Ask Your Preacher
If we don’t live by the Old Testament, what about the Ten Commandments?
Longing For Laws
Dear Longing For Laws,
The ‘Ten Commandments’ were Old Testament laws, and you need to live by nine of them. The entire Old Testament law, including the ‘Ten Commandments’ was done away with in Christianity (Gal 3:23-25). The New Testament law supersedes the Old Testament one, and the law written on stone tablets (the Mosaic law which includes the Ten Commandments (Deu 4:13) has passed away (2 Cor 3:3-11).
Having said that, the New Testament reiterates nine out of the ten commands. Christians do obey nine of the ‘Ten Commandments’ because Christ thought nine of them were worth keeping in the New Testament.
- Thou shalt not have any other god before me (Ex 20:3, 1 Cor 10:14)
- Thou shalt not make graven images or bow down to them (Ex 20:4-5, 1 Jhn 5:21)
- Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain (Ex 20:7, Heb 12:28)
- Honor thy father and mother (Ex 20:12, Eph 6:1-2)
- Thou shalt not kill (Ex 20:13, 1 Pet 4:15)
- Thou shalt not commit adultery (Ex 20:14, Heb 13:4)
- Thou shalt not steal (Ex 20:15, Eph 4:28)
- Thou shalt not bear false witness (Ex 20:16, Rev 21:8)
- Thou shalt not covet (Ex 20:17, Eph 5:3)
The only one of the ‘Ten Commandments’ left out is the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex 20:8). Christians aren’t bound to keep the Sabbath holy; Jews were. You have to keep the other nine though.
I had a dream where I witnessed the heavens opening up and the sound of a trumpet blowing. Does this have any spiritual meaning, or was it just a dream?
Dear Heavenly Visions,
The days of prophetic dreams and visions have passed. In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2). Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible – there is no need for God to give people individual dreams or visions (1 Cor 13:9-10). It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17). You don’t need to worry about interpreting your dream as some spiritual sign; it was just a dream.
What kind of food is holy to eat?
Looking For Lunch
Dear Looking For Lunch,
Under the New Covenant, all food is clean. God sent Peter a vision of unclean beasts and told Peter to “kill and eat” (Acts 10:13). Peter told God that he would never eat anything unclean (Acts 10:14), and God informed Peter that He had cleansed all meat (Acts 10:15). Jesus also specifically said that all food is clean in the New Testament (Mk 7:19).
Later on, the apostle Paul reiterates this idea and says that all meat is clean unless it offends your conscience (Rom 14:20). So, feel free to eat pork, rattlesnake (if you dare), and clams without fear of sin.
What is the biblical plan of salvation?
God’s plan for our salvation is a very straightforward process that can be logically seen and understood through the Bible.
- Hear the Gospel and recognize your need for salvation. The Bible tells us “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). The vast majority of people live life without considering their eternal condition. Unless we are in Christ, we are lost. Jesus is the only way to get to heaven (Jhn 14:6), and only when we have faith in Him are we saved (Acts 4:12). The Bible is God’s good news about Jesus, and it is impossible to know how to be saved without knowing what the Bible says.
- You must believe what the Bible says. It is impossible to please God without placing your faith in Him (Heb 11:6). It is impossible to have faith without the Scriptures (Rom 10:17). Faith alone won’t save you (Jas 2:22-26), but faith in God needs to be what directs your choices.
- Repent of your sins. ‘Repent’ means to ‘change your mind’. That change of mind always involves a change of action as well. Repentance is when we change our mind about what is important and submit ourselves to Jesus and His Word. Repentance is a necessity of salvation (Mk 6:12, Lk 13:5, Lk 15:7).
- Confess Jesus to others. If we have sworn our allegiance to Jesus, we must be prepared to publicly confess Him as our Lord. If we won’t confess Jesus before men, He won’t confess us before God (Matt 10:32-33, Lk 12:8-9).
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus for salvation. Many groups baptize people, but very few baptize people for the right reasons. Baptism isn’t merely an “outward showing of an inward faith” or “for membership”. Baptism is what saves us (1 Pet 3:21). Baptism is the point where someone goes from being lost to saved because they are buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom 6:4-5). Baptism is the final requirement to become a christian (Acts 2:37-38, Mk 16:16, Acts 2:41). There is not a single example of someone becoming a christian without baptism. Baptism is just as necessary as the other four requirements.
After that, there remains nothing else but to find a faithful congregation to assemble with (Heb 10:24) that teaches God’s Word and God’s Word only (see “Finding a Church” for more details) and to continue to grow in knowledge and practice of God’s Word (1 Pet 2:2).
How did the idea of Jesus being the son of Pantera, the Roman soldier, come about? Do you know anything about this?
Dear History Hunter,
The story of Jesus being the offspring of an adulterous relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier named Pantera was started by a Greek philosopher named Celsus. Celsus was a vehement opponent of Christianity – no surprise that he would attempt to besmirch Mary’s reputation and Jesus’ origins. It is worth noting that Celsus wrote about Jesus’ origins over two hundred years after Jesus actually lived. Up until that point, nobody else had made this argument. Celsus wasn’t in a position to know more about Jesus’ birth story than those who had lived hundreds of years before him, but that didn’t stop Celsus from spreading lies. In fact, we wouldn’t even know about Celsus’ arguments except for the fact that Celsus’ words are preserved in a document by Origen, an early church father, who soundly refuted all of Celsus’ lies. In short, Celsus’ arguments didn’t hold any weight in 248 AD, and they don’t hold any weight today either.