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CW4x4Him
Limited Member
Posts: 598

With this thread, I hope to help answer some questions on various subjects like: Basic Christian Thought, The nature and character of God, different religions and cults, Christianity and science, Ethics and more.

I'll post a question and write a short answer about it.  I am getting all of this from a book, so I take no credit for it.  If interested in the book, let me know and I'll tell you where you can get it.

 

I welcome any feedback and additional questions or comments.

 

1.  What must I do to be saved?

No one gets out of this world alive, so this is no doubt the most important question you can ask yourself!  In fact the Bible was written "so that you may know you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13)

 

First, according to scripture, you need to realize you are a sinner.  If you do not realize you are a sinner, you will not recognize your need for a savior. The Bible says, "we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)

 

Furthermore you must repent of your sins.  Repentance is the willingness to turn from our sin and toward Jesus Christ.I literally means a complete U-turn on the road of life - a change of heart and a change of mind.  It means you are willing to follow Jesus and receive him as your Savior and Lord.  Jesus said, "repent and believe the Good News". (Mark 1:15)

 

Finally, to demonstrate true belief, means to be willing to receive.  To truley receive is to trust in and depend on Jesus Christ alone to be the Lord of our lives here and now and our Savior for all eternity.  It takes more than knoweledge (the devil knows about Jesus and trembles).  It takes more than agreement that the knowledge we have is accurate. (the devil agrees that Jesus is Lord)  What it takes is trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.

 

The requirements are not based on what you can do, but what Jesus Christ has done. He stands ready to exchange his perfection for your imperfection.

 

According to Jesus Christ, those who realize they are sinners, repent of their sins, and receive him as Savior and Lord are "born again" (John 3:3) - not physically, but spiritually. The reality of our salvation is not dependent on our feelings, but rather on the promise of the Savior who says, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."  (John 5:24)

 

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have eternal life."

February 28, 2010 at 10:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trailfrog
Site Owner
Posts: 2232

Great idea Chris, I like it!

February 28, 2010 at 7:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

daveoffroad
Limited Member
Posts: 437

 

Great Idea.  We are starting a series in our Church SS hour this next Sunday.  The Class is World Religions and Cluts  101 and we are using this book as a guild.


http://s40.photobucket.com/albums/e210/daveoffroad/?action=view&current=wORLDRELIGIONSANDCULTS.jpg



 

--

David Austin

http://www.c4x4.com/


http://freegift.net/



March 1, 2010 at 5:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

CW4x4Him
Limited Member
Posts: 598

Thanks guys!  Here is the next one:

 

How do we know that the Bible is divine (actually from God) rather than human in origin?

To begin with, the Bible has stronger manuscript support than any other work of classical history - including Homer , Plato, Aristotle, Ceasar and Tacitus.  Equally amazing is the fact that the Bible has been virtually unaltered since the original writing, as is attested by scholors who have compared the earliest manuscripts with manuscripts written centuries later.

 

Additionally, the reliability of the Bible is affirmed by the testimony of its authors, who were eyewitnesses - or close associates of eyewitnesses - to the recorded events, and by secular historians who confirm the many events, people, places, and customs chronicled in Scripture.

 

Furthermore, archaeology is a powerful witness to the accuracy of the New Testament documents.  Repeatedly, comprehensive archaeological fieldwork and careful biblical interpretation affirm the reliability of the Bible.  For example, recent archaeological finds have corroborated biblical details surrounding the trial that led to the fatal torment of Jesus Christ - including Pontius Pilate, who ordered Christ's crucifixion, as well as Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over the religious trials of Christ.  It is telling when secular scholars must revise their biblical criticisms in light of solid archaeological evidence.

 

Finally, the Bible records predictions of events that could not be known nor predicted by chance or common sense. For example, the book of Daniel (written before 530 BC) accurately predicts the progression of kingdoms from Babylon through Median and Persian empires to the further persecution and suffering of the Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes with his desecration of the temple, his untimely death, and freedom for the Jews under Judas Maccabeus (165 BC).  It is statistically preposterous that any or all of the Bible's specific, detailed prophesies could have been fulfilled through chance, good guessing or deliberate deceit.

 

To defend the faith, we must be equipped to demonstrate that the Bible is divine rather than human in origin.  When we can successfully accomplish this, we can answer a host of other objections  by appealing to Scripture.

March 1, 2010 at 8:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

arveetek
Member
Posts: 947

Great idea Chris!


RE: What must I do to be saved?


We must be honest and truthul when answering such an important question.  All too often, I believe Christians are afraid of hurting someone's feelings, and therefore hold back from preaching the whole truth.  Peter says that if we are to speak, then we are to speak as one who is speaking the utterances of God (I Pet. 4:11).  That means we have the responsibilty of preaching what the written word of God says; no more, no less.


When answering the question, "What must I do to be saved," belief, repentance, and a receiving heart are all parts leading up to salvation.  But for some odd reason, most Christians and Christian writers tend to leave out the final requirement to begin that saving relationship with Christ: baptism.


When we study the New Testament, we find all throughout the Gospel accounts, the Book of Acts, and the various letters, the importance and necessity of baptism.  Beginning with Matthew 3:1-3, we see John the Baptizer preparing the way for Jesus.  John taught baptism.  Why?  To get people used to the new way that Jesus would be teaching.  Later on in the same chapter, in verses 13-17, we see Jesus himself being baptized by John.  Why would this be necessary?  Did Jesus have sin that needed to be washed away?  Of course not.  Jesus had no need for baptism, other than to leave an example for us to follow, and to show His obedience to the Heavenly Father.


Moving further on we read Jesus commanding His disciples (and naturally, us today) to "Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you."  Here is our first actual command to baptize, given by our Lord Himself.


Next, we can read of the importance and necessity of baptism in Mark 16:15-16.  Jesus again says, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."  Here, Jesus explains how crucial baptism really is.  Without baptism, one cannot be saved.  Belief plus baptism results in salvation.  When preaching the gospel, baptism must be a part of that preaching.


Moving further along in reading the New Testament, we come to John 3:3-5.  Here, Nicodemus is speaking with Jesus, and Jesus says that "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  Nicodemus is confused about this statement, and asks how a man could be physically born again.  Jesus goes on to explain that a man must be born of water and the Spirit, showing us a glimpse of what baptism is all about.


Reading through the book of Acts, we have multiple recorded accounts of people being converted to Christ.  One of the first we read is found in chapter 2.  After preaching the first Gospel sermon after Christ had been crucified, Peter convicted the hearts of those who were listening.  Once the hearers understood their lost condition, they asked the all important question, "What should we do?"  Peter's response?  "Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."  What must I do to be saved?  Peter said, "Repent and be baptized!"


In Acts chapter 8, Philip preached Christ to the Samarians (Vs 5) and when they believed, they were baptized (Vs. 12).  Later on in the same chapter, Philip "preached Jesus" to the Ethiopian eunuch (Vs. 35).  Apparently, "preaching Jesus" involves preaching baptism, because when they came to some water, the eunuch desired to be baptized (Vs. 36-39).


In Acts chapter 9, Saul (who later became the apostle Paul), was not saved on the road to Damascus, but rather was told by Christ to go into the city where he would be told what to do.  When Saul heeded the words of Ananias, he was baptized (Vs. 18;  22:16).


In Acts chapter 10, we read of a religous man named Cornelious.  Now if there was any man in the New Testament who should have been saved apart from baptism, it should have been this man!  It said of him that he was a "devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish People and prayed to God continually," (Vs. 2), and "a righteous and God-fearing man well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews," (Vs. 22).  What is astonishing about this, is that he still needed to hear the Gospel!  He still needed to be baptized!  God sent Peter to Cornelius so that Cornelius could hear the Good News.  As a result of this meeting, Cornelius and his household was baptized (Vs. 48).  We can know that Cornelius was not saved until this had happened, because of what was said later on chapter 11 and vs 14; "And he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household."  Until Peter had spoken these words (which included teachings of baptism), they were still lost!


There is also the conversion of Lydia in Acts 16, and she, too, was baptized.  Later, in the same chapter, the Philippian Jailer asked, "What must I do to be saved?" (Vs.30).  The answer?  "Believe in the Lord Jesus," (Vs. 31).  But also notice vs 33: "and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household."  Again, baptism is shown to be a part of the conversion process.


Paul, when recounting his story to the Jews, explained a little of what baptism does: "Now why do you delay?  Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."  Paul tells us that baptism is an act of obedience that results in the washing away of our sins.


Paul then later explains baptism in detail, in Romans 6:3-7.  From this reading we understand that baptism mimics the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We, too, are to die to our old self, be buried in the grave of baptism, and arise new creatures in Christ.


Paul also tells us in Galatians 3:27 that "all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."  What better way to grow closer to Christ and our heavenly Father than to put on Christ?


Finally, we come to I Peter 3:21, where Peter says that "Baptism does now save you -  not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  Peter says that baptism is not a physical washing, but a spiritual cleansing.  And he can't be more clear: "Baptism does now save you."


There are many other verses found in the New Testament that speak to the importance and necessity of baptism, but these should give us a pretty clear understanding of the will of God.


Of course, we must also realize that belief, repentance, and baptism does not guarantee us a home in heaven.  These are just the beginnings of a new life in Christ.  We are also instructed to live a faithful life, to avoid sin as much as we can.  We will still fall from time to time, but the blood of Christ will continue to "cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (I John 1:9).  However, it's possible for us to turn our back and fall completely away from Christ if we so choose.


I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but I can't understand why so many "Christian" authors, preachers, teachers, etc, are trying to downplay the importance of baptism.  It's not up to us to say whether or not it's important or essential; God has said it, so we must preach it.  We have the responsibility to preach the whole counsel of God, not just the parts that make us feel good.


I once saw a bumper sticker that said, "God said, I believe it, and that settles it."  In all reality, the truth is, "God said, and that settles it, whether I beieve it or not."  Jesus said, "Not every one that says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is heaven will enter."  Let us make sure that we will not be surprised on that great day of Judgement!!


Casey




--

95 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbodiesel, 285/75R16 Kenda Klever M/T's on Toyota steelies, some other goodies.  Overlanding Fun

March 1, 2010 at 10:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

CW4x4Him
Limited Member
Posts: 598

Casey, my following comments are out of respect and love for you and for the word of God, and I consider this a subject that we can debate vigorously, but ultimately not divide over.

But please consider the following with an open mind.

 

The essence of the gospel is that we are completely unable to save ourselves. We cannot DO anything to be saved. Instead, God DOES everything to save us. Our part is simply to give him our heart in faith.

 

It is a false start to talk of salvation in terms of who is and who isn’t saved. It is complete error to talk of salvation in terms of how. The cross is how. It is also a red herring to talk of salvation as “having” it or not “having” it. The gospel isn’t that we are saved. The gospel is that God’s love extends beyond our sin. It is that we don’t have to be separated from him. The source of all that is good, all that is beautiful, all that is lovely…the source of every genuine happiness…the source of life is now accessible to us through the work of Jesus. We no longer need be “dead”. We no longer need be depraved. We no longer need be doomed. When a heart of faith hears this good news, they respond and are born again.

 

The fruit of this reality is a life that belongs to Jesus regardless of failures and weaknesses from then on. Think about it, how do you know you are saved? It’s just in you right? Down to your bones. You gave Jesus your heart, your soul, your life. You can’t quantify that. You can’t measure it with evidence. That would dishonor your faith. You just know. You are completely and utterly his…period.

 

Of course a person who feels this way will be baptized if they are taught correctly, for baptism is the act of connecting with Jesus, with his great sacrifice and a public display of complete surrender to him. If they aren’t taught correctly, they can become very confused about the issue of baptism. In fact, this teaching that you MUST be baptized or else doesn’t help anyone. Baptism is a privilege and an honor. It is an act of faith, of love, of commitment. To blackmail someone into it surely doesn’t save anyone. And if a person is confused and sees baptism as irrelevant or unnecessary, it is their loss, but it has nothing to do with whether they are saved or not.

 

Let me be more direct. God is no more concerned about our baptism than he is whether we sacrifice a spotless lamb or not. He is after our hearts. Salvation is there. The gospel is about His heart (displayed in His grace) connecting with our heart (displayed in our faith). When the two come together there is worship. THAT is Christianity. This emphasis on baptism for salvation makes the gospel about heaven. It isn’t, it is about God. God is the gospel. We are in relationship with him.

 

And, we can no more work to lose the relationship than we can work to get it. Either you have faith or you don’t. Either you are born again or you aren’t. Either you have the Holy Spirit or you don’t. Either you are living eternal life or you are perishing. There is nothing in between. There is no back and forth.  Christ said "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7), not "ye must be born again, and again, and again."

 

The reason that people think there is a “back and forth”, other than misinterpreting Scripture, is that they are focused on the wrong things. Yes, it is very sad when a person turns their back on God, but it isn’t a sign of losing their salvation, it is a sign that they never worshipped him to begin with. Loads of people come to Christ without actually coming to Christ. They are actually coming to something else: church, heaven, a better marriage, self-improvement, whatever. None of these things are worth worshipping. So, they leave eventually. They haven’t turned their back on God. They never knew him.

 

So, bottom line…you don’t have to be baptized to be saved, but it makes no sense for someone who is saved not to be baptized.  After all, Jesus died for us. How sincere can someone be who refuses to get wet for Him?  Secondly, you cannot lose your salvation. Just like you can not undo your physical birth, you can not undo your spiritual birth.

 

Remember,  the glory of the gospel is lost when the emphasis is put on actions rather than relationship.  I think you know this instinctively and that’s why you have said, “…baptism does not guarantee us a home in heaven”. Of course it doesn’t. No action does.

 

Don't forget the thief on the cross next to Jesus.  When he placed his faith in Jesus, Jesus said to him, “today you will be with me in paradise”. The thief did not have the opportunity to be baptized. But it is clear where that soul went that day.

 

Like I said at the beginning, my comments are out of love and respect and my intention was never to say, “you are wrong”. I would never purposely be that arrogant. I respect your opinion and at the end of it all, we both love the one true God and are brothers in Christ.

 

-Chris

March 2, 2010 at 9:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Mayonnaise
Limited Member
Posts: 78

Well, I haven't studied this thread as much as I should have before I post (my thesis isn't this long), but I am with Casey on this one. Right Chris, only the Christ's Atonement allows us to be “Saved” or receive "Salvation". However, I understand Salvation as being saved from physical and spiritual death - which of course is only possible because of Christ. Overcoming physical death is a freebee – I believe that everyone will be resurrected and received perfect immortal bodies (I'll get all my hair back-cool). Overcoming separation from God (spiritual death) is another story. I hate to say it, but Casey nailed it, not everyone will overcome this spiritual death and dwell with Him in His Kingdom, unless we DO certain things. If He says that we need to be baptized, then by golly we have to be baptized to receive the highest degree of glory possible in the hereafter. Taking a dip is easy (like Chris said), and won’t get us far without the other stuff too-faith, heart, works, etc. He is not only merciful, but He is just. If He told us to DO certain things, then we better do them or He Himself can't/won't allow us to dwell with Him in the eternities - otherwise He would be breaking His own rules and regardless of how much He loves each and every one of us, He can't/won't do that.

 

Does this mean that if we weren't given the chance to be baptized in this life, then we (thief on cross) are hosed. No sir! God would be a crappy God if that were the case. "Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead . . ." (or something along those lines, shooting from memory here), which implies that people were being baptized via proxy for those that didn't have the opportunity in their mortal life, because it is a necessary ordinance/step/action/etc to receive Salvation. Baptism is just one of the many things we have to “do”.

 

If He said that we need to "do" something, then of course He “does” give us the opportunity of “doing” it (in this life or the next) for it to be “done” so that we can “do” more things that need “doing” to be “done” . . . blah blah blah – I was going for a Captain Jack Sparrow, but confused myself.

 

Oh stink, my two sentence post turned into another thesis chapter. Sorry. Anyway, I’ll quote the famous stano by saying “just my .02”. Let the flaming begin!

--


March 3, 2010 at 5:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

CW4x4Him
Limited Member
Posts: 598

No flaming, just more discussion.  ;)

 

"...then by golly we have to be baptized to receive the highest degree of glory possible in the hereafter."

 

This statement I respectfully disagree with.  You are saying that a person's motive in being baptized is to recieve glory.  But the overall essence of the gospel is relationship,  And reconsciliation (sp) with our Father.  Not personal reward (in this life or after).  We get baptized as a sign of love and commitment  and worship. It is a sign of our sincerety and faith.

March 3, 2010 at 8:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

arveetek
Member
Posts: 947

Jeeps and 4x4's are fun to talk about, but there's nothing more rewarding or important that discussing God's Word and our relationship with Him! 


Casey


--

95 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbodiesel, 285/75R16 Kenda Klever M/T's on Toyota steelies, some other goodies.  Overlanding Fun

March 3, 2010 at 10:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Mayonnaise
Limited Member
Posts: 78

CW4x4Him at 08:52PM on Mar 03, 2010

No flaming, just more discussion.  ;)

 

"...then by golly we have to be baptized to receive the highest degree of glory possible in the hereafter."

 

This statement I respectfully disagree with.  You are saying that a person's motive in being baptized is to recieve glory.  But the overall essence of the gospel is relationship,  And reconsciliation (sp) with our Father.  Not personal reward (in this life or after).  We get baptized as a sign of love and commitment  and worship. It is a sign of our sincerety and faith.

Point taken. That did sound very selfish, bad motive. However, the Big Man wishes that we do recieve the highest possible glory that he has prepared for us.  I guess I am selfish, and do want the best that our Father has prepared for us, so if baptism is one of the many things I have to do to show my commitment and worship in order to reach full potential, then so be it. If the purpose of life is to find lasting peace and happiness, then we needed to leave the prescence of our Father and come to earth to receive physical bodies, learn, and grow; I believe the fullest, most complete joy and happiness will be in these highest glories He has prepared for us. If we make it to these gloires, then we will have the best relationship with God that we possibly can. I love our little boy Mason more than anything, but our relationship is a whole lot better when he does what we ask, even if it is simple and seems unimportant; I know, bad example, he is only two and we aren't perfect, but just trying to make a point. Once again, I am not underestimating the importance of love, commitment, faith, etc., but I was simply trying to agree with the spirit of what Casey was saying: so many people neglect things we have to physically do (i.e. baptism) to receive salvation. I agree, taking the plunge alone won't get us far, but I still believe that it is necessary. Oops, don't mean to sound like "do this or else", because I know it isn't that simple.

 

 

--


March 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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