The conversion that “shook the world.”
December 15, 1850 – Charles H. Spurgeon was converted to Christ, and it was the conversion that “shook the world.” According to the following account given by Baptist Historian William Cathcart,” Spurgeon happened to go into a Primitive Methodist Chapel in Colchester, and heard a sermon on the text, ‘Look unto Me and be ye saved.’ From that hour he rejoiced in salvation.” However, in a sermon that Spurgeon himself delivered in the New Park Street Chapel on Sunday, January 6, 1856, he gave the date of his conversion as Jan. 6, 1850. Nevertheless the conversion of the 15 year old boy can never be called into question, for his life was changed radically as he placed his trust in the finished work of Christ for his redemption. It was a cold, snowy day, and the storm was so fierce that the scheduled preacher did not arrive to preach his message. Fifteen people or fewer made up the congregation. A local layman finally agreed to preach, and he chose for his text Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” In a brief few minutes the speaker had exhausted the text…and seeing the guilt-ridden face of the lad under the balcony, he fixed his eyes upon Charles, and pointing with his finger he shouted, “Young man, you’re in trouble! Look to Jesus Christ! Look! Look! Look! “ And Spurgeon did look in faith, believing, and God brought peace and purpose to his heart and life. Little could that layman have known that the storm in his heart was more severe than the storm outside the building! In his Autobiography, he gives an entire chapter to the subject of his conviction. He said, “Let none despise the strivings of the Spirit in the hearts of the young; let not boyish anxieties and juvenile repentance be lightly regarded.” Jesus said, “Forbid them not.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 523-24.
Tag Archives: Spirit
The conversion that “shook the world.”
304 – Oct. 31 – This Day in Baptist History Past Posted: 30 Oct 2012 05:59 PM PDT A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist October 31, 1771 – The Virginia Gazette, published A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist Preacher in Two Days Time. “Take the Herbs of Hypocrisy and Ambition, of each an Handful, of the Spirit of Pride two Drams, of the Seed of Dissention ad Discord one Ounce, of the Flower of Formality three Scruples, of the roots of Stubborness and Obstinancy four Pounds; and bruise them altogether in the Mortar of Vain-glory, with the Pestle of Contradiction, putting amongst them one Pint of the Spirit of Self-conceitedness. When it is luke-warm let the Dissenting Brother take two or three Spoonfuls of it, Morning and Evening before Exercise; and whilst his Mouth is full of the Electuary he will make a wry Face, wink with his Eyes, and squeeze out some Tears of Dissimulation. Then let him speak as the Spirit of Giddiness gives him Utterance. This will make the Schismatic endeavor to maintain his Doctrine, would the Church, delude the People, justify their Proceedings of Illusions, foment Rebellion, and call it by the Name of Liberty of Conscience.” Our Lord warned in Lk 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!” Our Baptist forefathers knew the fury of the tongue and pen as well as of the knife and sword. Speaking of John Waller and the early Separate Baptist preachers of Virginia, Lewis Peyton Little has written that “preachers of that day endured the most inhuman treatment and bodily suffering in order that they might make disciples for their Lord.” But the bitter scorn and ridicule that was heaped on them in many ways was even harder on them than the physical punishment as the above was an example. Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 451-52.
A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist
October 31, 1771 – The Virginia Gazette, published A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist Preacher in Two Days Time. “Take the Herbs of Hypocrisy and Ambition, of each an Handful, of the Spirit of Pride two Drams, of the Seed of Dissention ad Discord one Ounce, of the Flower of Formality three Scruples, of the roots of Stubborness and Obstinancy four Pounds; and bruise them altogether in the Mortar of Vain-glory, with the Pestle of Contradiction, putting amongst them one Pint of the Spirit of Self-conceitedness. When it is luke-warm let the Dissenting Brother take two or three Spoonfuls of it, Morning and Evening before Exercise; and whilst his Mouth is full of the Electuary he will make a wry Face, wink with his Eyes, and squeeze out some Tears of Dissimulation. Then let him speak as the Spirit of Giddiness gives him Utterance. This will make the Schismatic endeavor to maintain his Doctrine, would the Church, delude the People, justify their Proceedings of Illusions, foment Rebellion, and call it by the Name of Liberty of Conscience.” Our Lord warned in Lk 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!” Our Baptist forefathers knew the fury of the tongue and pen as well as of the knife and sword. Speaking of John Waller and the early Separate Baptist preachers of Virginia, Lewis Peyton Little has written that “preachers of that day endured the most inhuman treatment and bodily suffering in order that they might make disciples for their Lord.” But the bitter scorn and ridicule that was heaped on them in many ways was even harder on them than the physical punishment as the above was an example.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 451-52.
Holy Spirit investigation
A request for an explanation of a particular passage of scripture relating to the Holy Spirit has sent me scurrying to New Testament references to the Holy Spirit so that I could do some comparison. Here is what I have found.
These scriptures use Holy Ghost and/or Spirit and are all translated from the same Greek words. They have been diligently compared in several translations. They are – KJV, ASV, CEV, ISV, MKJV, and the YLT. I found that all translated the Greek words haggios as holy and the Greek word pneuma as Ghost or Spirit.
Here are the passages I compared: Luke 4:1, 11:13; John 1:33, 7:39; Acts 1:5, 2:4;
1Co_7:34 There is difference also betweenG3307 a wifeG1135 andG2532 a virgin.G3933 TheG3588 unmarried womanG22 careth forG3309 the thingsG3588 of theG3588 Lord,G2962 thatG2443 she may beG5600 holyG40 bothG2532 in bodyG4983 andG2532 in spirit:G4151 butG1161 she that is marriedG1060 careth forG3309 the thingsG3588 of theG3588 world,G2889 howG4459 she may pleaseG700 her husband.G435
CEV (contemporary english version) translates spirit.g4151 into mind pure. I included this verse because of the strange rendering made here.
1Co_12:3 WhereforeG1352 I give you to understand,G1107 G5213 thatG3754 no manG3762 speakingG2980 byG1722 the SpiritG4151 of GodG2316 callethG3004 JesusG2424 accursed:G331 andG2532 that no manG3762 canG1410 sayG2036 that JesusG2424 is the Lord,G2962 butG1508 byG1722 the HolyG40 Ghost.G4151
CEV replaces but by the Holy Ghost into and you will never curse Jesus.
Another verse that has been mangled by the CEV
Eph. 1:13, 3:5, 4:30; I Thess. 4:8; Rev. 21:10
One thing I pray you see is a consistency of translation here.
We will pursue any deviation in the next posting.
Sound doctrine is right thinking that reflects what the Bible says about ourselves, our God, and our world. Our challenge, therefore, is not to learn to talk and act like theologians, but rather to know and believe what God has said (I Timothy 1:3,10; II Timothy 3:10,16; 4:2,3; Titus 1:9; 2:1,7,10).
In God’s eyes, belief is more important than behavior. That’s not because what we do is not important. It’s because thoughts are the seeds of actions. Negatively put, misbehavior is usually an expression of misbelief. While physical factors may play a supporting role, misbehavior is usually rooted in the misbeliefs that occupy our souls.
Nothing cures wrong actions better than right thinking and sound doctrine. Without right thinking we follow feelings and desires into dark swamps of personal deception and eventual self-destruction.
Doctrine is far more than heavy words like:
- Pneumatology – the study of the Spirit.
- Soteriology – the study of salvation.
- Eschatology – the study of endtimes.
- Ecclesiology – the study of the church.
- Christology – the study of Christ.
- Hamartiology – the study of sin.
Doctrine is right thinking about our feelings, our desires, our relationships, our discouragements, our fears, our joys, and our hopes. it is right thinking about God, ourselves, others, and our world. Nothing is more urgent than learning to think and believe what is right. It has very little to do with feelings and is totally based upon doctrine as revealed by the Word of God.
Technorati Tags: Spirit, salvation, deception, self-destruction, endtimes, church, Christ, sin, desire, relationship, discouragement.
I. THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH HAS CHRIST ONLY AS HER HEAD.
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22).
II. THE CHURCH IS TO BE SUBJECT TO NONE BUT HER HEAD.
No one has the right to exercise authority over others in the church, and surely no outside body of men has the right (Matt. 20:24-28).
III. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF CHURCHES ACTING INDEPENDENTLY — OUR PATTERN.
1. The church acted independently in electing one to take Judas Iscariot’s place (Acts 1:15-24).
2. The church acted independently in selecting seven men for the office of deacon (Acts 6:1-6).
3. The church acted independently in sending Barnabas on a special mission to Antioch (Acts 11:22).
4. The church acted independently in sending missionaries (Acts 13:1-4
a. Holy Spirit called them;
b. The church sent them out; and
c. The Holy Spirit sent them forth.
5. The Antioch church acted independently in sending out missionaries, and other churches acted independently in helping to support them (II Cor. 8:1-4; 11:8,9; Phil. 4:15,16).
6. The church acted independently in determining to send relief to the poor saints at Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30).
7. The church in Antioch acted independently in choosing whom they wanted to carry their gift to Jerusalem (Acts 11:30).
8. The church is instructed to act independently in using the keys of the kingdom (Matt. 16:19; 18:18).
IV. THE CHURCH’S INDEPENDENCY IS LIMITED UNDER GOD.
1. A church is limited to the laws of Christ (Matt. 28:20).
An inherent right means a natural right in one’s self to do a thing. A commissioned right is a right received from another who has the power to bestow that right. The one commissioned has only the right to do that for which he is commissioned. Therefore the church cannot legislate nor turn her work over to others.
2. A church’s independency is limited to that which is scriptural” Scriptural baptism, Lord’s Supper, no other instructions than the Word of God (II Tim. 3:15-17).
3. A church is limited to preaching the gospel to lost souls, but God must do the saving. A church is not at liberty to change the gospel message.
4. Jesus said that His church was not of the world (John 17:16). The church is independent from world organizations and should remain so that her testimony may not be hindered.
The last post make, we looked at the work of John the Baptist and how he prepared the way for Jesus Christ. John had the material ready and waiting for Jesus to call from the shores of Galilee and begin His church. Take note that this is a physical work that can be seen and observed. Just a side note here – if there ever were a universal invisible church, surely it was here because these people were saved and baptized and for religious liberals today, salvation is the only requirement for membership in that mystical body of believers they say is the universal invisible church.
Jesus operates contrary to this popular misconceived heresy. Jesus knew there was not a universal invisible church, therefore He called these men from the seashores of Galilee, from their occupation of fishermen; Jesus then established them in a visible, local church. Here is the beginning of the church. Man has to arbitrarily move the beginning of the church to the day of Pentecost to allow for the heresies of – universal invisible church, close and open communion, believers baptism. Man wants what man wants and God and His Son become irrelevant in the Church that Jesus built. Matt. 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Many people bandy this passage about but do not be mislead. This passage makes the statement that the church was built upon Jesus. Notice the terminology, “I”. The day of Pentecost is too late for Jesus to use the word “I”. Note “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church Jesus built never went out of existence and never protested and came out of the church of Rome, therefore the church Jesus built is NOT any protestant denomination.
Here is what the bible teaches – The church is a visible church of Christ and is a congregation of baptized believers; associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel of Christ; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers are bishops or pastors and deacons; whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
THE CHURCH WAS SET UP DURING THE PERSONAL MINISTRY OF JESUS.
1. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the material (Isa. 40:3; Matt. 3:1-3; Luke 1:17).
2. Jesus took the material prepared by John and set up His church. Peter and Andrew were called out (Matt. 4:18-22; Acts 1:20-23).
3. The church is the executive in the Kingdom of God (Matt. 16:19).
4. Jesus and John preached that the kingdom was at hand (Matt. 3:1,2; 4:17).
5. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 9:35).
6. The kingdom was suffering violence then (Matt. 11:12).
7. The kingdom was in the midst of men (not hearts) (Luke 17:20,21).
8. Some refused to enter, and hindered others from doing so (Matt. 23:13).
9. Jesus said there was no doubt the kingdom “is come upon you” (Luke 11:20).
THE CHURCH BEFORE PENTECOST (FIVE PROOFS).
1. They had authority to baptize before Pentecost (John 4:1,2; Matt 28:19,20). No authority to do anything was given at Pentecost; there was an exercise of previously given authority.
2. They had a law of discipline before Pentecost (Matt. 18:15-17).
3. They had the Lord’s Supper before Pentecost (Luke 22:19).
4. They had heard Jesus sing in the church (Psalm 22:22; Matt. 26:30; Heb. 2:12).
5. They transacted business (Acts 1:15-26). Elected Matthias to take Judas’ place.
6. They had a church treasurer, Judas.
THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH IS LOCAL IN NATURE (Not Universal Nor Invisible).
1. The church in Jerusalem was local (Acts 1:12-26).
2. There was a local church in Antioch (Acts 11:26; 13:1).
3. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” (I Cor. 1:2).
4. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” (II Cor. 1:1).
5. “Unto the churches of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2; plural number – local).
6. “Unto the saints which are at Ephesus” (Eph. 1:1; Acts 20:17).
7. “To all the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (Col. 1:2).
8. “To the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1).
10. “John to the seven churches whichare in Asia” (Rev. 1:4).
11. “Tell it unto the church” (Matt. 18:17).
All of the above scriptures speak of a local church at a given place. There are some statements of general character in Ephesians which speak of things pertaining to any local church, but there are no scriptures that speak of an invisible or a universal church.
JESUS PROMISED PERPETUITY TO HIS CHURCH (Matthew 16:18; 28:20; Ephesians 3:21).
His churches have continued to this day having been know by different names in history: Christians, Montanists, Novations, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses, Petro-Brussians, Waldenses, Ana-Baptists, Baptists.
THE REASON FOR THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF HIS CHURCH THROUGH ALL AGES.
1. That the message of salvation might be perpetuated (Matt. 16:18-20).
2. That He might have a people contending for the faith system (Jude 3).
3. That He might have a people to call His own name and claim as His bride (Acts 15:14; Eph. 5:22-33).Technorati Tags: church, pentecost, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, perpetual, existence
The fundamental law is recorded in Exodus 20 and is the basis for all the law. Details of the law are found in the book of Deuteronomy. Although Christans are under grace and not law, every righteous and moral principle of the Law of Moses is taught in the New Testament.
I. WHAT THE LAW WAS.
A. It was an expression of the righteousness of God, and His disapproval of sin in man (Romans 5:13) For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Romans 2:12) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
B. It was a standard for right and wrong. It was wrong for Cain to kill Abel but there was no law that said so until the Law of Moses. The Law spelled it out.
C. it was an expression of the holiness of God (Romans 7:12). Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
II. WHY THE LAW WAS GIVEN.
A. Because of transgressions (Galatians 3:19). Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of trangressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
B. To be a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24). Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
C. To make sin known (Romans 7:7). What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet.
III. THE LAW WAS NOT GIVEN THAT MEN MIGHT OBTAIN LIFE THROUGH KEEPING IT.
A. It is impossible for any law to give life (Galatians 3:21). Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
B. No man ever kept the law perfectly (Romans 8:7,8). Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
C. Christ came to do what the law could not do (Romans 8:3). For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
D. Lawful use of the law (I Timothy 1:8-11). But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9. Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10. For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11. According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
IV. THE LAW WAS A MINISTRATION OF DEATH.
(II Corinthians 3:6-11). Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8. How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
V. THE LAW WAS DONE AWAY FOR THOSE IN CHRIST.
(Colossians 2:14-17). Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15. And having spiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17. Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
(II Corinthians 3:9-11) For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11. For if that which is done away was glorious, much mor that which remaineth is glorious.
VI. IF THE BELIEVER IS NOT UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES, IS HE WITHOUT LAW?
A. He is under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:3). For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
B. He has a new priest – an heavenly (Hebrews 7:11,12). If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
VII. OUR MOTIVE FOR DOING RIGHT WITHOUT BEING UNDER LAW.
A. The love of God motivates the child of God. It is the Law of love (John 14:23,24). Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
B. Love is the fulfilling of the law. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10)
C. The keeping of the law never caused any to love God, but the indwelling Spirit sheds God’s love in the heart through the new birth (Romans 5:5). And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
PSALM 121:1-8; [A Song of degrees] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
One must first understand WHAT is born of God, and what salvation really is. All who hold to a system of law-keeping or works for salvation have failed of grace, and therefore no security is affirmed for them. Only real believers are saved and have security. A distinction must be made between real and nominal believers. Peter was a real believer; Judas Iscariot was a nominal believer and never was saved.
I. THE PART OF MAN THAT IS SAVED AT THE NEW BIRTH.
A. The inner man (spirit) is born again in the new birth, and never sins again (I John 3:9). Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
B. It is a spiritual birth (John 3:6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (II Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
C. It is a sanctification of the spirit (Hebrews 10:14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. How long is forever?
D. The inner man is sealed unto the day of the redemption of the body (Ephesians 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 1:13,14) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Romans 8:23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
II. SALVATION IS FROM THE LORD AND NOT THE DEVIL.
God determines how far Satan can go (Job 1:12) And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. If Satan can get one child of God, he can get all; therefore, IF he doesn’t get some, then they get to heaven by Satan’s mercy.
III. NOTICE SOME POSITIVE STATEMENTS OF SCRIPTURE THAT TEACH SECURITY.
A. Psalm 37:23,24: They shall not be utterly cast down.
B. Psalm 89:29-36: His seed shall endure forever.
C. Psalm 91:9-12: The Lord is their refuge and no evil shall befall.
D. Psalm 121:7: They are preserved from all evil.
E. Isaiah 54:17: Nothing formed against them shall prosper.
F. John 5:24: The child of God is passed from death unto life (present), and shall not come into condemnation (future).
G. John 6:37: He shall not be cast out by the Lord.
H. John 17:24: The prayer of Jesus secures them.
I. John 10:27,28: It is impossible for them to perish – none can pluck out.
J. Romans 8:28: All things work to their good.
K. Romans 8:35-39: Nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ (Believers only are in Christ and have His love, II Corinthians 5:17).
L. Philippians 1:6: God will continue the good work begun in them.
M. Colossians 3:3: Their life is hid with Christ in God.
N. II Timothy 2:13: God cannot deny himself – to deny His child would be to deny Himself.
O. I Peter 1:3-5: They are kept by the power of God.
P. II Peter 1:4: They are partakers of the Divine nature.
Q. I John 5:4,5: They overcome the world.
R. I John 5:18: Satan cannot touch a child of God.
S. Jude 24,25: They are kept from falling, and shall be presented to God faultless.
T. Hebrews 7:25: God saves them to the uttermost.
U. Hebrews 6:4-6: If anyone could be lost after being saved, it would be impossible for him ever to be saved again.
There is only one plan of salvation. If one were to lose their salvation, they would have to be saved again by that same plan. To loss ones salvation and to be saved again, Christ would have to descend from heaven once more, die on the cross again, be buried and arise again the third day. This is the only way of salvation. The scriptural declaration is; Christ died once for all and by stating that we can lose our salvation says His work on the cross was incomplete and ineffective in securing a lost soul.
II PETER 3:18
A. Forgetting the Past. (Philippians 3:13,14) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1. Past Failures.
2. Past Victories.
3. Past Goals for they are to grow to the Glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
B. Forgiving An Offense. (Ephesians 4:32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
1. The Power of Kindness.
2. The Place of a Tender Heart.
3. The Peace of a Forgiving heart.
4. The Heavenly Example.
C. Forging ahead in Growth. (Hebrews 5:12-14) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1. Suspending the Culture of the World. (Galatians 1:4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
2. Depending on the Lord.
3. Feeding on the Word of God. (I Peter 2:2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
D. Following Freedom and Liberty Wisely. (I Corinthians 8:9) But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (Romans 14:7,8) For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
1. Secure in Salvation. (Ephesians 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
2. Safe in Conversation – “Way of Living.” (Galatians 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
III. THE MEANS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
A. The Scriptures. (John 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
1. Sanctification – Set apart to Holy Service to God.
2. The Truth Effectually Works In You. (I Thessalonians 2:13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
3. Milk to Meat. (I Peter 2:2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (Hebrews 5:13,14) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that aare of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
B. The Spirit.
1. Leading into all Truth. (John 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.
2. Our Change by the Holy Spirit. (II Corinthians 3:18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
3. Our Walk. (Galatians 5:16-25)
III. THE MOTIVES OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
A. Acquiescence – means consent, agree.
1. Obedience and Grace. (Romans 1:5) By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
2. Graciously receive Christ and Walk. (Colossians 2:6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
B. Affection. (John 14:15) If ye love me, keep my commandments.
1. Love of the Saviour.
2. Love of His Blessings.
3. Love of His Answers to Prayer.
This article is taken from The Missionary Baptist News. Dr. Joseph Brown (assistant Editor) wrote this article and I was very impressed with how he handled this subject.
TATTOO OR NOT? ANSWER ISN’T REAL SIMPLE.
By Dr. Joseph Brown
To tattoo or not to tattoo, that is the question. The question seems simple enough, so what is the answer? The answer is a bit more difficult. The things we do in seeking to satisfy our desires are evident in life’s questions. We turn our world upside down to find the answer that will satisfy our “wants” and our Lord at the same time. So off we go in quest of the perfect answer – to satisfy our flesh as well as our spiritual man. But notice what Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18).
It is difficult to ask the tough questions, isn’t it? Many don’t want to ask the tough questions because they are afraid that the answer does not align itself with their own personal desires. And when they muster the courage to ask the tough questions, the world just shrugs and tells them that “you” must search “your” heart and find “your” own answer. This leaves those who have the courage to ask not knowing which way to turn, because they have searched within and have asked the world and have come up empty.
Concerning the question, “To tattoo or not to tattoo?” the more serious questions we need to ask” 1. What is my mindset for wanting a tattoo? 2. What is my motivation for getting a tattoo? 3. What is my message having a tattoo?
WHAT IS MY MINDSET?
Am I following the Lord’s or the world’s example? Tattoos are not Christian neutral. Tattooing is not just an issue of what kind or where we allow it to be placed, but more importantly, it is an issue of the heart. Solomon declared, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Today when we reach wits end as we look for direction in life, we must understand that we need an inward direction only God can give. Many look to the world or to their own hearts for guidance. But Jeremiah cautions us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). When we ignore or minimize the deceitfulness of our own heart, we become like fish trying to live on land or humans trying to live on a planet that has no oxygen.
God told Israel, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28). He gave this command to the Israelites around 1444B.C. (right after the parting of the Red Sea) to forbid them from practicing the idolatrous customs they’d witnessed in Egyptian captivity. Their captors slashed themselves to express grief and to appease their plethora of imaginary deities. The Egyptians also tattooed their bodies with symbols of pagan gods.
The heart of God’s message isn’t about tattoos, but about reminding the Israelites they belong to him. They weren’t to adopt social norms of their time, an neither are Christians today. This passage in Leviticus, including the surrounding text, is specifically dealing with the pagan religious rituals of the people living around the Israelites. God’s desire is to set his people apart from cultural norms. The focus of the commandment is prohibiting worldly living, pagan worship and heathen witchcraft. God forbids His holy people to engage in practices which imitate the lost people of the world.
The Bible tells what happens to us when we have a genuine encounter with the Lord. Paul wrote, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
Today many are searching their own hearts but where are the searches leading them? We must prepare our hearts to receive God’s instructions. This is no easy task. But God is willing to help.
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION?
Am I seeking to glorify God or draw attention to myself? We are currently in an age of Christian narcissism. From worship styles, clothing, social drinking, bodily piercing and tattooing, many Christians are concerned with “Me, My, I and Myself.” They live out a life of – “It’s all about me – my wishes, my desires, my wants and my needs.” A mistaken belief is that a narcissist is in love with himself, but in reality he is in love with an image of himself. An image he creates and believes about himself that is based upon his perception of how he perceives that other people view him.
The Roman Caesar often had a slave as his constant companion, and the slave’s duty was to whisper in his master’s ear, “You are human.” Christians must constantly remind themselves of the change that has occurred in their lives. The word “human” is not enough. We need to remember Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian church, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Remember the focus of Christianity is not on “me,” it is on Jesus. The Christian life is not merely about what we do in life, it is about who we are in Christ.
Unfortunately, “Christians” often make God in their own image whenever the God of the Bible conflicts with what they desire to do. Though they agree with some parts of the Bible, they reject or ignore other parts that conflict with what they want to do. When you are faced with an important decision, you must remind yourself, “My body and soul belongs to Jesus. I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. I must do, think, and say that which is pleasing to my Lord who owns me.” Don’t let society, the culture or other people’s sense of what is in vogue at the moment determine what’s right for you – let Jesus do that!
WHAT IS MY MESSAGE?
Will my tattoo advance the Gospel or my own agenda? Remember, Jesus intended for His disciples to have the maximum impact possible. He told them to go into the whole world and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything He had commanded them. God wants His church to have the maximum impact. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).
To have maximum impact salt must be pure. Much of the salt of the time of Jesus was impure – mixed with grit. On a picnic it only takes a few grains of sand to ruin your lunch. It only takes a few grains of impurity to ruin a witness. That is why we are committed to excellence in all we do as a Christian.
When writing to the Corinthian church Paul related the Christian life to the Isthmian Games, which were held every other year in Corinth. He declared, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself shoud be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:25-27). Paul pictures an athlete and the great self-control he exhibits in training. He gives up the normal pleasures of the day to condition his body for the race. he looks beyond the momentary pleasures of the body to something greater.
The words “striveth for the mastery” meant that the runner was willing to train hard, run hard and strain every muscle and nerve – every fiber of his being to win the race. you’ve got to be willing to pay the price. Christian achievements don’t “just happen”; there are no shortcuts to discipleship.
When running the race of life there should be no doubt that you’re running for Christ. Paul declared that he kept his body under subjection. The word “subjection” speaks of being a slave. he made his body a slave to spiritual desires rather than allowing his body to make him a slave to fleshly desires.
Paul fought with his fleshly desires until he knocked them out and let the Spirit of God control him. Are you that determined – that disciplined?
Whether we like it or not all of our lives are on public display. People are watching as we run the race of life. Paul warns us not to become a castaway. The word castaway speaks of someone being disqualified or disapprove. Paul didn’t want anyone to look at his life and say Christ and Christianity are a failure. It is possible to be disqualified in the Christian race because your testimony and life no longer impact those around you.
To tattoo or not to tattoo, that is the question. Avoiding tattoo parlours doesn’t make you spiritual. Nor does having a tattoo make you unspiritual. If you have one or more tattoos, do not quit working in the kingdom of God. you are not disqualified from the Lord’s work. In the end, the important question that we must all answer is, “Would Jesus tattoo?”