Who Is In The Family?

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  1. Michael says:

    I’ll be out most of the morning getting my truck repaired…prayers that the financial damages will be minimal are appreciated.

  2. Pineapple Head says:

    To be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:16. Romans 10:9-10.

    When I came to know Christ I knew nothing about God, theology, etc. I simply heard the message that Christ died for my sins so I might be reconciled to God, and the condition of receiving salvation was faith in Christ. That’s it. That was enough.

    I think the idea of the substitutionary death of Christ is in there. Although I didn’t understand all the details, I did know that He took my place. So is justification by faith.

    I believe in the innerrancy of Scripture, but I believe there will be plenty of people in heaven who don’t.

  3. Bryan Stupar says:

    The sinful heart of man runs deep w/ prejudice! The blessing of Pentecost was meant to not only signify the uniting of Adams sinful sons & daughters to God, thru faith in Christ, but also, to undo the curse of Babel and the tribalism of NATIONS, by uniting us together as ONE NATION…or as Paul would later say, (in Eph. 2:13-22)

    in Christ Jesus you once were far off and have been brought near by the blood of Christ. He is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility…
    …you are, one new man in place of the two,
    …you are fellow citizens with all the saints
    …members of the household of God,
    …a holy temple in the Lord.
    …a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

    It’s the proclivity & desire of the Dragon to undo, what God has done, either by tainting our understanding of God via false teaching, or by the reemergence of that age old arrogant tribalism & sectarianism (the antithesis of the unity Paul spoke of above).

  4. Reuben says:

    I agree with Pinehead there. I did not understand trinity until years after I was saved. My father was a oneness preacher, I grew up in the church, and fully believed a load of things that are simply not true. My own study corrected a number of things, and I was corrected over the years on other things by people who are way more studied than me. I knew I needed Jesus in a way that church did not provide, nor did “being good” and I feared death! It was really that simple for me.

  5. But…would we not agree that it is important that we at the very least believe in the Jesus of the bible? Gnostics believed in Jesus, but it was a different Jesus. Arain believed in Jesus, and the struggle for the first 300 years of Christianity was whether Jesus was truly God and what the Trinity meant. Hence, the creeds were birthed to qualify the Jesus of the bible, and to speak categorically about these issues. So while I am not a creed guy, I am not quick to just dismiss them don’t forget: Christianity was birthed in a largely illiterate culture. Creeds were one way of spreading and teaching. They were didactic in nature as well as statements of faith

  6. Michael says:

    Wi-fi at the car shop…too bad I didn’t bring my power cord. 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    If we agree that entrance into the kingdom is by simple faith in Christ….that our family is larger than many suspect…then why do we have such enmity between sects?

  8. Reuben says:

    Bella, right. Salvation is a continual process, learning is a component of that process. We grow up.

    Steve, I guess I would say the same thing. People can say a lot of things they do not believe. Creeds can become religion, at set one at opposition to God, like wearing a dove means something? Or a cross? Its almost icon idolatry, and really means nothing for some but an unrealized and unlived recital.

    I question if the pygmy in Africa (excuse the overused example) cares about the true nature of a triune God, and if that really matters before God…

    And trinity doctrine is a hill I would die on, but not at war with one who simply knows no better.

  9. Em says:

    pontificated here and lost it in the internet vapors…
    my favorite teacher taught to the affect that you had to hear the gospel and receive it to be saved (as i understood him to say)
    short version of my previous pontification: pride and self justification are a big deal with God and condemn us on many levels
    i believe, dunno, that it isn’t necessary to hear the gospel to be saved, but avoiding it or hearing and rejecting condemns one for eternity
    and, i think, dunno, that salvation and the Church are two separate things
    aaand no i don’t believe you can be saved thru other religions

  10. Reuben says:

    Praying for your truck Michael.

  11. Em says:

    are there still pigmies … or pigmys???

  12. Em says:

    Bella did a beautiful job of expressing exactly how we should see the blood-bought, redeemed Body of Christ … IMO

  13. Reuben says:

    Michael, why such enmity? Pure and simple answer, religion. It is what I accuse ODMs of point blank.

    The whole book of Hebrews answers this question. Jesus is better, not Jesus plus this and that. Return entirely to Jesus. Drop the law given by the patriarchs as Jesus Himself indicated. There is no Jesus+. That is the lie that divides.

  14. Dave Rolph says:

    Am I not a Christian because I’m not sure about the desended into hell thing? 😉

    Personally I think there is a big difference between being wrong and being lost. When we get to heaven we will all be shocked to find out how much heresy we believed. And I’m certain we’ll be embarrassed to learn how much time we wasted on things that don’t matter in light of eternity. I think hell will likely be dominated by theological debates and hair-splitting. They sometimes resemble hell now, at least.

    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

    Whosever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Whosover believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    Whosoever lives and believes in Me will never die.

    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believed on His name.

  15. Believe says:

    K.I.S.S.

    Keep It Simple Stupid.

    Thief on the Cross and Child-Like Faith.

    After that, it’s mostly Subjective Interpretation of Objective Truth…man’s feeble attempt at using his logos to understand THE Logos.

    And that is just my opinion. I would not condemn anyone to hell if they disagreed…ODM’s included.

    I do have one question for JTK (or was it Reuben?)….what about the gay Mormons? Are they in? 🙂 (still laughing over that comment from the other day).

  16. Believe says:

    Rolph…can you move your church to Idaho please?

  17. Believe says:

    …as long as you promise not to hit me…or hit on me 🙂

  18. Bob Sweat says:

    Dave

    Great post!! AMEN!! AMEN!!

    Hope to see you at Efest

  19. Bob Sweat says:

    “When we get to heaven we will all be shocked to find out how much heresy we believed.”

    I would add, “We taught” 🙂

  20. Bob Sweat says:

    “I think hell will likely be dominated by theological debates and hair-splitting. They sometimes resemble hell now, at least.”

    Dave, can I steal that quote?

  21. Lutheran says:

    M*B,

    High church. Alright!

    Have you read “Beyond Smells and Bells” by Mark Galli? Great book. He’s an Anglican and Exec. Editor at christianity today.

  22. fyi says:

    Jesus said you must be born-again (He said it twice–to a relgious leader). Why has no one mentioned that? Believing must produce an entirely new creation, not a new, improved version of the old-you. Knowing about Jesus, or even claiming to know Him, means nothing if it doesn’t produce a repentant heart and life. Once that happens, we start the process of learning. I would also say that salvation is NOT a process; sanctification is. But salvation occurs the instant we believe and are born-again.

  23. Believe says:

    If you run Walid Shoebat’s End of Days theses through the matrix of what MB is saying in her recent post (and the words of Jesus that she references)…things make a LOT of sense.

  24. Em says:

    a new thought crosses my mind (rare event) 🙂 this morning

    a big, big amen to MB and Pastor Dave’s comment here this morning…

    what a joy to be spiritually born and have the eyes of our understanding opened, have i got that quote right?
    how terrible to use that quickening for judging our brothers and sisters – how can we do that without arrogance? pride?
    aand how wonderful to walk and talk in humility discovering more of Christ together, reasoning together in subjection to God the Holy Spirit, taking heed lest we stumble or cause our brother to do so (confessing our own sin required)

  25. dewd4jesus says:

    “And trinity doctrine is a hill I would die on, but not at war with one who simply knows no better.”

    There is a hill where One died for ALL who knew no better.

  26. Jim Jacobson says:

    I tend to think, like many who have commented,… that it is much simpler to be saved than understanding all that doctrine. I know folks who “believe” and recite those creeds (and who are appalled we don’t) who do not have a love for Jesus and are not disciples.

  27. Reuben says:

    fyi, indeed, and no. We continue to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We are saved finally, and we are being saved. It may seem to some an argument of semantics, but likewise, we are filled with The Spirit, and we are being filled with The Spirit.

  28. Michael says:

    Jim,

    What conclusions can we infer from that?
    How can we tell?

  29. Mark says:

    I agree with fyi- you must be born again- in an instant- a “supernatural transformation of the mind”- an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thereafter – we have a thirst for “sanctification” and should seek constant re-filling of the Holy Spirit (because we leak). In all of this- I believe the Holy Spirit “..will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment..” Thus, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the truth- and convicts us when we believe heresy.

    The problem is: I haven’t figured out yet which of those things I believe as truth came form the Holy Spirit- and which came from the preacher I believed. Just as I haven’t figured out which of those things I believe are heresy came from the Holy Spirit- and which came from the preacher I believed

  30. Nonnie says:

    HI Madi-bella, i have missed you here. So glad you are back. Blessings to you and I loved what you wrote.

  31. Reuben says:

    dewd,

    Precisely!

  32. fyi says:

    Reuben @ #29: no disrespect intended but that is to misunderstand what Paul was speaking about when he says we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

  33. London says:

    So I have a question that I’m not really sure is that well formed yet…what do you guys (and gals) mean specifically when you say “Lord” Jesus Christ? How do you explain that title “Lord” to people. Do you believe that you must actually make a conscious decision that Jesus is “Lord” of your whole life after you’re saved or as part of being saved?

    I’m not really sure what I’m getting at exactly, so no worries if you aren’t either…

    Mostly I guess I’d be interested in how you define the term to newbies

  34. fyi says:

    London, my wife has a great answer: she tells people Jesus is the ‘boss of her!’

  35. Michael says:

    London,

    It’s an excellent question.

    There are two camps here (naturally).

    One says that all you must do is accept Christ as Savior…not immediately or necessarily as Lord.

    The other says you can’t accept Christ as Savior without recognizing His lordship…His authority and rule in your life.

    I’m in the second camp…

    I explain it as part of what it means to repent, to turn from sin and disobedience to a life committed to holiness and obedience to the revealed will of God.

  36. Lutheran says:

    who do not have a love for Jesus and are not disciples.

    Wow, Jim.

    That means I’m not really a believer, then, at least according to your criteria.

    I don’t always have a love for Jesus. In fact, often I don’t.

  37. Reuben says:

    fyi, e-mail me so we don’t derail the thread… reuben68 at mac dot com

  38. Mark says:

    Lutheran- what exactly do you mean when you say you “often do not have a love for Jesus”. Are you equating that with your state of mind when you are in sin. If so, I would agree since Jesus said “If you love Me, keep my Commandments”.

  39. Preston says:

    I think the main irritation begins when someone who disagrees with you, tells you what you believe. It’s one thing to disagree, it’s another to misrepresent my beliefs to make yours sound better.

  40. Josh Hamrick says:

    Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.

    After that, there is probably some wiggle room.

  41. Believe says:

    Lute, I’d have to disagree with you there.

    Your flesh may not love Jesus many times…but your spirit…the eternal part of you…does.

    You are a believer, you are one of His. Not because of your liturgy or your creeds…but because of your Faith.

    The eternal part of you has been “born again”…the flesh part of you will fall off someday…and is corrupt…and wars against your spirit…which is now intertwined with THE Spirit.

    That’s my opinion. It’s the only thing that makes any sense to me…but, what do I know.

  42. Michael says:

    Josh,

    That is a classic statement of Protestantism and one I affirm.

    However, the Orthodox and RC would disagree.

    I believe that the Protestant formulation is correct…but is it necessary for salvation?

    I believe I have kin in the RC and among the Orthodox…

  43. London says:

    Josh…not try to say it without the “christianeze”. for example what does “faith alone” “christ alone” etc mean to “normal” people who speak “normal” language?

  44. Believe says:

    I agree with Michael.

    If a “correct” understanding of one’s Salvation is a prerequisite for Salvation…then the Thief on the Cross would not have been confirmed by Jesus as joining Him “in Paradise”…

  45. Believe says:

    …the Thief BELIEVED Jesus was the Christ and was being punished unjustly. That’s it. His “creed” was Christ. His “doctrine” was Jesus as the Son of God. His confession was that he deserved the painful crucifixion he was receiving…and that Christ did not.

  46. Michael says:

    I would be very cautious using the thief as an example of normative doctrine…

  47. Believe says:

    Caution noted. Like I said, what do I know. I know I’m a depraved sinner…and that I desperately need Salvation…and if it wasn’t for Christ, I’d be an adulterous money-hungry rage-filled heathen.

  48. Josh Hamrick says:

    Luckily, I am not the one who will decide Salvation. It is He who loves like no other can love, who has done what noone else could do to ensure my Salvation.

    RE: “Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.”

    I don’t believe that anyone has to come up with those words. They may not even understand what those words mean. I hope that I have brothers and sisters who are Catholic, but I am afraid that if they look for Salvation in any other way than those mentioned, they will not find it. I may not be right, but this is the best that I can understand what Scripture has to say on the matter. I don’t want to condemn anyone, but I also don’t want to withhold truth from anyone who may desperatley need it.

  49. Xenia says:

    When I checked PP this AM before leaving for the morning I thought to myself “This should prove interesting.”

    I agree with Dave Rolph’s post. Believe on Jesus and you’ll be saved. Someone will say “Yeah but.” The yeah buts include demons who believe and shudder, Mormons, JWs, etc. etc. etc. They all believe on someone they call Jesus, but are not saved.

    That’s why there’s creeds. The creeds explain Who Jesus is. If you can affirm the Nicene Creed, you’ve got the right Jesus, at least mentally. (There’s more to being a Christian then affirming a Creed.)

    As to certain parts of the Creed which no longer comport with modern Protestantism… well, that’s a problem, isn’t it?

    As I am slogging through the ECFs I am not finding any discussion about the Atonement yet. No explanations. In the Nicene Creed there is no mention of the Atonement other than …”who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven…” which all views can affirm. You know, the atonement just isn’t explained very well in either the NT or the ECFs. There’s also not much of a discussion about the order of salvation, just “Believe, be baptized, and live a virtuous life.” <—- That's what the early Christians believed.

  50. Em says:

    Luke 23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, [fn] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
    -one thief set himself up as judge over Jesus’ deity and demanded that Jesus prove Himself by blessing him — self justifying

    Luk 23:40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
    -one thief had a natural and healthy fear of God and saw his own depravity

    Luk 23:41 “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
    -he confessed/saw Jesus wasn’t ‘like them’

    Luk 23:42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
    -he asked for mercy and, by implication. confessed Jesus’ lordship

    Luk 23:43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
    -Jesus affirmed the thief’s confession by promising him eternal life (i think)

    just another FWIW ponder 🙄

  51. Em says:

    great thread, but time for my nap

  52. Reuben says:

    Off subject…

    Michael, I put a little picture up for you on FB…

  53. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    That was just flat out cool! 🙂

    The PP on a iPad…

  54. Xenia says:

    Well, here’ the thing about the Thief. He’s actually an Old Covenant saint, in the same category as John the Baptist, and the Lazarus who had his sores licked by dogs, written about in the NT but actually a part of the Old Covenant. This is where the Apostles’ Creed’s “descended into hell” comes into play. All the OT virtuous, god-fearing people went to a compartment of Hades (“The Bosom of Abraham”) that was separated from where the non-virtuous, non-god-fearing people went with a great gulf fixed between the compartments, etc. After Christ’s death, He went to the Bosom of Abraham (AKA Paradise, where the Thief went) and “set the captives free.” He hauled them out, in other words. So the Thief was part of this group, along with Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Job, David, Daniel, John the Baptist, etc. So, the Thief is not a good example to use because his was not a normative Christian conversion such as ours, which have taken place under the New Covenant, that is to say, after Christ’s resurrection.

    (This idea of “descending into hell” is totally unrelated to certain modern false teachers who preach that Jesus needed to go to hell to atone for our sins, the heretical concept of the “born-again Jesus.” In the Creedal view, Christ went to hell to rescue the captives, no to receive punishment.)

  55. Another Voice says:

    Xenia just made an especially important point in the 2:59.

    Are you sure you aren’t a dispensationalist? 😉

  56. Michael says:

    Excellent post, Xenia!

  57. Believe says:

    Pastor Dave Rolph…do you agree with what X is saying?

  58. Believe says:

    FYI how do you weigh in on it?

  59. Believe says:

    Who died first…the Thief or Jesus?

  60. Believe says:

    …wouldn’t the Thief have had to die before Jesus for X’s post to be true?

  61. Believe says:

    At what moment was the New Covenant established?

    At the moment of Christ’s physical death?

    How were Disciples and the other contemporaries of Jesus “saved”…those who lived during Jesus’ life…and then were still alive after Jesus’ death?

    Was it not until baptism began in the Early Church…and all before the baptism were “saved” as X describes?

  62. Believe says:

    What about Nicodemus and the Born Again discussion Jesus had with him? Wasn’t Nicodemus under the New Covenant in the context of that conversation?

  63. Believe says:

    How are the Thief and Nicodemus different?

  64. deadmanwalking says:

    I have found a Catholic Friend. He is willing to go step by step with me as we discovere all the words to which we assign different meanings, or perhaps just a different depth of meaning.

    This is a starting point. We already agree on that we would all call Orthodoxy, it’s the stuff outside those simple creeds that we are exploring.

    you can pray for us as we are setting out on an adventure. a Just the word Mercy we had already explored. The Catholics have a wider and deeper view of the word mercy. Then we have started on Grace. To tell a Catholic that we are saved by Grace, — well we might as well be speaking two different languages, he would say of course we are all saved by grace, but what he means is not what I mean. This has been one of the most interesting exchanges I have had in a long time. We made it clear to each other that neither of us are candidates to convert from our faith, then we agree that there is nothing we won’t speak freely l about. I am looking forward to getting with a well taught Catholic and spending some afternoons on those days I get some help here with Deb.

    Or next Subject after we make sure we are understanding each ones use of the maim words it is start on the fact that the church hold Church Tradition equal with Scripture and Scripture is my only authority — that when it ought to get interesting

    Pray for this it could be both fun and fruitful

  65. Reuben says:

    Lets see if this link works…

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1275172&l=16e839d599&id=1278633049

    Seriously, it is the coolest thing ever.

  66. Believe says:

    Re-reading the Gospels…and not agreeing with X’s assessment of the Thief.

    John and Jesus and the Disciples were baptizing and preaching the same Gospel we are under…that the Thief was under…while Jesus was still alive.

    I am sure I am wrong somehow…but I just don’t see it.

  67. JimB says:

    Michael,

    I think you have to consider a person’s “will” more than their “understanding” when it comes to coming to salvation. When I came to know Christ, I really understood just a few things about God and salvation. I understood that I had to believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, that He wanted to come into my life, and that the Holy Spirit wanted to live in and through me. I also understood that I had to surrender my will to God and be willing to do whatever He wanted me to do, IOW I understood that He had to be my Lord.

    Now, since that time and because I surrendered my will to Him at that time, I have grown to understand more and more about God. Not only so, but I have had a desire to know Him more and more. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to be my disciple, he must continue in my word.” I believe we continue in His word if we have surrendered our will to Him (I’m not talking about being perfect but rather continuing to let Him be Lord even after those times when we fail Him). Likewise, in John chapter 15 Jesus taught that we must abide in Him (remain in Him) or we will be cut out as a branch and be burned, and I think that this abiding in Christ is likewise a result of having surrendered our will to Him as a point in time. Its the result of knowing Christ.

    But, if a person is not growing in their understanding of Christ, and if they aren’t continuing to seek to know Him, then you have to question whether or not they have surrendered their will to Him, and thus whether or not they are genuinely saved.

  68. Michael says:

    “I think you have to consider a person’s “will” more than their “understanding” when it comes to coming to salvation. ”

    We Calvinists have a problem with the will…

  69. “I tend to think, like many who have commented,… that it is much simpler to be saved than understanding all that doctrine. ”

    But doctrine is important…would you not agree” without correct doctrine, how do we know our faith has any substance…I think we take for granted that we Americans have a rich heritage of good sound doctrine

  70. Michael says:

    The New covenant was ratified when Christ put his blood on the altar in heaven…released at Pentecost…

  71. Michael says:

    I think doctrine is more important than all of you put together… 🙂

  72. Believe says:

    Michael…what does that mean?

    Those who believed and were baptized while Jesus was physically alive…where they under the old or new covenant? The Thief? Nicodemus?

    Does that mean only post-Pentecost believers were under the New Covenant?

  73. JimB says:

    Michael,

    As a Calvinist, shouldn’t you be saying that you have a difference of opinion about how our will becomes engaged to do His will, not the fact that for someone who is saved their will becomes engaged to do His will?

  74. JimB says:

    Michael,

    Of course, doctrine is very important. And, you only understand most doctrine after you get saved… The Holy Spirit dwells within the believer to teach us doctrine…

  75. Believe says:

    “I think doctrine is more important than all of you put together…”

    Michael…LOL! 🙂

  76. Em says:

    i, too, like Xenia’a explanation of what happened to the ‘good’ thief … that said, perhaps there is also then, a distinction then to be made between salvation (all OT’s & NT’s justified by faith) and our (NT only) being raised to walk in newness of life while still in the flesh

  77. Michael says:

    Believe,

    The new covenant, like all covenants was sealed in blood.

    That blood wasn’t offered till Calvary.

  78. Michael says:

    “As a Calvinist, shouldn’t you be saying that you have a difference of opinion about how our will becomes engaged to do His will, not the fact that for someone who is saved their will becomes engaged to do His will?”

    Jim…you’ve got a point. 😉

    You ok up there?

    Keep us posted on the tornado…

  79. JimB says:

    Michael,

    After I got saved, I spent the next four years preaching to my best friend that I had through high school. He and I were such good friends that he let me go on and on day after day telling him about the gospel and the various doctrines of the Bible. We must have spent over a hundred hours talking about these things. Then, one day he finally got saved!!! What a blessing that was. But, you know what he started asking me after that??? He started asking me every question we had already talked about the previous four years. He hadn’t understood a word of anything I had said because the Holy Spirit did not dwell in him. It was at that time that I truly understood what Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit because they are spiritually discerned.” I was kind of frustrated at my friend until the light finally came on and I realized I should never have expected him to understand anything but the very basics…

  80. Michael says:

    JimB,

    I totally agree…the natural man cannot understand the things of God.

  81. Michael says:

    Here’s the point to this exercise that I began this morning.

    I am a Calvinist and I think all of you who aren’t are wrong.

    You feel the same way about me. 😉

    We’re still family though, and all our doctrinal discussions should be within that framework.

    That to me is where the ODM’s fail and where I’m calling them to repentance..

  82. Em says:

    DM spoke of defining the term grace in conversation with his RC brother – my favorite teacher taught with the illustration, the term, “pipeline” as the means thru which God could administer His supply to us

    Michael agrees with JV McGee, i see… Jesus presented His physical blood sacrifice to the Father in Heaven… i understand and yet can’t picture it as His literal blood had flowed onto and, i presume, into the earth (that is a terrifying thot, tho)

  83. JimB says:

    Ok, the weather radar shows that the big rotating storm cells have just passed by us. And, the tornado sirens died out several minutes ago… Thanks for praying for us guys!

  84. Michael says:

    Em,

    I wouldn’t be dogmatic about the literal blood in heaven, but Hebrews seems to indicate that the reality behind the types and shadows of the earthly temple resides in heaven.

    Whether metaphorically or literally the blood was the key to the covenant.

  85. Believe says:

    “Whether metaphorically or literally the blood was the key to the covenant.”

    OK…and I believe that. Jesus is the Sacrificial Lamb…the Lamb without Blemish. The Atonement for our sins.

    It still doesn’t answer my question about the Thief, Nicodemus, those who believed the Gospel message being preached while Jesus was still physically alive…before His blood had been shed.

    Why and how was the Thief not under the New Covenant as Christ was being crucified?

    The assumption and interpretation made (if I am understanding X’s post correctly) is that the Thief’s Salvation was different than my own…different than those post-crucifixion…post-Pentecost.

    Faith / Belief in the true Messiah is all that is required for Salvation…is it not?

    Pre-physical Christ…those who are saved are being defined as under the Old Covenant. Then Christ comes on the scene as a physical man…and you have contemporaries who hear the Gospel while Christ is physically alive.

    Some die before Christ’s physical death and have believed the Gospel…and some believed the Gospel and died after Christ’s physical death…were the ones who died prior to His physical death under the Old Covenant…and those who heard the Gospel and believed and died after His physical death then under the New Covenant? Where is the line?

    The Thief most likely died after Christ did…though there is disagreement on that.

    When the Disciples responded to the Gospel…when Christ called them to “follow me”…Christ was still alive…and the Apostles were “saved”…were they saved under the Old Covenant or the New Covenant?

  86. JimB says:

    Last night, a group from our church went to a Wycliff Bible Translator’s fund raising dinner. The motivational speaker of the night mainly just told stories about the strange things he had encountered on the mission field as he has gone around and built and repaired facilities for translators to use. During one of his stories, he was talking about how he and a guide had to walk a long way into the jungle looking for Pygmies, a lot farther than they thought they would have to walk. As a result of having to walk so far they ran out of all food, and the guide had to teach him to eat anything and everything to survive. He talked about bugs, snakes, big rats, monkeys, etc. that he had to eat, and prior to going there he had always lived in a big city and hadn’t even ever camped or been in a forest. Well, he cracked me up when he said that at one point he was telling the Lord, “Where you lead I will follow, and what you feed me I will swallow!”

  87. Believe says:

    X said, “so, the Thief is not a good example to use because his was not a normative Christian conversion such as ours, which have taken place under the New Covenant, that is to say, after Christ’s resurrection.”

    This statement is still not squaring with me….what is a “normative Christian conversion”?

  88. Xenia says:

    Believe, if the Thief died and gone straight to heaven he would have been the only human up there because Jesus hadn’t resurrected all the OT dead yet.

    Before Christ, people went to one of the two compartments of Hades, as demonstrated by the story of the rich man an Lazarus. Hades is not heaven.

    At the time of Christ’s resurrection, he not only resurrected Himself but also the righteous OT saints. This is demonstrated by the odd occurrence noted (but seldom commented on) in the Gospels of OT saints arising from the tombs.

    The only place the Thief could have gone was to the “good” half of Hades, Abraham’s Bosom/ Paradise. Jesus said He’d see him in Paradise that day. The unrepentant thief went to the “bad” half.

    So, the righteous OT saints are now in heaven and we will go to heaven too, if we are saved. “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” What kind of interim body we will have, I don’t know, the scriptures aren’t clear. Eventually we will get our own bodies back at the resurrection from the seed that was planted in the ground. Don’t ask me how this works but I have faith that it will all come out right.

  89. Believe says:

    …if resurrection is the line…as X’s statement seems to say…then what about those contemporaries of Christ who responded to the Gospel message while He was alive and pre-resurrected (including Nicodemus)?

  90. Xenia says:

    Believe, these followers of Christ, such as the Apostles and the Seventy and many others, were eventually baptized and joined the rest of the Christians in the early church. Maybe some of them were in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost.

    But if a follower of Christ had died before the resurrection, then s/he would have gone to the Bosom of Abraham / Paradise just as the thief did. John the Baptist falls into this category. They would have been among the number that were set free by Christ.

  91. Believe says:

    X…not arguing to argue…really try to understand this.

    There seems to be some contradictions in your 6:51pm…and please correct me if and where I am wrong.

    Isn’t the Third Heaven also Paradise…where Christ and the Saints are now?

    How is it you are you so sure the Paradise Christ references when addressing the Thief is not the Third Heaven where we are going until Judgment?

    Christ is fully man and fully God…couldn’t He have been in the Third Heaven…Paradise…with the Thief that day…and not in Hades?

  92. Believe says:

    try = trying

  93. Michael says:

    Any believers pre resurrection were under the old covenant.

  94. Believe says:

    The Greek word used by Christ for Paradise is the same word used in Revelation 2:7…it is not Hades.

  95. Xenia says:

    Believe, I see that the word “paradise” does seem to apply to two different places, Abraham’s Bosom and the Third Heaven. Maybe it is more of a descriptor than a proper noun. I fear I am teetering out on the thin ice of speculation if I say more.

    However, do you think the OT saints all went straight to heaven when they died? It seems to me that the story of the rich man and Lazarus shows that they didn’t.

  96. Xenia says:

    What I have been attempting to explain…. I don’t know if it is commonly believed among Protestants. I know I had never heard it before. It’s a part of the Apostles’ Creed, though, which is in Michael’s original article. This belief (sometimes called the Harrowing of Hell) has become an integral part of my belief system since it’s an important part of EO theology. It’s important to me and I believe it is true but you know what? I was ok before I ever learned of it. So Believe, don’t worry about it. 🙂

  97. Believe says:

    X…love the discussion. Not angry…don’t know if I’m right or wrong….really sincerely inquisitive.

    Gotta go for a bit. Thanks for discussing and putting up with me 🙂

  98. Xenia says:

    Oh, one more thought. When St. Paul visited the Third Heaven, Jesus had already taken the OT Saints to that location. By St. Paul’s day, Abraham’s Bosom/ Paradise was empty and everyone had moved to heaven, which is to say, paradise moved from Hades to Heaven.

  99. Xenia says:

    Believe, I didn’t think you were angry at all! We are just havin’ a discussion.

  100. Another Voice says:

    The Church, aka the Body of Christ, did not begin until Pentecost, at the inaguration of the baptism of the Spirit, which is the act of the Spirit placing the beliver into the Body of Christ (i.e. when he/she is no longer “in Adam” but now “in Christ”)

    The baptism of the Spirit takes place at the moment of salvation. And first happened in human history at Acts 2.

    The repentant thief was saved, but not a part of the Church (Body of Christ).

    And to be technical, based on something Michael said above, if anyone died after the resurrection but before Pentecost, as a believer, they too would have been saved “pre-Church” and thus under the Old Covenant. Of course, the Scripture is silent on any such deaths of believers in that timeframe.

  101. Bob says:

    “However, do you think the OT saints all went straight to heaven when they died? It seems to me that the story of the rich man and Lazarus shows that they didn’t.”

    Only if you assume the point of the parable/story was two real men and where they went. Then yes the two places are as Jesus described. I believe the point was directed at both those Pharisees and more likely the Sadducees (they did not believe in an after life) who believed God blessed people with prosperity in this life.

    I believe all men and women of true faith in God, OT and NT go to a place of rest when they die and then when the resurrection comes will be rejoined with their bodies. In the NT people go to a place prepared by Jesus first.

    The “Third Heaven” is a Jewish Pharisaic teaching on the heavens.

    Xenia’s 2:59 post about heaven and hell is not a EO idea but is a common interpretation outside of those “Word Faith” teachers like Copeland and Osteen.

    Jimb:

    Your speaker who talked about walking so far to look for pygmies. Did he ever stop to think to a pygmy it was close to twice the distance? 🙁

  102. Bob says:

    AV:

    “And to be technical, based on something Michael said above, if anyone died after the resurrection but before Pentecost, as a believer, they too would have been saved “pre-Church” and thus under the Old Covenant. Of course, the Scripture is silent on any such deaths of believers in that timeframe.”

    Does this really matter? True faith that saves is always faith that saves OT or NT.

  103. Em says:

    maybe, it’s just being old and mush brained, but i am really impressed with this thread – some of these discussions here should be compiled into a book IMNSHO

    God keep all close and comforted

  104. Another Voice says:

    Does this really matter?
    ————————————-
    Gosh Bob, after 100 posts debating the issue, I thought it was relevant. Since you weren’t in any of those 100 posts, I’m sure it matters little to you.

    It does ‘matter’ to me though, in trying to rightly divide the Word of truth.

  105. Believe says:

    The Paradise Jesus references in addressing the Thief is the same Greek word (essentially) as Paul’s reference in 2 Corinthians 12:4.

    There are only three references that I can find in Scripture to Paradise (that are the same Greek word used):

    Jesus and the Thief in Luke 23:43

    Paul’s reference to Paradise in 2 Corinthians 12:4

    And Revelation 2:7.

    All three use the same Greek word for Paradise.

    The other words used for Hades and Abraham’s Bosom are different.

    No reference to Paradise in the Lazarus story and Abraham’s bosom…is it possible that was a parable or allegorical to impart a principle…and not literal?

  106. Believe says:

    BrianD help! Got one stuck in the filter 🙂

    AV glad you’ve joined the discussion…

  107. Bob says:

    AV

    How is getting so technical “rightly dividing ” the word when your position is not verifiable? My question is does it matter as far as who is in the big house, spoken of by Paul in Timothy? Since all are saved by faith in both covenants then why do you have to be right about before or after Pentecost?

  108. Believe says:

    never mind there it is…

  109. Michael says:

    Bob,

    It may not matter to you but it has been of interest to a lot of folks.

    As pastors, teachers, and thoughtful lay people we have searched out an answer.

    If it’s not of interest to you, then pass it by.

  110. Erunner says:

    Believe… You still planning on attending E-Fest? Figured this was the best way to reach you! 🙂 God bless!

  111. Believe says:

    Hey E…gonna try. Daughter is still in school that week…so I’d have to come solo…you’d all get the raw end of the deal missing out on the better half…but I’m gonna try without wife and kids for a quick trip.

  112. Believe says:

    oops…looks like it’s 2 Corinthians 12:3 not 4.

  113. Bob says:

    AV

    You can’t be challenged? What matters and is the heart of the thread is “who is in the family.” So to me your minutia point really doesn’t matter.

    Also I read all 100+ posts and don’t see your idea as the only interpretation of the scriptures.

  114. Erunner says:

    Believe, If you would keep in touch with me @ erunner54@gmail.com. I’ll be getting the food ordered and I’ll need an accurate head count. We will be happy to have you join us.

  115. Bob says:

    AV

    I’m glad to read you are thoughtful and I’m not.

  116. Believe says:

    Michael…do you agree with AV that Old Covenant was Pre-Pentecost…even believers who responded to the Gospel while Christ was alive…and then they themselves died post-resurrection…but pre-Pentecost?

    Meaning the line for the New Covenant was Pentecost?

    If so, then where did the believers who died post-resurrection, but pre-Pentecost go if Christ shut up Hades and Abraham’s bosom?

  117. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I responded to you, not AV.

    I don’t know what your issues are, but you’re about to get moderated.

  118. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I have no idea and care less.

    Just being honest.

    Yes, I think AV is right and the Scriptures back him up.

  119. Bob says:

    Michael

    You are a bit quick on the moderation aren’t you. But I’ll do it for you, night.

  120. Believe says:

    Michael…thanks for answering.

    It’s very important to me…I won’t write the 50 pages of why (yet)…but if Pentecost is truly the demarcation of the New Covenant…and not the Resurrection…then there are some interesting considerations…(at least to me).

    And, if true…it would eliminate the Thief’s Salvation example as being applicable to our Salvation today.

  121. Michael says:

    I haven’t spent any time on the subject and don’t see any important theological implications in it.
    If you do…have at it. 😉

  122. Believe says:

    LOL 🙂 probably nothing important…just my philosophical mind trying to make sense of things (for me).

  123. Bob says:

    Believe

    The resurrection is the defining moment. What the day of Pentecost references is the moving of the Spirit from the temple where God chose to meet His people to the individuals, who are now the temple. God’s power which led Israel by fire at night now leads the individual and was represented by tongues of fire.

    Also look up what Jewish feast Pentecost was/is. Does that give some idea about what the giving of the Spirit is?

    As far as the thief goes he is saved the same as you, by faith! Today we can look back all he had was to look over, at an innocent man, and up to God.

  124. Believe says:

    Do any of the teachings in the Gospels lose their significance because they were pre-Pentecost and thus Old Covenant?

  125. Believe says:

    Bob….what is your belief system rooted in (meaning what tradition or denomination)?

  126. Michael says:

    Nope, they were proclamations that the kingdom had come…

  127. Bob says:

    Michael

    Sorry to break my self imposed moderation.

    Night again.

  128. Believe says:

    OK…the Gospels were proclamations that the Kingdom had come…and the teachings were Old Covenant since they were pre-Pentecost?

  129. Bob says:

    A large evangelical denomination, with leanings towards Reformed. But I really dislike labels and those who say they have figured it all out.

    Night for real.

  130. Michael says:

    Believe,

    That’s a silly question if you’ve read the Gospels.

    The teachings were about Jesus and the covenant He would soon sign in His own blood.

    The teachings contrasted that which was passing away with that which had come.

  131. Bob says:

    Believe

    OK one more, your best answer when the New Covenant was completed is in Hebrews 12:2 and chapter 11 answers the pre event salvation. Many do not agree that NT salvation began on the day of Pentecost. Again my answer is always faith is what counts but what you have faith in is the key.

    Good night and self moderation in progress.

  132. Believe says:

    Here’s one thing I’m trying to resolve (among other things)…

    Pentecost = New Covenant…not Resurrection…and not the Gospel message being preached while Christ was physically alive.

    OK, assuming that premise….

    The Gospels were Old Covenant…the events and teachings happened pre-Pentecost….just as the Old Testament events and teachings happened pre-Pentecost…if Pentecost is the New Covenant line.

    If true, this wipes out Judas Iscariot as an argument for Arminians, it wipes out the Thief…it also wipes out the parables regarding the sower, talents, etc….as those would be considered Old Covenant.

    It places much more importance on the teachings of Paul and the Jewish Epistles…letters to the churches…and makes Romans huge.

    Interesting…

  133. Michael says:

    “Pentecost = New Covenant…not Resurrection…and not the Gospel message being preached while Christ was physically alive.”

    I totally reject that premise…and don’t know anyone who would argue for it.

  134. Believe says:

    Michael…the OT also pointed to the Messiah. The Gospels pointed to Jesus as Messiah in real time.

    The New Covenant wasn’t started until Pentecost (assuming that is true).

    So, it places those who were “saved” in the Gospels (pre-Pentacost) and it places the teachings like the parables and the Sermon on the Mount and the other teachings as Old Covenant…does it not?

    And if those teachings and the Salvation examples…like when Jesus tells the woman at the well that she is forgiven and “now go and sin no more”…are Old Covenant…then are they examples to look to for Salvation under the New Covenant…similar to my looking at the example of the Thief earlier?

  135. Michael says:

    I just went back and read AV and Bob and I think they are both right.

    My best guess without doing any research is that the NC was inaugurated at the resurrection, but the church wasn’t born until Pentecost.

  136. Michael says:

    “So, it places those who were “saved” in the Gospels (pre-Pentacost) and it places the teachings like the parables and the Sermon on the Mount and the other teachings as Old Covenant…does it not?”

    No it does not as they were all teachings about the New Covenant.

    Go back and read one of the Gospels…couldn’t be any clearer.

  137. Believe says:

    Michael…this is what AV said:

    “The Church, aka the Body of Christ, did not begin until Pentecost, at the inaguration of the baptism of the Spirit, which is the act of the Spirit placing the beliver into the Body of Christ (i.e. when he/she is no longer “in Adam” but now “in Christ”)

    The baptism of the Spirit takes place at the moment of salvation. And first happened in human history at Acts 2.

    The repentant thief was saved, but not a part of the Church (Body of Christ).

    And to be technical, based on something Michael said above, if anyone died after the resurrection but before Pentecost, as a believer, they too would have been saved “pre-Church” and thus under the Old Covenant. Of course, the Scripture is silent on any such deaths of believers in that timeframe.”

    This is what you said earlier:

    “Yes, I think AV is right and the Scriptures back him up.”

  138. Bob says:

    Believe

    Pentecost is the Feast of First Fruits
    It celebrates the giving of the Torah or as a Jew would call it God’s instruction to His people. We call it the Law.

    It is also the day 3000 died in the wilderness, while on the in Acts day 3000 were saved.

    Jesus also said it was when they would receive power. Is there any comparison with what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do and what the giving of the Torah did?

    I think there is.

    I’m tired finale good night.

  139. Believe says:

    “No it does not as they were all teachings about the New Covenant.”

    Then anyone who believed in those teachings…responded to the Gospel….which was about the New Covenant…and Jesus was right there with them…the Logos…the New Covenant in the flesh…and was saved before the Resurrection and before Pentecost…was still under the Old Covenant?

    It’s not making sense (to me) and I’m trying.

  140. Michael says:

    Believe,

    The teachings in the Gospels were all about the coming of the kingdom and the NC.

    The fulfillment of those teaching was at the cross where the NC was inaugurated.

    The church was birthed at Pentecost.

    The covenant under which believers that died between the two events is not defined in the Scriptures as AV noted and thus would be speculative.

    As I said before, it’s not an issue I’ve given any thought to…don’t think it matters.

  141. Bob says:

    Believe

    Both are saved by faith and as I said does it really matter if both are saved, whether old or new?

    The confusing question of when the work of Jesus was finished is answered in Hebrews 12.

    Let me ask a question of you, when was Israel saved from the Egyptians and when did they receive the Law? It will help answer your questions I think. Remember when Pharaoh was swept away by the waters.

    Finally good night

  142. Believe says:

    Michael…it appeared that AV was saying that the New Covenant began at Pentecost…not the Resurrection….and that you were confirming his assertion…so I was engaging that assertion.

    Bob and Michael…thanks for the discussion…Bob…I’ll try to answer the questions you asked tomorrow…

    Night all.

  143. Another Voice says:

    it appeared that AV was saying that the New Covenant began at Pentecost
    ——————————————————–
    The words ‘New Covenant’ never left my keyboard. I spoke of the Church. They are not synanomous (though obviously having an important connection to each other.)

    My post above would take a couple of hours and hundreds of additional words to explain from Scripture why it is I hold this view. However, it is traditional dispensational teaching that one can (and should) read for themselves. As has been noted before, we can’t write a systematic theology with every post.

    My only further point for this thread is that I trust nobody is under the delusion that dispensationalism teaches that people of the past, pre-Church, were saved on any basis besides God’s grace through faith. It is such a baseless, ignorant charge, that I forget some people still preach this canard, with others swallowing the foolishness down whole.

  144. Believe says:

    AV said, “If anyone died after the resurrection but before Pentecost, as a believer, they too would have been saved “pre-Church” and thus under the Old Covenant.”

    Then AV said, “The words ‘New Covenant’ never left my keyboard. I spoke of the Church. They are not synanomous (though obviously having an important connection to each other.)”

    So AV, what do you mean? You are saying in the first post (it appears to me…and maybe it’s my misinterpretation) that a believer who was saved pre-Pentecost was under the Old Covenant…the logical conclusion is then…that Pentecost, to you, is the dividing line between Old and New Covenant…regarding Salvation…am I wrong?

  145. Believe says:

    And AV…please don’t use the Ad Hominem…”It is such a baseless, ignorant charge, that I forget some people still preach this canard, with others swallowing the foolishness down whole.”

    …it tempts me to sin by being angry and wanting to lay into you when you insult me or others like that. I am being responsible and not sinning on my end…you are a pastor…I exhort you to do the same.

    These discussions can be done responsibly. I’m committed to it on my end.

  146. Believe says:

    Is there a real demarcation of the New Covenant as a specific date in time…an event…like Resurrection and/or Pentecost?

    We say someone like the Thief “was under the Old Covenant”…therefore his example of Salvation isn’t applicable to us.

    Yet, the word “Paradise” that Jesus used is recorded in Scripture as the same Greek word that is used only 3 places in Scripture…and does not mean Hades or Abraham’s bosom.

    I am still unconvinced that the Thief on the Cross is not an applicable Salvation example for us today…please prove me wrong.

  147. Believe says:

    X said, “so the Thief was part of this group, along with Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Job, David, Daniel, John the Baptist, etc. So, the Thief is not a good example to use because his was not a normative Christian conversion such as ours, which have taken place under the New Covenant, that is to say, after Christ’s resurrection.”

    And Michael and others affirmed her.

    Why is the Thief not a good example to use? What is a “normative Christian conversion”?

    AV says this, “My only further point for this thread is that I trust nobody is under the delusion that dispensationalism teaches that people of the past, pre-Church, were saved on any basis besides God’s grace through faith. It is such a baseless, ignorant charge, that I forget some people still preach this canard, with others swallowing the foolishness down whole.”

    AV seems to be saying that there is no such differentiation between what X is calling a “normative Christian conversion”….and those who were “saved” in AV’s words “pre-Church”…

    So again, why is the Thief’s Salvation example not applicable?

  148. Believe says:

    If we are, as AV says, saved by “God’s grace through faith”…Old and New Covenant…then why is the Thief’s example of Salvation dismissed or cautioned?

  149. Bob says:

    Believe:

    Your question seems to me to center around the idea of salvation, when does it happen and under what Covenant?

    I think AV has confused thing a bit with his statements and that is why I strongly return to the idea, it doesn’t matter.

    You also seem to be stuck on the thief and how others seem to think he was saved somehow differently and out of the norm of a Christian. I think the core thoughts here are what part does the “Church” play in a person’s salvation. If one holds the “Church” (I mean here the organized groups such as EO, RC, Lutheran, and many others) is the body and it can be defined via a strict set of doctrines then yes the thief was saved in an unusual manner and is not a norm.

    However I believe scripture clearly defines it is always faith and what the object of that faith is that saves not the ability to recite a creed, prayer or be washed by water, although these may be good indications of the faith which dwells in that person. It is clear from the scriptures the thief had faith in God and showed true repentance, with the repentance being the work which confirmed his faith. Jesus recognized this, confirmed it to him and met him in paradise.

    Now I believe the defining moment of the group which is called the Church is the day of Pentecost and was modeled by the day Israel received the Torah or Law.

    When Israel stood next to God’s Holy Mountain the nation of Israel was already “saved” from the Egyptians and the Pharaoh after passing through the waters on dry land. God destroyed the Pharaoh and his chariots and thus freed them from their slavery. What a blessed model of what was to come for us!

    But like us, to be freed from slavery without direction is a terrible burden and would make God a horrible mean and strange god. So the Law was given.

    I don’t think it was a coincidence that God the Father chose to send His Holy Spirit to dwell in men and provide power, comfort and direction on the very same day he did many years before in the desert along side that mountain.

    Oh and you might note they were NOT in the “Upper Room” when the Spirit came on Pentecost, we assume that. Scripture says they were in the “House” and many believe they were in one of the Temple courts for the Feast of the First Fruits when the tongues of fire came. What a spectacle that must have been to the many bystanders and people who were there to pray that fateful day!

  150. Bob says:

    “what the object of that faith is that saves”

    Sounds better:

    what the object our faith is in saves, not …

  151. Tim says:

    Believe –
    As I’ve been reading over the last several posts, I think I might be seeing where some confusion is coming in.

    The thief on the cross is most certainly an applicable example of *faith.* I do not believe there’s any doubt about that. Yet the thief on the cross is not an applicable example of salvation in the present covenant/dispensation simply because of the timeline in which he expressed his faith.

    The Scripture is somewhat silent on the subject of “where-saints-went-after-they-died” during the brief period between Jesus’ death, resurrection, and the giving of the Holy Spirit…which is why people have been saying the thief is not the best example of how someone today “gets saved” (so to speak). That’s not to say that the thief neither expressed saving faith nor was actually saved due to the sacrificial work of Christ – but simply to say that no one can be dogmatic on exactly what happened to the thief in the days prior to Jesus’ resurrection.

  152. Believe says:

    Bob, thanks for the input.

    I am stuck on the Thief because Salvation is THE foundational issue to me.

    Nothing matters nearly as much as Salvation and Jesus Christ…IMO.

    We (myself included) spend an awful lot of time wrestling with doctrines, Theologies, creeds, confessions, etc etc etc…the list gets very long and very time consuming. We spend an awful lot of time “proving” our theses and explaining things and doing mental gymnastics…IMO.

    Why can’t we K.I.S.S.? Keep It Simple Stupid.

    The Thief looked over at Jesus our Christ…and he believed and repented…and Christ confirmed he went to Paradise…(and the Greek word in Scripture supports that it was not Hades or Abraham’s bosom that Christ was referencing).

    Can it be that simple? The Thief knew nothing of Doctrines, Theologies, Creeds, Confessions, he wasn’t even baptized in water, he never took of the Sacraments…yet he was saved by grace through Faith and repentance…

    He was in the presence of the Logos…the Word…the Absolute Truth…and he surrendered to Christ’s authority…in his heart…and he feared God…and was “saved”…

    I think I’ve been told (from my interpretation of others’ posts) that this cannot be…or to take caution with this assertion…I still don’t see why.

    For me…the more I read about Church History and Theology…the more it brings up questions…questions that are difficult to get Absolute answers for.

    So the other part of me reverts to breaking it down to its simplest form.

    There is much division in the Church…because I believe we are making the Simple Absolute Truth of the Gospel…much more complicated than need be…which requires so many different denominations and traditions…dunno…just my take.

  153. Believe says:

    Tim, thanks for the input.

  154. Believe says:

    Tim said, “The thief on the cross is most certainly an applicable example of *faith.* I do not believe there’s any doubt about that. Yet the thief on the cross is not an applicable example of salvation in the present covenant/dispensation simply because of the timeline in which he expressed his faith.”

    Why is the Thief not an applicable example of Salvation?

    Where is the time-line demarcated? At Resurrection…at Pentecost?

    If at Resurrection…then what is the difference (specifically) between the Thief’s Salvation and my Salvation? What must I do differently than the Thief?

  155. Tim says:

    Believe –
    The question for me isn’t whether or not the Thief is saved (I believe that is readily demonstrable from the Scripture). The question is whether or not he was saved in the dispensation of Law or the dispensation of Grace (or covenants of either…use your theology of choice here).

    Does that make sense? And the only factor that separates the two is one of chronological time. Since we cannot say this dogmatically about the Thief, it’s tough to come down on one side or the other…hence “not a good example.” Perhaps it would be better to say “He’s not the *best* example.” But again, that’s a statement that has zero to do with his actual salvation; rather it’s a question of where he went the moment life left his physical body.

    Regarding when the time-line actually divides…that’s a question of much debate among different scholars. I’ve read opinions ranging from the cross to the resurrection to Jesus’ breathing on the disciples to Pentecost itself.

    What must you do differently than the Thief? Absolutely nothing. You are saved by grace through faith…just as he was & just as anyone saved regardless of the dispensation into which they were born. (I’ll have some people disagree with me on this point, no doubt.)

  156. Em says:

    Pastor Tim, you have a gift for teaching – but i’m going to muddy the water and test the patience of all the good teachers here, perhaps (you all have got me wondering about something for the first time that i can recall):
    doesn’t Scripture say that when our Lord suffered crucifixion; at that very time graves of OT Believers were opened and there they were walkin around for all to see… when and where did they then go????

  157. Another Voice says:

    Believe, the thief is an excellent example of the simplicity of saving faith (as Tim wrote) and I use him often in a certain context. He is a good example of repentance too.

    During the church age, belief in the gospel is what saves. That is what Jesus calls us to preach to the whole world. The gospel that saves is that He died and rose – as clearly seen in the Acts’ messages.

    There are many people who profess ‘belief in Jesus’ and yet don’t believe He rose from the dead. That is not the gospel.

    I am in agreement with the general vibe of the thread that we do not need to know all this stuff at the moment of salvation – but we have not ‘received Jesus’ and been born again until we believe in the resurrection.

    I don’t see where the theif knew, or could have known, about the resurrection. Thus, I am wary of telling someone to just ‘call on Jesus like the theif did’ without explaining the clear message of the gospel – again, as we see in the Acts sermons.

    P.S. The New Covenant is a very detailed and complicated subject to me, and not as simple (again to me) as just associating it with the New Testament period. I just am not going to get into all that here. I only mentioned the church’s starting point because I think it answers the issue with the thief. Also, my rebuke was not intended for you, unless you believe that I, as a dispensationalist, think people were saved by works under the older dispensations. If you do believe that, then it was intended for you because you have swallowed a lie. If not, then ignore it.

    I would wager though you don’t think that (about works) so don’t worry about it. I will say that sometimes I write something that is for the general readership, and not personal to you – even if you are the dominant voice in the thread.

    If I wish to direct a comment to you personally, I do so (as I have done here).

    God Bless.

  158. Em says:

    forgot the 😆 on my #160

  159. Dave Rolph says:

    Salvation has always been by grace through faith. The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin. Everyone who has ever been saved was saved the same way.

    I think Xenia is correct in her description of the timeline, Abraham’s bosom etc. (although I am a bit cautious about the way we have built so much doctrine based on just the rich man and Lazarus story), but dispensational or covenantal distinctions concerning how salvation happened at different times are problematic for me. The only possible salvation, for all times, comes through faith in Jesus Christ, period. One’s awareness of the specifics varies, but the faith that saved Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Rahab, Samson, and the thief on the cross, saves us as well. There is no other name, under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.

  160. Tim says:

    Em –
    I believe you’re referencing Matt 27:51-53…

    Matthew 27:51-53 (51) Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, (52) and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (53) and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

    The Scripture here references that the graves were opened after Jesus’ *resurrection*; not His crucifixion. The bummer for all these saints is that they would have (like Lazarus) died a 2nd time. But being as they would have died after Jesus’ resurrection, I believe they would have experienced the same thing that all other NT believers experience upon death: being absent from the body, but present with the Lord.

    Blessings!

  161. Tim says:

    Excuse me…their resurrections took place after Jesus’ resurrection; their graves were apparently opened during the earthquake.

  162. Kevin H says:

    Don’t mean to interrupt the interrupt the conversation, but since I am a big baseball fan, I just wanted to pay respects to somebody who is “In The Family”, and went home to the Lord yesterday. Ernie Harwell, the legendary announcer for the Detroit Tigers passed away after a bout with cancer. Here’s a link to a short article written about him last year. (I hope it works, this is my first time trying to post a link.)

    http://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/Dying-Well-Lessons-from-a-Baseball-Legend

  163. Another Voice says:

    Abraham is in heaven because Jesus died for his sins. The same is true for anyone who will enjoy God’s presence for eternity.

    However, the Bible tells us the moment Abraham exercised saving faith in God and God’s Word and it had nothing to do with Jesus or a future cross. But Abraham did ‘believe God and it was accounted to him for righteousness’ This is reinforced clearly by Paul in the New Testament.

    Since the apostles did not understand the mission of Christ, even while He was in the grave, I find it hard to imagine the OT saints understood centuries earlier. More importantly, there is no record in the OT that they did – other than grabbing something like Job’s ‘I know that my Redeemer lives’ and using it as a prooftext, or Jesus saying ‘Abraham rejoiced to see my day and saw it’ – that case can’t be made from Scripture. Nor does it have to.

    Salvation is always by grace through faith in God. He is the object of faith, but the content of faith has varied over the dispensations. To repeat though, anyone saved is saved because Jesus died for their sins. This is also why the OT believers did not go immediately into the presence of the Lord, as Christians do today at death, because Jesus actually had to perform the ACT of the propitiation.

    Hebrews 11 tells us of the faith by many in the OT – again, no suggestion of looking forward in faith to a future Messiah Who would die and rise again..

  164. Dave Rolph says:

    AV,

    They responded to the information they had, but it was all ultimately about Jesus. If not we could have all gone to Abraham’s bosom and Jesus wouldn’t have to die.

  165. Dave Rolph says:

    Hebrews 12:2- “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”

    Hebrews 13:8- “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”

    My kind of dispensationalism. 😉

  166. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Believe,
    I like your simplicity of KISS.
    God does it all. I like that the thief did not have to work out his salvation, nor did he have to work on his own sanctification.
    God takes care of it all. Romans 4:5

  167. Another Voice says:

    Dave,

    My objection is the oft-repeated teaching that we are saved by looking back to the cross, and the OT saints were saved by looking forward to the cross. It doesn’t sound like you are saying that, but your first post was a little too close for my comfort when I teach.

    And who would want to stay in Abraham’s bosom for eternity? That was a far inferior place to enjoying the presence of God face to face. The OT saints were held there until the cross – it was a place of comfort apparently, but it was a waiting room until the real reward – which was not possible until Jesus actually, physically did die and rise.

    You wrote, “They responded to the information they had” – Absolutely..what I am saying as well.

    You wrote, “It was all ultimately about Jesus” – The information? Not sure I see that in Scripture. The sacrifices, models and types – most definitely – all about Jesus.

  168. centorian says:

    AV,
    “However, the Bible tells us the moment Abraham exercised saving faith in God and God’s Word and it had nothing to do with Jesus or a future cross.”

    While Abraham may not have understood all the details of Jesus and the cross, the Abrahamic Covenant points to Him. Jesus said “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw [it] and was glad.” (Jhn 8:56) When did Abarham see it? I think it was during the making of the covenant.

  169. Believe says:

    AV said, ” will say that sometimes I write something that is for the general readership, and not personal to you – even if you are the dominant voice in the thread.

    If I wish to direct a comment to you personally, I do so (as I have done here).”

    Thanks for clarifying that. However, consider that even if you are addressing the general readership…that type of tone and wording can cause others to stumble and tempts them to sin by responding in anger and in kind…and contributes to divisions in the Church, IMO.

  170. Xenia says:

    Are you sure you aren’t a dispensationalist? <<<

    Actually, in this area, the Dispensationalists and the Orthodox (and I guess the RC) are all in happy agreement.

  171. Believe says:

    What I’m learning is that a large part of the problem with the ODM’s is they speak as if they are the all-encompassing authority and oracles of God…the only keeper’s of the Absolute Truth…the only group that has the Absolute Answers and Discernment from the Holy Spirit…

    Their tone and their words toward those they disagree with are harsh and angry and very authoritative…as if they are Christ speaking to the Pharisees…or Paul speaking to Peter.

    We are to be Christ-like and follow Jesus example…and Paul was an Apostle…BUT, are we being presumptuous in believing we have the “authority” to speak like Jesus and Paul?

    Could the way we dialogue be a major contributing factor to division?

    Len Sweet is called a heretic by a group who has no real authority…IMO…yet people cave in to the pressure and “un-invite” him.

    Is Len Sweet not a brother in Christ? Is he really a heretic? Should we really dis-fellowship with a guy like him?

    This thread is about “Who is in the family”…and one of the emphases of the PP (IMO)…is finding common ground and things to unite on…rather than things to divide on.

    To truly “unite”…we need to boil it down to the “lowest common denominator” (which is the highest and most glorious Truth in Scripture)…which is Jesus Christ the Messiah and Salvation…which is by grace through faith in the Messiah…whether it is the Messiah promised to come (Abraham)…the Messiah in real time (the Thief)…or the Messiah who is now resurrected (Us). (In my opinion).

    The rest of the issues are non-essential it appears to me. If we are truly to “unite”…and if Walid Shoebat’s End of Days prophecy is true…we will have to “unite”….then let’s K.I.S.S. and make up…and quit all the fighting and eating of our own.

    We have a true enemy…and the Dragon and the Anti-Christ are coming…

  172. Em says:

    “Len Sweet is called a heretic by a group who has no real authority…IMO…yet people cave in to the pressure and “un-invite” him.

    Is Len Sweet not a brother in Christ? Is he really a heretic? Should we really dis-fellowship with a guy like him”

    yeah, what Believe said! ‘course there is that pretty hair … dunno bout that 😉

  173. Pardon the Interruption says:

    AV,

    Hebrews 11 does tell us that Moses left Egypt for the reward of Christ.

  174. Another Voice says:

    Centy, I think it is far more likely that Jesus was referring to Gen 22, and I look to Galatians 3 for some support in that.

    He was saved in Gen 15 – as Romans points out. I see nothing of the Messiah in Gen 15.

    So we are both assuming what Jesus might be speaking of, if we was speaking of the cross at all.

    PTI – I fully admit that a promised Messiah (Christ) to come was understood by faithful Jews of the past. I challenge the assertion that they trusted in the future death and resurrection of the Messiah for their sins in order to be saved.

  175. Believe says:

    John 1:1

    Logos. The Word. Messiah.

  176. Michael says:

  177. Michael says:

    Didn’t know where else to put it…too funny.

  178. centorian says:

    nice…………….. 8)

  179. Believe says:

    Laughing and agreeing at the same time… 8)

  180. JimB says:

    Michael,

    Awesome video clip by Cleese!

  181. Dave Rolph says:

    Awesome video! That’s the final word for me. 🙂

  182. Em says:

    ahem, isn’t Cleese describing himself? 🙂 and did he say “castraters?” are those what we call “cowboys?”

  183. Isaiah56:1 says:

    That video explains so many people and so many “ministries”….
    Laughing way too hard…

  184. Captain Kevin says:

    When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!
    When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!

  185. Linnea says:

    John Cleese is an authority on extremism. If it the “French Taunter” clip from the Holy Grail had not included taking the Lord’s name in vain, I would have posted it.

  186. Bob says:

    Believe:

    You said:

    “There is much division in the Church…because I believe we are making the Simple Absolute Truth of the Gospel…much more complicated than need be…which requires so many different denominations and traditions…dunno…just my take.”

    After many decades of church involvement my take is like yours, simplicity. But I still spend a lot of time studying and trying to get a hold on the Jesus of scripture and history. Who really was this man God in His historical settings? We all know He was a very faithful Jewish Rabbi in His thirties, but what does this mean to me and those who want to be His disciples some 2000 years later? I really want to know all I can about the one who did so much for me and all who listen to Him.

    I am actually very hard on organized church because I see too often political and power based ambitions of men. It seems to me the church would rather make disciples of their doctrines rather than disciples of Jesus.

    So again to me simplicity in faith is good, but ignorance of truth is defenseless and the only solution I know of is to just spend time, lots of time, in the scriptures.

    Did you notice on the day of Pentecost scriptures indicate the Apostles were most likely not in the upper room? Most of us, including myself for years, just accepted what someone told us about that day and where they were located. But, by spending time in scripture I saw something different (of course I had the help of a gifted teacher who said “read it again, what does actually say”). How did I miss what was in plain sight for so many years?

    Keep pushing for the truth!

  187. Believe says:

    Bob, thanks for the input and the exhortation.

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