Joined: 5:26 PM - Jun 29, 2012

3:26 PM - Apr 20, 2017 #71

OP:

Scriptures speaks of faith as such: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

Faith, as can be learned from this scripture, pertains to things not seen. It is the EVIDENCE of things unseen. This means, that, faith comes, when there is nothing with which man may see with his eyes, nor touch, smell, hear, or taste, that he may believe. As such, the man may have faith, which is the very substance of the things that he can't see, touch, smell, hear, and taste - the evidence of such things.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

Here are some scriptures. May faith come to you by reading the word of God. If you have a Bible, read them from there.

Matthew 1:21
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:30
30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Have faith, by reading or by listening to the reading of the word of God, in Jesus and be saved!

TOMAS:

Yes, faith comes to us by hearing or reading about the gospel in the Bible.

So faith does not come to us from someone, but from something, namely the words in the Bible. It is the gift of God, because God has inspired the Bible.

ME:

You believe that faith does not come from someone, but from something.

And so you don't believe that faith comes from God. Very well then for you. As for me, it comes from God. As I have explained, by hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes not from hearing just anybody else. It must be God that one hears, who is the truth.

One can hear somebody by reading what he has written, say a letter. It is the author that one hears when one reads his words in the letter he wrote. It's not the letter that speaks to him, but the author, speaks to him, through his words in the letter. And so when one reads his letter, it is like the author speaks to the reader. If God were the author, then when one reads, it then means that God speaks to the reader. And the reader could either believe or not what it is that God says, and could have faith. So, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of not just anybody, but of God.

In my OP, I said:

"If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

"If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

Tomas:

Faith in a way comes from God, because he has inspired his word. So God speaks to us with his word.

"If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree, one can be saved from just hearing the word of God proclaimed by someone. Still, it would be a foolish thing to say, the idea like what many Catholics believed, that only priests and monks can read scriptures, others would be confused and come up with heresies, that is wrong. Of course it can happen, but often does not happen. But Catholics tend to think that any deviation from the Catholic faith is a heresy, even though nowadays they prefer to use nicer words like 'separated brethren'.

"If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree. Some churches claim that only the leadership of their church has the right to decide on what is the right interpretation, that there should not be a private interpretation, based on a misreading of a verse about prophecies. It is not correct, it is a wrong teaching, but it is not a deception, much less being against God. I can understand why some churches think so, the principle of sola scriptura, without the leaders being guided by God into the correct interpretation, it naturally leads to a great diversity of doctrines, since many verses are difficult to understand. But that is really a virtue, Christians can have many interesting and even fruitful discussions of verses, and if we are not too stubborn, we can learn from each other. After all, God wants us to be humble and not claim that we are infallible, that we can understand everything in the Bible. But I can see how some are turned off by all the diversity and just want to hear one interpretation, with authority, with no dissent, so there is unity. Well different strokes for different folks. Some prefer one, some prefer another.

ME:

So, if you don't agree that faith in God comes from God, though you at least admit that faith in a way comes from God, from whom does it comes from?

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like you saying that, "if somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, that he is for God and not against God".

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like saying that, "if somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, that he is for God and not against God".

Well, what could I say, but that I respect your opinion. In my opinion, those who prohibits one to read scriptures, or seemingly allows them but in fact put a condition which in effect is tantamount to really be not hearing what it is they read, such a one is against God, and not for God.

Tomas:

Faith comes from us hearing the word of God, so ultimately it does come from God, since God inspired his word for us.

If someone tells me that I am not to read scriptures, more commonly he would be against God, he might be a communist or a Muslim or something. But if he was an ancient Catholic, worried that we might misunderstand the Bible and go into heresy, then he meant well, he was for God.
Likewise if someone tells me that I can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he could be evil, or he could be for God, just wanting me to accept the interpretations of his church, believing that somebody in his church, like past popes, past church councils, holy traditions, were inspired by God to interpret some verses correctly, or in case of INC, then FYM, Erano Manalo, Eduardo Manalo were inspired to interpret verses correctly, or similarly in case of some other churches. It is not correct, God does not tell anyone how to interpret a verse, since the Bible tells us not to go beyond what is written. So it is better for us to study the Bible for ourselves, God will not give us any interpretations except interpretations written in the Bible. That is the principle of sola scriptura. But many do not believe it. And it seems like fewer and fewer believe it, Pentecostalism or Charismatic Christianity have become so popular, and many Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in messages from dreams, visions, interpretation of tongues. I am not saying there can't be miraculous interpretation of tongues, but those would be like prayers of believers, they would not be messages from God, so they would not be inspired, inerrant. So in such prayers we can encourage each other, or say other things, but we should not expect them to be inerrant. So it is wrong to think that I have received a message from God, and so you should believe it, but if I were wrongly to believe it, I would not be against God, I would just be in error on this. So to be more correct, people should not listen to my interpretations or your interpretations or anyone else's interpretations, as if they are inspired by God, because they are not.

ME:

And so we believe differently. You believe that faith comes from you, while I don't believe that faith comes from me.

You believe that man is saved by his good works and faith, faith in God, am I right? If I got your belief right, then perhaps, you believe that it is man that basically saves himself. Why do I say that? Let me start with good works. Is not good works coming from you, that is, you are the one who cause it and made it happen? Next on faith. You say that faith comes from you, that is, you are the one who cause it that you have faith, by reading scriptures. So, clearly it's you who basically caused it all, and that by it, God will save you.

No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?

Tomas:

Ultimately, faith is a gift from God. God offers us this gift, if we recognize it, if we know the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith. If we keep rejecting the gift, by not believing the gospel, we have not accepted that gift. God will not force the gift on us, he lets us have free will. So as we read the Bible, which is inspired by God, and we become convinced about the gospel, we accept the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith, and also we have read that we need to repent, so we repent of the sins we know of, so God saves us, justifies us, adds us to the church, forgives our sins. We also find out in the Bible that some things are sinful, so we try to avoid such sins. We don't become sinless, we can slip up, but then we repent. But if we decide to rebel against God, refuse to repent any more, start living in sin, doing bad works continually rather than good works, then like Heb. 10:26 says, there is no more sacrifice for sins. So Christ's sacrifice no longer applies to us, we have lost salvation. But it is not like some churches claim, that whenever we sin, we have lost salvation, that is based on a mistranslation of Heb. 10:26. Many modern translations have corrected that error. Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible. And since we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us helps us resist temptation, avoid sins. But we still have free will, we can still rebel against the HS and start living in sin, and lose salvation. Though normally we could slip up and commit a sin, and we feel terrible, we repent of the sin, so we remain saved. We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved. Though ultimately even good works come from God, because God tells us in the Bible, what are some good works, like prayer, giving to the church, giving to the poor, helping people in need, discussing the Bible, trying to persuade unbelievers, studying the Bible. But we have free will to do the good works or not. God does not force us into good works.

Now if some saved Christian is misguided enough to forbid us from reading the Bible, he is still for God, because he is saved. Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.
Likewise in some churches, people are misguided enough to claim, based on misreading a verse, that there should not be private interpretations of any verses, that you should instead accept the interpretation of the church leadership. We see that for example in the Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the INC, the New Apostolic Church, and some others. Now plenty of people in such churches are saved Christians, so they are not against God, they are for God, but have the wrong interpretation of this. So they don't like a diversity of beliefs in their church.
But it is not a matter of denying the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures. No, Christians in general are aware that God is omnipotent, that He has the power to grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words, if that is what He were to want. He could grant all saved Christians to understand every verse in the Bible, so that all Christians would have the same beliefs on every doctrine, like pacifism, oaths, eating blood, women obeying husbands, slaves obeying masters, women speaking in church, women being elders, masturbation, holy pictures or statues, Mary remaining a virgin or not, Mary being sinless, infant baptism, water baptism by sprinkling or pouring instead of always immersing, the words used during water baptism, how many persons is God, and various other beliefs that Christians disagree with each other. Sure God has the power to reveal to us the correct interpretation of each verse. But He does not do it, he wants us to feel humble and not feel infallible, so he inspired Paul to write the commandment not to go beyond what is written. So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other. Yes, God has arranged it wonderfully.

ME:

It seems to me that what you take here as faith refers to a set of doctrines or beliefs, which in this case, those that are found in scriptures, or to which you refer, I suppose, as what makes up the gospel. But if you'll get back to the OP, the faith in view is clearly not referring to a set of doctrines or beliefs, but refers to such a thing as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb.11:1). It is that by which we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb.11:2). So, I hope you'll take faith as referring to that in our discussion here. And as I said, up there in the message title, the ultimate is that faith comes from God, a gift from God, and not coming from us.

Regarding good works, are you saying then, and of course, in the ultimate and final analysis, that good works comes from God?

Tomas:

Yes, ultimately good works come from God, we were saved to do good works, and God tells us in the Bible what works are good and what are bad.

ME:

I would presume now that you'll take faith as I have pointed out in my post above, in our discussion under this thread.

I'm glad you finally come to realize that, regarding good works, that the Christian was saved to do good works, rather than, the Christian is saved by doing good works.

Tomas:

Yes, initial salvation is by faith, including repentance of sins. But to remain saved, we have to be doing good works, and not live in sin, bad works, refusing to repent. After all, faith without works is dead.

ME:

I don't want to start another issue in this segment Tomas.

So let me just post here what has been settled under this segment:

1. Faith comes from God.
2. The Christian was saved to do good works.
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Michael:

Could you please answer my questions in my posts, so I would not get lost along the way? I kind of find it difficult sometimes to follow the point of our discussion if you don't. Thanks.

Tomas:

Yes, that is what I am doing now, based on your request.
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Michael:

You said "Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible."

That's right. But what has that got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, so that, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible. And we are not saved by good works, but if we are saved we will do good works and repent of any bad works, or else we lose salvation.

ME:

I'm glad to hear from you now, having waited fro a long while now, that salvation is not by good works, and that we are saved to do good works.

You said "I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible."

Am I right in my understanding of your statement, that it is you who earn the right to be saved because of having faith, except that, you just don't want to take credit for it, and give the credit to God? That's a virtuous and admirable thing indeed. But don't you agree that, one does not earn such right? And instead, those who received Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name?

Tomas:

I have heard there is a verse saying we don't earn the right to be saved, though I can't find it in the Bible. So if it is there, we have not earned it, after all, even though we came to faith by our free will, the credit goes to God, who has inspired the scriptures, so that by reading or hearing them we can receive the right to be saved.

ME:

It's good that you admit now that the right to become children of God is not a thing that is earned. That's right, for the right to become children of God is given to those who receives Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to those who believe in His name, the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Please consider this Tomas. This is the situation, man sinned, and so he will be punished with death in the lake of fire.

Now, put your focus on man and not on God, and let's go back to the time of Adam. Can man save himself from going to the lake of fire? What can man do, by himself or with the help of other men, to save himself or themselves from going to the lake of fire? Can he do any work that would save himself?

If your answer is none, would you agree that man is helpless by himself? That there is nothing he can do, nor he can do with the help of other men, so that he would not suffer death in the lake of fire? That his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, to whom he sinned against and who will punish him? That only God would be able to save him?

Tomas:

Of course a man cannot save himself from the lake of fire. But that does not mean he cannot do anything. He can learn about the gospel, he can gain faith, and he can repent. And then God saves him. So I agree, his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, only God can save him.

ME:

Good that you agree that man cannot save himself from the penalty of sin, and that the only way is that God will have mercy on him and save him. Now, God knows them who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and seek His mercy. And surely, God will bring about their salvation, according to His way of salvation, which He purposed in Christ Jesus.

I think this segment comes to a close here.
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Michael:

You say "We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved."

But what does free will got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God? Or are you implying that, since you are making the choice, that by choosing to do good work have given you the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

See my comment above.

ME:

See my comments above.
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Michael:

You said "God does not force us into good works."

That's right. God never forces anyone to do anything, Tomas. Did I say God forces us, that you are pointing this here now?

Tomas:

You did not say it. So I guess you agree that we have free will to do good works or not.
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Michael:

I don't know why you say "Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.", when salvation is not really the issue on this matter. Please stick to the issue. This is what I posted:

"No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?"

The issue is, whether such people who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, or if they allow but forbids one to interpret what he reads, are for God or not. Wherein I say, that I would not say they are for God. For if they are for God, they would encourage the reading and study of the words of God, for by reading and reading the words of God, is good and so is pleasing to God. Why forbid, if you are for God? And the sad thing is, most of these people are leaders of a religious organization, which affect tens, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people under their authority. This certainly is a serious concern.

Tomas:

I guess to me, when I hear someone saying that a person is for God, I think he means the person is saved. And when I hear someone saying that a person is not for God, then I think he means the person is unsaved. So that is why I was talking about salvation requirement. But if you feel a person can be not for God but still be saved, then OK. It just seems strange semantically.

ME:

Ok. I understand now why you talk about salvation.

On my side, "a person is for God" means he is not against God, and "a person is not for God" means he is against God.

Anyway, I understand that you agree with me on the issue on this segment.

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, certainly are man made rules by some religious organization, and are also not supported nor found in scriptures, and are rules that clearly keeps the members far from God and the truth, rather than keeping them close. This thing clearly is a thing that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

If people can't do their own private interpretations of verses, or even can't read the Bible, they can still be saved, by hearing the gospel from others, like from priests or ministers.

ME:

But that is not the issue here Tomas.

Tomas:

It is a big part of the issue. So while telling people not to have private interpretations of verses is not God's doctrine, it is wrong doctrine, still it is not against God, because people can be saved in such a church anyway.

ME:

The issue is not if people can be saved Tomas, but that, forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, is something that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

I guess in a way, any wrong doctrine can be considered against God. So in that respect all saved people would have doctrines against God. But that is a strange meaning of being against God. After all, saved people are said to be for God, no matter how many bad doctrines they have.

ME:

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is leading a believer away from God. Away from God means away from the truth. If that is not against God, then that would only mean the opposite, that is, it is for God. This thing shots one's eyes and ears, if not his spirit, to what God have caused to be written and be read and heard by him in scriptures, and enslave him to the extent that he is only to believe what they have to say to him.

Tomas:

It is true that it can be harder to get saved that way. So it is bad doctrine. But it is a well meaning doctrine, to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Still, when a person is saved, he is for God, no matter his bad doctrine against reading the Bible, or against private interpretations.

ME:

The issue here is not whether the person is saved or not, but that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, regardless of the intent one says why he commands it on the person, is ungodly. This is against God and not for God, even while, one says he does it to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Each person must not be denied the freedom, as God have given every man, to hear the preacher, any preacher for that matter, and examine what it is he preach, whether it is in keeping with God's words in scriptures or not.

Tomas:

It is ungodly, but then any sin is ungodly. For example fornication, it is ungodly. But if a Christian does not know it is a sin, and has premarital sex with his fiancee, his sin is forgiven due to his ignorance, Romans 14. So likewise if he does not believe in reading the Bible, or in private interpretation of verses, it is sinful, but since it is a sin of ignorance, his sin is forgiven if he is saved, Romans 14. So he is not against God. But for God.

ME:

So, you agree that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is ungodly.

Tomas:

I can agree with that, in the sense that every sin is really ungodly. Even a sin committed out of ignorance, is ungodly, because it is still a sin. But if a saved person commits a sin out of ignorance, he is forgiven and remains saved, Romans 14.
Even today, there are quite a number of churches that forbid private interpretation of verses that you read, that tell you to follow the intepretation of the church instead, based on a faulty understanding of 2 Peter 1:20. But even preachers in such churches can be already saved, even though they believe that faulty understanding and forbid private interpretation of verses. The sin is ungodly, but being committed in ignorance of the correct understanding of 1:20, the sin is forgiven to the person who is saved.

ME:

So, you agree that it is ungodly, and is sin. Now, if itis ungodly and is sin, is that not something against God? You may say, if they are ignorant of it being a sin, that they will be forgiven of it. It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?

As it is, such man, almost always in the category of one such as FYM, the topmost leader of a church organization, who forbids reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, does an ungodly thing, as to teach and commands the members of something that is false and ungodly.

Now, of course, there is the possibility that he is ignorant of it. But to them who knows the truth, specially the church members, it is their duty to rebuke him of this wrong. And this must alarm them to the point of reconsidering putting to the test, the spirit in the man.

Tomas:

If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent.
Now as far as FYM, he did not forbid reading the Bible. I am not aware of any modern church that forbids reading the Bible. I am aware just that some centuries ago, Catholics discouraged the laity from reading the Bible, fearing that could lead to heresy, due to alleged misunderstanding the Bible. And they banned reading Bible translations done by alleged heretics, thinking those translations were biased and dangerous. Though certainly at the time of early Reformation, Catholics themselves started producing their own translations of the Bible, and allowed already laity to read those translations, while banning Protestant translations. And certainly with the invention of the printing press, Bibles were no longer rare, lots of people could buy a Bible, and read the Bible for themselves.
But certainly it is true that INC interprets 2 Peter 1:20 as forbidding us from having private interpretations of Bible verses. And they are not the only ones with that interpretation. Catholics have the same interpretation, I have debated with Catholics about that. And such an interpretation of the verse is found in a number of other churches, especially churches that believe they are the true biblical church. So one can see such an interpretation for example in the New Apostolic Church, in the Way International, in the True Jesus Church, in the Philadelphia Church of God and also many other offshoots of the former Worldwide Church of God, which had the same belief about this verse. Simply such churches believe that their leader was guided by God into the true doctrine, so then if you disagree with that leader on any doctrine, you are disagreeing with God too. Therefore you should not have private interpretation of any verse and teach that, you should just follow what your church teaches.
And I can see how that verse can be misunderstood this way, the meaning is not so obvious, that it could not be misunderstood this way.
You say INC members should know better, and should correct their leaders, tell them that private interpretations are OK. But the average faithful INC member really believes, that God guided FYM into the right doctrines and has been guiding the subsequent Executive Ministers. And so since God guided them, then disagreeing with them would be disagreeing with the one who guided them, God. And so that is why there should be no private interpretation, you need to agree instead with what the church teaches.
And similarly I have discussed with faithful Catholics, they are convinced that God has guided their holy traditions, church councils, and popes, into the right doctrines. So to disagree with the church on any doctrine, would be to disagree with the one who guided the traditions, church councils, and popes, namely to disagree with God.
And they point out the alleged chaos that has resulted from private interpretations, in Protestantism, with many thousands of denominations, disagreeing with each other on various doctrines. Like some Protestants believe in baptizing babies, others don't. Some believe that only immersion baptism is valid, others say it can be done in other ways, like sprinkling or pouring water. Some believe water baptism is necessary for salvation, others believe water baptism saves but one can be saved without it, others believe water baptism is just symbolic and has no connection with salvation. Some believe in pacifism, some allow both pacifism and non-pacifism, some reject pacifism. Etc., there are many doctrines on which Protestant churches disagree with each other.
So to Catholics, to INC members, to New Apostolic Church members, etc. it looks like chaos caused by private interpretations. While to us, God allows this diversity of doctrines on secondary issues, allows private interpretations, as long as we believe the gospel, otherwise we are not saved.
And in fact, just like Catholics believe God is guiding the church, INC members believe God is guiding the church to correct doctrines, etc., one can find even some Protestants believing similarly, that God is guiding the Christians into correct doctrines. I have seen that in your own beliefs. Of course then when such Protestants disagree on some doctrine, each one can believe he was guided right and the other one was not guided. So one Protestant can say God has guided him to understand that babies ought to be baptized, another Protestant can say that God has guided him to understand that infant baptism is invalid, and only believers ought to be baptized. Obviously they can't be both right. But when we apply the principle of sola scriptura, based on 1 Cor. 4:6, we can see that when the Bible was finished, that ended further guidance, so only the Bible guides us, and no one guides us to understand the Bible. So we just need to study the Bible and try to figure out from that, whether infant baptisms are valid or not. God does not give the guidance about it to the church, or to anyone of us.
And concerning churches that do not believe in private interpretation, one can see especially in the Catholic church, that many Catholics are not obedient to that, they come up with their own interpretations. So for example the Catholic church teaches, that their holy tradition forbids contraceptives, yet certainly here in the US most Catholics do not believe like that, they use contraceptives anyway. Now in this case, no harm is done, since the Bible does not forbid contraceptives. Though of course some Catholics don't use contraceptives only in marriage, some are unmarried, they fornicate, and use contraceptives, they are of course guilty of fornication.
My father was even more rebellious against his Catholic church, he did not even believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, so he violated Rev. 22:19, so he was unsaved. He was certainly very influenced by religious liberalism, so he differed from the Catholic church on various doctrines, he believed in pacifism, he believed everybody is deep down really a good person, nobody is damned, so like one day I was discussing Hitler with him, he told me that yes, Hitler did some bad things, but it was not his fault, he just was not shown enough love, had he been shown enough love, he too would have been doing mainly good things, because everybody is really good. And he believed that women should be priests just as much as men are allowed to be priests, total equality of men and women in church offices. He believed that the Catholic church should allow people of all beliefs, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists etc. to join the Catholic church, and not tell them what to believe, he told me if everybody became Catholic there would be no wars of religion. So everybody in the Catholic church should believe whatever he wants. He did not believe in the need to go to church. So I never saw him attend any church services. He did not believe in the need to bring us, his children, up in Christianity, after all, nobody is damned, everybody is actually good, so he was just bringing us up to be moral people, obedient to our parents. So I did not even learn that he believed in God, and considered himself Catholic, until we came to America, when I was 15 years old.
So in his case, had he remained faithful Catholic, as he was brought up in his childhood, and had he believed in no private interpretations, he could have died saved, but he died unsaved. Surely he won't find it difficult, when he is resurrected and taught correctly, to repent and be saved. But still, he died without God, even though he believed in God, so he won't be resurrected to eternal life, he will be resurrected to mortal life and not get saved until later.
So it is better to believe in no private interpretations, rather than not believe in the gospel at all. My father's liberal humanistic interpretations led him too far astray.

ME:

I said "It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?"

You said "If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent."

Clearly now, I understand you as meaning that sins committed in ignorance will be forgiven. It seems then that ignorance automatically absolves the sinner. And in your previous post, you cited Rom. 14 as to teach us this matter. Can you tell me where in particular in Rom.14 teaches that?

FYM and INC does forbid reading the Bible. Of course not that one who can read words is not allowed to read words in the Bible. But we know that reading goes hand in hand with understanding what he reads. Or putting it another way, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures.

Tomas:

It is especially clear in Rom. 14:6, after verse 1 talks about Christians weak in faith, like some were vegetarians, thought mistakenly that eating meat is a sin. So then verse 6 says "Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God."
So clearly people weak in faith, who are not well informed about what things are sinful and not sinful, like people who refuse to work on the Sabbath, or refuse to work on Sunday, or do not know that on Sunday they are to give money to the church, or celebrate Christmas, or Halloween, etc., or ignore Passover day, their sins are forgiven, since in their ignorance they are doing what they are doing for the Lord.
Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, since they are doing their sins to the Lord, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith.
So from that we can see that any sins committed by a saved person ignorantly, are forgiven. So in the example of churches like INC, or the Catholic church, or the Philadelphia Church of God, or the New Apostolic Church, etc., Christians who say there is to be no private interpretation, we should rely on the church to determine how to interpret important verses, sure these Christians are sinning, but when they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven. So if they die saved, they will be resurrected to eternal life, and then we will all be taught correctly how to interpret such verses, so if we have committed a sin due to ignorance, we will be glad to be corrected, and we will repent of such a sin. After all, God is very understanding, he knows that we can't be infallible, some verses are difficult to understand, or to harmonize with other verses on the same topic. So it is easy to misunderstand something in the Bible, and sin therefore, but if we do it for the Lord, we are forgiven. So likewise saved Christians, who refuse to do private interpretations of verses, and tell others not to do private interpretations, but rely on what their church teaches on such a verse, they do it for the Lord, so they are forgiven.

ME:

You said, "Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith."

"since they are doing their sins to the Lord"?

In all of the things you said here with regards to what is written in Rom. 14, this what I want you to realize is the point of the matter:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

Romans 14 really does not talk of sins committed in ignorance Tomas, such as that, about eating or not eating certain food, or observing a day or not. In fact, a verse says there regarding this "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak". So you see, the point really there is that the brethren do not judge one another, and not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. That we must pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. And finally, we must remember that, on such matters of food and drinks, of observing days, that whatever is not from faith is sin.

So, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And this does not need much intelligence to understand that this is is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. So that, when one preaches and refers to scriptures and says that what he preach is in keeping with scriptures, we must be diligent enough to go to scriptures to see if what he says is truly in keeping with scriptures. And the Bereans are a good example of this. So, you see, everyone of us has the scriptures as the final resource and word. And how would that be, when preachers such as FYM and the INC, forbids their members to do just that, by forbidding them to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures?

Tomas:

Concerning Rom. 14, it can't be true that days do not matter at all. After all, 1 Cor. 16:2 commands us to give money to the church every first day of the week. And Col. 2:16 tells us not to be judged in regards to food or drink or festival or new moon or the Sabbath. So then clearly somebody who thinks it is sinful not to observe the Sabbath or the Day of Atonement or Pentecost etc., is unwittingly disobeying Col. 2:16. And 1 Cor. 5:8 commands us to keep the feast, not with leaven, of sin, but with unleavened bread. So clearly Paul is commanding us to keep the Passover day, with the Lord's supper. So days are still important, to obey God. But if somebody does not know some of this, and keeps some day wrongly, or wrongly does not keep a day, then he is still doing it for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
Likewise foods do matter too. I already mentioned Col. 2:16, so clearly we don't have to keep kosher laws, or with drink, any abstinence from wine due to trying to keep a Nazirite vow. Likewise somebody who keeps kosher, is unwittingly disobeying the command to Peter in Acts 10 to eat animals that used to be considered unclean. Or somebody who believes it is a sin to eat meat is similarly disobeying the same command, and likewise Col. 2:16. But they abstain for the Lord, so they are forgiven.
And likewise the HS inspired the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 not to eat blood, strangled animals, or food offered to idols. And Jesus himself confirmed the commandment not to eat food offered to idols in two verses in Rev. 2. So then someone who does not know that it is required to abstain from knowingly eating such stuff, and does so anyway, he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
But still, if you are eating with a Christian who thinks it is a sin to eat pork or shrimp or other stuff that was not kosher, then Paul makes it clear it can be advisable not to offend the brother or make him weak, by eating such stuff in front of him. Or likewise if he thinks it is a sin to drink wine, then don't drink wine in front of him. Some Christians think that drinking any alcohol is a sin. They are wrong in abstaining, but they are doing it for the Lord, so they are forgiven. On the other hand, if somebody thinks that drinking alcohol in excess is not a sin, then he can get drunk and it is a sin. But since he did it for the Lord, he is forgiven. But in fact several verses warn us not to get drunk. So the issue of drinking is not irrelevant, as you thought it is from Rom. 14.
And so similarly when somebody tells another Christian, not to rely on private interpretation, but to follow the teaching of their church, he is unwittingly sinning, but he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.

ME:

You said "SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD". Being a Christian, I am really having a hard time trying to figure out how Christians do their sins, and that, to the Lord. And that, if they do, having done it in ignorance, they are automatically forgiven by the Lord, whether they realize later on that they have sinned and repented of it, or not.

Concerning Rom. 14, I respect your opinion on it. And let me just repeat here what I wanted to tell you in this regard:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

If you would just try to understand what that these truth tells us, perhaps, you would have a different understanding of Romans 14.

So, again, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And as I have pointed out, that this is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You suggest that, if they are ignorant of this, being a sin, they automatically are forgiven by God of this sin. And this somehow excuses them. But, such a suggestion even is far from being the case. For FYM and INC believes that FYM is an angel sent by God. If so, FYM then will be far from being ignorant of such simple truths. Further, FYM and INC take upon themselves to believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong. This is where this INC preaching is coming from, and thus, the deception, the lie, and the false teaching.

Tomas:

Sure, the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That refers to the kosher laws in the Old Testament. But you need to realize that if someone does not know it is a sin to drink alcohol to excess, and gets drunk, it is still a sin, plenty of verses prove it. But he was doing it for the Lord, so it is forgiven. Or if someone knowingly eats food offered to idols, does not know it is a sin, even though Acts 15 condemns it, and Jesus himself forcefully condemns it in Rev. 2, then it is a sin. But since he was eating it for the Lord, it is forgiven. Or if one ignorantly disobeys the commandment of 1 Cor. 16:2, does not go to the congregation to give money on the first day of the week, it is a sin. But he was acting for the Lord, so he is forgiven. Or if somebody ignorantly refuses to do any work on the Sabbath, it is a sin, but he was refusing to work, for the Lord, so it is forgiven.
So likewise if someone teaches, that we should not do any private interpretation of the scriptures, whether he is INC or Catholic or whatever, it is a sin, but he is saying this for the Lord, so he is forgiven. So if he is sincere, as surely most INC ministers or Catholic priests are, then it is not a deception, it is not a knowing lie, sure it is a false teaching, but due to misunderstanding of a verse. And also due to such reasoning, where they say look at Protestants, they do interpretations of the Bible, and as a result there are thousands of Protestant denominations with a great variety of doctrines. So INC says that is why you should listen to the Administration, how they interpret the verses. Or Catholics say, that is why you should listen to the Magisterium, the bishops headed by the pope, to see how they interpret the verses. Otherwise you have doctrinal chaos. And of course they have a point, Protestants have a diversity of views on many doctrines. It is inevitable. Many verses are hard to understand. But that is in God's plan. God did not inspire the Bible in such a way that it is easy to understand. Some parts are easy to understand, sure, but other parts are not, and I believe it is so that we would not become proud, thinking we understand everything, but it is better for us to continue to study the Bible, at least as long as we can. Of course if we get dementia, then we can't study any more. Or if we are in a coma, for example.

ME:

If you just would understand what it means when scripture says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", you would not have any issue about food and drink. Jesus even taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." And in like sense, if you would just understand what it means when scripture says "whatever is not from faith is sin", you would not have any issue about a lot of things such as one esteeming one day above another, or about 1 Cor. 16:2, whether it is a sin or is not.

Now, all of that is very different from what I'm pointing out about FYM and INC, regarding the forbidding of one in going to scriptures to read and understand what God says there, which I have further pointed out to be is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You argue that they are ignorant of this wrong and that such excuses them from this sin. As I have explained, even taking for granted that ignorance excuses the sinner, they could not be ignorant about this Tomas. FYM and INC knowingly believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong, so that, this is the reason they put up. It's not because they misinterpret a verse or so Tomas. Is claiming to be a prophesied angel of God, claiming to be sent at this particular era and place, an ignorant thing Tomas? Are you a follower and believer of FYM too?

Tomas:

I see you are like INCquisitor, giving me this argument that Jesus said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
But the fact is that when he said that, the Law was still in effect for all Israelites. So including Jesus and his disciples. See Mt. 5:18-19, the Law was still in effect, until all was accomplished, until the Law was nailed to the cross. See also Mt. 23:2-3, where Jesus was telling the Jewish crowd, including of course also his own disciples, that they should do all that the scribes and Pharisees say, though not as they do. So when they said not to eat pork, shrimp, horses etc., then Peter, John, etc. had to obey, could not eat such non-kosher stuff. And we can see in Acts 10, that Peter himself had never eaten such non-kosher stuff, as he told the voice from heaven in that vision of the formerly unclean animals being lowered to Peter and Peter was told to eat from them. Did he disobey Jesus by not eating pork, horses etc.? Of course not. Clearly Jesus did not eat such stuff with his disciples. And why did Jesus drive some demons into a herd of swine, with the swine ending up getting killed? Clearly they belonged to some disobedient Jew. Otherwise it would be a sin, if they were owned by a Gentile. And Jesus of course never sinned.
So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them.
And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols. They were clearly violating what the Holy Spirit inspired the council of Jerusalem to decide, in Acts 15.

So now concerning INC and FYM, when I said misunderstanding of one verse, I was of course referring to 2 Peter 1:20, about private interpretation. Same with for example Catholics. Now you raise the issue of verses misinterpreted by FYM as referring to himself. Whether he was lying on purpose or was just wrong, I can't tell, can't read his heart. But clearly the average INC minister sincerely believes it. Just like Catholics take some verses that suggest Peter was the leader of the apostles, and take it that his successors as bishops of Rome are infallible. We can argue with them about the verses, but we are not likely to persuade many of them. So when INC teaches that FYM was infallible, so we should follow his interpretation and not private interpretation, they are wrong, and they are sinning, but if they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven, Rom. 14, since what they are doing, they are doing for the Lord.

ME:

No need to liken me with INCquisitor Tomas.

Yes, Jesus taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.", even while the Law is still in effect, as you say. That makes it all the more interesting isn't it Tomas? Why would Jesus say that? It is basically to tell them that they really do not understand the Law.

You wrote "So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them."

That's right, the context is the washing of one's hands before eating. But to answer your question there, we need not look anywhere else, for Jesus gives us the answer just a few verses after, which I quote:

Mat.15:15-20
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Now, in relation to our discussion, in the sense that an unwashed hand is unclean and so whatever that is put in the mouth with unwashed hands is no different from putting in anything, be it food or drink, that is unclean. It matters not really, as is here seen. So, we need not so be occupied by such. And this can be further understood where scriptures says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

Now you said "And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols". Did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man?

Concerning INC and FYM, I have perhaps brought up other INC beliefs to point out to you that they don't teach such things in ignorance Tomas. Their take of scriptures and so then their teachings are founded on the claim that FYM is the prophesied angel/messenger of God in the last days, taking him to be infallible and the only one with the correct interpretation of scriptures, and that INC is the only true church that was purchased by the blood of Christ, and so the only ones who are saved. That this is where their false teaching all emanates from and their forbidding of reading and interpreting of scriptures.

Tomas:

Please don't feel insulted that I compared your belief about this to INCquisitor's belief. Of course there are lots of differences between your beliefs and his. I suspect and hope that you are saved, clearly you are not deviating from the true gospel in what you say on this forum, while INCquisitor was teaching a false gospel, with two Christs and with parts of Revelation (just like elsewhere in the Bible), not inspired. So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are.
So I was pointing out to him, that while non-kosher meat did not defile those Jews, it was still sinful for them to eat it. And likewise now, when non-kosher meat is no longer unclean, still, the council of Acts 15, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decided that eating blood, strangled animals, and food offered to idols, is still sinful. And to emphasize it, Jesus himself condemned eating food offered to idols decades later, in Rev. 2. So do you think Jesus was contradicting himself? Of course not. He knew in Mt. 15 just as much as in Rev. 2, that eating blood or food offered to idols is sinful. And at the time of Mt. 15, eating non-kosher meat, like pork, camels, horses, eagles, snakes, shrimp, etc. was still sinful, for Jews, including the disciples of Jesus. Look at Acts 10, Peter received a vision with formerly unclean animals being lowered to him, and Peter was told to eat them. Peter of course protested, that he never ate such animals. Was Peter an idiot? Of course not. Peter was one of the most prominent apostles. Jesus did not choose an idiot for this. So clearly Jesus did not eat pork, rabbits, snakes, horses, or any other non-kosher animals with Peter, since it was sinful to do so, and Jesus never sinned. Peter of course heard Jesus in Mt. 15, but he understood better than you do or INCquisitor does, that Jesus did not declare such meat no longer sinful. So he did not eat such stuff, until Acts 10.
And as I pointed out already to INCquisitor, Jesus drove demons into a herd of pigs, owned by someone. So he destroyed someone's property. That would have been a sin, had it not been for the fact that it was a Jew who owned the pigs for food, so it was sinful for that Jew to do so, so Jesus had the full right to destroy his pigs. So Jesus never sinned. The Jew would not have been defiled by eating the pork, but it would still have been a sin for him to eat the pork. And of course people keep pigs mainly for food. Likewise Jesus said once, if a child asks you for a fish, would you give him a snake? Some fishes were kosher, but snakes were all non-kosher, sinful to eat. So it would have been sinful for the parent to give his child a snake to eat. So clearly Jesus did not declare non-kosher meats to be clean, no more sinful. That had to wait until the new revelation in Acts 10.
So as you can see, Jesus did not contradict himself in Rev. 2. He was consistent, as expected for the true Christ.

Concerning the INC, regardless if FYM was ignorant, his ministers and other INC members were ignorant, they did believe FYM that he was prophesied about in the Bible, and was sent to restore the church, and so INC is the church, where people need to belong to be saved. And that not belonging to INC just leads to all the doctrinal chaos, of thousands of denominations with different doctrines, often because of their private interpretations, violating his understanding of 2 Peter 1:20 about private interpretation. So that is what led them ignorantly to reject private interpretation. So based on Rom. 14, those among them who are saved, their sin due to ignorance, is forgiven.

ME:

Well, one thing is true and definite, you are not my judge Tomas. And I really do care less of whether you think I'm saved or not. God is my Savior. My hope of salvation rest in Christ.

You said "So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are". I would say that it is your arguments that are faulty Tomas, not mine. Here's one that you put up "So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them".

And after all that you said about kosher and non kosher food, I say it again, did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man? Obviously not. Now, meditate on these truths:

Mt. 15:16-20
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

With regards the matter with INC and FYM, well if that is your opinion on the matter, I'll let it be with you then.

Tomas:

Of course I am not your judge. I can't read your heart. Your salvation status is between you and God. Your pastor can't know it, or anyone else on earth. I was just stating my opinion and hope, but I can't know it about anyone else.

Concerning Mt. 15:20, yes, what goes into the mouth does not defile a man, like dirt or even sinful food, but what goes out defiles a man.

Concerning Rom. 14:17, even if your interpretation were somehow right, and so Paul would have superseded for example Acts 15, then Paul would have been superseded by Christ himself in two verses in Rev. 2, since those statements came later. Christ there combined eating food offered to idols, with fornication, in his condemnation, thus reaffirming the commandments of Acts 15.

ME:

Concerning Mt. 15:20, while you got that what goes into the mouth does not defile the man, you seemed to miss the more important point, that is, those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and are that, that defiles the man.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

This verse simply teach the Christian that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking Tomas. That means, it is not about food Tomas. But that, it is about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. If one learn that, he will come to correctly take and understand verses such as those involving food.

Tomas:

I do know that what proceeds out of the mouth comes from the heart and defiles the man. I never questioned the truth of that.

And you just can't ignore the condemnation by Christ in Rev. 2 of eating what is sinful to eat. It is just as bad as fornication, look at those verses.

ME:

As it is, while you may claim to understand the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking (Romans 14:17), you still apparently actually don't since you still don't get to have the right understanding of Rev. 2 concerning the eating part, saying that the eating is just as bad as fornication. Such understanding obviously goes contrary to the truth said in Romans 14:17.

Tomas:

I believe you totally misunderstand Rom. 14:17. I believe Paul meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God. My evidence is for example the commandments of Acts 15, which are reaffirmed by Christ in Rev. 2, so it is clearly sinful to eat food offered to idols or blood, or strangled animals. Likewise there are verses condemning drunkenness, excessive drinking of alcohol. So that is clearly sinful drinking. But if somebody gets drunk, not knowing that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God. Likewise there are verses that our bodies are temple of God, so we should not ruin that temple. So clearly eating poisonous mushrooms or berries, or drinking poisons, that is sinful eating or drinking. But if somebody is not aware that it is a sin, for example there are snake-handling churches where the members drink diluted poisons, to prove God heals them, based on their understanding of Mark 16:18, as a sign that they are believers, still, it is really sinful drinking, but because they are doing so ignorantly, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God. Also the Bible condemns gluttony, but if someone does gluttony, not aware that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God.
So that is what Paul meant by writing that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. Not that you can eat and drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. I guess in two churches in Asia they could have similarly misunderstood Paul's writing, so then Christ had to tell them in epistles he dictated to John, not to do it anymore, it should not be tolerated. When they did it ignorantly, it did not affect their standing in the kingdom of God, but now that Jesus told them, they were no longer ignorant, so no more excuse. That is true of both sinful eating and fornication. But some Christians still do not know it, so when they do such stuff, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God.

ME:

Come on Tomas. Rom. 14:17 is a simple verse. It says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." You try to explain it by saying that it "meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God." Not even close Tomas. For Rom. 14:17, in this instance, talks about what the kingdom of God is and is not. It does not talk about eating and drinking, that such does not affect our salvation, nor talk about the matter of getting to or not, to the kingdom of God. Now, with your take of the verse, tell me about the last part, that is, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Tomas:

The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

ME:

You said "The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want". This just somehow shows how much you don't understand what Rom. 14:17 is about.

Why is it hard for you to understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"?

The second part of the verse says that the kingdom of God is "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Is this too hard for you to understand?

Tomas:

Looks like you don't like my explanation of that verse. And no wonder, since you are still ignoring the other verses I mentioned. After all, Rom. 14:17 is not the only verse in the Bible. So you have to understand it in view of the other verses I mentioned.

ME:

How can you not understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"? If you do, can you simply tell me what it says?

And if you really understand this statement "the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", can you simply tell me what it says?

Tomas:

But I already told you above what each part means. I think I said it so well above, I don't see how to improve on it. So let me simply repeat it:
The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

Well, doesn't that explain each part of Rom. 14:17 very clearly?

ME:

You have been telling me your take of the context with regards the first part, but fail to get its simple message. On the second part, what you have said, while it sounds good, is entirely out of context.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

After Paul dealt with the importance of not judging one another, between those Christians who believed that they should refrain from some practices concerning food and days, that they believed were displeasing to God, and those Christians who felt were legitimate, he told and pointed out to them that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He said this to set it as their guide on how they relate to one another. Now, matters of eating and drinking are but external amoral practices. An amoral practice is neither right nor wrong in itself. It does not involve sin, or, therefore, morality. The primary issues in the lives of dedicated Christians should not be external amoral practices, but the great spiritual qualities that "the Holy Spirit" seeks to produce in them ~ "righteousness" (right conduct), "peace", and "joy".

Tomas:

So you say that what I consider sinful eating or drinking, like gluttony, drinking alcohol in excess, eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, you consider amoral, neither right nor wrong in itself, based on your interpretation of Rom. 14:17.
In that case, how do you interpret the Holy Spirit condemnation of eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15?
And how do you explain Jesus's endorsement of the Council of Jerusalem condemnation of fornication and eating food offered to idols, in Rev. 2?
And how do you explain the biblical condemnation of gluttony? And the frequent biblical condemnation of drunkenness?
------------------------

Michael:

Now, I was shocked by your statement here:

" So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other."

Why would I be happy about that? And how could I agree that God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse? Are you truly happy debating with other Christians? Preposterous and silly, I would say.

Tomas:

You are now talking like a Catholic, or an INC member, insisting that all Christians agree on every doctrine, that the diversity is no good. When I said we can debate with each other, I do not mean angry arguments, I mean brotherly discussions among Christians. And that I am happy to be doing. I am happy to be discussing with you and with other Christians. After all, discussing issues in the wonderful book, the Bible, should fill us with happiness. It is the best book in the world, it is the word of God. And so, since we should not expect any of us to be infallible, we can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and show to each other, where in the Bible our beliefs come from. If neither one is too stubborn and unwilling to change, then at least one can learn from the other. Like I have learned from you.
If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). What is written in the Bible of course. So no new revelation of any interpretations. Sola scriptura. So no inspired interpretations by ecumenical Catholic councils or by popes or by executive ministers or anyone else. We are all in the same boat, no inspired interpretations, so we can know we are not infallible in our interpretations, so we will not be proud, but properly humble, as God wants us to be. And we will not be angrily arguing about interpretations, but happily discussing our interpretations, in a loving fraternal manner. So please, don't be shocked about it, be happy about it. Now we are not to go beyond what is written, so now is not the time for perfect doctrinal unity, like some churches, like Catholic, INC, New Apostolic Church, Philadelphia Church of God, and others who insist we have to be united, we get interpretations from God, so we better agree, or else we are outside the church or something. But when Jesus comes back, and we are resurrected, the Bible says we will be going to Jerusalem to learn from God, so God will then give us correct interpretations, and all the saved people will be in one denomination. Sola scriptura will no longer be true. We will be given new laws, as some of these laws are described in Ezekiel, Zechariah, etc. For example the Feast of Tabernacles will be required for all, not just Israelites, as was true in the Law of Moses. And all, not just males, will have to go to Jerusalem for that feast. So then we will have doctrinal unity. But now it is impossible, it is not in God's plan for us.

ME:

Did I say that the diversity is no good? What I said is that I am not happy about such. For scriptures says "There is one body and one Spirit", that Paul beseech of the Christians, to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And so I see that it's not diversity that scriptures calls for, but unity.

You said "If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6)."

Certainly God gives us the correct interpretation of His words in scriptures, according to His will and in His time. Only He could help and make us understand His words in scriptures which are about the things of God.

And certainly, God's intention is for us to be united, as I have discussed above. And this includes being one in understanding God's words in scriptures. What Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. The verse says "Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.". What Paul wants us to understand here is that we learn in them (Paul and Apollos), not to think beyond what is written. Why is that? So that, we may not be puffed up or take pride in one over another. This is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of interpretations that goes beyond what is written.

Tomas:

Of course we are one body, and we are united in the eyes of God, even though many of us can be unhappy about the divisions into denominations, or also differences in beliefs among Christians regardless of denominations or being non-denominational. These differences are on secondary doctrines, not on gospel doctrines. So we have one faith, in the sense of faith in the gospel.
And concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, pride would be involved if we were to go beyond what is written, we could be puffed up, thinking we know more than other Christians, that we got some special interpretations that others did not get.

ME:

How can we be united in the eyes of God, when we are not in reality and practically united? That is not at all what being united is Tomas. For example, you say the INC is part of the church of God, and the RCC as well. Now are they united? Obviously not. Do they believe in the same Christ, that is, Savior? INC's Christ is not God, while RCC's Christ is God.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, as I said, what Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. Read again my previous post on this. 1 Cor. 4:6 is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of some special interpretations that others get and others did not.

Tomas:

INC and RCC don't consider themselves to be united, but in God's eyes they are united, because people from both churches are in God's own church. They do believe in the same Christ, that is Savior, that it is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, etc. Sure some think he is God and others think that he is not God, but that is just what they think, in reality they can't know.
Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, it is a matter of not being proud, not thinking like I have a special interpretation from God while another Christian does not. We are all equal, none of us get special interpretations from God, we can't be infallible.

ME:

Well, if you believe that, in God's eyes, INC and RCC are united, even while in reality and practice, are hostile to each other, in that, one condemns the other, and says of each other as anti-Christ, then so be it for you then.

And while for you, you believe that you can't know if Christ is God or is not, that has nothing to do with their unity or disunity.

And we are all equal Tomas, whether one knows and understands much or less of what is revealed in scriptures. And sure we are not infallible in so many ways. But relative to 1 Cor.4:6, let me quote what Paul says in v.7 "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Well, I guess you don't feel united with either INC or RCC, since you dislike that they believe in the saving power of water baptism. But I believe that in spite of such dislike, in God's eyes, you are united with them, at least actually with the saved people in those denominations. Not with the unsaved. Still, I believe God loves all denominations that preach the gospel, no matter what percentage of members is saved in each. But only the saved are in the church.

As far as 1 Cor. 4:7, I am not sure how to understand it. Having something you did not receive, that looks like theft. But that does not seem to fit the rest of the verse. It looks to me like a very difficult verse. Maybe you have some idea of what it means.

ME:

For sure I could not feel united in the spirit with INC, much as I want to. How can I when their messiah is a man, named Jesus, while my Messiah is God, who incarnated, revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, the verse says "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

There is nothing in there that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. I don't know what version you are reading. But I checked other versions, and found not one which speaks of such. So, I suggest you read it again.

As to what the verse means, is plain. You are intelligent and could easily understand what the verse means.

Tomas:

You say your Messiah is God, who incarnated. So then you too believe your Messiah is a man, even though you happen to believe he is both God and man. And you both believe he is revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ. So not much difference. Just a little difference in you having the theory he is God, while they have the theory that he is not God.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough. For example let's say you have a book. Now you have received the book, maybe from a bookstore, or from somebody. Or if you have not received the book, then I see no other choice except you stole it. With some objects there is a third choice, let's say you have an orange. You have received it, from a store or from somebody, or you stole it, or maybe you planted an orange tree years ago, and it had flowers, and the flowers got transformed into orange fruit. So now you have an orange. But with books, this third choice does not apply, you cannot grow books in your garden. So yes, the text looks plain, but the deep meaning behind it escapes me.

ME:

Ask the INC, I'm pretty sure, they'll tell you of a great deal of difference concerning this. Ask any Christian who believes that Christ is God, and they certainly would tell you a great deal of difference. If you don't see much of a difference, that I don't know why you do. Perhaps, there is really not much difference for you in Christ being God or not, or perhaps, because of your different perspective of the revelations about the person of God.

You said regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?

As I said, there is nothing in 1 Cor.4:7 that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. So, I strongly suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse.

1 Cor. 4:7, "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Of course INC considers this to be very important, so important it is necessary for salvation, John 17:3, that we believe Christ is not God. But I believe that is a misinterpretation of that verse. Sure the Father is the only true God, but this God could well include other persons.
Similarly some trinitarians believe it is necessary for salvation to believe Christ is God.
But I say we can't know, so God does not make a big deal of whether one believes Christ is God or not God. I am not saying it is unimportant to God, but it is not revealed to us, so God does not make it important to us.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:7, I am stuck, clearly there is something you have thought of that I haven't. I mean, if you have a book, and you haven't received it, but you haven't stolen it, then how did you obtain it?

ME:

Not revealed to you, not us, Tomas. Nothing further.

Regarding 1 Cor.4:7, you have not answered my question relative to your statement "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". My question is "What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?"

Now, you are so into the matter of having something one did not receive that looks like theft, for which I say, the verse does not speak about. I can't understand why you are so into that with regards 1 Cor. 4:7.

Let's take the statements in 1 Cor. 4:7, one by one.

First statement "For who makes you differ from another?". Is there anything about having something here? None.

Second statement "And what do you have that you did not receive?". Does this speak of something you have by theft?

Third statement "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". There is likewise nothing here that speaks of the matter you are so concerned about.

So, I suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse instead.

Tomas:

I am sure trying to understand the verse. But I guess I need more insight, maybe you have thought of something I have not thought of.
So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received. One is by getting it by theft, another is by having grown it for yourself, like you might grow tomatoes or oranges etc. So maybe if you received a tomato, you can boast as if you have not received the tomato, but claim you have grown it yourself. That would be a sinful boast, it would be a lie.
I have thought of relating it to the previous verse, like if you claim you have a message from God that you did not receive. But then the third part would not make sense, who has received a message from God and boast as if he did not receive it? That would not make sense.
But if it is about growing food like tomatoes etc., then why does it follow verse 6, as if it is related to it? After all, verse 7 begins with 'for'. So I think I have not thought of something, I don't have enough imagination when dealing with this verse. Clearly you think you have it figured out, but you are not telling me what then is your interpretation.

ME:

1 Cor. 4:7
7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

You said "So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received".

I can't see why you have such a problem with regards to understanding the verse Tomas. The question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. And in relation to this, Paul asked the questions "And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". Paul, by way of these questions, reminds the Corinthians that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. That God had given them everything they had, and as a consequence, they should be grateful, not boastful.

Tomas:

OK, I see now better how you interpret it, and your interpretation seems to make sense. It is true, that whatever we have, is ultimately from God, regardless of who gave it to us. So like the Bible tells us, to receive food with thanksgiving, so clearly we should pray to God and thank him for the food, before we eat. Regardless of how we got the food, it is ultimately from God. Without him, the food would not exist and we would not exist.
So I guess, when Paul asked "And what do you have that you did not receive?", apparently Paul meant that we have nothing that we did not receive, since everything we have we received from God. So then in the next question, which confused me so much, Paul apparently meant by asking "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?", he apparently meant, you did receive everything you have from God, so then why do you boast, as if you did not receive it from God, but it is your achievement? So you boast about your achievements, but really you are all equal before God, none of you is superior to others.
Yes, I had not thought of the issue of receiving everything we have from God. So I was thinking of things like receiving food from the store, etc. God was not mentioned in that verse, not explicitly. So I was really confused. But you have helped me to understand the verse much better, for which I am thankful to you.
So I now want to make sure, does my new understanding now agree totally with your understanding?

ME:

What Paul says there and meant in those verses is with regards to the mysteries of God, and it does not speak really of other things such as food and drink. These things Paul said, they received, from God who gave it. So, Paul reasoned, that if they indeed receive it, they should not boast as if they had not received it.

Tomas:

I see, so I have still misunderstood what you meant. Clearly you are going back to verse 1, which speaks of us having the mysteries of God.
Personally, I do not believe verse 1 can be connected with that. After all, Paul asks, "And what do you have that you did not receive?" That looks to me like a general question, if Paul were asking about receiving mysteries of God, then he would not have framed the question that way. So I think my current understanding is correct now, the answer to this question should be "we have nothing that we did not receive", with the implication that everything we have we have received from God.
Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense. So I believe the correct interpretation is that about everything we have, if we did receive it from God, then why would we boast as if we had not received it from God? Meaning we could boast we made it ourselves, or grew it ourselves, give ourselves the credit, boast about it, rather than give the credit to God. Like for example Donald Trump boasts how successful he is, how much money he has made, rather than give the credit to God.

ME:

As I said, the question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. So, try going as far back to chapter 1 and read.

You said "Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense".

Read 1 Cor.4:6-8
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other? Try considering what Paul said in v.1-2 which goes "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful". I hope you get what Paul is trying to say to the Corinthians at this point of his letter. It would be clearer still if you'll try to see what Paul was saying in the previous chapters.

Tomas:

The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians speak about various things, like about God, about Christ, about water baptism, about that we should not consider ourselves as belonging to one or another church leader, but to Christ. So that does not help me much. Then you are emphasizing 4:1-2, about us, or at least about the leaders of the church, as being stewards of the mysteries of God. It seems to me more likely that when Paul writes 'us', he means leaders like himself and Apollos. So that already makes it unlikely that verse 7 is talking about us having received the mysteries of God. But let's say what it would mean if it were about us having received the mysteries of God. Now if some received the mysteries, why would they boast as if they have not received the mysteries? Is it something to boast about, that one has not received the mysteries, even though one has really received the mysteries? That does not make sense. So that is why I think verse 7 is an independent thought, that all we have we have received from God, so since we have received it from God, we should not boast like that we have something that is our own accomplishment, not from God.

ME:

Try resolving this by trying to answer the question "Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other"?

Tomas:

He said it, so that we would not go beyond what is written in the Bible, or else we could end up puffed up on behalf of one against the other. That seems clear enough, but it does not seem connected with the thoughts of verse 7. So I think my interpretation of verse 7 seems correct.

ME:

And what is your take on what it is to be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", in the context of not going beyond what is written in scriptures?

If in your opinion, verse 6 is not connected to verse 7, then that is your call. I would just have to respect that.

Tomas:

Sure, if we go beyond what is written, if we think we have some special inspiration from God telling us how to interpret verses, or we think we get visions from God, or dreams from God, with messages from God, then we could end up puffed up on behalf of us against the other Christians. We could end up proud, due to thinking we have this revelation or inspiration. And pride is a sin. Being puffed up means being proud.

ME:

I can see that we quite differ in our understanding of this. To exceed what is written in scriptures would be to go beyond the teaching of the Scriptures. If his readers avoided this pitfall, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other. And this is the very thing that Paul is trying to address the Corinthians here. So, in this regard, in v. 7 Paul reminded them that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. God had given them everything they had. Consequently they should be grateful, not boastful. Going at the end of chapter 4, Paul warns them, "Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power".

You will notice, Paul made it clear there that some of them are puffed up, implying that, there were some who have gone beyond what is written, and have become arrogant. Do you have any idea as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant?

Tomas:

I suppose that based on the end of chapter 4, some were prophesying that Paul was not going to visit them again, even though they did not get this info from God, so it was not reliable. So they were puffed up, thinking they got special knowledge, that other Christians did not have, but they did not get any knowledge about it from God.

ME:

Some guess you have there. And by that, you take that to mean that some have gone beyond what is written and were puffed up, became full of pride and arrogant by that. Well....

As I have pointed out in my previous post, if his readers avoided this pitfall, of going beyond what is written, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other". I don't think that your guess would result into such.

Tomas:

I suppose your guess could be possibly valid, given the fact that Paul mentioned himself and Apollos, who were among their teachers, apparently their two most prominent teachers. Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle. Well, when we are resurrected, we will find out which guess was right, whether it had to do with their teachers, or with themselves alone, as I was guessing.

ME:

I am not even guessing Tomas. I'm just telling you what can be seen in the last part of verse 6 "...that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other".

Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle? What?

What ideas as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant, you have there Tomas. Apparently then, you really do not know what these scriptures here mean.

Well, as you said, you will just have to wait till your resurrection then.

Tomas:

No verse says that Apollos did not become an apostle, or that Paul supervised Apollos or anything like that. Barnabas became an apostle. Others seem mentioned as having become apostles. So why not Apollos?

ME:

And there perhaps you are going beyond what is written, for you reason now that there is no verse that says Apollos did not become an apostle, etc. I would suggest that you don't bother yourself with those beyond what is written, such as those you say here, which are not written.

Tomas:

OK, no need to speculate about whether Apollos became an apostle. We will find out after we are resurrected.

ME:

Yes, you can now refrain from speculating.
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OP:

Scriptures speaks of faith as such: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

Faith, as can be learned from this scripture, pertains to things not seen. It is the EVIDENCE of things unseen. This means, that, faith comes, when there is nothing with which man may see with his eyes, nor touch, smell, hear, or taste, that he may believe. As such, the man may have faith, which is the very substance of the things that he can't see, touch, smell, hear, and taste - the evidence of such things.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

Here are some scriptures. May faith come to you by reading the word of God. If you have a Bible, read them from there.

Matthew 1:21
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:30
30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Have faith, by reading or by listening to the reading of the word of God, in Jesus and be saved!

TOMAS:

Yes, faith comes to us by hearing or reading about the gospel in the Bible.

So faith does not come to us from someone, but from something, namely the words in the Bible. It is the gift of God, because God has inspired the Bible.

ME:

You believe that faith does not come from someone, but from something.

And so you don't believe that faith comes from God. Very well then for you. As for me, it comes from God. As I have explained, by hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes not from hearing just anybody else. It must be God that one hears, who is the truth.

One can hear somebody by reading what he has written, say a letter. It is the author that one hears when one reads his words in the letter he wrote. It's not the letter that speaks to him, but the author, speaks to him, through his words in the letter. And so when one reads his letter, it is like the author speaks to the reader. If God were the author, then when one reads, it then means that God speaks to the reader. And the reader could either believe or not what it is that God says, and could have faith. So, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of not just anybody, but of God.

In my OP, I said:

"If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

"If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

Tomas:

Faith in a way comes from God, because he has inspired his word. So God speaks to us with his word.

"If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree, one can be saved from just hearing the word of God proclaimed by someone. Still, it would be a foolish thing to say, the idea like what many Catholics believed, that only priests and monks can read scriptures, others would be confused and come up with heresies, that is wrong. Of course it can happen, but often does not happen. But Catholics tend to think that any deviation from the Catholic faith is a heresy, even though nowadays they prefer to use nicer words like 'separated brethren'.

"If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree. Some churches claim that only the leadership of their church has the right to decide on what is the right interpretation, that there should not be a private interpretation, based on a misreading of a verse about prophecies. It is not correct, it is a wrong teaching, but it is not a deception, much less being against God. I can understand why some churches think so, the principle of sola scriptura, without the leaders being guided by God into the correct interpretation, it naturally leads to a great diversity of doctrines, since many verses are difficult to understand. But that is really a virtue, Christians can have many interesting and even fruitful discussions of verses, and if we are not too stubborn, we can learn from each other. After all, God wants us to be humble and not claim that we are infallible, that we can understand everything in the Bible. But I can see how some are turned off by all the diversity and just want to hear one interpretation, with authority, with no dissent, so there is unity. Well different strokes for different folks. Some prefer one, some prefer another.

ME:

So, if you don't agree that faith in God comes from God, though you at least admit that faith in a way comes from God, from whom does it comes from?

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like you saying that, "if somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, that he is for God and not against God".

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like saying that, "if somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, that he is for God and not against God".

Well, what could I say, but that I respect your opinion. In my opinion, those who prohibits one to read scriptures, or seemingly allows them but in fact put a condition which in effect is tantamount to really be not hearing what it is they read, such a one is against God, and not for God.

Tomas:

Faith comes from us hearing the word of God, so ultimately it does come from God, since God inspired his word for us.

If someone tells me that I am not to read scriptures, more commonly he would be against God, he might be a communist or a Muslim or something. But if he was an ancient Catholic, worried that we might misunderstand the Bible and go into heresy, then he meant well, he was for God.
Likewise if someone tells me that I can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he could be evil, or he could be for God, just wanting me to accept the interpretations of his church, believing that somebody in his church, like past popes, past church councils, holy traditions, were inspired by God to interpret some verses correctly, or in case of INC, then FYM, Erano Manalo, Eduardo Manalo were inspired to interpret verses correctly, or similarly in case of some other churches. It is not correct, God does not tell anyone how to interpret a verse, since the Bible tells us not to go beyond what is written. So it is better for us to study the Bible for ourselves, God will not give us any interpretations except interpretations written in the Bible. That is the principle of sola scriptura. But many do not believe it. And it seems like fewer and fewer believe it, Pentecostalism or Charismatic Christianity have become so popular, and many Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in messages from dreams, visions, interpretation of tongues. I am not saying there can't be miraculous interpretation of tongues, but those would be like prayers of believers, they would not be messages from God, so they would not be inspired, inerrant. So in such prayers we can encourage each other, or say other things, but we should not expect them to be inerrant. So it is wrong to think that I have received a message from God, and so you should believe it, but if I were wrongly to believe it, I would not be against God, I would just be in error on this. So to be more correct, people should not listen to my interpretations or your interpretations or anyone else's interpretations, as if they are inspired by God, because they are not.

ME:

And so we believe differently. You believe that faith comes from you, while I don't believe that faith comes from me.

You believe that man is saved by his good works and faith, faith in God, am I right? If I got your belief right, then perhaps, you believe that it is man that basically saves himself. Why do I say that? Let me start with good works. Is not good works coming from you, that is, you are the one who cause it and made it happen? Next on faith. You say that faith comes from you, that is, you are the one who cause it that you have faith, by reading scriptures. So, clearly it's you who basically caused it all, and that by it, God will save you.

No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?

Tomas:

Ultimately, faith is a gift from God. God offers us this gift, if we recognize it, if we know the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith. If we keep rejecting the gift, by not believing the gospel, we have not accepted that gift. God will not force the gift on us, he lets us have free will. So as we read the Bible, which is inspired by God, and we become convinced about the gospel, we accept the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith, and also we have read that we need to repent, so we repent of the sins we know of, so God saves us, justifies us, adds us to the church, forgives our sins. We also find out in the Bible that some things are sinful, so we try to avoid such sins. We don't become sinless, we can slip up, but then we repent. But if we decide to rebel against God, refuse to repent any more, start living in sin, doing bad works continually rather than good works, then like Heb. 10:26 says, there is no more sacrifice for sins. So Christ's sacrifice no longer applies to us, we have lost salvation. But it is not like some churches claim, that whenever we sin, we have lost salvation, that is based on a mistranslation of Heb. 10:26. Many modern translations have corrected that error. Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible. And since we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us helps us resist temptation, avoid sins. But we still have free will, we can still rebel against the HS and start living in sin, and lose salvation. Though normally we could slip up and commit a sin, and we feel terrible, we repent of the sin, so we remain saved. We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved. Though ultimately even good works come from God, because God tells us in the Bible, what are some good works, like prayer, giving to the church, giving to the poor, helping people in need, discussing the Bible, trying to persuade unbelievers, studying the Bible. But we have free will to do the good works or not. God does not force us into good works.

Now if some saved Christian is misguided enough to forbid us from reading the Bible, he is still for God, because he is saved. Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.
Likewise in some churches, people are misguided enough to claim, based on misreading a verse, that there should not be private interpretations of any verses, that you should instead accept the interpretation of the church leadership. We see that for example in the Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the INC, the New Apostolic Church, and some others. Now plenty of people in such churches are saved Christians, so they are not against God, they are for God, but have the wrong interpretation of this. So they don't like a diversity of beliefs in their church.
But it is not a matter of denying the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures. No, Christians in general are aware that God is omnipotent, that He has the power to grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words, if that is what He were to want. He could grant all saved Christians to understand every verse in the Bible, so that all Christians would have the same beliefs on every doctrine, like pacifism, oaths, eating blood, women obeying husbands, slaves obeying masters, women speaking in church, women being elders, masturbation, holy pictures or statues, Mary remaining a virgin or not, Mary being sinless, infant baptism, water baptism by sprinkling or pouring instead of always immersing, the words used during water baptism, how many persons is God, and various other beliefs that Christians disagree with each other. Sure God has the power to reveal to us the correct interpretation of each verse. But He does not do it, he wants us to feel humble and not feel infallible, so he inspired Paul to write the commandment not to go beyond what is written. So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other. Yes, God has arranged it wonderfully.

ME:

It seems to me that what you take here as faith refers to a set of doctrines or beliefs, which in this case, those that are found in scriptures, or to which you refer, I suppose, as what makes up the gospel. But if you'll get back to the OP, the faith in view is clearly not referring to a set of doctrines or beliefs, but refers to such a thing as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb.11:1). It is that by which we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb.11:2). So, I hope you'll take faith as referring to that in our discussion here. And as I said, up there in the message title, the ultimate is that faith comes from God, a gift from God, and not coming from us.

Regarding good works, are you saying then, and of course, in the ultimate and final analysis, that good works comes from God?

Tomas:

Yes, ultimately good works come from God, we were saved to do good works, and God tells us in the Bible what works are good and what are bad.

ME:

I would presume now that you'll take faith as I have pointed out in my post above, in our discussion under this thread.

I'm glad you finally come to realize that, regarding good works, that the Christian was saved to do good works, rather than, the Christian is saved by doing good works.

Tomas:

Yes, initial salvation is by faith, including repentance of sins. But to remain saved, we have to be doing good works, and not live in sin, bad works, refusing to repent. After all, faith without works is dead.

ME:

I don't want to start another issue in this segment Tomas.

So let me just post here what has been settled under this segment:

1. Faith comes from God.
2. The Christian was saved to do good works.
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Michael:

Could you please answer my questions in my posts, so I would not get lost along the way? I kind of find it difficult sometimes to follow the point of our discussion if you don't. Thanks.

Tomas:

Yes, that is what I am doing now, based on your request.
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Michael:

You said "Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible."

That's right. But what has that got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, so that, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible. And we are not saved by good works, but if we are saved we will do good works and repent of any bad works, or else we lose salvation.

ME:

I'm glad to hear from you now, having waited fro a long while now, that salvation is not by good works, and that we are saved to do good works.

You said "I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible."

Am I right in my understanding of your statement, that it is you who earn the right to be saved because of having faith, except that, you just don't want to take credit for it, and give the credit to God? That's a virtuous and admirable thing indeed. But don't you agree that, one does not earn such right? And instead, those who received Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name?

Tomas:

I have heard there is a verse saying we don't earn the right to be saved, though I can't find it in the Bible. So if it is there, we have not earned it, after all, even though we came to faith by our free will, the credit goes to God, who has inspired the scriptures, so that by reading or hearing them we can receive the right to be saved.

ME:

It's good that you admit now that the right to become children of God is not a thing that is earned. That's right, for the right to become children of God is given to those who receives Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to those who believe in His name, the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Please consider this Tomas. This is the situation, man sinned, and so he will be punished with death in the lake of fire.

Now, put your focus on man and not on God, and let's go back to the time of Adam. Can man save himself from going to the lake of fire? What can man do, by himself or with the help of other men, to save himself or themselves from going to the lake of fire? Can he do any work that would save himself?

If your answer is none, would you agree that man is helpless by himself? That there is nothing he can do, nor he can do with the help of other men, so that he would not suffer death in the lake of fire? That his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, to whom he sinned against and who will punish him? That only God would be able to save him?

Tomas:

Of course a man cannot save himself from the lake of fire. But that does not mean he cannot do anything. He can learn about the gospel, he can gain faith, and he can repent. And then God saves him. So I agree, his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, only God can save him.

ME:

Good that you agree that man cannot save himself from the penalty of sin, and that the only way is that God will have mercy on him and save him. Now, God knows them who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and seek His mercy. And surely, God will bring about their salvation, according to His way of salvation, which He purposed in Christ Jesus.

I think this segment comes to a close here.
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Michael:

You say "We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved."

But what does free will got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God? Or are you implying that, since you are making the choice, that by choosing to do good work have given you the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

See my comment above.

ME:

See my comments above.
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Michael:

You said "God does not force us into good works."

That's right. God never forces anyone to do anything, Tomas. Did I say God forces us, that you are pointing this here now?

Tomas:

You did not say it. So I guess you agree that we have free will to do good works or not.
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Michael:

I don't know why you say "Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.", when salvation is not really the issue on this matter. Please stick to the issue. This is what I posted:

"No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?"

The issue is, whether such people who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, or if they allow but forbids one to interpret what he reads, are for God or not. Wherein I say, that I would not say they are for God. For if they are for God, they would encourage the reading and study of the words of God, for by reading and reading the words of God, is good and so is pleasing to God. Why forbid, if you are for God? And the sad thing is, most of these people are leaders of a religious organization, which affect tens, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people under their authority. This certainly is a serious concern.

Tomas:

I guess to me, when I hear someone saying that a person is for God, I think he means the person is saved. And when I hear someone saying that a person is not for God, then I think he means the person is unsaved. So that is why I was talking about salvation requirement. But if you feel a person can be not for God but still be saved, then OK. It just seems strange semantically.

ME:

Ok. I understand now why you talk about salvation.

On my side, "a person is for God" means he is not against God, and "a person is not for God" means he is against God.

Anyway, I understand that you agree with me on the issue on this segment.

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, certainly are man made rules by some religious organization, and are also not supported nor found in scriptures, and are rules that clearly keeps the members far from God and the truth, rather than keeping them close. This thing clearly is a thing that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

If people can't do their own private interpretations of verses, or even can't read the Bible, they can still be saved, by hearing the gospel from others, like from priests or ministers.

ME:

But that is not the issue here Tomas.

Tomas:

It is a big part of the issue. So while telling people not to have private interpretations of verses is not God's doctrine, it is wrong doctrine, still it is not against God, because people can be saved in such a church anyway.

ME:

The issue is not if people can be saved Tomas, but that, forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, is something that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

I guess in a way, any wrong doctrine can be considered against God. So in that respect all saved people would have doctrines against God. But that is a strange meaning of being against God. After all, saved people are said to be for God, no matter how many bad doctrines they have.

ME:

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is leading a believer away from God. Away from God means away from the truth. If that is not against God, then that would only mean the opposite, that is, it is for God. This thing shots one's eyes and ears, if not his spirit, to what God have caused to be written and be read and heard by him in scriptures, and enslave him to the extent that he is only to believe what they have to say to him.

Tomas:

It is true that it can be harder to get saved that way. So it is bad doctrine. But it is a well meaning doctrine, to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Still, when a person is saved, he is for God, no matter his bad doctrine against reading the Bible, or against private interpretations.

ME:

The issue here is not whether the person is saved or not, but that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, regardless of the intent one says why he commands it on the person, is ungodly. This is against God and not for God, even while, one says he does it to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Each person must not be denied the freedom, as God have given every man, to hear the preacher, any preacher for that matter, and examine what it is he preach, whether it is in keeping with God's words in scriptures or not.

Tomas:

It is ungodly, but then any sin is ungodly. For example fornication, it is ungodly. But if a Christian does not know it is a sin, and has premarital sex with his fiancee, his sin is forgiven due to his ignorance, Romans 14. So likewise if he does not believe in reading the Bible, or in private interpretation of verses, it is sinful, but since it is a sin of ignorance, his sin is forgiven if he is saved, Romans 14. So he is not against God. But for God.

ME:

So, you agree that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is ungodly.

Tomas:

I can agree with that, in the sense that every sin is really ungodly. Even a sin committed out of ignorance, is ungodly, because it is still a sin. But if a saved person commits a sin out of ignorance, he is forgiven and remains saved, Romans 14.
Even today, there are quite a number of churches that forbid private interpretation of verses that you read, that tell you to follow the intepretation of the church instead, based on a faulty understanding of 2 Peter 1:20. But even preachers in such churches can be already saved, even though they believe that faulty understanding and forbid private interpretation of verses. The sin is ungodly, but being committed in ignorance of the correct understanding of 1:20, the sin is forgiven to the person who is saved.

ME:

So, you agree that it is ungodly, and is sin. Now, if itis ungodly and is sin, is that not something against God? You may say, if they are ignorant of it being a sin, that they will be forgiven of it. It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?

As it is, such man, almost always in the category of one such as FYM, the topmost leader of a church organization, who forbids reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, does an ungodly thing, as to teach and commands the members of something that is false and ungodly.

Now, of course, there is the possibility that he is ignorant of it. But to them who knows the truth, specially the church members, it is their duty to rebuke him of this wrong. And this must alarm them to the point of reconsidering putting to the test, the spirit in the man.

Tomas:

If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent.
Now as far as FYM, he did not forbid reading the Bible. I am not aware of any modern church that forbids reading the Bible. I am aware just that some centuries ago, Catholics discouraged the laity from reading the Bible, fearing that could lead to heresy, due to alleged misunderstanding the Bible. And they banned reading Bible translations done by alleged heretics, thinking those translations were biased and dangerous. Though certainly at the time of early Reformation, Catholics themselves started producing their own translations of the Bible, and allowed already laity to read those translations, while banning Protestant translations. And certainly with the invention of the printing press, Bibles were no longer rare, lots of people could buy a Bible, and read the Bible for themselves.
But certainly it is true that INC interprets 2 Peter 1:20 as forbidding us from having private interpretations of Bible verses. And they are not the only ones with that interpretation. Catholics have the same interpretation, I have debated with Catholics about that. And such an interpretation of the verse is found in a number of other churches, especially churches that believe they are the true biblical church. So one can see such an interpretation for example in the New Apostolic Church, in the Way International, in the True Jesus Church, in the Philadelphia Church of God and also many other offshoots of the former Worldwide Church of God, which had the same belief about this verse. Simply such churches believe that their leader was guided by God into the true doctrine, so then if you disagree with that leader on any doctrine, you are disagreeing with God too. Therefore you should not have private interpretation of any verse and teach that, you should just follow what your church teaches.
And I can see how that verse can be misunderstood this way, the meaning is not so obvious, that it could not be misunderstood this way.
You say INC members should know better, and should correct their leaders, tell them that private interpretations are OK. But the average faithful INC member really believes, that God guided FYM into the right doctrines and has been guiding the subsequent Executive Ministers. And so since God guided them, then disagreeing with them would be disagreeing with the one who guided them, God. And so that is why there should be no private interpretation, you need to agree instead with what the church teaches.
And similarly I have discussed with faithful Catholics, they are convinced that God has guided their holy traditions, church councils, and popes, into the right doctrines. So to disagree with the church on any doctrine, would be to disagree with the one who guided the traditions, church councils, and popes, namely to disagree with God.
And they point out the alleged chaos that has resulted from private interpretations, in Protestantism, with many thousands of denominations, disagreeing with each other on various doctrines. Like some Protestants believe in baptizing babies, others don't. Some believe that only immersion baptism is valid, others say it can be done in other ways, like sprinkling or pouring water. Some believe water baptism is necessary for salvation, others believe water baptism saves but one can be saved without it, others believe water baptism is just symbolic and has no connection with salvation. Some believe in pacifism, some allow both pacifism and non-pacifism, some reject pacifism. Etc., there are many doctrines on which Protestant churches disagree with each other.
So to Catholics, to INC members, to New Apostolic Church members, etc. it looks like chaos caused by private interpretations. While to us, God allows this diversity of doctrines on secondary issues, allows private interpretations, as long as we believe the gospel, otherwise we are not saved.
And in fact, just like Catholics believe God is guiding the church, INC members believe God is guiding the church to correct doctrines, etc., one can find even some Protestants believing similarly, that God is guiding the Christians into correct doctrines. I have seen that in your own beliefs. Of course then when such Protestants disagree on some doctrine, each one can believe he was guided right and the other one was not guided. So one Protestant can say God has guided him to understand that babies ought to be baptized, another Protestant can say that God has guided him to understand that infant baptism is invalid, and only believers ought to be baptized. Obviously they can't be both right. But when we apply the principle of sola scriptura, based on 1 Cor. 4:6, we can see that when the Bible was finished, that ended further guidance, so only the Bible guides us, and no one guides us to understand the Bible. So we just need to study the Bible and try to figure out from that, whether infant baptisms are valid or not. God does not give the guidance about it to the church, or to anyone of us.
And concerning churches that do not believe in private interpretation, one can see especially in the Catholic church, that many Catholics are not obedient to that, they come up with their own interpretations. So for example the Catholic church teaches, that their holy tradition forbids contraceptives, yet certainly here in the US most Catholics do not believe like that, they use contraceptives anyway. Now in this case, no harm is done, since the Bible does not forbid contraceptives. Though of course some Catholics don't use contraceptives only in marriage, some are unmarried, they fornicate, and use contraceptives, they are of course guilty of fornication.
My father was even more rebellious against his Catholic church, he did not even believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, so he violated Rev. 22:19, so he was unsaved. He was certainly very influenced by religious liberalism, so he differed from the Catholic church on various doctrines, he believed in pacifism, he believed everybody is deep down really a good person, nobody is damned, so like one day I was discussing Hitler with him, he told me that yes, Hitler did some bad things, but it was not his fault, he just was not shown enough love, had he been shown enough love, he too would have been doing mainly good things, because everybody is really good. And he believed that women should be priests just as much as men are allowed to be priests, total equality of men and women in church offices. He believed that the Catholic church should allow people of all beliefs, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists etc. to join the Catholic church, and not tell them what to believe, he told me if everybody became Catholic there would be no wars of religion. So everybody in the Catholic church should believe whatever he wants. He did not believe in the need to go to church. So I never saw him attend any church services. He did not believe in the need to bring us, his children, up in Christianity, after all, nobody is damned, everybody is actually good, so he was just bringing us up to be moral people, obedient to our parents. So I did not even learn that he believed in God, and considered himself Catholic, until we came to America, when I was 15 years old.
So in his case, had he remained faithful Catholic, as he was brought up in his childhood, and had he believed in no private interpretations, he could have died saved, but he died unsaved. Surely he won't find it difficult, when he is resurrected and taught correctly, to repent and be saved. But still, he died without God, even though he believed in God, so he won't be resurrected to eternal life, he will be resurrected to mortal life and not get saved until later.
So it is better to believe in no private interpretations, rather than not believe in the gospel at all. My father's liberal humanistic interpretations led him too far astray.

ME:

I said "It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?"

You said "If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent."

Clearly now, I understand you as meaning that sins committed in ignorance will be forgiven. It seems then that ignorance automatically absolves the sinner. And in your previous post, you cited Rom. 14 as to teach us this matter. Can you tell me where in particular in Rom.14 teaches that?

FYM and INC does forbid reading the Bible. Of course not that one who can read words is not allowed to read words in the Bible. But we know that reading goes hand in hand with understanding what he reads. Or putting it another way, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures.

Tomas:

It is especially clear in Rom. 14:6, after verse 1 talks about Christians weak in faith, like some were vegetarians, thought mistakenly that eating meat is a sin. So then verse 6 says "Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God."
So clearly people weak in faith, who are not well informed about what things are sinful and not sinful, like people who refuse to work on the Sabbath, or refuse to work on Sunday, or do not know that on Sunday they are to give money to the church, or celebrate Christmas, or Halloween, etc., or ignore Passover day, their sins are forgiven, since in their ignorance they are doing what they are doing for the Lord.
Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, since they are doing their sins to the Lord, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith.
So from that we can see that any sins committed by a saved person ignorantly, are forgiven. So in the example of churches like INC, or the Catholic church, or the Philadelphia Church of God, or the New Apostolic Church, etc., Christians who say there is to be no private interpretation, we should rely on the church to determine how to interpret important verses, sure these Christians are sinning, but when they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven. So if they die saved, they will be resurrected to eternal life, and then we will all be taught correctly how to interpret such verses, so if we have committed a sin due to ignorance, we will be glad to be corrected, and we will repent of such a sin. After all, God is very understanding, he knows that we can't be infallible, some verses are difficult to understand, or to harmonize with other verses on the same topic. So it is easy to misunderstand something in the Bible, and sin therefore, but if we do it for the Lord, we are forgiven. So likewise saved Christians, who refuse to do private interpretations of verses, and tell others not to do private interpretations, but rely on what their church teaches on such a verse, they do it for the Lord, so they are forgiven.

ME:

You said, "Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith."

"since they are doing their sins to the Lord"?

In all of the things you said here with regards to what is written in Rom. 14, this what I want you to realize is the point of the matter:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

Romans 14 really does not talk of sins committed in ignorance Tomas, such as that, about eating or not eating certain food, or observing a day or not. In fact, a verse says there regarding this "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak". So you see, the point really there is that the brethren do not judge one another, and not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. That we must pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. And finally, we must remember that, on such matters of food and drinks, of observing days, that whatever is not from faith is sin.

So, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And this does not need much intelligence to understand that this is is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. So that, when one preaches and refers to scriptures and says that what he preach is in keeping with scriptures, we must be diligent enough to go to scriptures to see if what he says is truly in keeping with scriptures. And the Bereans are a good example of this. So, you see, everyone of us has the scriptures as the final resource and word. And how would that be, when preachers such as FYM and the INC, forbids their members to do just that, by forbidding them to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures?

Tomas:

Concerning Rom. 14, it can't be true that days do not matter at all. After all, 1 Cor. 16:2 commands us to give money to the church every first day of the week. And Col. 2:16 tells us not to be judged in regards to food or drink or festival or new moon or the Sabbath. So then clearly somebody who thinks it is sinful not to observe the Sabbath or the Day of Atonement or Pentecost etc., is unwittingly disobeying Col. 2:16. And 1 Cor. 5:8 commands us to keep the feast, not with leaven, of sin, but with unleavened bread. So clearly Paul is commanding us to keep the Passover day, with the Lord's supper. So days are still important, to obey God. But if somebody does not know some of this, and keeps some day wrongly, or wrongly does not keep a day, then he is still doing it for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
Likewise foods do matter too. I already mentioned Col. 2:16, so clearly we don't have to keep kosher laws, or with drink, any abstinence from wine due to trying to keep a Nazirite vow. Likewise somebody who keeps kosher, is unwittingly disobeying the command to Peter in Acts 10 to eat animals that used to be considered unclean. Or somebody who believes it is a sin to eat meat is similarly disobeying the same command, and likewise Col. 2:16. But they abstain for the Lord, so they are forgiven.
And likewise the HS inspired the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 not to eat blood, strangled animals, or food offered to idols. And Jesus himself confirmed the commandment not to eat food offered to idols in two verses in Rev. 2. So then someone who does not know that it is required to abstain from knowingly eating such stuff, and does so anyway, he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
But still, if you are eating with a Christian who thinks it is a sin to eat pork or shrimp or other stuff that was not kosher, then Paul makes it clear it can be advisable not to offend the brother or make him weak, by eating such stuff in front of him. Or likewise if he thinks it is a sin to drink wine, then don't drink wine in front of him. Some Christians think that drinking any alcohol is a sin. They are wrong in abstaining, but they are doing it for the Lord, so they are forgiven. On the other hand, if somebody thinks that drinking alcohol in excess is not a sin, then he can get drunk and it is a sin. But since he did it for the Lord, he is forgiven. But in fact several verses warn us not to get drunk. So the issue of drinking is not irrelevant, as you thought it is from Rom. 14.
And so similarly when somebody tells another Christian, not to rely on private interpretation, but to follow the teaching of their church, he is unwittingly sinning, but he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.

ME:

You said "SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD". Being a Christian, I am really having a hard time trying to figure out how Christians do their sins, and that, to the Lord. And that, if they do, having done it in ignorance, they are automatically forgiven by the Lord, whether they realize later on that they have sinned and repented of it, or not.

Concerning Rom. 14, I respect your opinion on it. And let me just repeat here what I wanted to tell you in this regard:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

If you would just try to understand what that these truth tells us, perhaps, you would have a different understanding of Romans 14.

So, again, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And as I have pointed out, that this is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You suggest that, if they are ignorant of this, being a sin, they automatically are forgiven by God of this sin. And this somehow excuses them. But, such a suggestion even is far from being the case. For FYM and INC believes that FYM is an angel sent by God. If so, FYM then will be far from being ignorant of such simple truths. Further, FYM and INC take upon themselves to believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong. This is where this INC preaching is coming from, and thus, the deception, the lie, and the false teaching.

Tomas:

Sure, the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That refers to the kosher laws in the Old Testament. But you need to realize that if someone does not know it is a sin to drink alcohol to excess, and gets drunk, it is still a sin, plenty of verses prove it. But he was doing it for the Lord, so it is forgiven. Or if someone knowingly eats food offered to idols, does not know it is a sin, even though Acts 15 condemns it, and Jesus himself forcefully condemns it in Rev. 2, then it is a sin. But since he was eating it for the Lord, it is forgiven. Or if one ignorantly disobeys the commandment of 1 Cor. 16:2, does not go to the congregation to give money on the first day of the week, it is a sin. But he was acting for the Lord, so he is forgiven. Or if somebody ignorantly refuses to do any work on the Sabbath, it is a sin, but he was refusing to work, for the Lord, so it is forgiven.
So likewise if someone teaches, that we should not do any private interpretation of the scriptures, whether he is INC or Catholic or whatever, it is a sin, but he is saying this for the Lord, so he is forgiven. So if he is sincere, as surely most INC ministers or Catholic priests are, then it is not a deception, it is not a knowing lie, sure it is a false teaching, but due to misunderstanding of a verse. And also due to such reasoning, where they say look at Protestants, they do interpretations of the Bible, and as a result there are thousands of Protestant denominations with a great variety of doctrines. So INC says that is why you should listen to the Administration, how they interpret the verses. Or Catholics say, that is why you should listen to the Magisterium, the bishops headed by the pope, to see how they interpret the verses. Otherwise you have doctrinal chaos. And of course they have a point, Protestants have a diversity of views on many doctrines. It is inevitable. Many verses are hard to understand. But that is in God's plan. God did not inspire the Bible in such a way that it is easy to understand. Some parts are easy to understand, sure, but other parts are not, and I believe it is so that we would not become proud, thinking we understand everything, but it is better for us to continue to study the Bible, at least as long as we can. Of course if we get dementia, then we can't study any more. Or if we are in a coma, for example.

ME:

If you just would understand what it means when scripture says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", you would not have any issue about food and drink. Jesus even taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." And in like sense, if you would just understand what it means when scripture says "whatever is not from faith is sin", you would not have any issue about a lot of things such as one esteeming one day above another, or about 1 Cor. 16:2, whether it is a sin or is not.

Now, all of that is very different from what I'm pointing out about FYM and INC, regarding the forbidding of one in going to scriptures to read and understand what God says there, which I have further pointed out to be is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You argue that they are ignorant of this wrong and that such excuses them from this sin. As I have explained, even taking for granted that ignorance excuses the sinner, they could not be ignorant about this Tomas. FYM and INC knowingly believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong, so that, this is the reason they put up. It's not because they misinterpret a verse or so Tomas. Is claiming to be a prophesied angel of God, claiming to be sent at this particular era and place, an ignorant thing Tomas? Are you a follower and believer of FYM too?

Tomas:

I see you are like INCquisitor, giving me this argument that Jesus said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
But the fact is that when he said that, the Law was still in effect for all Israelites. So including Jesus and his disciples. See Mt. 5:18-19, the Law was still in effect, until all was accomplished, until the Law was nailed to the cross. See also Mt. 23:2-3, where Jesus was telling the Jewish crowd, including of course also his own disciples, that they should do all that the scribes and Pharisees say, though not as they do. So when they said not to eat pork, shrimp, horses etc., then Peter, John, etc. had to obey, could not eat such non-kosher stuff. And we can see in Acts 10, that Peter himself had never eaten such non-kosher stuff, as he told the voice from heaven in that vision of the formerly unclean animals being lowered to Peter and Peter was told to eat from them. Did he disobey Jesus by not eating pork, horses etc.? Of course not. Clearly Jesus did not eat such stuff with his disciples. And why did Jesus drive some demons into a herd of swine, with the swine ending up getting killed? Clearly they belonged to some disobedient Jew. Otherwise it would be a sin, if they were owned by a Gentile. And Jesus of course never sinned.
So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them.
And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols. They were clearly violating what the Holy Spirit inspired the council of Jerusalem to decide, in Acts 15.

So now concerning INC and FYM, when I said misunderstanding of one verse, I was of course referring to 2 Peter 1:20, about private interpretation. Same with for example Catholics. Now you raise the issue of verses misinterpreted by FYM as referring to himself. Whether he was lying on purpose or was just wrong, I can't tell, can't read his heart. But clearly the average INC minister sincerely believes it. Just like Catholics take some verses that suggest Peter was the leader of the apostles, and take it that his successors as bishops of Rome are infallible. We can argue with them about the verses, but we are not likely to persuade many of them. So when INC teaches that FYM was infallible, so we should follow his interpretation and not private interpretation, they are wrong, and they are sinning, but if they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven, Rom. 14, since what they are doing, they are doing for the Lord.

ME:

No need to liken me with INCquisitor Tomas.

Yes, Jesus taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.", even while the Law is still in effect, as you say. That makes it all the more interesting isn't it Tomas? Why would Jesus say that? It is basically to tell them that they really do not understand the Law.

You wrote "So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them."

That's right, the context is the washing of one's hands before eating. But to answer your question there, we need not look anywhere else, for Jesus gives us the answer just a few verses after, which I quote:

Mat.15:15-20
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Now, in relation to our discussion, in the sense that an unwashed hand is unclean and so whatever that is put in the mouth with unwashed hands is no different from putting in anything, be it food or drink, that is unclean. It matters not really, as is here seen. So, we need not so be occupied by such. And this can be further understood where scriptures says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

Now you said "And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols". Did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man?

Concerning INC and FYM, I have perhaps brought up other INC beliefs to point out to you that they don't teach such things in ignorance Tomas. Their take of scriptures and so then their teachings are founded on the claim that FYM is the prophesied angel/messenger of God in the last days, taking him to be infallible and the only one with the correct interpretation of scriptures, and that INC is the only true church that was purchased by the blood of Christ, and so the only ones who are saved. That this is where their false teaching all emanates from and their forbidding of reading and interpreting of scriptures.

Tomas:

Please don't feel insulted that I compared your belief about this to INCquisitor's belief. Of course there are lots of differences between your beliefs and his. I suspect and hope that you are saved, clearly you are not deviating from the true gospel in what you say on this forum, while INCquisitor was teaching a false gospel, with two Christs and with parts of Revelation (just like elsewhere in the Bible), not inspired. So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are.
So I was pointing out to him, that while non-kosher meat did not defile those Jews, it was still sinful for them to eat it. And likewise now, when non-kosher meat is no longer unclean, still, the council of Acts 15, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decided that eating blood, strangled animals, and food offered to idols, is still sinful. And to emphasize it, Jesus himself condemned eating food offered to idols decades later, in Rev. 2. So do you think Jesus was contradicting himself? Of course not. He knew in Mt. 15 just as much as in Rev. 2, that eating blood or food offered to idols is sinful. And at the time of Mt. 15, eating non-kosher meat, like pork, camels, horses, eagles, snakes, shrimp, etc. was still sinful, for Jews, including the disciples of Jesus. Look at Acts 10, Peter received a vision with formerly unclean animals being lowered to him, and Peter was told to eat them. Peter of course protested, that he never ate such animals. Was Peter an idiot? Of course not. Peter was one of the most prominent apostles. Jesus did not choose an idiot for this. So clearly Jesus did not eat pork, rabbits, snakes, horses, or any other non-kosher animals with Peter, since it was sinful to do so, and Jesus never sinned. Peter of course heard Jesus in Mt. 15, but he understood better than you do or INCquisitor does, that Jesus did not declare such meat no longer sinful. So he did not eat such stuff, until Acts 10.
And as I pointed out already to INCquisitor, Jesus drove demons into a herd of pigs, owned by someone. So he destroyed someone's property. That would have been a sin, had it not been for the fact that it was a Jew who owned the pigs for food, so it was sinful for that Jew to do so, so Jesus had the full right to destroy his pigs. So Jesus never sinned. The Jew would not have been defiled by eating the pork, but it would still have been a sin for him to eat the pork. And of course people keep pigs mainly for food. Likewise Jesus said once, if a child asks you for a fish, would you give him a snake? Some fishes were kosher, but snakes were all non-kosher, sinful to eat. So it would have been sinful for the parent to give his child a snake to eat. So clearly Jesus did not declare non-kosher meats to be clean, no more sinful. That had to wait until the new revelation in Acts 10.
So as you can see, Jesus did not contradict himself in Rev. 2. He was consistent, as expected for the true Christ.

Concerning the INC, regardless if FYM was ignorant, his ministers and other INC members were ignorant, they did believe FYM that he was prophesied about in the Bible, and was sent to restore the church, and so INC is the church, where people need to belong to be saved. And that not belonging to INC just leads to all the doctrinal chaos, of thousands of denominations with different doctrines, often because of their private interpretations, violating his understanding of 2 Peter 1:20 about private interpretation. So that is what led them ignorantly to reject private interpretation. So based on Rom. 14, those among them who are saved, their sin due to ignorance, is forgiven.

ME:

Well, one thing is true and definite, you are not my judge Tomas. And I really do care less of whether you think I'm saved or not. God is my Savior. My hope of salvation rest in Christ.

You said "So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are". I would say that it is your arguments that are faulty Tomas, not mine. Here's one that you put up "So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them".

And after all that you said about kosher and non kosher food, I say it again, did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man? Obviously not. Now, meditate on these truths:

Mt. 15:16-20
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

With regards the matter with INC and FYM, well if that is your opinion on the matter, I'll let it be with you then.

Tomas:

Of course I am not your judge. I can't read your heart. Your salvation status is between you and God. Your pastor can't know it, or anyone else on earth. I was just stating my opinion and hope, but I can't know it about anyone else.

Concerning Mt. 15:20, yes, what goes into the mouth does not defile a man, like dirt or even sinful food, but what goes out defiles a man.

Concerning Rom. 14:17, even if your interpretation were somehow right, and so Paul would have superseded for example Acts 15, then Paul would have been superseded by Christ himself in two verses in Rev. 2, since those statements came later. Christ there combined eating food offered to idols, with fornication, in his condemnation, thus reaffirming the commandments of Acts 15.

ME:

Concerning Mt. 15:20, while you got that what goes into the mouth does not defile the man, you seemed to miss the more important point, that is, those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and are that, that defiles the man.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

This verse simply teach the Christian that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking Tomas. That means, it is not about food Tomas. But that, it is about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. If one learn that, he will come to correctly take and understand verses such as those involving food.

Tomas:

I do know that what proceeds out of the mouth comes from the heart and defiles the man. I never questioned the truth of that.

And you just can't ignore the condemnation by Christ in Rev. 2 of eating what is sinful to eat. It is just as bad as fornication, look at those verses.

ME:

As it is, while you may claim to understand the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking (Romans 14:17), you still apparently actually don't since you still don't get to have the right understanding of Rev. 2 concerning the eating part, saying that the eating is just as bad as fornication. Such understanding obviously goes contrary to the truth said in Romans 14:17.

Tomas:

I believe you totally misunderstand Rom. 14:17. I believe Paul meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God. My evidence is for example the commandments of Acts 15, which are reaffirmed by Christ in Rev. 2, so it is clearly sinful to eat food offered to idols or blood, or strangled animals. Likewise there are verses condemning drunkenness, excessive drinking of alcohol. So that is clearly sinful drinking. But if somebody gets drunk, not knowing that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God. Likewise there are verses that our bodies are temple of God, so we should not ruin that temple. So clearly eating poisonous mushrooms or berries, or drinking poisons, that is sinful eating or drinking. But if somebody is not aware that it is a sin, for example there are snake-handling churches where the members drink diluted poisons, to prove God heals them, based on their understanding of Mark 16:18, as a sign that they are believers, still, it is really sinful drinking, but because they are doing so ignorantly, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God. Also the Bible condemns gluttony, but if someone does gluttony, not aware that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God.
So that is what Paul meant by writing that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. Not that you can eat and drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. I guess in two churches in Asia they could have similarly misunderstood Paul's writing, so then Christ had to tell them in epistles he dictated to John, not to do it anymore, it should not be tolerated. When they did it ignorantly, it did not affect their standing in the kingdom of God, but now that Jesus told them, they were no longer ignorant, so no more excuse. That is true of both sinful eating and fornication. But some Christians still do not know it, so when they do such stuff, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God.

ME:

Come on Tomas. Rom. 14:17 is a simple verse. It says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." You try to explain it by saying that it "meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God." Not even close Tomas. For Rom. 14:17, in this instance, talks about what the kingdom of God is and is not. It does not talk about eating and drinking, that such does not affect our salvation, nor talk about the matter of getting to or not, to the kingdom of God. Now, with your take of the verse, tell me about the last part, that is, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Tomas:

The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

ME:

You said "The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want". This just somehow shows how much you don't understand what Rom. 14:17 is about.

Why is it hard for you to understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"?

The second part of the verse says that the kingdom of God is "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Is this too hard for you to understand?

Tomas:

Looks like you don't like my explanation of that verse. And no wonder, since you are still ignoring the other verses I mentioned. After all, Rom. 14:17 is not the only verse in the Bible. So you have to understand it in view of the other verses I mentioned.

ME:

How can you not understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"? If you do, can you simply tell me what it says?

And if you really understand this statement "the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", can you simply tell me what it says?

Tomas:

But I already told you above what each part means. I think I said it so well above, I don't see how to improve on it. So let me simply repeat it:
The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

Well, doesn't that explain each part of Rom. 14:17 very clearly?

ME:

You have been telling me your take of the context with regards the first part, but fail to get its simple message. On the second part, what you have said, while it sounds good, is entirely out of context.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

After Paul dealt with the importance of not judging one another, between those Christians who believed that they should refrain from some practices concerning food and days, that they believed were displeasing to God, and those Christians who felt were legitimate, he told and pointed out to them that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He said this to set it as their guide on how they relate to one another. Now, matters of eating and drinking are but external amoral practices. An amoral practice is neither right nor wrong in itself. It does not involve sin, or, therefore, morality. The primary issues in the lives of dedicated Christians should not be external amoral practices, but the great spiritual qualities that "the Holy Spirit" seeks to produce in them ~ "righteousness" (right conduct), "peace", and "joy".

Tomas:

So you say that what I consider sinful eating or drinking, like gluttony, drinking alcohol in excess, eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, you consider amoral, neither right nor wrong in itself, based on your interpretation of Rom. 14:17.
In that case, how do you interpret the Holy Spirit condemnation of eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15?
And how do you explain Jesus's endorsement of the Council of Jerusalem condemnation of fornication and eating food offered to idols, in Rev. 2?
And how do you explain the biblical condemnation of gluttony? And the frequent biblical condemnation of drunkenness?

ME:

Please try to read carefully what I said and understand what I am saying about eating and drinking, as being not what the kingdom of God is about.

Regarding your questions, such does not change the point that eating and drinking are external amoral practices. Try to consider the first commandment, to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Is eating, the sin or is it the breaking of God's commandment, which is rebellion against God?

Gluttony and drunkenness are sins but are not sins because they are what you call sinful eating and drinking. Consider covetousness.

Tomas:

Gluttony and drunkenness are not covetousness. My Random House College Dictionary defines 'covet' this way: 1. to desire (another's property) inordinately or wrongfully. 2. to wish for, especially eagerly: He won the prize they all coveted.
So as you can see even in the example for the second definition, they did not own the prize, so they coveted it. So if I were to own a bottle of whisky (and I have no intention of buying whisky, so I don't), then I could not covet it, since I would already own it. But if I were to drink the bottle, or even a large percentage of it, I would get drunk, and that would not be a sin of covetousness, but drunkenness. Likewise I own a loaf of bread, but if I were to eat lots of it at one sitting, I would overeat, so that would not be a sin of covetousness, since I already own the loaf, but it would be a sin of gluttony. It would be sinful eating.
You mention the first commandment, to Adam and Eve. They both disobeyed, and ate of the forbidden fruit. It was sinful eating, since it disobeyed a commandment. Similarly if we disobey the commandments of the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, inspired by the Holy Spirit, if we eat blood or a strangled animal or food offered to an idol, we break a commandment by this sinful eating. And certainly Jesus himself confirmed the commandments of Acts 15 in Rev. 2. So no doubt, they are commandments. They are not abolished. So to eat that would be, if done knowing it is wrong, it would be rebellion against God, just as much as what Adam and Eve did.

ME:

As I said, gluttony and drunkenness are sins but are not sins because they are what you call sinful eating and drinking. Eating and drinking are but external amoral practices, neither right nor wrong in itself. Now, I said, consider covetousness. Covetousness is greed.

With regards the first commandment, to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the act of eating or the eating itself is amoral. The sin is the breaking of God's commandment, which is rebellion against God.

Now, you take this to the issue in Acts 15. Read what Peter have to say regarding the Acts 15 issue.

Acts 15:10-11 [CAPS MINE]
10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ WE SHALL BE SAVED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THEY.

In considering what Peter said here, take note, the "they" refers to the Gentile believers, and the "we" refers to the Jewish believers. Now, the Gentiles do not have the law which includes laws concerning food, as do the Jews.

Now, consider the letter they wrote:

Acts 15: 24-29
24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”[f] —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.[g] If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Considering v.28-29 where it says "to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.", who do you say is it that would not lay upon them no greater burden? What is that which they clearly described here as a great burden? This is also said in v.10, speaking of it as a yoke on the neck. And why is it said to be a great burden or a yoke on the neck?

Nonetheless, the letter says as necessary things, that they abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. Why is that? Remember what the issue in Acts 15 is all about, that is, the dispute on the matter of the necessity or not for Gentile believers to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. It is really not about eating, blood, etc. And this issue in fact was decided, and can be understood in verse 24. Now, the matter of the Gentile believers to abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, being included in the letter, can be understood in v.21, which says "For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath". And obviously too, this is to take care of the trouble of the Gentile believers with the Jewish believers who believe in the keeping of the law of Moses, which James told the council in v.19, "I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God". The intent is well understood in the last statement of v.29 which says "If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well".

All that said, Acts 15 does not have anything to do, nor make eating and drinking as moral matters or sinful.

Tomas:

So if you define covetousness as greed, greed is wanting a lot of stuff, like money, that the person does not have.
So this does not apply to excessive eating or drinking of food or drink that the person has already.
Yes, the first sin, of Adam and Eve, was due to breaking a commandment. What was the commandment? Not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They did eat, so they sinned against God's commandment by eating.
Now similarly in Acts 15. The great burden was the Law of Moses. The Holy Spirit informed the assembled council that it is no longer necessary. But it informed the council that 4 commandments are necessary, not to eat food offered to idols, not to eat blood, not to eat strangled things, not to fornicate. So if someone does it, he violates a necessary commandment. For example if one fornicates, he violates a commandment. So that is a sin. Similarly if one eats blood, he violates a commandment. So that is the sin.
Similarly in Rev. 2, Jesus told John to write to two churches that they are doing wrong in tolerating members who fornicate and eat food offered to idols. So just like in Acts 15, they sinned if they fornicated, they violated a commandment. Or if they ate food offered to idols, they sinned, they violated the commandment. So Jesus made it clear it should no longer be tolerated in these churches. Or by implication, in any church.
Do you agree now?

ME:

I guess no matter how I would explain to you what is covetousness or greed, and that gluttony and drunkenness are sins but are not sins because they are what you call sinful eating and drinking, and that eating and drinking are but external amoral practices, neither right nor wrong in itself, you would not get to understand. And that goes as well with regards the first commandment, that the act of eating or the eating itself is amoral and that the sin is the breaking of God's commandment.

And perhaps, further still, with the issue in Acts 15. I'm sad about that.

Anyway, let me still say something concerning Acts 15.

While you gave your answer as to what the burden and yoke spoken there is, which you say is the Law of Moses, you have not given your answer to the questions "Who do you say is it that would not lay upon them no greater burden? Why is it said to be a great burden or a yoke on the neck?"

You also said "But it informed the council that 4 commandments are necessary, not to eat food offered to idols, not to eat blood, not to eat strangled things, not to fornicate". What we have in Acts is this "to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality."

And considering what you said concerning this matter of abstaining from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, you apparently have not understood anything I've written about this in my post above, as you have altogether missed the point there as to why these things were included in the letter.

Tomas:

So let me answer. It is of course God who would not put a greater burden on us from the Law of Moses than the 4 necessary commandments in Acts 15. Why was it a great burden? There were, according to at least Orthodox Jewish count, 613 commandments in the Law of Moses. That was a lot. We have far fewer commandments in the New Covenant.

Me:

Apparently you consistently fail to understand the issue in Acts 15, so that you consistently see only what have been laid upon the Gentile believers, and that as if picked out from among the 600+ commandments in the law of Moses as being the only 4 commandments that the Christian must keep. And that by it, it would not be a great burden to them. Of course, obviously that would not make sense at all.

So, let me try to explain to you again.

1. The issue in Acts 15 is the matter of requiring the Gentile believers to be circumcised after the manner of Moses, for them to be saved.
2. That the Gentile believers be commanded to keep the law of Moses.
3. The Gentile believers in Antioch were being troubled by men which came down from Judaea who have these issues mentioned above.

After much disputing over the issue, here's what Peter said:

"Ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they".

So, we can see clearly from what Peter said, that God had put no difference between the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers, in that, God have both purified their hearts by faith, and that they both shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, not through the Jewish circumcision and the Mosaic Law. So this settles the issue on the matter of requiring the Gentile believers to be circumcised, for them to be saved.

Now, on the matter of the trouble of the Gentile believers with Jewish believers who were taught and convinced of the teaching of the necessity of circumcision and the keeping of the law of Moses for the Christian to be saved, and by the men which came down from Judaea who taught such doctrine, here's what James said concerning the troubled Gentile believers:

"Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood."

The reason for this James continued:

"For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day".

And indeed they wrote letters which says:

"Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:"

In this part of the letter, the apostles and elders and brethren in the church at Jerusalem, acknowledges the trouble caused by certain men which went out from them, but to whom they gave no command to require the Gentile believers to be circumcised, and keep the law.

The letter continues:

"...it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well."

In this part of the letter, is what James have put up with the council at Jerusalem, to take care of the trouble at hand, among the brethren in Antioch. And this must not be in anyway mistaken to mean that these 4 things are required for the Gentile believers to be saved. Rather, by abstaining or keeping away from these 4 things, they will do well and kept out of trouble.

I hope by now, you are able to understand what Acts 15 is all about.

Now, on the matter as to what is that which they clearly described here as a great burden, it would be the matter of being circumcised and the keeping of the Law. And as to why this is said to be a yoke on the neck, is because, it had been so to the all the Jews, and no Jew was able to bear it and have succeeded in keeping the law. As to who it is that would not lay upon them no greater burden, it is the Jerusalem council, being convinced, as to them it seemed good and to the Holy Spirit, to not lay such great burden and yoke. These things can well be understood in what is written in v.10, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" This clearly tells us that putting this yoke upon the neck of the Gentile believers to be circumcised and keep the law, which in other words, to require them to be a Jew, for them to be saved, is not God's will, and in fact is sin, as this somehow is tempting God.
------------------------






Michael:

Now, I was shocked by your statement here:

" So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other."

Why would I be happy about that? And how could I agree that God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse? Are you truly happy debating with other Christians? Preposterous and silly, I would say.

Tomas:

You are now talking like a Catholic, or an INC member, insisting that all Christians agree on every doctrine, that the diversity is no good. When I said we can debate with each other, I do not mean angry arguments, I mean brotherly discussions among Christians. And that I am happy to be doing. I am happy to be discussing with you and with other Christians. After all, discussing issues in the wonderful book, the Bible, should fill us with happiness. It is the best book in the world, it is the word of God. And so, since we should not expect any of us to be infallible, we can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and show to each other, where in the Bible our beliefs come from. If neither one is too stubborn and unwilling to change, then at least one can learn from the other. Like I have learned from you.
If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). What is written in the Bible of course. So no new revelation of any interpretations. Sola scriptura. So no inspired interpretations by ecumenical Catholic councils or by popes or by executive ministers or anyone else. We are all in the same boat, no inspired interpretations, so we can know we are not infallible in our interpretations, so we will not be proud, but properly humble, as God wants us to be. And we will not be angrily arguing about interpretations, but happily discussing our interpretations, in a loving fraternal manner. So please, don't be shocked about it, be happy about it. Now we are not to go beyond what is written, so now is not the time for perfect doctrinal unity, like some churches, like Catholic, INC, New Apostolic Church, Philadelphia Church of God, and others who insist we have to be united, we get interpretations from God, so we better agree, or else we are outside the church or something. But when Jesus comes back, and we are resurrected, the Bible says we will be going to Jerusalem to learn from God, so God will then give us correct interpretations, and all the saved people will be in one denomination. Sola scriptura will no longer be true. We will be given new laws, as some of these laws are described in Ezekiel, Zechariah, etc. For example the Feast of Tabernacles will be required for all, not just Israelites, as was true in the Law of Moses. And all, not just males, will have to go to Jerusalem for that feast. So then we will have doctrinal unity. But now it is impossible, it is not in God's plan for us.

ME:

Did I say that the diversity is no good? What I said is that I am not happy about such. For scriptures says "There is one body and one Spirit", that Paul beseech of the Christians, to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And so I see that it's not diversity that scriptures calls for, but unity.

You said "If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6)."

Certainly God gives us the correct interpretation of His words in scriptures, according to His will and in His time. Only He could help and make us understand His words in scriptures which are about the things of God.

And certainly, God's intention is for us to be united, as I have discussed above. And this includes being one in understanding God's words in scriptures. What Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. The verse says "Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.". What Paul wants us to understand here is that we learn in them (Paul and Apollos), not to think beyond what is written. Why is that? So that, we may not be puffed up or take pride in one over another. This is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of interpretations that goes beyond what is written.

Tomas:

Of course we are one body, and we are united in the eyes of God, even though many of us can be unhappy about the divisions into denominations, or also differences in beliefs among Christians regardless of denominations or being non-denominational. These differences are on secondary doctrines, not on gospel doctrines. So we have one faith, in the sense of faith in the gospel.
And concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, pride would be involved if we were to go beyond what is written, we could be puffed up, thinking we know more than other Christians, that we got some special interpretations that others did not get.

ME:

How can we be united in the eyes of God, when we are not in reality and practically united? That is not at all what being united is Tomas. For example, you say the INC is part of the church of God, and the RCC as well. Now are they united? Obviously not. Do they believe in the same Christ, that is, Savior? INC's Christ is not God, while RCC's Christ is God.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, as I said, what Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. Read again my previous post on this. 1 Cor. 4:6 is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of some special interpretations that others get and others did not.

Tomas:

INC and RCC don't consider themselves to be united, but in God's eyes they are united, because people from both churches are in God's own church. They do believe in the same Christ, that is Savior, that it is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, etc. Sure some think he is God and others think that he is not God, but that is just what they think, in reality they can't know.
Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, it is a matter of not being proud, not thinking like I have a special interpretation from God while another Christian does not. We are all equal, none of us get special interpretations from God, we can't be infallible.

ME:

Well, if you believe that, in God's eyes, INC and RCC are united, even while in reality and practice, are hostile to each other, in that, one condemns the other, and says of each other as anti-Christ, then so be it for you then.

And while for you, you believe that you can't know if Christ is God or is not, that has nothing to do with their unity or disunity.

And we are all equal Tomas, whether one knows and understands much or less of what is revealed in scriptures. And sure we are not infallible in so many ways. But relative to 1 Cor.4:6, let me quote what Paul says in v.7 "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Well, I guess you don't feel united with either INC or RCC, since you dislike that they believe in the saving power of water baptism. But I believe that in spite of such dislike, in God's eyes, you are united with them, at least actually with the saved people in those denominations. Not with the unsaved. Still, I believe God loves all denominations that preach the gospel, no matter what percentage of members is saved in each. But only the saved are in the church.

As far as 1 Cor. 4:7, I am not sure how to understand it. Having something you did not receive, that looks like theft. But that does not seem to fit the rest of the verse. It looks to me like a very difficult verse. Maybe you have some idea of what it means.

ME:

For sure I could not feel united in the spirit with INC, much as I want to. How can I when their messiah is a man, named Jesus, while my Messiah is God, who incarnated, revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, the verse says "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

There is nothing in there that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. I don't know what version you are reading. But I checked other versions, and found not one which speaks of such. So, I suggest you read it again.

As to what the verse means, is plain. You are intelligent and could easily understand what the verse means.

Tomas:

You say your Messiah is God, who incarnated. So then you too believe your Messiah is a man, even though you happen to believe he is both God and man. And you both believe he is revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ. So not much difference. Just a little difference in you having the theory he is God, while they have the theory that he is not God.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough. For example let's say you have a book. Now you have received the book, maybe from a bookstore, or from somebody. Or if you have not received the book, then I see no other choice except you stole it. With some objects there is a third choice, let's say you have an orange. You have received it, from a store or from somebody, or you stole it, or maybe you planted an orange tree years ago, and it had flowers, and the flowers got transformed into orange fruit. So now you have an orange. But with books, this third choice does not apply, you cannot grow books in your garden. So yes, the text looks plain, but the deep meaning behind it escapes me.

ME:

Ask the INC, I'm pretty sure, they'll tell you of a great deal of difference concerning this. Ask any Christian who believes that Christ is God, and they certainly would tell you a great deal of difference. If you don't see much of a difference, that I don't know why you do. Perhaps, there is really not much difference for you in Christ being God or not, or perhaps, because of your different perspective of the revelations about the person of God.

You said regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?

As I said, there is nothing in 1 Cor.4:7 that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. So, I strongly suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse.

1 Cor. 4:7, "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Of course INC considers this to be very important, so important it is necessary for salvation, John 17:3, that we believe Christ is not God. But I believe that is a misinterpretation of that verse. Sure the Father is the only true God, but this God could well include other persons.
Similarly some trinitarians believe it is necessary for salvation to believe Christ is God.
But I say we can't know, so God does not make a big deal of whether one believes Christ is God or not God. I am not saying it is unimportant to God, but it is not revealed to us, so God does not make it important to us.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:7, I am stuck, clearly there is something you have thought of that I haven't. I mean, if you have a book, and you haven't received it, but you haven't stolen it, then how did you obtain it?

ME:

Not revealed to you, not us, Tomas. Nothing further.

Regarding 1 Cor.4:7, you have not answered my question relative to your statement "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". My question is "What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?"

Now, you are so into the matter of having something one did not receive that looks like theft, for which I say, the verse does not speak about. I can't understand why you are so into that with regards 1 Cor. 4:7.

Let's take the statements in 1 Cor. 4:7, one by one.

First statement "For who makes you differ from another?". Is there anything about having something here? None.

Second statement "And what do you have that you did not receive?". Does this speak of something you have by theft?

Third statement "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". There is likewise nothing here that speaks of the matter you are so concerned about.

So, I suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse instead.

Tomas:

I am sure trying to understand the verse. But I guess I need more insight, maybe you have thought of something I have not thought of.
So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received. One is by getting it by theft, another is by having grown it for yourself, like you might grow tomatoes or oranges etc. So maybe if you received a tomato, you can boast as if you have not received the tomato, but claim you have grown it yourself. That would be a sinful boast, it would be a lie.
I have thought of relating it to the previous verse, like if you claim you have a message from God that you did not receive. But then the third part would not make sense, who has received a message from God and boast as if he did not receive it? That would not make sense.
But if it is about growing food like tomatoes etc., then why does it follow verse 6, as if it is related to it? After all, verse 7 begins with 'for'. So I think I have not thought of something, I don't have enough imagination when dealing with this verse. Clearly you think you have it figured out, but you are not telling me what then is your interpretation.

ME:

1 Cor. 4:7
7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

You said "So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received".

I can't see why you have such a problem with regards to understanding the verse Tomas. The question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. And in relation to this, Paul asked the questions "And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". Paul, by way of these questions, reminds the Corinthians that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. That God had given them everything they had, and as a consequence, they should be grateful, not boastful.

Tomas:

OK, I see now better how you interpret it, and your interpretation seems to make sense. It is true, that whatever we have, is ultimately from God, regardless of who gave it to us. So like the Bible tells us, to receive food with thanksgiving, so clearly we should pray to God and thank him for the food, before we eat. Regardless of how we got the food, it is ultimately from God. Without him, the food would not exist and we would not exist.
So I guess, when Paul asked "And what do you have that you did not receive?", apparently Paul meant that we have nothing that we did not receive, since everything we have we received from God. So then in the next question, which confused me so much, Paul apparently meant by asking "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?", he apparently meant, you did receive everything you have from God, so then why do you boast, as if you did not receive it from God, but it is your achievement? So you boast about your achievements, but really you are all equal before God, none of you is superior to others.
Yes, I had not thought of the issue of receiving everything we have from God. So I was thinking of things like receiving food from the store, etc. God was not mentioned in that verse, not explicitly. So I was really confused. But you have helped me to understand the verse much better, for which I am thankful to you.
So I now want to make sure, does my new understanding now agree totally with your understanding?

ME:

What Paul says there and meant in those verses is with regards to the mysteries of God, and it does not speak really of other things such as food and drink. These things Paul said, they received, from God who gave it. So, Paul reasoned, that if they indeed receive it, they should not boast as if they had not received it.

Tomas:

I see, so I have still misunderstood what you meant. Clearly you are going back to verse 1, which speaks of us having the mysteries of God.
Personally, I do not believe verse 1 can be connected with that. After all, Paul asks, "And what do you have that you did not receive?" That looks to me like a general question, if Paul were asking about receiving mysteries of God, then he would not have framed the question that way. So I think my current understanding is correct now, the answer to this question should be "we have nothing that we did not receive", with the implication that everything we have we have received from God.
Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense. So I believe the correct interpretation is that about everything we have, if we did receive it from God, then why would we boast as if we had not received it from God? Meaning we could boast we made it ourselves, or grew it ourselves, give ourselves the credit, boast about it, rather than give the credit to God. Like for example Donald Trump boasts how successful he is, how much money he has made, rather than give the credit to God.

ME:

As I said, the question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. So, try going as far back to chapter 1 and read.

You said "Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense".

Read 1 Cor.4:6-8
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other? Try considering what Paul said in v.1-2 which goes "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful". I hope you get what Paul is trying to say to the Corinthians at this point of his letter. It would be clearer still if you'll try to see what Paul was saying in the previous chapters.

Tomas:

The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians speak about various things, like about God, about Christ, about water baptism, about that we should not consider ourselves as belonging to one or another church leader, but to Christ. So that does not help me much. Then you are emphasizing 4:1-2, about us, or at least about the leaders of the church, as being stewards of the mysteries of God. It seems to me more likely that when Paul writes 'us', he means leaders like himself and Apollos. So that already makes it unlikely that verse 7 is talking about us having received the mysteries of God. But let's say what it would mean if it were about us having received the mysteries of God. Now if some received the mysteries, why would they boast as if they have not received the mysteries? Is it something to boast about, that one has not received the mysteries, even though one has really received the mysteries? That does not make sense. So that is why I think verse 7 is an independent thought, that all we have we have received from God, so since we have received it from God, we should not boast like that we have something that is our own accomplishment, not from God.

ME:

Try resolving this by trying to answer the question "Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other"?

Tomas:

He said it, so that we would not go beyond what is written in the Bible, or else we could end up puffed up on behalf of one against the other. That seems clear enough, but it does not seem connected with the thoughts of verse 7. So I think my interpretation of verse 7 seems correct.

ME:

And what is your take on what it is to be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", in the context of not going beyond what is written in scriptures?

If in your opinion, verse 6 is not connected to verse 7, then that is your call. I would just have to respect that.

Tomas:

Sure, if we go beyond what is written, if we think we have some special inspiration from God telling us how to interpret verses, or we think we get visions from God, or dreams from God, with messages from God, then we could end up puffed up on behalf of us against the other Christians. We could end up proud, due to thinking we have this revelation or inspiration. And pride is a sin. Being puffed up means being proud.

ME:

I can see that we quite differ in our understanding of this. To exceed what is written in scriptures would be to go beyond the teaching of the Scriptures. If his readers avoided this pitfall, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other. And this is the very thing that Paul is trying to address the Corinthians here. So, in this regard, in v. 7 Paul reminded them that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. God had given them everything they had. Consequently they should be grateful, not boastful. Going at the end of chapter 4, Paul warns them, "Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power".

You will notice, Paul made it clear there that some of them are puffed up, implying that, there were some who have gone beyond what is written, and have become arrogant. Do you have any idea as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant?

Tomas:

I suppose that based on the end of chapter 4, some were prophesying that Paul was not going to visit them again, even though they did not get this info from God, so it was not reliable. So they were puffed up, thinking they got special knowledge, that other Christians did not have, but they did not get any knowledge about it from God.

ME:

Some guess you have there. And by that, you take that to mean that some have gone beyond what is written and were puffed up, became full of pride and arrogant by that. Well....

As I have pointed out in my previous post, if his readers avoided this pitfall, of going beyond what is written, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other". I don't think that your guess would result into such.

Tomas:

I suppose your guess could be possibly valid, given the fact that Paul mentioned himself and Apollos, who were among their teachers, apparently their two most prominent teachers. Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle. Well, when we are resurrected, we will find out which guess was right, whether it had to do with their teachers, or with themselves alone, as I was guessing.

ME:

I am not even guessing Tomas. I'm just telling you what can be seen in the last part of verse 6 "...that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other".

Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle? What?

What ideas as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant, you have there Tomas. Apparently then, you really do not know what these scriptures here mean.

Well, as you said, you will just have to wait till your resurrection then.

Tomas:

No verse says that Apollos did not become an apostle, or that Paul supervised Apollos or anything like that. Barnabas became an apostle. Others seem mentioned as having become apostles. So why not Apollos?

ME:

And there perhaps you are going beyond what is written, for you reason now that there is no verse that says Apollos did not become an apostle, etc. I would suggest that you don't bother yourself with those beyond what is written, such as those you say here, which are not written.

Tomas:

OK, no need to speculate about whether Apollos became an apostle. We will find out after we are resurrected.

ME:

Yes, you can now refrain from speculating.
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Joined: 11:04 PM - May 19, 2013

11:08 PM - Apr 22, 2017 #72

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. And if the hearer believes God's words, then his hearing the words of God have resulted then to the hearer having faith, faith in God.

You said "So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT."

The Father have sent the Son to the world, and in time, the Son sent the HS to His apostles to dwell in them and be their paracletos, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them, and will testify of Him. The apostles were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses and preach these to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

It is not enough to simply read the scriptures by yourself in order to understand what the scripture says. A man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury (Acts 8:27), was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:28), when Philip ran to him and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30). And the eunuch said, "How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him" (Acts 8:31).

A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, WHAT YOU SAY IS false.

ME:

You mentioned of the Eunuch, who said "How can I, unless someone guides me?". And it was Philip, who guided him. Now, you must not forget that the Spirit was with Philip. And it is the HS whom Jesus sent to His apostles to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He said to them, and these things were written in scriptures. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus to preach. And so we see Philip preaching to the Eunuch (it is wise to note what Philip preached to the Eunuch). But then, the apostles are all now dead and there were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of, as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. So, where can we hear the preaching of the apostles? That's right, in scriptures. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard them preached in their days, including that of Philip. Reading or hearing somebody reading scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach. So that, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, through scriptures, God's words.

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't address my questions.

I wrote: " A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines.

ME:

Oh, sorry about that.

I really can't tell INCquisitor in their case. Perhaps, you can ask them why.

On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

And have read also John 10:18 where John says:

10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Now, these scriptures, and the words of Jesus himself, that is, "in three days I will raise it up", and "I have power to take it again", clearly tells me that Jesus have the power to resurrect himself and have indeed risen from the dead. For when He had risen from the dead, scriptures says "His disciples remembered that He had said this to them.", that is, "I will raise it up.”

Why people like you don't see that or perhaps don't accept that, makes me sad for them.

You said "Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines."

How you consider this statement "READING or hearing somebody READING the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach" is FALSE, just tells me that you don't believe that what one can read in scriptures, the NT in particular" is not what the apostles preached. And you even say that what one hears (implied to be hearing the READING of scriptures by somebody) are not true words of God. Makes me feel sorry for you.

INCQUISITOR:

Your statement that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scripture, is hearing the apostles preach" is proven FALSE by your own admission, to wit: "On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

In Romans 10:9, apostle preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. In Acts 3:15, apostle Peter preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures where we HEAR apostles Paul and Peter preach that God RAISED Jesus from the dead.

Compare these scriptures with John 2:19-22 where apostle John preached what Jesus said. Did Jesus EXPLICITLY say that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? No! You are simply THINKING BEYOND what apostle John wrote. Your imagination makes apostles Peter and Paul LIARS. You are NOT listening to apostles Peter and Paul. You are listening to whoever you HEARD reading from the scriptures.

Me:

John 2:19-22
"19 JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID."

John 10:18 where JESUS says:
10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

I thought you believe every word that Jesus said.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 but NOT in the way you understand these verses that CONTRADICTS what apostles Peter and Paul wrote in Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Again, I ask you, did Jesus EXPLICITLY say in these verses that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? You REFUSE to answer my question because you ARE stuck with your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and Jon 10:18 that Jesus was saying he WILL RAISE HIMSELF from the dead.

Me:

There is contradiction between John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 with Rom. 10:9, and that, with regards your belief. As with mine, there is none.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true. If your understanding of scriptures denies these truths, then there is the problem with you.

In John 10:18, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. THIS COMMAND I have received from My Father.”. And I believe that, don't you? Now, with regards the Father's commandments to Jesus, Jesus said in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I HAVE KEPT my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.". So, there is no doubt that Jesus followed the Father's commandment to him in John 10:18. And there is nothing clearer than what is written in John 2:19-22 with regards this matter.

INCQUISITOR:

You say that, on the basis of your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead. You say your belief does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote (that God raised Jesus from the dead- Acts 3:15; Rom. 10:9) because your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 makes Jesus God in your mind.

To justify your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8, you conveniently set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 where he says that he is a MAN and in John 17:3 where he tells the Father that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God.

While it is true that John 2:19-22, John 10:18, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9, are ALL true, and I believe that too, YOUR understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 - that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead - is FALSE, Your understanding of these verses CONTRADICTS the word of God written in John 8:40, John 17:3, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Me:

I'm not at all posting to justify anything INCquisitor. And I neither set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 nor any scripture for that matter, unlike you who have trashed pretty much every scripture that does not go with your understanding of scriptures. For I do believe that Jesus is a man. But you just refuse to believe that I do and insist that I really don't for you find that illogical since I believe He is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man. I am not forcing you to believe it. I'm just telling you that this is what the scriptures tells me.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because you say this is what the scriptures tell you. That's the consequence of NOT having faith in what Jesus says.

You say you believe that Jesus is a MAN but you set aside and ignore John 17:3 where Jesus says to the Father, "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT."

As a result of ignoring and setting aside John 17:3, you FAILED to perceive the TWO truths that are revealed by Jesus in John 17:3. First, you FAILED to perceive the truth that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that NOBODY else is a TRUE God but the Father. Second, you FAILED to perceive the truth that Jesus was SENT by the Father who is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh.

Me:

Yes I believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because this is what the scriptures tells me. That's the consequence of listening and hearing God's words in scriptures and not in any man, not even in my own understanding. I rely in God's words for the truth and submit myself to it. Wrong understanding of scriptures comes by when out of pride, one begins to bring his own understanding and his confidence in his own reasoning and limited human abilities, deceiving himself into thinking that he can understand the spiritual things of God by his natural senses and abilities.

I say I believe that Jesus is a MAN and do not set aside nor ignore John 17:3 nor any of God's words. I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent. God, being the only true God and none other, has been revealed to Israel from the very beginning. The rest of the world knew this not, as evidenced by their worship and belief in many gods. Now, not even Israel knew who the Christ is, whom the one true God have sent to the world.

I hope you can answer the simple questions:

1. How did you know that there is only one true God and not many?
2. How did you know that God will send a Messiah to the world?
3. How have you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent?

You say and believe that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh because of John 8:40 and John 17:3. Yes, Jesus is not a God, because Jesus is God and not some other God, for there is but only one God. But, if that's what you understand out of the said scriptures, then so be it with you. As for me, John 8:40 speaks of Jesus to be a man. John 17:3 speaks of Jesus' Father to be the only true God and that He was sent by Him. God also revealed elsewhere in scriptures that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, who came forth from Him. God, in scriptures, reveals that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God came down from heaven, having been sent to the world below. That Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. That Jesus Christ knew no sin. And so on and so forth. And I believe all of that, not one that I pick out and do not believe. For all is God's words and so are true, faithful, powerful, and trustworthy.
------------------------------------
And yes I say that John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote, that God raised Jesus from the dead. As I said I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true and are not be to be taken as contradicting each other, which leads us to the understanding that Jesus is no other but God who became flesh.

INCQUISITOR:

It is your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 and your IGNORING John 17:3 that leads you and other Trinitarians to the FALSE understanding that Jesus is no other but God who BECAME flesh. If only you have faith in what Jesus says in John 17:3, you would come to the realization that Jesus was SENT by God - NOT God who BECAME flesh.

Me:

In your view, I have a faulty understanding. I can understand that. And in my view, I see you as the one whose understanding is faulty. We have different views about God. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not Lord to you, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is Lord to me, and so is the Son. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not your Savior, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is my Savior, and so is the Son.
-----------------------------------
Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

INCQUISITOR:

What you are saying is DIFFERENT from what apostle Paul says in Romans 10:13-15. Apostle Paul specifies from WHOM we should HEAR the word of God. And apostle Paul provides hints on how to know when a preacher is SENT or not.

In 1 Cor. 2:13 apostle Paul wrote, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual." A preacher SENT from God COMPARES spiritual things with spiritual.

In 2 Cor. 11:3-4 apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME Jesus, the SAME spirit and the SAME gospel that the apostles preached.

In Galatians 1:6-8, apostle Paul wrote: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME gospel that Christ and the apostles preached.

ME:

It's not DIFFERENT INCquisitor, but is exactly what apostle Paul says. As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

Let me pick up my point from the scriptures "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

This is a clear reminder and warning of Paul to the Christians in Galatia. That the gospel that they have preached to them in the beginning is the gospel, the true gospel I may say. He greatly emphasizes this to the point of saying that if anyone, even they (he and the other apostles) or even an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel other than what they have preached to them then, Paul said "let him be accursed". Now, what is significant about this? As I have pointed out, we should always go back to scriptures when somebody preaches to you and claims that what they are preaching is the gospel of Christ. For, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached that they were commissioned and sent to preach. In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence.

INCQUISITOR:

Let me show you the FOLLY of what you are saying.

You have read 1 Cor. 8:6 where it reads, "yet for us there is ONE God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

How come a lot of so-called Christians believe that Jesus Christ is ALSO God and for them there are TWO Lords - NOT one?

ME:

There is no folly to show in what I'm saying INCquisitor.

Regarding your question on 1 Cor.8:6, obviously you have a problem with that. God is my Lord. And Jesus Christ is my Lord. Why do you have a problem with that? The way I see it, it's because God is not your Lord. Anyway, this is not the issue in this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

Obviously, you don't listen to what God says in scriptures. And this is the folly of your OPINION that it is enough to read scriptures to have "faith by hearing the apostles through scriptures."

ME:

Well, if there are no other scriptures other than 1 Cor. 8:6, you may be right. But, that is not the case. And this is what is obvious, your scriptures is different from the Holy scriptures I read.

Perhaps, you can now go back to the issue under this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

You say: "In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence."

Aren't you contradicting yourself? 1 Cor. 8:6 is scripture. It's what apostle Paul preached.

As you correctly stated, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." This can rightly be applied to the one who taught you the FALSE doctrine that "God is your Lord and Jesus Christ is ALSO your Lord," CONTRARY to what apostle Paul preached as written in 1 Cor. 8:6.

Me:

And as I said we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures.

And I am not contradicting myself. While Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.", Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:", and Jude said in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same thing with the truth that Jesus is the Savior and God is the Savior. And this you don't believe, even while scriptures testify to this.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;", and Peter says in 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:", and Jude says in Jude 1:25 "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Jesus is Lord. God is Lord.
Jesus is the Savior. God is the Savior.

INCQUISITOR:

If we take every scripture as TRUE without comparing them with other scriptures as the Holy Spirit teaches in 1 Cor. 2:13 (NKJV), we would have the apostles CONTRADICTING each other or apostles CONTRADICTING even Jesus Christ, their "ONLY LORD and Master" (Jude 1:4 TEV).

In the Ang Biblia version of Mt. 23:10, Jesus said, "Ni huwag kayong patawag na mga panginoon; sapagka't IISA and inyong panginoon, samakatuwid baga'y, ANG CRISTO (Do not be called 'Lords' for ONE is your 'Lord', the Christ)."

In 1 Cor. 8:6, apostle Paul was teaching the early Corinthian Christians the lesson that Jesus Christ taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10, that Christ is their ONLY ONE 'Lord.'

On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching. In fact, the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1 Peter 3:15 reads, "sanctify Christ as Lord."

The same twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of Jude1:4 omits God. Hence, the Today's English Version of Jude 1:4 also reads as follows: "For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our ONLY Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received."

Me:

You said "On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching."

A statement may not be a teaching. But that has nothing to do with a statement being true. And the said statements of Jude and Peter testifies who is God to them, that is, Lord God and their Savior.

If you go to 1 Cor. 2:13 and take what Paul said, and you take that which Paul taught that only Christ is Lord and that God is not, as true, then you must have to interpret all other scriptures such as that of Peter and Jude to not go against it, right? But that is the right way to take God's equally true words in scriptures. We must take them as to what they say.

To Peter and Jude, God is Lord.
God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs.

If your understanding of scriptures denies this truth, then there is the problem with you.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Paul's statement that there is only one Lord, and that to be Jesus Christ, only tells me who Jesus Christ is, for, from the beginning, the only Lord God is God, who is known to be the only Lord God even in ancient times and by the prophets and patriarchs.

INCQUISITOR:

If what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 - that God is Lord - is a teaching, then we would have two apostles teaching two different doctrines. You say you believe BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 to be true. That's your call. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It won't change the way I divide the word of truth.

Heb. 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke separately to our fathers by the prophets and to us in these last days by His son. God commanded our fathers by the prophets to call Him 'Lord.' God has spoken to us in these last days by His son Jesus, who taught his disciples not to be called 'Lord,' for ONE is their 'Lord,' the Christ (Mt. 23:10).

Me:

Yes I say BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 are true. And why not?

As I have pointed out, to Peter and Jude, God is Lord. And that God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs. If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

And don't tell me that you are trashing away all of the NT scriptures which refers to God as Lord (kurios). Your Bible would surely grow much thinner by then.

INCQUISITOR:

As far as I am concerned, I believe what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 more than what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being his Lord because what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 conforms with what Jesus taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10 (Ang Biblia). Perhaps apostle Peter, being a Jew, wrote 'Lord God' by force of habit, or translators did not want to believe what Jesus taught and what apostle Paul wrote and ADDED 'Lord' before 'God' when they translated 1 Peter 3:15.

I call God my Father just as Jesus calls God his Father (John 20:17). God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me. I'm a Christian. Thus, I follow what Christ teaches.

Me:

Well you can think all you want about Peter and Jude. No one denies you that. But, if you'll be kind and brave enough, could you please answer the very simple and basic questions I asked:

If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

I too call God, "Abba,Father". I'm a Christian too, because I believe and follow Christ, because I believe and follow God. I call Him Father not because it was commanded of me, but because I have received from Him, that which He has given me, the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.”

You said "God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me."

First, can you show in scriptures where we can learn that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'?

Second,if God did commanded them to call Him 'Lord', for what reason is that? And how is God, Lord over them?

Also, in the NT times, what can you understand as to the matter of scriptures, when referring to God, refers to him as "kurios"?
------------------------------------------------

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 INCQUISITOR:

Most MISINTERPRET this verse to mean that "faith is the gift from God." Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eternal life is the "thing HOPED for" and the kingdom of God is the "thing unseen" for which "faith is the substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1) respectively.

ME:

Regarding the "thing hoped for" and the "thing unseen", read my discussion about this at the top segment of this post.

With regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, let's see here the correct interpretation by going through the verse:

"For by grace you have been saved". This phrase tells of the Christian that he have been saved. And how? By grace, Paul says.

What does Paul mean in saying that the Christian have been saved "by grace"? We get to understand that in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

INCQUISITOR:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

These verses do not tell us that "faith comes from God."

What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Of course, salvation is not by ourselves nor of works. It is a result of faith.

Apostle Paul writes, "For whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have NOT believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have NOT heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has BELIEVED our report? So then FAITH comes by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:16-17).

Thus, faith is the result of HEARING the gospel from a PREACHER SENT from God, BEIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel SAYS and INSTRUCTS one to do.

ME:

Yes Ephesians 2:8-9 does speak about the truth that faith comes from God. And I have explained to you clearly what the passage tells us in my post above.

You said "What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

That is not what grace means INCquisitor. That is the grace of God. Here's a verse that can help you understand what grace means:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

In the Greek, the word translated "grace" is "charis" which means favor, kindness. Grace is as a gift or blessing.

And perhaps now you can better understand the scriptures "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, men did not have to work or do anything for God to SEND His son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). God SENT His son out of His love for us. But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved. This is what Paul meant when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).

ME:

The verse says "For by grace"... Now this means, not by works. If not by works, what then? As I have pointed out,we get to understand "For by grace", in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

You said "But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved". It's good that you say that. Do you mean by that, that you agree, that it is not of yourself and not through works that we are saved, as Eph.2:8-9 says?

INCQUISITOR:

It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. However, this is where we should take other scriptures into consideration.

What does "faith in Jesus" mean or entail? In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who "believed him", If you ABIDE in my word, you are MY disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." What does ABIDE in the word of Jesus mean? Doesn't that mean "obeying what Jesus COMMANDS you to do?" Isn't that "work?"

In Matt. 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the WILL of my Father in heaven." Is DOING the WILL of the Father NOT "work?"

In James 2:14 and 20, apostle James wrote: "What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

The works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.

Me:

It's good that you take as true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says.

Now, whatever you say then with regards this truth will not get out of line if you keep in mind Eph. 2:8-9 which says "For BY GRACE you have been SAVED through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. Forgetting that or setting aside the truth that one is SAVED through faith, and NOT OF WORKS, in considering other scriptures which speaks of how one is saved, almost always leads one to the error of being saved through faith and works, making one to able to boast of being saved, not only by having faith in Christ, but by his works.

INCQUISITOR:

Sticking to Eph. 2:8-9 without regards to Matt. 7:21 and James 2:14 is the fatal error of Christian-professing religions today. How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?

Sadly, Christian-professing religions are IGNORANT of the "works" that make "faith perfect" in order to benefit from God's "saving grace through faith in Jesus."

Me:

You just said "It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says."

That statement of yours is clear. The matter is if you meant what it says.

You asked:

"How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Your questions here just shows that you didn't mean what your statement above says or really do not understand Eph.:8-9.

INCQUISITOR:

You must be ignorant of what "faith in Jesus" entails. While it is true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. we cannot just set aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 simply because we don't know the "will of the Father" necessary to be DONE to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I believe Eph. 2:8-9 and understand what it is telling us. As I said earlier, the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation. Besides, Eph. 2:8-9 CANNOT prevail over the words of Jesus written in Matthew 7:21.

Any "work" that people do to earn salvation, like religiously going to church, giving alms to the poor, giving monetary offerings, observing religious holidays, nor eating blood, etc. which are NOT the "WILL of the Father" are "works that one can boast of." These are the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9.

The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once again, I ask: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Me:

I am not setting aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 nor a single scripture, unlike you who have even trashed away many scriptures.

You said:

<<the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.>>

Clearly, Eph.2:8-9 does not exclude any work by saying "not of works". Anyway, you say that Matt. 7:21 speaks of works needed for salvation, even while no works is mentioned really. What works are you then talking about,for the sake of argument? You even said "The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven". What work is that?

You asked: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches?

Believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. That is the will of the Father.

You asked: "How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

I think that when one does not believe any scriptures, he really do not have faith in God, for he rejects and does not believe the word of God.

Now, regarding James 2:14, you might like to read v.18 to see the point of James there.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the will of the Father is to "believe and have faith in Jesus."

You say you "believe and have faith in Jesus." What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)? Don't you believe God's word which says, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)?

Me:

I believe all of God's words including James 2:20.

Now, you asked "" What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)?". Such question comes about when one does not get the point of what James is saying in v.18.

James 2:18, " Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works".

Considering v.18, James'point is that the faith of one is SHOWN or SEEN by works. And you will understand what he said in the next verse, "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". The devils too can be said to have faith, same as anyone who believe that there is one God, such as the Muslims and the Christians. Now, look at the devil's works. What faith do you see? So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN.

Of the case James mentioned of Abraham, v. 22 says " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Clearly, the verse tells us how faith have moved Abraham to act and do as he had. And that by such doing and working, his faith was made perfect, meaning, is made complete or is consummated, having reached its end aim and accomplish its goal.

Verse 23 says "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and IT was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Clearly, all that James said of the case of Abraham, it was Abraham's faith that was imputed unto him for righteousness, not anything else.

The matter with regards to the work that Abraham did here is that, though even while he believe in God, should Abraham have not acted on his faith or have done what is contrary to it, such faith is said to be dead. For a faith that does not move one to act or does not produce works, is dead.
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Now, Paul said "it is the gift of God". What is the "it" referring to? From the verse, it can easily be understood that the "it" refers to the Christian's salvation ("have been saved"). It does not refer to faith, for it is not what is in view in the verse, rather, the salvation of the Christian is what is in view. So, what Paul is saying in the verse, is that, salvation is God's gift to the Christian. Now, we know that salvation means eternal life. We can see this in the statement of Paul, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.".

Thank you for commenting on Ephesians 2:8-9. It opened the door for me to show you that salvation is a gift. Do you know what that means?

INCQUISITOR:

Of course I have known all along that salvation or eternal life - NOT faith - is the gift of God. I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus or by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do.

In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

ME:

There is a lot of difference between having faith in Jesus Christ and that of the matter of hearing the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God. And the former is where one get to receive eternal life. So, your statement "I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus OR by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do", is faulty.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, a preacher SENT from God preaches the gospel of Christ. Hence, hearing from a preacher SENT from God is tantamount to hearing the gospel of Christ. As Christ told his disciples long ago, "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who Sent ME" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

Luke 10:16 refers to no other but to those whom Jesus have sent in those times. It does not include any of those now who claims to be sent by Jesus or by God.

Now, there are plenty in these days who claims to be sent from God, and that they claim to be the only ones sent and no other. And one say to the other, that he is a false messenger, and so too will the other say to the other. As each one denies the other, one need not have to really choose between them who is true or not. For we can go to those in scriptures spoken to be sent by Jesus to preach the gospel, that is, His apostles. What they have preached, God have inspired to be written in scriptures. So, if one reads in scriptures what they preached, they could be sure that they are hearing the true gospel.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is easier said than done. Case in point: Apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead.

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true od (John 17:3). FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God.

Only true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

There were many disciples of Christ when He came and went teaching when He was on earth. But there were only twelve that the Lord have chosen.

John 6
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus UNTO THE TWELVE, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU TWELVE, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Of the twelve, here's what Jesus revealed:

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And it came to pass, that Judas betrayed and not before long, Judas killed himself. So of the twelve, there were left 11.

To the eleven, Jesus commanded them:

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now, it came to pass that the eleven have chosen another one to be an apostle, to take the place of Judas Iscariot:

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Now, it came to pass that Jesus have chosen another to be His apostle to the Gentiles, that is Saul (Paul). Refer to Acts 9.

Here's what Paul testifies:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

The "they" in the verse refers to the other apostles.

Now, after these chosen apostles, were there any other men chosen by God or by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same work and ministry?

As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus Christ to be His apostles and preach the gospel. For the scriptures have said and warned "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached of which they were commissioned and were sent out to preach. In short, we go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach and so learn of the gospel of Christ and believe it.

INCQUISITOR:

As I said, what you say is easier said than done. Again, I say, apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures. Yet, FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead. These FALSE preachers REFUSE to listen to apostles Peter and Paul!

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true God (John 17:3). These are also scriptures which anyone can read. Yet, FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God. These FALSE preachers also REFUSE to listen to Jesus!

These FALSE preachers say they preach the true gospel of Christ. How can they when they preach other gospels that apostles Paul and Peter and even Jesus have preached? As apostle Paul wrote, let these FALSE preachers be accursed!

Again, I say, ONLY true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

And again I will refer you back to my previous post above and try to see the point I was making and give it some thought.

INCQUISITOR:

The proliferation of FALSE teachers of religions prove that your point of view is FALSE. If you REFUSE to change your point of view, it does not make any difference to me.

Me:

Same here. I'll go with the truth of scriptures. And I would not dare exchange what truth scriptures says for any teachings of any one who claims to have the truth, even one who claims to be a chosen and commissioned disciple of Christ today, nor even an angel, for scriptures tells me "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed".

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote Gal. 1:8 and said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". He also wrote 1 Cor. 8:6 where he taught that for him and Christ's disciples, there is ONLY ONE God, the Father, and ONLY ONE Lord Jesus Christ..." Therefore, let those FALSE teachers who teach any other gospel (message) than that which apostle preached in 1 Cor. 8:6 be ACCURSED.

Me:

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH."

And to all who think to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ, including Paul, and preach what they think and claim they are, and claims that only they, have the truth and correct understanding of scriptures, may God have mercy on them.
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With regards to your other post here, thanks, but I have read and heard that passage long time ago. And it reminds me, I asked you some time ago on the passage you cited, what does "faith to faith" means? If my memory serves me right, you said you don't know. I wonder then how you could understand the passage and cite it, when you don't know what it means.

INCQUISITOR:

I wrote:

"In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

You ask, "what does "faith to faith" mean?

Apostle Paul says, "for in it (the gospel of Christ}, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is REVEALED from faith to faith."

I believe that this is a way to test the authenticity of whoever claims to be a preacher sent from God. The gospel of Christ that one preaches must REVEAL the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Otherwise, the gospel that one preaches is FALSE.

ME:

Sorry, but I still don't really get what "faith to faith" means for you. Are you saying that "faith" there refers to other faith, as in, other belief?

INCQUISITOR:

There is only one righteousness of God that is revealed by the true gospel of Christ. It is by this revelation of the gospel of Christ that the authenticity of the gospel being preached is tested.

Me:

As the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If you don't get to see there what the righteousness of God is, I pray to God to give you understanding.

INCQUISITOR:

Does the gospel you preach reveal the righteousness of God? I dare say no.

Apostle Paul wrote: "For He made him who knew no sin t be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Tell us, what is the "righteousness of God" that apostle Paul was talking about? How does one become the "righteousness of God" in Christ?

Me:

Yes, for what I spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

"... we might become the righteousness of God in him" is what the verse says. Even that I guess you don't seem to understand.

As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD is REVEALED from FAITH TO FAITH:

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH.

What is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?

It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH!

Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't tell me what the "righteousness of God" is that YOUR gospel reveals. You simply said, "As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If I were your Bible student, what did you teach me as the "righteousness of God" that is revealed from faith to faith? Nothing? Therefore, the gospel you preach is NOT the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes what you preach.

Scripture says, "for in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). Your gospel MUST reveal to your Bible students what the righteousness of God is. Be honest to yourself and to your Bible students and tell them that you are IGNORANT of what the "righteousness of God" is.

Me:

And as I said, the gospel I share and spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

Now haven't I given you the Bible to tell you about the righteousness of God? I said "It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH! Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH".

Let me quote some scriptures that reveals the righteousness of God from FAITH TO FAITH.

Hebrews 11:

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21).

You say these scriptures reveal the "righteousness of God." What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal? How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Me:

What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Apparently you still can't see the righteousness of God in the scriptures I have given you. That's sad. Only God can open the eyes of one who can't see.

How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

I cited the above scriptures not to show you HOW we can BECOME the "righteousness of God", but to tell how the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH.

You said "Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21)."

"..that we might become God's righteousness in Christ". Becoming God's righteousness is different from what the righteousness of God is. Anyway, let me comment on the matter of how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours. And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses.

Now, we know that God had made this of His Son Jesus Christ on His own will and because of His love for us. But we know that God hates sin and He is holy. So, if He reconciles us to Himself, we must be cleansed from sin. Another matter is that man is weak, because of the flesh, so that man is easily tempted in falling into sin. And so He had done this, for only by the sacrifice of Christ, as being the lamb of God, by being sin for us, as payment for the penalty of sin, can man be cleansed of his sins. This then made it possible for man to be reconciled to God. How about the matter of the weakness of the flesh? If we continue to be sinners and be the same creature we were, after having been cleansed from sin, what would that make of God? Certainly, we won't become the righteousness of God. So, this as well was taken cared of by God in Christ, so that we might become God's righteousness in him. For if any man be in Christ, God have made him a new creature, as having been born again, and having given him His Spirit that gives him the power to overcome sin. As such, by all of this that God have done in Christ, is how we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.
Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. And if the hearer believes God's words, then his hearing the words of God have resulted then to the hearer having faith, faith in God.

You said "So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT."

The Father have sent the Son to the world, and in time, the Son sent the HS to His apostles to dwell in them and be their paracletos, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them, and will testify of Him. The apostles were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses and preach these to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

It is not enough to simply read the scriptures by yourself in order to understand what the scripture says. A man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury (Acts 8:27), was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:28), when Philip ran to him and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30). And the eunuch said, "How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him" (Acts 8:31).

A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, WHAT YOU SAY IS false.

ME:

You mentioned of the Eunuch, who said "How can I, unless someone guides me?". And it was Philip, who guided him. Now, you must not forget that the Spirit was with Philip. And it is the HS whom Jesus sent to His apostles to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He said to them, and these things were written in scriptures. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus to preach. And so we see Philip preaching to the Eunuch (it is wise to note what Philip preached to the Eunuch). But then, the apostles are all now dead and there were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of, as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. So, where can we hear the preaching of the apostles? That's right, in scriptures. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard them preached in their days, including that of Philip. Reading or hearing somebody reading scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach. So that, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, through scriptures, God's words.

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't address my questions.

I wrote: " A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines.

ME:

Oh, sorry about that.

I really can't tell INCquisitor in their case. Perhaps, you can ask them why.

On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

And have read also John 10:18 where John says:

10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Now, these scriptures, and the words of Jesus himself, that is, "in three days I will raise it up", and "I have power to take it again", clearly tells me that Jesus have the power to resurrect himself and have indeed risen from the dead. For when He had risen from the dead, scriptures says "His disciples remembered that He had said this to them.", that is, "I will raise it up.”

Why people like you don't see that or perhaps don't accept that, makes me sad for them.

You said "Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines."

How you consider this statement "READING or hearing somebody READING the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach" is FALSE, just tells me that you don't believe that what one can read in scriptures, the NT in particular" is not what the apostles preached. And you even say that what one hears (implied to be hearing the READING of scriptures by somebody) are not true words of God. Makes me feel sorry for you.

INCQUISITOR:

Your statement that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scripture, is hearing the apostles preach" is proven FALSE by your own admission, to wit: "On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

In Romans 10:9, apostle preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. In Acts 3:15, apostle Peter preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures where we HEAR apostles Paul and Peter preach that God RAISED Jesus from the dead.

Compare these scriptures with John 2:19-22 where apostle John preached what Jesus said. Did Jesus EXPLICITLY say that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? No! You are simply THINKING BEYOND what apostle John wrote. Your imagination makes apostles Peter and Paul LIARS. You are NOT listening to apostles Peter and Paul. You are listening to whoever you HEARD reading from the scriptures.

Me:

John 2:19-22
"19 JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID."

John 10:18 where JESUS says:
10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

I thought you believe every word that Jesus said.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 but NOT in the way you understand these verses that CONTRADICTS what apostles Peter and Paul wrote in Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Again, I ask you, did Jesus EXPLICITLY say in these verses that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? You REFUSE to answer my question because you ARE stuck with your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and Jon 10:18 that Jesus was saying he WILL RAISE HIMSELF from the dead.

Me:

There is contradiction between John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 with Rom. 10:9, and that, with regards your belief. As with mine, there is none.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true. If your understanding of scriptures denies these truths, then there is the problem with you.

In John 10:18, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. THIS COMMAND I have received from My Father.”. And I believe that, don't you? Now, with regards the Father's commandments to Jesus, Jesus said in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I HAVE KEPT my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.". So, there is no doubt that Jesus followed the Father's commandment to him in John 10:18. And there is nothing clearer than what is written in John 2:19-22 with regards this matter.

INCQUISITOR:

You say that, on the basis of your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead. You say your belief does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote (that God raised Jesus from the dead- Acts 3:15; Rom. 10:9) because your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 makes Jesus God in your mind.

To justify your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8, you conveniently set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 where he says that he is a MAN and in John 17:3 where he tells the Father that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God.

While it is true that John 2:19-22, John 10:18, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9, are ALL true, and I believe that too, YOUR understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 - that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead - is FALSE, Your understanding of these verses CONTRADICTS the word of God written in John 8:40, John 17:3, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Me:

I'm not at all posting to justify anything INCquisitor. And I neither set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 nor any scripture for that matter, unlike you who have trashed pretty much every scripture that does not go with your understanding of scriptures. For I do believe that Jesus is a man. But you just refuse to believe that I do and insist that I really don't for you find that illogical since I believe He is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man. I am not forcing you to believe it. I'm just telling you that this is what the scriptures tells me.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because you say this is what the scriptures tell you. That's the consequence of NOT having faith in what Jesus says.

You say you believe that Jesus is a MAN but you set aside and ignore John 17:3 where Jesus says to the Father, "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT."

As a result of ignoring and setting aside John 17:3, you FAILED to perceive the TWO truths that are revealed by Jesus in John 17:3. First, you FAILED to perceive the truth that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that NOBODY else is a TRUE God but the Father. Second, you FAILED to perceive the truth that Jesus was SENT by the Father who is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh.

Me:

Yes I believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because this is what the scriptures tells me. That's the consequence of listening and hearing God's words in scriptures and not in any man, not even in my own understanding. I rely in God's words for the truth and submit myself to it. Wrong understanding of scriptures comes by when out of pride, one begins to bring his own understanding and his confidence in his own reasoning and limited human abilities, deceiving himself into thinking that he can understand the spiritual things of God by his natural senses and abilities.

INCQUISITOR:

There is no scripture that says "Jesus is God who became flesh." That's your wrong understanding of John 1:14 which says, "And the word became flesh." Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 comes by your bringing your own understanding and confidence in your own reasoning and limited human abilities, thereby deceiving yourself into thinking that you can understand spiritual things of God by your natural senses and abilities.

The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.

The rest of John 1:14 speaks of the "flesh" or Jesus who "dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 CONTRADICTS John 3:17 and John 17:3 where Jesus says that God the Father SENT him into the world. It runs against reason that God, the Father would SEND God, the son into the world, because the Bible teaches that there is ONLY ONNE God - NOT more than one God.
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I say I believe that Jesus is a MAN and do not set aside nor ignore John 17:3 nor any of God's words. I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent. God, being the only true God and none other, has been revealed to Israel from the very beginning. The rest of the world knew this not, as evidenced by their worship and belief in many gods. Now, not even Israel knew who the Christ is, whom the one true God have sent to the world.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe Jesus is a MAN and do not ignore nor set aside John 17:3. You say you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He set."

You may not realize it, but by saying this, you are admitting that Jesus is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, unless, one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.
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I hope you can answer the simple questions:

1. How did you know that there is only one true God and not many?
2. How did you know that God will send a Messiah to the world?
3. How have you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent?

INCQUISITOR:

The answers to your questions are found in the Bible, where else?
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You say and believe that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh because of John 8:40 and John 17:3. Yes, Jesus is not a God, because Jesus is God and not some other God, for there is but only one God. But, if that's what you understand out of the said scriptures, then so be it with you. As for me, John 8:40 speaks of Jesus to be a man. John 17:3 speaks of Jesus' Father to be the only true God and that He was sent by Him. God also revealed elsewhere in scriptures that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, who came forth from Him. God, in scriptures, reveals that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God came down from heaven, having been sent to the world below. That Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. That Jesus Christ knew no sin. And so on and so forth. And I believe all of that, not one that I pick out and do not believe. For all is God's words and so are true, faithful, powerful, and trustworthy.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that the son of God came from heaven, which to me means, the son of man came from God (John 8:42), I also believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, that Jesus Christ knew no sin. I also believe that these words of God are true, faithful and trustworthy.

However, I believe that these scriptures do NOT negate John 17:3 which explicitly teaches us that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God and Jesus Christ is a MAN (John 8:40) whom God SENT into the world (John 3:17; 17:3).
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And yes I say that John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote, that God raised Jesus from the dead. As I said I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true and are not be to be taken as contradicting each other, which leads us to the understanding that Jesus is no other but God who became flesh.

INCQUISITOR:

It is your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 and your IGNORING John 17:3 that leads you and other Trinitarians to the FALSE understanding that Jesus is no other but God who BECAME flesh. If only you have faith in what Jesus says in John 17:3, you would come to the realization that Jesus was SENT by God - NOT God who BECAME flesh.

Me:

In your view, I have a faulty understanding. I can understand that. And in my view, I see you as the one whose understanding is faulty. We have different views about God. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not Lord to you, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is Lord to me, and so is the Son. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not your Savior, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is my Savior, and so is the Son.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is true as far as our views are concerned. As a Christian, I believe and have faith in Jesus which is "made perfect" (James 2:22) by my obedience to his words and teachings.

To me, Jesus is NOT God because the Father is the ONLY TRUE God in conformity with the teaching of Jesus written in John 17:3.

To me, God is my Father - NOT Lord, in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in Matthew 23:10 and John 20:17, and apostle Paul's teachings written in 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6 and Phil. 2:11.

To me, Jesus is Christ is my savior in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in John 3:16-18 and apostle Paul's teachings written in Acts 5:31 that God exalted Jesus to His right hand to be prince and savior and in Eph. 5:23 and 25 where it is written that Jesus is the savior of the body, the church and gave his life for it.
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Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

INCQUISITOR:

What you are saying is DIFFERENT from what apostle Paul says in Romans 10:13-15. Apostle Paul specifies from WHOM we should HEAR the word of God. And apostle Paul provides hints on how to know when a preacher is SENT or not.

In 1 Cor. 2:13 apostle Paul wrote, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual." A preacher SENT from God COMPARES spiritual things with spiritual.

In 2 Cor. 11:3-4 apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME Jesus, the SAME spirit and the SAME gospel that the apostles preached.

In Galatians 1:6-8, apostle Paul wrote: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME gospel that Christ and the apostles preached.

ME:

It's not DIFFERENT INCquisitor, but is exactly what apostle Paul says. As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

Let me pick up my point from the scriptures "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

This is a clear reminder and warning of Paul to the Christians in Galatia. That the gospel that they have preached to them in the beginning is the gospel, the true gospel I may say. He greatly emphasizes this to the point of saying that if anyone, even they (he and the other apostles) or even an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel other than what they have preached to them then, Paul said "let him be accursed". Now, what is significant about this? As I have pointed out, we should always go back to scriptures when somebody preaches to you and claims that what they are preaching is the gospel of Christ. For, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached that they were commissioned and sent to preach. In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence.

INCQUISITOR:

Let me show you the FOLLY of what you are saying.

You have read 1 Cor. 8:6 where it reads, "yet for us there is ONE God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

How come a lot of so-called Christians believe that Jesus Christ is ALSO God and for them there are TWO Lords - NOT one?

ME:

There is no folly to show in what I'm saying INCquisitor.

Regarding your question on 1 Cor.8:6, obviously you have a problem with that. God is my Lord. And Jesus Christ is my Lord. Why do you have a problem with that? The way I see it, it's because God is not your Lord. Anyway, this is not the issue in this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

Obviously, you don't listen to what God says in scriptures. And this is the folly of your OPINION that it is enough to read scriptures to have "faith by hearing the apostles through scriptures."

ME:

Well, if there are no other scriptures other than 1 Cor. 8:6, you may be right. But, that is not the case. And this is what is obvious, your scriptures is different from the Holy scriptures I read.

Perhaps, you can now go back to the issue under this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

You say: "In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence."

Aren't you contradicting yourself? 1 Cor. 8:6 is scripture. It's what apostle Paul preached.

As you correctly stated, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." This can rightly be applied to the one who taught you the FALSE doctrine that "God is your Lord and Jesus Christ is ALSO your Lord," CONTRARY to what apostle Paul preached as written in 1 Cor. 8:6.

Me:

And as I said we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures.

And I am not contradicting myself. While Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.", Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:", and Jude said in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same thing with the truth that Jesus is the Savior and God is the Savior. And this you don't believe, even while scriptures testify to this.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;", and Peter says in 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:", and Jude says in Jude 1:25 "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Jesus is Lord. God is Lord.
Jesus is the Savior. God is the Savior.

INCQUISITOR:

If we take every scripture as TRUE without comparing them with other scriptures as the Holy Spirit teaches in 1 Cor. 2:13 (NKJV), we would have the apostles CONTRADICTING each other or apostles CONTRADICTING even Jesus Christ, their "ONLY LORD and Master" (Jude 1:4 TEV).

In the Ang Biblia version of Mt. 23:10, Jesus said, "Ni huwag kayong patawag na mga panginoon; sapagka't IISA and inyong panginoon, samakatuwid baga'y, ANG CRISTO (Do not be called 'Lords' for ONE is your 'Lord', the Christ)."

In 1 Cor. 8:6, apostle Paul was teaching the early Corinthian Christians the lesson that Jesus Christ taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10, that Christ is their ONLY ONE 'Lord.'

On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching. In fact, the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1 Peter 3:15 reads, "sanctify Christ as Lord."

The same twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of Jude1:4 omits God. Hence, the Today's English Version of Jude 1:4 also reads as follows: "For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our ONLY Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received."

Me:

You said "On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching."

A statement may not be a teaching. But that has nothing to do with a statement being true. And the said statements of Jude and Peter testifies who is God to them, that is, Lord God and their Savior.

If you go to 1 Cor. 2:13 and take what Paul said, and you take that which Paul taught that only Christ is Lord and that God is not, as true, then you must have to interpret all other scriptures such as that of Peter and Jude to not go against it, right? But that is the right way to take God's equally true words in scriptures. We must take them as to what they say.

To Peter and Jude, God is Lord.
God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs.

If your understanding of scriptures denies this truth, then there is the problem with you.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Paul's statement that there is only one Lord, and that to be Jesus Christ, only tells me who Jesus Christ is, for, from the beginning, the only Lord God is God, who is known to be the only Lord God even in ancient times and by the prophets and patriarchs.

INCQUISITOR:

If what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 - that God is Lord - is a teaching, then we would have two apostles teaching two different doctrines. You say you believe BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 to be true. That's your call. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It won't change the way I divide the word of truth.

Heb. 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke separately to our fathers by the prophets and to us in these last days by His son. God commanded our fathers by the prophets to call Him 'Lord.' God has spoken to us in these last days by His son Jesus, who taught his disciples not to be called 'Lord,' for ONE is their 'Lord,' the Christ (Mt. 23:10).

Me:

Yes I say BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 are true. And why not?

As I have pointed out, to Peter and Jude, God is Lord. And that God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs. If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

And don't tell me that you are trashing away all of the NT scriptures which refers to God as Lord (kurios). Your Bible would surely grow much thinner by then.

INCQUISITOR:

As far as I am concerned, I believe what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 more than what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being his Lord because what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 conforms with what Jesus taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10 (Ang Biblia). Perhaps apostle Peter, being a Jew, wrote 'Lord God' by force of habit, or translators did not want to believe what Jesus taught and what apostle Paul wrote and ADDED 'Lord' before 'God' when they translated 1 Peter 3:15.

I call God my Father just as Jesus calls God his Father (John 20:17). God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me. I'm a Christian. Thus, I follow what Christ teaches.

Me:

Well you can think all you want about Peter and Jude. No one denies you that. But, if you'll be kind and brave enough, could you please answer the very simple and basic questions I asked:

If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

INCQUISITOR:

Heb. 1:1-2 teaches that God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets but has spoken to us by His son. In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.' In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son and has "commanded His son what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49-50).

Therefore, to the ancient people of God, God is Lord.

By contrast, God's people in these last days, the true Christians, call God Father and call Jesus Christ Lord in compliance with what Jesus taught his disciples that they have only one Father, He who is in heaven (Mt. 23:9), that his God is their God and his Father is their Father (John 20:17). Jesus also commanded his disciples not to have themselves called 'Lord' for ONE is their 'Lord', the Christ (Mt. 23:10 Ang Biblia). Apostle Peter wrote that God made Jesus "Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:"36).
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I too call God, "Abba,Father". I'm a Christian too, because I believe and follow Christ, because I believe and follow God. I call Him Father not because it was commanded of me, but because I have received from Him, that which He has given me, the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.”

INCQUISITOR:

Why then do you insist on calling God 'Lord?'
------------------------------
You said "God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me."

First, can you show in scriptures where we can learn that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'?

Second,if God did commanded them to call Him 'Lord', for what reason is that? And how is God, Lord over them?

Also, in the NT times, what can you understand as to the matter of scriptures, when referring to God, refers to him as "kurios"?

INCQUISITOR:

On your first and second questions, I am not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures. I only know that writers of the OT called God 'Lord.' On your third question, I don't speak Greek. Hence, I don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord' except perhaps by force of habit or translators' desire to call God 'Lord.'
------------------------------------------------

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 INCQUISITOR:

Most MISINTERPRET this verse to mean that "faith is the gift from God." Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eternal life is the "thing HOPED for" and the kingdom of God is the "thing unseen" for which "faith is the substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1) respectively.

ME:

Regarding the "thing hoped for" and the "thing unseen", read my discussion about this at the top segment of this post.

With regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, let's see here the correct interpretation by going through the verse:

"For by grace you have been saved". This phrase tells of the Christian that he have been saved. And how? By grace, Paul says.

What does Paul mean in saying that the Christian have been saved "by grace"? We get to understand that in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

INCQUISITOR:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

These verses do not tell us that "faith comes from God."

What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Of course, salvation is not by ourselves nor of works. It is a result of faith.

Apostle Paul writes, "For whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have NOT believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have NOT heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has BELIEVED our report? So then FAITH comes by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:16-17).

Thus, faith is the result of HEARING the gospel from a PREACHER SENT from God, BEIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel SAYS and INSTRUCTS one to do.

ME:

Yes Ephesians 2:8-9 does speak about the truth that faith comes from God. And I have explained to you clearly what the passage tells us in my post above.

You said "What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

That is not what grace means INCquisitor. That is the grace of God. Here's a verse that can help you understand what grace means:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

In the Greek, the word translated "grace" is "charis" which means favor, kindness. Grace is as a gift or blessing.

And perhaps now you can better understand the scriptures "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, men did not have to work or do anything for God to SEND His son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). God SENT His son out of His love for us. But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved. This is what Paul meant when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).

ME:

The verse says "For by grace"... Now this means, not by works. If not by works, what then? As I have pointed out,we get to understand "For by grace", in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

You said "But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved". It's good that you say that. Do you mean by that, that you agree, that it is not of yourself and not through works that we are saved, as Eph.2:8-9 says?

INCQUISITOR:

It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. However, this is where we should take other scriptures into consideration.

What does "faith in Jesus" mean or entail? In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who "believed him", If you ABIDE in my word, you are MY disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." What does ABIDE in the word of Jesus mean? Doesn't that mean "obeying what Jesus COMMANDS you to do?" Isn't that "work?"

In Matt. 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the WILL of my Father in heaven." Is DOING the WILL of the Father NOT "work?"

In James 2:14 and 20, apostle James wrote: "What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

The works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.

Me:

It's good that you take as true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says.

Now, whatever you say then with regards this truth will not get out of line if you keep in mind Eph. 2:8-9 which says "For BY GRACE you have been SAVED through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. Forgetting that or setting aside the truth that one is SAVED through faith, and NOT OF WORKS, in considering other scriptures which speaks of how one is saved, almost always leads one to the error of being saved through faith and works, making one to able to boast of being saved, not only by having faith in Christ, but by his works.

INCQUISITOR:

Sticking to Eph. 2:8-9 without regards to Matt. 7:21 and James 2:14 is the fatal error of Christian-professing religions today. How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?

Sadly, Christian-professing religions are IGNORANT of the "works" that make "faith perfect" in order to benefit from God's "saving grace through faith in Jesus."

Me:

You just said "It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says."

That statement of yours is clear. The matter is if you meant what it says.

You asked:

"How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Your questions here just shows that you didn't mean what your statement above says or really do not understand Eph.:8-9.

INCQUISITOR:

You must be ignorant of what "faith in Jesus" entails. While it is true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. we cannot just set aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 simply because we don't know the "will of the Father" necessary to be DONE to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I believe Eph. 2:8-9 and understand what it is telling us. As I said earlier, the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation. Besides, Eph. 2:8-9 CANNOT prevail over the words of Jesus written in Matthew 7:21.

Any "work" that people do to earn salvation, like religiously going to church, giving alms to the poor, giving monetary offerings, observing religious holidays, nor eating blood, etc. which are NOT the "WILL of the Father" are "works that one can boast of." These are the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9.

The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once again, I ask: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Me:

I am not setting aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 nor a single scripture, unlike you who have even trashed away many scriptures.

You said:

<<the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.>>

Clearly, Eph.2:8-9 does not exclude any work by saying "not of works". Anyway, you say that Matt. 7:21 speaks of works needed for salvation, even while no works is mentioned really. What works are you then talking about,for the sake of argument? You even said "The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven". What work is that?

You asked: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches?

Believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. That is the will of the Father.

You asked: "How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

I think that when one does not believe any scriptures, he really do not have faith in God, for he rejects and does not believe the word of God.

Now, regarding James 2:14, you might like to read v.18 to see the point of James there.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the will of the Father is to "believe and have faith in Jesus."

You say you "believe and have faith in Jesus." What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)? Don't you believe God's word which says, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)?

Me:

I believe all of God's words including James 2:20.

Now, you asked "" What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)?". Such question comes about when one does not get the point of what James is saying in v.18.

James 2:18, " Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works".

Considering v.18, James'point is that the faith of one is SHOWN or SEEN by works. And you will understand what he said in the next verse, "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". The devils too can be said to have faith, same as anyone who believe that there is one God, such as the Muslims and the Christians. Now, look at the devil's works. What faith do you see? So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN.

Of the case James mentioned of Abraham, v. 22 says " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Clearly, the verse tells us how faith have moved Abraham to act and do as he had. And that by such doing and working, his faith was made perfect, meaning, is made complete or is consummated, having reached its end aim and accomplish its goal.

Verse 23 says "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and IT was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Clearly, all that James said of the case of Abraham, it was Abraham's faith that was imputed unto him for righteousness, not anything else.

The matter with regards to the work that Abraham did here is that, though even while he believe in God, should Abraham have not acted on his faith or have done what is contrary to it, such faith is said to be dead. For a faith that does not move one to act or does not produce works, is dead.

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you now understand what "faith made perfect by works" mean. I think you are now ready to "make your faith in Jesus perfect" by obeying his commands and abiding in his word or following his teachings,
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Now, Paul said "it is the gift of God". What is the "it" referring to? From the verse, it can easily be understood that the "it" refers to the Christian's salvation ("have been saved"). It does not refer to faith, for it is not what is in view in the verse, rather, the salvation of the Christian is what is in view. So, what Paul is saying in the verse, is that, salvation is God's gift to the Christian. Now, we know that salvation means eternal life. We can see this in the statement of Paul, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.".

Thank you for commenting on Ephesians 2:8-9. It opened the door for me to show you that salvation is a gift. Do you know what that means?

INCQUISITOR:

Of course I have known all along that salvation or eternal life - NOT faith - is the gift of God. I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus or by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do.

In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

ME:

There is a lot of difference between having faith in Jesus Christ and that of the matter of hearing the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God. And the former is where one get to receive eternal life. So, your statement "I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus OR by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do", is faulty.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, a preacher SENT from God preaches the gospel of Christ. Hence, hearing from a preacher SENT from God is tantamount to hearing the gospel of Christ. As Christ told his disciples long ago, "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who Sent ME" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

Luke 10:16 refers to no other but to those whom Jesus have sent in those times. It does not include any of those now who claims to be sent by Jesus or by God.

Now, there are plenty in these days who claims to be sent from God, and that they claim to be the only ones sent and no other. And one say to the other, that he is a false messenger, and so too will the other say to the other. As each one denies the other, one need not have to really choose between them who is true or not. For we can go to those in scriptures spoken to be sent by Jesus to preach the gospel, that is, His apostles. What they have preached, God have inspired to be written in scriptures. So, if one reads in scriptures what they preached, they could be sure that they are hearing the true gospel.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is easier said than done. Case in point: Apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead.

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true od (John 17:3). FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God.

Only true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

There were many disciples of Christ when He came and went teaching when He was on earth. But there were only twelve that the Lord have chosen.

John 6
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus UNTO THE TWELVE, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU TWELVE, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Of the twelve, here's what Jesus revealed:

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And it came to pass, that Judas betrayed and not before long, Judas killed himself. So of the twelve, there were left 11.

To the eleven, Jesus commanded them:

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now, it came to pass that the eleven have chosen another one to be an apostle, to take the place of Judas Iscariot:

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Now, it came to pass that Jesus have chosen another to be His apostle to the Gentiles, that is Saul (Paul). Refer to Acts 9.

Here's what Paul testifies:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

The "they" in the verse refers to the other apostles.

Now, after these chosen apostles, were there any other men chosen by God or by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same work and ministry?

As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus Christ to be His apostles and preach the gospel. For the scriptures have said and warned "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached of which they were commissioned and were sent out to preach. In short, we go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach and so learn of the gospel of Christ and believe it.

INCQUISITOR:

As I said, what you say is easier said than done. Again, I say, apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures. Yet, FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead. These FALSE preachers REFUSE to listen to apostles Peter and Paul!

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true God (John 17:3). These are also scriptures which anyone can read. Yet, FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God. These FALSE preachers also REFUSE to listen to Jesus!

These FALSE preachers say they preach the true gospel of Christ. How can they when they preach other gospels that apostles Paul and Peter and even Jesus have preached? As apostle Paul wrote, let these FALSE preachers be accursed!

Again, I say, ONLY true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

And again I will refer you back to my previous post above and try to see the point I was making and give it some thought.

INCQUISITOR:

The proliferation of FALSE teachers of religions prove that your point of view is FALSE. If you REFUSE to change your point of view, it does not make any difference to me.

Me:

Same here. I'll go with the truth of scriptures. And I would not dare exchange what truth scriptures says for any teachings of any one who claims to have the truth, even one who claims to be a chosen and commissioned disciple of Christ today, nor even an angel, for scriptures tells me "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed".

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote Gal. 1:8 and said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". He also wrote 1 Cor. 8:6 where he taught that for him and Christ's disciples, there is ONLY ONE God, the Father, and ONLY ONE Lord Jesus Christ..." Therefore, let those FALSE teachers who teach any other gospel (message) than that which apostle Paul preached in 1 Cor. 8:6 be ACCURSED.

Me:

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH."

And to all who think to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ, including Paul, and preach what they think and claim they are, and claims that only they, have the truth and correct understanding of scriptures, may God have mercy on them.

INCQUISITOR:

This goes for you too ands Tomas too.
-----------------------------------
With regards to your other post here, thanks, but I have read and heard that passage long time ago. And it reminds me, I asked you some time ago on the passage you cited, what does "faith to faith" means? If my memory serves me right, you said you don't know. I wonder then how you could understand the passage and cite it, when you don't know what it means.

INCQUISITOR:

I wrote:

"In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

You ask, "what does "faith to faith" mean?

Apostle Paul says, "for in it (the gospel of Christ}, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is REVEALED from faith to faith."

I believe that this is a way to test the authenticity of whoever claims to be a preacher sent from God. The gospel of Christ that one preaches must REVEAL the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Otherwise, the gospel that one preaches is FALSE.

ME:

Sorry, but I still don't really get what "faith to faith" means for you. Are you saying that "faith" there refers to other faith, as in, other belief?

INCQUISITOR:

There is only one righteousness of God that is revealed by the true gospel of Christ. It is by this revelation of the gospel of Christ that the authenticity of the gospel being preached is tested.

Me:

As the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If you don't get to see there what the righteousness of God is, I pray to God to give you understanding.

INCQUISITOR:

Does the gospel you preach reveal the righteousness of God? I dare say no.

Apostle Paul wrote: "For He made him who knew no sin t be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Tell us, what is the "righteousness of God" that apostle Paul was talking about? How does one become the "righteousness of God" in Christ?

Me:

Yes, for what I spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

"... we might become the righteousness of God in him" is what the verse says. Even that I guess you don't seem to understand.

As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD is REVEALED from FAITH TO FAITH:

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH.

What is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?

It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH!

Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't tell me what the "righteousness of God" is that YOUR gospel reveals. You simply said, "As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If I were your Bible student, what did you teach me as the "righteousness of God" that is revealed from faith to faith? Nothing? Therefore, the gospel you preach is NOT the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes what you preach.

Scripture says, "for in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). Your gospel MUST reveal to your Bible students what the righteousness of God is. Be honest to yourself and to your Bible students and tell them that you are IGNORANT of what the "righteousness of God" is.

Me:

And as I said, the gospel I share and spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

Now haven't I given you the Bible to tell you about the righteousness of God? I said "It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH! Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH".

Let me quote some scriptures that reveals the righteousness of God from FAITH TO FAITH.

Hebrews 11:

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21).

You say these scriptures reveal the "righteousness of God." What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal? How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Me:

What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Apparently you still can't see the righteousness of God in the scriptures I have given you. That's sad. Only God can open the eyes of one who can't see.

How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

I cited the above scriptures not to show you HOW we can BECOME the "righteousness of God", but to tell how the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH.


INCQUISITOR:

You say the scriptures you cited tell us "how the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith." Then you should know WHAT the righteousness of God is that is revealed from faith to faith. Otherwise, your citing these scriptures is of NO help to anyone.
------------------------------------
You said "Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21)."

"..that we might become God's righteousness in Christ". Becoming God's righteousness is different from what the righteousness of God is. Anyway, let me comment on the matter of how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours. And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, "becoming the righteousness of God" is different from "what God's righteousness is." Anybody should know that. The question is, how can one "become the righteousness of God" if one is IGNORANT of what God's righteousness is?

You say, "The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ." How can you say that when you don't even know what God's righteousness is? What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us?

I can only imagine how confused you must be concerning the epistles of Paul.
--------------------------------------
Now, we know that God had made this of His Son Jesus Christ on His own will and because of His love for us. But we know that God hates sin and He is holy. So, if He reconciles us to Himself, we must be cleansed from sin. Another matter is that man is weak, because of the flesh, so that man is easily tempted in falling into sin. And so He had done this, for only by the sacrifice of Christ, as being the lamb of God, by being sin for us, as payment for the penalty of sin, can man be cleansed of his sins. This then made it possible for man to be reconciled to God.

INCQUISITOR:

Is this what the Bible teaches about reconciling sinners to God? Please show scriptures.
-----------------------------------
How about the matter of the weakness of the flesh? If we continue to be sinners and be the same creature we were, after having been cleansed from sin, what would that make of God? Certainly, we won't become the righteousness of God. So, this as well was taken cared of by God in Christ, so that we might become God's righteousness in him. For if any man be in Christ, God have made him a new creature, as having been born again, and having given him His Spirit that gives him the power to overcome sin. As such, by all of this that God have done in Christ, is how we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say means nothing unless you tell us the righteousness of God. How can one become the righteousness of God by Christ's dying as sacrificial lamb for sinners?
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Joined: 5:26 PM - Jun 29, 2012

10:28 AM - Apr 23, 2017 #73

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. And if the hearer believes God's words, then his hearing the words of God have resulted then to the hearer having faith, faith in God.

You said "So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT."

The Father have sent the Son to the world, and in time, the Son sent the HS to His apostles to dwell in them and be their paracletos, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them, and will testify of Him. The apostles were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses and preach these to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

It is not enough to simply read the scriptures by yourself in order to understand what the scripture says. A man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury (Acts 8:27), was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:28), when Philip ran to him and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30). And the eunuch said, "How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him" (Acts 8:31).

A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, WHAT YOU SAY IS false.

ME:

You mentioned of the Eunuch, who said "How can I, unless someone guides me?". And it was Philip, who guided him. Now, you must not forget that the Spirit was with Philip. And it is the HS whom Jesus sent to His apostles to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He said to them, and these things were written in scriptures. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus to preach. And so we see Philip preaching to the Eunuch (it is wise to note what Philip preached to the Eunuch). But then, the apostles are all now dead and there were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of, as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. So, where can we hear the preaching of the apostles? That's right, in scriptures. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard them preached in their days, including that of Philip. Reading or hearing somebody reading scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach. So that, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, through scriptures, God's words.

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't address my questions.

I wrote: " A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines.

ME:

Oh, sorry about that.

I really can't tell INCquisitor in their case. Perhaps, you can ask them why.

On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

And have read also John 10:18 where John says:

10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Now, these scriptures, and the words of Jesus himself, that is, "in three days I will raise it up", and "I have power to take it again", clearly tells me that Jesus have the power to resurrect himself and have indeed risen from the dead. For when He had risen from the dead, scriptures says "His disciples remembered that He had said this to them.", that is, "I will raise it up.”

Why people like you don't see that or perhaps don't accept that, makes me sad for them.

You said "Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines."

How you consider this statement "READING or hearing somebody READING the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach" is FALSE, just tells me that you don't believe that what one can read in scriptures, the NT in particular" is not what the apostles preached. And you even say that what one hears (implied to be hearing the READING of scriptures by somebody) are not true words of God. Makes me feel sorry for you.

INCQUISITOR:

Your statement that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scripture, is hearing the apostles preach" is proven FALSE by your own admission, to wit: "On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

In Romans 10:9, apostle preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. In Acts 3:15, apostle Peter preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures where we HEAR apostles Paul and Peter preach that God RAISED Jesus from the dead.

Compare these scriptures with John 2:19-22 where apostle John preached what Jesus said. Did Jesus EXPLICITLY say that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? No! You are simply THINKING BEYOND what apostle John wrote. Your imagination makes apostles Peter and Paul LIARS. You are NOT listening to apostles Peter and Paul. You are listening to whoever you HEARD reading from the scriptures.

Me:

John 2:19-22
"19 JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID."

John 10:18 where JESUS says:
10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

I thought you believe every word that Jesus said.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 but NOT in the way you understand these verses that CONTRADICTS what apostles Peter and Paul wrote in Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Again, I ask you, did Jesus EXPLICITLY say in these verses that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? You REFUSE to answer my question because you ARE stuck with your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and Jon 10:18 that Jesus was saying he WILL RAISE HIMSELF from the dead.

Me:

There is contradiction between John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 with Rom. 10:9, and that, with regards your belief. As with mine, there is none.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true. If your understanding of scriptures denies these truths, then there is the problem with you.

In John 10:18, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. THIS COMMAND I have received from My Father.”. And I believe that, don't you? Now, with regards the Father's commandments to Jesus, Jesus said in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I HAVE KEPT my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.". So, there is no doubt that Jesus followed the Father's commandment to him in John 10:18. And there is nothing clearer than what is written in John 2:19-22 with regards this matter.

INCQUISITOR:

You say that, on the basis of your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead. You say your belief does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote (that God raised Jesus from the dead- Acts 3:15; Rom. 10:9) because your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 makes Jesus God in your mind.

To justify your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8, you conveniently set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 where he says that he is a MAN and in John 17:3 where he tells the Father that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God.

While it is true that John 2:19-22, John 10:18, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9, are ALL true, and I believe that too, YOUR understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 - that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead - is FALSE, Your understanding of these verses CONTRADICTS the word of God written in John 8:40, John 17:3, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Me:

I'm not at all posting to justify anything INCquisitor. And I neither set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 nor any scripture for that matter, unlike you who have trashed pretty much every scripture that does not go with your understanding of scriptures. For I do believe that Jesus is a man. But you just refuse to believe that I do and insist that I really don't for you find that illogical since I believe He is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man. I am not forcing you to believe it. I'm just telling you that this is what the scriptures tells me.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because you say this is what the scriptures tell you. That's the consequence of NOT having faith in what Jesus says.

You say you believe that Jesus is a MAN but you set aside and ignore John 17:3 where Jesus says to the Father, "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT."

As a result of ignoring and setting aside John 17:3, you FAILED to perceive the TWO truths that are revealed by Jesus in John 17:3. First, you FAILED to perceive the truth that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that NOBODY else is a TRUE God but the Father. Second, you FAILED to perceive the truth that Jesus was SENT by the Father who is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh.

Me:

Yes I believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because this is what the scriptures tells me. That's the consequence of listening and hearing God's words in scriptures and not in any man, not even in my own understanding. I rely in God's words for the truth and submit myself to it. Wrong understanding of scriptures comes by when out of pride, one begins to bring his own understanding and his confidence in his own reasoning and limited human abilities, deceiving himself into thinking that he can understand the spiritual things of God by his natural senses and abilities.

INCQUISITOR:

There is no scripture that says "Jesus is God who became flesh." That's your wrong understanding of John 1:14 which says, "And the word became flesh." Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 comes by your bringing your own understanding and confidence in your own reasoning and limited human abilities, thereby deceiving yourself into thinking that you can understand spiritual things of God by your natural senses and abilities.

The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.

The rest of John 1:14 speaks of the "flesh" or Jesus who "dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 CONTRADICTS John 3:17 and John 17:3 where Jesus says that God the Father SENT him into the world. It runs against reason that God, the Father would SEND God, the son into the world, because the Bible teaches that there is ONLY ONNE God - NOT more than one God.

Me:

<<The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.>>

That's an erroneous understanding of John 1:14.

Apostle John testifies of the Word:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Apostle John testifies of the light, referring to the Word he is testifying about:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Apostle John continues to testifies of the Word:
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

I don't how and why it is not clear to you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. And of this person, is what apostle John testifies about in the book of John. The plan of God that you are talking about, the plan of sending a Messiah, is spoken and testified in the law and the prophets.
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I say I believe that Jesus is a MAN and do not set aside nor ignore John 17:3 nor any of God's words. I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent. God, being the only true God and none other, has been revealed to Israel from the very beginning. The rest of the world knew this not, as evidenced by their worship and belief in many gods. Now, not even Israel knew who the Christ is, whom the one true God have sent to the world.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe Jesus is a MAN and do not ignore nor set aside John 17:3. You say you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He set."

You may not realize it, but by saying this, you are admitting that Jesus is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, unless, one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

Me:

You don't get to interpret what I say I believe better than I who said it, isn't it? As I don't get to interpret what you say you believe better than you. How do you get to have an honest and proper conversation when, even what others say to you, you twist to mean what you think they are saying, instead of taking what they say they meant to say in what they say to you? You have the right to disagree with what I say and to refute, but you do not have the right to tell me that what it is I mean to say is what you say I mean. I don't even know what to call such attitude and thinking.
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I hope you can answer the simple questions:

1. How did you know that there is only one true God and not many?
2. How did you know that God will send a Messiah to the world?
3. How have you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent?

INCQUISITOR:

The answers to your questions are found in the Bible, where else?

Me:

Since you apparently wanted to be vague in your answer, then I'll have to guess as to what you meant by your answer.

I understand then that you came to know that there is only one true God and not many, in the Bible. And that goes as well, as to why you know that God will send a Messiah to the world, and that you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent.

Why and how is it then that you believe in the Bible in the first place?
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You say and believe that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh because of John 8:40 and John 17:3. Yes, Jesus is not a God, because Jesus is God and not some other God, for there is but only one God. But, if that's what you understand out of the said scriptures, then so be it with you. As for me, John 8:40 speaks of Jesus to be a man. John 17:3 speaks of Jesus' Father to be the only true God and that He was sent by Him. God also revealed elsewhere in scriptures that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, who came forth from Him. God, in scriptures, reveals that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God came down from heaven, having been sent to the world below. That Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. That Jesus Christ knew no sin. And so on and so forth. And I believe all of that, not one that I pick out and do not believe. For all is God's words and so are true, faithful, powerful, and trustworthy.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that the son of God came from heaven, which to me means, the son of man came from God (John 8:42), I also believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, that Jesus Christ knew no sin. I also believe that these words of God are true, faithful and trustworthy.

However, I believe that these scriptures do NOT negate John 17:3 which explicitly teaches us that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God and Jesus Christ is a MAN (John 8:40) whom God SENT into the world (John 3:17; 17:3).

Me:

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being "son of God" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, came from heaven. The issue with you about this is what you take it to mean. You take it to mean that Jesus Christ came from God. And while it is true that Jesus Christ came from God, what it means when scripture says that the Son of God came down from heaven, speaks of something different.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being the "Alpha and Omega" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ knew no sin. The next thing to understand regarding this is what that means.

And of course, these truths does not contradict the rest of the truths revealed in scriptures.
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And yes I say that John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote, that God raised Jesus from the dead. As I said I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true and are not be to be taken as contradicting each other, which leads us to the understanding that Jesus is no other but God who became flesh.

INCQUISITOR:

It is your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 and your IGNORING John 17:3 that leads you and other Trinitarians to the FALSE understanding that Jesus is no other but God who BECAME flesh. If only you have faith in what Jesus says in John 17:3, you would come to the realization that Jesus was SENT by God - NOT God who BECAME flesh.

Me:

In your view, I have a faulty understanding. I can understand that. And in my view, I see you as the one whose understanding is faulty. We have different views about God. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not Lord to you, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is Lord to me, and so is the Son. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not your Savior, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is my Savior, and so is the Son.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is true as far as our views are concerned. As a Christian, I believe and have faith in Jesus which is "made perfect" (James 2:22) by my obedience to his words and teachings.

To me, Jesus is NOT God because the Father is the ONLY TRUE God in conformity with the teaching of Jesus written in John 17:3.

To me, God is my Father - NOT Lord, in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in Matthew 23:10 and John 20:17, and apostle Paul's teachings written in 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6 and Phil. 2:11.

To me, Jesus is Christ is my savior in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in John 3:16-18 and apostle Paul's teachings written in Acts 5:31 that God exalted Jesus to His right hand to be prince and savior and in Eph. 5:23 and 25 where it is written that Jesus is the savior of the body, the church and gave his life for it.

Me:

Is your view that "God is my Father - NOT Lord" in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as "kurios", that is, "Lord", which clearly tells us and is undeniable truth that God is Lord. Now, we must not forget that there is only one God and therefore only one Lord. Think about this, before Christ came in the flesh some 2000 years ago, who is it you say is him who is the Lord and the Lord of God's people? Is it not the only true God? And when Christ came, did the only true God cease to be Lord and Lord of God's people?

Is your view that "Jesus is Christ is my savior" means that God is not your savior? If so, is your view in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as the savior of those who believe in Him?
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Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

INCQUISITOR:

What you are saying is DIFFERENT from what apostle Paul says in Romans 10:13-15. Apostle Paul specifies from WHOM we should HEAR the word of God. And apostle Paul provides hints on how to know when a preacher is SENT or not.

In 1 Cor. 2:13 apostle Paul wrote, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual." A preacher SENT from God COMPARES spiritual things with spiritual.

In 2 Cor. 11:3-4 apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME Jesus, the SAME spirit and the SAME gospel that the apostles preached.

In Galatians 1:6-8, apostle Paul wrote: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME gospel that Christ and the apostles preached.

ME:

It's not DIFFERENT INCquisitor, but is exactly what apostle Paul says. As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

Let me pick up my point from the scriptures "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

This is a clear reminder and warning of Paul to the Christians in Galatia. That the gospel that they have preached to them in the beginning is the gospel, the true gospel I may say. He greatly emphasizes this to the point of saying that if anyone, even they (he and the other apostles) or even an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel other than what they have preached to them then, Paul said "let him be accursed". Now, what is significant about this? As I have pointed out, we should always go back to scriptures when somebody preaches to you and claims that what they are preaching is the gospel of Christ. For, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached that they were commissioned and sent to preach. In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence.

INCQUISITOR:

Let me show you the FOLLY of what you are saying.

You have read 1 Cor. 8:6 where it reads, "yet for us there is ONE God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

How come a lot of so-called Christians believe that Jesus Christ is ALSO God and for them there are TWO Lords - NOT one?

ME:

There is no folly to show in what I'm saying INCquisitor.

Regarding your question on 1 Cor.8:6, obviously you have a problem with that. God is my Lord. And Jesus Christ is my Lord. Why do you have a problem with that? The way I see it, it's because God is not your Lord. Anyway, this is not the issue in this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

Obviously, you don't listen to what God says in scriptures. And this is the folly of your OPINION that it is enough to read scriptures to have "faith by hearing the apostles through scriptures."

ME:

Well, if there are no other scriptures other than 1 Cor. 8:6, you may be right. But, that is not the case. And this is what is obvious, your scriptures is different from the Holy scriptures I read.

Perhaps, you can now go back to the issue under this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

You say: "In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence."

Aren't you contradicting yourself? 1 Cor. 8:6 is scripture. It's what apostle Paul preached.

As you correctly stated, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." This can rightly be applied to the one who taught you the FALSE doctrine that "God is your Lord and Jesus Christ is ALSO your Lord," CONTRARY to what apostle Paul preached as written in 1 Cor. 8:6.

Me:

And as I said we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures.

And I am not contradicting myself. While Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.", Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:", and Jude said in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same thing with the truth that Jesus is the Savior and God is the Savior. And this you don't believe, even while scriptures testify to this.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;", and Peter says in 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:", and Jude says in Jude 1:25 "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Jesus is Lord. God is Lord.
Jesus is the Savior. God is the Savior.

INCQUISITOR:

If we take every scripture as TRUE without comparing them with other scriptures as the Holy Spirit teaches in 1 Cor. 2:13 (NKJV), we would have the apostles CONTRADICTING each other or apostles CONTRADICTING even Jesus Christ, their "ONLY LORD and Master" (Jude 1:4 TEV).

In the Ang Biblia version of Mt. 23:10, Jesus said, "Ni huwag kayong patawag na mga panginoon; sapagka't IISA and inyong panginoon, samakatuwid baga'y, ANG CRISTO (Do not be called 'Lords' for ONE is your 'Lord', the Christ)."

In 1 Cor. 8:6, apostle Paul was teaching the early Corinthian Christians the lesson that Jesus Christ taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10, that Christ is their ONLY ONE 'Lord.'

On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching. In fact, the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1 Peter 3:15 reads, "sanctify Christ as Lord."

The same twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of Jude1:4 omits God. Hence, the Today's English Version of Jude 1:4 also reads as follows: "For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our ONLY Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received."

Me:

You said "On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching."

A statement may not be a teaching. But that has nothing to do with a statement being true. And the said statements of Jude and Peter testifies who is God to them, that is, Lord God and their Savior.

If you go to 1 Cor. 2:13 and take what Paul said, and you take that which Paul taught that only Christ is Lord and that God is not, as true, then you must have to interpret all other scriptures such as that of Peter and Jude to not go against it, right? But that is the right way to take God's equally true words in scriptures. We must take them as to what they say.

To Peter and Jude, God is Lord.
God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs.

If your understanding of scriptures denies this truth, then there is the problem with you.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Paul's statement that there is only one Lord, and that to be Jesus Christ, only tells me who Jesus Christ is, for, from the beginning, the only Lord God is God, who is known to be the only Lord God even in ancient times and by the prophets and patriarchs.

INCQUISITOR:

If what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 - that God is Lord - is a teaching, then we would have two apostles teaching two different doctrines. You say you believe BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 to be true. That's your call. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It won't change the way I divide the word of truth.

Heb. 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke separately to our fathers by the prophets and to us in these last days by His son. God commanded our fathers by the prophets to call Him 'Lord.' God has spoken to us in these last days by His son Jesus, who taught his disciples not to be called 'Lord,' for ONE is their 'Lord,' the Christ (Mt. 23:10).

Me:

Yes I say BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 are true. And why not?

As I have pointed out, to Peter and Jude, God is Lord. And that God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs. If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

And don't tell me that you are trashing away all of the NT scriptures which refers to God as Lord (kurios). Your Bible would surely grow much thinner by then.

INCQUISITOR:

As far as I am concerned, I believe what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 more than what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being his Lord because what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 conforms with what Jesus taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10 (Ang Biblia). Perhaps apostle Peter, being a Jew, wrote 'Lord God' by force of habit, or translators did not want to believe what Jesus taught and what apostle Paul wrote and ADDED 'Lord' before 'God' when they translated 1 Peter 3:15.

I call God my Father just as Jesus calls God his Father (John 20:17). God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me. I'm a Christian. Thus, I follow what Christ teaches.

Me:

Well you can think all you want about Peter and Jude. No one denies you that. But, if you'll be kind and brave enough, could you please answer the very simple and basic questions I asked:

If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

INCQUISITOR:

Heb. 1:1-2 teaches that God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets but has spoken to us by His son. In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.' In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son and has "commanded His son what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49-50).

Therefore, to the ancient people of God, God is Lord.

By contrast, God's people in these last days, the true Christians, call God Father and call Jesus Christ Lord in compliance with what Jesus taught his disciples that they have only one Father, He who is in heaven (Mt. 23:9), that his God is their God and his Father is their Father (John 20:17). Jesus also commanded his disciples not to have themselves called 'Lord' for ONE is their 'Lord', the Christ (Mt. 23:10 Ang Biblia). Apostle Peter wrote that God made Jesus "Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:"36).

Me:

So, ok. You can't answer my simple questions. As for me, God is Lord yesterday, today and tomorrow. And what it means for God to be one's Lord is that God is him, that he obeys and serves.

Now, let me deal with your deviation.

Yes, God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets. And what He have spoken is true. And yes God has spoken to us by His son some 2000 years ago. And what He have spoken is true.

You said "In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.'". Please show me where in scriptures is that.
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I too call God, "Abba,Father". I'm a Christian too, because I believe and follow Christ, because I believe and follow God. I call Him Father not because it was commanded of me, but because I have received from Him, that which He has given me, the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.”

INCQUISITOR:

Why then do you insist on calling God 'Lord?'

Me:

Even while God is my Father, God is my Lord. Because scriptures testify that God is Lord and even the Lord of lords and King of kings even. So God is my King as well. I obey and serve Him. Don't you? I think you do too, though you just refuse to admit that he is lord and so deny God as your Lord, and so just refuse to call Him 'Lord', as you think that you should not for you think that by doing so, you are contradicting what Paul said in 1 Cor. 8:6, that there is one Lord, that is, Jesus Christ. And you take it that way even while you know in your heart that the only one that man must obey and serve is God.
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You said "God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me."

First, can you show in scriptures where we can learn that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'?

Second,if God did commanded them to call Him 'Lord', for what reason is that? And how is God, Lord over them?

Also, in the NT times, what can you understand as to the matter of scriptures, when referring to God, refers to him as "kurios"?

INCQUISITOR:

On your first and second questions, I am not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures. I only know that writers of the OT called God 'Lord.' On your third question, I don't speak Greek. Hence, I don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord' except perhaps by force of habit or translators' desire to call God 'Lord.'

Me:

That tells me then that you don't know the truths that God revealed of himself to man in time past. And if you admit that you are not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures, why do you say that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'? That would then just be guessing and so whatever then you base on that is then only based on a guess. If you take God's words, even in the OT scriptures, as important, holy, and good, and cares enough to know Him, I suggest you start finding out what He revealed of Himself to man, even in the OT.

If your excuse is that you don't speak Greek, so that you don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord', I can't see how you know why scriptures refer to God as 'Father'. And in general then, I can't see how you know why and can believe translations of the other Greek words.

Even if we, for the sake of argument, take that scriptures does not say that God is Lord or master, must you obey and serve God or not? If you must, is He then not your Lord?

In the scripture below, who do you say is the Lord referred to here?

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".
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Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 INCQUISITOR:

Most MISINTERPRET this verse to mean that "faith is the gift from God." Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eternal life is the "thing HOPED for" and the kingdom of God is the "thing unseen" for which "faith is the substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1) respectively.

ME:

Regarding the "thing hoped for" and the "thing unseen", read my discussion about this at the top segment of this post.

With regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, let's see here the correct interpretation by going through the verse:

"For by grace you have been saved". This phrase tells of the Christian that he have been saved. And how? By grace, Paul says.

What does Paul mean in saying that the Christian have been saved "by grace"? We get to understand that in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

INCQUISITOR:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

These verses do not tell us that "faith comes from God."

What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Of course, salvation is not by ourselves nor of works. It is a result of faith.

Apostle Paul writes, "For whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have NOT believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have NOT heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has BELIEVED our report? So then FAITH comes by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:16-17).

Thus, faith is the result of HEARING the gospel from a PREACHER SENT from God, BEIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel SAYS and INSTRUCTS one to do.

ME:

Yes Ephesians 2:8-9 does speak about the truth that faith comes from God. And I have explained to you clearly what the passage tells us in my post above.

You said "What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

That is not what grace means INCquisitor. That is the grace of God. Here's a verse that can help you understand what grace means:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

In the Greek, the word translated "grace" is "charis" which means favor, kindness. Grace is as a gift or blessing.

And perhaps now you can better understand the scriptures "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, men did not have to work or do anything for God to SEND His son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). God SENT His son out of His love for us. But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved. This is what Paul meant when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).

ME:

The verse says "For by grace"... Now this means, not by works. If not by works, what then? As I have pointed out,we get to understand "For by grace", in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

You said "But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved". It's good that you say that. Do you mean by that, that you agree, that it is not of yourself and not through works that we are saved, as Eph.2:8-9 says?

INCQUISITOR:

It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. However, this is where we should take other scriptures into consideration.

What does "faith in Jesus" mean or entail? In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who "believed him", If you ABIDE in my word, you are MY disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." What does ABIDE in the word of Jesus mean? Doesn't that mean "obeying what Jesus COMMANDS you to do?" Isn't that "work?"

In Matt. 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the WILL of my Father in heaven." Is DOING the WILL of the Father NOT "work?"

In James 2:14 and 20, apostle James wrote: "What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

The works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.

Me:

It's good that you take as true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says.

Now, whatever you say then with regards this truth will not get out of line if you keep in mind Eph. 2:8-9 which says "For BY GRACE you have been SAVED through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. Forgetting that or setting aside the truth that one is SAVED through faith, and NOT OF WORKS, in considering other scriptures which speaks of how one is saved, almost always leads one to the error of being saved through faith and works, making one to able to boast of being saved, not only by having faith in Christ, but by his works.

INCQUISITOR:

Sticking to Eph. 2:8-9 without regards to Matt. 7:21 and James 2:14 is the fatal error of Christian-professing religions today. How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?

Sadly, Christian-professing religions are IGNORANT of the "works" that make "faith perfect" in order to benefit from God's "saving grace through faith in Jesus."

Me:

You just said "It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says."

That statement of yours is clear. The matter is if you meant what it says.

You asked:

"How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Your questions here just shows that you didn't mean what your statement above says or really do not understand Eph.:8-9.

INCQUISITOR:

You must be ignorant of what "faith in Jesus" entails. While it is true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. we cannot just set aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 simply because we don't know the "will of the Father" necessary to be DONE to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I believe Eph. 2:8-9 and understand what it is telling us. As I said earlier, the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation. Besides, Eph. 2:8-9 CANNOT prevail over the words of Jesus written in Matthew 7:21.

Any "work" that people do to earn salvation, like religiously going to church, giving alms to the poor, giving monetary offerings, observing religious holidays, nor eating blood, etc. which are NOT the "WILL of the Father" are "works that one can boast of." These are the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9.

The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once again, I ask: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Me:

I am not setting aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 nor a single scripture, unlike you who have even trashed away many scriptures.

You said:

<<the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.>>

Clearly, Eph.2:8-9 does not exclude any work by saying "not of works". Anyway, you say that Matt. 7:21 speaks of works needed for salvation, even while no works is mentioned really. What works are you then talking about,for the sake of argument? You even said "The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven". What work is that?

You asked: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches?

Believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. That is the will of the Father.

You asked: "How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

I think that when one does not believe any scriptures, he really do not have faith in God, for he rejects and does not believe the word of God.

Now, regarding James 2:14, you might like to read v.18 to see the point of James there.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the will of the Father is to "believe and have faith in Jesus."

You say you "believe and have faith in Jesus." What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)? Don't you believe God's word which says, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)?

Me:

I believe all of God's words including James 2:20.

Now, you asked "" What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)?". Such question comes about when one does not get the point of what James is saying in v.18.

James 2:18, " Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works".

Considering v.18, James'point is that the faith of one is SHOWN or SEEN by works. And you will understand what he said in the next verse, "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". The devils too can be said to have faith, same as anyone who believe that there is one God, such as the Muslims and the Christians. Now, look at the devil's works. What faith do you see? So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN.

Of the case James mentioned of Abraham, v. 22 says " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Clearly, the verse tells us how faith have moved Abraham to act and do as he had. And that by such doing and working, his faith was made perfect, meaning, is made complete or is consummated, having reached its end aim and accomplish its goal.

Verse 23 says "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and IT was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Clearly, all that James said of the case of Abraham, it was Abraham's faith that was imputed unto him for righteousness, not anything else.

The matter with regards to the work that Abraham did here is that, though even while he believe in God, should Abraham have not acted on his faith or have done what is contrary to it, such faith is said to be dead. For a faith that does not move one to act or does not produce works, is dead.

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you now understand what "faith made perfect by works" mean. I think you are now ready to "make your faith in Jesus perfect" by obeying his commands and abiding in his word or following his teachings,

Me:

I think you did not see and understand anything in my post regarding James 2. Consider going through it again so that you don't get to have the wrong impression and conclusion.

So, I'll just say this, and perhaps you will consider and meditate on it: It is faith that is imputed unto the believer for righteousness, not anything else.
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Now, Paul said "it is the gift of God". What is the "it" referring to? From the verse, it can easily be understood that the "it" refers to the Christian's salvation ("have been saved"). It does not refer to faith, for it is not what is in view in the verse, rather, the salvation of the Christian is what is in view. So, what Paul is saying in the verse, is that, salvation is God's gift to the Christian. Now, we know that salvation means eternal life. We can see this in the statement of Paul, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.".

Thank you for commenting on Ephesians 2:8-9. It opened the door for me to show you that salvation is a gift. Do you know what that means?

INCQUISITOR:

Of course I have known all along that salvation or eternal life - NOT faith - is the gift of God. I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus or by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do.

In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

ME:

There is a lot of difference between having faith in Jesus Christ and that of the matter of hearing the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God. And the former is where one get to receive eternal life. So, your statement "I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus OR by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do", is faulty.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, a preacher SENT from God preaches the gospel of Christ. Hence, hearing from a preacher SENT from God is tantamount to hearing the gospel of Christ. As Christ told his disciples long ago, "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who Sent ME" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

Luke 10:16 refers to no other but to those whom Jesus have sent in those times. It does not include any of those now who claims to be sent by Jesus or by God.

Now, there are plenty in these days who claims to be sent from God, and that they claim to be the only ones sent and no other. And one say to the other, that he is a false messenger, and so too will the other say to the other. As each one denies the other, one need not have to really choose between them who is true or not. For we can go to those in scriptures spoken to be sent by Jesus to preach the gospel, that is, His apostles. What they have preached, God have inspired to be written in scriptures. So, if one reads in scriptures what they preached, they could be sure that they are hearing the true gospel.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is easier said than done. Case in point: Apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead.

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true od (John 17:3). FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God.

Only true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

There were many disciples of Christ when He came and went teaching when He was on earth. But there were only twelve that the Lord have chosen.

John 6
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus UNTO THE TWELVE, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU TWELVE, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Of the twelve, here's what Jesus revealed:

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And it came to pass, that Judas betrayed and not before long, Judas killed himself. So of the twelve, there were left 11.

To the eleven, Jesus commanded them:

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now, it came to pass that the eleven have chosen another one to be an apostle, to take the place of Judas Iscariot:

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Now, it came to pass that Jesus have chosen another to be His apostle to the Gentiles, that is Saul (Paul). Refer to Acts 9.

Here's what Paul testifies:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

The "they" in the verse refers to the other apostles.

Now, after these chosen apostles, were there any other men chosen by God or by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same work and ministry?

As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus Christ to be His apostles and preach the gospel. For the scriptures have said and warned "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached of which they were commissioned and were sent out to preach. In short, we go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach and so learn of the gospel of Christ and believe it.

INCQUISITOR:

As I said, what you say is easier said than done. Again, I say, apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures. Yet, FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead. These FALSE preachers REFUSE to listen to apostles Peter and Paul!

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true God (John 17:3). These are also scriptures which anyone can read. Yet, FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God. These FALSE preachers also REFUSE to listen to Jesus!

These FALSE preachers say they preach the true gospel of Christ. How can they when they preach other gospels that apostles Paul and Peter and even Jesus have preached? As apostle Paul wrote, let these FALSE preachers be accursed!

Again, I say, ONLY true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

And again I will refer you back to my previous post above and try to see the point I was making and give it some thought.

INCQUISITOR:

The proliferation of FALSE teachers of religions prove that your point of view is FALSE. If you REFUSE to change your point of view, it does not make any difference to me.

Me:

Same here. I'll go with the truth of scriptures. And I would not dare exchange what truth scriptures says for any teachings of any one who claims to have the truth, even one who claims to be a chosen and commissioned disciple of Christ today, nor even an angel, for scriptures tells me "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed".

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote Gal. 1:8 and said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". He also wrote 1 Cor. 8:6 where he taught that for him and Christ's disciples, there is ONLY ONE God, the Father, and ONLY ONE Lord Jesus Christ..." Therefore, let those FALSE teachers who teach any other gospel (message) than that which apostle Paul preached in 1 Cor. 8:6 be ACCURSED.

Me:

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH."

And to all who think to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ, including Paul, and preach what they think and claim they are, and claims that only they, have the truth and correct understanding of scriptures, may God have mercy on them.

INCQUISITOR:

This goes for you too ands Tomas too.

Me:

I don't claim to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ. I don't know about Tomas. I can't speak for him.
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With regards to your other post here, thanks, but I have read and heard that passage long time ago. And it reminds me, I asked you some time ago on the passage you cited, what does "faith to faith" means? If my memory serves me right, you said you don't know. I wonder then how you could understand the passage and cite it, when you don't know what it means.

INCQUISITOR:

I wrote:

"In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

You ask, "what does "faith to faith" mean?

Apostle Paul says, "for in it (the gospel of Christ}, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is REVEALED from faith to faith."

I believe that this is a way to test the authenticity of whoever claims to be a preacher sent from God. The gospel of Christ that one preaches must REVEAL the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Otherwise, the gospel that one preaches is FALSE.

ME:

Sorry, but I still don't really get what "faith to faith" means for you. Are you saying that "faith" there refers to other faith, as in, other belief?

INCQUISITOR:

There is only one righteousness of God that is revealed by the true gospel of Christ. It is by this revelation of the gospel of Christ that the authenticity of the gospel being preached is tested.

Me:

As the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If you don't get to see there what the righteousness of God is, I pray to God to give you understanding.

INCQUISITOR:

Does the gospel you preach reveal the righteousness of God? I dare say no.

Apostle Paul wrote: "For He made him who knew no sin t be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Tell us, what is the "righteousness of God" that apostle Paul was talking about? How does one become the "righteousness of God" in Christ?

Me:

Yes, for what I spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

"... we might become the righteousness of God in him" is what the verse says. Even that I guess you don't seem to understand.

As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD is REVEALED from FAITH TO FAITH:

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH.

What is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?

It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH!

Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't tell me what the "righteousness of God" is that YOUR gospel reveals. You simply said, "As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If I were your Bible student, what did you teach me as the "righteousness of God" that is revealed from faith to faith? Nothing? Therefore, the gospel you preach is NOT the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes what you preach.

Scripture says, "for in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). Your gospel MUST reveal to your Bible students what the righteousness of God is. Be honest to yourself and to your Bible students and tell them that you are IGNORANT of what the "righteousness of God" is.

Me:

And as I said, the gospel I share and spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

Now haven't I given you the Bible to tell you about the righteousness of God? I said "It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH! Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH".

Let me quote some scriptures that reveals the righteousness of God from FAITH TO FAITH.

Hebrews 11:

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21).

You say these scriptures reveal the "righteousness of God." What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal? How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Me:

What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Apparently you still can't see the righteousness of God in the scriptures I have given you. That's sad. Only God can open the eyes of one who can't see.

How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

I cited the above scriptures not to show you HOW we can BECOME the "righteousness of God", but to tell how the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the scriptures you cited tell us "how the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith." Then you should know WHAT the righteousness of God is that is revealed from faith to faith. Otherwise, your citing these scriptures is of NO help to anyone.

Me:

And yes I do INCquitor. It is what is revealed in the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. and of the prophets, and most especially and fully, in the faith of Jesus Christ.

How about you, do you not see the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, at least, in the scriptures I cited? I guess not.

You teach what you think is the righteousness of God is. Is this righteousness of God that you teach is what you've seen from faith to faith? For regarding the righteousness of God, scriptures say is REVEALED from faith to faith? If it is not based on that, then it is based on something else, which I would say is on your own thinking and wisdom.
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You said "Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21)."

"..that we might become God's righteousness in Christ". Becoming God's righteousness is different from what the righteousness of God is. Anyway, let me comment on the matter of how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours. And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, "becoming the righteousness of God" is different from "what God's righteousness is." Anybody should know that. The question is, how can one "become the righteousness of God" if one is IGNORANT of what God's righteousness is?

You say, "The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ." How can you say that when you don't even know what God's righteousness is? What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us?

I can only imagine how confused you must be concerning the epistles of Paul.

Me:

As I have shown in my post in the other segment above, the righteousness of God according to you is coming not from what can be seen from faith to faith, where the righteousness of God is seen as it is revealed from faith to faith, but is coming from your own thinking and wisdom. If scriptures say that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, where would you expect one to go and see and know of the righteousness of God?

Do you not know that scriptures says something like this:

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

What is the faith that is referred to here that is said to be afterward revealed? Obviously it is not speaking of the faith that has been already revealed such as that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. It is the faith of Jesus Christ that Paul is talking about here.

So, having established that, and that Jesus, having done ALL that He did and not only SOME, as did the others I mentioned above, by faith, we can look at Jesus and see in full, the righteousness of God. So, we see that Jesus Christ has become the righteousness of God.

How can one "become the righteousness of God", you asked. By having faith, faith as that which is not only revealed and seen and is of Abraham, but even ,as that faith of Jesus Christ which was revealed in the last days, some 2000 years ago.

What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us, you asked. It has nothing to do with that, but it has everything to do with the matter of forgiving man his sins, that man might be cleansed of all filth, that is sin, and being clean, they then may and could be reconciled to God. That is what I'm saying in the part that you have made a separate segment below. With that and going further, man then might become the righteousness of God, and that, in Christ.

Now, let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours". This is simply to remind us that our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours.

And let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses". This is simply to remind us that Jesus never sinned throughout His entire life, for if not, then scriptures could not have spoken of Jesus as one who knew no sin. And that then, Jesus is rightfully declared by the prophet John, as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".
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Now, we know that God had made this of His Son Jesus Christ on His own will and because of His love for us. But we know that God hates sin and He is holy. So, if He reconciles us to Himself, we must be cleansed from sin. Another matter is that man is weak, because of the flesh, so that man is easily tempted in falling into sin. And so He had done this, for only by the sacrifice of Christ, as being the lamb of God, by being sin for us, as payment for the penalty of sin, can man be cleansed of his sins. This then made it possible for man to be reconciled to God.

INCQUISITOR:

Is this what the Bible teaches about reconciling sinners to God? Please show scriptures.

Me:

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

I believe you know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".
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How about the matter of the weakness of the flesh? If we continue to be sinners and be the same creature we were, after having been cleansed from sin, what would that make of God? Certainly, we won't become the righteousness of God. So, this as well was taken cared of by God in Christ, so that we might become God's righteousness in him. For if any man be in Christ, God have made him a new creature, as having been born again, and having given him His Spirit that gives him the power to overcome sin. As such, by all of this that God have done in Christ, is how we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say means nothing unless you tell us the righteousness of God. How can one become the righteousness of God by Christ's dying as sacrificial lamb for sinners?

Me:

See what I've written about this in the other segments above.
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Joined: 11:04 PM - May 19, 2013

9:39 PM - Apr 23, 2017 #74

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. And if the hearer believes God's words, then his hearing the words of God have resulted then to the hearer having faith, faith in God.

You said "So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT."

The Father have sent the Son to the world, and in time, the Son sent the HS to His apostles to dwell in them and be their paracletos, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them, and will testify of Him. The apostles were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses and preach these to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

It is not enough to simply read the scriptures by yourself in order to understand what the scripture says. A man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury (Acts 8:27), was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:28), when Philip ran to him and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30). And the eunuch said, "How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him" (Acts 8:31).

A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, WHAT YOU SAY IS false.

ME:

You mentioned of the Eunuch, who said "How can I, unless someone guides me?". And it was Philip, who guided him. Now, you must not forget that the Spirit was with Philip. And it is the HS whom Jesus sent to His apostles to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He said to them, and these things were written in scriptures. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus to preach. And so we see Philip preaching to the Eunuch (it is wise to note what Philip preached to the Eunuch). But then, the apostles are all now dead and there were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of, as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. So, where can we hear the preaching of the apostles? That's right, in scriptures. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard them preached in their days, including that of Philip. Reading or hearing somebody reading scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach. So that, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, through scriptures, God's words.

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't address my questions.

I wrote: " A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines.

ME:

Oh, sorry about that.

I really can't tell INCquisitor in their case. Perhaps, you can ask them why.

On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

And have read also John 10:18 where John says:

10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Now, these scriptures, and the words of Jesus himself, that is, "in three days I will raise it up", and "I have power to take it again", clearly tells me that Jesus have the power to resurrect himself and have indeed risen from the dead. For when He had risen from the dead, scriptures says "His disciples remembered that He had said this to them.", that is, "I will raise it up.”

Why people like you don't see that or perhaps don't accept that, makes me sad for them.

You said "Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines."

How you consider this statement "READING or hearing somebody READING the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach" is FALSE, just tells me that you don't believe that what one can read in scriptures, the NT in particular" is not what the apostles preached. And you even say that what one hears (implied to be hearing the READING of scriptures by somebody) are not true words of God. Makes me feel sorry for you.

INCQUISITOR:

Your statement that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scripture, is hearing the apostles preach" is proven FALSE by your own admission, to wit: "On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

In Romans 10:9, apostle preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. In Acts 3:15, apostle Peter preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures where we HEAR apostles Paul and Peter preach that God RAISED Jesus from the dead.

Compare these scriptures with John 2:19-22 where apostle John preached what Jesus said. Did Jesus EXPLICITLY say that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? No! You are simply THINKING BEYOND what apostle John wrote. Your imagination makes apostles Peter and Paul LIARS. You are NOT listening to apostles Peter and Paul. You are listening to whoever you HEARD reading from the scriptures.

Me:

John 2:19-22
"19 JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID."

John 10:18 where JESUS says:
10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

I thought you believe every word that Jesus said.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 but NOT in the way you understand these verses that CONTRADICTS what apostles Peter and Paul wrote in Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Again, I ask you, did Jesus EXPLICITLY say in these verses that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? You REFUSE to answer my question because you ARE stuck with your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and Jon 10:18 that Jesus was saying he WILL RAISE HIMSELF from the dead.

Me:

There is contradiction between John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 with Rom. 10:9, and that, with regards your belief. As with mine, there is none.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true. If your understanding of scriptures denies these truths, then there is the problem with you.

In John 10:18, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. THIS COMMAND I have received from My Father.”. And I believe that, don't you? Now, with regards the Father's commandments to Jesus, Jesus said in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I HAVE KEPT my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.". So, there is no doubt that Jesus followed the Father's commandment to him in John 10:18. And there is nothing clearer than what is written in John 2:19-22 with regards this matter.

INCQUISITOR:

You say that, on the basis of your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead. You say your belief does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote (that God raised Jesus from the dead- Acts 3:15; Rom. 10:9) because your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 makes Jesus God in your mind.

To justify your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8, you conveniently set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 where he says that he is a MAN and in John 17:3 where he tells the Father that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God.

While it is true that John 2:19-22, John 10:18, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9, are ALL true, and I believe that too, YOUR understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 - that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead - is FALSE, Your understanding of these verses CONTRADICTS the word of God written in John 8:40, John 17:3, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Me:

I'm not at all posting to justify anything INCquisitor. And I neither set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 nor any scripture for that matter, unlike you who have trashed pretty much every scripture that does not go with your understanding of scriptures. For I do believe that Jesus is a man. But you just refuse to believe that I do and insist that I really don't for you find that illogical since I believe He is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man. I am not forcing you to believe it. I'm just telling you that this is what the scriptures tells me.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because you say this is what the scriptures tell you. That's the consequence of NOT having faith in what Jesus says.

You say you believe that Jesus is a MAN but you set aside and ignore John 17:3 where Jesus says to the Father, "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT."

As a result of ignoring and setting aside John 17:3, you FAILED to perceive the TWO truths that are revealed by Jesus in John 17:3. First, you FAILED to perceive the truth that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that NOBODY else is a TRUE God but the Father. Second, you FAILED to perceive the truth that Jesus was SENT by the Father who is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh.

Me:

Yes I believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because this is what the scriptures tells me. That's the consequence of listening and hearing God's words in scriptures and not in any man, not even in my own understanding. I rely in God's words for the truth and submit myself to it. Wrong understanding of scriptures comes by when out of pride, one begins to bring his own understanding and his confidence in his own reasoning and limited human abilities, deceiving himself into thinking that he can understand the spiritual things of God by his natural senses and abilities.

INCQUISITOR:

There is no scripture that says "Jesus is God who became flesh." That's your wrong understanding of John 1:14 which says, "And the word became flesh." Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 comes by your bringing your own understanding and confidence in your own reasoning and limited human abilities, thereby deceiving yourself into thinking that you can understand spiritual things of God by your natural senses and abilities.

The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.

The rest of John 1:14 speaks of the "flesh" or Jesus who "dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 CONTRADICTS John 3:17 and John 17:3 where Jesus says that God the Father SENT him into the world. It runs against reason that God, the Father would SEND God, the son into the world, because the Bible teaches that there is ONLY ONNE God - NOT more than one God.

Me:

<<The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.>>

That's an erroneous understanding of John 1:14.

Apostle John testifies of the Word:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Apostle John testifies of the light, referring to the Word he is testifying about:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Apostle John continues to testifies of the Word:
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

I don't how and why it is not clear to you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. And of this person, is what apostle John testifies about in the book of John. The plan of God that you are talking about, the plan of sending a Messiah, is spoken and testified in the law and the prophets.

INCQUISITOR:

Your thinking shows that the Spirit of God has not taught you HOW to "rightly divide the truth." Apostle Paul wrote, "Be diligent to present himself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness" (2 Tim. 2:15).

The Bible was not written the way newspapers, magazines and books are written. The next verse does not necessarily refer to the first verse.

For example, John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. John 1:1 refers to the "word" of God which was in the beginning WITH God and WAS God. This refers to the "word" or "plan" of God to SEND Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). Apostle Peter wrote about Christ as the "word" or "plan" of God, thus: "He indeed was FOREORDAINED before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:20).

Hence, the "word" of God was WITH God in the beginning or before the foundation of the world. Why was the "word" God? Because the "word" of God has the power of God - that is, the "word" is always true and will always be fulfilled.

What follows John 1:1 should be John 1:14 to let us know what happened to this "word" or "plan" of God. John 1:14 says, "And the word BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

This is John's way of telling us that the "plan" of God was fulfilled. Hence, it is clear that the "word" BECAME flesh, and it is the "flesh" into whom the "word became" that dwelt among us.

What follows are verses 2-5 which refer to Jesus or the "flesh" into whom the word became.
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I say I believe that Jesus is a MAN and do not set aside nor ignore John 17:3 nor any of God's words. I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent. God, being the only true God and none other, has been revealed to Israel from the very beginning. The rest of the world knew this not, as evidenced by their worship and belief in many gods. Now, not even Israel knew who the Christ is, whom the one true God have sent to the world.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe Jesus is a MAN and do not ignore nor set aside John 17:3. You say you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent."

You may not realize it, but by saying this, you are admitting that Jesus is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, unless, one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

Me:

You don't get to interpret what I say I believe better than I who said it, isn't it? As I don't get to interpret what you say you believe better than you. How do you get to have an honest and proper conversation when, even what others say to you, you twist to mean what you think they are saying, instead of taking what they say they meant to say in what they say to you? You have the right to disagree with what I say and to refute, but you do not have the right to tell me that what it is I mean to say is what you say I mean. I don't even know what to call such attitude and thinking.

INCQUISITOR:

I can only tell what a man thinks by what he says.

You say that You say that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent."

If you are not admitting that Jesus Christ is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, after having said what you said, then you are admitting that one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

If you are not admitting any of these, what can I say about your statement that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent?"

Shouldn't I say then that you are a liar for saying this because you don't truly believe Jesus? As apostle Paul wrote, he who doesn't rightly divide the word of truth resorts to profane and idle babblings that increase to more ungodliness (2 Tim. 2:15).
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I hope you can answer the simple questions:

1. How did you know that there is only one true God and not many?
2. How did you know that God will send a Messiah to the world?
3. How have you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent?

INCQUISITOR:

The answers to your questions are found in the Bible, where else?

Me:

Since you apparently wanted to be vague in your answer, then I'll have to guess as to what you meant by your answer.

I understand then that you came to know that there is only one true God and not many, in the Bible. And that goes as well, as to why you know that God will send a Messiah to the world, and that you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent.

Why and how is it then that you believe in the Bible in the first place?

INCQUISITOR:

I believe that the Bible is the word of God. Jesus says the word of God is truth (John 17:17). God says "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good" (Num. 23:19 KJV)? This is the reason why I do not BLINDLY believe ALL scriptures without comparing spiritual things (scriptures) with spiritual(scripture) as the Holy Spirit teaches (1 Cor. 2:13). I also do not think BEYOND what is written (1 Cor. 4:6) in order to avoid ADDING to or SUBTRACTING from the word of God (Rev. 22:18-19).
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You say and believe that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh because of John 8:40 and John 17:3. Yes, Jesus is not a God, because Jesus is God and not some other God, for there is but only one God. But, if that's what you understand out of the said scriptures, then so be it with you. As for me, John 8:40 speaks of Jesus to be a man. John 17:3 speaks of Jesus' Father to be the only true God and that He was sent by Him. God also revealed elsewhere in scriptures that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, who came forth from Him. God, in scriptures, reveals that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God came down from heaven, having been sent to the world below. That Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. That Jesus Christ knew no sin. And so on and so forth. And I believe all of that, not one that I pick out and do not believe. For all is God's words and so are true, faithful, powerful, and trustworthy.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that the son of God came from heaven, which to me means, the son of man came from God (John 8:42), I also believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, that Jesus Christ knew no sin. I also believe that these words of God are true, faithful and trustworthy.

However, I believe that these scriptures do NOT negate John 17:3 which explicitly teaches us that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God and Jesus Christ is a MAN (John 8:40) whom God SENT into the world (John 3:17; 17:3).

Me:

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being "son of God" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, came from heaven. The issue with you about this is what you take it to mean. You take it to mean that Jesus Christ came from God. And while it is true that Jesus Christ came from God, what it means when scripture says that the Son of God came down from heaven, speaks of something different.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being the "Alpha and Omega" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ knew no sin. The next thing to understand regarding this is what that means.

And of course, these truths does not contradict the rest of the truths revealed in scriptures.

INCQUIDITOR:

Of course, these truths do not contradict the rest of truths revealed in scriptures. There is no argument about that.

What Trinitarians like you want these verses to mean is what CONTRADICTS the truth revealed in John 17:3 and other related truths revealed in scriptures. .
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And yes I say that John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote, that God raised Jesus from the dead. As I said I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true and are not be to be taken as contradicting each other, which leads us to the understanding that Jesus is no other but God who became flesh.

INCQUISITOR:

It is your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 and your IGNORING John 17:3 that leads you and other Trinitarians to the FALSE understanding that Jesus is no other but God who BECAME flesh. If only you have faith in what Jesus says in John 17:3, you would come to the realization that Jesus was SENT by God - NOT God who BECAME flesh.

Me:

In your view, I have a faulty understanding. I can understand that. And in my view, I see you as the one whose understanding is faulty. We have different views about God. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not Lord to you, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is Lord to me, and so is the Son. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not your Savior, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is my Savior, and so is the Son.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is true as far as our views are concerned. As a Christian, I believe and have faith in Jesus which is "made perfect" (James 2:22) by my obedience to his words and teachings.

To me, Jesus is NOT God because the Father is the ONLY TRUE God in conformity with the teaching of Jesus written in John 17:3.

To me, God is my Father - NOT Lord, in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in Matthew 23:10 and John 20:17, and apostle Paul's teachings written in 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6 and Phil. 2:11.

To me, Jesus is Christ is my savior in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in John 3:16-18 and apostle Paul's teachings written in Acts 5:31 that God exalted Jesus to His right hand to be prince and savior and in Eph. 5:23 and 25 where it is written that Jesus is the savior of the body, the church and gave his life for it.

Me:

Is your view that "God is my Father - NOT Lord" in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as "kurios", that is, "Lord", which clearly tells us and is undeniable truth that God is Lord. Now, we must not forget that there is only one God and therefore only one Lord. Think about this, before Christ came in the flesh some 2000 years ago, who is it you say is him who is the Lord and the Lord of God's people? Is it not the only true God? And when Christ came, did the only true God cease to be Lord and Lord of God's people?

Is your view that "Jesus is Christ is my savior" means that God is not your savior? If so, is your view in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as the savior of those who believe in Him?
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Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

INCQUISITOR:

What you are saying is DIFFERENT from what apostle Paul says in Romans 10:13-15. Apostle Paul specifies from WHOM we should HEAR the word of God. And apostle Paul provides hints on how to know when a preacher is SENT or not.

In 1 Cor. 2:13 apostle Paul wrote, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual." A preacher SENT from God COMPARES spiritual things with spiritual.

In 2 Cor. 11:3-4 apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME Jesus, the SAME spirit and the SAME gospel that the apostles preached.

In Galatians 1:6-8, apostle Paul wrote: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME gospel that Christ and the apostles preached.

ME:

It's not DIFFERENT INCquisitor, but is exactly what apostle Paul says. As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

Let me pick up my point from the scriptures "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

This is a clear reminder and warning of Paul to the Christians in Galatia. That the gospel that they have preached to them in the beginning is the gospel, the true gospel I may say. He greatly emphasizes this to the point of saying that if anyone, even they (he and the other apostles) or even an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel other than what they have preached to them then, Paul said "let him be accursed". Now, what is significant about this? As I have pointed out, we should always go back to scriptures when somebody preaches to you and claims that what they are preaching is the gospel of Christ. For, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached that they were commissioned and sent to preach. In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence.

INCQUISITOR:

Let me show you the FOLLY of what you are saying.

You have read 1 Cor. 8:6 where it reads, "yet for us there is ONE God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

How come a lot of so-called Christians believe that Jesus Christ is ALSO God and for them there are TWO Lords - NOT one?

ME:

There is no folly to show in what I'm saying INCquisitor.

Regarding your question on 1 Cor.8:6, obviously you have a problem with that. God is my Lord. And Jesus Christ is my Lord. Why do you have a problem with that? The way I see it, it's because God is not your Lord. Anyway, this is not the issue in this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

Obviously, you don't listen to what God says in scriptures. And this is the folly of your OPINION that it is enough to read scriptures to have "faith by hearing the apostles through scriptures."

ME:

Well, if there are no other scriptures other than 1 Cor. 8:6, you may be right. But, that is not the case. And this is what is obvious, your scriptures is different from the Holy scriptures I read.

Perhaps, you can now go back to the issue under this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

You say: "In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence."

Aren't you contradicting yourself? 1 Cor. 8:6 is scripture. It's what apostle Paul preached.

As you correctly stated, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." This can rightly be applied to the one who taught you the FALSE doctrine that "God is your Lord and Jesus Christ is ALSO your Lord," CONTRARY to what apostle Paul preached as written in 1 Cor. 8:6.

Me:

And as I said we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures.

And I am not contradicting myself. While Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.", Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:", and Jude said in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same thing with the truth that Jesus is the Savior and God is the Savior. And this you don't believe, even while scriptures testify to this.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;", and Peter says in 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:", and Jude says in Jude 1:25 "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Jesus is Lord. God is Lord.
Jesus is the Savior. God is the Savior.

INCQUISITOR:

If we take every scripture as TRUE without comparing them with other scriptures as the Holy Spirit teaches in 1 Cor. 2:13 (NKJV), we would have the apostles CONTRADICTING each other or apostles CONTRADICTING even Jesus Christ, their "ONLY LORD and Master" (Jude 1:4 TEV).

In the Ang Biblia version of Mt. 23:10, Jesus said, "Ni huwag kayong patawag na mga panginoon; sapagka't IISA and inyong panginoon, samakatuwid baga'y, ANG CRISTO (Do not be called 'Lords' for ONE is your 'Lord', the Christ)."

In 1 Cor. 8:6, apostle Paul was teaching the early Corinthian Christians the lesson that Jesus Christ taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10, that Christ is their ONLY ONE 'Lord.'

On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching. In fact, the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1 Peter 3:15 reads, "sanctify Christ as Lord."

The same twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of Jude1:4 omits God. Hence, the Today's English Version of Jude 1:4 also reads as follows: "For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our ONLY Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received."

Me:

You said "On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching."

A statement may not be a teaching. But that has nothing to do with a statement being true. And the said statements of Jude and Peter testifies who is God to them, that is, Lord God and their Savior.

If you go to 1 Cor. 2:13 and take what Paul said, and you take that which Paul taught that only Christ is Lord and that God is not, as true, then you must have to interpret all other scriptures such as that of Peter and Jude to not go against it, right? But that is the right way to take God's equally true words in scriptures. We must take them as to what they say.

To Peter and Jude, God is Lord.
God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs.

If your understanding of scriptures denies this truth, then there is the problem with you.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Paul's statement that there is only one Lord, and that to be Jesus Christ, only tells me who Jesus Christ is, for, from the beginning, the only Lord God is God, who is known to be the only Lord God even in ancient times and by the prophets and patriarchs.

INCQUISITOR:

If what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 - that God is Lord - is a teaching, then we would have two apostles teaching two different doctrines. You say you believe BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 to be true. That's your call. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It won't change the way I divide the word of truth.

Heb. 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke separately to our fathers by the prophets and to us in these last days by His son. God commanded our fathers by the prophets to call Him 'Lord.' God has spoken to us in these last days by His son Jesus, who taught his disciples not to be called 'Lord,' for ONE is their 'Lord,' the Christ (Mt. 23:10).

Me:

Yes I say BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 are true. And why not?

As I have pointed out, to Peter and Jude, God is Lord. And that God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs. If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

And don't tell me that you are trashing away all of the NT scriptures which refers to God as Lord (kurios). Your Bible would surely grow much thinner by then.

INCQUISITOR:

As far as I am concerned, I believe what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 more than what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being his Lord because what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 conforms with what Jesus taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10 (Ang Biblia). Perhaps apostle Peter, being a Jew, wrote 'Lord God' by force of habit, or translators did not want to believe what Jesus taught and what apostle Paul wrote and ADDED 'Lord' before 'God' when they translated 1 Peter 3:15.

I call God my Father just as Jesus calls God his Father (John 20:17). God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me. I'm a Christian. Thus, I follow what Christ teaches.

Me:

Well you can think all you want about Peter and Jude. No one denies you that. But, if you'll be kind and brave enough, could you please answer the very simple and basic questions I asked:

If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

INCQUISITOR:

Heb. 1:1-2 teaches that God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets but has spoken to us by His son. In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.' In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son and has "commanded His son what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49-50).

Therefore, to the ancient people of God, God is Lord.

By contrast, God's people in these last days, the true Christians, call God Father and call Jesus Christ Lord in compliance with what Jesus taught his disciples that they have only one Father, He who is in heaven (Mt. 23:9), that his God is their God and his Father is their Father (John 20:17). Jesus also commanded his disciples not to have themselves called 'Lord' for ONE is their 'Lord', the Christ (Mt. 23:10 Ang Biblia). Apostle Peter wrote that God made Jesus "Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:"36).

Me:

So, ok. You can't answer my simple questions. As for me, God is Lord yesterday, today and tomorrow. And what it means for God to be one's Lord is that God is him, that he obeys and serves.

Now, let me deal with your deviation.

Yes, God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets. And what He have spoken is true. And yes God has spoken to us by His son some 2000 years ago. And what He have spoken is true.

You said "In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.'". Please show me where in scriptures is that.

INCQUISITOR:

In the past, everyone was subject to God and everyone was commanded to obey and serve Him only. God told our fathers, He is Lord (Deut. 4:35; 6:4).

In these last days, God made Christ 'Lord' (Acts 2:36) and "put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:22).
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I too call God, "Abba,Father". I'm a Christian too, because I believe and follow Christ, because I believe and follow God. I call Him Father not because it was commanded of me, but because I have received from Him, that which He has given me, the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.”

INCQUISITOR:

Why then do you insist on calling God 'Lord?'

Me:

Even while God is my Father, God is my Lord. Because scriptures testify that God is Lord and even the Lord of lords and King of kings even. So God is my King as well. I obey and serve Him. Don't you? I think you do too, though you just refuse to admit that he is lord and so deny God as your Lord, and so just refuse to call Him 'Lord', as you think that you should not for you think that by doing so, you are contradicting what Paul said in 1 Cor. 8:6, that there is one Lord, that is, Jesus Christ. And you take it that way even while you know in your heart that the only one that man must obey and serve is God.

INCQUISITOR:

I showed you Heb. 1:1-2. Don't you believe nor understand what it says? To the patriarchs, God was 'Lord.' To true Christians or followers of Christ, Christ is 'Lord' while God is their Father (John 20:17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6).

Obeying Jesus as 'Lord' also means obeying God. Jesus said his doctrine is His who sent him (John 7:16). Jesus said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me" (John 12:24). "For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak" (John 12:49-50).

If you don't believe these words of Christ, then you are not a Christian.
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You said "God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me."

First, can you show in scriptures where we can learn that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'?

Second,if God did commanded them to call Him 'Lord', for what reason is that? And how is God, Lord over them?

Also, in the NT times, what can you understand as to the matter of scriptures, when referring to God, refers to him as "kurios"?

INCQUISITOR:

On your first and second questions, I am not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures. I only know that writers of the OT called God 'Lord.' On your third question, I don't speak Greek. Hence, I don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord' except perhaps by force of habit or translators' desire to call God 'Lord.'

Me:

That tells me then that you don't know the truths that God revealed of himself to man in time past. And if you admit that you are not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures, why do you say that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'? That would then just be guessing and so whatever then you base on that is then only based on a guess. If you take God's words, even in the OT scriptures, as important, holy, and good, and cares enough to know Him, I suggest you start finding out what He revealed of Himself to man, even in the OT.

If your excuse is that you don't speak Greek, so that you don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord', I can't see how you know why scriptures refer to God as 'Father'. And in general then, I can't see how you know why and can believe translations of the other Greek words.

Even if we, for the sake of argument, take that scriptures does not say that God is Lord or master, must you obey and serve God or not? If you must, is He then not your Lord?

In the scripture below, who do you say is the Lord referred to here?

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

INCQUISITOR:

Is there any other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved? You know the answer to that, don't you?
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Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 INCQUISITOR:

Most MISINTERPRET this verse to mean that "faith is the gift from God." Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eternal life is the "thing HOPED for" and the kingdom of God is the "thing unseen" for which "faith is the substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1) respectively.

ME:

Regarding the "thing hoped for" and the "thing unseen", read my discussion about this at the top segment of this post.

With regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, let's see here the correct interpretation by going through the verse:

"For by grace you have been saved". This phrase tells of the Christian that he have been saved. And how? By grace, Paul says.

What does Paul mean in saying that the Christian have been saved "by grace"? We get to understand that in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

INCQUISITOR:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

These verses do not tell us that "faith comes from God."

What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Of course, salvation is not by ourselves nor of works. It is a result of faith.

Apostle Paul writes, "For whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have NOT believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have NOT heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has BELIEVED our report? So then FAITH comes by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:16-17).

Thus, faith is the result of HEARING the gospel from a PREACHER SENT from God, BEIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel SAYS and INSTRUCTS one to do.

ME:

Yes Ephesians 2:8-9 does speak about the truth that faith comes from God. And I have explained to you clearly what the passage tells us in my post above.

You said "What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

That is not what grace means INCquisitor. That is the grace of God. Here's a verse that can help you understand what grace means:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

In the Greek, the word translated "grace" is "charis" which means favor, kindness. Grace is as a gift or blessing.

And perhaps now you can better understand the scriptures "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, men did not have to work or do anything for God to SEND His son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). God SENT His son out of His love for us. But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved. This is what Paul meant when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).

ME:

The verse says "For by grace"... Now this means, not by works. If not by works, what then? As I have pointed out,we get to understand "For by grace", in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

You said "But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved". It's good that you say that. Do you mean by that, that you agree, that it is not of yourself and not through works that we are saved, as Eph.2:8-9 says?

INCQUISITOR:

It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. However, this is where we should take other scriptures into consideration.

What does "faith in Jesus" mean or entail? In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who "believed him", If you ABIDE in my word, you are MY disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." What does ABIDE in the word of Jesus mean? Doesn't that mean "obeying what Jesus COMMANDS you to do?" Isn't that "work?"

In Matt. 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the WILL of my Father in heaven." Is DOING the WILL of the Father NOT "work?"

In James 2:14 and 20, apostle James wrote: "What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

The works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.

Me:

It's good that you take as true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says.

Now, whatever you say then with regards this truth will not get out of line if you keep in mind Eph. 2:8-9 which says "For BY GRACE you have been SAVED through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. Forgetting that or setting aside the truth that one is SAVED through faith, and NOT OF WORKS, in considering other scriptures which speaks of how one is saved, almost always leads one to the error of being saved through faith and works, making one to able to boast of being saved, not only by having faith in Christ, but by his works.

INCQUISITOR:

Sticking to Eph. 2:8-9 without regards to Matt. 7:21 and James 2:14 is the fatal error of Christian-professing religions today. How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?

Sadly, Christian-professing religions are IGNORANT of the "works" that make "faith perfect" in order to benefit from God's "saving grace through faith in Jesus."

Me:

You just said "It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says."

That statement of yours is clear. The matter is if you meant what it says.

You asked:

"How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Your questions here just shows that you didn't mean what your statement above says or really do not understand Eph.:8-9.

INCQUISITOR:

You must be ignorant of what "faith in Jesus" entails. While it is true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. we cannot just set aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 simply because we don't know the "will of the Father" necessary to be DONE to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I believe Eph. 2:8-9 and understand what it is telling us. As I said earlier, the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation. Besides, Eph. 2:8-9 CANNOT prevail over the words of Jesus written in Matthew 7:21.

Any "work" that people do to earn salvation, like religiously going to church, giving alms to the poor, giving monetary offerings, observing religious holidays, nor eating blood, etc. which are NOT the "WILL of the Father" are "works that one can boast of." These are the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9.

The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once again, I ask: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Me:

I am not setting aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 nor a single scripture, unlike you who have even trashed away many scriptures.

You said:

<<the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.>>

Clearly, Eph.2:8-9 does not exclude any work by saying "not of works". Anyway, you say that Matt. 7:21 speaks of works needed for salvation, even while no works is mentioned really. What works are you then talking about,for the sake of argument? You even said "The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven". What work is that?

You asked: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches?

Believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. That is the will of the Father.

You asked: "How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

I think that when one does not believe any scriptures, he really do not have faith in God, for he rejects and does not believe the word of God.

Now, regarding James 2:14, you might like to read v.18 to see the point of James there.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the will of the Father is to "believe and have faith in Jesus."

You say you "believe and have faith in Jesus." What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)? Don't you believe God's word which says, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)?

Me:

I believe all of God's words including James 2:20.

Now, you asked "" What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)?". Such question comes about when one does not get the point of what James is saying in v.18.

James 2:18, " Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works".

Considering v.18, James'point is that the faith of one is SHOWN or SEEN by works. And you will understand what he said in the next verse, "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". The devils too can be said to have faith, same as anyone who believe that there is one God, such as the Muslims and the Christians. Now, look at the devil's works. What faith do you see? So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN.

Of the case James mentioned of Abraham, v. 22 says " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Clearly, the verse tells us how faith have moved Abraham to act and do as he had. And that by such doing and working, his faith was made perfect, meaning, is made complete or is consummated, having reached its end aim and accomplish its goal.

Verse 23 says "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and IT was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Clearly, all that James said of the case of Abraham, it was Abraham's faith that was imputed unto him for righteousness, not anything else.

The matter with regards to the work that Abraham did here is that, though even while he believe in God, should Abraham have not acted on his faith or have done what is contrary to it, such faith is said to be dead. For a faith that does not move one to act or does not produce works, is dead.

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you now understand what "faith made perfect by works" mean. I think you are now ready to "make your faith in Jesus perfect" by obeying his commands and abiding in his word or following his teachings,

Me:

I think you did not see and understand anything in my post regarding James 2. Consider going through it again so that you don't get to have the wrong impression and conclusion.

So, I'll just say this, and perhaps you will consider and meditate on it: It is faith that is imputed unto the believer for righteousness, not anything else.

INCQUISITOR:

Isn't this what you sad? You said, "So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN."

What use is "faith" that is not shown or seen? James calls it "faith that is dead." Would the faith of Abraham in God made him a friend of God if he did not obey God's command for him to sacrifice Isaac?

What use is your "faith in Jesus" if you don't obey his words or teachings?
----------------------------------
Now, Paul said "it is the gift of God". What is the "it" referring to? From the verse, it can easily be understood that the "it" refers to the Christian's salvation ("have been saved"). It does not refer to faith, for it is not what is in view in the verse, rather, the salvation of the Christian is what is in view. So, what Paul is saying in the verse, is that, salvation is God's gift to the Christian. Now, we know that salvation means eternal life. We can see this in the statement of Paul, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.".

Thank you for commenting on Ephesians 2:8-9. It opened the door for me to show you that salvation is a gift. Do you know what that means?

INCQUISITOR:

Of course I have known all along that salvation or eternal life - NOT faith - is the gift of God. I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus or by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do.

In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

ME:

There is a lot of difference between having faith in Jesus Christ and that of the matter of hearing the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God. And the former is where one get to receive eternal life. So, your statement "I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus OR by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do", is faulty.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, a preacher SENT from God preaches the gospel of Christ. Hence, hearing from a preacher SENT from God is tantamount to hearing the gospel of Christ. As Christ told his disciples long ago, "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who Sent ME" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

Luke 10:16 refers to no other but to those whom Jesus have sent in those times. It does not include any of those now who claims to be sent by Jesus or by God.

Now, there are plenty in these days who claims to be sent from God, and that they claim to be the only ones sent and no other. And one say to the other, that he is a false messenger, and so too will the other say to the other. As each one denies the other, one need not have to really choose between them who is true or not. For we can go to those in scriptures spoken to be sent by Jesus to preach the gospel, that is, His apostles. What they have preached, God have inspired to be written in scriptures. So, if one reads in scriptures what they preached, they could be sure that they are hearing the true gospel.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is easier said than done. Case in point: Apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead.

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true od (John 17:3). FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God.

Only true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

There were many disciples of Christ when He came and went teaching when He was on earth. But there were only twelve that the Lord have chosen.

John 6
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus UNTO THE TWELVE, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU TWELVE, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Of the twelve, here's what Jesus revealed:

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And it came to pass, that Judas betrayed and not before long, Judas killed himself. So of the twelve, there were left 11.

To the eleven, Jesus commanded them:

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now, it came to pass that the eleven have chosen another one to be an apostle, to take the place of Judas Iscariot:

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Now, it came to pass that Jesus have chosen another to be His apostle to the Gentiles, that is Saul (Paul). Refer to Acts 9.

Here's what Paul testifies:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

The "they" in the verse refers to the other apostles.

Now, after these chosen apostles, were there any other men chosen by God or by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same work and ministry?

As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus Christ to be His apostles and preach the gospel. For the scriptures have said and warned "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached of which they were commissioned and were sent out to preach. In short, we go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach and so learn of the gospel of Christ and believe it.

INCQUISITOR:

As I said, what you say is easier said than done. Again, I say, apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures. Yet, FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead. These FALSE preachers REFUSE to listen to apostles Peter and Paul!

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true God (John 17:3). These are also scriptures which anyone can read. Yet, FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God. These FALSE preachers also REFUSE to listen to Jesus!

These FALSE preachers say they preach the true gospel of Christ. How can they when they preach other gospels that apostles Paul and Peter and even Jesus have preached? As apostle Paul wrote, let these FALSE preachers be accursed!

Again, I say, ONLY true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

And again I will refer you back to my previous post above and try to see the point I was making and give it some thought.

INCQUISITOR:

The proliferation of FALSE teachers of religions prove that your point of view is FALSE. If you REFUSE to change your point of view, it does not make any difference to me.

Me:

Same here. I'll go with the truth of scriptures. And I would not dare exchange what truth scriptures says for any teachings of any one who claims to have the truth, even one who claims to be a chosen and commissioned disciple of Christ today, nor even an angel, for scriptures tells me "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed".

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote Gal. 1:8 and said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". He also wrote 1 Cor. 8:6 where he taught that for him and Christ's disciples, there is ONLY ONE God, the Father, and ONLY ONE Lord Jesus Christ..." Therefore, let those FALSE teachers who teach any other gospel (message) than that which apostle Paul preached in 1 Cor. 8:6 be ACCURSED.

Me:

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH."

And to all who think to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ, including Paul, and preach what they think and claim they are, and claims that only they, have the truth and correct understanding of scriptures, may God have mercy on them.

INCQUISITOR:

This goes for you and Tomas too.

Me:

I don't claim to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ. I don't know about Tomas. I can't speak for him.

incquisitor:

No further comment.
-----------------------------------
With regards to your other post here, thanks, but I have read and heard that passage long time ago. And it reminds me, I asked you some time ago on the passage you cited, what does "faith to faith" means? If my memory serves me right, you said you don't know. I wonder then how you could understand the passage and cite it, when you don't know what it means.

INCQUISITOR:

I wrote:

"In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

You ask, "what does "faith to faith" mean?

Apostle Paul says, "for in it (the gospel of Christ}, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is REVEALED from faith to faith."

I believe that this is a way to test the authenticity of whoever claims to be a preacher sent from God. The gospel of Christ that one preaches must REVEAL the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Otherwise, the gospel that one preaches is FALSE.

ME:

Sorry, but I still don't really get what "faith to faith" means for you. Are you saying that "faith" there refers to other faith, as in, other belief?

INCQUISITOR:

There is only one righteousness of God that is revealed by the true gospel of Christ. It is by this revelation of the gospel of Christ that the authenticity of the gospel being preached is tested.

Me:

As the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If you don't get to see there what the righteousness of God is, I pray to God to give you understanding.

INCQUISITOR:

Does the gospel you preach reveal the righteousness of God? I dare say no.

Apostle Paul wrote: "For He made him who knew no sin t be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Tell us, what is the "righteousness of God" that apostle Paul was talking about? How does one become the "righteousness of God" in Christ?

Me:

Yes, for what I spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

"... we might become the righteousness of God in him" is what the verse says. Even that I guess you don't seem to understand.

As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD is REVEALED from FAITH TO FAITH:

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH.

What is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?

It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH!

Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't tell me what the "righteousness of God" is that YOUR gospel reveals. You simply said, "As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If I were your Bible student, what did you teach me as the "righteousness of God" that is revealed from faith to faith? Nothing? Therefore, the gospel you preach is NOT the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes what you preach.

Scripture says, "for in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). Your gospel MUST reveal to your Bible students what the righteousness of God is. Be honest to yourself and to your Bible students and tell them that you are IGNORANT of what the "righteousness of God" is.

Me:

And as I said, the gospel I share and spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

Now haven't I given you the Bible to tell you about the righteousness of God? I said "It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH! Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH".

Let me quote some scriptures that reveals the righteousness of God from FAITH TO FAITH.

Hebrews 11:

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21).

You say these scriptures reveal the "righteousness of God." What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal? How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Me:

What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Apparently you still can't see the righteousness of God in the scriptures I have given you. That's sad. Only God can open the eyes of one who can't see.

How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

I cited the above scriptures not to show you HOW we can BECOME the "righteousness of God", but to tell how the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the scriptures you cited tell us "how the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith." Then you should know WHAT the righteousness of God is that is revealed from faith to faith. Otherwise, your citing these scriptures is of NO help to anyone.

Me:

And yes I do INCquitor. It is what is revealed in the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. and of the prophets, and most especially and fully, in the faith of Jesus Christ.

How about you, do you not see the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, at least, in the scriptures I cited? I guess not.

You teach what you think is the righteousness of God is. Is this righteousness of God that you teach is what you've seen from faith to faith? For regarding the righteousness of God, scriptures say is REVEALED from faith to faith? If it is not based on that, then it is based on something else, which I would say is on your own thinking and wisdom.
------------------------------------
You said "Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21)."

"..that we might become God's righteousness in Christ". Becoming God's righteousness is different from what the righteousness of God is. Anyway, let me comment on the matter of how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours. And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, "becoming the righteousness of God" is different from "what God's righteousness is." Anybody should know that. The question is, how can one "become the righteousness of God" if one is IGNORANT of what God's righteousness is?

You say, "The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ." How can you say that when you don't even know what God's righteousness is? What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us?

I can only imagine how confused you must be concerning the epistles of Paul.

Me:

As I have shown in my post in the other segment above, the righteousness of God according to you is coming not from what can be seen from faith to faith, where the righteousness of God is seen as it is revealed from faith to faith, but is coming from your own thinking and wisdom. If scriptures say that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, where would you expect one to go and see and know of the righteousness of God?

Do you not know that scriptures says something like this:

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

What is the faith that is referred to here that is said to be afterward revealed? Obviously it is not speaking of the faith that has been already revealed such as that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. It is the faith of Jesus Christ that Paul is talking about here.

So, having established that, and that Jesus, having done ALL that He did and not only SOME, as did the others I mentioned above, by faith, we can look at Jesus and see in full, the righteousness of God. So, we see that Jesus Christ has become the righteousness of God.

How can one "become the righteousness of God", you asked. By having faith, faith as that which is not only revealed and seen and is of Abraham, but even ,as that faith of Jesus Christ which was revealed in the last days, some 2000 years ago.

What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us, you asked. It has nothing to do with that, but it has everything to do with the matter of forgiving man his sins, that man might be cleansed of all filth, that is sin, and being clean, they then may and could be reconciled to God. That is what I'm saying in the part that you have made a separate segment below. With that and going further, man then might become the righteousness of God, and that, in Christ.

Now, let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours". This is simply to remind us that our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours.

And let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses". This is simply to remind us that Jesus never sinned throughout His entire life, for if not, then scriptures could not have spoken of Jesus as one who knew no sin. And that then, Jesus is rightfully declared by the prophet John, as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you have no idea what "righteousness" means. Until you do, everything you say above is "profane and idle babblings," if I may borrow apostle Paul's words written in 2 Tim. 2:15).
--------------------------------------
Now, we know that God had made this of His Son Jesus Christ on His own will and because of His love for us. But we know that God hates sin and He is holy. So, if He reconciles us to Himself, we must be cleansed from sin. Another matter is that man is weak, because of the flesh, so that man is easily tempted in falling into sin. And so He had done this, for only by the sacrifice of Christ, as being the lamb of God, by being sin for us, as payment for the penalty of sin, can man be cleansed of his sins. This then made it possible for man to be reconciled to God.

INCQUISITOR:

Is this what the Bible teaches about reconciling sinners to God? Please show scriptures.

Me:

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

I believe you know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".

INCQUISITOR:

That is easy. It's like saying, "Joe is the sanitation man who takes away the garbage from you street." But do you know HOW Joe takes away the garbage from your street? Do you know what time takes away your garbage?

Most people I talk to know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins o the world." But none of these people I talk to know HOW Jesus takes away the sins of the world. None of these people know what man must DO for Christ to take away his sins.
---------------------------------
How about the matter of the weakness of the flesh? If we continue to be sinners and be the same creature we were, after having been cleansed from sin, what would that make of God? Certainly, we won't become the righteousness of God. So, this as well was taken cared of by God in Christ, so that we might become God's righteousness in him. For if any man be in Christ, God have made him a new creature, as having been born again, and having given him His Spirit that gives him the power to overcome sin. As such, by all of this that God have done in Christ, is how we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say means nothing unless you tell us the righteousness of God. How can one become the righteousness of God by Christ's dying as sacrificial lamb for sinners?

Me:

See what I've written about this in the other segments above.

INCQUISITOR:

I suggest you meditate on the meaning of "righteousness" as it relates to God. Otherwise, what you are saing is "profane and idle babblings."

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Joined: 5:26 PM - Jun 29, 2012

11:36 AM - Apr 24, 2017 #75

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. And if the hearer believes God's words, then his hearing the words of God have resulted then to the hearer having faith, faith in God.

You said "So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT."

The Father have sent the Son to the world, and in time, the Son sent the HS to His apostles to dwell in them and be their paracletos, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them, and will testify of Him. The apostles were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses and preach these to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

It is not enough to simply read the scriptures by yourself in order to understand what the scripture says. A man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury (Acts 8:27), was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:28), when Philip ran to him and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30). And the eunuch said, "How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him" (Acts 8:31).

A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, WHAT YOU SAY IS false.

ME:

You mentioned of the Eunuch, who said "How can I, unless someone guides me?". And it was Philip, who guided him. Now, you must not forget that the Spirit was with Philip. And it is the HS whom Jesus sent to His apostles to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He said to them, and these things were written in scriptures. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus to preach. And so we see Philip preaching to the Eunuch (it is wise to note what Philip preached to the Eunuch). But then, the apostles are all now dead and there were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of, as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. So, where can we hear the preaching of the apostles? That's right, in scriptures. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard them preached in their days, including that of Philip. Reading or hearing somebody reading scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach. So that, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, through scriptures, God's words.

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't address my questions.

I wrote: " A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines.

ME:

Oh, sorry about that.

I really can't tell INCquisitor in their case. Perhaps, you can ask them why.

On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

And have read also John 10:18 where John says:

10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Now, these scriptures, and the words of Jesus himself, that is, "in three days I will raise it up", and "I have power to take it again", clearly tells me that Jesus have the power to resurrect himself and have indeed risen from the dead. For when He had risen from the dead, scriptures says "His disciples remembered that He had said this to them.", that is, "I will raise it up.”

Why people like you don't see that or perhaps don't accept that, makes me sad for them.

You said "Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines."

How you consider this statement "READING or hearing somebody READING the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach" is FALSE, just tells me that you don't believe that what one can read in scriptures, the NT in particular" is not what the apostles preached. And you even say that what one hears (implied to be hearing the READING of scriptures by somebody) are not true words of God. Makes me feel sorry for you.

INCQUISITOR:

Your statement that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scripture, is hearing the apostles preach" is proven FALSE by your own admission, to wit: "On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

In Romans 10:9, apostle preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. In Acts 3:15, apostle Peter preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures where we HEAR apostles Paul and Peter preach that God RAISED Jesus from the dead.

Compare these scriptures with John 2:19-22 where apostle John preached what Jesus said. Did Jesus EXPLICITLY say that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? No! You are simply THINKING BEYOND what apostle John wrote. Your imagination makes apostles Peter and Paul LIARS. You are NOT listening to apostles Peter and Paul. You are listening to whoever you HEARD reading from the scriptures.

Me:

John 2:19-22
"19 JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID."

John 10:18 where JESUS says:
10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

I thought you believe every word that Jesus said.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 but NOT in the way you understand these verses that CONTRADICTS what apostles Peter and Paul wrote in Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Again, I ask you, did Jesus EXPLICITLY say in these verses that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? You REFUSE to answer my question because you ARE stuck with your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and Jon 10:18 that Jesus was saying he WILL RAISE HIMSELF from the dead.

Me:

There is contradiction between John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 with Rom. 10:9, and that, with regards your belief. As with mine, there is none.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true. If your understanding of scriptures denies these truths, then there is the problem with you.

In John 10:18, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. THIS COMMAND I have received from My Father.”. And I believe that, don't you? Now, with regards the Father's commandments to Jesus, Jesus said in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I HAVE KEPT my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.". So, there is no doubt that Jesus followed the Father's commandment to him in John 10:18. And there is nothing clearer than what is written in John 2:19-22 with regards this matter.

INCQUISITOR:

You say that, on the basis of your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead. You say your belief does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote (that God raised Jesus from the dead- Acts 3:15; Rom. 10:9) because your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 makes Jesus God in your mind.

To justify your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8, you conveniently set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 where he says that he is a MAN and in John 17:3 where he tells the Father that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God.

While it is true that John 2:19-22, John 10:18, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9, are ALL true, and I believe that too, YOUR understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 - that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead - is FALSE, Your understanding of these verses CONTRADICTS the word of God written in John 8:40, John 17:3, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Me:

I'm not at all posting to justify anything INCquisitor. And I neither set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 nor any scripture for that matter, unlike you who have trashed pretty much every scripture that does not go with your understanding of scriptures. For I do believe that Jesus is a man. But you just refuse to believe that I do and insist that I really don't for you find that illogical since I believe He is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man. I am not forcing you to believe it. I'm just telling you that this is what the scriptures tells me.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because you say this is what the scriptures tell you. That's the consequence of NOT having faith in what Jesus says.

You say you believe that Jesus is a MAN but you set aside and ignore John 17:3 where Jesus says to the Father, "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT."

As a result of ignoring and setting aside John 17:3, you FAILED to perceive the TWO truths that are revealed by Jesus in John 17:3. First, you FAILED to perceive the truth that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that NOBODY else is a TRUE God but the Father. Second, you FAILED to perceive the truth that Jesus was SENT by the Father who is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh.

Me:

Yes I believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because this is what the scriptures tells me. That's the consequence of listening and hearing God's words in scriptures and not in any man, not even in my own understanding. I rely in God's words for the truth and submit myself to it. Wrong understanding of scriptures comes by when out of pride, one begins to bring his own understanding and his confidence in his own reasoning and limited human abilities, deceiving himself into thinking that he can understand the spiritual things of God by his natural senses and abilities.

INCQUISITOR:

There is no scripture that says "Jesus is God who became flesh." That's your wrong understanding of John 1:14 which says, "And the word became flesh." Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 comes by your bringing your own understanding and confidence in your own reasoning and limited human abilities, thereby deceiving yourself into thinking that you can understand spiritual things of God by your natural senses and abilities.

The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.

The rest of John 1:14 speaks of the "flesh" or Jesus who "dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 CONTRADICTS John 3:17 and John 17:3 where Jesus says that God the Father SENT him into the world. It runs against reason that God, the Father would SEND God, the son into the world, because the Bible teaches that there is ONLY ONNE God - NOT more than one God.

Me:

<<The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.>>

That's an erroneous understanding of John 1:14.

Apostle John testifies of the Word:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Apostle John testifies of the light, referring to the Word he is testifying about:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Apostle John continues to testifies of the Word:
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

I don't how and why it is not clear to you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. And of this person, is what apostle John testifies about in the book of John. The plan of God that you are talking about, the plan of sending a Messiah, is spoken and testified in the law and the prophets.

INCQUISITOR:

Your thinking shows that the Spirit of God has not taught you HOW to "rightly divide the truth." Apostle Paul wrote, "Be diligent to present himself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness" (2 Tim. 2:15).

The Bible was not written the way newspapers, magazines and books are written. The next verse does not necessarily refer to the first verse.

For example, John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. John 1:1 refers to the "word" of God which was in the beginning WITH God and WAS God. This refers to the "word" or "plan" of God to SEND Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). Apostle Peter wrote about Christ as the "word" or "plan" of God, thus: "He indeed was FOREORDAINED before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:20).

Hence, the "word" of God was WITH God in the beginning or before the foundation of the world. Why was the "word" God? Because the "word" of God has the power of God - that is, the "word" is always true and will always be fulfilled.

What follows John 1:1 should be John 1:14 to let us know what happened to this "word" or "plan" of God. John 1:14 says, "And the word BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

This is John's way of telling us that the "plan" of God was fulfilled. Hence, it is clear that the "word" BECAME flesh, and it is the "flesh" into whom the "word became" that dwelt among us.

What follows are verses 2-5 which refer to Jesus or the "flesh" into whom the word became.

Me:

I could as well say and apply this to you INCquisitor:

"Your thinking shows that the Spirit of God has not taught you HOW to "rightly divide the truth." Apostle Paul wrote, "Be diligent to present himself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness" (2 Tim. 2:15)."

And that is your first line of excuse. And you say that to me when what I posted is basically scriptures. All that I said in there is a mere paragraph telling you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. And the plan of God that you are talking about, the plan of sending a Messiah, is spoken and testified in the law and the prophets. Compare that to what you are saying in your post.

You second line of excuse is: The Bible was not written the way newspapers, magazines and books are written. I don't see how those who read this exchange get anything out of this.

As I have shown and said, I don't how and why it is not clear to you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. Oh I almost forgot, this is a doctrine of FYM, the angel of the INC.

You say "John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. John 1:1 refers to the "word" of God which was in the beginning WITH God and WAS God. This refers to the "word" or "plan" of God to SEND Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17)".

Clearly, you are telling people what you think the "word" is, instead of what John tells us and testifies of the "word" in the next verses. And further still, you want people to believe you that John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. Now, you consider yourself to be in authority to say what scriptures comes after and next to a verse. Seems like you are acting like one who knows the original scriptures. It takes a lot of pride to do that. So, where do you say is the right place of John 1:2-5 in this writing of John?

You say "Apostle Peter wrote about Christ as the "word" or "plan" of God, thus: "He indeed was FOREORDAINED before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:20)". Again, why do you tell people something which the verse clearly does not speak about? "HE" was foreordained. Peter is telling us about Jesus, not about anything else, such is a plan of God.

You say "Hence, the "word" of God was WITH God in the beginning or before the foundation of the world. Why was the "word" God? Because the "word" of God has the power of God - that is, the "word" is always true and will always be fulfilled."

Perhaps you can point us where else in scriptures is there that the "word" refers to a plan, and where "god" is used as an adjective of any noun that means it has the power of God as you have made the term "God" in v. 1 to mean? until then, this is all but your own doing and making.

You say "What follows John 1:1 should be John 1:14 to let us know what happened to this "word" or "plan" of God. John 1:14 says, "And the word BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

So, in addition you are telling people that John 1:1 should be followed by John 1:14 instead of John 1:2. Well, the obvious reason for that is so that you can make it appear to say what you want.

You say "This is John's way of telling us that the "plan" of God was fulfilled. Hence, it is clear that the "word" BECAME flesh, and it is the "flesh" into whom the "word became" that dwelt among us."

Obviously, it is your way, not John's.
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I say I believe that Jesus is a MAN and do not set aside nor ignore John 17:3 nor any of God's words. I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent. God, being the only true God and none other, has been revealed to Israel from the very beginning. The rest of the world knew this not, as evidenced by their worship and belief in many gods. Now, not even Israel knew who the Christ is, whom the one true God have sent to the world.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe Jesus is a MAN and do not ignore nor set aside John 17:3. You say you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent."

You may not realize it, but by saying this, you are admitting that Jesus is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, unless, one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

Me:

You don't get to interpret what I say I believe better than I who said it, isn't it? As I don't get to interpret what you say you believe better than you. How do you get to have an honest and proper conversation when, even what others say to you, you twist to mean what you think they are saying, instead of taking what they say they meant to say in what they say to you? You have the right to disagree with what I say and to refute, but you do not have the right to tell me that what it is I mean to say is what you say I mean. I don't even know what to call such attitude and thinking.

INCQUISITOR:

I can only tell what a man thinks by what he says.

You say that You say that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent."

If you are not admitting that Jesus Christ is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, after having said what you said, then you are admitting that one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

If you are not admitting any of these, what can I say about your statement that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent?"

Shouldn't I say then that you are a liar for saying this because you don't truly believe Jesus? As apostle Paul wrote, he who doesn't rightly divide the word of truth resorts to profane and idle babblings that increase to more ungodliness (2 Tim. 2:15).

Me:

You say "I can only tell what a man thinks by what he says". Why then do you think you know better than the man, on what he means in what he says?

You said ".... what can I say about your statement that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent?"

This I should say is the proper way. If you don't understand what I said, rather than making guesses as to what I meant in what I said to you, you can ask me questions that will make you understand me.

With regards my statement "I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent.", I have already explained to you in our past discussions on John 17:3. But apparently, you want me to say it again. Here goes. First, understand that I believe Jesus. Jesus in saying what is written in John 17:3, speaks of eternal life. Here is where our understanding differs. I consider the big context, you don't. Jesus here talking about eternal life, says "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent". Why did Jesus have to say "the only true God" and not simply "who is God"? The obvious reason is because, people worship many gods. So Jesus here says that this is eternal life, knowing that there is but one God who is true, that is, His Father (in the context that man worships many other gods which even the Jews have come to believe and worship in the past and at the present time then), and knowing Jesus Christ.
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I hope you can answer the simple questions:

1. How did you know that there is only one true God and not many?
2. How did you know that God will send a Messiah to the world?
3. How have you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent?

INCQUISITOR:

The answers to your questions are found in the Bible, where else?

Me:

Since you apparently wanted to be vague in your answer, then I'll have to guess as to what you meant by your answer.

I understand then that you came to know that there is only one true God and not many, in the Bible. And that goes as well, as to why you know that God will send a Messiah to the world, and that you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent.

Why and how is it then that you believe in the Bible in the first place?

INCQUISITOR:

I believe that the Bible is the word of God. Jesus says the word of God is truth (John 17:17). God says "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good" (Num. 23:19 KJV)? This is the reason why I do not BLINDLY believe ALL scriptures without comparing spiritual things (scriptures) with spiritual(scripture) as the Holy Spirit teaches (1 Cor. 2:13). I also do not think BEYOND what is written (1 Cor. 4:6) in order to avoid ADDING to or SUBTRACTING from the word of God (Rev. 22:18-19).

Me:

You say you believe that the Bible is the word of God. And you believe that because you say Jesus says the word of God is truth.

What did you first believe, the Bible, which have what Jesus says, or did you first believe in Jesus and then believe in the Bible?
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You say and believe that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh because of John 8:40 and John 17:3. Yes, Jesus is not a God, because Jesus is God and not some other God, for there is but only one God. But, if that's what you understand out of the said scriptures, then so be it with you. As for me, John 8:40 speaks of Jesus to be a man. John 17:3 speaks of Jesus' Father to be the only true God and that He was sent by Him. God also revealed elsewhere in scriptures that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, who came forth from Him. God, in scriptures, reveals that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God came down from heaven, having been sent to the world below. That Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. That Jesus Christ knew no sin. And so on and so forth. And I believe all of that, not one that I pick out and do not believe. For all is God's words and so are true, faithful, powerful, and trustworthy.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that the son of God came from heaven, which to me means, the son of man came from God (John 8:42), I also believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, that Jesus Christ knew no sin. I also believe that these words of God are true, faithful and trustworthy.

However, I believe that these scriptures do NOT negate John 17:3 which explicitly teaches us that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God and Jesus Christ is a MAN (John 8:40) whom God SENT into the world (John 3:17; 17:3).

Me:

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being "son of God" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, came from heaven. The issue with you about this is what you take it to mean. You take it to mean that Jesus Christ came from God. And while it is true that Jesus Christ came from God, what it means when scripture says that the Son of God came down from heaven, speaks of something different.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being the "Alpha and Omega" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ knew no sin. The next thing to understand regarding this is what that means.

And of course, these truths does not contradict the rest of the truths revealed in scriptures.

INCQUIDITOR:

Of course, these truths do not contradict the rest of truths revealed in scriptures. There is no argument about that.

What Trinitarians like you want these verses to mean is what CONTRADICTS the truth revealed in John 17:3 and other related truths revealed in scriptures.

Me:

So, perhaps then you can tell me about the next thing to understand about these truths:

1. The truth: Jesus Christ is the son of God.

What does this mean that Jesus is the son of God? Scripture will not say this concerning Christ for no reason and without meaning. In relation to this, scripture says that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.

2. The truth: Jesus Christ, the son of God, came from heaven.

You take this to mean that Jesus Christ came from God. But while it is true that Jesus Christ came from God, when scripture says that the Son of God "came down from heaven", speaks of something different. Here's what we can read in the writings of apostle John concerning Jesus:

John 3:31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

John 6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

John 6:38 For I HAVE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 6:62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

Jesus came from heaven above. He came down from heaven, to do the will of His Father who sent Him, into the earth below. And after having done His Father's will on earth below, He have ascended back to heaven above, where He was before, and from where He have come down from.

3. The truth: Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega.

What does this mean that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega? Scripture will not say this concerning Christ for no reason and without meaning. Concerning this, we have scriptures which have Jesus saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” in the book of Revelations, and we have in the same book this scripture “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

In another part of Revelations we have "Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

And still in another part of Revelations we have "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

We also have this scriptures in Isaiah “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

4. The truth: Jesus Christ knew no sin.

What does this mean that Jesus knew no sin? This means that Jesus committed no sin. But if my memory serves me right, you say that Jesus did commit sin. That would make Jesus then to have known sin, whatever sin that is that you say he is guilty of, rendering the truth that Jesus Christ knew no sin to be a lie.
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And yes I say that John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote, that God raised Jesus from the dead. As I said I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true and are not be to be taken as contradicting each other, which leads us to the understanding that Jesus is no other but God who became flesh.

INCQUISITOR:

It is your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 and your IGNORING John 17:3 that leads you and other Trinitarians to the FALSE understanding that Jesus is no other but God who BECAME flesh. If only you have faith in what Jesus says in John 17:3, you would come to the realization that Jesus was SENT by God - NOT God who BECAME flesh.

Me:

In your view, I have a faulty understanding. I can understand that. And in my view, I see you as the one whose understanding is faulty. We have different views about God. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not Lord to you, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is Lord to me, and so is the Son. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not your Savior, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is my Savior, and so is the Son.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is true as far as our views are concerned. As a Christian, I believe and have faith in Jesus which is "made perfect" (James 2:22) by my obedience to his words and teachings.

To me, Jesus is NOT God because the Father is the ONLY TRUE God in conformity with the teaching of Jesus written in John 17:3.

To me, God is my Father - NOT Lord, in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in Matthew 23:10 and John 20:17, and apostle Paul's teachings written in 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6 and Phil. 2:11.

To me, Jesus is Christ is my savior in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in John 3:16-18 and apostle Paul's teachings written in Acts 5:31 that God exalted Jesus to His right hand to be prince and savior and in Eph. 5:23 and 25 where it is written that Jesus is the savior of the body, the church and gave his life for it.

Me:

Is your view that "God is my Father - NOT Lord" in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as "kurios", that is, "Lord", which clearly tells us and is undeniable truth that God is Lord. Now, we must not forget that there is only one God and therefore only one Lord. Think about this, before Christ came in the flesh some 2000 years ago, who is it you say is him who is the Lord and the Lord of God's people? Is it not the only true God? And when Christ came, did the only true God cease to be Lord and Lord of God's people?

Is your view that "Jesus is Christ is my savior" means that God is not your savior? If so, is your view in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as the savior of those who believe in Him?
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Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

INCQUISITOR:

What you are saying is DIFFERENT from what apostle Paul says in Romans 10:13-15. Apostle Paul specifies from WHOM we should HEAR the word of God. And apostle Paul provides hints on how to know when a preacher is SENT or not.

In 1 Cor. 2:13 apostle Paul wrote, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual." A preacher SENT from God COMPARES spiritual things with spiritual.

In 2 Cor. 11:3-4 apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME Jesus, the SAME spirit and the SAME gospel that the apostles preached.

In Galatians 1:6-8, apostle Paul wrote: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME gospel that Christ and the apostles preached.

ME:

It's not DIFFERENT INCquisitor, but is exactly what apostle Paul says. As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

Let me pick up my point from the scriptures "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

This is a clear reminder and warning of Paul to the Christians in Galatia. That the gospel that they have preached to them in the beginning is the gospel, the true gospel I may say. He greatly emphasizes this to the point of saying that if anyone, even they (he and the other apostles) or even an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel other than what they have preached to them then, Paul said "let him be accursed". Now, what is significant about this? As I have pointed out, we should always go back to scriptures when somebody preaches to you and claims that what they are preaching is the gospel of Christ. For, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached that they were commissioned and sent to preach. In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence.

INCQUISITOR:

Let me show you the FOLLY of what you are saying.

You have read 1 Cor. 8:6 where it reads, "yet for us there is ONE God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

How come a lot of so-called Christians believe that Jesus Christ is ALSO God and for them there are TWO Lords - NOT one?

ME:

There is no folly to show in what I'm saying INCquisitor.

Regarding your question on 1 Cor.8:6, obviously you have a problem with that. God is my Lord. And Jesus Christ is my Lord. Why do you have a problem with that? The way I see it, it's because God is not your Lord. Anyway, this is not the issue in this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

Obviously, you don't listen to what God says in scriptures. And this is the folly of your OPINION that it is enough to read scriptures to have "faith by hearing the apostles through scriptures."

ME:

Well, if there are no other scriptures other than 1 Cor. 8:6, you may be right. But, that is not the case. And this is what is obvious, your scriptures is different from the Holy scriptures I read.

Perhaps, you can now go back to the issue under this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

You say: "In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence."

Aren't you contradicting yourself? 1 Cor. 8:6 is scripture. It's what apostle Paul preached.

As you correctly stated, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." This can rightly be applied to the one who taught you the FALSE doctrine that "God is your Lord and Jesus Christ is ALSO your Lord," CONTRARY to what apostle Paul preached as written in 1 Cor. 8:6.

Me:

And as I said we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures.

And I am not contradicting myself. While Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.", Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:", and Jude said in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same thing with the truth that Jesus is the Savior and God is the Savior. And this you don't believe, even while scriptures testify to this.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;", and Peter says in 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:", and Jude says in Jude 1:25 "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Jesus is Lord. God is Lord.
Jesus is the Savior. God is the Savior.

INCQUISITOR:

If we take every scripture as TRUE without comparing them with other scriptures as the Holy Spirit teaches in 1 Cor. 2:13 (NKJV), we would have the apostles CONTRADICTING each other or apostles CONTRADICTING even Jesus Christ, their "ONLY LORD and Master" (Jude 1:4 TEV).

In the Ang Biblia version of Mt. 23:10, Jesus said, "Ni huwag kayong patawag na mga panginoon; sapagka't IISA and inyong panginoon, samakatuwid baga'y, ANG CRISTO (Do not be called 'Lords' for ONE is your 'Lord', the Christ)."

In 1 Cor. 8:6, apostle Paul was teaching the early Corinthian Christians the lesson that Jesus Christ taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10, that Christ is their ONLY ONE 'Lord.'

On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching. In fact, the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1 Peter 3:15 reads, "sanctify Christ as Lord."

The same twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of Jude1:4 omits God. Hence, the Today's English Version of Jude 1:4 also reads as follows: "For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our ONLY Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received."

Me:

You said "On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching."

A statement may not be a teaching. But that has nothing to do with a statement being true. And the said statements of Jude and Peter testifies who is God to them, that is, Lord God and their Savior.

If you go to 1 Cor. 2:13 and take what Paul said, and you take that which Paul taught that only Christ is Lord and that God is not, as true, then you must have to interpret all other scriptures such as that of Peter and Jude to not go against it, right? But that is not the right way to take God's equally true words in scriptures. We must take them as to what they say.

To Peter and Jude, God is Lord.
God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs.

If your understanding of scriptures denies this truth, then there is the problem with you.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Paul's statement that there is only one Lord, and that to be Jesus Christ, only tells me who Jesus Christ is, for, from the beginning, the only Lord God is God, who is known to be the only Lord God even in ancient times and by the prophets and patriarchs.

INCQUISITOR:

If what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 - that God is Lord - is a teaching, then we would have two apostles teaching two different doctrines. You say you believe BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 to be true. That's your call. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It won't change the way I divide the word of truth.

Heb. 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke separately to our fathers by the prophets and to us in these last days by His son. God commanded our fathers by the prophets to call Him 'Lord.' God has spoken to us in these last days by His son Jesus, who taught his disciples not to be called 'Lord,' for ONE is their 'Lord,' the Christ (Mt. 23:10).

Me:

Yes I say BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 are true. And why not?

As I have pointed out, to Peter and Jude, God is Lord. And that God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs. If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

And don't tell me that you are trashing away all of the NT scriptures which refers to God as Lord (kurios). Your Bible would surely grow much thinner by then.

INCQUISITOR:

As far as I am concerned, I believe what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 more than what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being his Lord because what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 conforms with what Jesus taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10 (Ang Biblia). Perhaps apostle Peter, being a Jew, wrote 'Lord God' by force of habit, or translators did not want to believe what Jesus taught and what apostle Paul wrote and ADDED 'Lord' before 'God' when they translated 1 Peter 3:15.

I call God my Father just as Jesus calls God his Father (John 20:17). God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me. I'm a Christian. Thus, I follow what Christ teaches.

Me:

Well you can think all you want about Peter and Jude. No one denies you that. But, if you'll be kind and brave enough, could you please answer the very simple and basic questions I asked:

If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

INCQUISITOR:

Heb. 1:1-2 teaches that God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets but has spoken to us by His son. In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.' In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son and has "commanded His son what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49-50).

Therefore, to the ancient people of God, God is Lord.

By contrast, God's people in these last days, the true Christians, call God Father and call Jesus Christ Lord in compliance with what Jesus taught his disciples that they have only one Father, He who is in heaven (Mt. 23:9), that his God is their God and his Father is their Father (John 20:17). Jesus also commanded his disciples not to have themselves called 'Lord' for ONE is their 'Lord', the Christ (Mt. 23:10 Ang Biblia). Apostle Peter wrote that God made Jesus "Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:"36).

Me:

So, ok. You can't answer my simple questions. As for me, God is Lord yesterday, today and tomorrow. And what it means for God to be one's Lord is that God is him, that he obeys and serves.

Now, let me deal with your deviation.

Yes, God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets. And what He have spoken is true. And yes God has spoken to us by His son some 2000 years ago. And what He have spoken is true.

You said "In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.'". Please show me where in scriptures is that.

INCQUISITOR:

In the past, everyone was subject to God and everyone was commanded to obey and serve Him only. God told our fathers, He is Lord (Deut. 4:35; 6:4).

In these last days, God made Christ 'Lord' (Acts 2:36) and "put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:22).

Me:

And so, there really is no scripture to show in the past that says that God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.'. And that this is just your own teaching.

You said "God told our fathers, He is Lord (Deut. 4:35; 6:4)."

Deuteronomy 4:35 (INSERTS MINE)
35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord(YHWH) Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.

Deuteronomy 6:4
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord(YHWH) our God, the Lord(YHWH) is one!

The scriptures you cited does not say what you say.

And from what you want to imply, the question needs be answered by you. So, please stop running away from it and be brave to face it, that is, if you say you have the truth. The question is:

If God is Lord and is the Lord in the past, did He ceased to be Lord and the Lord today?
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I too call God, "Abba,Father". I'm a Christian too, because I believe and follow Christ, because I believe and follow God. I call Him Father not because it was commanded of me, but because I have received from Him, that which He has given me, the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.”

INCQUISITOR:

Why then do you insist on calling God 'Lord?'

Me:

Even while God is my Father, God is my Lord. Because scriptures testify that God is Lord and even the Lord of lords and King of kings even. So God is my King as well. I obey and serve Him. Don't you? I think you do too, though you just refuse to admit that he is lord and so deny God as your Lord, and so just refuse to call Him 'Lord', as you think that you should not for you think that by doing so, you are contradicting what Paul said in 1 Cor. 8:6, that there is one Lord, that is, Jesus Christ. And you take it that way even while you know in your heart that the only one that man must obey and serve is God.

INCQUISITOR:

I showed you Heb. 1:1-2. Don't you believe nor understand what it says? To the patriarchs, God was 'Lord.' To true Christians or followers of Christ, Christ is 'Lord' while God is their Father (John 20:17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6).

Obeying Jesus as 'Lord' also means obeying God. Jesus said his doctrine is His who sent him (John 7:16). Jesus said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me" (John 12:24). "For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak" (John 12:49-50).

If you don't believe these words of Christ, then you are not a Christian.

Me:

Yes, I know what Heb. 1:1-2 says. And it says "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds". What we have there is that God, in the last days spoken to us by His Son. So, what does have to do with the issue that God is Lord? And it does not say that God is no longer Lord, nor does it say anything to the effect that He is not to be Lord to the Christian. It amazes me that you keep wanting verses say what they don't say every time you can't show scriptures to support what you teach.

You can't accept, and so deny, the truth that in the past, present, and future, God is Lord and is the Lord, that He is the only one that man must obey and serve. And that, even while you know this truth in your heart. I'm sure that even now, your heart tells you to obey and serve no other, but God.

You said "Obeying Jesus as 'Lord' also means obeying God". Don't you see it? Your obeying Jesus is actually coming from your obeying God. If God have not commanded you to believe and obey Jesus as your Lord, would Jesus be your Lord and obey and serve him? I'm sure you won't. So, why do you keep denying that God is Lord over you, when all that you do is out of obedience and service to Him?

It doesn't matter if you call me a Christian or not. Being called a Christian is not that which saves me anyway.
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You said "God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me."

First, can you show in scriptures where we can learn that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'?

Second,if God did commanded them to call Him 'Lord', for what reason is that? And how is God, Lord over them?

Also, in the NT times, what can you understand as to the matter of scriptures, when referring to God, refers to him as "kurios"?

INCQUISITOR:

On your first and second questions, I am not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures. I only know that writers of the OT called God 'Lord.' On your third question, I don't speak Greek. Hence, I don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord' except perhaps by force of habit or translators' desire to call God 'Lord.'

Me:

That tells me then that you don't know the truths that God revealed of himself to man in time past. And if you admit that you are not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures, why do you say that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'? That would then just be guessing and so whatever then you base on that is then only based on a guess. If you take God's words, even in the OT scriptures, as important, holy, and good, and cares enough to know Him, I suggest you start finding out what He revealed of Himself to man, even in the OT.

If your excuse is that you don't speak Greek, so that you don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord', I can't see how you know why scriptures refer to God as 'Father'. And in general then, I can't see how you know why and can believe translations of the other Greek words.

Even if we, for the sake of argument, take that scriptures does not say that God is Lord or master, must you obey and serve God or not? If you must, is He then not your Lord?

In the scripture below, who do you say is the Lord referred to here?

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

INCQUISITOR:

Is there any other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved? You know the answer to that, don't you?

Me:

There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved, except the name of Jesus, the Christ, the son of God, the Lord, the Savior.

And I don't know your answer to my simple question because you don't and perhaps can't or can but is not brave enough to answer it. And I will not guess. I'll take it as you don't know who is the Lord referred to in the scriptures below, unless you tell me who he is.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

Don't be ashamed to tell me, if you know. If you know the truth why be ashamed to say it?
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Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 INCQUISITOR:

Most MISINTERPRET this verse to mean that "faith is the gift from God." Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eternal life is the "thing HOPED for" and the kingdom of God is the "thing unseen" for which "faith is the substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1) respectively.

ME:

Regarding the "thing hoped for" and the "thing unseen", read my discussion about this at the top segment of this post.

With regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, let's see here the correct interpretation by going through the verse:

"For by grace you have been saved". This phrase tells of the Christian that he have been saved. And how? By grace, Paul says.

What does Paul mean in saying that the Christian have been saved "by grace"? We get to understand that in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

INCQUISITOR:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

These verses do not tell us that "faith comes from God."

What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Of course, salvation is not by ourselves nor of works. It is a result of faith.

Apostle Paul writes, "For whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have NOT believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have NOT heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has BELIEVED our report? So then FAITH comes by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:16-17).

Thus, faith is the result of HEARING the gospel from a PREACHER SENT from God, BEIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel SAYS and INSTRUCTS one to do.

ME:

Yes Ephesians 2:8-9 does speak about the truth that faith comes from God. And I have explained to you clearly what the passage tells us in my post above.

You said "What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

That is not what grace means INCquisitor. That is the grace of God. Here's a verse that can help you understand what grace means:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

In the Greek, the word translated "grace" is "charis" which means favor, kindness. Grace is as a gift or blessing.

And perhaps now you can better understand the scriptures "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, men did not have to work or do anything for God to SEND His son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). God SENT His son out of His love for us. But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved. This is what Paul meant when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).

ME:

The verse says "For by grace"... Now this means, not by works. If not by works, what then? As I have pointed out,we get to understand "For by grace", in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

You said "But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved". It's good that you say that. Do you mean by that, that you agree, that it is not of yourself and not through works that we are saved, as Eph.2:8-9 says?

INCQUISITOR:

It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. However, this is where we should take other scriptures into consideration.

What does "faith in Jesus" mean or entail? In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who "believed him", If you ABIDE in my word, you are MY disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." What does ABIDE in the word of Jesus mean? Doesn't that mean "obeying what Jesus COMMANDS you to do?" Isn't that "work?"

In Matt. 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the WILL of my Father in heaven." Is DOING the WILL of the Father NOT "work?"

In James 2:14 and 20, apostle James wrote: "What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

The works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.

Me:

It's good that you take as true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says.

Now, whatever you say then with regards this truth will not get out of line if you keep in mind Eph. 2:8-9 which says "For BY GRACE you have been SAVED through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. Forgetting that or setting aside the truth that one is SAVED through faith, and NOT OF WORKS, in considering other scriptures which speaks of how one is saved, almost always leads one to the error of being saved through faith and works, making one to able to boast of being saved, not only by having faith in Christ, but by his works.

INCQUISITOR:

Sticking to Eph. 2:8-9 without regards to Matt. 7:21 and James 2:14 is the fatal error of Christian-professing religions today. How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?

Sadly, Christian-professing religions are IGNORANT of the "works" that make "faith perfect" in order to benefit from God's "saving grace through faith in Jesus."

Me:

You just said "It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says."

That statement of yours is clear. The matter is if you meant what it says.

You asked:

"How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Your questions here just shows that you didn't mean what your statement above says or really do not understand Eph.:8-9.

INCQUISITOR:

You must be ignorant of what "faith in Jesus" entails. While it is true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. we cannot just set aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 simply because we don't know the "will of the Father" necessary to be DONE to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I believe Eph. 2:8-9 and understand what it is telling us. As I said earlier, the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation. Besides, Eph. 2:8-9 CANNOT prevail over the words of Jesus written in Matthew 7:21.

Any "work" that people do to earn salvation, like religiously going to church, giving alms to the poor, giving monetary offerings, observing religious holidays, nor eating blood, etc. which are NOT the "WILL of the Father" are "works that one can boast of." These are the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9.

The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once again, I ask: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Me:

I am not setting aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 nor a single scripture, unlike you who have even trashed away many scriptures.

You said:

<<the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.>>

Clearly, Eph.2:8-9 does not exclude any work by saying "not of works". Anyway, you say that Matt. 7:21 speaks of works needed for salvation, even while no works is mentioned really. What works are you then talking about,for the sake of argument? You even said "The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven". What work is that?

You asked: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches?

Believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. That is the will of the Father.

You asked: "How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

I think that when one does not believe any scriptures, he really do not have faith in God, for he rejects and does not believe the word of God.

Now, regarding James 2:14, you might like to read v.18 to see the point of James there.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the will of the Father is to "believe and have faith in Jesus."

You say you "believe and have faith in Jesus." What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)? Don't you believe God's word which says, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)?

Me:

I believe all of God's words including James 2:20.

Now, you asked "" What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)?". Such question comes about when one does not get the point of what James is saying in v.18.

James 2:18, " Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works".

Considering v.18, James'point is that the faith of one is SHOWN or SEEN by works. And you will understand what he said in the next verse, "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". The devils too can be said to have faith, same as anyone who believe that there is one God, such as the Muslims and the Christians. Now, look at the devil's works. What faith do you see? So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN.

Of the case James mentioned of Abraham, v. 22 says " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Clearly, the verse tells us how faith have moved Abraham to act and do as he had. And that by such doing and working, his faith was made perfect, meaning, is made complete or is consummated, having reached its end aim and accomplish its goal.

Verse 23 says "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and IT was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Clearly, all that James said of the case of Abraham, it was Abraham's faith that was imputed unto him for righteousness, not anything else.

The matter with regards to the work that Abraham did here is that, though even while he believe in God, should Abraham have not acted on his faith or have done what is contrary to it, such faith is said to be dead. For a faith that does not move one to act or does not produce works, is dead.

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you now understand what "faith made perfect by works" mean. I think you are now ready to "make your faith in Jesus perfect" by obeying his commands and abiding in his word or following his teachings,

Me:

I think you did not see and understand anything in my post regarding James 2. Consider going through it again so that you don't get to have the wrong impression and conclusion.

So, I'll just say this, and perhaps you will consider and meditate on it: It is faith that is imputed unto the believer for righteousness, not anything else.

INCQUISITOR:

Isn't this what you sad? You said, "So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN."

What use is "faith" that is not shown or seen? James calls it "faith that is dead." Would the faith of Abraham in God made him a friend of God if he did not obey God's command for him to sacrifice Isaac?

What use is your "faith in Jesus" if you don't obey his words or teachings?

Me:

I agree that if someone says he has faith but does not have works, it doesn't profit him anything. And so, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Would the faith of Abraham in God made him a friend of God if he did not obey God's command for him to sacrifice Isaac?

Since it's a hypothetical question, I could only give you a hypothetical answer. If Abraham did not obey God in sacrificing Isaac, by such he will not be called a friend of God.

Now, let me asked you, by what Abraham have done, what profit did Abraham have by it? Is him being called the fiend of God is it?

And take a look at this regarding the faith of Abraham here, with the fact that he obeyed God. Is his sacrificing Isaac is that which was imputed unto him as righteousness? Why is it that it is faith that was imputed unto him as righteousness and not what he have done?
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Now, Paul said "it is the gift of God". What is the "it" referring to? From the verse, it can easily be understood that the "it" refers to the Christian's salvation ("have been saved"). It does not refer to faith, for it is not what is in view in the verse, rather, the salvation of the Christian is what is in view. So, what Paul is saying in the verse, is that, salvation is God's gift to the Christian. Now, we know that salvation means eternal life. We can see this in the statement of Paul, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.".

Thank you for commenting on Ephesians 2:8-9. It opened the door for me to show you that salvation is a gift. Do you know what that means?

INCQUISITOR:

Of course I have known all along that salvation or eternal life - NOT faith - is the gift of God. I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus or by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do.

In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

ME:

There is a lot of difference between having faith in Jesus Christ and that of the matter of hearing the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God. And the former is where one get to receive eternal life. So, your statement "I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus OR by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do", is faulty.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, a preacher SENT from God preaches the gospel of Christ. Hence, hearing from a preacher SENT from God is tantamount to hearing the gospel of Christ. As Christ told his disciples long ago, "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who Sent ME" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

Luke 10:16 refers to no other but to those whom Jesus have sent in those times. It does not include any of those now who claims to be sent by Jesus or by God.

Now, there are plenty in these days who claims to be sent from God, and that they claim to be the only ones sent and no other. And one say to the other, that he is a false messenger, and so too will the other say to the other. As each one denies the other, one need not have to really choose between them who is true or not. For we can go to those in scriptures spoken to be sent by Jesus to preach the gospel, that is, His apostles. What they have preached, God have inspired to be written in scriptures. So, if one reads in scriptures what they preached, they could be sure that they are hearing the true gospel.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is easier said than done. Case in point: Apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead.

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true od (John 17:3). FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God.

Only true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

There were many disciples of Christ when He came and went teaching when He was on earth. But there were only twelve that the Lord have chosen.

John 6
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus UNTO THE TWELVE, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU TWELVE, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Of the twelve, here's what Jesus revealed:

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And it came to pass, that Judas betrayed and not before long, Judas killed himself. So of the twelve, there were left 11.

To the eleven, Jesus commanded them:

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now, it came to pass that the eleven have chosen another one to be an apostle, to take the place of Judas Iscariot:

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Now, it came to pass that Jesus have chosen another to be His apostle to the Gentiles, that is Saul (Paul). Refer to Acts 9.

Here's what Paul testifies:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

The "they" in the verse refers to the other apostles.

Now, after these chosen apostles, were there any other men chosen by God or by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same work and ministry?

As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus Christ to be His apostles and preach the gospel. For the scriptures have said and warned "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached of which they were commissioned and were sent out to preach. In short, we go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach and so learn of the gospel of Christ and believe it.

INCQUISITOR:

As I said, what you say is easier said than done. Again, I say, apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures. Yet, FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead. These FALSE preachers REFUSE to listen to apostles Peter and Paul!

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true God (John 17:3). These are also scriptures which anyone can read. Yet, FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God. These FALSE preachers also REFUSE to listen to Jesus!

These FALSE preachers say they preach the true gospel of Christ. How can they when they preach other gospels that apostles Paul and Peter and even Jesus have preached? As apostle Paul wrote, let these FALSE preachers be accursed!

Again, I say, ONLY true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

And again I will refer you back to my previous post above and try to see the point I was making and give it some thought.

INCQUISITOR:

The proliferation of FALSE teachers of religions prove that your point of view is FALSE. If you REFUSE to change your point of view, it does not make any difference to me.

Me:

Same here. I'll go with the truth of scriptures. And I would not dare exchange what truth scriptures says for any teachings of any one who claims to have the truth, even one who claims to be a chosen and commissioned disciple of Christ today, nor even an angel, for scriptures tells me "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed".

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote Gal. 1:8 and said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". He also wrote 1 Cor. 8:6 where he taught that for him and Christ's disciples, there is ONLY ONE God, the Father, and ONLY ONE Lord Jesus Christ..." Therefore, let those FALSE teachers who teach any other gospel (message) than that which apostle Paul preached in 1 Cor. 8:6 be ACCURSED.

Me:

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH."

And to all who think to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ, including Paul, and preach what they think and claim they are, and claims that only they, have the truth and correct understanding of scriptures, may God have mercy on them.

INCQUISITOR:

This goes for you and Tomas too.

Me:

I don't claim to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ. I don't know about Tomas. I can't speak for him.

incquisitor:

No further comment.

Me:

But you do claim such, don't you?
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With regards to your other post here, thanks, but I have read and heard that passage long time ago. And it reminds me, I asked you some time ago on the passage you cited, what does "faith to faith" means? If my memory serves me right, you said you don't know. I wonder then how you could understand the passage and cite it, when you don't know what it means.

INCQUISITOR:

I wrote:

"In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

You ask, "what does "faith to faith" mean?

Apostle Paul says, "for in it (the gospel of Christ}, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is REVEALED from faith to faith."

I believe that this is a way to test the authenticity of whoever claims to be a preacher sent from God. The gospel of Christ that one preaches must REVEAL the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Otherwise, the gospel that one preaches is FALSE.

ME:

Sorry, but I still don't really get what "faith to faith" means for you. Are you saying that "faith" there refers to other faith, as in, other belief?

INCQUISITOR:

There is only one righteousness of God that is revealed by the true gospel of Christ. It is by this revelation of the gospel of Christ that the authenticity of the gospel being preached is tested.

Me:

As the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If you don't get to see there what the righteousness of God is, I pray to God to give you understanding.

INCQUISITOR:

Does the gospel you preach reveal the righteousness of God? I dare say no.

Apostle Paul wrote: "For He made him who knew no sin t be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Tell us, what is the "righteousness of God" that apostle Paul was talking about? How does one become the "righteousness of God" in Christ?

Me:

Yes, for what I spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

"... we might become the righteousness of God in him" is what the verse says. Even that I guess you don't seem to understand.

As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD is REVEALED from FAITH TO FAITH:

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH.

What is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?

It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH!

Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't tell me what the "righteousness of God" is that YOUR gospel reveals. You simply said, "As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If I were your Bible student, what did you teach me as the "righteousness of God" that is revealed from faith to faith? Nothing? Therefore, the gospel you preach is NOT the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes what you preach.

Scripture says, "for in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). Your gospel MUST reveal to your Bible students what the righteousness of God is. Be honest to yourself and to your Bible students and tell them that you are IGNORANT of what the "righteousness of God" is.

Me:

And as I said, the gospel I share and spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

Now haven't I given you the Bible to tell you about the righteousness of God? I said "It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH! Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH".

Let me quote some scriptures that reveals the righteousness of God from FAITH TO FAITH.

Hebrews 11:

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21).

You say these scriptures reveal the "righteousness of God." What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal? How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Me:

What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Apparently you still can't see the righteousness of God in the scriptures I have given you. That's sad. Only God can open the eyes of one who can't see.

How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

I cited the above scriptures not to show you HOW we can BECOME the "righteousness of God", but to tell how the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the scriptures you cited tell us "how the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith." Then you should know WHAT the righteousness of God is that is revealed from faith to faith. Otherwise, your citing these scriptures is of NO help to anyone.

Me:

And yes I do INCquitor. It is what is revealed in the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. and of the prophets, and most especially and fully, in the faith of Jesus Christ.

How about you, do you not see the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, at least, in the scriptures I cited? I guess not.

You teach what you think is the righteousness of God is. Is this righteousness of God that you teach is what you've seen from faith to faith? For regarding the righteousness of God, scriptures say is REVEALED from faith to faith? If it is not based on that, then it is based on something else, which I would say is on your own thinking and wisdom.
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You said "Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21)."

"..that we might become God's righteousness in Christ". Becoming God's righteousness is different from what the righteousness of God is. Anyway, let me comment on the matter of how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours. And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, "becoming the righteousness of God" is different from "what God's righteousness is." Anybody should know that. The question is, how can one "become the righteousness of God" if one is IGNORANT of what God's righteousness is?

You say, "The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ." How can you say that when you don't even know what God's righteousness is? What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us?

I can only imagine how confused you must be concerning the epistles of Paul.

Me:

As I have shown in my post in the other segment above, the righteousness of God according to you is coming not from what can be seen from faith to faith, where the righteousness of God is seen as it is revealed from faith to faith, but is coming from your own thinking and wisdom. If scriptures say that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, where would you expect one to go and see and know of the righteousness of God?

Do you not know that scriptures says something like this:

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

What is the faith that is referred to here that is said to be afterward revealed? Obviously it is not speaking of the faith that has been already revealed such as that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. It is the faith of Jesus Christ that Paul is talking about here.

So, having established that, and that Jesus, having done ALL that He did and not only SOME, as did the others I mentioned above, by faith, we can look at Jesus and see in full, the righteousness of God. So, we see that Jesus Christ has become the righteousness of God.

How can one "become the righteousness of God", you asked. By having faith, faith as that which is not only revealed and seen and is of Abraham, but even ,as that faith of Jesus Christ which was revealed in the last days, some 2000 years ago.

What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us, you asked. It has nothing to do with that, but it has everything to do with the matter of forgiving man his sins, that man might be cleansed of all filth, that is sin, and being clean, they then may and could be reconciled to God. That is what I'm saying in the part that you have made a separate segment below. With that and going further, man then might become the righteousness of God, and that, in Christ.

Now, let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours". This is simply to remind us that our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours.

And let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses". This is simply to remind us that Jesus never sinned throughout His entire life, for if not, then scriptures could not have spoken of Jesus as one who knew no sin. And that then, Jesus is rightfully declared by the prophet John, as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you have no idea what "righteousness" means. Until you do, everything you say above is "profane and idle babblings," if I may borrow apostle Paul's words written in 2 Tim. 2:15).

Me:

No one is stopping you to believe what you want INCquisitor. So, do as you please.

And I too will say, until you see the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, what you say about it is what is "profane and idle babblings".

Apparently, what I have posted above, there is none of it that you can properly refute.
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Now, we know that God had made this of His Son Jesus Christ on His own will and because of His love for us. But we know that God hates sin and He is holy. So, if He reconciles us to Himself, we must be cleansed from sin. Another matter is that man is weak, because of the flesh, so that man is easily tempted in falling into sin. And so He had done this, for only by the sacrifice of Christ, as being the lamb of God, by being sin for us, as payment for the penalty of sin, can man be cleansed of his sins. This then made it possible for man to be reconciled to God.

INCQUISITOR:

Is this what the Bible teaches about reconciling sinners to God? Please show scriptures.

Me:

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

I believe you know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".

INCQUISITOR:

That is easy. It's like saying, "Joe is the sanitation man who takes away the garbage from you street." But do you know HOW Joe takes away the garbage from your street? Do you know what time takes away your garbage?

Most people I talk to know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins o the world." But none of these people I talk to know HOW Jesus takes away the sins of the world. None of these people know what man must DO for Christ to take away his sins.

Me:

Don't you know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Can you tell me, what to you that means?

Here's another truth concerning this matter of Jesus being the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Peter 1:18-19 [CAPS MINE]
18 knowing that you were not REDEEMED with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, AS A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT.

Jesus Christ has given Himself for us, an OFFERING and a SACRIFICE to God.
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How about the matter of the weakness of the flesh? If we continue to be sinners and be the same creature we were, after having been cleansed from sin, what would that make of God? Certainly, we won't become the righteousness of God. So, this as well was taken cared of by God in Christ, so that we might become God's righteousness in him. For if any man be in Christ, God have made him a new creature, as having been born again, and having given him His Spirit that gives him the power to overcome sin. As such, by all of this that God have done in Christ, is how we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say means nothing unless you tell us the righteousness of God. How can one become the righteousness of God by Christ's dying as sacrificial lamb for sinners?

Me:

See what I've written about this in the other segments above.

INCQUISITOR:

I suggest you meditate on the meaning of "righteousness" as it relates to God. Otherwise, what you are saing is "profane and idle babblings."

Me:

I already have. It's high time you do the meditation, so that you would not be found of just making profane and idle babblings about what the "righteousness of God" is. I suggest you start meditating on the following verse:

Romans 1:17 [CAPS MINE]
17 For in it the righteousness of God IS REVEALED from FAITH to FAITH; as it is written, “The just shall LIVE BY FAITH.”
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Joined: 7:03 AM - Jan 10, 2004

7:39 AM - Apr 30, 2017 #76

OP:

Scriptures speaks of faith as such: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

Faith, as can be learned from this scripture, pertains to things not seen. It is the EVIDENCE of things unseen. This means, that, faith comes, when there is nothing with which man may see with his eyes, nor touch, smell, hear, or taste, that he may believe. As such, the man may have faith, which is the very substance of the things that he can't see, touch, smell, hear, and taste - the evidence of such things.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

Here are some scriptures. May faith come to you by reading the word of God. If you have a Bible, read them from there.

Matthew 1:21
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:30
30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Have faith, by reading or by listening to the reading of the word of God, in Jesus and be saved!

TOMAS:

Yes, faith comes to us by hearing or reading about the gospel in the Bible.

So faith does not come to us from someone, but from something, namely the words in the Bible. It is the gift of God, because God has inspired the Bible.

ME:

You believe that faith does not come from someone, but from something.

And so you don't believe that faith comes from God. Very well then for you. As for me, it comes from God. As I have explained, by hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes not from hearing just anybody else. It must be God that one hears, who is the truth.

One can hear somebody by reading what he has written, say a letter. It is the author that one hears when one reads his words in the letter he wrote. It's not the letter that speaks to him, but the author, speaks to him, through his words in the letter. And so when one reads his letter, it is like the author speaks to the reader. If God were the author, then when one reads, it then means that God speaks to the reader. And the reader could either believe or not what it is that God says, and could have faith. So, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of not just anybody, but of God.

In my OP, I said:

"If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

"If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

Tomas:

Faith in a way comes from God, because he has inspired his word. So God speaks to us with his word.

"If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree, one can be saved from just hearing the word of God proclaimed by someone. Still, it would be a foolish thing to say, the idea like what many Catholics believed, that only priests and monks can read scriptures, others would be confused and come up with heresies, that is wrong. Of course it can happen, but often does not happen. But Catholics tend to think that any deviation from the Catholic faith is a heresy, even though nowadays they prefer to use nicer words like 'separated brethren'.

"If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree. Some churches claim that only the leadership of their church has the right to decide on what is the right interpretation, that there should not be a private interpretation, based on a misreading of a verse about prophecies. It is not correct, it is a wrong teaching, but it is not a deception, much less being against God. I can understand why some churches think so, the principle of sola scriptura, without the leaders being guided by God into the correct interpretation, it naturally leads to a great diversity of doctrines, since many verses are difficult to understand. But that is really a virtue, Christians can have many interesting and even fruitful discussions of verses, and if we are not too stubborn, we can learn from each other. After all, God wants us to be humble and not claim that we are infallible, that we can understand everything in the Bible. But I can see how some are turned off by all the diversity and just want to hear one interpretation, with authority, with no dissent, so there is unity. Well different strokes for different folks. Some prefer one, some prefer another.

ME:

So, if you don't agree that faith in God comes from God, though you at least admit that faith in a way comes from God, from whom does it comes from?

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like you saying that, "if somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, that he is for God and not against God".

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like saying that, "if somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, that he is for God and not against God".

Well, what could I say, but that I respect your opinion. In my opinion, those who prohibits one to read scriptures, or seemingly allows them but in fact put a condition which in effect is tantamount to really be not hearing what it is they read, such a one is against God, and not for God.

Tomas:

Faith comes from us hearing the word of God, so ultimately it does come from God, since God inspired his word for us.

If someone tells me that I am not to read scriptures, more commonly he would be against God, he might be a communist or a Muslim or something. But if he was an ancient Catholic, worried that we might misunderstand the Bible and go into heresy, then he meant well, he was for God.
Likewise if someone tells me that I can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he could be evil, or he could be for God, just wanting me to accept the interpretations of his church, believing that somebody in his church, like past popes, past church councils, holy traditions, were inspired by God to interpret some verses correctly, or in case of INC, then FYM, Erano Manalo, Eduardo Manalo were inspired to interpret verses correctly, or similarly in case of some other churches. It is not correct, God does not tell anyone how to interpret a verse, since the Bible tells us not to go beyond what is written. So it is better for us to study the Bible for ourselves, God will not give us any interpretations except interpretations written in the Bible. That is the principle of sola scriptura. But many do not believe it. And it seems like fewer and fewer believe it, Pentecostalism or Charismatic Christianity have become so popular, and many Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in messages from dreams, visions, interpretation of tongues. I am not saying there can't be miraculous interpretation of tongues, but those would be like prayers of believers, they would not be messages from God, so they would not be inspired, inerrant. So in such prayers we can encourage each other, or say other things, but we should not expect them to be inerrant. So it is wrong to think that I have received a message from God, and so you should believe it, but if I were wrongly to believe it, I would not be against God, I would just be in error on this. So to be more correct, people should not listen to my interpretations or your interpretations or anyone else's interpretations, as if they are inspired by God, because they are not.

ME:

And so we believe differently. You believe that faith comes from you, while I don't believe that faith comes from me.

You believe that man is saved by his good works and faith, faith in God, am I right? If I got your belief right, then perhaps, you believe that it is man that basically saves himself. Why do I say that? Let me start with good works. Is not good works coming from you, that is, you are the one who cause it and made it happen? Next on faith. You say that faith comes from you, that is, you are the one who cause it that you have faith, by reading scriptures. So, clearly it's you who basically caused it all, and that by it, God will save you.

No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?

Tomas:

Ultimately, faith is a gift from God. God offers us this gift, if we recognize it, if we know the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith. If we keep rejecting the gift, by not believing the gospel, we have not accepted that gift. God will not force the gift on us, he lets us have free will. So as we read the Bible, which is inspired by God, and we become convinced about the gospel, we accept the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith, and also we have read that we need to repent, so we repent of the sins we know of, so God saves us, justifies us, adds us to the church, forgives our sins. We also find out in the Bible that some things are sinful, so we try to avoid such sins. We don't become sinless, we can slip up, but then we repent. But if we decide to rebel against God, refuse to repent any more, start living in sin, doing bad works continually rather than good works, then like Heb. 10:26 says, there is no more sacrifice for sins. So Christ's sacrifice no longer applies to us, we have lost salvation. But it is not like some churches claim, that whenever we sin, we have lost salvation, that is based on a mistranslation of Heb. 10:26. Many modern translations have corrected that error. Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible. And since we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us helps us resist temptation, avoid sins. But we still have free will, we can still rebel against the HS and start living in sin, and lose salvation. Though normally we could slip up and commit a sin, and we feel terrible, we repent of the sin, so we remain saved. We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved. Though ultimately even good works come from God, because God tells us in the Bible, what are some good works, like prayer, giving to the church, giving to the poor, helping people in need, discussing the Bible, trying to persuade unbelievers, studying the Bible. But we have free will to do the good works or not. God does not force us into good works.

Now if some saved Christian is misguided enough to forbid us from reading the Bible, he is still for God, because he is saved. Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.
Likewise in some churches, people are misguided enough to claim, based on misreading a verse, that there should not be private interpretations of any verses, that you should instead accept the interpretation of the church leadership. We see that for example in the Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the INC, the New Apostolic Church, and some others. Now plenty of people in such churches are saved Christians, so they are not against God, they are for God, but have the wrong interpretation of this. So they don't like a diversity of beliefs in their church.
But it is not a matter of denying the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures. No, Christians in general are aware that God is omnipotent, that He has the power to grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words, if that is what He were to want. He could grant all saved Christians to understand every verse in the Bible, so that all Christians would have the same beliefs on every doctrine, like pacifism, oaths, eating blood, women obeying husbands, slaves obeying masters, women speaking in church, women being elders, masturbation, holy pictures or statues, Mary remaining a virgin or not, Mary being sinless, infant baptism, water baptism by sprinkling or pouring instead of always immersing, the words used during water baptism, how many persons is God, and various other beliefs that Christians disagree with each other. Sure God has the power to reveal to us the correct interpretation of each verse. But He does not do it, he wants us to feel humble and not feel infallible, so he inspired Paul to write the commandment not to go beyond what is written. So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other. Yes, God has arranged it wonderfully.

ME:

It seems to me that what you take here as faith refers to a set of doctrines or beliefs, which in this case, those that are found in scriptures, or to which you refer, I suppose, as what makes up the gospel. But if you'll get back to the OP, the faith in view is clearly not referring to a set of doctrines or beliefs, but refers to such a thing as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb.11:1). It is that by which we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb.11:2). So, I hope you'll take faith as referring to that in our discussion here. And as I said, up there in the message title, the ultimate is that faith comes from God, a gift from God, and not coming from us.

Regarding good works, are you saying then, and of course, in the ultimate and final analysis, that good works comes from God?

Tomas:

Yes, ultimately good works come from God, we were saved to do good works, and God tells us in the Bible what works are good and what are bad.

ME:

I would presume now that you'll take faith as I have pointed out in my post above, in our discussion under this thread.

I'm glad you finally come to realize that, regarding good works, that the Christian was saved to do good works, rather than, the Christian is saved by doing good works.

Tomas:

Yes, initial salvation is by faith, including repentance of sins. But to remain saved, we have to be doing good works, and not live in sin, bad works, refusing to repent. After all, faith without works is dead.

ME:

I don't want to start another issue in this segment Tomas.

So let me just post here what has been settled under this segment:

1. Faith comes from God.
2. The Christian was saved to do good works.
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Michael:

Could you please answer my questions in my posts, so I would not get lost along the way? I kind of find it difficult sometimes to follow the point of our discussion if you don't. Thanks.

Tomas:

Yes, that is what I am doing now, based on your request.
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Michael:

You said "Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible."

That's right. But what has that got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, so that, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible. And we are not saved by good works, but if we are saved we will do good works and repent of any bad works, or else we lose salvation.

ME:

I'm glad to hear from you now, having waited fro a long while now, that salvation is not by good works, and that we are saved to do good works.

You said "I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible."

Am I right in my understanding of your statement, that it is you who earn the right to be saved because of having faith, except that, you just don't want to take credit for it, and give the credit to God? That's a virtuous and admirable thing indeed. But don't you agree that, one does not earn such right? And instead, those who received Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name?

Tomas:

I have heard there is a verse saying we don't earn the right to be saved, though I can't find it in the Bible. So if it is there, we have not earned it, after all, even though we came to faith by our free will, the credit goes to God, who has inspired the scriptures, so that by reading or hearing them we can receive the right to be saved.

ME:

It's good that you admit now that the right to become children of God is not a thing that is earned. That's right, for the right to become children of God is given to those who receives Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to those who believe in His name, the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Please consider this Tomas. This is the situation, man sinned, and so he will be punished with death in the lake of fire.

Now, put your focus on man and not on God, and let's go back to the time of Adam. Can man save himself from going to the lake of fire? What can man do, by himself or with the help of other men, to save himself or themselves from going to the lake of fire? Can he do any work that would save himself?

If your answer is none, would you agree that man is helpless by himself? That there is nothing he can do, nor he can do with the help of other men, so that he would not suffer death in the lake of fire? That his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, to whom he sinned against and who will punish him? That only God would be able to save him?

Tomas:

Of course a man cannot save himself from the lake of fire. But that does not mean he cannot do anything. He can learn about the gospel, he can gain faith, and he can repent. And then God saves him. So I agree, his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, only God can save him.

ME:

Good that you agree that man cannot save himself from the penalty of sin, and that the only way is that God will have mercy on him and save him. Now, God knows them who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and seek His mercy. And surely, God will bring about their salvation, according to His way of salvation, which He purposed in Christ Jesus.

I think this segment comes to a close here.
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Michael:

You say "We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved."

But what does free will got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God? Or are you implying that, since you are making the choice, that by choosing to do good work have given you the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

See my comment above.

ME:

See my comments above.
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Michael:

You said "God does not force us into good works."

That's right. God never forces anyone to do anything, Tomas. Did I say God forces us, that you are pointing this here now?

Tomas:

You did not say it. So I guess you agree that we have free will to do good works or not.
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Michael:

I don't know why you say "Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.", when salvation is not really the issue on this matter. Please stick to the issue. This is what I posted:

"No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?"

The issue is, whether such people who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, or if they allow but forbids one to interpret what he reads, are for God or not. Wherein I say, that I would not say they are for God. For if they are for God, they would encourage the reading and study of the words of God, for by reading and reading the words of God, is good and so is pleasing to God. Why forbid, if you are for God? And the sad thing is, most of these people are leaders of a religious organization, which affect tens, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people under their authority. This certainly is a serious concern.

Tomas:

I guess to me, when I hear someone saying that a person is for God, I think he means the person is saved. And when I hear someone saying that a person is not for God, then I think he means the person is unsaved. So that is why I was talking about salvation requirement. But if you feel a person can be not for God but still be saved, then OK. It just seems strange semantically.

ME:

Ok. I understand now why you talk about salvation.

On my side, "a person is for God" means he is not against God, and "a person is not for God" means he is against God.

Anyway, I understand that you agree with me on the issue on this segment.

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, certainly are man made rules by some religious organization, and are also not supported nor found in scriptures, and are rules that clearly keeps the members far from God and the truth, rather than keeping them close. This thing clearly is a thing that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

If people can't do their own private interpretations of verses, or even can't read the Bible, they can still be saved, by hearing the gospel from others, like from priests or ministers.

ME:

But that is not the issue here Tomas.

Tomas:

It is a big part of the issue. So while telling people not to have private interpretations of verses is not God's doctrine, it is wrong doctrine, still it is not against God, because people can be saved in such a church anyway.

ME:

The issue is not if people can be saved Tomas, but that, forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, is something that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

I guess in a way, any wrong doctrine can be considered against God. So in that respect all saved people would have doctrines against God. But that is a strange meaning of being against God. After all, saved people are said to be for God, no matter how many bad doctrines they have.

ME:

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is leading a believer away from God. Away from God means away from the truth. If that is not against God, then that would only mean the opposite, that is, it is for God. This thing shots one's eyes and ears, if not his spirit, to what God have caused to be written and be read and heard by him in scriptures, and enslave him to the extent that he is only to believe what they have to say to him.

Tomas:

It is true that it can be harder to get saved that way. So it is bad doctrine. But it is a well meaning doctrine, to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Still, when a person is saved, he is for God, no matter his bad doctrine against reading the Bible, or against private interpretations.

ME:

The issue here is not whether the person is saved or not, but that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, regardless of the intent one says why he commands it on the person, is ungodly. This is against God and not for God, even while, one says he does it to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Each person must not be denied the freedom, as God have given every man, to hear the preacher, any preacher for that matter, and examine what it is he preach, whether it is in keeping with God's words in scriptures or not.

Tomas:

It is ungodly, but then any sin is ungodly. For example fornication, it is ungodly. But if a Christian does not know it is a sin, and has premarital sex with his fiancee, his sin is forgiven due to his ignorance, Romans 14. So likewise if he does not believe in reading the Bible, or in private interpretation of verses, it is sinful, but since it is a sin of ignorance, his sin is forgiven if he is saved, Romans 14. So he is not against God. But for God.

ME:

So, you agree that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is ungodly.

Tomas:

I can agree with that, in the sense that every sin is really ungodly. Even a sin committed out of ignorance, is ungodly, because it is still a sin. But if a saved person commits a sin out of ignorance, he is forgiven and remains saved, Romans 14.
Even today, there are quite a number of churches that forbid private interpretation of verses that you read, that tell you to follow the intepretation of the church instead, based on a faulty understanding of 2 Peter 1:20. But even preachers in such churches can be already saved, even though they believe that faulty understanding and forbid private interpretation of verses. The sin is ungodly, but being committed in ignorance of the correct understanding of 1:20, the sin is forgiven to the person who is saved.

ME:

So, you agree that it is ungodly, and is sin. Now, if itis ungodly and is sin, is that not something against God? You may say, if they are ignorant of it being a sin, that they will be forgiven of it. It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?

As it is, such man, almost always in the category of one such as FYM, the topmost leader of a church organization, who forbids reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, does an ungodly thing, as to teach and commands the members of something that is false and ungodly.

Now, of course, there is the possibility that he is ignorant of it. But to them who knows the truth, specially the church members, it is their duty to rebuke him of this wrong. And this must alarm them to the point of reconsidering putting to the test, the spirit in the man.

Tomas:

If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent.
Now as far as FYM, he did not forbid reading the Bible. I am not aware of any modern church that forbids reading the Bible. I am aware just that some centuries ago, Catholics discouraged the laity from reading the Bible, fearing that could lead to heresy, due to alleged misunderstanding the Bible. And they banned reading Bible translations done by alleged heretics, thinking those translations were biased and dangerous. Though certainly at the time of early Reformation, Catholics themselves started producing their own translations of the Bible, and allowed already laity to read those translations, while banning Protestant translations. And certainly with the invention of the printing press, Bibles were no longer rare, lots of people could buy a Bible, and read the Bible for themselves.
But certainly it is true that INC interprets 2 Peter 1:20 as forbidding us from having private interpretations of Bible verses. And they are not the only ones with that interpretation. Catholics have the same interpretation, I have debated with Catholics about that. And such an interpretation of the verse is found in a number of other churches, especially churches that believe they are the true biblical church. So one can see such an interpretation for example in the New Apostolic Church, in the Way International, in the True Jesus Church, in the Philadelphia Church of God and also many other offshoots of the former Worldwide Church of God, which had the same belief about this verse. Simply such churches believe that their leader was guided by God into the true doctrine, so then if you disagree with that leader on any doctrine, you are disagreeing with God too. Therefore you should not have private interpretation of any verse and teach that, you should just follow what your church teaches.
And I can see how that verse can be misunderstood this way, the meaning is not so obvious, that it could not be misunderstood this way.
You say INC members should know better, and should correct their leaders, tell them that private interpretations are OK. But the average faithful INC member really believes, that God guided FYM into the right doctrines and has been guiding the subsequent Executive Ministers. And so since God guided them, then disagreeing with them would be disagreeing with the one who guided them, God. And so that is why there should be no private interpretation, you need to agree instead with what the church teaches.
And similarly I have discussed with faithful Catholics, they are convinced that God has guided their holy traditions, church councils, and popes, into the right doctrines. So to disagree with the church on any doctrine, would be to disagree with the one who guided the traditions, church councils, and popes, namely to disagree with God.
And they point out the alleged chaos that has resulted from private interpretations, in Protestantism, with many thousands of denominations, disagreeing with each other on various doctrines. Like some Protestants believe in baptizing babies, others don't. Some believe that only immersion baptism is valid, others say it can be done in other ways, like sprinkling or pouring water. Some believe water baptism is necessary for salvation, others believe water baptism saves but one can be saved without it, others believe water baptism is just symbolic and has no connection with salvation. Some believe in pacifism, some allow both pacifism and non-pacifism, some reject pacifism. Etc., there are many doctrines on which Protestant churches disagree with each other.
So to Catholics, to INC members, to New Apostolic Church members, etc. it looks like chaos caused by private interpretations. While to us, God allows this diversity of doctrines on secondary issues, allows private interpretations, as long as we believe the gospel, otherwise we are not saved.
And in fact, just like Catholics believe God is guiding the church, INC members believe God is guiding the church to correct doctrines, etc., one can find even some Protestants believing similarly, that God is guiding the Christians into correct doctrines. I have seen that in your own beliefs. Of course then when such Protestants disagree on some doctrine, each one can believe he was guided right and the other one was not guided. So one Protestant can say God has guided him to understand that babies ought to be baptized, another Protestant can say that God has guided him to understand that infant baptism is invalid, and only believers ought to be baptized. Obviously they can't be both right. But when we apply the principle of sola scriptura, based on 1 Cor. 4:6, we can see that when the Bible was finished, that ended further guidance, so only the Bible guides us, and no one guides us to understand the Bible. So we just need to study the Bible and try to figure out from that, whether infant baptisms are valid or not. God does not give the guidance about it to the church, or to anyone of us.
And concerning churches that do not believe in private interpretation, one can see especially in the Catholic church, that many Catholics are not obedient to that, they come up with their own interpretations. So for example the Catholic church teaches, that their holy tradition forbids contraceptives, yet certainly here in the US most Catholics do not believe like that, they use contraceptives anyway. Now in this case, no harm is done, since the Bible does not forbid contraceptives. Though of course some Catholics don't use contraceptives only in marriage, some are unmarried, they fornicate, and use contraceptives, they are of course guilty of fornication.
My father was even more rebellious against his Catholic church, he did not even believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, so he violated Rev. 22:19, so he was unsaved. He was certainly very influenced by religious liberalism, so he differed from the Catholic church on various doctrines, he believed in pacifism, he believed everybody is deep down really a good person, nobody is damned, so like one day I was discussing Hitler with him, he told me that yes, Hitler did some bad things, but it was not his fault, he just was not shown enough love, had he been shown enough love, he too would have been doing mainly good things, because everybody is really good. And he believed that women should be priests just as much as men are allowed to be priests, total equality of men and women in church offices. He believed that the Catholic church should allow people of all beliefs, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists etc. to join the Catholic church, and not tell them what to believe, he told me if everybody became Catholic there would be no wars of religion. So everybody in the Catholic church should believe whatever he wants. He did not believe in the need to go to church. So I never saw him attend any church services. He did not believe in the need to bring us, his children, up in Christianity, after all, nobody is damned, everybody is actually good, so he was just bringing us up to be moral people, obedient to our parents. So I did not even learn that he believed in God, and considered himself Catholic, until we came to America, when I was 15 years old.
So in his case, had he remained faithful Catholic, as he was brought up in his childhood, and had he believed in no private interpretations, he could have died saved, but he died unsaved. Surely he won't find it difficult, when he is resurrected and taught correctly, to repent and be saved. But still, he died without God, even though he believed in God, so he won't be resurrected to eternal life, he will be resurrected to mortal life and not get saved until later.
So it is better to believe in no private interpretations, rather than not believe in the gospel at all. My father's liberal humanistic interpretations led him too far astray.

ME:

I said "It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?"

You said "If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent."

Clearly now, I understand you as meaning that sins committed in ignorance will be forgiven. It seems then that ignorance automatically absolves the sinner. And in your previous post, you cited Rom. 14 as to teach us this matter. Can you tell me where in particular in Rom.14 teaches that?

FYM and INC does forbid reading the Bible. Of course not that one who can read words is not allowed to read words in the Bible. But we know that reading goes hand in hand with understanding what he reads. Or putting it another way, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures.

Tomas:

It is especially clear in Rom. 14:6, after verse 1 talks about Christians weak in faith, like some were vegetarians, thought mistakenly that eating meat is a sin. So then verse 6 says "Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God."
So clearly people weak in faith, who are not well informed about what things are sinful and not sinful, like people who refuse to work on the Sabbath, or refuse to work on Sunday, or do not know that on Sunday they are to give money to the church, or celebrate Christmas, or Halloween, etc., or ignore Passover day, their sins are forgiven, since in their ignorance they are doing what they are doing for the Lord.
Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, since they are doing their sins to the Lord, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith.
So from that we can see that any sins committed by a saved person ignorantly, are forgiven. So in the example of churches like INC, or the Catholic church, or the Philadelphia Church of God, or the New Apostolic Church, etc., Christians who say there is to be no private interpretation, we should rely on the church to determine how to interpret important verses, sure these Christians are sinning, but when they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven. So if they die saved, they will be resurrected to eternal life, and then we will all be taught correctly how to interpret such verses, so if we have committed a sin due to ignorance, we will be glad to be corrected, and we will repent of such a sin. After all, God is very understanding, he knows that we can't be infallible, some verses are difficult to understand, or to harmonize with other verses on the same topic. So it is easy to misunderstand something in the Bible, and sin therefore, but if we do it for the Lord, we are forgiven. So likewise saved Christians, who refuse to do private interpretations of verses, and tell others not to do private interpretations, but rely on what their church teaches on such a verse, they do it for the Lord, so they are forgiven.

ME:

You said, "Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith."

"since they are doing their sins to the Lord"?

In all of the things you said here with regards to what is written in Rom. 14, this what I want you to realize is the point of the matter:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

Romans 14 really does not talk of sins committed in ignorance Tomas, such as that, about eating or not eating certain food, or observing a day or not. In fact, a verse says there regarding this "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak". So you see, the point really there is that the brethren do not judge one another, and not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. That we must pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. And finally, we must remember that, on such matters of food and drinks, of observing days, that whatever is not from faith is sin.

So, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And this does not need much intelligence to understand that this is is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. So that, when one preaches and refers to scriptures and says that what he preach is in keeping with scriptures, we must be diligent enough to go to scriptures to see if what he says is truly in keeping with scriptures. And the Bereans are a good example of this. So, you see, everyone of us has the scriptures as the final resource and word. And how would that be, when preachers such as FYM and the INC, forbids their members to do just that, by forbidding them to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures?

Tomas:

Concerning Rom. 14, it can't be true that days do not matter at all. After all, 1 Cor. 16:2 commands us to give money to the church every first day of the week. And Col. 2:16 tells us not to be judged in regards to food or drink or festival or new moon or the Sabbath. So then clearly somebody who thinks it is sinful not to observe the Sabbath or the Day of Atonement or Pentecost etc., is unwittingly disobeying Col. 2:16. And 1 Cor. 5:8 commands us to keep the feast, not with leaven, of sin, but with unleavened bread. So clearly Paul is commanding us to keep the Passover day, with the Lord's supper. So days are still important, to obey God. But if somebody does not know some of this, and keeps some day wrongly, or wrongly does not keep a day, then he is still doing it for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
Likewise foods do matter too. I already mentioned Col. 2:16, so clearly we don't have to keep kosher laws, or with drink, any abstinence from wine due to trying to keep a Nazirite vow. Likewise somebody who keeps kosher, is unwittingly disobeying the command to Peter in Acts 10 to eat animals that used to be considered unclean. Or somebody who believes it is a sin to eat meat is similarly disobeying the same command, and likewise Col. 2:16. But they abstain for the Lord, so they are forgiven.
And likewise the HS inspired the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 not to eat blood, strangled animals, or food offered to idols. And Jesus himself confirmed the commandment not to eat food offered to idols in two verses in Rev. 2. So then someone who does not know that it is required to abstain from knowingly eating such stuff, and does so anyway, he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
But still, if you are eating with a Christian who thinks it is a sin to eat pork or shrimp or other stuff that was not kosher, then Paul makes it clear it can be advisable not to offend the brother or make him weak, by eating such stuff in front of him. Or likewise if he thinks it is a sin to drink wine, then don't drink wine in front of him. Some Christians think that drinking any alcohol is a sin. They are wrong in abstaining, but they are doing it for the Lord, so they are forgiven. On the other hand, if somebody thinks that drinking alcohol in excess is not a sin, then he can get drunk and it is a sin. But since he did it for the Lord, he is forgiven. But in fact several verses warn us not to get drunk. So the issue of drinking is not irrelevant, as you thought it is from Rom. 14.
And so similarly when somebody tells another Christian, not to rely on private interpretation, but to follow the teaching of their church, he is unwittingly sinning, but he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.

ME:

You said "SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD". Being a Christian, I am really having a hard time trying to figure out how Christians do their sins, and that, to the Lord. And that, if they do, having done it in ignorance, they are automatically forgiven by the Lord, whether they realize later on that they have sinned and repented of it, or not.

Concerning Rom. 14, I respect your opinion on it. And let me just repeat here what I wanted to tell you in this regard:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

If you would just try to understand what that these truth tells us, perhaps, you would have a different understanding of Romans 14.

So, again, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And as I have pointed out, that this is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You suggest that, if they are ignorant of this, being a sin, they automatically are forgiven by God of this sin. And this somehow excuses them. But, such a suggestion even is far from being the case. For FYM and INC believes that FYM is an angel sent by God. If so, FYM then will be far from being ignorant of such simple truths. Further, FYM and INC take upon themselves to believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong. This is where this INC preaching is coming from, and thus, the deception, the lie, and the false teaching.

Tomas:

Sure, the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That refers to the kosher laws in the Old Testament. But you need to realize that if someone does not know it is a sin to drink alcohol to excess, and gets drunk, it is still a sin, plenty of verses prove it. But he was doing it for the Lord, so it is forgiven. Or if someone knowingly eats food offered to idols, does not know it is a sin, even though Acts 15 condemns it, and Jesus himself forcefully condemns it in Rev. 2, then it is a sin. But since he was eating it for the Lord, it is forgiven. Or if one ignorantly disobeys the commandment of 1 Cor. 16:2, does not go to the congregation to give money on the first day of the week, it is a sin. But he was acting for the Lord, so he is forgiven. Or if somebody ignorantly refuses to do any work on the Sabbath, it is a sin, but he was refusing to work, for the Lord, so it is forgiven.
So likewise if someone teaches, that we should not do any private interpretation of the scriptures, whether he is INC or Catholic or whatever, it is a sin, but he is saying this for the Lord, so he is forgiven. So if he is sincere, as surely most INC ministers or Catholic priests are, then it is not a deception, it is not a knowing lie, sure it is a false teaching, but due to misunderstanding of a verse. And also due to such reasoning, where they say look at Protestants, they do interpretations of the Bible, and as a result there are thousands of Protestant denominations with a great variety of doctrines. So INC says that is why you should listen to the Administration, how they interpret the verses. Or Catholics say, that is why you should listen to the Magisterium, the bishops headed by the pope, to see how they interpret the verses. Otherwise you have doctrinal chaos. And of course they have a point, Protestants have a diversity of views on many doctrines. It is inevitable. Many verses are hard to understand. But that is in God's plan. God did not inspire the Bible in such a way that it is easy to understand. Some parts are easy to understand, sure, but other parts are not, and I believe it is so that we would not become proud, thinking we understand everything, but it is better for us to continue to study the Bible, at least as long as we can. Of course if we get dementia, then we can't study any more. Or if we are in a coma, for example.

ME:

If you just would understand what it means when scripture says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", you would not have any issue about food and drink. Jesus even taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." And in like sense, if you would just understand what it means when scripture says "whatever is not from faith is sin", you would not have any issue about a lot of things such as one esteeming one day above another, or about 1 Cor. 16:2, whether it is a sin or is not.

Now, all of that is very different from what I'm pointing out about FYM and INC, regarding the forbidding of one in going to scriptures to read and understand what God says there, which I have further pointed out to be is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You argue that they are ignorant of this wrong and that such excuses them from this sin. As I have explained, even taking for granted that ignorance excuses the sinner, they could not be ignorant about this Tomas. FYM and INC knowingly believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong, so that, this is the reason they put up. It's not because they misinterpret a verse or so Tomas. Is claiming to be a prophesied angel of God, claiming to be sent at this particular era and place, an ignorant thing Tomas? Are you a follower and believer of FYM too?

Tomas:

I see you are like INCquisitor, giving me this argument that Jesus said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
But the fact is that when he said that, the Law was still in effect for all Israelites. So including Jesus and his disciples. See Mt. 5:18-19, the Law was still in effect, until all was accomplished, until the Law was nailed to the cross. See also Mt. 23:2-3, where Jesus was telling the Jewish crowd, including of course also his own disciples, that they should do all that the scribes and Pharisees say, though not as they do. So when they said not to eat pork, shrimp, horses etc., then Peter, John, etc. had to obey, could not eat such non-kosher stuff. And we can see in Acts 10, that Peter himself had never eaten such non-kosher stuff, as he told the voice from heaven in that vision of the formerly unclean animals being lowered to Peter and Peter was told to eat from them. Did he disobey Jesus by not eating pork, horses etc.? Of course not. Clearly Jesus did not eat such stuff with his disciples. And why did Jesus drive some demons into a herd of swine, with the swine ending up getting killed? Clearly they belonged to some disobedient Jew. Otherwise it would be a sin, if they were owned by a Gentile. And Jesus of course never sinned.
So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them.
And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols. They were clearly violating what the Holy Spirit inspired the council of Jerusalem to decide, in Acts 15.

So now concerning INC and FYM, when I said misunderstanding of one verse, I was of course referring to 2 Peter 1:20, about private interpretation. Same with for example Catholics. Now you raise the issue of verses misinterpreted by FYM as referring to himself. Whether he was lying on purpose or was just wrong, I can't tell, can't read his heart. But clearly the average INC minister sincerely believes it. Just like Catholics take some verses that suggest Peter was the leader of the apostles, and take it that his successors as bishops of Rome are infallible. We can argue with them about the verses, but we are not likely to persuade many of them. So when INC teaches that FYM was infallible, so we should follow his interpretation and not private interpretation, they are wrong, and they are sinning, but if they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven, Rom. 14, since what they are doing, they are doing for the Lord.

ME:

No need to liken me with INCquisitor Tomas.

Yes, Jesus taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.", even while the Law is still in effect, as you say. That makes it all the more interesting isn't it Tomas? Why would Jesus say that? It is basically to tell them that they really do not understand the Law.

You wrote "So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them."

That's right, the context is the washing of one's hands before eating. But to answer your question there, we need not look anywhere else, for Jesus gives us the answer just a few verses after, which I quote:

Mat.15:15-20
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Now, in relation to our discussion, in the sense that an unwashed hand is unclean and so whatever that is put in the mouth with unwashed hands is no different from putting in anything, be it food or drink, that is unclean. It matters not really, as is here seen. So, we need not so be occupied by such. And this can be further understood where scriptures says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

Now you said "And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols". Did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man?

Concerning INC and FYM, I have perhaps brought up other INC beliefs to point out to you that they don't teach such things in ignorance Tomas. Their take of scriptures and so then their teachings are founded on the claim that FYM is the prophesied angel/messenger of God in the last days, taking him to be infallible and the only one with the correct interpretation of scriptures, and that INC is the only true church that was purchased by the blood of Christ, and so the only ones who are saved. That this is where their false teaching all emanates from and their forbidding of reading and interpreting of scriptures.

Tomas:

Please don't feel insulted that I compared your belief about this to INCquisitor's belief. Of course there are lots of differences between your beliefs and his. I suspect and hope that you are saved, clearly you are not deviating from the true gospel in what you say on this forum, while INCquisitor was teaching a false gospel, with two Christs and with parts of Revelation (just like elsewhere in the Bible), not inspired. So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are.
So I was pointing out to him, that while non-kosher meat did not defile those Jews, it was still sinful for them to eat it. And likewise now, when non-kosher meat is no longer unclean, still, the council of Acts 15, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decided that eating blood, strangled animals, and food offered to idols, is still sinful. And to emphasize it, Jesus himself condemned eating food offered to idols decades later, in Rev. 2. So do you think Jesus was contradicting himself? Of course not. He knew in Mt. 15 just as much as in Rev. 2, that eating blood or food offered to idols is sinful. And at the time of Mt. 15, eating non-kosher meat, like pork, camels, horses, eagles, snakes, shrimp, etc. was still sinful, for Jews, including the disciples of Jesus. Look at Acts 10, Peter received a vision with formerly unclean animals being lowered to him, and Peter was told to eat them. Peter of course protested, that he never ate such animals. Was Peter an idiot? Of course not. Peter was one of the most prominent apostles. Jesus did not choose an idiot for this. So clearly Jesus did not eat pork, rabbits, snakes, horses, or any other non-kosher animals with Peter, since it was sinful to do so, and Jesus never sinned. Peter of course heard Jesus in Mt. 15, but he understood better than you do or INCquisitor does, that Jesus did not declare such meat no longer sinful. So he did not eat such stuff, until Acts 10.
And as I pointed out already to INCquisitor, Jesus drove demons into a herd of pigs, owned by someone. So he destroyed someone's property. That would have been a sin, had it not been for the fact that it was a Jew who owned the pigs for food, so it was sinful for that Jew to do so, so Jesus had the full right to destroy his pigs. So Jesus never sinned. The Jew would not have been defiled by eating the pork, but it would still have been a sin for him to eat the pork. And of course people keep pigs mainly for food. Likewise Jesus said once, if a child asks you for a fish, would you give him a snake? Some fishes were kosher, but snakes were all non-kosher, sinful to eat. So it would have been sinful for the parent to give his child a snake to eat. So clearly Jesus did not declare non-kosher meats to be clean, no more sinful. That had to wait until the new revelation in Acts 10.
So as you can see, Jesus did not contradict himself in Rev. 2. He was consistent, as expected for the true Christ.

Concerning the INC, regardless if FYM was ignorant, his ministers and other INC members were ignorant, they did believe FYM that he was prophesied about in the Bible, and was sent to restore the church, and so INC is the church, where people need to belong to be saved. And that not belonging to INC just leads to all the doctrinal chaos, of thousands of denominations with different doctrines, often because of their private interpretations, violating his understanding of 2 Peter 1:20 about private interpretation. So that is what led them ignorantly to reject private interpretation. So based on Rom. 14, those among them who are saved, their sin due to ignorance, is forgiven.

ME:

Well, one thing is true and definite, you are not my judge Tomas. And I really do care less of whether you think I'm saved or not. God is my Savior. My hope of salvation rest in Christ.

You said "So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are". I would say that it is your arguments that are faulty Tomas, not mine. Here's one that you put up "So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them".

And after all that you said about kosher and non kosher food, I say it again, did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man? Obviously not. Now, meditate on these truths:

Mt. 15:16-20
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

With regards the matter with INC and FYM, well if that is your opinion on the matter, I'll let it be with you then.

Tomas:

Of course I am not your judge. I can't read your heart. Your salvation status is between you and God. Your pastor can't know it, or anyone else on earth. I was just stating my opinion and hope, but I can't know it about anyone else.

Concerning Mt. 15:20, yes, what goes into the mouth does not defile a man, like dirt or even sinful food, but what goes out defiles a man.

Concerning Rom. 14:17, even if your interpretation were somehow right, and so Paul would have superseded for example Acts 15, then Paul would have been superseded by Christ himself in two verses in Rev. 2, since those statements came later. Christ there combined eating food offered to idols, with fornication, in his condemnation, thus reaffirming the commandments of Acts 15.

ME:

Concerning Mt. 15:20, while you got that what goes into the mouth does not defile the man, you seemed to miss the more important point, that is, those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and are that, that defiles the man.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

This verse simply teach the Christian that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking Tomas. That means, it is not about food Tomas. But that, it is about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. If one learn that, he will come to correctly take and understand verses such as those involving food.

Tomas:

I do know that what proceeds out of the mouth comes from the heart and defiles the man. I never questioned the truth of that.

And you just can't ignore the condemnation by Christ in Rev. 2 of eating what is sinful to eat. It is just as bad as fornication, look at those verses.

ME:

As it is, while you may claim to understand the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking (Romans 14:17), you still apparently actually don't since you still don't get to have the right understanding of Rev. 2 concerning the eating part, saying that the eating is just as bad as fornication. Such understanding obviously goes contrary to the truth said in Romans 14:17.

Tomas:

I believe you totally misunderstand Rom. 14:17. I believe Paul meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God. My evidence is for example the commandments of Acts 15, which are reaffirmed by Christ in Rev. 2, so it is clearly sinful to eat food offered to idols or blood, or strangled animals. Likewise there are verses condemning drunkenness, excessive drinking of alcohol. So that is clearly sinful drinking. But if somebody gets drunk, not knowing that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God. Likewise there are verses that our bodies are temple of God, so we should not ruin that temple. So clearly eating poisonous mushrooms or berries, or drinking poisons, that is sinful eating or drinking. But if somebody is not aware that it is a sin, for example there are snake-handling churches where the members drink diluted poisons, to prove God heals them, based on their understanding of Mark 16:18, as a sign that they are believers, still, it is really sinful drinking, but because they are doing so ignorantly, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God. Also the Bible condemns gluttony, but if someone does gluttony, not aware that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God.
So that is what Paul meant by writing that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. Not that you can eat and drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. I guess in two churches in Asia they could have similarly misunderstood Paul's writing, so then Christ had to tell them in epistles he dictated to John, not to do it anymore, it should not be tolerated. When they did it ignorantly, it did not affect their standing in the kingdom of God, but now that Jesus told them, they were no longer ignorant, so no more excuse. That is true of both sinful eating and fornication. But some Christians still do not know it, so when they do such stuff, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God.

ME:

Come on Tomas. Rom. 14:17 is a simple verse. It says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." You try to explain it by saying that it "meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God." Not even close Tomas. For Rom. 14:17, in this instance, talks about what the kingdom of God is and is not. It does not talk about eating and drinking, that such does not affect our salvation, nor talk about the matter of getting to or not, to the kingdom of God. Now, with your take of the verse, tell me about the last part, that is, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Tomas:

The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

ME:

You said "The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want". This just somehow shows how much you don't understand what Rom. 14:17 is about.

Why is it hard for you to understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"?

The second part of the verse says that the kingdom of God is "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Is this too hard for you to understand?

Tomas:

Looks like you don't like my explanation of that verse. And no wonder, since you are still ignoring the other verses I mentioned. After all, Rom. 14:17 is not the only verse in the Bible. So you have to understand it in view of the other verses I mentioned.

ME:

How can you not understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"? If you do, can you simply tell me what it says?

And if you really understand this statement "the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", can you simply tell me what it says?

Tomas:

But I already told you above what each part means. I think I said it so well above, I don't see how to improve on it. So let me simply repeat it:
The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

Well, doesn't that explain each part of Rom. 14:17 very clearly?

ME:

You have been telling me your take of the context with regards the first part, but fail to get its simple message. On the second part, what you have said, while it sounds good, is entirely out of context.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

After Paul dealt with the importance of not judging one another, between those Christians who believed that they should refrain from some practices concerning food and days, that they believed were displeasing to God, and those Christians who felt were legitimate, he told and pointed out to them that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He said this to set it as their guide on how they relate to one another. Now, matters of eating and drinking are but external amoral practices. An amoral practice is neither right nor wrong in itself. It does not involve sin, or, therefore, morality. The primary issues in the lives of dedicated Christians should not be external amoral practices, but the great spiritual qualities that "the Holy Spirit" seeks to produce in them ~ "righteousness" (right conduct), "peace", and "joy".

Tomas:

So you say that what I consider sinful eating or drinking, like gluttony, drinking alcohol in excess, eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, you consider amoral, neither right nor wrong in itself, based on your interpretation of Rom. 14:17.
In that case, how do you interpret the Holy Spirit condemnation of eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15?
And how do you explain Jesus's endorsement of the Council of Jerusalem condemnation of fornication and eating food offered to idols, in Rev. 2?
And how do you explain the biblical condemnation of gluttony? And the frequent biblical condemnation of drunkenness?
------------------------

Michael:

Now, I was shocked by your statement here:

" So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other."

Why would I be happy about that? And how could I agree that God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse? Are you truly happy debating with other Christians? Preposterous and silly, I would say.

Tomas:

You are now talking like a Catholic, or an INC member, insisting that all Christians agree on every doctrine, that the diversity is no good. When I said we can debate with each other, I do not mean angry arguments, I mean brotherly discussions among Christians. And that I am happy to be doing. I am happy to be discussing with you and with other Christians. After all, discussing issues in the wonderful book, the Bible, should fill us with happiness. It is the best book in the world, it is the word of God. And so, since we should not expect any of us to be infallible, we can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and show to each other, where in the Bible our beliefs come from. If neither one is too stubborn and unwilling to change, then at least one can learn from the other. Like I have learned from you.
If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). What is written in the Bible of course. So no new revelation of any interpretations. Sola scriptura. So no inspired interpretations by ecumenical Catholic councils or by popes or by executive ministers or anyone else. We are all in the same boat, no inspired interpretations, so we can know we are not infallible in our interpretations, so we will not be proud, but properly humble, as God wants us to be. And we will not be angrily arguing about interpretations, but happily discussing our interpretations, in a loving fraternal manner. So please, don't be shocked about it, be happy about it. Now we are not to go beyond what is written, so now is not the time for perfect doctrinal unity, like some churches, like Catholic, INC, New Apostolic Church, Philadelphia Church of God, and others who insist we have to be united, we get interpretations from God, so we better agree, or else we are outside the church or something. But when Jesus comes back, and we are resurrected, the Bible says we will be going to Jerusalem to learn from God, so God will then give us correct interpretations, and all the saved people will be in one denomination. Sola scriptura will no longer be true. We will be given new laws, as some of these laws are described in Ezekiel, Zechariah, etc. For example the Feast of Tabernacles will be required for all, not just Israelites, as was true in the Law of Moses. And all, not just males, will have to go to Jerusalem for that feast. So then we will have doctrinal unity. But now it is impossible, it is not in God's plan for us.

ME:

Did I say that the diversity is no good? What I said is that I am not happy about such. For scriptures says "There is one body and one Spirit", that Paul beseech of the Christians, to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And so I see that it's not diversity that scriptures calls for, but unity.

You said "If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6)."

Certainly God gives us the correct interpretation of His words in scriptures, according to His will and in His time. Only He could help and make us understand His words in scriptures which are about the things of God.

And certainly, God's intention is for us to be united, as I have discussed above. And this includes being one in understanding God's words in scriptures. What Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. The verse says "Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.". What Paul wants us to understand here is that we learn in them (Paul and Apollos), not to think beyond what is written. Why is that? So that, we may not be puffed up or take pride in one over another. This is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of interpretations that goes beyond what is written.

Tomas:

Of course we are one body, and we are united in the eyes of God, even though many of us can be unhappy about the divisions into denominations, or also differences in beliefs among Christians regardless of denominations or being non-denominational. These differences are on secondary doctrines, not on gospel doctrines. So we have one faith, in the sense of faith in the gospel.
And concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, pride would be involved if we were to go beyond what is written, we could be puffed up, thinking we know more than other Christians, that we got some special interpretations that others did not get.

ME:

How can we be united in the eyes of God, when we are not in reality and practically united? That is not at all what being united is Tomas. For example, you say the INC is part of the church of God, and the RCC as well. Now are they united? Obviously not. Do they believe in the same Christ, that is, Savior? INC's Christ is not God, while RCC's Christ is God.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, as I said, what Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. Read again my previous post on this. 1 Cor. 4:6 is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of some special interpretations that others get and others did not.

Tomas:

INC and RCC don't consider themselves to be united, but in God's eyes they are united, because people from both churches are in God's own church. They do believe in the same Christ, that is Savior, that it is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, etc. Sure some think he is God and others think that he is not God, but that is just what they think, in reality they can't know.
Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, it is a matter of not being proud, not thinking like I have a special interpretation from God while another Christian does not. We are all equal, none of us get special interpretations from God, we can't be infallible.

ME:

Well, if you believe that, in God's eyes, INC and RCC are united, even while in reality and practice, are hostile to each other, in that, one condemns the other, and says of each other as anti-Christ, then so be it for you then.

And while for you, you believe that you can't know if Christ is God or is not, that has nothing to do with their unity or disunity.

And we are all equal Tomas, whether one knows and understands much or less of what is revealed in scriptures. And sure we are not infallible in so many ways. But relative to 1 Cor.4:6, let me quote what Paul says in v.7 "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Well, I guess you don't feel united with either INC or RCC, since you dislike that they believe in the saving power of water baptism. But I believe that in spite of such dislike, in God's eyes, you are united with them, at least actually with the saved people in those denominations. Not with the unsaved. Still, I believe God loves all denominations that preach the gospel, no matter what percentage of members is saved in each. But only the saved are in the church.

As far as 1 Cor. 4:7, I am not sure how to understand it. Having something you did not receive, that looks like theft. But that does not seem to fit the rest of the verse. It looks to me like a very difficult verse. Maybe you have some idea of what it means.

ME:

For sure I could not feel united in the spirit with INC, much as I want to. How can I when their messiah is a man, named Jesus, while my Messiah is God, who incarnated, revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, the verse says "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

There is nothing in there that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. I don't know what version you are reading. But I checked other versions, and found not one which speaks of such. So, I suggest you read it again.

As to what the verse means, is plain. You are intelligent and could easily understand what the verse means.

Tomas:

You say your Messiah is God, who incarnated. So then you too believe your Messiah is a man, even though you happen to believe he is both God and man. And you both believe he is revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ. So not much difference. Just a little difference in you having the theory he is God, while they have the theory that he is not God.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough. For example let's say you have a book. Now you have received the book, maybe from a bookstore, or from somebody. Or if you have not received the book, then I see no other choice except you stole it. With some objects there is a third choice, let's say you have an orange. You have received it, from a store or from somebody, or you stole it, or maybe you planted an orange tree years ago, and it had flowers, and the flowers got transformed into orange fruit. So now you have an orange. But with books, this third choice does not apply, you cannot grow books in your garden. So yes, the text looks plain, but the deep meaning behind it escapes me.

ME:

Ask the INC, I'm pretty sure, they'll tell you of a great deal of difference concerning this. Ask any Christian who believes that Christ is God, and they certainly would tell you a great deal of difference. If you don't see much of a difference, that I don't know why you do. Perhaps, there is really not much difference for you in Christ being God or not, or perhaps, because of your different perspective of the revelations about the person of God.

You said regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?

As I said, there is nothing in 1 Cor.4:7 that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. So, I strongly suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse.

1 Cor. 4:7, "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Of course INC considers this to be very important, so important it is necessary for salvation, John 17:3, that we believe Christ is not God. But I believe that is a misinterpretation of that verse. Sure the Father is the only true God, but this God could well include other persons.
Similarly some trinitarians believe it is necessary for salvation to believe Christ is God.
But I say we can't know, so God does not make a big deal of whether one believes Christ is God or not God. I am not saying it is unimportant to God, but it is not revealed to us, so God does not make it important to us.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:7, I am stuck, clearly there is something you have thought of that I haven't. I mean, if you have a book, and you haven't received it, but you haven't stolen it, then how did you obtain it?

ME:

Not revealed to you, not us, Tomas. Nothing further.

Regarding 1 Cor.4:7, you have not answered my question relative to your statement "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". My question is "What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?"

Now, you are so into the matter of having something one did not receive that looks like theft, for which I say, the verse does not speak about. I can't understand why you are so into that with regards 1 Cor. 4:7.

Let's take the statements in 1 Cor. 4:7, one by one.

First statement "For who makes you differ from another?". Is there anything about having something here? None.

Second statement "And what do you have that you did not receive?". Does this speak of something you have by theft?

Third statement "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". There is likewise nothing here that speaks of the matter you are so concerned about.

So, I suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse instead.

Tomas:

I am sure trying to understand the verse. But I guess I need more insight, maybe you have thought of something I have not thought of.
So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received. One is by getting it by theft, another is by having grown it for yourself, like you might grow tomatoes or oranges etc. So maybe if you received a tomato, you can boast as if you have not received the tomato, but claim you have grown it yourself. That would be a sinful boast, it would be a lie.
I have thought of relating it to the previous verse, like if you claim you have a message from God that you did not receive. But then the third part would not make sense, who has received a message from God and boast as if he did not receive it? That would not make sense.
But if it is about growing food like tomatoes etc., then why does it follow verse 6, as if it is related to it? After all, verse 7 begins with 'for'. So I think I have not thought of something, I don't have enough imagination when dealing with this verse. Clearly you think you have it figured out, but you are not telling me what then is your interpretation.

ME:

1 Cor. 4:7
7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

You said "So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received".

I can't see why you have such a problem with regards to understanding the verse Tomas. The question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. And in relation to this, Paul asked the questions "And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". Paul, by way of these questions, reminds the Corinthians that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. That God had given them everything they had, and as a consequence, they should be grateful, not boastful.

Tomas:

OK, I see now better how you interpret it, and your interpretation seems to make sense. It is true, that whatever we have, is ultimately from God, regardless of who gave it to us. So like the Bible tells us, to receive food with thanksgiving, so clearly we should pray to God and thank him for the food, before we eat. Regardless of how we got the food, it is ultimately from God. Without him, the food would not exist and we would not exist.
So I guess, when Paul asked "And what do you have that you did not receive?", apparently Paul meant that we have nothing that we did not receive, since everything we have we received from God. So then in the next question, which confused me so much, Paul apparently meant by asking "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?", he apparently meant, you did receive everything you have from God, so then why do you boast, as if you did not receive it from God, but it is your achievement? So you boast about your achievements, but really you are all equal before God, none of you is superior to others.
Yes, I had not thought of the issue of receiving everything we have from God. So I was thinking of things like receiving food from the store, etc. God was not mentioned in that verse, not explicitly. So I was really confused. But you have helped me to understand the verse much better, for which I am thankful to you.
So I now want to make sure, does my new understanding now agree totally with your understanding?

ME:

What Paul says there and meant in those verses is with regards to the mysteries of God, and it does not speak really of other things such as food and drink. These things Paul said, they received, from God who gave it. So, Paul reasoned, that if they indeed receive it, they should not boast as if they had not received it.

Tomas:

I see, so I have still misunderstood what you meant. Clearly you are going back to verse 1, which speaks of us having the mysteries of God.
Personally, I do not believe verse 1 can be connected with that. After all, Paul asks, "And what do you have that you did not receive?" That looks to me like a general question, if Paul were asking about receiving mysteries of God, then he would not have framed the question that way. So I think my current understanding is correct now, the answer to this question should be "we have nothing that we did not receive", with the implication that everything we have we have received from God.
Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense. So I believe the correct interpretation is that about everything we have, if we did receive it from God, then why would we boast as if we had not received it from God? Meaning we could boast we made it ourselves, or grew it ourselves, give ourselves the credit, boast about it, rather than give the credit to God. Like for example Donald Trump boasts how successful he is, how much money he has made, rather than give the credit to God.

ME:

As I said, the question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. So, try going as far back to chapter 1 and read.

You said "Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense".

Read 1 Cor.4:6-8
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other? Try considering what Paul said in v.1-2 which goes "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful". I hope you get what Paul is trying to say to the Corinthians at this point of his letter. It would be clearer still if you'll try to see what Paul was saying in the previous chapters.

Tomas:

The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians speak about various things, like about God, about Christ, about water baptism, about that we should not consider ourselves as belonging to one or another church leader, but to Christ. So that does not help me much. Then you are emphasizing 4:1-2, about us, or at least about the leaders of the church, as being stewards of the mysteries of God. It seems to me more likely that when Paul writes 'us', he means leaders like himself and Apollos. So that already makes it unlikely that verse 7 is talking about us having received the mysteries of God. But let's say what it would mean if it were about us having received the mysteries of God. Now if some received the mysteries, why would they boast as if they have not received the mysteries? Is it something to boast about, that one has not received the mysteries, even though one has really received the mysteries? That does not make sense. So that is why I think verse 7 is an independent thought, that all we have we have received from God, so since we have received it from God, we should not boast like that we have something that is our own accomplishment, not from God.

ME:

Try resolving this by trying to answer the question "Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other"?

Tomas:

He said it, so that we would not go beyond what is written in the Bible, or else we could end up puffed up on behalf of one against the other. That seems clear enough, but it does not seem connected with the thoughts of verse 7. So I think my interpretation of verse 7 seems correct.

ME:

And what is your take on what it is to be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", in the context of not going beyond what is written in scriptures?

If in your opinion, verse 6 is not connected to verse 7, then that is your call. I would just have to respect that.

Tomas:

Sure, if we go beyond what is written, if we think we have some special inspiration from God telling us how to interpret verses, or we think we get visions from God, or dreams from God, with messages from God, then we could end up puffed up on behalf of us against the other Christians. We could end up proud, due to thinking we have this revelation or inspiration. And pride is a sin. Being puffed up means being proud.

ME:

I can see that we quite differ in our understanding of this. To exceed what is written in scriptures would be to go beyond the teaching of the Scriptures. If his readers avoided this pitfall, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other. And this is the very thing that Paul is trying to address the Corinthians here. So, in this regard, in v. 7 Paul reminded them that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. God had given them everything they had. Consequently they should be grateful, not boastful. Going at the end of chapter 4, Paul warns them, "Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power".

You will notice, Paul made it clear there that some of them are puffed up, implying that, there were some who have gone beyond what is written, and have become arrogant. Do you have any idea as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant?

Tomas:

I suppose that based on the end of chapter 4, some were prophesying that Paul was not going to visit them again, even though they did not get this info from God, so it was not reliable. So they were puffed up, thinking they got special knowledge, that other Christians did not have, but they did not get any knowledge about it from God.

ME:

Some guess you have there. And by that, you take that to mean that some have gone beyond what is written and were puffed up, became full of pride and arrogant by that. Well....

As I have pointed out in my previous post, if his readers avoided this pitfall, of going beyond what is written, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other". I don't think that your guess would result into such.

Tomas:

I suppose your guess could be possibly valid, given the fact that Paul mentioned himself and Apollos, who were among their teachers, apparently their two most prominent teachers. Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle. Well, when we are resurrected, we will find out which guess was right, whether it had to do with their teachers, or with themselves alone, as I was guessing.

ME:

I am not even guessing Tomas. I'm just telling you what can be seen in the last part of verse 6 "...that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other".

Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle? What?

What ideas as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant, you have there Tomas. Apparently then, you really do not know what these scriptures here mean.

Well, as you said, you will just have to wait till your resurrection then.

Tomas:

No verse says that Apollos did not become an apostle, or that Paul supervised Apollos or anything like that. Barnabas became an apostle. Others seem mentioned as having become apostles. So why not Apollos?

ME:

And there perhaps you are going beyond what is written, for you reason now that there is no verse that says Apollos did not become an apostle, etc. I would suggest that you don't bother yourself with those beyond what is written, such as those you say here, which are not written.

Tomas:

OK, no need to speculate about whether Apollos became an apostle. We will find out after we are resurrected.

ME:

Yes, you can now refrain from speculating.
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OP:

Scriptures speaks of faith as such: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

Faith, as can be learned from this scripture, pertains to things not seen. It is the EVIDENCE of things unseen. This means, that, faith comes, when there is nothing with which man may see with his eyes, nor touch, smell, hear, or taste, that he may believe. As such, the man may have faith, which is the very substance of the things that he can't see, touch, smell, hear, and taste - the evidence of such things.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

Here are some scriptures. May faith come to you by reading the word of God. If you have a Bible, read them from there.

Matthew 1:21
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:30
30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Have faith, by reading or by listening to the reading of the word of God, in Jesus and be saved!

TOMAS:

Yes, faith comes to us by hearing or reading about the gospel in the Bible.

So faith does not come to us from someone, but from something, namely the words in the Bible. It is the gift of God, because God has inspired the Bible.

ME:

You believe that faith does not come from someone, but from something.

And so you don't believe that faith comes from God. Very well then for you. As for me, it comes from God. As I have explained, by hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes not from hearing just anybody else. It must be God that one hears, who is the truth.

One can hear somebody by reading what he has written, say a letter. It is the author that one hears when one reads his words in the letter he wrote. It's not the letter that speaks to him, but the author, speaks to him, through his words in the letter. And so when one reads his letter, it is like the author speaks to the reader. If God were the author, then when one reads, it then means that God speaks to the reader. And the reader could either believe or not what it is that God says, and could have faith. So, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of not just anybody, but of God.

In my OP, I said:

"If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

"If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

Tomas:

Faith in a way comes from God, because he has inspired his word. So God speaks to us with his word.

"If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree, one can be saved from just hearing the word of God proclaimed by someone. Still, it would be a foolish thing to say, the idea like what many Catholics believed, that only priests and monks can read scriptures, others would be confused and come up with heresies, that is wrong. Of course it can happen, but often does not happen. But Catholics tend to think that any deviation from the Catholic faith is a heresy, even though nowadays they prefer to use nicer words like 'separated brethren'.

"If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree. Some churches claim that only the leadership of their church has the right to decide on what is the right interpretation, that there should not be a private interpretation, based on a misreading of a verse about prophecies. It is not correct, it is a wrong teaching, but it is not a deception, much less being against God. I can understand why some churches think so, the principle of sola scriptura, without the leaders being guided by God into the correct interpretation, it naturally leads to a great diversity of doctrines, since many verses are difficult to understand. But that is really a virtue, Christians can have many interesting and even fruitful discussions of verses, and if we are not too stubborn, we can learn from each other. After all, God wants us to be humble and not claim that we are infallible, that we can understand everything in the Bible. But I can see how some are turned off by all the diversity and just want to hear one interpretation, with authority, with no dissent, so there is unity. Well different strokes for different folks. Some prefer one, some prefer another.

ME:

So, if you don't agree that faith in God comes from God, though you at least admit that faith in a way comes from God, from whom does it comes from?

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like you saying that, "if somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, that he is for God and not against God".

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like saying that, "if somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, that he is for God and not against God".

Well, what could I say, but that I respect your opinion. In my opinion, those who prohibits one to read scriptures, or seemingly allows them but in fact put a condition which in effect is tantamount to really be not hearing what it is they read, such a one is against God, and not for God.

Tomas:

Faith comes from us hearing the word of God, so ultimately it does come from God, since God inspired his word for us.

If someone tells me that I am not to read scriptures, more commonly he would be against God, he might be a communist or a Muslim or something. But if he was an ancient Catholic, worried that we might misunderstand the Bible and go into heresy, then he meant well, he was for God.
Likewise if someone tells me that I can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he could be evil, or he could be for God, just wanting me to accept the interpretations of his church, believing that somebody in his church, like past popes, past church councils, holy traditions, were inspired by God to interpret some verses correctly, or in case of INC, then FYM, Erano Manalo, Eduardo Manalo were inspired to interpret verses correctly, or similarly in case of some other churches. It is not correct, God does not tell anyone how to interpret a verse, since the Bible tells us not to go beyond what is written. So it is better for us to study the Bible for ourselves, God will not give us any interpretations except interpretations written in the Bible. That is the principle of sola scriptura. But many do not believe it. And it seems like fewer and fewer believe it, Pentecostalism or Charismatic Christianity have become so popular, and many Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in messages from dreams, visions, interpretation of tongues. I am not saying there can't be miraculous interpretation of tongues, but those would be like prayers of believers, they would not be messages from God, so they would not be inspired, inerrant. So in such prayers we can encourage each other, or say other things, but we should not expect them to be inerrant. So it is wrong to think that I have received a message from God, and so you should believe it, but if I were wrongly to believe it, I would not be against God, I would just be in error on this. So to be more correct, people should not listen to my interpretations or your interpretations or anyone else's interpretations, as if they are inspired by God, because they are not.

ME:

And so we believe differently. You believe that faith comes from you, while I don't believe that faith comes from me.

You believe that man is saved by his good works and faith, faith in God, am I right? If I got your belief right, then perhaps, you believe that it is man that basically saves himself. Why do I say that? Let me start with good works. Is not good works coming from you, that is, you are the one who cause it and made it happen? Next on faith. You say that faith comes from you, that is, you are the one who cause it that you have faith, by reading scriptures. So, clearly it's you who basically caused it all, and that by it, God will save you.

No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?

Tomas:

Ultimately, faith is a gift from God. God offers us this gift, if we recognize it, if we know the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith. If we keep rejecting the gift, by not believing the gospel, we have not accepted that gift. God will not force the gift on us, he lets us have free will. So as we read the Bible, which is inspired by God, and we become convinced about the gospel, we accept the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith, and also we have read that we need to repent, so we repent of the sins we know of, so God saves us, justifies us, adds us to the church, forgives our sins. We also find out in the Bible that some things are sinful, so we try to avoid such sins. We don't become sinless, we can slip up, but then we repent. But if we decide to rebel against God, refuse to repent any more, start living in sin, doing bad works continually rather than good works, then like Heb. 10:26 says, there is no more sacrifice for sins. So Christ's sacrifice no longer applies to us, we have lost salvation. But it is not like some churches claim, that whenever we sin, we have lost salvation, that is based on a mistranslation of Heb. 10:26. Many modern translations have corrected that error. Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible. And since we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us helps us resist temptation, avoid sins. But we still have free will, we can still rebel against the HS and start living in sin, and lose salvation. Though normally we could slip up and commit a sin, and we feel terrible, we repent of the sin, so we remain saved. We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved. Though ultimately even good works come from God, because God tells us in the Bible, what are some good works, like prayer, giving to the church, giving to the poor, helping people in need, discussing the Bible, trying to persuade unbelievers, studying the Bible. But we have free will to do the good works or not. God does not force us into good works.

Now if some saved Christian is misguided enough to forbid us from reading the Bible, he is still for God, because he is saved. Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.
Likewise in some churches, people are misguided enough to claim, based on misreading a verse, that there should not be private interpretations of any verses, that you should instead accept the interpretation of the church leadership. We see that for example in the Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the INC, the New Apostolic Church, and some others. Now plenty of people in such churches are saved Christians, so they are not against God, they are for God, but have the wrong interpretation of this. So they don't like a diversity of beliefs in their church.
But it is not a matter of denying the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures. No, Christians in general are aware that God is omnipotent, that He has the power to grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words, if that is what He were to want. He could grant all saved Christians to understand every verse in the Bible, so that all Christians would have the same beliefs on every doctrine, like pacifism, oaths, eating blood, women obeying husbands, slaves obeying masters, women speaking in church, women being elders, masturbation, holy pictures or statues, Mary remaining a virgin or not, Mary being sinless, infant baptism, water baptism by sprinkling or pouring instead of always immersing, the words used during water baptism, how many persons is God, and various other beliefs that Christians disagree with each other. Sure God has the power to reveal to us the correct interpretation of each verse. But He does not do it, he wants us to feel humble and not feel infallible, so he inspired Paul to write the commandment not to go beyond what is written. So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other. Yes, God has arranged it wonderfully.

ME:

It seems to me that what you take here as faith refers to a set of doctrines or beliefs, which in this case, those that are found in scriptures, or to which you refer, I suppose, as what makes up the gospel. But if you'll get back to the OP, the faith in view is clearly not referring to a set of doctrines or beliefs, but refers to such a thing as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb.11:1). It is that by which we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb.11:2). So, I hope you'll take faith as referring to that in our discussion here. And as I said, up there in the message title, the ultimate is that faith comes from God, a gift from God, and not coming from us.

Regarding good works, are you saying then, and of course, in the ultimate and final analysis, that good works comes from God?

Tomas:

Yes, ultimately good works come from God, we were saved to do good works, and God tells us in the Bible what works are good and what are bad.

ME:

I would presume now that you'll take faith as I have pointed out in my post above, in our discussion under this thread.

I'm glad you finally come to realize that, regarding good works, that the Christian was saved to do good works, rather than, the Christian is saved by doing good works.

Tomas:

Yes, initial salvation is by faith, including repentance of sins. But to remain saved, we have to be doing good works, and not live in sin, bad works, refusing to repent. After all, faith without works is dead.

ME:

I don't want to start another issue in this segment Tomas.

So let me just post here what has been settled under this segment:

1. Faith comes from God.
2. The Christian was saved to do good works.
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Michael:

Could you please answer my questions in my posts, so I would not get lost along the way? I kind of find it difficult sometimes to follow the point of our discussion if you don't. Thanks.

Tomas:

Yes, that is what I am doing now, based on your request.
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Michael:

You said "Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible."

That's right. But what has that got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, so that, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible. And we are not saved by good works, but if we are saved we will do good works and repent of any bad works, or else we lose salvation.

ME:

I'm glad to hear from you now, having waited fro a long while now, that salvation is not by good works, and that we are saved to do good works.

You said "I don't want to take the credit for earning the right to be saved due to my faith, the credit belongs only to God and his wonderful Bible."

Am I right in my understanding of your statement, that it is you who earn the right to be saved because of having faith, except that, you just don't want to take credit for it, and give the credit to God? That's a virtuous and admirable thing indeed. But don't you agree that, one does not earn such right? And instead, those who received Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name?

Tomas:

I have heard there is a verse saying we don't earn the right to be saved, though I can't find it in the Bible. So if it is there, we have not earned it, after all, even though we came to faith by our free will, the credit goes to God, who has inspired the scriptures, so that by reading or hearing them we can receive the right to be saved.

ME:

It's good that you admit now that the right to become children of God is not a thing that is earned. That's right, for the right to become children of God is given to those who receives Him who was in the beginning with God, the Word, to those who believe in His name, the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Please consider this Tomas. This is the situation, man sinned, and so he will be punished with death in the lake of fire.

Now, put your focus on man and not on God, and let's go back to the time of Adam. Can man save himself from going to the lake of fire? What can man do, by himself or with the help of other men, to save himself or themselves from going to the lake of fire? Can he do any work that would save himself?

If your answer is none, would you agree that man is helpless by himself? That there is nothing he can do, nor he can do with the help of other men, so that he would not suffer death in the lake of fire? That his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, to whom he sinned against and who will punish him? That only God would be able to save him?

Tomas:

Of course a man cannot save himself from the lake of fire. But that does not mean he cannot do anything. He can learn about the gospel, he can gain faith, and he can repent. And then God saves him. So I agree, his only hope of salvation is God's mercy, only God can save him.

ME:

Good that you agree that man cannot save himself from the penalty of sin, and that the only way is that God will have mercy on him and save him. Now, God knows them who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and seek His mercy. And surely, God will bring about their salvation, according to His way of salvation, which He purposed in Christ Jesus.

I think this segment comes to a close here.
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Michael:

You say "We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved."

But what does free will got to do with the point that if you believe that you are the one responsible for the good work, you believe that you earned the right to be saved by God? Or are you implying that, since you are making the choice, that by choosing to do good work have given you the right to be saved by God?

Tomas:

See my comment above.

ME:

See my comments above.
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Michael:

You said "God does not force us into good works."

That's right. God never forces anyone to do anything, Tomas. Did I say God forces us, that you are pointing this here now?

Tomas:

You did not say it. So I guess you agree that we have free will to do good works or not.
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Michael:

I don't know why you say "Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.", when salvation is not really the issue on this matter. Please stick to the issue. This is what I posted:

"No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?"

The issue is, whether such people who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, or if they allow but forbids one to interpret what he reads, are for God or not. Wherein I say, that I would not say they are for God. For if they are for God, they would encourage the reading and study of the words of God, for by reading and reading the words of God, is good and so is pleasing to God. Why forbid, if you are for God? And the sad thing is, most of these people are leaders of a religious organization, which affect tens, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people under their authority. This certainly is a serious concern.

Tomas:

I guess to me, when I hear someone saying that a person is for God, I think he means the person is saved. And when I hear someone saying that a person is not for God, then I think he means the person is unsaved. So that is why I was talking about salvation requirement. But if you feel a person can be not for God but still be saved, then OK. It just seems strange semantically.

ME:

Ok. I understand now why you talk about salvation.

On my side, "a person is for God" means he is not against God, and "a person is not for God" means he is against God.

Anyway, I understand that you agree with me on the issue on this segment.

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, certainly are man made rules by some religious organization, and are also not supported nor found in scriptures, and are rules that clearly keeps the members far from God and the truth, rather than keeping them close. This thing clearly is a thing that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

If people can't do their own private interpretations of verses, or even can't read the Bible, they can still be saved, by hearing the gospel from others, like from priests or ministers.

ME:

But that is not the issue here Tomas.

Tomas:

It is a big part of the issue. So while telling people not to have private interpretations of verses is not God's doctrine, it is wrong doctrine, still it is not against God, because people can be saved in such a church anyway.

ME:

The issue is not if people can be saved Tomas, but that, forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, or the discouraging of private reading and study of scriptures, is something that is not for God, but is against God.

Tomas:

I guess in a way, any wrong doctrine can be considered against God. So in that respect all saved people would have doctrines against God. But that is a strange meaning of being against God. After all, saved people are said to be for God, no matter how many bad doctrines they have.

ME:

Forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is leading a believer away from God. Away from God means away from the truth. If that is not against God, then that would only mean the opposite, that is, it is for God. This thing shots one's eyes and ears, if not his spirit, to what God have caused to be written and be read and heard by him in scriptures, and enslave him to the extent that he is only to believe what they have to say to him.

Tomas:

It is true that it can be harder to get saved that way. So it is bad doctrine. But it is a well meaning doctrine, to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Still, when a person is saved, he is for God, no matter his bad doctrine against reading the Bible, or against private interpretations.

ME:

The issue here is not whether the person is saved or not, but that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, regardless of the intent one says why he commands it on the person, is ungodly. This is against God and not for God, even while, one says he does it to protect the person from what the church believes is error. Each person must not be denied the freedom, as God have given every man, to hear the preacher, any preacher for that matter, and examine what it is he preach, whether it is in keeping with God's words in scriptures or not.

Tomas:

It is ungodly, but then any sin is ungodly. For example fornication, it is ungodly. But if a Christian does not know it is a sin, and has premarital sex with his fiancee, his sin is forgiven due to his ignorance, Romans 14. So likewise if he does not believe in reading the Bible, or in private interpretation of verses, it is sinful, but since it is a sin of ignorance, his sin is forgiven if he is saved, Romans 14. So he is not against God. But for God.

ME:

So, you agree that forbidding reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, is ungodly.

Tomas:

I can agree with that, in the sense that every sin is really ungodly. Even a sin committed out of ignorance, is ungodly, because it is still a sin. But if a saved person commits a sin out of ignorance, he is forgiven and remains saved, Romans 14.
Even today, there are quite a number of churches that forbid private interpretation of verses that you read, that tell you to follow the intepretation of the church instead, based on a faulty understanding of 2 Peter 1:20. But even preachers in such churches can be already saved, even though they believe that faulty understanding and forbid private interpretation of verses. The sin is ungodly, but being committed in ignorance of the correct understanding of 1:20, the sin is forgiven to the person who is saved.

ME:

So, you agree that it is ungodly, and is sin. Now, if itis ungodly and is sin, is that not something against God? You may say, if they are ignorant of it being a sin, that they will be forgiven of it. It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?

As it is, such man, almost always in the category of one such as FYM, the topmost leader of a church organization, who forbids reading the words of God in scriptures, or permitting yet forbidding interpreting what is read in scriptures, does an ungodly thing, as to teach and commands the members of something that is false and ungodly.

Now, of course, there is the possibility that he is ignorant of it. But to them who knows the truth, specially the church members, it is their duty to rebuke him of this wrong. And this must alarm them to the point of reconsidering putting to the test, the spirit in the man.

Tomas:

If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent.
Now as far as FYM, he did not forbid reading the Bible. I am not aware of any modern church that forbids reading the Bible. I am aware just that some centuries ago, Catholics discouraged the laity from reading the Bible, fearing that could lead to heresy, due to alleged misunderstanding the Bible. And they banned reading Bible translations done by alleged heretics, thinking those translations were biased and dangerous. Though certainly at the time of early Reformation, Catholics themselves started producing their own translations of the Bible, and allowed already laity to read those translations, while banning Protestant translations. And certainly with the invention of the printing press, Bibles were no longer rare, lots of people could buy a Bible, and read the Bible for themselves.
But certainly it is true that INC interprets 2 Peter 1:20 as forbidding us from having private interpretations of Bible verses. And they are not the only ones with that interpretation. Catholics have the same interpretation, I have debated with Catholics about that. And such an interpretation of the verse is found in a number of other churches, especially churches that believe they are the true biblical church. So one can see such an interpretation for example in the New Apostolic Church, in the Way International, in the True Jesus Church, in the Philadelphia Church of God and also many other offshoots of the former Worldwide Church of God, which had the same belief about this verse. Simply such churches believe that their leader was guided by God into the true doctrine, so then if you disagree with that leader on any doctrine, you are disagreeing with God too. Therefore you should not have private interpretation of any verse and teach that, you should just follow what your church teaches.
And I can see how that verse can be misunderstood this way, the meaning is not so obvious, that it could not be misunderstood this way.
You say INC members should know better, and should correct their leaders, tell them that private interpretations are OK. But the average faithful INC member really believes, that God guided FYM into the right doctrines and has been guiding the subsequent Executive Ministers. And so since God guided them, then disagreeing with them would be disagreeing with the one who guided them, God. And so that is why there should be no private interpretation, you need to agree instead with what the church teaches.
And similarly I have discussed with faithful Catholics, they are convinced that God has guided their holy traditions, church councils, and popes, into the right doctrines. So to disagree with the church on any doctrine, would be to disagree with the one who guided the traditions, church councils, and popes, namely to disagree with God.
And they point out the alleged chaos that has resulted from private interpretations, in Protestantism, with many thousands of denominations, disagreeing with each other on various doctrines. Like some Protestants believe in baptizing babies, others don't. Some believe that only immersion baptism is valid, others say it can be done in other ways, like sprinkling or pouring water. Some believe water baptism is necessary for salvation, others believe water baptism saves but one can be saved without it, others believe water baptism is just symbolic and has no connection with salvation. Some believe in pacifism, some allow both pacifism and non-pacifism, some reject pacifism. Etc., there are many doctrines on which Protestant churches disagree with each other.
So to Catholics, to INC members, to New Apostolic Church members, etc. it looks like chaos caused by private interpretations. While to us, God allows this diversity of doctrines on secondary issues, allows private interpretations, as long as we believe the gospel, otherwise we are not saved.
And in fact, just like Catholics believe God is guiding the church, INC members believe God is guiding the church to correct doctrines, etc., one can find even some Protestants believing similarly, that God is guiding the Christians into correct doctrines. I have seen that in your own beliefs. Of course then when such Protestants disagree on some doctrine, each one can believe he was guided right and the other one was not guided. So one Protestant can say God has guided him to understand that babies ought to be baptized, another Protestant can say that God has guided him to understand that infant baptism is invalid, and only believers ought to be baptized. Obviously they can't be both right. But when we apply the principle of sola scriptura, based on 1 Cor. 4:6, we can see that when the Bible was finished, that ended further guidance, so only the Bible guides us, and no one guides us to understand the Bible. So we just need to study the Bible and try to figure out from that, whether infant baptisms are valid or not. God does not give the guidance about it to the church, or to anyone of us.
And concerning churches that do not believe in private interpretation, one can see especially in the Catholic church, that many Catholics are not obedient to that, they come up with their own interpretations. So for example the Catholic church teaches, that their holy tradition forbids contraceptives, yet certainly here in the US most Catholics do not believe like that, they use contraceptives anyway. Now in this case, no harm is done, since the Bible does not forbid contraceptives. Though of course some Catholics don't use contraceptives only in marriage, some are unmarried, they fornicate, and use contraceptives, they are of course guilty of fornication.
My father was even more rebellious against his Catholic church, he did not even believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, so he violated Rev. 22:19, so he was unsaved. He was certainly very influenced by religious liberalism, so he differed from the Catholic church on various doctrines, he believed in pacifism, he believed everybody is deep down really a good person, nobody is damned, so like one day I was discussing Hitler with him, he told me that yes, Hitler did some bad things, but it was not his fault, he just was not shown enough love, had he been shown enough love, he too would have been doing mainly good things, because everybody is really good. And he believed that women should be priests just as much as men are allowed to be priests, total equality of men and women in church offices. He believed that the Catholic church should allow people of all beliefs, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists etc. to join the Catholic church, and not tell them what to believe, he told me if everybody became Catholic there would be no wars of religion. So everybody in the Catholic church should believe whatever he wants. He did not believe in the need to go to church. So I never saw him attend any church services. He did not believe in the need to bring us, his children, up in Christianity, after all, nobody is damned, everybody is actually good, so he was just bringing us up to be moral people, obedient to our parents. So I did not even learn that he believed in God, and considered himself Catholic, until we came to America, when I was 15 years old.
So in his case, had he remained faithful Catholic, as he was brought up in his childhood, and had he believed in no private interpretations, he could have died saved, but he died unsaved. Surely he won't find it difficult, when he is resurrected and taught correctly, to repent and be saved. But still, he died without God, even though he believed in God, so he won't be resurrected to eternal life, he will be resurrected to mortal life and not get saved until later.
So it is better to believe in no private interpretations, rather than not believe in the gospel at all. My father's liberal humanistic interpretations led him too far astray.

ME:

I said "It seems to me that you are saying that their ignorance, if they are, excuses them of such wrong doing as you say it will be forgiven them. If they are not ignorant, will they not be forgiven?"

You said "If they are not ignorant, they will not be forgiven for their sin, unless they repent."

Clearly now, I understand you as meaning that sins committed in ignorance will be forgiven. It seems then that ignorance automatically absolves the sinner. And in your previous post, you cited Rom. 14 as to teach us this matter. Can you tell me where in particular in Rom.14 teaches that?

FYM and INC does forbid reading the Bible. Of course not that one who can read words is not allowed to read words in the Bible. But we know that reading goes hand in hand with understanding what he reads. Or putting it another way, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures.

Tomas:

It is especially clear in Rom. 14:6, after verse 1 talks about Christians weak in faith, like some were vegetarians, thought mistakenly that eating meat is a sin. So then verse 6 says "Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God."
So clearly people weak in faith, who are not well informed about what things are sinful and not sinful, like people who refuse to work on the Sabbath, or refuse to work on Sunday, or do not know that on Sunday they are to give money to the church, or celebrate Christmas, or Halloween, etc., or ignore Passover day, their sins are forgiven, since in their ignorance they are doing what they are doing for the Lord.
Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, since they are doing their sins to the Lord, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith.
So from that we can see that any sins committed by a saved person ignorantly, are forgiven. So in the example of churches like INC, or the Catholic church, or the Philadelphia Church of God, or the New Apostolic Church, etc., Christians who say there is to be no private interpretation, we should rely on the church to determine how to interpret important verses, sure these Christians are sinning, but when they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven. So if they die saved, they will be resurrected to eternal life, and then we will all be taught correctly how to interpret such verses, so if we have committed a sin due to ignorance, we will be glad to be corrected, and we will repent of such a sin. After all, God is very understanding, he knows that we can't be infallible, some verses are difficult to understand, or to harmonize with other verses on the same topic. So it is easy to misunderstand something in the Bible, and sin therefore, but if we do it for the Lord, we are forgiven. So likewise saved Christians, who refuse to do private interpretations of verses, and tell others not to do private interpretations, but rely on what their church teaches on such a verse, they do it for the Lord, so they are forgiven.

ME:

You said, "Likewise people weak in faith, who think they have to abstain from meat, or from non-kosher meat, or from even moderate drinking of alcohol, or from coffee, or who go to the other extreme, eat forbidden things like strangled animals, blood, food offered to idols, when they know well it is offered to idols, their sins are forgiven, SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD, they are ignorant of the fact they are sinning, they are weak in faith."

"since they are doing their sins to the Lord"?

In all of the things you said here with regards to what is written in Rom. 14, this what I want you to realize is the point of the matter:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

Romans 14 really does not talk of sins committed in ignorance Tomas, such as that, about eating or not eating certain food, or observing a day or not. In fact, a verse says there regarding this "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak". So you see, the point really there is that the brethren do not judge one another, and not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. That we must pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. And finally, we must remember that, on such matters of food and drinks, of observing days, that whatever is not from faith is sin.

So, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And this does not need much intelligence to understand that this is is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. So that, when one preaches and refers to scriptures and says that what he preach is in keeping with scriptures, we must be diligent enough to go to scriptures to see if what he says is truly in keeping with scriptures. And the Bereans are a good example of this. So, you see, everyone of us has the scriptures as the final resource and word. And how would that be, when preachers such as FYM and the INC, forbids their members to do just that, by forbidding them to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures?

Tomas:

Concerning Rom. 14, it can't be true that days do not matter at all. After all, 1 Cor. 16:2 commands us to give money to the church every first day of the week. And Col. 2:16 tells us not to be judged in regards to food or drink or festival or new moon or the Sabbath. So then clearly somebody who thinks it is sinful not to observe the Sabbath or the Day of Atonement or Pentecost etc., is unwittingly disobeying Col. 2:16. And 1 Cor. 5:8 commands us to keep the feast, not with leaven, of sin, but with unleavened bread. So clearly Paul is commanding us to keep the Passover day, with the Lord's supper. So days are still important, to obey God. But if somebody does not know some of this, and keeps some day wrongly, or wrongly does not keep a day, then he is still doing it for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
Likewise foods do matter too. I already mentioned Col. 2:16, so clearly we don't have to keep kosher laws, or with drink, any abstinence from wine due to trying to keep a Nazirite vow. Likewise somebody who keeps kosher, is unwittingly disobeying the command to Peter in Acts 10 to eat animals that used to be considered unclean. Or somebody who believes it is a sin to eat meat is similarly disobeying the same command, and likewise Col. 2:16. But they abstain for the Lord, so they are forgiven.
And likewise the HS inspired the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 not to eat blood, strangled animals, or food offered to idols. And Jesus himself confirmed the commandment not to eat food offered to idols in two verses in Rev. 2. So then someone who does not know that it is required to abstain from knowingly eating such stuff, and does so anyway, he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.
But still, if you are eating with a Christian who thinks it is a sin to eat pork or shrimp or other stuff that was not kosher, then Paul makes it clear it can be advisable not to offend the brother or make him weak, by eating such stuff in front of him. Or likewise if he thinks it is a sin to drink wine, then don't drink wine in front of him. Some Christians think that drinking any alcohol is a sin. They are wrong in abstaining, but they are doing it for the Lord, so they are forgiven. On the other hand, if somebody thinks that drinking alcohol in excess is not a sin, then he can get drunk and it is a sin. But since he did it for the Lord, he is forgiven. But in fact several verses warn us not to get drunk. So the issue of drinking is not irrelevant, as you thought it is from Rom. 14.
And so similarly when somebody tells another Christian, not to rely on private interpretation, but to follow the teaching of their church, he is unwittingly sinning, but he is doing so for the Lord, so he is forgiven.

ME:

You said "SINCE THEY ARE DOING THEIR SINS TO THE LORD". Being a Christian, I am really having a hard time trying to figure out how Christians do their sins, and that, to the Lord. And that, if they do, having done it in ignorance, they are automatically forgiven by the Lord, whether they realize later on that they have sinned and repented of it, or not.

Concerning Rom. 14, I respect your opinion on it. And let me just repeat here what I wanted to tell you in this regard:

1. the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
2. whatever is not from faith is sin (of course faith there is qualified that of which is towards God)

If you would just try to understand what that these truth tells us, perhaps, you would have a different understanding of Romans 14.

So, again, going back, as I said, FYM and INC forbids its members to read and interpret what he reads in scriptures. And as I have pointed out, that this is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You suggest that, if they are ignorant of this, being a sin, they automatically are forgiven by God of this sin. And this somehow excuses them. But, such a suggestion even is far from being the case. For FYM and INC believes that FYM is an angel sent by God. If so, FYM then will be far from being ignorant of such simple truths. Further, FYM and INC take upon themselves to believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong. This is where this INC preaching is coming from, and thus, the deception, the lie, and the false teaching.

Tomas:

Sure, the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That refers to the kosher laws in the Old Testament. But you need to realize that if someone does not know it is a sin to drink alcohol to excess, and gets drunk, it is still a sin, plenty of verses prove it. But he was doing it for the Lord, so it is forgiven. Or if someone knowingly eats food offered to idols, does not know it is a sin, even though Acts 15 condemns it, and Jesus himself forcefully condemns it in Rev. 2, then it is a sin. But since he was eating it for the Lord, it is forgiven. Or if one ignorantly disobeys the commandment of 1 Cor. 16:2, does not go to the congregation to give money on the first day of the week, it is a sin. But he was acting for the Lord, so he is forgiven. Or if somebody ignorantly refuses to do any work on the Sabbath, it is a sin, but he was refusing to work, for the Lord, so it is forgiven.
So likewise if someone teaches, that we should not do any private interpretation of the scriptures, whether he is INC or Catholic or whatever, it is a sin, but he is saying this for the Lord, so he is forgiven. So if he is sincere, as surely most INC ministers or Catholic priests are, then it is not a deception, it is not a knowing lie, sure it is a false teaching, but due to misunderstanding of a verse. And also due to such reasoning, where they say look at Protestants, they do interpretations of the Bible, and as a result there are thousands of Protestant denominations with a great variety of doctrines. So INC says that is why you should listen to the Administration, how they interpret the verses. Or Catholics say, that is why you should listen to the Magisterium, the bishops headed by the pope, to see how they interpret the verses. Otherwise you have doctrinal chaos. And of course they have a point, Protestants have a diversity of views on many doctrines. It is inevitable. Many verses are hard to understand. But that is in God's plan. God did not inspire the Bible in such a way that it is easy to understand. Some parts are easy to understand, sure, but other parts are not, and I believe it is so that we would not become proud, thinking we understand everything, but it is better for us to continue to study the Bible, at least as long as we can. Of course if we get dementia, then we can't study any more. Or if we are in a coma, for example.

ME:

If you just would understand what it means when scripture says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", you would not have any issue about food and drink. Jesus even taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." And in like sense, if you would just understand what it means when scripture says "whatever is not from faith is sin", you would not have any issue about a lot of things such as one esteeming one day above another, or about 1 Cor. 16:2, whether it is a sin or is not.

Now, all of that is very different from what I'm pointing out about FYM and INC, regarding the forbidding of one in going to scriptures to read and understand what God says there, which I have further pointed out to be is not in keeping with scriptures which instructs, encourages, and promotes the reading and keeping of God's words in scriptures. You argue that they are ignorant of this wrong and that such excuses them from this sin. As I have explained, even taking for granted that ignorance excuses the sinner, they could not be ignorant about this Tomas. FYM and INC knowingly believe that FYM is infallible on matters of scriptures, and that he alone has the right interpretation and understanding of scriptures, so that, all interpretation of others, are wrong, so that, this is the reason they put up. It's not because they misinterpret a verse or so Tomas. Is claiming to be a prophesied angel of God, claiming to be sent at this particular era and place, an ignorant thing Tomas? Are you a follower and believer of FYM too?

Tomas:

I see you are like INCquisitor, giving me this argument that Jesus said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
But the fact is that when he said that, the Law was still in effect for all Israelites. So including Jesus and his disciples. See Mt. 5:18-19, the Law was still in effect, until all was accomplished, until the Law was nailed to the cross. See also Mt. 23:2-3, where Jesus was telling the Jewish crowd, including of course also his own disciples, that they should do all that the scribes and Pharisees say, though not as they do. So when they said not to eat pork, shrimp, horses etc., then Peter, John, etc. had to obey, could not eat such non-kosher stuff. And we can see in Acts 10, that Peter himself had never eaten such non-kosher stuff, as he told the voice from heaven in that vision of the formerly unclean animals being lowered to Peter and Peter was told to eat from them. Did he disobey Jesus by not eating pork, horses etc.? Of course not. Clearly Jesus did not eat such stuff with his disciples. And why did Jesus drive some demons into a herd of swine, with the swine ending up getting killed? Clearly they belonged to some disobedient Jew. Otherwise it would be a sin, if they were owned by a Gentile. And Jesus of course never sinned.
So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them.
And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols. They were clearly violating what the Holy Spirit inspired the council of Jerusalem to decide, in Acts 15.

So now concerning INC and FYM, when I said misunderstanding of one verse, I was of course referring to 2 Peter 1:20, about private interpretation. Same with for example Catholics. Now you raise the issue of verses misinterpreted by FYM as referring to himself. Whether he was lying on purpose or was just wrong, I can't tell, can't read his heart. But clearly the average INC minister sincerely believes it. Just like Catholics take some verses that suggest Peter was the leader of the apostles, and take it that his successors as bishops of Rome are infallible. We can argue with them about the verses, but we are not likely to persuade many of them. So when INC teaches that FYM was infallible, so we should follow his interpretation and not private interpretation, they are wrong, and they are sinning, but if they are saved, their sin due to ignorance is forgiven, Rom. 14, since what they are doing, they are doing for the Lord.

ME:

No need to liken me with INCquisitor Tomas.

Yes, Jesus taught that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.", even while the Law is still in effect, as you say. That makes it all the more interesting isn't it Tomas? Why would Jesus say that? It is basically to tell them that they really do not understand the Law.

You wrote "So what was Jesus talking about when he said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."? Look at the context, the context was eating with unwashed hands. The Pharisees had a tradition of men, of ritual washing of hands before eating. No such law in the Bible. So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them."

That's right, the context is the washing of one's hands before eating. But to answer your question there, we need not look anywhere else, for Jesus gives us the answer just a few verses after, which I quote:

Mat.15:15-20
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Now, in relation to our discussion, in the sense that an unwashed hand is unclean and so whatever that is put in the mouth with unwashed hands is no different from putting in anything, be it food or drink, that is unclean. It matters not really, as is here seen. So, we need not so be occupied by such. And this can be further understood where scriptures says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

Now you said "And in Rev. 2, Jesus himself condemned some for eating food offered to idols". Did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man?

Concerning INC and FYM, I have perhaps brought up other INC beliefs to point out to you that they don't teach such things in ignorance Tomas. Their take of scriptures and so then their teachings are founded on the claim that FYM is the prophesied angel/messenger of God in the last days, taking him to be infallible and the only one with the correct interpretation of scriptures, and that INC is the only true church that was purchased by the blood of Christ, and so the only ones who are saved. That this is where their false teaching all emanates from and their forbidding of reading and interpreting of scriptures.

Tomas:

Please don't feel insulted that I compared your belief about this to INCquisitor's belief. Of course there are lots of differences between your beliefs and his. I suspect and hope that you are saved, clearly you are not deviating from the true gospel in what you say on this forum, while INCquisitor was teaching a false gospel, with two Christs and with parts of Revelation (just like elsewhere in the Bible), not inspired. So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are.
So I was pointing out to him, that while non-kosher meat did not defile those Jews, it was still sinful for them to eat it. And likewise now, when non-kosher meat is no longer unclean, still, the council of Acts 15, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decided that eating blood, strangled animals, and food offered to idols, is still sinful. And to emphasize it, Jesus himself condemned eating food offered to idols decades later, in Rev. 2. So do you think Jesus was contradicting himself? Of course not. He knew in Mt. 15 just as much as in Rev. 2, that eating blood or food offered to idols is sinful. And at the time of Mt. 15, eating non-kosher meat, like pork, camels, horses, eagles, snakes, shrimp, etc. was still sinful, for Jews, including the disciples of Jesus. Look at Acts 10, Peter received a vision with formerly unclean animals being lowered to him, and Peter was told to eat them. Peter of course protested, that he never ate such animals. Was Peter an idiot? Of course not. Peter was one of the most prominent apostles. Jesus did not choose an idiot for this. So clearly Jesus did not eat pork, rabbits, snakes, horses, or any other non-kosher animals with Peter, since it was sinful to do so, and Jesus never sinned. Peter of course heard Jesus in Mt. 15, but he understood better than you do or INCquisitor does, that Jesus did not declare such meat no longer sinful. So he did not eat such stuff, until Acts 10.
And as I pointed out already to INCquisitor, Jesus drove demons into a herd of pigs, owned by someone. So he destroyed someone's property. That would have been a sin, had it not been for the fact that it was a Jew who owned the pigs for food, so it was sinful for that Jew to do so, so Jesus had the full right to destroy his pigs. So Jesus never sinned. The Jew would not have been defiled by eating the pork, but it would still have been a sin for him to eat the pork. And of course people keep pigs mainly for food. Likewise Jesus said once, if a child asks you for a fish, would you give him a snake? Some fishes were kosher, but snakes were all non-kosher, sinful to eat. So it would have been sinful for the parent to give his child a snake to eat. So clearly Jesus did not declare non-kosher meats to be clean, no more sinful. That had to wait until the new revelation in Acts 10.
So as you can see, Jesus did not contradict himself in Rev. 2. He was consistent, as expected for the true Christ.

Concerning the INC, regardless if FYM was ignorant, his ministers and other INC members were ignorant, they did believe FYM that he was prophesied about in the Bible, and was sent to restore the church, and so INC is the church, where people need to belong to be saved. And that not belonging to INC just leads to all the doctrinal chaos, of thousands of denominations with different doctrines, often because of their private interpretations, violating his understanding of 2 Peter 1:20 about private interpretation. So that is what led them ignorantly to reject private interpretation. So based on Rom. 14, those among them who are saved, their sin due to ignorance, is forgiven.

ME:

Well, one thing is true and definite, you are not my judge Tomas. And I really do care less of whether you think I'm saved or not. God is my Savior. My hope of salvation rest in Christ.

You said "So what I meant is simply that in regard of food, I was discussing it with him and he was offering the same faulty arguments as you are". I would say that it is your arguments that are faulty Tomas, not mine. Here's one that you put up "So Jesus was saying, it is not necessary to wash hands before eating. Now it might be advisable, especially if your hands are very dirty. But in his day if some disciple of his got sick from dirt on hands, Jesus would heal them".

And after all that you said about kosher and non kosher food, I say it again, did you still not get what Jesus taught in Mt. 15, about what really it is that defiles the man? Obviously not. Now, meditate on these truths:

Mt. 15:16-20
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

With regards the matter with INC and FYM, well if that is your opinion on the matter, I'll let it be with you then.

Tomas:

Of course I am not your judge. I can't read your heart. Your salvation status is between you and God. Your pastor can't know it, or anyone else on earth. I was just stating my opinion and hope, but I can't know it about anyone else.

Concerning Mt. 15:20, yes, what goes into the mouth does not defile a man, like dirt or even sinful food, but what goes out defiles a man.

Concerning Rom. 14:17, even if your interpretation were somehow right, and so Paul would have superseded for example Acts 15, then Paul would have been superseded by Christ himself in two verses in Rev. 2, since those statements came later. Christ there combined eating food offered to idols, with fornication, in his condemnation, thus reaffirming the commandments of Acts 15.

ME:

Concerning Mt. 15:20, while you got that what goes into the mouth does not defile the man, you seemed to miss the more important point, that is, those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and are that, that defiles the man.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

This verse simply teach the Christian that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking Tomas. That means, it is not about food Tomas. But that, it is about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. If one learn that, he will come to correctly take and understand verses such as those involving food.

Tomas:

I do know that what proceeds out of the mouth comes from the heart and defiles the man. I never questioned the truth of that.

And you just can't ignore the condemnation by Christ in Rev. 2 of eating what is sinful to eat. It is just as bad as fornication, look at those verses.

ME:

As it is, while you may claim to understand the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking (Romans 14:17), you still apparently actually don't since you still don't get to have the right understanding of Rev. 2 concerning the eating part, saying that the eating is just as bad as fornication. Such understanding obviously goes contrary to the truth said in Romans 14:17.

Tomas:

I believe you totally misunderstand Rom. 14:17. I believe Paul meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God. My evidence is for example the commandments of Acts 15, which are reaffirmed by Christ in Rev. 2, so it is clearly sinful to eat food offered to idols or blood, or strangled animals. Likewise there are verses condemning drunkenness, excessive drinking of alcohol. So that is clearly sinful drinking. But if somebody gets drunk, not knowing that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God. Likewise there are verses that our bodies are temple of God, so we should not ruin that temple. So clearly eating poisonous mushrooms or berries, or drinking poisons, that is sinful eating or drinking. But if somebody is not aware that it is a sin, for example there are snake-handling churches where the members drink diluted poisons, to prove God heals them, based on their understanding of Mark 16:18, as a sign that they are believers, still, it is really sinful drinking, but because they are doing so ignorantly, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God. Also the Bible condemns gluttony, but if someone does gluttony, not aware that it is a sin, it does not affect his standing in the kingdom of God.
So that is what Paul meant by writing that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. Not that you can eat and drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. I guess in two churches in Asia they could have similarly misunderstood Paul's writing, so then Christ had to tell them in epistles he dictated to John, not to do it anymore, it should not be tolerated. When they did it ignorantly, it did not affect their standing in the kingdom of God, but now that Jesus told them, they were no longer ignorant, so no more excuse. That is true of both sinful eating and fornication. But some Christians still do not know it, so when they do such stuff, it does not affect their standing in the kingdom of God.

ME:

Come on Tomas. Rom. 14:17 is a simple verse. It says "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." You try to explain it by saying that it "meant merely that sinful eating or sinful drinking due to ignorance, does not affect our salvation, so we can still get to the kingdom of God." Not even close Tomas. For Rom. 14:17, in this instance, talks about what the kingdom of God is and is not. It does not talk about eating and drinking, that such does not affect our salvation, nor talk about the matter of getting to or not, to the kingdom of God. Now, with your take of the verse, tell me about the last part, that is, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Tomas:

The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

ME:

You said "The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want". This just somehow shows how much you don't understand what Rom. 14:17 is about.

Why is it hard for you to understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"?

The second part of the verse says that the kingdom of God is "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Is this too hard for you to understand?

Tomas:

Looks like you don't like my explanation of that verse. And no wonder, since you are still ignoring the other verses I mentioned. After all, Rom. 14:17 is not the only verse in the Bible. So you have to understand it in view of the other verses I mentioned.

ME:

How can you not understand this statement, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking"? If you do, can you simply tell me what it says?

And if you really understand this statement "the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit", can you simply tell me what it says?

Tomas:

But I already told you above what each part means. I think I said it so well above, I don't see how to improve on it. So let me simply repeat it:
The verse seems so simple to you, but don't ignore all the other verses that I have mentioned, which prove that you just can't eat or drink whatever you want, in whatever amount you want. No, these verses in Rom. 14 simply mean we should not get all divisive with each other about our doctrines about food or drink. One person believes one thing, another believes another thing, Christians should be charitable with each other about such differences in belief. After all, if you do it wrong, if you sin due to an incorrect belief, still, you are doing it for the Lord, so you remain saved. Of course that does not mean the beliefs are irrelevant, they were written in the Bible for a reason. So it is good if we study the verses.
So the verse in question continues, "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". The next verse explains it "whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others". So we should serve Christ in righteousness, as far as we can know what acts are righteous, and with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. After all, no matter what troubles we have in this life, at least we have the Holy Spirit, so with that Spirit we have peace and joy, even if in the world we have suffering. So with that peace and joy in the HS we should serve Christ.

Well, doesn't that explain each part of Rom. 14:17 very clearly?

ME:

You have been telling me your take of the context with regards the first part, but fail to get its simple message. On the second part, what you have said, while it sounds good, is entirely out of context.

Romans 14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

After Paul dealt with the importance of not judging one another, between those Christians who believed that they should refrain from some practices concerning food and days, that they believed were displeasing to God, and those Christians who felt were legitimate, he told and pointed out to them that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He said this to set it as their guide on how they relate to one another. Now, matters of eating and drinking are but external amoral practices. An amoral practice is neither right nor wrong in itself. It does not involve sin, or, therefore, morality. The primary issues in the lives of dedicated Christians should not be external amoral practices, but the great spiritual qualities that "the Holy Spirit" seeks to produce in them ~ "righteousness" (right conduct), "peace", and "joy".

Tomas:

So you say that what I consider sinful eating or drinking, like gluttony, drinking alcohol in excess, eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, you consider amoral, neither right nor wrong in itself, based on your interpretation of Rom. 14:17.
In that case, how do you interpret the Holy Spirit condemnation of eating blood, eating strangled animals, eating food offered to idols, at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15?
And how do you explain Jesus's endorsement of the Council of Jerusalem condemnation of fornication and eating food offered to idols, in Rev. 2?
And how do you explain the biblical condemnation of gluttony? And the frequent biblical condemnation of drunkenness?

ME:

Please try to read carefully what I said and understand what I am saying about eating and drinking, as being not what the kingdom of God is about.

Regarding your questions, such does not change the point that eating and drinking are external amoral practices. Try to consider the first commandment, to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Is eating, the sin or is it the breaking of God's commandment, which is rebellion against God?

Gluttony and drunkenness are sins but are not sins because they are what you call sinful eating and drinking. Consider covetousness.

Tomas:

Gluttony and drunkenness are not covetousness. My Random House College Dictionary defines 'covet' this way: 1. to desire (another's property) inordinately or wrongfully. 2. to wish for, especially eagerly: He won the prize they all coveted.
So as you can see even in the example for the second definition, they did not own the prize, so they coveted it. So if I were to own a bottle of whisky (and I have no intention of buying whisky, so I don't), then I could not covet it, since I would already own it. But if I were to drink the bottle, or even a large percentage of it, I would get drunk, and that would not be a sin of covetousness, but drunkenness. Likewise I own a loaf of bread, but if I were to eat lots of it at one sitting, I would overeat, so that would not be a sin of covetousness, since I already own the loaf, but it would be a sin of gluttony. It would be sinful eating.
You mention the first commandment, to Adam and Eve. They both disobeyed, and ate of the forbidden fruit. It was sinful eating, since it disobeyed a commandment. Similarly if we disobey the commandments of the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, inspired by the Holy Spirit, if we eat blood or a strangled animal or food offered to an idol, we break a commandment by this sinful eating. And certainly Jesus himself confirmed the commandments of Acts 15 in Rev. 2. So no doubt, they are commandments. They are not abolished. So to eat that would be, if done knowing it is wrong, it would be rebellion against God, just as much as what Adam and Eve did.

ME:

As I said, gluttony and drunkenness are sins but are not sins because they are what you call sinful eating and drinking. Eating and drinking are but external amoral practices, neither right nor wrong in itself. Now, I said, consider covetousness. Covetousness is greed.

With regards the first commandment, to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the act of eating or the eating itself is amoral. The sin is the breaking of God's commandment, which is rebellion against God.

Now, you take this to the issue in Acts 15. Read what Peter have to say regarding the Acts 15 issue.

Acts 15:10-11 [CAPS MINE]
10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ WE SHALL BE SAVED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THEY.

In considering what Peter said here, take note, the "they" refers to the Gentile believers, and the "we" refers to the Jewish believers. Now, the Gentiles do not have the law which includes laws concerning food, as do the Jews.

Now, consider the letter they wrote:

Acts 15: 24-29
24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”[f] —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.[g] If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Considering v.28-29 where it says "to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.", who do you say is it that would not lay upon them no greater burden? What is that which they clearly described here as a great burden? This is also said in v.10, speaking of it as a yoke on the neck. And why is it said to be a great burden or a yoke on the neck?

Nonetheless, the letter says as necessary things, that they abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. Why is that? Remember what the issue in Acts 15 is all about, that is, the dispute on the matter of the necessity or not for Gentile believers to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. It is really not about eating, blood, etc. And this issue in fact was decided, and can be understood in verse 24. Now, the matter of the Gentile believers to abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, being included in the letter, can be understood in v.21, which says "For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath". And obviously too, this is to take care of the trouble of the Gentile believers with the Jewish believers who believe in the keeping of the law of Moses, which James told the council in v.19, "I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God". The intent is well understood in the last statement of v.29 which says "If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well".

All that said, Acts 15 does not have anything to do, nor make eating and drinking as moral matters or sinful.

Tomas:

So if you define covetousness as greed, greed is wanting a lot of stuff, like money, that the person does not have.
So this does not apply to excessive eating or drinking of food or drink that the person has already.
Yes, the first sin, of Adam and Eve, was due to breaking a commandment. What was the commandment? Not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They did eat, so they sinned against God's commandment by eating.
Now similarly in Acts 15. The great burden was the Law of Moses. The Holy Spirit informed the assembled council that it is no longer necessary. But it informed the council that 4 commandments are necessary, not to eat food offered to idols, not to eat blood, not to eat strangled things, not to fornicate. So if someone does it, he violates a necessary commandment. For example if one fornicates, he violates a commandment. So that is a sin. Similarly if one eats blood, he violates a commandment. So that is the sin.
Similarly in Rev. 2, Jesus told John to write to two churches that they are doing wrong in tolerating members who fornicate and eat food offered to idols. So just like in Acts 15, they sinned if they fornicated, they violated a commandment. Or if they ate food offered to idols, they sinned, they violated the commandment. So Jesus made it clear it should no longer be tolerated in these churches. Or by implication, in any church.
Do you agree now?

ME:

I guess no matter how I would explain to you what is covetousness or greed, and that gluttony and drunkenness are sins but are not sins because they are what you call sinful eating and drinking, and that eating and drinking are but external amoral practices, neither right nor wrong in itself, you would not get to understand. And that goes as well with regards the first commandment, that the act of eating or the eating itself is amoral and that the sin is the breaking of God's commandment.

And perhaps, further still, with the issue in Acts 15. I'm sad about that.

Anyway, let me still say something concerning Acts 15.

While you gave your answer as to what the burden and yoke spoken there is, which you say is the Law of Moses, you have not given your answer to the questions "Who do you say is it that would not lay upon them no greater burden? Why is it said to be a great burden or a yoke on the neck?"

You also said "But it informed the council that 4 commandments are necessary, not to eat food offered to idols, not to eat blood, not to eat strangled things, not to fornicate". What we have in Acts is this "to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality."

And considering what you said concerning this matter of abstaining from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, you apparently have not understood anything I've written about this in my post above, as you have altogether missed the point there as to why these things were included in the letter.

Tomas:

So let me answer. It is of course God who would not put a greater burden on us from the Law of Moses than the 4 necessary commandments in Acts 15. Why was it a great burden? There were, according to at least Orthodox Jewish count, 613 commandments in the Law of Moses. That was a lot. We have far fewer commandments in the New Covenant.

Me:

Apparently you consistently fail to understand the issue in Acts 15, so that you consistently see only what have been laid upon the Gentile believers, and that as if picked out from among the 600+ commandments in the law of Moses as being the only 4 commandments that the Christian must keep. And that by it, it would not be a great burden to them. Of course, obviously that would not make sense at all.

So, let me try to explain to you again.

1. The issue in Acts 15 is the matter of requiring the Gentile believers to be circumcised after the manner of Moses, for them to be saved.
2. That the Gentile believers be commanded to keep the law of Moses.
3. The Gentile believers in Antioch were being troubled by men which came down from Judaea who have these issues mentioned above.

After much disputing over the issue, here's what Peter said:

"Ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they".

So, we can see clearly from what Peter said, that God had put no difference between the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers, in that, God have both purified their hearts by faith, and that they both shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, not through the Jewish circumcision and the Mosaic Law. So this settles the issue on the matter of requiring the Gentile believers to be circumcised, for them to be saved.

Now, on the matter of the trouble of the Gentile believers with Jewish believers who were taught and convinced of the teaching of the necessity of circumcision and the keeping of the law of Moses for the Christian to be saved, and by the men which came down from Judaea who taught such doctrine, here's what James said concerning the troubled Gentile believers:

"Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood."

The reason for this James continued:

"For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day".

And indeed they wrote letters which says:

"Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:"

In this part of the letter, the apostles and elders and brethren in the church at Jerusalem, acknowledges the trouble caused by certain men which went out from them, but to whom they gave no command to require the Gentile believers to be circumcised, and keep the law.

The letter continues:

"...it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well."

In this part of the letter, is what James have put up with the council at Jerusalem, to take care of the trouble at hand, among the brethren in Antioch. And this must not be in anyway mistaken to mean that these 4 things are required for the Gentile believers to be saved. Rather, by abstaining or keeping away from these 4 things, they will do well and kept out of trouble.

I hope by now, you are able to understand what Acts 15 is all about.

Now, on the matter as to what is that which they clearly described here as a great burden, it would be the matter of being circumcised and the keeping of the Law. And as to why this is said to be a yoke on the neck, is because, it had been so to the all the Jews, and no Jew was able to bear it and have succeeded in keeping the law. As to who it is that would not lay upon them no greater burden, it is the Jerusalem council, being convinced, as to them it seemed good and to the Holy Spirit, to not lay such great burden and yoke. These things can well be understood in what is written in v.10, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" This clearly tells us that putting this yoke upon the neck of the Gentile believers to be circumcised and keep the law, which in other words, to require them to be a Jew, for them to be saved, is not God's will, and in fact is sin, as this somehow is tempting God.

Tomas:

To keep out of trouble? That is clearly not what Peter meant. After all, it was the decision of the Holy Spirit. So those who accepted the decision of the council, believing it is from God, they willingly accepted it all. So if the decision had been different, like that it is OK to even eat blood, eat strangled animals, eat things sacrificed to idols, even to fornicate, then the Christians, seeing it is from the Holy Spirit, would have accepted that decision. But of course there were Christians who did not accept the decision that was made, who were Judaisers, who kept insisting on circumcision and the whole Law of Moses, for salvation, then soon Paul declared them apostates, so they lost salvation. They later became known as the Ebionites. So the true Christians continued to be in trouble with the Judaizers, even though they still did not eat blood etc. And of course they were in trouble with those who remained in Judaism. Jews who remained in Judaism often persecuted the Christians. Paul, then named Saul, did so too, before he was converted. Of course by the time of the Jerusalem council, he was already converted. But other Jews continued the persecution. And they were even more angry, as the Christian Jews no longer kept the Law of Moses.
So the trouble Peter was talking about, was the trouble between those Christians who still kept the Law of Moses, and those Christians who were following the new revelations, like what Peter got in Acts 10, that the Law of Moses is no longer necessary. So that trouble was resolved by the universal revelation at the Jerusalem council. Except that those who rejected it, they were in trouble. But those who accepted it, they remained saved, and they kept on not eating blood, not eating strangled animals, not eating things offered to idols, not fornicating. And if anyone was later confused by what Paul wrote, then Jesus clarified it in Revelation 2, that the decision of the Jerusalem council still stands. He said explicitly to two churches, that it is wrong to fornicate or to eat food offered to idols, it is sinful. So that is final, at least now for this New Covenant. What the laws about it will be in the millennium, we can't know. Though I would guess that things forbidden in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, will likely also be forbidden in the millennium. But not necessarily all. We don't know. For example it could be that in the millennium the laws for men and for women will finally be equal. Or it could be reversed, maybe only women will be bishops etc. and men will be forgiven those roles. Maybe men will have to obey women in marriages. Of course those who will be resurrected to eternal life in the beginning of the millennium, will not be married, they will be single like the angels, as Jesus said. But others will be marrying and having children, as Isaiah wrote. Of course those resurrected to eternal life, while they will not be married to each other, they will be part of the bride of Christ, they will be married to Christ. It will be wonderful. I sure hope and expect that I will remain saved, die saved, and be part of the bride of Christ. Much better than having a wife. Marriage to Christ will be perfect, since Christ is perfect. Wives are imperfect.
------------------------






Michael:

Now, I was shocked by your statement here:

" So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other."

Why would I be happy about that? And how could I agree that God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse? Are you truly happy debating with other Christians? Preposterous and silly, I would say.

Tomas:

You are now talking like a Catholic, or an INC member, insisting that all Christians agree on every doctrine, that the diversity is no good. When I said we can debate with each other, I do not mean angry arguments, I mean brotherly discussions among Christians. And that I am happy to be doing. I am happy to be discussing with you and with other Christians. After all, discussing issues in the wonderful book, the Bible, should fill us with happiness. It is the best book in the world, it is the word of God. And so, since we should not expect any of us to be infallible, we can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and show to each other, where in the Bible our beliefs come from. If neither one is too stubborn and unwilling to change, then at least one can learn from the other. Like I have learned from you.
If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). What is written in the Bible of course. So no new revelation of any interpretations. Sola scriptura. So no inspired interpretations by ecumenical Catholic councils or by popes or by executive ministers or anyone else. We are all in the same boat, no inspired interpretations, so we can know we are not infallible in our interpretations, so we will not be proud, but properly humble, as God wants us to be. And we will not be angrily arguing about interpretations, but happily discussing our interpretations, in a loving fraternal manner. So please, don't be shocked about it, be happy about it. Now we are not to go beyond what is written, so now is not the time for perfect doctrinal unity, like some churches, like Catholic, INC, New Apostolic Church, Philadelphia Church of God, and others who insist we have to be united, we get interpretations from God, so we better agree, or else we are outside the church or something. But when Jesus comes back, and we are resurrected, the Bible says we will be going to Jerusalem to learn from God, so God will then give us correct interpretations, and all the saved people will be in one denomination. Sola scriptura will no longer be true. We will be given new laws, as some of these laws are described in Ezekiel, Zechariah, etc. For example the Feast of Tabernacles will be required for all, not just Israelites, as was true in the Law of Moses. And all, not just males, will have to go to Jerusalem for that feast. So then we will have doctrinal unity. But now it is impossible, it is not in God's plan for us.

ME:

Did I say that the diversity is no good? What I said is that I am not happy about such. For scriptures says "There is one body and one Spirit", that Paul beseech of the Christians, to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And so I see that it's not diversity that scriptures calls for, but unity.

You said "If God gave us the correct interpretation of any verse, then of course we would agree with each other, we would be infallible on that verse. But that is not God's intention, so God has told us not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6)."

Certainly God gives us the correct interpretation of His words in scriptures, according to His will and in His time. Only He could help and make us understand His words in scriptures which are about the things of God.

And certainly, God's intention is for us to be united, as I have discussed above. And this includes being one in understanding God's words in scriptures. What Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. The verse says "Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.". What Paul wants us to understand here is that we learn in them (Paul and Apollos), not to think beyond what is written. Why is that? So that, we may not be puffed up or take pride in one over another. This is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of interpretations that goes beyond what is written.

Tomas:

Of course we are one body, and we are united in the eyes of God, even though many of us can be unhappy about the divisions into denominations, or also differences in beliefs among Christians regardless of denominations or being non-denominational. These differences are on secondary doctrines, not on gospel doctrines. So we have one faith, in the sense of faith in the gospel.
And concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, pride would be involved if we were to go beyond what is written, we could be puffed up, thinking we know more than other Christians, that we got some special interpretations that others did not get.

ME:

How can we be united in the eyes of God, when we are not in reality and practically united? That is not at all what being united is Tomas. For example, you say the INC is part of the church of God, and the RCC as well. Now are they united? Obviously not. Do they believe in the same Christ, that is, Savior? INC's Christ is not God, while RCC's Christ is God.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, as I said, what Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 is really not about the matter of unity, but about the matter of pride. Read again my previous post on this. 1 Cor. 4:6 is about pride and arrogance, and not about false teachings as a result of some special interpretations that others get and others did not.

Tomas:

INC and RCC don't consider themselves to be united, but in God's eyes they are united, because people from both churches are in God's own church. They do believe in the same Christ, that is Savior, that it is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, etc. Sure some think he is God and others think that he is not God, but that is just what they think, in reality they can't know.
Concerning 1 Cor. 4:6, yes, it is a matter of not being proud, not thinking like I have a special interpretation from God while another Christian does not. We are all equal, none of us get special interpretations from God, we can't be infallible.

ME:

Well, if you believe that, in God's eyes, INC and RCC are united, even while in reality and practice, are hostile to each other, in that, one condemns the other, and says of each other as anti-Christ, then so be it for you then.

And while for you, you believe that you can't know if Christ is God or is not, that has nothing to do with their unity or disunity.

And we are all equal Tomas, whether one knows and understands much or less of what is revealed in scriptures. And sure we are not infallible in so many ways. But relative to 1 Cor.4:6, let me quote what Paul says in v.7 "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Well, I guess you don't feel united with either INC or RCC, since you dislike that they believe in the saving power of water baptism. But I believe that in spite of such dislike, in God's eyes, you are united with them, at least actually with the saved people in those denominations. Not with the unsaved. Still, I believe God loves all denominations that preach the gospel, no matter what percentage of members is saved in each. But only the saved are in the church.

As far as 1 Cor. 4:7, I am not sure how to understand it. Having something you did not receive, that looks like theft. But that does not seem to fit the rest of the verse. It looks to me like a very difficult verse. Maybe you have some idea of what it means.

ME:

For sure I could not feel united in the spirit with INC, much as I want to. How can I when their messiah is a man, named Jesus, while my Messiah is God, who incarnated, revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, the verse says "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

There is nothing in there that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. I don't know what version you are reading. But I checked other versions, and found not one which speaks of such. So, I suggest you read it again.

As to what the verse means, is plain. You are intelligent and could easily understand what the verse means.

Tomas:

You say your Messiah is God, who incarnated. So then you too believe your Messiah is a man, even though you happen to believe he is both God and man. And you both believe he is revealed in scriptures as to be the person of Jesus Christ. So not much difference. Just a little difference in you having the theory he is God, while they have the theory that he is not God.

Regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough. For example let's say you have a book. Now you have received the book, maybe from a bookstore, or from somebody. Or if you have not received the book, then I see no other choice except you stole it. With some objects there is a third choice, let's say you have an orange. You have received it, from a store or from somebody, or you stole it, or maybe you planted an orange tree years ago, and it had flowers, and the flowers got transformed into orange fruit. So now you have an orange. But with books, this third choice does not apply, you cannot grow books in your garden. So yes, the text looks plain, but the deep meaning behind it escapes me.

ME:

Ask the INC, I'm pretty sure, they'll tell you of a great deal of difference concerning this. Ask any Christian who believes that Christ is God, and they certainly would tell you a great deal of difference. If you don't see much of a difference, that I don't know why you do. Perhaps, there is really not much difference for you in Christ being God or not, or perhaps, because of your different perspective of the revelations about the person of God.

You said regarding 1 Cor. 4:7, "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?

As I said, there is nothing in 1 Cor.4:7 that speaks of having something one did not receive that looks like theft Tomas. So, I strongly suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse.

1 Cor. 4:7, "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

Tomas:

Of course INC considers this to be very important, so important it is necessary for salvation, John 17:3, that we believe Christ is not God. But I believe that is a misinterpretation of that verse. Sure the Father is the only true God, but this God could well include other persons.
Similarly some trinitarians believe it is necessary for salvation to believe Christ is God.
But I say we can't know, so God does not make a big deal of whether one believes Christ is God or not God. I am not saying it is unimportant to God, but it is not revealed to us, so God does not make it important to us.

Concerning 1 Cor. 4:7, I am stuck, clearly there is something you have thought of that I haven't. I mean, if you have a book, and you haven't received it, but you haven't stolen it, then how did you obtain it?

ME:

Not revealed to you, not us, Tomas. Nothing further.

Regarding 1 Cor.4:7, you have not answered my question relative to your statement "I guess sometimes intelligence is not enough". My question is "What then do you think it is you need more than intelligence?"

Now, you are so into the matter of having something one did not receive that looks like theft, for which I say, the verse does not speak about. I can't understand why you are so into that with regards 1 Cor. 4:7.

Let's take the statements in 1 Cor. 4:7, one by one.

First statement "For who makes you differ from another?". Is there anything about having something here? None.

Second statement "And what do you have that you did not receive?". Does this speak of something you have by theft?

Third statement "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". There is likewise nothing here that speaks of the matter you are so concerned about.

So, I suggest that you do away with such thought and move on and try to understand the verse instead.

Tomas:

I am sure trying to understand the verse. But I guess I need more insight, maybe you have thought of something I have not thought of.
So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received. One is by getting it by theft, another is by having grown it for yourself, like you might grow tomatoes or oranges etc. So maybe if you received a tomato, you can boast as if you have not received the tomato, but claim you have grown it yourself. That would be a sinful boast, it would be a lie.
I have thought of relating it to the previous verse, like if you claim you have a message from God that you did not receive. But then the third part would not make sense, who has received a message from God and boast as if he did not receive it? That would not make sense.
But if it is about growing food like tomatoes etc., then why does it follow verse 6, as if it is related to it? After all, verse 7 begins with 'for'. So I think I have not thought of something, I don't have enough imagination when dealing with this verse. Clearly you think you have it figured out, but you are not telling me what then is your interpretation.

ME:

1 Cor. 4:7
7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

You said "So far I see only two possibilities of how to have something you have not received".

I can't see why you have such a problem with regards to understanding the verse Tomas. The question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. And in relation to this, Paul asked the questions "And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?". Paul, by way of these questions, reminds the Corinthians that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. That God had given them everything they had, and as a consequence, they should be grateful, not boastful.

Tomas:

OK, I see now better how you interpret it, and your interpretation seems to make sense. It is true, that whatever we have, is ultimately from God, regardless of who gave it to us. So like the Bible tells us, to receive food with thanksgiving, so clearly we should pray to God and thank him for the food, before we eat. Regardless of how we got the food, it is ultimately from God. Without him, the food would not exist and we would not exist.
So I guess, when Paul asked "And what do you have that you did not receive?", apparently Paul meant that we have nothing that we did not receive, since everything we have we received from God. So then in the next question, which confused me so much, Paul apparently meant by asking "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?", he apparently meant, you did receive everything you have from God, so then why do you boast, as if you did not receive it from God, but it is your achievement? So you boast about your achievements, but really you are all equal before God, none of you is superior to others.
Yes, I had not thought of the issue of receiving everything we have from God. So I was thinking of things like receiving food from the store, etc. God was not mentioned in that verse, not explicitly. So I was really confused. But you have helped me to understand the verse much better, for which I am thankful to you.
So I now want to make sure, does my new understanding now agree totally with your understanding?

ME:

What Paul says there and meant in those verses is with regards to the mysteries of God, and it does not speak really of other things such as food and drink. These things Paul said, they received, from God who gave it. So, Paul reasoned, that if they indeed receive it, they should not boast as if they had not received it.

Tomas:

I see, so I have still misunderstood what you meant. Clearly you are going back to verse 1, which speaks of us having the mysteries of God.
Personally, I do not believe verse 1 can be connected with that. After all, Paul asks, "And what do you have that you did not receive?" That looks to me like a general question, if Paul were asking about receiving mysteries of God, then he would not have framed the question that way. So I think my current understanding is correct now, the answer to this question should be "we have nothing that we did not receive", with the implication that everything we have we have received from God.
Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense. So I believe the correct interpretation is that about everything we have, if we did receive it from God, then why would we boast as if we had not received it from God? Meaning we could boast we made it ourselves, or grew it ourselves, give ourselves the credit, boast about it, rather than give the credit to God. Like for example Donald Trump boasts how successful he is, how much money he has made, rather than give the credit to God.

ME:

As I said, the question "For who makes you differ from another?" can be understood from the context in v.6 , and far back even to chapter 1. So, try going as far back to chapter 1 and read.

You said "Then the next question is "Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Even if this question were about receiving the mysteries of God, who on earth would possibly boast of not having received mysteries of God? It would not make sense".

Read 1 Cor.4:6-8
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other? Try considering what Paul said in v.1-2 which goes "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful". I hope you get what Paul is trying to say to the Corinthians at this point of his letter. It would be clearer still if you'll try to see what Paul was saying in the previous chapters.

Tomas:

The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians speak about various things, like about God, about Christ, about water baptism, about that we should not consider ourselves as belonging to one or another church leader, but to Christ. So that does not help me much. Then you are emphasizing 4:1-2, about us, or at least about the leaders of the church, as being stewards of the mysteries of God. It seems to me more likely that when Paul writes 'us', he means leaders like himself and Apollos. So that already makes it unlikely that verse 7 is talking about us having received the mysteries of God. But let's say what it would mean if it were about us having received the mysteries of God. Now if some received the mysteries, why would they boast as if they have not received the mysteries? Is it something to boast about, that one has not received the mysteries, even though one has really received the mysteries? That does not make sense. So that is why I think verse 7 is an independent thought, that all we have we have received from God, so since we have received it from God, we should not boast like that we have something that is our own accomplishment, not from God.

ME:

Try resolving this by trying to answer the question "Why did Paul said what he said in verse 6, not to go beyond what is written, and being puffed up on behalf of one against the other"?

Tomas:

He said it, so that we would not go beyond what is written in the Bible, or else we could end up puffed up on behalf of one against the other. That seems clear enough, but it does not seem connected with the thoughts of verse 7. So I think my interpretation of verse 7 seems correct.

ME:

And what is your take on what it is to be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", in the context of not going beyond what is written in scriptures?

If in your opinion, verse 6 is not connected to verse 7, then that is your call. I would just have to respect that.

Tomas:

Sure, if we go beyond what is written, if we think we have some special inspiration from God telling us how to interpret verses, or we think we get visions from God, or dreams from God, with messages from God, then we could end up puffed up on behalf of us against the other Christians. We could end up proud, due to thinking we have this revelation or inspiration. And pride is a sin. Being puffed up means being proud.

ME:

I can see that we quite differ in our understanding of this. To exceed what is written in scriptures would be to go beyond the teaching of the Scriptures. If his readers avoided this pitfall, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other. And this is the very thing that Paul is trying to address the Corinthians here. So, in this regard, in v. 7 Paul reminded them that they were not intrinsically "superior" to anyone else, an attitude that judging others presupposes. God had given them everything they had. Consequently they should be grateful, not boastful. Going at the end of chapter 4, Paul warns them, "Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power".

You will notice, Paul made it clear there that some of them are puffed up, implying that, there were some who have gone beyond what is written, and have become arrogant. Do you have any idea as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant?

Tomas:

I suppose that based on the end of chapter 4, some were prophesying that Paul was not going to visit them again, even though they did not get this info from God, so it was not reliable. So they were puffed up, thinking they got special knowledge, that other Christians did not have, but they did not get any knowledge about it from God.

ME:

Some guess you have there. And by that, you take that to mean that some have gone beyond what is written and were puffed up, became full of pride and arrogant by that. Well....

As I have pointed out in my previous post, if his readers avoided this pitfall, of going beyond what is written, they would not be "puffed up on behalf of one against the other", that is, take pride in one of their teachers over another. Further, that is taking one as if superior over the other". I don't think that your guess would result into such.

Tomas:

I suppose your guess could be possibly valid, given the fact that Paul mentioned himself and Apollos, who were among their teachers, apparently their two most prominent teachers. Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle. Well, when we are resurrected, we will find out which guess was right, whether it had to do with their teachers, or with themselves alone, as I was guessing.

ME:

I am not even guessing Tomas. I'm just telling you what can be seen in the last part of verse 6 "...that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other".

Maybe Apollos himself became an apostle? What?

What ideas as to how they have gone beyond what is written, that they are puffed up, becoming arrogant, you have there Tomas. Apparently then, you really do not know what these scriptures here mean.

Well, as you said, you will just have to wait till your resurrection then.

Tomas:

No verse says that Apollos did not become an apostle, or that Paul supervised Apollos or anything like that. Barnabas became an apostle. Others seem mentioned as having become apostles. So why not Apollos?

ME:

And there perhaps you are going beyond what is written, for you reason now that there is no verse that says Apollos did not become an apostle, etc. I would suggest that you don't bother yourself with those beyond what is written, such as those you say here, which are not written.

Tomas:

OK, no need to speculate about whether Apollos became an apostle. We will find out after we are resurrected.

ME:

Yes, you can now refrain from speculating.
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Joined: 11:04 PM - May 19, 2013

5:35 PM - Apr 30, 2017 #77

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. And if the hearer believes God's words, then his hearing the words of God have resulted then to the hearer having faith, faith in God.

You said "So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT."

The Father have sent the Son to the world, and in time, the Son sent the HS to His apostles to dwell in them and be their paracletos, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them, and will testify of Him. The apostles were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses and preach these to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

It is not enough to simply read the scriptures by yourself in order to understand what the scripture says. A man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury (Acts 8:27), was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:28), when Philip ran to him and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30). And the eunuch said, "How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him" (Acts 8:31).

A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, WHAT YOU SAY IS false.

ME:

You mentioned of the Eunuch, who said "How can I, unless someone guides me?". And it was Philip, who guided him. Now, you must not forget that the Spirit was with Philip. And it is the HS whom Jesus sent to His apostles to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things that He said to them, and these things were written in scriptures. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus to preach. And so we see Philip preaching to the Eunuch (it is wise to note what Philip preached to the Eunuch). But then, the apostles are all now dead and there were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures clearly speak of, as being sent to preach, but the named apostles. So, where can we hear the preaching of the apostles? That's right, in scriptures. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard them preached in their days, including that of Philip. Reading or hearing somebody reading scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach. So that, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, through scriptures, God's words.

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't address my questions.

I wrote: " A majority of all self-professing Christians all claim to have read John 8:40 where Jesus says he is a MAN and John 17:3 where Jesus says the Father is the ONLY true God. How come these people believe that Jesus is ALSO God?

These self-professing Christians have all read Romans 10:9 where apostle Paul says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God RAISED Jesus from the dead, you will be saved." How come these self-professing Christians INSIST that Jesus raised HIMSELF FOM THE DEAD?

Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines.

ME:

Oh, sorry about that.

I really can't tell INCquisitor in their case. Perhaps, you can ask them why.

On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

And have read also John 10:18 where John says:

10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Now, these scriptures, and the words of Jesus himself, that is, "in three days I will raise it up", and "I have power to take it again", clearly tells me that Jesus have the power to resurrect himself and have indeed risen from the dead. For when He had risen from the dead, scriptures says "His disciples remembered that He had said this to them.", that is, "I will raise it up.”

Why people like you don't see that or perhaps don't accept that, makes me sad for them.

You said "Therefore, it is FALSE to assume that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach." What one hears are NOT the TRUE words of God but words of God that are ALTERED to suit a preacher's own man-made doctrines."

How you consider this statement "READING or hearing somebody READING the scriptures, is hearing the apostles preach" is FALSE, just tells me that you don't believe that what one can read in scriptures, the NT in particular" is not what the apostles preached. And you even say that what one hears (implied to be hearing the READING of scriptures by somebody) are not true words of God. Makes me feel sorry for you.

INCQUISITOR:

Your statement that "reading or hearing somebody reading the scripture, is hearing the apostles preach" is proven FALSE by your own admission, to wit: "On my part, I read John 8:40 and John 17:3, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find these verses neither saying that Jesus is not God, nor saying that Jesus is God, nor saying that Jesus is ALSO God.

I also read Romans 10:9, though not in isolation from the rest of scriptures, as some does, and I don't find this verse saying that Jesus did not raised himself from the dead. But I have read John 2:19-22 where John says:

"19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

In Romans 10:9, apostle preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. In Acts 3:15, apostle Peter preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures where we HEAR apostles Paul and Peter preach that God RAISED Jesus from the dead.

Compare these scriptures with John 2:19-22 where apostle John preached what Jesus said. Did Jesus EXPLICITLY say that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? No! You are simply THINKING BEYOND what apostle John wrote. Your imagination makes apostles Peter and Paul LIARS. You are NOT listening to apostles Peter and Paul. You are listening to whoever you HEARD reading from the scriptures.

Me:

John 2:19-22
"19 JESUS answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID."

John 10:18 where JESUS says:
10 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

I thought you believe every word that Jesus said.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 but NOT in the way you understand these verses that CONTRADICTS what apostles Peter and Paul wrote in Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Again, I ask you, did Jesus EXPLICITLY say in these verses that he will RAISE HIMSELF from the dead? You REFUSE to answer my question because you ARE stuck with your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and Jon 10:18 that Jesus was saying he WILL RAISE HIMSELF from the dead.

Me:

There is contradiction between John 2:10-22 and John 10:18 with Rom. 10:9, and that, with regards your belief. As with mine, there is none.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true. If your understanding of scriptures denies these truths, then there is the problem with you.

In John 10:18, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. THIS COMMAND I have received from My Father.”. And I believe that, don't you? Now, with regards the Father's commandments to Jesus, Jesus said in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I HAVE KEPT my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.". So, there is no doubt that Jesus followed the Father's commandment to him in John 10:18. And there is nothing clearer than what is written in John 2:19-22 with regards this matter.

INCQUISITOR:

You say that, on the basis of your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead. You say your belief does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote (that God raised Jesus from the dead- Acts 3:15; Rom. 10:9) because your understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 makes Jesus God in your mind.

To justify your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8, you conveniently set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 where he says that he is a MAN and in John 17:3 where he tells the Father that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God.

While it is true that John 2:19-22, John 10:18, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9, are ALL true, and I believe that too, YOUR understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:18 - that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead - is FALSE, Your understanding of these verses CONTRADICTS the word of God written in John 8:40, John 17:3, Acts 3:15 and Rom. 10:9.

Me:

I'm not at all posting to justify anything INCquisitor. And I neither set aside the words of Jesus written in John 8:40 nor any scripture for that matter, unlike you who have trashed pretty much every scripture that does not go with your understanding of scriptures. For I do believe that Jesus is a man. But you just refuse to believe that I do and insist that I really don't for you find that illogical since I believe He is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man. I am not forcing you to believe it. I'm just telling you that this is what the scriptures tells me.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because you say this is what the scriptures tell you. That's the consequence of NOT having faith in what Jesus says.

You say you believe that Jesus is a MAN but you set aside and ignore John 17:3 where Jesus says to the Father, "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT."

As a result of ignoring and setting aside John 17:3, you FAILED to perceive the TWO truths that are revealed by Jesus in John 17:3. First, you FAILED to perceive the truth that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that NOBODY else is a TRUE God but the Father. Second, you FAILED to perceive the truth that Jesus was SENT by the Father who is the ONLY TRUE God. This means that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh.

Me:

Yes I believe that Jesus is God who became flesh, taking the form of a man, because this is what the scriptures tells me. That's the consequence of listening and hearing God's words in scriptures and not in any man, not even in my own understanding. I rely in God's words for the truth and submit myself to it. Wrong understanding of scriptures comes by when out of pride, one begins to bring his own understanding and his confidence in his own reasoning and limited human abilities, deceiving himself into thinking that he can understand the spiritual things of God by his natural senses and abilities.

INCQUISITOR:

There is no scripture that says "Jesus is God who became flesh." That's your wrong understanding of John 1:14 which says, "And the word became flesh." Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 comes by your bringing your own understanding and confidence in your own reasoning and limited human abilities, thereby deceiving yourself into thinking that you can understand spiritual things of God by your natural senses and abilities.

The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.

The rest of John 1:14 speaks of the "flesh" or Jesus who "dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your wrong understanding of John 1:14 CONTRADICTS John 3:17 and John 17:3 where Jesus says that God the Father SENT him into the world. It runs against reason that God, the Father would SEND God, the son into the world, because the Bible teaches that there is ONLY ONNE God - NOT more than one God.

Me:

<<The "word" that became flesh is God's "word" concerning His "plan" to send His only begotten son into the world. The phrase, "And he word became flesh" is John's way of saying that God's "plan" was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.>>

That's an erroneous understanding of John 1:14.

Apostle John testifies of the Word:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Apostle John testifies of the light, referring to the Word he is testifying about:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Apostle John continues to testifies of the Word:
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

I don't how and why it is not clear to you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. And of this person, is what apostle John testifies about in the book of John. The plan of God that you are talking about, the plan of sending a Messiah, is spoken and testified in the law and the prophets.

INCQUISITOR:

Your thinking shows that the Spirit of God has not taught you HOW to "rightly divide the truth." Apostle Paul wrote, "Be diligent to present himself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness" (2 Tim. 2:15).

The Bible was not written the way newspapers, magazines and books are written. The next verse does not necessarily refer to the first verse.

For example, John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. John 1:1 refers to the "word" of God which was in the beginning WITH God and WAS God. This refers to the "word" or "plan" of God to SEND Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). Apostle Peter wrote about Christ as the "word" or "plan" of God, thus: "He indeed was FOREORDAINED before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:20).

Hence, the "word" of God was WITH God in the beginning or before the foundation of the world. Why was the "word" God? Because the "word" of God has the power of God - that is, the "word" is always true and will always be fulfilled.

What follows John 1:1 should be John 1:14 to let us know what happened to this "word" or "plan" of God. John 1:14 says, "And the word BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

This is John's way of telling us that the "plan" of God was fulfilled. Hence, it is clear that the "word" BECAME flesh, and it is the "flesh" into whom the "word became" that dwelt among us.

What follows are verses 2-5 which refer to Jesus or the "flesh" into whom the word became.

Me:

I could as well say and apply this to you INCquisitor:

"Your thinking shows that the Spirit of God has not taught you HOW to "rightly divide the truth." Apostle Paul wrote, "Be diligent to present himself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness" (2 Tim. 2:15)."

And that is your first line of excuse. And you say that to me when what I posted is basically scriptures. All that I said in there is a mere paragraph telling you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. And the plan of God that you are talking about, the plan of sending a Messiah, is spoken and testified in the law and the prophets. Compare that to what you are saying in your post.

You second line of excuse is: The Bible was not written the way newspapers, magazines and books are written. I don't see how those who read this exchange get anything out of this.

As I have shown and said, I don't how and why it is not clear to you that apostle John is not talking about a plan but of a person. Oh I almost forgot, this is a doctrine of FYM, the angel of the INC.

You say "John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. John 1:1 refers to the "word" of God which was in the beginning WITH God and WAS God. This refers to the "word" or "plan" of God to SEND Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17)".

Clearly, you are telling people what you think the "word" is, instead of what John tells us and testifies of the "word" in the next verses. And further still, you want people to believe you that John 1:2-5 do not refer to John 1:1. Now, you consider yourself to be in authority to say what scriptures comes after and next to a verse. Seems like you are acting like one who knows the original scriptures. It takes a lot of pride to do that. So, where do you say is the right place of John 1:2-5 in this writing of John?

You say "Apostle Peter wrote about Christ as the "word" or "plan" of God, thus: "He indeed was FOREORDAINED before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:20)". Again, why do you tell people something which the verse clearly does not speak about? "HE" was foreordained. Peter is telling us about Jesus, not about anything else, such is a plan of God.

You say "Hence, the "word" of God was WITH God in the beginning or before the foundation of the world. Why was the "word" God? Because the "word" of God has the power of God - that is, the "word" is always true and will always be fulfilled."

Perhaps you can point us where else in scriptures is there that the "word" refers to a plan, and where "god" is used as an adjective of any noun that means it has the power of God as you have made the term "God" in v. 1 to mean? until then, this is all but your own doing and making.

You say "What follows John 1:1 should be John 1:14 to let us know what happened to this "word" or "plan" of God. John 1:14 says, "And the word BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

So, in addition you are telling people that John 1:1 should be followed by John 1:14 instead of John 1:2. Well, the obvious reason for that is so that you can make it appear to say what you want.

You say "This is John's way of telling us that the "plan" of God was fulfilled. Hence, it is clear that the "word" BECAME flesh, and it is the "flesh" into whom the "word became" that dwelt among us."

Obviously, it is your way, not John's.
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I say I believe that Jesus is a MAN and do not set aside nor ignore John 17:3 nor any of God's words. I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent. God, being the only true God and none other, has been revealed to Israel from the very beginning. The rest of the world knew this not, as evidenced by their worship and belief in many gods. Now, not even Israel knew who the Christ is, whom the one true God have sent to the world.

INCQUISITOR:

You say you believe Jesus is a MAN and do not ignore nor set aside John 17:3. You say you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent."

You may not realize it, but by saying this, you are admitting that Jesus is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, unless, one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

Me:

You don't get to interpret what I say I believe better than I who said it, isn't it? As I don't get to interpret what you say you believe better than you. How do you get to have an honest and proper conversation when, even what others say to you, you twist to mean what you think they are saying, instead of taking what they say they meant to say in what they say to you? You have the right to disagree with what I say and to refute, but you do not have the right to tell me that what it is I mean to say is what you say I mean. I don't even know what to call such attitude and thinking.

INCQUISITOR:

I can only tell what a man thinks by what he says.

You say that You say that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent."

If you are not admitting that Jesus Christ is NOT the ONLY TRUE God, after having said what you said, then you are admitting that one, you are IGNORANT of what the word "only" means, and two, you are IGNORANT of what "God" means that you would allow yourself to accept the absurdity of one God SENDING another God to do something.

If you are not admitting any of these, what can I say about your statement that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent?"

Shouldn't I say then that you are a liar for saying this because you don't truly believe Jesus? As apostle Paul wrote, he who doesn't rightly divide the word of truth resorts to profane and idle babblings that increase to more ungodliness (2 Tim. 2:15).

Me:

You say "I can only tell what a man thinks by what he says". Why then do you think you know better than the man, on what he means in what he says?

You said ".... what can I say about your statement that "you believe Jesus when he said..."that they may know you (referring to the Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is him that He sent?"

This I should say is the proper way. If you don't understand what I said, rather than making guesses as to what I meant in what I said to you, you can ask me questions that will make you understand me.

With regards my statement "I believe Jesus when He said, "...that they may know YOU (referring to His Father who is in heaven), the ONLY TRUE God" and that Jesus Christ is Him that He sent.", I have already explained to you in our past discussions on John 17:3. But apparently, you want me to say it again. Here goes. First, understand that I believe Jesus. Jesus in saying what is written in John 17:3, speaks of eternal life. Here is where our understanding differs. I consider the big context, you don't. Jesus here talking about eternal life, says "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent". Why did Jesus have to say "the only true God" and not simply "who is God"? The obvious reason is because, people worship many gods. So Jesus here says that this is eternal life, knowing that there is but one God who is true, that is, His Father (in the context that man worships many other gods which even the Jews have come to believe and worship in the past and at the present time then), and knowing Jesus Christ.
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I hope you can answer the simple questions:

1. How did you know that there is only one true God and not many?
2. How did you know that God will send a Messiah to the world?
3. How have you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent?

INCQUISITOR:

The answers to your questions are found in the Bible, where else?

Me:

Since you apparently wanted to be vague in your answer, then I'll have to guess as to what you meant by your answer.

I understand then that you came to know that there is only one true God and not many, in the Bible. And that goes as well, as to why you know that God will send a Messiah to the world, and that you come to believe that it is Jesus, the son of Mary, spoken of in the Bible is the Christ that God have sent.

Why and how is it then that you believe in the Bible in the first place?

INCQUISITOR:

I believe that the Bible is the word of God. Jesus says the word of God is truth (John 17:17). God says "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good" (Num. 23:19 KJV)? This is the reason why I do not BLINDLY believe ALL scriptures without comparing spiritual things (scriptures) with spiritual(scripture) as the Holy Spirit teaches (1 Cor. 2:13). I also do not think BEYOND what is written (1 Cor. 4:6) in order to avoid ADDING to or SUBTRACTING from the word of God (Rev. 22:18-19).

Me:

You say you believe that the Bible is the word of God. And you believe that because you say Jesus says the word of God is truth.

What did you first believe, the Bible, which have what Jesus says, or did you first believe in Jesus and then believe in the Bible?
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You say and believe that Jesus is NOT a "God" who BECAME flesh because of John 8:40 and John 17:3. Yes, Jesus is not a God, because Jesus is God and not some other God, for there is but only one God. But, if that's what you understand out of the said scriptures, then so be it with you. As for me, John 8:40 speaks of Jesus to be a man. John 17:3 speaks of Jesus' Father to be the only true God and that He was sent by Him. God also revealed elsewhere in scriptures that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, who came forth from Him. God, in scriptures, reveals that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God came down from heaven, having been sent to the world below. That Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. That Jesus Christ knew no sin. And so on and so forth. And I believe all of that, not one that I pick out and do not believe. For all is God's words and so are true, faithful, powerful, and trustworthy.

INCQUISITOR:

I also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that the son of God came from heaven, which to me means, the son of man came from God (John 8:42), I also believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, that Jesus Christ knew no sin. I also believe that these words of God are true, faithful and trustworthy.

However, I believe that these scriptures do NOT negate John 17:3 which explicitly teaches us that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God and Jesus Christ is a MAN (John 8:40) whom God SENT into the world (John 3:17; 17:3).

Me:

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being "son of God" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, came from heaven. The issue with you about this is what you take it to mean. You take it to mean that Jesus Christ came from God. And while it is true that Jesus Christ came from God, what it means when scripture says that the Son of God came down from heaven, speaks of something different.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega. The next thing to understand regarding this is what his being the "Alpha and Omega" means.

It's good that you believe that Jesus Christ knew no sin. The next thing to understand regarding this is what that means.

And of course, these truths does not contradict the rest of the truths revealed in scriptures.

INCQUIDITOR:

Of course, these truths do not contradict the rest of truths revealed in scriptures. There is no argument about that.

What Trinitarians like you want these verses to mean is what CONTRADICTS the truth revealed in John 17:3 and other related truths revealed in scriptures.

Me:

So, perhaps then you can tell me about the next thing to understand about these truths:

1. The truth: Jesus Christ is the son of God.

What does this mean that Jesus is the son of God? Scripture will not say this concerning Christ for no reason and without meaning. In relation to this, scripture says that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.

2. The truth: Jesus Christ, the son of God, came from heaven.

You take this to mean that Jesus Christ came from God. But while it is true that Jesus Christ came from God, when scripture says that the Son of God "came down from heaven", speaks of something different. Here's what we can read in the writings of apostle John concerning Jesus:

John 3:31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

John 6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

John 6:38 For I HAVE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 6:62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

Jesus came from heaven above. He came down from heaven, to do the will of His Father who sent Him, into the earth below. And after having done His Father's will on earth below, He have ascended back to heaven above, where He was before, and from where He have come down from.

3. The truth: Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega.

What does this mean that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega? Scripture will not say this concerning Christ for no reason and without meaning. Concerning this, we have scriptures which have Jesus saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” in the book of Revelations, and we have in the same book this scripture “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

In another part of Revelations we have "Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

And still in another part of Revelations we have "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

We also have this scriptures in Isaiah “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

4. The truth: Jesus Christ knew no sin.

What does this mean that Jesus knew no sin? This means that Jesus committed no sin. But if my memory serves me right, you say that Jesus did commit sin. That would make Jesus then to have known sin, whatever sin that is that you say he is guilty of, rendering the truth that Jesus Christ knew no sin to be a lie.
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And yes I say that John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 does not contradict what apostles Peter and Paul wrote, that God raised Jesus from the dead. As I said I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Rom. 10:9, John 2:19-22 and John 10:18, all then must be true and are not be to be taken as contradicting each other, which leads us to the understanding that Jesus is no other but God who became flesh.

INCQUISITOR:

It is your FALSE understanding of John 2:19-22 and John 10:8 and your IGNORING John 17:3 that leads you and other Trinitarians to the FALSE understanding that Jesus is no other but God who BECAME flesh. If only you have faith in what Jesus says in John 17:3, you would come to the realization that Jesus was SENT by God - NOT God who BECAME flesh.

Me:

In your view, I have a faulty understanding. I can understand that. And in my view, I see you as the one whose understanding is faulty. We have different views about God. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not Lord to you, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is Lord to me, and so is the Son. In your view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not your Savior, but the Son is. In my view, God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is my Savior, and so is the Son.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is true as far as our views are concerned. As a Christian, I believe and have faith in Jesus which is "made perfect" (James 2:22) by my obedience to his words and teachings.

To me, Jesus is NOT God because the Father is the ONLY TRUE God in conformity with the teaching of Jesus written in John 17:3.

To me, God is my Father - NOT Lord, in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in Matthew 23:10 and John 20:17, and apostle Paul's teachings written in 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6 and Phil. 2:11.

To me, Jesus is Christ is my savior in conformity with the words and teachings of Jesus written in John 3:16-18 and apostle Paul's teachings written in Acts 5:31 that God exalted Jesus to His right hand to be prince and savior and in Eph. 5:23 and 25 where it is written that Jesus is the savior of the body, the church and gave his life for it.

Me:

Is your view that "God is my Father - NOT Lord" in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as "kurios", that is, "Lord", which clearly tells us and is undeniable truth that God is Lord. Now, we must not forget that there is only one God and therefore only one Lord. Think about this, before Christ came in the flesh some 2000 years ago, who is it you say is him who is the Lord and the Lord of God's people? Is it not the only true God? And when Christ came, did the only true God cease to be Lord and Lord of God's people?

Is your view that "Jesus is Christ is my savior" means that God is not your savior? If so, is your view in conformity with the rest of scriptures that speaks of God as the savior of those who believe in Him?
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Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

INCQUISITOR:

What you are saying is DIFFERENT from what apostle Paul says in Romans 10:13-15. Apostle Paul specifies from WHOM we should HEAR the word of God. And apostle Paul provides hints on how to know when a preacher is SENT or not.

In 1 Cor. 2:13 apostle Paul wrote, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual." A preacher SENT from God COMPARES spiritual things with spiritual.

In 2 Cor. 11:3-4 apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME Jesus, the SAME spirit and the SAME gospel that the apostles preached.

In Galatians 1:6-8, apostle Paul wrote: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." A preacher SENT from God preaches the SAME gospel that Christ and the apostles preached.

ME:

It's not DIFFERENT INCquisitor, but is exactly what apostle Paul says. As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Himself to preach the gospel. But then, I praise God that, He have cause and inspired scriptures to be written. In them we can read the preaching of the apostles, which is tantamount to having heard the one God have sent, that is, the Son, Jesus Christ.

Let me pick up my point from the scriptures "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

This is a clear reminder and warning of Paul to the Christians in Galatia. That the gospel that they have preached to them in the beginning is the gospel, the true gospel I may say. He greatly emphasizes this to the point of saying that if anyone, even they (he and the other apostles) or even an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel other than what they have preached to them then, Paul said "let him be accursed". Now, what is significant about this? As I have pointed out, we should always go back to scriptures when somebody preaches to you and claims that what they are preaching is the gospel of Christ. For, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached that they were commissioned and sent to preach. In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence.

INCQUISITOR:

Let me show you the FOLLY of what you are saying.

You have read 1 Cor. 8:6 where it reads, "yet for us there is ONE God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

How come a lot of so-called Christians believe that Jesus Christ is ALSO God and for them there are TWO Lords - NOT one?

ME:

There is no folly to show in what I'm saying INCquisitor.

Regarding your question on 1 Cor.8:6, obviously you have a problem with that. God is my Lord. And Jesus Christ is my Lord. Why do you have a problem with that? The way I see it, it's because God is not your Lord. Anyway, this is not the issue in this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

Obviously, you don't listen to what God says in scriptures. And this is the folly of your OPINION that it is enough to read scriptures to have "faith by hearing the apostles through scriptures."

ME:

Well, if there are no other scriptures other than 1 Cor. 8:6, you may be right. But, that is not the case. And this is what is obvious, your scriptures is different from the Holy scriptures I read.

Perhaps, you can now go back to the issue under this thread.

INCQUISITOR:

You say: "In short, we don't get to readily and easily believe what others preach, but rather, go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach if it is in keeping with the gospel that the apostles preached, and believe what is there in scriptures, and not be deceived because of our lack of diligence."

Aren't you contradicting yourself? 1 Cor. 8:6 is scripture. It's what apostle Paul preached.

As you correctly stated, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." This can rightly be applied to the one who taught you the FALSE doctrine that "God is your Lord and Jesus Christ is ALSO your Lord," CONTRARY to what apostle Paul preached as written in 1 Cor. 8:6.

Me:

And as I said we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures.

And I am not contradicting myself. While Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.", Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:", and Jude said in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same thing with the truth that Jesus is the Savior and God is the Savior. And this you don't believe, even while scriptures testify to this.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;", and Peter says in 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:", and Jude says in Jude 1:25 "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Jesus is Lord. God is Lord.
Jesus is the Savior. God is the Savior.

INCQUISITOR:

If we take every scripture as TRUE without comparing them with other scriptures as the Holy Spirit teaches in 1 Cor. 2:13 (NKJV), we would have the apostles CONTRADICTING each other or apostles CONTRADICTING even Jesus Christ, their "ONLY LORD and Master" (Jude 1:4 TEV).

In the Ang Biblia version of Mt. 23:10, Jesus said, "Ni huwag kayong patawag na mga panginoon; sapagka't IISA and inyong panginoon, samakatuwid baga'y, ANG CRISTO (Do not be called 'Lords' for ONE is your 'Lord', the Christ)."

In 1 Cor. 8:6, apostle Paul was teaching the early Corinthian Christians the lesson that Jesus Christ taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10, that Christ is their ONLY ONE 'Lord.'

On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching. In fact, the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1 Peter 3:15 reads, "sanctify Christ as Lord."

The same twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Societies' third edition of Jude1:4 omits God. Hence, the Today's English Version of Jude 1:4 also reads as follows: "For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our ONLY Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received."

Me:

You said "On the other hand, what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being Lord, is a statement - NOT a teaching."

A statement may not be a teaching. But that has nothing to do with a statement being true. And the said statements of Jude and Peter testifies who is God to them, that is, Lord God and their Savior.

If you go to 1 Cor. 2:13 and take what Paul said, and you take that which Paul taught that only Christ is Lord and that God is not, as true, then you must have to interpret all other scriptures such as that of Peter and Jude to not go against it, right? But that is not the right way to take God's equally true words in scriptures. We must take them as to what they say.

To Peter and Jude, God is Lord.
God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs.

If your understanding of scriptures denies this truth, then there is the problem with you.

I take all of God's words in scriptures as equally true and has no contradiction. And so, taking Paul's statement that there is only one Lord, and that to be Jesus Christ, only tells me who Jesus Christ is, for, from the beginning, the only Lord God is God, who is known to be the only Lord God even in ancient times and by the prophets and patriarchs.

INCQUISITOR:

If what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 - that God is Lord - is a teaching, then we would have two apostles teaching two different doctrines. You say you believe BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 to be true. That's your call. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It won't change the way I divide the word of truth.

Heb. 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke separately to our fathers by the prophets and to us in these last days by His son. God commanded our fathers by the prophets to call Him 'Lord.' God has spoken to us in these last days by His son Jesus, who taught his disciples not to be called 'Lord,' for ONE is their 'Lord,' the Christ (Mt. 23:10).

Me:

Yes I say BOTH 1 Cor. 8:6 and 1 Peter 3:15 are true. And why not?

As I have pointed out, to Peter and Jude, God is Lord. And that God is Lord even in the days of old, to the prophets and patriarchs. If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

And don't tell me that you are trashing away all of the NT scriptures which refers to God as Lord (kurios). Your Bible would surely grow much thinner by then.

INCQUISITOR:

As far as I am concerned, I believe what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 more than what apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 about God being his Lord because what apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 8:6 conforms with what Jesus taught his disciples in Mt. 23:10 (Ang Biblia). Perhaps apostle Peter, being a Jew, wrote 'Lord God' by force of habit, or translators did not want to believe what Jesus taught and what apostle Paul wrote and ADDED 'Lord' before 'God' when they translated 1 Peter 3:15.

I call God my Father just as Jesus calls God his Father (John 20:17). God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me. I'm a Christian. Thus, I follow what Christ teaches.

Me:

Well you can think all you want about Peter and Jude. No one denies you that. But, if you'll be kind and brave enough, could you please answer the very simple and basic questions I asked:

If God is Lord yesterday, why would God not be Lord today and tomorrow? And may I ask, what does it mean to you when one says God is ones' Lord?

INCQUISITOR:

Heb. 1:1-2 teaches that God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets but has spoken to us by His son. In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.' In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son and has "commanded His son what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49-50).

Therefore, to the ancient people of God, God is Lord.

By contrast, God's people in these last days, the true Christians, call God Father and call Jesus Christ Lord in compliance with what Jesus taught his disciples that they have only one Father, He who is in heaven (Mt. 23:9), that his God is their God and his Father is their Father (John 20:17). Jesus also commanded his disciples not to have themselves called 'Lord' for ONE is their 'Lord', the Christ (Mt. 23:10 Ang Biblia). Apostle Peter wrote that God made Jesus "Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:"36).

Me:

So, ok. You can't answer my simple questions. As for me, God is Lord yesterday, today and tomorrow. And what it means for God to be one's Lord is that God is him, that he obeys and serves.

Now, let me deal with your deviation.

Yes, God in various ways and at various times spoke to our fathers in the past by the prophets. And what He have spoken is true. And yes God has spoken to us by His son some 2000 years ago. And what He have spoken is true.

You said "In the past, God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.'". Please show me where in scriptures is that.

INCQUISITOR:

In the past, everyone was subject to God and everyone was commanded to obey and serve Him only. God told our fathers, He is Lord (Deut. 4:35; 6:4).

In these last days, God made Christ 'Lord' (Acts 2:36) and "put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:22).

Me:

And so, there really is no scripture to show in the past that says that God commanded His people to call Him 'Lord.'. And that this is just your own teaching.

You said "God told our fathers, He is Lord (Deut. 4:35; 6:4)."

Deuteronomy 4:35 (INSERTS MINE)
35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord(YHWH) Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.

Deuteronomy 6:4
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord(YHWH) our God, the Lord(YHWH) is one!

The scriptures you cited does not say what you say.

And from what you want to imply, the question needs be answered by you. So, please stop running away from it and be brave to face it, that is, if you say you have the truth. The question is:

If God is Lord and is the Lord in the past, did He ceased to be Lord and the Lord today?
-------------------------------
I too call God, "Abba,Father". I'm a Christian too, because I believe and follow Christ, because I believe and follow God. I call Him Father not because it was commanded of me, but because I have received from Him, that which He has given me, the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.”

INCQUISITOR:

Why then do you insist on calling God 'Lord?'

Me:

Even while God is my Father, God is my Lord. Because scriptures testify that God is Lord and even the Lord of lords and King of kings even. So God is my King as well. I obey and serve Him. Don't you? I think you do too, though you just refuse to admit that he is lord and so deny God as your Lord, and so just refuse to call Him 'Lord', as you think that you should not for you think that by doing so, you are contradicting what Paul said in 1 Cor. 8:6, that there is one Lord, that is, Jesus Christ. And you take it that way even while you know in your heart that the only one that man must obey and serve is God.

INCQUISITOR:

I showed you Heb. 1:1-2. Don't you believe nor understand what it says? To the patriarchs, God was 'Lord.' To true Christians or followers of Christ, Christ is 'Lord' while God is their Father (John 20:17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6).

Obeying Jesus as 'Lord' also means obeying God. Jesus said his doctrine is His who sent him (John 7:16). Jesus said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me" (John 12:24). "For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak" (John 12:49-50).

If you don't believe these words of Christ, then you are not a Christian.

Me:

Yes, I know what Heb. 1:1-2 says. And it says "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds". What we have there is that God, in the last days spoken to us by His Son. So, what does have to do with the issue that God is Lord? And it does not say that God is no longer Lord, nor does it say anything to the effect that He is not to be Lord to the Christian. It amazes me that you keep wanting verses say what they don't say every time you can't show scriptures to support what you teach.

You can't accept, and so deny, the truth that in the past, present, and future, God is Lord and is the Lord, that He is the only one that man must obey and serve. And that, even while you know this truth in your heart. I'm sure that even now, your heart tells you to obey and serve no other, but God.

You said "Obeying Jesus as 'Lord' also means obeying God". Don't you see it? Your obeying Jesus is actually coming from your obeying God. If God have not commanded you to believe and obey Jesus as your Lord, would Jesus be your Lord and obey and serve him? I'm sure you won't. So, why do you keep denying that God is Lord over you, when all that you do is out of obedience and service to Him?

It doesn't matter if you call me a Christian or not. Being called a Christian is not that which saves me anyway.
------------------------------
You said "God's command to our fathers to call Him 'Lord' does not apply to me."

First, can you show in scriptures where we can learn that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'?

Second,if God did commanded them to call Him 'Lord', for what reason is that? And how is God, Lord over them?

Also, in the NT times, what can you understand as to the matter of scriptures, when referring to God, refers to him as "kurios"?

INCQUISITOR:

On your first and second questions, I am not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures. I only know that writers of the OT called God 'Lord.' On your third question, I don't speak Greek. Hence, I don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord' except perhaps by force of habit or translators' desire to call God 'Lord.'

Me:

That tells me then that you don't know the truths that God revealed of himself to man in time past. And if you admit that you are not well-versed on Old Testament scriptures, why do you say that God commanded our fathers to call Him 'Lord'? That would then just be guessing and so whatever then you base on that is then only based on a guess. If you take God's words, even in the OT scriptures, as important, holy, and good, and cares enough to know Him, I suggest you start finding out what He revealed of Himself to man, even in the OT.

If your excuse is that you don't speak Greek, so that you don't know why NT scriptures refer to God as 'Lord', I can't see how you know why scriptures refer to God as 'Father'. And in general then, I can't see how you know why and can believe translations of the other Greek words.

Even if we, for the sake of argument, take that scriptures does not say that God is Lord or master, must you obey and serve God or not? If you must, is He then not your Lord?

In the scripture below, who do you say is the Lord referred to here?

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

INCQUISITOR:

Is there any other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved? You know the answer to that, don't you?

Me:

There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved, except the name of Jesus, the Christ, the son of God, the Lord, the Savior.

And I don't know your answer to my simple question because you don't and perhaps can't or can but is not brave enough to answer it. And I will not guess. I'll take it as you don't know who is the Lord referred to in the scriptures below, unless you tell me who he is.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".

Don't be ashamed to tell me, if you know. If you know the truth why be ashamed to say it?
------------------------------------------------

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 INCQUISITOR:

Most MISINTERPRET this verse to mean that "faith is the gift from God." Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eternal life is the "thing HOPED for" and the kingdom of God is the "thing unseen" for which "faith is the substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1) respectively.

ME:

Regarding the "thing hoped for" and the "thing unseen", read my discussion about this at the top segment of this post.

With regards to Ephesians 2:8-9, let's see here the correct interpretation by going through the verse:

"For by grace you have been saved". This phrase tells of the Christian that he have been saved. And how? By grace, Paul says.

What does Paul mean in saying that the Christian have been saved "by grace"? We get to understand that in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

INCQUISITOR:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

These verses do not tell us that "faith comes from God."

What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Of course, salvation is not by ourselves nor of works. It is a result of faith.

Apostle Paul writes, "For whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have NOT believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have NOT heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has BELIEVED our report? So then FAITH comes by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:16-17).

Thus, faith is the result of HEARING the gospel from a PREACHER SENT from God, BEIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel SAYS and INSTRUCTS one to do.

ME:

Yes Ephesians 2:8-9 does speak about the truth that faith comes from God. And I have explained to you clearly what the passage tells us in my post above.

You said "What "grace" means is that because of God's love for the world, He SENT His son into the world that through him the world might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

That is not what grace means INCquisitor. That is the grace of God. Here's a verse that can help you understand what grace means:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

In the Greek, the word translated "grace" is "charis" which means favor, kindness. Grace is as a gift or blessing.

And perhaps now you can better understand the scriptures "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, men did not have to work or do anything for God to SEND His son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). God SENT His son out of His love for us. But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved. This is what Paul meant when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).

ME:

The verse says "For by grace"... Now this means, not by works. If not by works, what then? As I have pointed out,we get to understand "For by grace", in the following phrase "through faith". Now, Paul says elsewhere to the Christians in Rome concerning God's promise that He have spoken to Abraham, "it is of faith that it might be according to grace". So, we can see that concerning grace, faith is in view, not anything else. The next that Paul says in the verse in conjunction to this, he said "and that not of yourselves". What does that mean? It means that the truth that the Christians have been saved by grace through faith, points to them, that their having been saved then, was not because of themselves, such as not because of works that they have done, which is of themselves. We can see this in verse 9, where Paul says "not of works". This shows us then, which is the point of this thread in the OP, that faith comes from God, so that, because it is from God, it is not from us.

You said "But it is through "faith in Jesus" that we are saved". It's good that you say that. Do you mean by that, that you agree, that it is not of yourself and not through works that we are saved, as Eph.2:8-9 says?

INCQUISITOR:

It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. However, this is where we should take other scriptures into consideration.

What does "faith in Jesus" mean or entail? In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who "believed him", If you ABIDE in my word, you are MY disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." What does ABIDE in the word of Jesus mean? Doesn't that mean "obeying what Jesus COMMANDS you to do?" Isn't that "work?"

In Matt. 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the WILL of my Father in heaven." Is DOING the WILL of the Father NOT "work?"

In James 2:14 and 20, apostle James wrote: "What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But do you want to know O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

The works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.

Me:

It's good that you take as true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says.

Now, whatever you say then with regards this truth will not get out of line if you keep in mind Eph. 2:8-9 which says "For BY GRACE you have been SAVED through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. Forgetting that or setting aside the truth that one is SAVED through faith, and NOT OF WORKS, in considering other scriptures which speaks of how one is saved, almost always leads one to the error of being saved through faith and works, making one to able to boast of being saved, not only by having faith in Christ, but by his works.

INCQUISITOR:

Sticking to Eph. 2:8-9 without regards to Matt. 7:21 and James 2:14 is the fatal error of Christian-professing religions today. How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?

Sadly, Christian-professing religions are IGNORANT of the "works" that make "faith perfect" in order to benefit from God's "saving grace through faith in Jesus."

Me:

You just said "It's true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says."

That statement of yours is clear. The matter is if you meant what it says.

You asked:

"How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Your questions here just shows that you didn't mean what your statement above says or really do not understand Eph.:8-9.

INCQUISITOR:

You must be ignorant of what "faith in Jesus" entails. While it is true that it is "through faith in Jesus" and not of ourselves or through works that we are saved as Eph. 2:8-9 says. we cannot just set aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 simply because we don't know the "will of the Father" necessary to be DONE to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I believe Eph. 2:8-9 and understand what it is telling us. As I said earlier, the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation. Besides, Eph. 2:8-9 CANNOT prevail over the words of Jesus written in Matthew 7:21.

Any "work" that people do to earn salvation, like religiously going to church, giving alms to the poor, giving monetary offerings, observing religious holidays, nor eating blood, etc. which are NOT the "WILL of the Father" are "works that one can boast of." These are the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9.

The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once again, I ask: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches? How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

Me:

I am not setting aside Mt. 7:21 and James 2:14 nor a single scripture, unlike you who have even trashed away many scriptures.

You said:

<<the works mentioned in Eph. 2:8-9 is definitely different from the "works" mentioned in Matt. 7:21 that is needed for salvation.>>

Clearly, Eph.2:8-9 does not exclude any work by saying "not of works". Anyway, you say that Matt. 7:21 speaks of works needed for salvation, even while no works is mentioned really. What works are you then talking about,for the sake of argument? You even said "The "work" mentioned in Mt. 7:21 is specific. One MUST "DO the WILL of the Father" to enter the kingdom of heaven". What work is that?

You asked: "How can one be saved "by grace through faith in Jesus" if one does NOT "do the WILL of the Father" as Jesus teaches?

Believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. That is the will of the Father.

You asked: "How can one be saved if one does NOT believe James 2:14 which is the word of God?"

I think that when one does not believe any scriptures, he really do not have faith in God, for he rejects and does not believe the word of God.

Now, regarding James 2:14, you might like to read v.18 to see the point of James there.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the will of the Father is to "believe and have faith in Jesus."

You say you "believe and have faith in Jesus." What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)? Don't you believe God's word which says, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20)?

Me:

I believe all of God's words including James 2:20.

Now, you asked "" What "works" can you show to make your faith in Jesus perfect, just as Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works (James 2:21-22)?". Such question comes about when one does not get the point of what James is saying in v.18.

James 2:18, " Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works".

Considering v.18, James'point is that the faith of one is SHOWN or SEEN by works. And you will understand what he said in the next verse, "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". The devils too can be said to have faith, same as anyone who believe that there is one God, such as the Muslims and the Christians. Now, look at the devil's works. What faith do you see? So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN.

Of the case James mentioned of Abraham, v. 22 says " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Clearly, the verse tells us how faith have moved Abraham to act and do as he had. And that by such doing and working, his faith was made perfect, meaning, is made complete or is consummated, having reached its end aim and accomplish its goal.

Verse 23 says "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and IT was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Clearly, all that James said of the case of Abraham, it was Abraham's faith that was imputed unto him for righteousness, not anything else.

The matter with regards to the work that Abraham did here is that, though even while he believe in God, should Abraham have not acted on his faith or have done what is contrary to it, such faith is said to be dead. For a faith that does not move one to act or does not produce works, is dead.

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you now understand what "faith made perfect by works" mean. I think you are now ready to "make your faith in Jesus perfect" by obeying his commands and abiding in his word or following his teachings,

Me:

I think you did not see and understand anything in my post regarding James 2. Consider going through it again so that you don't get to have the wrong impression and conclusion.

So, I'll just say this, and perhaps you will consider and meditate on it: It is faith that is imputed unto the believer for righteousness, not anything else.

INCQUISITOR:

Isn't this what you sad? You said, "So, you see, James' real focus here is about faith. He speaks of works, not so much that it was what he was talking about, but because it is by works that faith is SHOWN and is SEEN."

What use is "faith" that is not shown or seen? James calls it "faith that is dead." Would the faith of Abraham in God made him a friend of God if he did not obey God's command for him to sacrifice Isaac?

What use is your "faith in Jesus" if you don't obey his words or teachings?

Me:

I agree that if someone says he has faith but does not have works, it doesn't profit him anything. And so, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Would the faith of Abraham in God made him a friend of God if he did not obey God's command for him to sacrifice Isaac?

Since it's a hypothetical question, I could only give you a hypothetical answer. If Abraham did not obey God in sacrificing Isaac, by such he will not be called a friend of God.

Now, let me asked you, by what Abraham have done, what profit did Abraham have by it? Is him being called the fiend of God is it?

And take a look at this regarding the faith of Abraham here, with the fact that he obeyed God. Is his sacrificing Isaac is that which was imputed unto him as righteousness? Why is it that it is faith that was imputed unto him as righteousness and not what he have done?
----------------------------------
Now, Paul said "it is the gift of God". What is the "it" referring to? From the verse, it can easily be understood that the "it" refers to the Christian's salvation ("have been saved"). It does not refer to faith, for it is not what is in view in the verse, rather, the salvation of the Christian is what is in view. So, what Paul is saying in the verse, is that, salvation is God's gift to the Christian. Now, we know that salvation means eternal life. We can see this in the statement of Paul, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.".

Thank you for commenting on Ephesians 2:8-9. It opened the door for me to show you that salvation is a gift. Do you know what that means?

INCQUISITOR:

Of course I have known all along that salvation or eternal life - NOT faith - is the gift of God. I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus or by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do.

In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

ME:

There is a lot of difference between having faith in Jesus Christ and that of the matter of hearing the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God. And the former is where one get to receive eternal life. So, your statement "I also know that we can only receive this gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus OR by HEARING the gospel of Christ from a preacher sent from God, BELIEVING the gospel and OBEYING what the gospel says or INSTRUCTS us to do", is faulty.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, a preacher SENT from God preaches the gospel of Christ. Hence, hearing from a preacher SENT from God is tantamount to hearing the gospel of Christ. As Christ told his disciples long ago, "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who Sent ME" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

Luke 10:16 refers to no other but to those whom Jesus have sent in those times. It does not include any of those now who claims to be sent by Jesus or by God.

Now, there are plenty in these days who claims to be sent from God, and that they claim to be the only ones sent and no other. And one say to the other, that he is a false messenger, and so too will the other say to the other. As each one denies the other, one need not have to really choose between them who is true or not. For we can go to those in scriptures spoken to be sent by Jesus to preach the gospel, that is, His apostles. What they have preached, God have inspired to be written in scriptures. So, if one reads in scriptures what they preached, they could be sure that they are hearing the true gospel.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say is easier said than done. Case in point: Apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead.

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true od (John 17:3). FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God.

Only true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

There were many disciples of Christ when He came and went teaching when He was on earth. But there were only twelve that the Lord have chosen.

John 6
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus UNTO THE TWELVE, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU TWELVE, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Of the twelve, here's what Jesus revealed:

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And it came to pass, that Judas betrayed and not before long, Judas killed himself. So of the twelve, there were left 11.

To the eleven, Jesus commanded them:

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now, it came to pass that the eleven have chosen another one to be an apostle, to take the place of Judas Iscariot:

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Now, it came to pass that Jesus have chosen another to be His apostle to the Gentiles, that is Saul (Paul). Refer to Acts 9.

Here's what Paul testifies:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

The "they" in the verse refers to the other apostles.

Now, after these chosen apostles, were there any other men chosen by God or by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the same work and ministry?

As I have explained, the apostles were the ones sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His witnesses and preach to the whole world. Now, today, Jesus is in heaven, and the apostles are dead. There were no other else, after the apostles, that scriptures speak of as being sent to preach, but the apostles. It is them who were commissioned by Jesus Christ to be His apostles and preach the gospel. For the scriptures have said and warned "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now, in the scriptures, we can find the gospel that the apostles preached of which they were commissioned and were sent out to preach. In short, we go to the inspired scriptures and read about what they say and preach and so learn of the gospel of Christ and believe it.

INCQUISITOR:

As I said, what you say is easier said than done. Again, I say, apostles Peter (Acts 3:15) and Paul (Rom. 10:9) preached that God RAISED Jesus from the dead. These are scriptures. Yet, FALSE preachers preach that Jesus RAISED himself from the dead. These FALSE preachers REFUSE to listen to apostles Peter and Paul!

Apostle Paul preached that Jesus is a MAN (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Peter preached that Jesus is a MAN (Acts 2:22). Jesus himself preached that he is a MAN (John 8:40) and the Father is the ONLY true God (John 17:3). These are also scriptures which anyone can read. Yet, FALSE preaches preach that Jesus is ALSO God. These FALSE preachers also REFUSE to listen to Jesus!

These FALSE preachers say they preach the true gospel of Christ. How can they when they preach other gospels that apostles Paul and Peter and even Jesus have preached? As apostle Paul wrote, let these FALSE preachers be accursed!

Again, I say, ONLY true DISCIPLES of Christ can preach the TRUE gospel of Christ.

Me:

And again I will refer you back to my previous post above and try to see the point I was making and give it some thought.

INCQUISITOR:

The proliferation of FALSE teachers of religions prove that your point of view is FALSE. If you REFUSE to change your point of view, it does not make any difference to me.

Me:

Same here. I'll go with the truth of scriptures. And I would not dare exchange what truth scriptures says for any teachings of any one who claims to have the truth, even one who claims to be a chosen and commissioned disciple of Christ today, nor even an angel, for scriptures tells me "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed".

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote Gal. 1:8 and said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". He also wrote 1 Cor. 8:6 where he taught that for him and Christ's disciples, there is ONLY ONE God, the Father, and ONLY ONE Lord Jesus Christ..." Therefore, let those FALSE teachers who teach any other gospel (message) than that which apostle Paul preached in 1 Cor. 8:6 be ACCURSED.

Me:

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH."

And to all who think to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ, including Paul, and preach what they think and claim they are, and claims that only they, have the truth and correct understanding of scriptures, may God have mercy on them.

INCQUISITOR:

This goes for you and Tomas too.

Me:

I don't claim to be a commissioned disciple of Christ today, and claim to be sent and chosen like the apostles of Christ. I don't know about Tomas. I can't speak for him.

incquisitor:

No further comment.

Me:

But you do claim such, don't you?
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With regards to your other post here, thanks, but I have read and heard that passage long time ago. And it reminds me, I asked you some time ago on the passage you cited, what does "faith to faith" means? If my memory serves me right, you said you don't know. I wonder then how you could understand the passage and cite it, when you don't know what it means.

INCQUISITOR:

I wrote:

"In case you have not heard it before, "the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks. FOR IN IT, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

Therefore, it is important to test whether the gospel that one is hearing, believing and obeying is the true gospel of Christ. The only way of knowing whether the gospel one is hearing is the true gospel of Christ is if it REVEALS the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

You ask, "what does "faith to faith" mean?

Apostle Paul says, "for in it (the gospel of Christ}, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is REVEALED from faith to faith."

I believe that this is a way to test the authenticity of whoever claims to be a preacher sent from God. The gospel of Christ that one preaches must REVEAL the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Otherwise, the gospel that one preaches is FALSE.

ME:

Sorry, but I still don't really get what "faith to faith" means for you. Are you saying that "faith" there refers to other faith, as in, other belief?

INCQUISITOR:

There is only one righteousness of God that is revealed by the true gospel of Christ. It is by this revelation of the gospel of Christ that the authenticity of the gospel being preached is tested.

Me:

As the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If you don't get to see there what the righteousness of God is, I pray to God to give you understanding.

INCQUISITOR:

Does the gospel you preach reveal the righteousness of God? I dare say no.

Apostle Paul wrote: "For He made him who knew no sin t be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Tell us, what is the "righteousness of God" that apostle Paul was talking about? How does one become the "righteousness of God" in Christ?

Me:

Yes, for what I spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

"... we might become the righteousness of God in him" is what the verse says. Even that I guess you don't seem to understand.

As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD is REVEALED from FAITH TO FAITH:

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH.

What is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?

It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH!

Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH

INCQUISITOR:

You didn't tell me what the "righteousness of God" is that YOUR gospel reveals. You simply said, "As I said, the scriptures says, that in the gospel of Christ, is the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

If I were your Bible student, what did you teach me as the "righteousness of God" that is revealed from faith to faith? Nothing? Therefore, the gospel you preach is NOT the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes what you preach.

Scripture says, "for in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). Your gospel MUST reveal to your Bible students what the righteousness of God is. Be honest to yourself and to your Bible students and tell them that you are IGNORANT of what the "righteousness of God" is.

Me:

And as I said, the gospel I share and spread is what is preached by the chosen apostles in scriptures.

Now haven't I given you the Bible to tell you about the righteousness of God? I said "It is what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH! Read what is said in scriptures what is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH, which will lead to what is written: THE JUST SHALL LIVE by FAITH".

Let me quote some scriptures that reveals the righteousness of God from FAITH TO FAITH.

Hebrews 11:

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

INCQUISITOR:

Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21).

You say these scriptures reveal the "righteousness of God." What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal? How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Me:

What is the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

Apparently you still can't see the righteousness of God in the scriptures I have given you. That's sad. Only God can open the eyes of one who can't see.

How can we become the "righteousness of God" that these scriptures reveal?

I cited the above scriptures not to show you HOW we can BECOME the "righteousness of God", but to tell how the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH.

INCQUISITOR:

You say the scriptures you cited tell us "how the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith." Then you should know WHAT the righteousness of God is that is revealed from faith to faith. Otherwise, your citing these scriptures is of NO help to anyone.

Me:

And yes I do INCquitor. It is what is revealed in the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. and of the prophets, and most especially and fully, in the faith of Jesus Christ.

How about you, do you not see the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, at least, in the scriptures I cited? I guess not.

You teach what you think is the righteousness of God is. Is this righteousness of God that you teach is what you've seen from faith to faith? For regarding the righteousness of God, scriptures say is REVEALED from faith to faith? If it is not based on that, then it is based on something else, which I would say is on your own thinking and wisdom.
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You said "Apostle Paul wrote that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in him (in Christ)" (2 Cor. 5:21)."

"..that we might become God's righteousness in Christ". Becoming God's righteousness is different from what the righteousness of God is. Anyway, let me comment on the matter of how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ. It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours. And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses.

INCQUISITOR:

Of course, "becoming the righteousness of God" is different from "what God's righteousness is." Anybody should know that. The question is, how can one "become the righteousness of God" if one is IGNORANT of what God's righteousness is?

You say, "The verse clearly said "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us". This is how we might become God's righteousness in Christ." How can you say that when you don't even know what God's righteousness is? What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us?

I can only imagine how confused you must be concerning the epistles of Paul.

Me:

As I have shown in my post in the other segment above, the righteousness of God according to you is coming not from what can be seen from faith to faith, where the righteousness of God is seen as it is revealed from faith to faith, but is coming from your own thinking and wisdom. If scriptures say that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, where would you expect one to go and see and know of the righteousness of God?

Do you not know that scriptures says something like this:

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

What is the faith that is referred to here that is said to be afterward revealed? Obviously it is not speaking of the faith that has been already revealed such as that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. It is the faith of Jesus Christ that Paul is talking about here.

So, having established that, and that Jesus, having done ALL that He did and not only SOME, as did the others I mentioned above, by faith, we can look at Jesus and see in full, the righteousness of God. So, we see that Jesus Christ has become the righteousness of God.

How can one "become the righteousness of God", you asked. By having faith, faith as that which is not only revealed and seen and is of Abraham, but even ,as that faith of Jesus Christ which was revealed in the last days, some 2000 years ago.

What has God's righteousness got to do with God making Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us, you asked. It has nothing to do with that, but it has everything to do with the matter of forgiving man his sins, that man might be cleansed of all filth, that is sin, and being clean, they then may and could be reconciled to God. That is what I'm saying in the part that you have made a separate segment below. With that and going further, man then might become the righteousness of God, and that, in Christ.

Now, let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "It is good and important to note that it is God who acted here, not anyone else. So, our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours". This is simply to remind us that our becoming God's righteousness in Christ is the work of God, not ours.

And let me say why I said regarding 2 Cor.5:21, "And interestingly, the verse clearly speaks of Christ this way, "him who knew no sin". There is then no doubt that Jesus is without sin and have committed no sin, just like a spotless sacrificial lamb that is offered for the atonement of sins in relation to the law of Moses". This is simply to remind us that Jesus never sinned throughout His entire life, for if not, then scriptures could not have spoken of Jesus as one who knew no sin. And that then, Jesus is rightfully declared by the prophet John, as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".

INCQUISITOR:

I believe you have no idea what "righteousness" means. Until you do, everything you say above is "profane and idle babblings," if I may borrow apostle Paul's words written in 2 Tim. 2:15).

Me:

No one is stopping you to believe what you want INCquisitor. So, do as you please.

And I too will say, until you see the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, what you say about it is what is "profane and idle babblings".

Apparently, what I have posted above, there is none of it that you can properly refute.
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Now, we know that God had made this of His Son Jesus Christ on His own will and because of His love for us. But we know that God hates sin and He is holy. So, if He reconciles us to Himself, we must be cleansed from sin. Another matter is that man is weak, because of the flesh, so that man is easily tempted in falling into sin. And so He had done this, for only by the sacrifice of Christ, as being the lamb of God, by being sin for us, as payment for the penalty of sin, can man be cleansed of his sins. This then made it possible for man to be reconciled to God.

INCQUISITOR:

Is this what the Bible teaches about reconciling sinners to God? Please show scriptures.

Me:

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

I believe you know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".

INCQUISITOR:

That is easy. It's like saying, "Joe is the sanitation man who takes away the garbage from you street." But do you know HOW Joe takes away the garbage from your street? Do you know what time takes away your garbage?

Most people I talk to know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins o the world." But none of these people I talk to know HOW Jesus takes away the sins of the world. None of these people know what man must DO for Christ to take away his sins.

Me:

Don't you know what it means that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Can you tell me, what to you that means?

Here's another truth concerning this matter of Jesus being the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Peter 1:18-19 [CAPS MINE]
18 knowing that you were not REDEEMED with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, AS A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT.

Jesus Christ has given Himself for us, an OFFERING and a SACRIFICE to God.
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How about the matter of the weakness of the flesh? If we continue to be sinners and be the same creature we were, after having been cleansed from sin, what would that make of God? Certainly, we won't become the righteousness of God. So, this as well was taken cared of by God in Christ, so that we might become God's righteousness in him. For if any man be in Christ, God have made him a new creature, as having been born again, and having given him His Spirit that gives him the power to overcome sin. As such, by all of this that God have done in Christ, is how we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.

INCQUISITOR:

What you say means nothing unless you tell us the righteousness of God. How can one become the righteousness of God by Christ's dying as sacrificial lamb for sinners?

Me:

See what I've written about this in the other segments above.

INCQUISITOR:

I suggest you meditate on the meaning of "righteousness" as it relates to God. Otherwise, what you are saing is "profane and idle babblings."

Me:

I already have. It's high time you do the meditation, so that you would not be found of just making profane and idle babblings about what the "righteousness of God" is. I suggest you start meditating on the following verse:

Romans 1:17 [CAPS MINE]
17 For in it the righteousness of God IS REVEALED from FAITH to FAITH; as it is written, “The just shall LIVE BY FAITH.”
Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

INCQUISITOR:

Your understanding of the word "come" is different from mine. By taking the verse as a whole, I understand the word "come" to mean that faith results from HEARING the word of God.

Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Rom. 10:13-15)?

So then, faith can only result from HEARING the word of God FROM a preacher whom God has SENT.

God SENT Jesus into the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16; c.f. John 8:42; 17:3).

Jesus told his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples into all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). "He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

ME:

"Faith cometh by hearing". It means that, for one to have faith, he must hear. And what is there to hear, except the words coming from someone. And if we are talking of faith in God, so we are referring to hearing the words of God. And so, then we must have to hear the words of God, not the words of anybody else. By such, faith in God can come to the hearer. An