Some Christian teachers proudly proclaim they embrace everybody & their beliefs, because they don’t want to be divisive. This may sound good to many of you, but is not a biblical teaching. Some may even consider themselves a better person because of this ecumenical approach & cite part of Romans 16:17 as proof for that:
‘Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences’
Great peace have those who love Your law, ( instructions, teachings H8451)
And nothing causes them to stumble.(H4383)‘. Psalm 119:165
With so many religions in the world, but even with so many different denominations & interpretations among Christians themselves, how do we know that what we have been taught about Jesus Christ is the truth?
Galatians – Part 2
By Brian Franco (Used with permission)
But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him face to face, because he stood condemned. Before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles. But when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the other Jews, likewise, joined together in hypocrisy with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, why do you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” 2:11-14
Galatians – Part 1
By Brian Franco (Used with permission)
Paul’s letter to the Galatians gives us a brief glimpse into Paul’s theological beginnings and deals with an issue regarding justification and its relation to our inheritance as the children of God. There are 6 chapters in total, so let’s go through ’em! Part 1 will mostly cover the introductory portions of Chapter 1.
Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand here and place it in My side. Do not be faithless, but believing.”28 Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed.” John 20:27-29
We need to understand that Thomas was a Jew. Jews only believed in one God, YHWH the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, & were very careful not to use His name in vain. By the Scriptures of the Old Testament they new about the Messiah, but didn’t have a complete understanding or revelation about Him, until Jesus came.
The prophets of the Old Testament said in referring to their coming Messiah, that He is God or Divine:
The gospel is ‘ good news’ for sinners, it is eternal salvation available to everyone. In the New Testament we find the rest of the instructions that we need to learn in order to know God better & to do His will, which in reality its the best for us (to benefit & protect us). For example, in book of Corinthians we find the following verse, which it’s called the ‘Gospel in a nutshell’. It is the only true gospel that the apostles preached:
God made promises to Abraham (Gen.12:1-3, 17:7) & his’ Descendant/The Seed‘ (Christ, the Messiah) but the Jews stumbled on this (Isaiah 28:16, Rom. 9:33), they misinterpreted it & took it as it was just for all Abraham’s descendants in the flesh, Israelites. Sadly they still believe that today! Most of them believe in salvation because of their race. But we’ll talk about this on a next post ‘Who is Abraham’s Seed‘.
All through out John chapter 3 we notice so many times that salvation if for whosoever believes in Jesus Christ. The King James translates the Greek word ‘pisteuōn‘ in ‘beliveth‘ to indicate the verb is in present progressive ‘believing‘, the action still continues.
Some Christians believe that once you are saved you will always remain saved, and that no matter what you do after that, including sinning, your salvation is still secured. Some others will add that if you sin willingly, then it is because you were never saved in the first place; even after 20 or more years of walking faithfully with God, if you fall, it means you were never really saved.
We’ll try to explain our position on this subject. We are not attacking people who believe differently, we are not questioning their salvation or attacking their character. We believe this is a very important doctrine, but we also think it is still not an issue to divide over if the person has the Foundational Doctrines right, unless ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ is used as a license to sin. Sound Doctrine is very important because what we believe is going to affect our actions & way of living.
God places on us the responsibility to guard our hearts from hardening. Deut. 15:7, Prov.4:23, Prov. 28: 14 We are warned NOT to harden our hearts.
So what about the passages where God hardens peoples hearts? The main confusion people encounter in this regard has to do with Calvinist’s teachings that say passages which speak of God hardening human hearts prove God’s selective election & determinism from the foundation of the world. That God hardens the hearts of people not elected for heaven so they won’t receive salvation.
But God is not saying one thing and doing another. God is Just! Deut. 32:4, Jeremiah 17:10, Job 34:12 , etc.