Ask Your Preacher
Why did Jesus have to die for our sins in order to be forgiven by God? Couldn't God have just forgiven man without the sacrifice of His son?
Let’s Make A Deal
Dear Let’s Make A Deal,
Rom. 3:21-26 covers that specific question. Jesus died on the cross because the Father wanted to justify us, and He also wanted to remain just. It wouldn’t be fair for God to simply forgive our sins because He liked us. That would be like a judge that punished the guilty… unless they were his friends. Only a crooked judge would show that sort of partiality. However, God is a righteous God. God doesn’t deny that our sins deserve eternal death (Rom 3:23). The Father sent His Son to pay the price for our sins. It wouldn’t have been fair for God to show partiality, but it is fair for Him to pay the price of our sins for us. It cost Jesus’ blood, but those who trust in Christ have been given the gift of having their punishment paid in full.
What does it mean to be born again?
Womb To Grow
Dear Womb To Grow,
A born-again person is just a christian; it is another way to say that you are saved. The terminology comes from Jhn 3:1-6 when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about salvation. In Jhn 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that we must be born again in order to enter the kingdom (the kingdom is the church – read “A Kingdom For All Nations” for further details on that). Nicodemus asks how it is possible for someone to be born again (Jhn 3:4), and Jesus explains that we must be born of the Spirit and water (Jhn 3:5). We are born of the Spirit when we listen and obey the words of the Holy Spirit found in the Bible (Jhn 6:63, 1 Cor 2:13), and we are born of water when we are baptized (1 Pet 3:21, Rom 6:4). When we heed the Scriptures and are baptized, we are born again… and we become christians (Mk 16:16, Matt 28:19).
If we are saved by grace through Christ alone, and not by works, why does the Word say that at the Judgment, Christ might say to some, "Depart from me; I never knew you" (Matt 7:23)? It seems to suggest that after being born again, we then must do something to stay saved. Some of them were obviously doing wonderful works in His name (Matt 7:22). Can you help me understand?
Working On An Answer
Dear Working On An Answer,
When Paul says that we are not saved by works, he is talking about perfect works (Rom 3:27). Paul was dealing with the argument that a man could be saved by living by the law and that he didn’t need God’s grace (Rom 3:28). We are saved by faith in God, not perfect works. However, that doesn’t mean that what we do doesn’t matter. James says that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:20). The choices we make in life show who we have faith in. We know we have faith in God when we listen to His Word (Rom 10:17) and then do our best to live by what it says (Jas 1:22). Abraham is a perfect example of this. Abraham was saved by faith (Rom 4:9), but we are also told that Abraham was saved by works when he offered Isaac (Jas 2:21). God knew Abraham’s faith when Abraham lived by that faith (Gen 22:12). Our actions do define us. We have all sinned (Rom 3:23), and God in His grace, sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, but that doesn’t mean that how you live doesn’t matter. Matt 7:23 is referring to those people who say that they trust the Lord but aren’t living by His Word. Those people won’t be saved.
Hi, I was wondering: I am christian, and my boyfriend is Pentecostal. They believe we should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, but ever since I can remember, it was, "I now baptize you in the Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son.” I seem to think that they go by the Old Testament; could you help me please?
Dear Doctrinal Differences,
There is no difference between being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; both phrases are used in the New Testament (Acts 2:38, Matt 28:19). However, the Pentecostal church teaches that baptism isn’t what saves you… which is contrary to the Bible (1 Pet 3:21). The Pentecostal church believes that you are saved when the Holy Spirit miraculously descends upon you, and you begin to speak in tongues. This is a false teaching that pervades the Pentecostal movement. Their belief that God directly speaks to believers apart from the Bible has lead them to change and alter God’s Word radically. God warns us to never do this (Rev 22:18-19). Read our article “Speaking In Tongues” for further information.
Did God create Jesus?
In The Beginning
Dear In The Beginning,
Jesus is God. Jhn 1:1-3 and Jhn 1:14 say that Jesus is God. Col 1:15-17 says that all things were created by Jesus… which means Jesus wasn’t created. We often say that there is only one God… but technically, that is not accurate. There are three Gods in the Godhead, and They all work together in perfect unity. Jesus is God (Matt 28:9), the Father is God (2 Thess 1:2), and the Holy Spirit is God (Gen 1:2). The word ‘God’ just means ‘deity’. Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all deity. They function with complete unity (Jhn 10:30), but They are separate Beings.