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[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]"The Bible says" was certainly an assertion that preceded doctrinal teachings presented by previous generations of preachers in our Movement [and even by those of other religious persuasions among whom was Billy Graham].I like Billy Graham who stood up and asserted: "The Bible says." However, there are times for motivational sermons and I was impressed with the coherence and evident character as compared to lots of preachers.
It is important to say that the change people who are trained in theology have been very destructive.
Jason says that others know that our culture is ordered by Christianity or it's principles.
The problem that started more than a decade ago was based on the false idea that Christianity was the CAUSE of all of the problems. That was the old modern era which they want to replace with a postmodern, post-Christian, post biblical world. It is based on Catholic Liberation Theology and Feminist theology.
I would hope that Jason uses his considerable talent on the text--as it has been taught. The culture which BUILT our nation was based on preaching the text and teaching it believing that it has the Spirit power to transform or regenerate.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the [our] holy spirit;
Only when people are fed with the Word and not continually disturbed in their quiet rest will people return.
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]I also learned that Billy Graham initially believed that baptism was necessary in order to be saved. If true, perhaps someone can explain why later on he preached: "be saved now; be baptized later."In my earlier years, I always wondered why Billy Graham never mentioned being baptized when, during his TV crusades, he called for people to get out of their seats and come forward to give their lives to Christ. He always mentioned having faith and going to church, but never baptism. Then later I learned that his roots were Baptist, a denomination that does not believe that baptism is essential for salvation.
It is my understanding that Billy Graham believed that baptism was required and offered to reward anyone who could convince his wife. I believe that he said that he needed to defer baptism to become A BAPTIST PREACHER. At least he did not deny the Bible.[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]"The Bible says" was certainly an assertion that preceded doctrinal teachings presented by previous generations of preachers in our Movement [and even by those of other religious persuasions among whom was Billy Graham].
Do you think Change Agents in this present generation make that same assertion ("the Bible says")? NO, NO, NO!!! Of course, not!!! What dominates their thinking is that the church of Christ -- which and as a "denomination" to the change agents -- should be accommodating to "other" denominations and allow itself (the church) to compromise the truth. In their thinking: it is not about what "the Bible says"; rather, it is about how the church (that Christ founded) should be just like "other DENOMI-nations."
The objective of the Roman Catholic Church in our day is to convert Protestant Churches and to provide options and opportunities such that the Protestants "come home to Mother Church" headquartered in the Vatican. They sing "Protestant" hymns including those written by Martin Luther, leader of the Reformation [of the Roman Catholic Church] Movement. They now encourage Bible reading [contrary to what occurred during the Dark Ages], but to the extent of finding and explaining away "nebulous" passages of scriptures that support their doctrine and man-made traditions in order to rebut Protestant teachings against the made-into-a-pope Peter, worship of the Virgin Mary, etc.
In regard to Titus 3:5, this passage specifically justifies and validates the conversion process described in Acts 2:37,38. "Works of righteousness" were not required in conversion, simply meaning why do good works first in order to be converted to Christ? To the Christian now, CONVERSION was in regard to his PAST SALVATION.
How was that CONVERSION achieved? Let Acts 2:37,38 and Acts 3:19 and Titus 3:5 explain it:
The benefits of CONVERSION (belief, repentance, baptism) are two-fold:
(1) In order to receive FORGIVENESS OF (PAST) SINS in the blood of the Lamb (Acts 2:38) ... or ... "according to his mercy He SAVED us by the WASHING OF REGENERATION" (Titus 3:5)
-------------------- AND ------------------
(2) Ye shall receive the gift of the spirit of MAN made HOLY (Acts 2:38), a.k.a. "the times of REFRESHING shall come (Acts 3:19), a.k.a. "RENEWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT [OF MAN] (Titus 3:5).
Let me briefly explain the 2nd benefit: it is the SPIRIT of the newly converted man that is made HOLY. It is the converted man who is REFRESHED or who has a CLEAR CONSCIENCE when CONVERTED to Christ.
Trust me: The Holy Spirit OF the Lord God DOES NOT NEED REFRESHING OR RENEWING!!! Rather, it is the converted MAN'S SPIRIT that is made HOLY, RENEWED and REFRESHED.[/color]
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]B,It seems rather difficult to believe that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than one's life source or spirit made holy at conversion. That may be true, but Jesus implies that the Holy Spirit or Comforter is more than that:
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17 KJV).
"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" (John 14:26 KJV).
"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" (John 15:26 KJV).
"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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:7-8 KJV).
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13 KJV).
In the passages above, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit, Comforter, and the Spirit of truth are one and the same. Thus the Holy Spirit need not be seen as an entity completely separate from God/Christ; rather it is the very Spirit of God/Christ who will dwell within and guide the apostles and all faithful Christians after Jesus leaves the earth.
Suffice it to say that the Holy Spirit IS.