Sunday reflection: John 14:1-12

posted at 10:01 am on May 18, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

“Sunday Reflection” is a regular feature, looking at the specific readings used in today’s Mass in Catholic parishes around the world. The reflection represents only my own point of view, intended to help prepare myself for the Lord’s day and perhaps spark a meaningful discussionPrevious Sunday Reflections from the main page can be found here For previous Green Room entries, click here.

This morning’s Gospel reading is John 14:1–12:

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”

What is it to have faith? Often, we will talk about our beliefs as interchangeable with faith, but in today’s Gospel we see a subtle difference between the two. That’s because we sometimes confuse belief and knowledge with faith in its true sense, and Philip’s question to Jesus demonstrates the problem that all of us face in truly embracing faith.

Jesus starts John 14 by exhorting his disciples to have faith in him. By this time, they have spent a few years with Jesus, giving up their livelihoods to follow Jesus and to spread His teachings throughout the region. As His ministry comes to its end, Jesus knows that His departure will frighten and confuse the disciples, and so He emphasizes that they must have faith that He will ensure that they will join Him. In the context of their long association with Jesus, asking for faith seems a little strange; haven’t they seen His works and seen Him teach more than anyone else? They have already known Jesus to be The Christ, even if they do not yet fully understand what that means for Jesus in Jerusalem.

So they know who Jesus is, and they believe what He teaches. But knowledge and belief on their own are not faith. Philip makes this clear when he asks Jesus to just unveil the Father for their own knowledge. It’s a test, in its way, as Philip’s question demonstrates a hesitancy to trust in Jesus. Hey, just show me God, and I’ll be on board, Philip says, and we’ll be cool.

Once again, the disciples show us our own folly. When we find ourselves struggling with doubt or unable to relinquish the illusion of complete control through our own reason, we start trying to fit God into our own paradigms rather than fit ourselves into His. Our reason and our sensory experience works within our human limitations, as well as the limitations of time and space. We cannot possibly fit God into our own little boxes, no matter how highly we think of our own powers of rational thought — but we certainly want to try. Jesus asks for faith, for the disciples to trust that Jesus will lead them to the Father, and Philip — and the rest of us — would rather that God just show up here instead.

Well, that would be nice… but that is, once again, trying to make God’s will subservient to our own rather than the other way around. Jesus wants His followers to trust that Jesus is the Way, the path to the Father that we all can take, but that means more than just knowing it exists and believing in its truth. It means putting our trust in Jesus and forming ourselves through His Word, and to rely on the sheer goodness of God’s plan rather than cling to our own.

Our second reading today hints at the same theme as a continuation of God’s plan for salvation from the Old Testament. Peter quotes Isaiah 28:16 in his first letter: Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame. Jesus also makes reference to himself as a cornerstone (Matthew 21:42, for example), and here Peter is making the same point as Jesus — that those who trust in Jesus and not just believe or have what is sometimes called “intellectual faith” will be vindicated. For those who lack that trust, the cornerstone will “make people stumble … make them fall.”

The cornerstone theme goes back all the way to Job 38. When Job questions God, He answers from the whirlwind:

 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know!  Or who stretched the line upon it?  On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?["]

The cornerstone is the key element to the building. It is the one on which the entire structure rests. The builder and the inhabitants have to trust that the cornerstone will endure and fulfill its mission. In Psalm 118, which Peter also quotes in today’s reading, the added twist is that the true cornerstone was rejected by earthly builders: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” These all point to Jesus, but also to the need to trust in the Lord more than our own reason.

We all stumble and fall, in faith as well as life. I know I struggle against the impulse to limit the world to the boundaries of my own experience and reason, and then demand that God fit Himself into that narrow box rather than open myself to the truth that I am not the center of the universe, let alone its entirety. (And for that, you can all be truly grateful, believe me.) The very desire to build our reality around the limitations of our own reason and sensory experience demonstrates the need for Jesus to wrench us out of ourselves and set us on the Way to reach the Father. And while we can see that path clearly in the Gospel and believe that it tells us truths about salvation, we cannot get there without trusting in Jesus and putting ourselves on His path rather than insisting that we can better get there by relying on our own devices.

We have to be all in.

Today’s image is the central detail of Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment from the Sistine Chapel (from my own collection). 


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This is my favorite passage of the Bible. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Very insightful.

Ted Torgerson on May 18, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Well said, Ed.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Ed I read another analysis of this Gospel last night. He hit all around the point you make of knowledge and belief vs. faith, yet never hit the target as you have noting it is placing ourselves into God’s paradigm as “the way.”
Great job as always.
Yours in Christ,
Michael.

Michael Harlin on May 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM

..Thank you Ed!

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

I have no idea what this kind of trust is anymore.

I went from being the kind of person who is far too trusting for their own good to the kind of person who questions everything and everyone with nothing of blind trust in a very short time. During the process of that change, I just seem to have lost all sense of what the kind of trust you’re referring to means.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Trust is always a thoughy, LH.
Something the enemy is actively working to prevent or destroy.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Good post Ed…Thank you

For those interested in viewing the Sistine Chapel in HD detail with choral music the Vatican has made the chapel available for viewing online at this site. The HD camera can rotate throughout and this feature is also available for the Basilica on other links at the Vatican website.

Use your mouse to scroll around to guide the camera

http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html?utm_source=Twitter

workingclass artist on May 18, 2014 at 11:07 AM

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Indeed. I have no doubt that God knows I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around this one any more, or that it is one on the list of many things I need His help in dealing with. I know that He knows.

But that doesn’t resolve the presence of or absence of trust that may be genuinely needed or required in building a strong relationship with Him.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

I came to understand this through the use of verbs… or non-use. I believe… is the use of a verb. Rather than take an action to achieve a goal, be that goal. Rather than take an action to trust in the Lord, be that trust. Live in that trust.

The Kingdom of Heaven is not about being a human, it’s about a human living within that Kingdom. No action required.

Your mileage may vary.

Willys on May 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Just stay close, (cuz the enemy HATES that .. LOL), look at Him instead of your deficiencies, and it will develop.
Been there, too. :-)

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Thank you for doing this. I look forward to this reading every Sunday.

latina on May 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Not sure I follow, Ed.

I think sometimes we make thing more complicated than they have to be.

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Faith. saving faith, is something you have not, contra Calvinism and Reformed Theology–and Armininism, something you do.

Paul teaches that salvation is by faith alone, not by works. With that saving faith, before we have done any works/

James speaks experientially when he says that works is necessary for salvation. It is not the works that have saved you, it is that if you have no works, you have no faith.

Paul is speaking positionally (ontologically); James is speaking experientially (existentially).

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

“works/” s/b “works.”

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Without belief, there can be no faith. That is why, Ed, the Credo is such a powerful portion of the Mass.

Belief is a powerful component, but not the entirety, of faith. True faith requires not only belief, it requires prayer, study, and reflection, requires community with other believers. It requires hope. It requires acts — works — charity. All of these meld together to buttress each other into the unity we call faith.

Those are the things the faithful bring to the table as they reach for grace and ultimately for Salvation. God brings all else to that table.

I submit that Phillip did not have enough belief, for if he did, he would not have asked what he asked. And because he did not have enough belief, he did not have enough faith.

However, all of Phillip’s shortcomings seem to relate to food, so much may be forgiven him.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Not sure I follow, Ed.

I think sometimes we make thing more complicated than they have to be.

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

The Bible is God’s Self-Revelation. With God’s being infinite, we can expect the Bible to be nearly so if not entirely so.

Don’t let the following be said of you:

11 We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. Hebrews 5

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I have no doubt that God knows I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around this one any more, or that it is one on the list of many things I need His help in dealing with. I know that He knows.

But that doesn’t resolve the presence of or absence of trust that may be genuinely needed or required in building a strong relationship with Him.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

When I struggle with doubts, fears, and confusion, these verse are a comfort to me, especially verse twenty:

15 He withdrew from there. Huge crowds followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 He warned them not to make Him known, 17 so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

18Here is My Servant whom I have chosen,

My beloved in whom My soul delights;

I will put My Spirit on Him,

and He will proclaim justice to the nations.

19He will not argue or shout,

and no one will hear His voice in the streets.

20He will not break a bruised reed,

and He will not put out a smoldering wick,

until He has led justice to victory.

21The nations will put their hope in His name.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The Great Commission
Mark 16:16 ►
…15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16″He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

New Living Translation
Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.

If one does not believe, then that one will not be baptized. They are condemned already.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I appreciate the encouragement, pambi.

On the point of deficiencies, I don’t think dwelling on deficiencies is productive. But I do think being aware of deficiencies can be productive, because those deficiencies can be points of weakness that the enemy uses if we don’t guard against it. (Think “chink in the armor”)

Where it really gets sticky is wading into things that can be both strength and weakness, depending on the context. I’ve been hit by one of those of late…hit hard by it actually, like the tsunami that hit the shores of Japan. Still working my way through that one. That’s one of those great challenges of life ;-)

On the point of trust, I do question the viewpoint people have and what kind of trust they are referring to. I’ve seen people who say “Trust God and things will be fine”, yet there is a field before them that needs plowing and sowing, with all the tools at hands that they would be in need of…yet they don’t seem to see the field, or the opportunities, or what they would reap in sowing the field.

It depends on what is being referenced.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”
I have to believe what Peter said. My sins will be forgiven when I am baptized.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

20He will not break a bruised reed,

and He will not put out a smoldering wick,

until He has led justice to victory.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

That’s an excellent passage, and the verse you emphasized reinforces something I’ve personally held to of late.

Thank you.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

We’re very much on the same page.
One of the dearest, and most effective ways He’s answered my frantic prayers (increase my faith and trust, Lord !!) throughout my several tsunamis, was that He’d take me back and show me what had ALREADY been plowed, seeded, harvested .. HE was behind ALL of those places, having met ALL of those prior needs, down to the tiniest details !! Using only my personal, human reason and comprehension, I had had NO clue !!!
That’s how He certainly helped this doubter !! :-)
Think ‘footprints’, and it’ll make sense .. ;-)

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Not sure I follow, Ed.

I think sometimes we make thing more complicated than they have to be.

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I think we do that by trying to understand things that are beyond our understanding. Or that can’t be put into words or captured in webs of logic and dogma.

Faith is a mystery given through encounter. Not sought. Not received.

kcewa on May 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

My sins will be forgiven when I am baptized.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Which sins? Just the ones you had when you were baptized, or also the ones you commit after you have been baptized?

You have new life — now what must you do yourself to preserve that new life? Nothing? Something? Everything?

That new life is a gift from God. How must you thank God for His gift?

Indeed, that seems to often be the key point of argument here — what is the nature of Salvation? Is Salvation, which most Christians would agree is the ultimate gift we can obtain from God, received through something you do or do not do, or is it received because God has predestined (chosen?) you to have it, or is it more complicated than that? Can you do something of your own free will which causes you to not attain Salvation?

For a lot of people, the answer depends on one or two passages of Scripture, read without the context of the entirety of the Word.

If all it took was baptism, we could get rid of entire books from the Bible.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 1:33 PM

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Oh, it definitely makes sense, pambi. Thank you!

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Ed, institution of the diaconate in the reading from Acts of the Apostles today as you know. I spoke with our deacon in training after Mass and thought of you. Are you discerning a vocation?

Mason on May 18, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Think ‘footprints’, and it’ll make sense .. ;-)

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

‘footprints’, as nice a thought as it might be, is neither Scripture nor Tradition. It is the religious expression of a modern human copyright 1984.

http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com/index.php?page=FormPages/LicensingRequest3.php

It is nice to think that God is entirely constructed of love, and expects nothing from us other than an acknowledgement of that love, and that all nice things come from that.

The travails of his chosen people in Scripture is worth reading, if only to counter that thought.

So is Galatians 6:

Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself. Each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard to someone else; for each will bear his own load.

One who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor. Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.

Or, as C.S.Lewis would say,

The Moral Law does not give us any grounds for thinking
that God is “good” in the sense of being indulgent, or soft, or sympathetic. There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails. It tells you to do the straight thing and it does not seem to care how painful, or dangerous, or difficult it is to do. If God is like the Moral Law, then He is not soft. It is no use, at this stage, saying that what you mean by a “good” God is a God who can forgive. You are going too quickly. Only a Person can forgive. And we have not yet got as far as a personal God—only as far as a power, behind the Moral Law, and more like a mind than it is like anything else. But it may still be very unlike a Person. If it is pure impersonal mind, there may be no sense in asking it to make allowances for you or let you off, just as there is no sense in asking the multiplication table to let you off when you do your sums wrong. You are bound to get the wrong answer. And it is no use either saying that if there is a God of that sort—an impersonal absolute goodness—then you do not like Him and are not going to bother about Him.

For the trouble is that one part of you is on His side and really agrees with His disapproval of human greed and trickery and exploitation. You may want Him to make an exception in your own case, to let you off this one time; but you know at bottom that unless the power behind the world really and unalterably detests that sort of behaviour, then He cannot be good. On the other hand, we know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do.

That is the terrible fix we are in. If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again.

We cannot do without it. and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible-ally,
and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again.

They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger—according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.

So, somewhere between ‘footprints’ and Mere Christianity, there is this:

For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.”

.
Ed Morrissey on May 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM

.
One of my favorite songs by the late Rich Mullins, complimented by Michael W. Smith & A Raggamuffin Band.

listens2glenn on May 18, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Read Philip. Read Thomas.

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Thank you Ed for sharing this. My mom passed yesterday after a long battle with cancer. I thought of and shared the same verses with our family just after she entered God’s presence. Though I did not attend today’s service, our pastor’s sermon today was on the exact same passage. Mom died at peace, knowing that a place was already prepared for her, and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb.

fortcoins on May 18, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”

I have to believe what Peter said. My sins will be forgiven when I am baptized.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Paul, addressing “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi,” i. e. addressing Christians, told them to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).”

Addressing “God’s church at Corinth, with all the saints who are throughout Achaia,” He writes, “For He says: I heard you in an acceptable time, and I helped you in the day of salvation.

Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation” (II Corithians 6:2).

He is talking about the process of sanctification.

When Peter addresses “God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood,” he tells them about an “inheritance … kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (II Peter 1:4,5).

He is talking about our glorification.

Salvation has three stages:

First is initial salvation which is by faith alone. A faith that is evident by one’s works, as James makes clear. But works do not effect this salvation.

God imputes His righteousness to us and sees us forensically as holy and perfect as He is. Manifold grace.

Second stage is typically called sanctification. This where we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” While our position is perfection, our experience is otherwise.

We work to become more and more like Jesus in our everyday life. And it is fearful and frustrating work.

But (third) we cling to the hope of a future salvation “kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

One does not need to be water baptized to be saved. I only need to point to the thief on the cross. But it is a matter of obedience. Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and don’t do the things I say?”

For my next Bible study topic I want to study the issue of baptism. When theologians talk about soteriology, they recognize that while certain things occur to/for us at the moment of salvation some are logically prior to others.

Things like baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Bible study, prayer are the means by which God gives us grace and strength to persevere and to grow to be more like Jesus. They do not effect the first “stage” of salvation, but are crucial for growth in the second stage.

Theologians, both “professional” and lay, have debated Acts 2:38 for nearly two millinia. This is one area where we must let Scripture interpret Scripture. I hope to do that.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

And you fools thought that baseball was invented in the 1800s. They even sand the National Anthem.

faraway on May 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

sand sang

faraway on May 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Read Philip. Read Thomas.

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Because they failed this fundamental criterion, the apocryphal gospels of Mary, Peter and Philip, to which Brown [in The Da Vinci Code] refers, were not accepted by the church, i.e. they disqualified themselves There was therefore no reason to copy them. Brown’s ideas are not new. They have been circulating in occult and New Age circles for years, and go back to the ancient heresy of gnosticism.

http://creation.com/the-da-vinci-code-fiction-masquerading-as-fact

The Gospel of Thomas teaches that:

Jesus was a wise teacher: divine, but not necessarily human;

Jesus is not the Messiah predicted by the Jewish prophets;

Salvation is by learning secret knowledge and looking inward;

There are many gods; possibly even some form of pantheism; and,

other heretical things.

It dates in the second century, so it cannot be written by the Thomas of Scripture.

cf. http://carm.org/does-the-gospel-of-thomas-belong-in-the-new-testament

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Thank you Ed for sharing this. My mom passed yesterday after a long battle with cancer. I thought of and shared the same verses with our family just after she entered God’s presence. Though I did not attend today’s service, our pastor’s sermon today was on the exact same passage. Mom died at peace, knowing that a place was already prepared for her, and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb.

fortcoins on May 18, 2014 at 2:24 PM

My condolences. The passing of a saint is always bittersweet.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Here is some help: http://www.holytrinityparish.net/Links/APrimerOnSalvation.pdf

I don’t wholly agree with the structure outlined in this document, but it does list the various “buzz words” from Scripture relating to grace and salvation: Justification, Will, Sanctification, Merit and roots them in said Scripture.

Note: According to this document, we have a guide in the Holy Spirit, not a controller.

Others may have a different view of the actions of the Holy Spirit — hence the concept of predestination — that all actions a person takes has been willed by God, and, hence, that one’s salvation (or lack thereof) was already determined ab origine. I would assume that means baptism as well.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Once again, the disciples show us our own folly. When we find ourselves struggling with doubt or unable to relinquish the illusion of complete control through our own reason, we start trying to fit God into our own paradigms rather than fit ourselves into His.

Very nice reflection. You caused me to recall Genesis 11 – The Tower of Babel, but I suppose moreover the relentless vanity of our human nature to “know” that something special is so much greater than we are and is indeed among us. We are all simply descendants of Eve and here now is Philip, playing the role blithely.

I consider the Tower of Babel to be a pinnacle of our vanity in that instead of using stone that had been provided by God, they used manmade materials to reach the sky. That stone theme never gets old.

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Which sins? Just the ones you had when you were baptized, or also the ones you commit after you have been baptized?

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 1:33 PM

There is no before or after in God’s reality. No “time”.

kcewa on May 18, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Which sins? Just the ones you had when you were baptized, or also the ones you commit after you have been baptized?

You have new life — now what must you do yourself to preserve that new life? Nothing? Something? Everything?

For a lot of people, the answer depends on one or two passages of Scripture, read without the context of the entirety of the Word.

If all it took was baptism, we could get rid of entire books from the Bible.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 1:33 PM

I didn’t take anything out of context. Tis not I that’s taking something out of context. The issue was salvation and how to obtain it. I provided the answer.

Your question: All sins (prior to and after baptism) and they must be confessed. You’re assuming a lot from my posting a few scriptures how about to obtain salvation. Here are some scripture to acquaint yourself with:
Being baptized doesn’t protect you from sin. It gives you a clean slate to start with in your battle against sin (Acts 22:16). If you slip into sin, you pick yourself up, acknowledge your problem to God (I John 1:9) and then start again. Often it helps to talk to an older Christian about your struggles to get ideas on how to deal with the particular problems you are facing (James 5:16). Still, you are going to sin (I John 1:8, 10; 2:1). None of us are immune to the tricks of the devil. The point about being a Christian is that we are committed to continue fighting against sin. Sin doesn’t invalidate your baptism. You are still in a covenant with Christ.

Being a Christian means you’ve signed up for a lifetime of growth (Ephesians 4:11-16).

If you see someone in sin, you gently point out the problem and offer suggestions for avoiding sin in the future (II Timothy 2:24-26). Being taught what is wrong and why it is wrong is a part of growing.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 3:36 PM

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Ok.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 3:37 PM

unclesmrgol, I hope you’ve seen that the Pope/Zacchaeus thread carried on after you,d left on Pg 8.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 3:50 PM

The Bible is God’s Self-Revelation. With God’s being infinite, we can expect the Bible to be nearly so if not entirely so.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Sometimes human commentary on the Bible can be verbose, without being profound. And can complicate that which is simple unnecessarily.

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 3:53 PM

One does not need to be water baptized to be saved. I only need to point to the thief on the cross. But it is a matter of obedience. Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and don’t do the things I say?”
davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Christ had not died, yet, and all were still under the old laws until He arose. When He died the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom to show that the old laws and rules were not in place anymore, unless carried forward by Christ.

For my next Bible study topic I want to study the issue of baptism. When theologians talk about soteriology, they recognize that while certain things occur to/for us at the moment of salvation some are logically prior to others.

Things like baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Bible study, prayer are the means by which God gives us grace and strength to persevere and to grow to be more like Jesus. They do not effect the first “stage” of salvation, but are crucial for growth in the second stage.

Theologians, both “professional” and lay, have debated Acts 2:38 for nearly two millinia. This is one area where we must let Scripture interpret Scripture. I hope to do that..
davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

That sounds much like I hear from folks that like to add their quarterlies and/or pamphets to the Word of God, and/or what professional theologists tell them. *sigh*
I’ve never heard of stages of salvation. Sounds like another construct, created by someone with an idea to interpret the Word of God (which was prevalant idea prior to the Bible being published in English for the common folk), something that’s not necessary if one studies the Word. I just take the Word of God as it is w/o all the discussions about it, which seem to blur them by the theologians I’ve read about on this site. For instance, The Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott gives the primary meaning of the verb baptizein, from which the English verb “baptize” is derived, as “dip, plunge”. By the third and fourth centuries, baptism involved catechetical instruction as well as chrismation, exorcisms, laying on of hands, and recitation of a creed.

This is, in effect, changing the Word and/or adding to it, something which is forbidden. In the New Testament, at the very end of the Bible, there is an extremely sharp warning about the judgment that will certainly come upon all who foolishly endeavor to change what God has revealed:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book,

Rev. 22:18-19.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”

I have to believe what Peter said. My sins will be forgiven when I am baptized.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

You don’t find it strange that your interpretation of the passage lies at odds with Peter’s teaching in other passages?

That Jesus never taught that baptism was necessary for salvation?

That the book of I John, which was written “that ye may know that ye have eternal life” fails to mention baptism?

On interpretation, I go with Peter when he said “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 4:01 PM

You don’t find it strange that your interpretation of the passage lies at odds with Peter’s teaching in other passages?

That Jesus never taught that baptism was necessary for salvation?

That the book of I John, which was written “that ye may know that ye have eternal life” fails to mention baptism?

On interpretation, I go with Peter when he said “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 4:01 PM

But, it is mentioned in other scriptures.
Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 8:35-38 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”
Other verses: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/15-bible-verses-about-baptism/

Why did the apostles do this? Even Christ was baptized as a way of providing the example of what to do.
Because this is the commandment from Christ:

◄ Matthew 28:19 ►
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The Great Commission
…18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19″Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

And, not all scriptures mention observing the Lord’s Supper, nor giving on a weekly basis. The whole bible is to be taken together.

.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM

*It seems that Christ did command Baptism in the Great Commission.
Don’t even have to have a theologian to tell me this.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:18 PM

The way I take the entirety of the NT to espress the subject of baptism is that once one is a believer, and is instructed to walk in the ways of Christ, the Holy Spirit will convict us to also be baptized.
Notice that baptism is always mentioned AFTER repentance/having been instructed in discipleship.
No ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

But, it is mentioned in other scriptures.
Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 8:35-38 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”
Other verses: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/15-bible-verses-about-baptism/

Why did the apostles do this? Even Christ was baptized as a way of providing the example of what to do.
Because this is the commandment from Christ:

◄ Matthew 28:19 ►
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The Great Commission
…18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19″Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

And, not all scriptures mention observing the Lord’s Supper, nor giving on a weekly basis. The whole bible is to be taken together.

.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Since you didn’t address any of my objections, I won’t present any others. Suffice it to say, that your interpretation of the passage, is demonstrably in error.

The other passages you mentioned don’t support your conclusion either.

God’s word is divine, our interpretation isn’t.

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

I’ve answered your question by providing scriptures that speak to the necessity of baptism, written by Christ’s apostles obeying his commandments to do so. Because it WASN’T mentioned in the 1-2 that you mentioned doesn’t negate the ones where it was.

It is not my “interpretation”…..it’s bible verses I provided, written by the apostles. Perhaps, I’m going against some teaching you’ve had in the past gained by that person (s) interpretations? I dunno.

All I can say is what I’ve said by quoting the scripture including the Great Commission. What else do you want?

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

It doesn’t say ‘he that believeth not, or isn’t baptized, shall be damned’.
Does it ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:40 PM

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw, that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take it to heart, what is written in it and take it to heart, what is written in it, because the time is near. Rev 1:1-3

“I am the Alpha, and the Omega”, says the Lord God,”who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev 1:8

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Rev 1:17

He is coming back and this is His promise. Be all in and believe in the Christ.

crosshugger on May 18, 2014 at 4:44 PM

For my next Bible study topic I want to study the issue of baptism….
Theologians, both “professional” and lay, have debated Acts 2:38 for nearly two millinia. This is one area where we must let Scripture interpret Scripture. I hope to do that..
davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

David, I would TRULY like to read your conclusions, or is that for personal, or congregational use only ??

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:46 PM

crosshugger on May 18, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Amen.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM

The way I take the entirety of the NT to espress the subject of baptism is that once one is a believer, and is instructed to walk in the ways of Christ, the Holy Spirit will convict us to also be baptized.
Notice that baptism is always mentioned AFTER repentance/having been instructed in discipleship.
No ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Yes, one must hear the Word of God in order to be convinced of the need for repentance of their sins and of the need for baptism, but it seems that Acts 2:38 says that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) comes after baptism.
Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
And, John the Baptist said that Christ would baptize with the Holy Ghost.
Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”

I see no instance of long periods of teaching prior to being baptized. It was after hearing the Word of God being preached and being convicted of their sins and the need for baptism. Here, it happened the same night that these people heard the Word of God:
Acts 16:31, 33 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:51 PM

It doesn’t say ‘he that believeth not, or isn’t baptized, shall be damned’.
Does it ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:40 PM

It doesn’t need to. Why would someone who doesn’t “believe” be baptized? If one doesn’t “believe” one doesn’t see the need for baptism.

One follows the other.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM

And what is the case then for those who are saved only be the moving of the Holy Spirit in their life, without reference or access to the Word of God? Are they still required to be baptized for their salvation to be valid?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:51 PM
You’re actually making my point.

One follows the other.
avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Yes, precisely.
So, if someone believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is he saved BEFORE being baptized,
or still condemned until he is ?
What if the believer was killed on his way to his baptismal ??
So many folks cannot answer that for me. Why ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I do not know that answer, lineholder, as I only know what the Bible teaches. Don’t know if this even broached in the Bible, and I’m certainly not going to guess on my own accord as I don’t make the rules and neither does any person on this earth. That time has come and gone, according to Revelation 22:18-19.

If you know of a scripture, point it out to me. I only know what the Word says: The following scripture implies you don’t get the holy spirit until you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior:
John 14:15-17, 25-26 (NRSV)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Acts 2:38 Πέτρος δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Μετανοήσατε, [φησίν,] καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ὑμῶν, καὶ λήμψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος:

Repent ye (Μετανοήσατε). First aorist (ingressive) active imperative. Change your mind and your life. Turn right about and do it now. You crucified this Jesus. Now crown him in your hearts as Lord and Christ. This first.

And be baptized every one of you (καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν). Rather, “And let each one of you be baptized.” Change of number from plural to singular and of person from second to third. This change marks a break in the thought here that the English translation does not preserve.

The first thing to do is make a radical and complete change of heart and life. Then let each one be baptized after this change has taken place, and the act of baptism be performed “in the name of Jesus Christ” (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ).

Unto the remission of your sins (εἰς ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ὑμῶν). This phrase is the subject of endless controversy as men look at it from the standpoint of sacramental or of evangelical theology.

One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. My view is decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing such remission.

So I understand Peter to be urging baptism on each of them who had already turned (repented) and for it to be done in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the forgiveness of sins which they had already received.
[Edited for readability]

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/robertsons-word-pictures/acts/acts-2-38.html

I concur with Robertson.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Man, too bad QOTD can’t be this deep.

This is encouraging.

Cleombrotus on May 18, 2014 at 5:11 PM

So, if someone believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is he saved BEFORE being baptized,
or still condemned until he is ?
What if the believer was killed on his way to his baptismal ??
So many folks cannot answer that for me. Why ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Because no one but God can answer that, pambi. The answer is not for man to say, only God.
You will have to wait to ask Him when you see Him. Just like me.
That person will talk to God and vice versa.

If this does not affect you, I’m not sure why you are raising this question. This is in God’s hands, not mine, not yours, nor any other person on this earth to do.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

God’s word is divine, our interpretation isn’t.

Bigbullets on May 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

I understand completely what you are saying.
I have witnessed MUCHO mis-interpretations, myself !!
But, let us NOT throw out the Baby with the bath water, either.

1 Corinthians 2:16 states that we believers have the mind of Christ, and many times He’ll EXPOUND upon the scriptures to us, for our good or that of. His church.
Of course, that WILL come with fear and trembling, and caution, leading to researching the Word, and sometimes only holding that in our hearts, forever, if necessary.

So, He can and WILL show us more depths within the written Word.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:14 PM

What if the believer was killed on his way to his baptismal ??
So many folks cannot answer that for me. Why ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Faith and Baptism

Catechism 1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

1249 Catechumens “are already joined to the Church, they are already of the household of Christ, and are quite frequently already living a life of faith, hope, and charity.”48 “With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 5:15 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Was simply providing counter balance to the ‘solid ground’ of belief that it is baptism that saves us.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:15 PM

For my next Bible study topic I want to study the issue of baptism….
Theologians, both “professional” and lay, have debated Acts 2:38 for nearly two millinia. This is one area where we must let Scripture interpret Scripture. I hope to do that..
davidk on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

David, I would TRULY like to read your conclusions, or is that for personal, or congregational use only ??

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 4:46 PM

It is my personal study which I am happy to share. God has been on my case to start a blog(s) and begin to put some stuff out there. I tell Him it seems a bit hubris-tic but He is not impressed by my protestations.

Keep on my case pambi.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Note the details here in Acts 10: 44-48:

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

Peter is saying that these people were now Christians just like he and his companions. But guess what? They haven’t gotten wet yet! Baptism comes later. Peter says because they’ve already received the Spirit, they can now be baptized.

The Acts 10 passage seems completely inflexible in its meaning. The sequence of events leaves no question, it seems, that the order is faith/regeneration/baptism (though I’m open to suggestions).

Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Oh, my .. Chills, here.
I SOO hesitated posting that, since I dinna want to seem to be ‘on your case’ about making it public.
I kid you not ! LOLOLOL.
Ok, with all of this Permission, I shall. :-).

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Okay, I’m going to make a statement here, and I’m going to ask that you not be offended by it right off the bat but think it through, please.

The Bible does not reveal every instance or every example by which a person accepts salvation. You have to decide to what extent you believe that “With God, all things are possible”.

It is possible for the Holy Spirit to move in the heart and mind of a person to bring them to repentance and acceptance of salvation.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

There’s more than one way to be taught. One is by hearing the Word. Another is by application of the Word through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (and there are some verses that support this but I don’t recall the references right off hand)

Depending on that learning process, the Word of God may not be the primary emphasis at the time. It could be so later on, just not at that time.

This is what my salvation process was like, avagreen. Just me and the Holy Spirit, teaching me what God knew I needed to learn to break the bonds of many sinful things in my life so that I could grow beyond the person that I had been into the kind of person God would have me to become.

I have yet to this day to be baptized. Would you tell me that my salvation is invalid and that it is not possible for God to bring about salvation in this manner?

God has His own way and time of doing things. His thoughts are not as our thoughts, and His ways are not as our ways.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:21 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM

This not snark.

I’m not sure there’s an answer to this, but when Jesus preached the gospel to the righteous Old Testament saints and then led them in His victorious procession to the Right Hand of the Father, do you think they had been water baptized?

Just one of those odd questions that pop up in my always active ADD driven mind.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

None of that is my own commentary btw, sorry for formatting it in such a confusing way.

Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM

And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.
Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

There are many gifts of Holy Spirit. These people received the gift of hearing tongues which they did not know and had not been taught. If they had received salvation from the particular gift, why did they need to be baptized?

There are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians chapter twelve:

1) Word of Wisdom
2) Word of Knowledge
3) Faith
4) Gifts of Healing
5) Working of Miracles
6) Prophecy
7) Discerning of Spirits
8) Divers (or different) kinds of Tongues
9) Interpretation of (different) Tongues

Romans chapter twelve has a similar listing of the gifts of the Spirit but I Corinthians chapter twelve is more comprehensive in nature. I Corinthians chapter twelve begin with Paul telling the Corinthian church, and for the most part, all believers in the church today. Paul wants to make these gifts crystal clear to us and so we will depend upon the inspired Word of God to reveal them to us (v 1).

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Prov 3-5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;

do not depend on your own understanding.
/////////////////////////////////////////////
Keeping it simple, we are commanded not to try to figure everything out…..so let’s obey…

hillsoftx on May 18, 2014 at 5:31 PM

So, if someone believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is he saved BEFORE being baptized,
or still condemned until he is ?
What if the believer was killed on his way to his baptismal ??
So many folks cannot answer that for me. Why ?

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I would lean what happened at the cross on the day Jesus was crucified and promised the one thief who committed to Him that day that he would join Him in paradise–no baptism required….

hillsoftx on May 18, 2014 at 5:34 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Read the first FIVE words in that reference.
Selah.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Keeping it simple, we are commanded not to try to figure everything out…..so let’s obey…
hillsoftx on May 18, 2014 at 5:31 PM

You’re right, we needn’t worry, fret, etc. over these things, granted.
But, hey, a little ‘iron sharpening iron’ isn’t such a bad thang.
:-).

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:37 PM

…do you think they had been water baptized?

Just one of those odd questions that pop up in my always active ADD driven mind.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM

John 3.4-5

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

This not snark.

I’m not sure there’s an answer to this, but when Jesus preached the gospel to the righteous Old Testament saints and then led them in His victorious procession to the Right Hand of the Father, do you think they had been water baptized?

Just one of those odd questions that pop up in my always active ADD driven mind.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM

You’ll have to refresh me on these words and where they are in the bible that you are quoting. But, I’ve already answered the question about salvation above, david. Until Christ died, the Old Law was still intact. So, the answer would be “no”.

This is getting kinduv nasty and some ganging up by Christians against another Christian. Is this really profitable?

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

I sure don’t sense any ‘ganging up’ .. Simply exploration, with fellow believers.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:40 PM

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:35 PM

OOH ! Sorry .. I meant the first five words of MURPHY’S reference, that you’d elaborated on.
Sorry for any confusion

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

This isn’t ganging up. This is sharpening the sword, iron on iron, just like Pambi said.

I’m odd man out, I know, because my salvation process doesn’t fit the traditional pattern of how people come to be saved.

This is just looking at possibilities from different viewpoints.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:35 PM

?? I have no idea of what you are speaking?

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:47 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I know several folks who’ve come to know Him in the way you have, and I couldn’t find more true & devoted believers if I tried !!
I think my way was SORT of the same, although having grown up Catholic … BEFORE starting school and constant attendance at mass .. I simply found myself speaking with God often. He became a very close friend, and has continued to remain so. I certainly do NOT despise your entrance into the pasture, through the true Gate !!
:-).

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 5:49 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Heh! I see one poster posting answers to more than a half-dozen in their rebuttal, with some questions being asked over and over and being answered by said one poster. Seems like no one’s swords are being sharpened. Seems like ganging up to me.

I’m asking if this is profitable to non-believers.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:51 PM

This is just looking at possibilities from different viewpoints.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

There is a fine line to tread between “For whoever is not against us is for us” and my view on faith is more correct than your view could possibly ever be.

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 5:53 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:51 PM

That is your choice, avagreen, on how you interact with that poster. I can’t answer that one for you.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:59 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:47 PM
My bad, if this seemed so cryptic.. Not intended.
It has appeared to me that you’d previously posited that baptism is necessary for salvation
Isn’t that true ??
Also, it’s been pointed out, even by you, that only believers (already saved ones) continue on to baptism, assuredly to follow in Christ’s example.
Then, you said : ‘If they had received salvation from the particular gift..’
So, I referenced those FIVE words in Murphy’s post, here :

And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter ..
Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

My intention was to posit that it was NOT those gifts of the Holy Spirit that saved them, EITHER ..
They already WERE believers.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:51 PM

That is your choice, avagreen, on how you interact with that poster. I can’t answer that one for you.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 5:59 PM

I’m the one poster I was talking about, lineholder. I don’t understand what you are saying.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 6:02 PM

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Since you and I have not interacted with each other that I can remember, can you define for me what you mean by

My view on faith is more correct than your view could possibly ever be.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 6:03 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 6:02 PM

I’m sorry. I read your comment incorrectly. I thought you were saying that one person was asking you the same questions over and over.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM

There is no before or after in God’s reality. No “time”.

kcewa on May 18, 2014 at 3:35 PM

So, if a baptised person, for example, later murders an entire preschool — children and teachers, he is still saved by the act of baptism, regardless of any later repentance for his sin?

Can one renounce the Holy Spirit?

I just want to understand where your theology is going.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I’m asking if this is profitable to non-believers.
avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:51 PM

I don’t quite grasping your ‘one poster’ thing myself, but it seems to me we’re all believers here, so why not discuss ?? There isn’t any untoward agression going on between us, which of course wouldn’t be profitable to unbelievers.
Unless it’s merely a perception problem.
I dunno.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 6:10 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Seriously?

Are you taking a balanced comment as an invective?

Maybe I should have used quotes – but then again there is no one cited. The portion in quotes cites, well, you know… Jesus. The antithetical portion could be citing any man digging in.

I quoted you in the context of your post. Holster up – safety on.

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 6:10 PM

I know several folks who’ve come to know Him in the way you have, and I couldn’t find more true & devoted believers if I tried !!

I know of one or two people who have gone through similar experiences to my own.

Mine experience involved being granted a depth of discernment that was necessary for me to break away from the sinful behaviors that had developed in my life. And I’d been extraordinarily simpleminded until that time in my life. I didn’t even have the discernment to differentiate between good and evil.

I know that there are people who have specific beliefs on issues such as baptism, and I don’t fault them or condemn them for those beliefs.

I can’t at this point say the experiences I’ve been through are just a lie or throw them back up in God’s face simply because I didn’t get baptized.

I wouldn’t even if I could!!!

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 6:11 PM

And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter ..
Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Also, it’s been pointed out, even by you, that only believers (already saved ones) continue on to baptism, assuredly to follow in Christ’s example.
My intention was to posit that it was NOT those gifts of the Holy Spirit that saved them, EITHER ..
They already WERE believers.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM

This only works if you think only “belief” is necessary for salvation. I’ve never said that as I don’t believe that.

You realize that even Satan “believes” that Jesus was the Christ, and the Son of God? And, that he tempted Christ in the desert for 40 days trying to steal him from God?
James 2:18-20 (New King James Version) 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

Puts a bit of quandry there.

Never are we told that we are believed into Christ or confessed into Christ or prayed into Christ. But in Galatians 3:27 it says we are baptized into Christ. That is logical when Christ commanded it Himself in Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:16 and John 3:5

I’m through. This is enough.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 6:12 PM

ericdijon on May 18, 2014 at 6:10 PM

It was a request for clarification. That was all.

I tend to do that a lot when I’m not entirely sure what someone means by a statement. Sorry if it seemed otherwise.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Ed, I do enjoy your comments on the Sunday Gospel. One thought though – you identify this as being read in all Catholic churches world wide which is true, but it is also read in all other churches following the pericopes for the liturgical church year which began early in the history of the church.

Rumpole of the Bailey on May 18, 2014 at 6:14 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

I was referring to Eph. 4:7f.

davidk on May 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

…..
Can one renounce the Holy Spirit?
I just want to understand where your theology is going.
unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

That is an excellent question for kcewa, and do not mistake this for HIS/HER answer , BUT ..
This does suggest a question for you, if you’ll allow me ..
Did the act of murdering preschoolers and teachers ERASE the person’s salvation ??
What DOES ??

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 6:25 PM

So, if a baptised person, for example, later murders an entire preschool — children and teachers, he is still saved by the act of baptism, regardless of any later repentance for his sin?

Can one renounce the Holy Spirit?

I just want to understand where your theology is going.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

already been answered above>>>>>avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 3:36 PM

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Pambi, there are many, many people that read this site, which is one of the foremost conservative sites. You are not aware of that?

Not all of them are Christians.

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 6:25 PM

avagreen on May 18, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Ok, have a blessed evening, avagreen.

pambi on May 18, 2014 at 6:27 PM

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