Ask Your Preacher
My wife and I are having a debate. I think it's a debate on the definition of sin. My wife asserts that because Jesus was a sinless human, He was therefore an appropriate sacrifice for mankind, and the only thing that allowed Him to not sin was that He was God. I, on the other hand, state that anything God does is, by default, not sin (or anti-sin). Therefore, anything He does is not sin. It sounds the same, but my wife says He had the option to sin but chose not to while I say whatever He did would be anti-sin no matter what He chose to do. Any thoughts?
Right By Default?
Dear Right By Default,
Your wife is right; Jesus had the option to sin, but He chose not to. Heb 4:15 says that Jesus was tempted in all ways like we are, yet without sin. If Jesus was incapable of sinning, He couldn’t be tempted to do it. You can’t be tempted to turn into a fish because that would be impossible, but you can be tempted to eat too much, be lazy, lose your temper, etc.
Jesus was actually tempted to sin, but He simply chose not to. A great example of this is when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Mat 4:1-11. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin (which tells you that the devil believed it was possible), but Jesus answered each temptation with Scripture and firm conviction.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ How is homosexuality against these laws?
Love For All
Dear Love For All,
If you love God, you will do what He says, and God says that homosexuality is wrong (Jude 1:7). Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jhn 14:15). We can measure our love for God by our willingness to keep His commandments. Someone that says they love God, but disregards His Word – doesn’t truly love Him.
Are God and Jesus the same person or two separate people?
Dear Double Take,
The Father and Jesus aren’t the same. They are both deity, but they are also unique beings. There are three parts to the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is most easily seen in Matt 3:16-17. When Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove. Each of them is eternal (they were all at the creation – Gen. 1:1, Gen. 1:2, Col 1:15-17). John 1:1 specifically says that Jesus is Deity. Jesus is different than the Father, but He is part of the Godhead. Jesus even said that He had always existed (Jhn 8:58). The apostles worshipped Jesus as God (Jhn 20:28)
[This question is in response to “Necessary Inference”]
Your recent discussion on necessary inference talked about Acts 15. Did these apostles convene to figure out the answer, or were they inspired and knew the answer? Many have used this example to approve of conventions to reach conclusions. The argument against has been that the answer in Acts 15 was from God, not men, and thus, this type of meeting wouldn't be approved today. Please explain.
Bored Of Meetings
Dear Bored Of Meetings,
The Bible tells us that the meeting in Acts 15 was a discussion, not a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit. Acts 15:6 says that the apostles and the elders of the church in Jerusalem were gathered together to “consider” this matter. People asked questions (Acts 15:7) and gave testimony (Acts 15:12). The final judgment wasn’t even made by an apostle; it was made by James, one of the elders (Acts 15:13). This James wasn’t an apostle because the apostle James had died in Acts 12:2.
Overall, what we see described in Acts 15 is a normal circumstance where faithful people considered the situation and the Scriptures, so they could make a faithful decision.
(This question is in response to “Something To Do”)
Is prophecy not one of the spiritual gifts in 1 Cor 12? When we feel that Jesus is calling us to do something or leading us in a direction, is that not communicating with us? Why would Paul need to say in Gal 1:8 that if someone "should preach a gospel *other* than the one we preached to you", why not just say all preaching henceforth is false?
I am honestly asking these questions and not trying to be sarcastic; thank you for the time spent looking into this.
And by the way, thank you for posting the "Faith Over Feelings" post – not enough Christians seem to see this, and this was the best and simplest way I've seen it done. I am thinking of sharing it with our youth group. God bless.
Dear Pondering Prophecy,
We don't take your question as sarcastic – it is a very valid concern. So let's see if we can break the subject down verse by verse.
Prophecy is a spiritual gift, and all spiritual gifts are no longer around. In fact, one of the primary purposes of 1st Corinthians chapters 12-14 was to explain to the Corinthian church that they shouldn’t get too excited about spiritual gifts because the gifts wouldn’t be around forever, and what was truly important was a life of faith, hope, and love (1 Cor 13:13).
Prophecy, speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, etc. were all gifts from the Holy Spirit. The way that people received those gifts was through an apostle laying his hands on them (Acts 8:17-18). Since it took an apostle to convey the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gifts would cease with the death of the last person that the last living apostle laid his hands on. In fact, God promised that this would happen. Paul says that spiritual gifts would eventually perish once God had given us the complete and perfect Bible (1 Cor 13:8-9 – read more on this subject in “Gifts That Stop Giving”).
In Gal 1:8, Paul said not to preach another gospel because the Bible is meant to be our only guide. Whatever we preach must be exactly what God says, no more, no less. We are warned to never add or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19) and that we should never go beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6).
The problem with trusting in a feeling or that “voice in our heart” is that everyone has feelings, and feelings are very subjective. God even warns that every man does what is right in his own eyes (Pr 21:2). Even an atheist believes that what he is doing is correct. Though intuition and our own personal feelings can often be right, they must always be in subjection to the Bible, which is how God speaks to us.