Ask Your Preacher

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From Faith To Faith

Monday, February 15, 2021
     In Rom 3:21-23 and Gal 2:16, Gal 2:22 (and several other Scriptures), it mentions "the faith of Jesus Christ".  The KJV (and a few others) have been changed in modern transliterations to "faith in Jesus."

This change appears to put justification in our hands (therefore making the sacrifice of Jesus of little value).  Can this be right?

Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Faith Is A Gift

Dear Faith Is A Gift,

The Bible talks about “the faith of Jesus Christ”, AND the Bible talks about “faith in Jesus Christ”.  Both are necessary.  The faith of Jesus Christ is the gospel message that we can be saved through Jesus’ sacrifice.  It is a system of belief that we are to live our lives by and that explains our need for forgiveness.  Jude 1:3 describes “the faith” as a gift from God delivered to us.  Acts 6:7, Acts 16:5, and 1 Cor 16:13 describe “the faith” as something that is unmoving, unchanging, and that God has designed for us to be obedient to.  The faith of Jesus Christ is a gift of good news to all mankind that we might be saved (Rom 1:16-17).  The faith is the message of the Bible, and it never changes.

However, the Bible also talks about our faith in Jesus Christ.  This faith is individual to each of us and should be growing (2 Thess 1:3).  Our individual faith is our personal level of trust and dedication to the Lord, and it requires obedience to the faith (Rom 10:17).  The Bible teaches that our salvation is a gift from God (after all, we are incapable of paying for our own sins) that requires us to draw near to God to receive that gift through obedient faith (Jas 2:17-20).

More Than Words

Wednesday, February 03, 2021
I wrote to you once before.  I have a problem with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  I believe I am guilty of it, but I want to believe in Jesus.  I am trying to understand if His blood covers this, or am I damned to hell?  I don't want to believe He will forgive if He won't, and I don't want to stop believing in Him because I know I am supposed to.  This started three years ago, and it stopped the first year I had it, and then it came back.  Now it is worse than ever.  It's like I am chattering in my head.  I know it is stupid, but that it is what it is.  It started because I was afraid that God wouldn’t forgive me for something else, and it grew into this.  I don't know how to stop.  I am asking God for help, but I am still doing it.  Will God still let me come to heaven?

Sincerely,
Troubled

Dear Troubled,

The unforgivable sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit, and the fact that you are visiting this website is a pretty sure sign that you haven’t committed it.  Jesus says that any sin will be forgiven except for someone blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-30).  Jesus said this to the crowd that accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mk 3:23).  That crowd could have been forgiven of any sin, but instead they rejected the miracles that testified that Jesus was from God.  Contrast that crowd’s attitude with Nicodemus’ attitude.  Nicodemus understood that the only way that someone could perform a miracle was if God was with him (Jhn 3:2).  When that crowd rejected the evidence that the Holy Spirit provided (in this case, the miracles), they rejected any chance to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus’ teachings.  When we reject the truth of God (the Bible), we reject the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to bring the truth of the gospel to mankind (see the post “What the Holy Spirit Does” for more details).  Someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit sent us in the Bible.  Any sin can be forgiven if we will turn to God’s Word and obey it (Rom 10:17, Heb 5:9), but there is absolutely no hope for someone if he or she will not accept the Holy Spirit’s Bible.

Therefore, since it seems that you are actively seeking the truth and trying to study and learn what God’s Word is – you have not committed the unforgivable sin.

Born That Way

Friday, January 01, 2021
Is iniquity something that you’re born with that drives you to commit sin?  Like, is it embedded within your bloodline or DNA?  I feel it is, but want to know for certain. Thanks.

Sincerely,
Geneticist

Dear Geneticist,

The sum teachings of the Bible say that babies are born without sin, and babies are perfect in God’s sight.  Sin is not a birthright, nor is it in your DNA; it is a choice (Gen 4:6-7, Jas 1:13-15).  Humans sin when they choose to do wrong; they are not born in sin.

The false teaching of ‘original sin’ is very common in today’s society.  Sin is a choice we make in life (Isa 7:15-16), and all humans are born upright and good (Eccl 7:29).

A Holy Seal

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
     What is the seal of God?  Is it the seventh day Sabbath as the Seventh Day Adventists say?

Sincerely,
Counting To Seven

Dear Counting To Seven,

The seal from God is the Holy Spirit – Eph 1:13 specifically says that.  We are sealed and guarded by the Holy Spirit when we do what the Holy Spirit tells us to do.  The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the words He had written in the Bible (read “What The Holy Spirit Does?” for more details).

The Sabbath was a holy day for the Jews, not for Christians.  The Old Testament has a myriad of laws that are no longer binding in the New Testament: animal sacrifice, clean and unclean foods, and various festivals… just to name a few.  2 Cor 3 is an entire chapter devoted to explaining how the Old Law has been surpassed by the New Law.  2 Cor 3:3 especially clarifies the issue when it states that our law is “not in tables of stone”, a direct reference to the Ten Commandments that were written on stone tablets.

Gal 3:24-25 makes it clear that the Old Law was a tutor to bring mankind to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we are no longer under that tutor.  The Sabbath is a part of that Old Law.  In the New Testament, christians meet on the first day of the week to worship, take the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), and take up a collection (1 Cor 16:1-2).  In short: different covenants, different days.

The Old Testament law given by Moses was a covenant with the Jews (Deut 5:1-5).  The New Testament law given in Christ is for all of mankind (Acts 2:38-39).

Who changed the law?  God did.

When did it change?  When the church began.

Why We Suffer

Monday, December 14, 2020
     I'm going to be up front with you; I am not a Christian.  I have no desire to be.  My fiancé, on the other hand, is.  I am trying to understand how he believes, so we will have a more harmonious union.  I asked him this question, and he did not know the answer.

My question is: if the Lord is so wonderful, why would He want to see His children suffer?  Why would He take away a life that has not yet even begun?  Why would He hurt the innocent when the evil continue to live?  I don't understand this.

If you could please explain this in simple terms – the preachers in my area get very upset when someone doubts the Lord’s amazing-ness.  Thus, I am turning to you, whoever you are, to give me a straight answer.  Thank you so much.

Sincerely,
Unbelievable

Dear Unbelievable,

Many people don’t believe in God because religious people are unwilling or incapable of giving logical answers to questions like this.  We are so sorry that you’ve never gotten the answers that the Bible offers because the Bible does give an answer to this question.
This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things; sin did.  All bad things are a result of sin.  When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise.  Who caused the pain?  We did.  It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world.  We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it.  Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden.  One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite.  Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence.  Sadly, this is true even for our children. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well.  The flip-side to this is that all children go to heaven, so after a child dies, God immediately comforts them on the other side.

God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13).  God planned before the foundation of the world to save us by sending His own Son to die (Eph. 1:3-4).  Even though He isn’t responsible for our choices, God sent the perfect cure. This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven.  Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise.  This world is not our home; Christians await a better world (Heb 11:16).

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