be considered faithful, God must keep the promises to those who are of the nation of Israel.

But that is the point.

Security Question

How can the promises to the nation of Israel be taken away without reflecting adversely on the faithfulness of God?  Is God an “Indian giver”?  (I have actually heard this type of accusation in church about the character of God.)

Earlier in the passage, Paul defined Israel as the people of God, those faithful to His covenant, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Such as Peter, James and John.  Such as Simeon and Anna in the Temple, Zechariah, Malachi, Hosea and the host of prophets and believers that were in the physical nation of Israel.

In other words the remnant.

The Israel of God.

Today we call this group of believers the Church.

By the time Paul gets to the last few verses of Romans 11, he is making his closing argument.  God’s gifts and calling are without repentance.  All those who follow the Messiah receive the gift and calling of being of the nation of Israel, with all of its promises and benefits.

But please notice that it is God’s gift and calling that are without repentance.  Since it is a covenant between two parties (God and the believer), we cannot assume the second party in the agreement has no bearing on the successful completion of the covenant.  Paul is defending God’s faithfulness to the covenant, not the believers responsibility in the covenant.

Earlier I mentioned that the passage gives little comfort to the eternally secure position. It is important to remember that this topic had to be addressed due to the loss of covenant that the physical nation of Israel was experiencing in the early days of the church.  As a matter of fact, the reason the physical nation of Israel lost the privileged status of the Sinaitic Covenant was their constant rebellion against the covenant the nation entered into with God.

The faithlessness of the physical nation of Israel resulted in the loss of covenant privilege.  Paul is reminding us that we cannot shift the blame to God, or assume God’s faithfulness will ignore rebellion.

The Babylonian and Roman seiges on Jerusalem seems to lay that false security to rest.

Consider.


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Conditional Security – Philippians 1:3-11

Philippians 1:3-11

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Recently I attended a Sunday School class that was decidedly of the “once saved always saved” persuasion and we were spending some time in the passage below.  Once we arrived at verse 6, the teacher mentioned how important this passage was and how he found comfort in it.  He was exulting in the good work of God, that is, to supply Christian security to believers based solely on initial faith at the moment of conversion.

But I had questions.

I don’t think Paul is addressing the eternal security of the believers in Philippi.

He is writing to one of his very favorite church groups.  The context is their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Lets break this down a bit.

When Paul mentions fellowship, what is he talking about?  The word Paul uses for fellowship can also be translated as partnership, or participation.  The Philippians were partnering with Paul in the gospel.  Is it simply the fact that they were Christians like he was and therefore they had fellowship?

Possibly.

But why is he defining the time limits so precisely, why does he have the ending clause of “from the first day until now”.  I think when Paul uses “now”, he is referring to a very specific partnering, but is being incredibly delicate.

Out of all the churches planted by Paul, the Philippians had one (of many) qualities that made it stand out from the rest.

They loved Paul.

And he was reminded of this love on numerous occasions.

Consider what we know about the first day of Paul’s experience with this group of people.

Acts 16:15

And when she (Lydia) was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:33

And he (the Philippian jailer) took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34 And he brought them up into his house, and set meat before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.

Also, the last time Paul visited with the fledgling church, after his release from the jail.

Acts 16:35-40

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the jailor reported the words to Paul, saying, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore come forth, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they now cast us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and bring us out.
38 And the serjeants reported these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans;
39 and they came and besought them; and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city.
40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

These three passages teach us a number of important characteristics of the Philippian church.

They were an inviting church.  Both of the main characters of the church (Lydia and the jailer) invited this trouble maker into their homes.  I did a quick review of the book of Acts and could not find another church that was as inviting to the apostle.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t find any church that expressly accepted Paul into their lives as the Philippians did.

Verse 35 to 40 need a bit more background to understand what possibly happened during Paul’s final moments with the church.  You see, the Philippian church was a Roman colony and as such had the Caesar’s eye on it more so than some of the other churches in the area.  A government town.  Paul, I think, used the injustice of the beating and imprisonment to broker a deal with the leaders of the City.  I think it may have went something like this.

Paul “You realize I am a Roman citizen and the beating and imprisonment you subjected us to was highly illegal”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul “The law of the Romans strictly forbids the beating and imprisonment of a Roman citizen without trial”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul  ” I have friends in the City that I care deeply for”

City Official “?”

Paul “Do we understand each other?”

In the final moments of Paul’s time with the Philippians, he may (or may not have) mentioned that he had discussed some issues with the city officials,  He definitely encouraged the new believers, sharing the love of Jesus with them and saying their goodbyes.

But wait – remember in chapter 1, verse three, where the apostle state they have shared in the gospel from the first day?  It is obvious that the Philippians shared with Paul and his companions their homes, their lives and their goods.

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul.

Granted, that may be a stretch, but they loved him and I think they gave him some moolah, you know – cash.  Also, if you look at the end of the book, specifically verse 15 of the fourth chapter, you will find that this church was the only church that supported Paul when he left them behind.

Consider

Philippians 4:10-19

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So lets get this straight.  The Philippians supported Paul at the following times
* When he left the Philippian church the first time
* Twice in Thessalonica
* At least one in Corinth
* At least once in prison (the reason for the writing of this epistle)

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul in Corinth.  (My my my –  nothing gets by you now, does it?)

Consider

2 Corinthians 11:9

and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Paul could take gifts from the Philippians since they loved him.  (They were not questioning Paul’s motives or reluctant in supplying his needs as some others were.

So, lets get back to the original issue.

What is the good work that Paul is referring to in the beginning of the book?

I humbly submit that he is referring to the Philippian church actively partnering in the gospel through supplying the apostles physical needs.

The “once saved always saved” teaching simply isn’t there!

Guess we will have to look somewhere else for that teaching!

Maybe a commentary?


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Cultural Jesus · Interpretation · Understanding

What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – John 16:13-14

Decades ago, when I was just a youngin’ in the Lord, I was befriended by a mature believer. Golly, it was so long ago, I forgot his name, and yet his witness has stuck with me.

He was a safety shoe salesman, hocking his wares from construction site to construction site in a large panel van. He covered an immense geographical region, and was often on the highway. As we got to know each other, he would find me occasionally reading my little New Testament, and would speak of his experiences with God.

One passion Frank had (let’s call him Frank), one passion he had was to speak in tongues. Now remember, I was very young in the Lord, and primed for any teaching. I had little to no discernment and found I gave men much freedom in their influence over me. (In other words, I didn’t test the teaching like I am instructed to!). I was entranced by his witness, listened to his stories and enjoyed his friendship very much.

Frank would drop by and tell me glowing stories of the Lord personally teaching him mysteries that were modern day messages directly from God, directed for him, and all he could reach. He was so charismatic (I mean that in both his personality and theology), it was hard to not be swept away with the excitement.

Until he spoke of a time he was driving down the 401 (North America’s busiest freeway), between Windsor and London Ontario, and he was “slain in the Spirit”. Wow! What does that mean Frank?

He described the rapturous utterances he spoke, of his shaking uncontrollably, and of his visions. His visions, that required his eyes to be closed. While on the busiest highway in North America. While travelling 100 km/hr. In a large panel van!

Golly. Something just don’t sound right!

He spoke of the Spirit guiding him into all truth and of the mysteries the Spirit was revealing in the last days, of the Spirit working through the gift of tongues to bring about revival and renewal, of the Spirit Spirit Spirit.

Enter George.

I have spoke of this fine believer in an earlier post. (See Story Time – Christian Accountability – Obey) During one of my visits with George, he spoke of a “shy” member of the Trinity, a member of the trinity that seeks to be in the background. What heresy am I hearing now? Golly, what is a young believer to do with so many influences?

George wasn’t in the habit of telling me magnificent stories of personal revelations, of visions and utterances. He simply sat down with me, and opened up the Word to the following passages.

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. – John 15:26

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-14

George looked at me, and spoke of the witness of the Spirit to be of Jesus, not of the Spirit. Whoa – coming from my time with Frank, it only made sense that the Spirit would speak of itself – how could we as believers not admit the message, visions and utterances were not from the Spirit? Why, that is simply logical, reasonable and popular!

But George challenged me with the written Word, and not with his feelings or his personal testimony in this area of faith.

Did Jesus want us to focus on the Spirit of truth? Is His message to His followers to focus on the Spirit, or to judge the source of the message by the content of the message. In other words, if it bears witness to the Savior, and glorifies Him, it is from the Spirit. The Spirit is the “shy” person in the Trinity, seeking to show off Jesus, and not Himself.

Golly, even though the Spirit has the authority of the Godhead, Jesus reveals that He (the Spirit) will not speak of His own authority. During this age of the Body of Christ, the Spirit mimics Jesus’ self humiliation while He was on the earth, and steps back from any attention grabbing, in order for all the glory to go to the Risen Savior.

My friend – consider your focus, who you are looking to. Looking for the gifts of the Spirit is misdirected, has caused trouble in the church before and will cause divisions in the Body today. It is abundantly clear in the written Word, that the Savior is the Lord, and that as we look to Him (and no other) that we will understand His will and know the truth.

But be warned. To walk as He walked includes a humility and servanthood that is not popular amongst many in the church, many who are supposedly providing glorious messages that God personally provides to them. Those who provide messages directly from God actually become the focus of the message, and the Lord is simply a means to an end for these messengers. I am convinced that the mystical messages are at least a distraction for the believer, for any mystical message that speaks the same as the Bible is unnecessary, and any message that speaks differently than the Word should be rejected.

His message has been given to us. Crack a Bible and read it. Keep your eyes on Him. And let the Spirit do what He desires, and not what you want!


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – John 15:16 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Romans 9:13 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Romans 8:28-30 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – 2 Timothy 2:25 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Genesis 50 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Isaiah 10 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Ephesians 1 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – John 6:44 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – John 17 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Acts 13:48 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Ephesians 2:8 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – John 10:26 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com