Quotes

Tons of amazing quotes from many different people.

In Jesus Name

jesus in your heart

“You know, you could say to a guy, “Well I wanna go to Chicago” and you could say, “Well there’s no way to Chicago, you can go any way you want. Just start off in any direction.”  Well, that isn’t true. If you’re going to go to Chicago there’s a direction. And the same thing is true in terms of God. If you’re gonna go to God, God says, “Here’s the way.”  It isn’t that God is trying to be unkind or unfair or narrow-minded or picky – it’s just that He wants to tell the truth.  You know, I could say, “Well, I’d like to tell anybody just do what you want, you’ll be alright.”  But that isn’t the truth, so you don’t do a guy a favor to tell him that.” – John MacArthur, 1979

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). 

Let us pay extra close attention to the definite article “the.” Jesus did not say, “I am A way, and A truth, and A life; there are many ways to the Father.” Rather Jesus said something exact, and He gave very articulate and precise directions. He said, in exclusion to all other ways, that He is THE way, and THE truth, and THE life; no one come to the Father but through HIM.

This is as profound and exact as the statement, “In Jesus’s name.”  Too many people think that “in Jesus’s name” is some sort of superstitious incantation that they can rattle off at the end of their requests and sentences and that it somehow gives supernatural power to their words. That’s not what “in Jesus’s name” means. If you are going to be “in Jesus’s name,” then you have to be in His way, in His truth, and in His life. To be “in Jesus’s name” means to be under His authority and in His family and in His will and obedient to Him.

But people are so defiant and ignorant, and they are so deluded, that we have this epidemic on our hands where millions of people think they are Christians and it’s all based on a few words and superstitions and misdirection. The only way to God is through Jesus, and that means the exact same thing as “in Jesus’s name” or “in Jesus’s family” or “in Jesus’s way” or “in Jesus’s truth” or “in Jesus’s life.” They all mean that you are following Him and that you have faith in Him and that you are obedient to Him. You cannot get to God by being foolish and self-controlling and going some way other than Jesus.

If you are going to be in Jesus in any way, then you must have faith, you must obey Him, you must follow Him down His path that He chooses, and you must leave your self-will aside and totally submit to Him. That’s what it looks like when Christ saves a person. He doesn’t save people and leave them in some other way. The saved are in His way. He doesn’t save people and leave them in sin and lies. The saved are in the truth. He doesn’t save people and leave them in death. The saved are in life. He doesn’t save people and leave them the same. The saved are completely transformed, inside and then out.

And speaking of the outside transformation, Jesus Christ has full authority to lead you wherever He chooses! You are no longer your own! If you are Christ’s, then you have been bought with a price and you are now His. If He leads you through hardship and struggle and tribulation, then you follow Him. If you are His, and if you are “in His name” then you are going to be obedient to Him. We should not hesitate for one second, and we should allow Him to command us as easily as sheep are controlled by the shepherd.

John 10:3 says, “he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:4 says, “he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him.” 
John 10:9 says, “if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved.”
John 10:14 says, “I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father.”

That’s it. There’s no question about the Lord/servant, Master/slave, Shepherd/sheep relationship and intimate correspondence between Christ and His that He has bought and given His Holy Spirit to lead them into obedience to His Word which is written out in the Holy Bible.

If you don’t have this obedience driven relationship with Christ that is clearly described in scripture as a shepherd/sheep relationship, then what are you waiting for? Asking Christ into your heart means nothing if He doesn’t enter in it. How do you know if He entered into your heart? This intimate relationship of obedience, this intimate knowing of Christ, as He said, “even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father” displays Christ-likeness and holiness and purity just as Christ’s intimate relationship with God displays God-likeness and holiness and purity. Your love for Christ and your relentless desire to serve Him should look like His love and relentless desire to serve God.

If you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, which all saved people are, then you have a full-time, forever kindred and relationship with Him that catapults you to actually live “in Jesus’s name” with everything that Jesus represents and loves becoming everything that you represent and love. Pray for THAT. Pray for Him. Pray to actually be saved and that you would actually go through Christ, which means submission to Him in obedience and love. Pray “in Jesus’s name” by actually conforming to who He is, just as He conformed to the Father, and just as sheep conform and follow their Shepherd wherever He may go with no more regard to your own way. Because that’s what the Holy Spirit inside you does to you! The Holy Spirit’s presence within a person is not an idea, it’s a life-transforming reality! If this has not been the reality of your life, and you think you are a Christian, then you are mistaken. Pray to Him and Pledge your allegiance to Christ, the only way to God.

You cannot have saving faith without truth, and you cannot have faith in the truth without conforming to it.

I’m very scared for those who believe they are “good people,” yet they have no empowerment from the Holy Spirit and they have no transformation and hey have no commitment to obedience, and they are not following Christ at all and they have no intimate relationship with Him and they are not overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to follow Christ.  The reason they don’t have all of those things  is because they don’t have the Spirit of God inside them. 

The number of deluded people going to Hell is high! They have been lied to, and they lie to themselves, and they believe all the wrong things. If we love these people, we must do something and we must say something. And we need to make it as clear as possible and fully biblical.

The Rules of Christian Liberty

freedom

 

This is an outline I made of John MacArthur’s 1976 sermon titled, “Principles of Christian Freedom.”  If you would like read the entire transcript or download the audio, please follow this link:  http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1843/principles-of-christian-freedom

 

 

 

“You’ve got to know three POINTS : No. 1, the principles, No. 2, the purpose, No. 3, the pattern.
These three things will enable you to glorify God in the use of your Christian freedom.

POINT 1, the principles-

Principle No. 1, edification over gratification.
Edification/building up:
• The Word; read the Bible.
• Preaching and teaching.
• Knowledge puffs up, love builds up.
• Obedience; obedient service.

EVERYTHING you do, build up.

Principle No. 2, others over self.
• When it comes to choosing between what builds me up and what builds him up, I do what builds him up.
• I’m going to do what is spiritually beneficial for both of us if I can, but if I have to make a decision I’ll do what’s most beneficial to others and sacrifice my liberty.
• Condescend to others, love others, and love will build you up more than if you exercise your liberty and tear others down because that becomes a sin.
• Every Christian then in his liberty has to be guided by a spiritual principle, and that is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
• Give things up for others, for the love of a weaker brother. What are you giving up for somebody else so they don’t stumble? You have to crucify self and self-desire somewhere or you’re never going to know what it is to really be fulfilled as a Christian.

It’s a DISASTER to the church, anyway, and to the fellowship of believers when everybody exercises their liberty and doesn’t care about anybody else.

Principle No. 3, liberty over legalism.
• Don’t ask any silly questions. There’s no sense in making a mountain out of a molehill. If it isn’t an issue, don’t make it an issue. Don’t ask needless questions.
• Don’t get picky.
• Enjoy your liberty.
• Don’t be over scrupulous.
• At all costs, avoid legalism.
• We limit our liberty, not to offend, but we certainly should teach the weaker brother the truths of freedom so he’ll grow out of his legalism. You don’t want to make sure the legalists all stay legalistic because we all continually bow to them.

It’s very COMFORTABLE to be a legalist; cause you don’t have to do anything internally, it’s all in a box for you. You have a little list, “I don’t, I do, I don’t, I do, I don’t, I do, sometimes I do, I don’t, I do.” You’ve got all your little lists there. That’s a lot easier than living by the Holy Spirit’s power because that you have to yield to in an internal way. So you want to take somebody out of the little box of rules and you want to allow them to have the freedom to operate and the freedom that God has given them.

Principle No. 4, condescension over condemnation.
• If you have to choose between offending a Christian and offending a non-Christian, offend the non-Christian.
• Don’t do something that’s going to make your Christian brother condemn you.
• Don’t thank God and go out and do something that’s going to make some other Christian condemn you for doing it.
• You can’t thank God for something that another Christian brother’s going to stumble over.

If you have to choose between a Christian and a non-Christian, offend the non-Christian at that point, in order that your love might be made manifest to the world. And I don’t mean that you should just run out and offend non-Christians just at will. The basic rule, Beloved, don’t offend what? Anybody. But if you have to choose, offend yourself before you offend a weaker brother. And if you have to choose, offend an unbeliever before you offend a weaker brother. But if you can don’t offend anybody. Condescension over condemnation. Don’t do anything that’s going to cause somebody else to condemn you. Now there are the principles, Beloved.

POINT 2, the purpose – 

Let’s go to point two, the purpose. Why does he give us the principles? Why does he tell us edification over gratification, others over self, liberty over legalism, condescension over condemnation, verse 31, “Therefore…here’s why…so that whether you eat or drink or whatever you do it will be done all… what?…to the glory of God.” God is glorified when you do it with these principles in mind. You want to glorify God? Do you think it’s important to glorify God or to be a reproach to God? To glorify. Do you want to glorify him follow the principles. What is the purpose…bang…verse 31, “That God will be glorified.”

POINT 3, the pattern – 

Lastly, the pattern. It’s fine to have the principles, it’s fine to have the purpose, but Paul closes with a very typical, practical word. He says, “Let me give you a model to follow.” Verse 32, “Give no offense neither to the Jews nor to the Greeks nor to the Church of God.” And there you have the three divisions, incidentally, of humanity: Israel, the Gentiles, and the church. Don’t offend any of them. And here comes the pattern…even as…what’s the next word?…I. Paul says, “I’m the model. I’m the pattern. Even as I please all men, in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many that they may be…what? Saved.”

– John MacArthur, “Principles of Christian Freedom”

 

Hidden Presuppositions: The Pretended Neutrality Fallacy.

Hiding Secrets“One can see this by considering the following quotation from Dr.Stein:

“The use of logic or reason is the only valid way to examine the truth or falsity of any statement which claims to be factual.”

One must eventually ask Dr. Stein, then, how he proves this statement itself. That is, how does he prove that logic or reason is the only way to prove factual statements? He is now on the horns of a real epistemological dilemma. If he says that the statement is true by logic or reason, then he is engaging in circular reasoning; and he’s begging the question which he [supposedly] forbids. If he says that the statement is proven in some other fashion, then he refutes the statement itself, that logic or reason is the only way to prove things.

Now my point is not to fault Dr. Stein’s commitment to logic or reason, but to observe that it actually has the nature of a pre commitment or a presupposition. It is not something that he has proven by empirical experience or logic, but it is rather that by which he proceeds to prove everything else. He is not presuppositionally neutral in his approach to factual questions and disputes. He does not avoid begging crucial questions, rather than proving them in what we might call the garden variety, ordinary way.

Now this tendency to beg crucial questions is openly exposed by Dr. Stein when the issue becomes the existence of God; because he demands that the theist present him with the evidence for the existence of God. Well, theists like myself would gladly and readily do so.

There is the evidence of the created order itself testifying to the wisdom. power, plan, and glory of God. One should not miss the testimony of the solar system, the persuasion of the sea, the amazing intricacies of the human body.

There’s the evidence of history: God’s deliverance of His people, the miracles on Passover night and [at] the Red Sea, the visions in Isaiah, the Shekinah Glory that filled the Temple, the Virgin Birth of Jesus, His mighty miracles, His resurrection from the dead.

There’s the evidence of Special Revelation, the wonder of the Bible as God’s Word, unsurpassed in its coherence over time, in its historical accuracy and its life-renewing power.

In short, there is no shortage of empirical indicators or evidences of God’s existence – from the thousand stars of the heavens to the 500 witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. But, Dr. Stein precludes the very possibility of any of this empirical evidence counting as proof for God’s existence. He writes,

“Supernatural explanations are not allowed in science. The theist is hard put to document his claims for the existence of the supernatural if he is in effect forbidden from evoking the supernatural as a part of his explanation. Of course, this is entirely fair; as it would be begging the question to use what has to be proved as a part of the explanation.”

In advance, you see, Dr. Stein is committed to disallowing any theistic interpretation of nature, history or experience. What he seems to overlook is that this is just as much begging the question on his own part as it is on the part of the theist. who appeal to such evidence.  He has not at all proven by empirical observation and logic his pre commitment to Naturalism. He has assumed it in advance, accepting and rejecting all further factual claims in terms of that controlling and unproved assumption.

Now the theist does the very same thing, don’t get me wrong. When certain empirical evidences are put forth as likely disproving the existence of God, the theist regiments his commitments in terms of his presuppositions, as well. Just as the Naturalist would insist that Christ could not have risen from the dead, or that there is a natural explanation yet to be found of how he did rise from the dead, so the supernaturalist will insist that the alleged discrepancies in the Bible have an explanation – some yet to be found, perhaps – and that the evil of this world has a sufficient reason behind it, known at least to God.

They both have their governing presuppositions by which the facts of experience are interpreted, even as all philosophical systems, all world views do. At the most fundamental level of everyone’s thinking and beliefs there are primary convictions about reality, man, the world, knowledge, truth, behavior, and such things.

Convictions about which all other experience is organized, interpreted, and applied. Dr. Stein has such presuppositions, so do I, and so do all of you. And it is these presuppositions which determine what we accept by ordinary reasoning and evidence, for they are assumed in all of our reasoning – even about reasoning itself.”

– Dr. Greg Bahnsen, “The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen vs. Dr. Gordon Stein, 1985”

 

“It Will Cost You Everything” by Paul Washer

caveman“He’s everything, or He’s nothing. The saddest place on the earth is the Biblical south. Where everyone has just enough religion to send them straight to Hell. To soothe their religious conscience, and not know they’re despising the Lord and they have so many idols in their life that the Lord is not even first or second or third or fourth. It is not giving unto the Lord everything – everything. What would You have me to do O Lord? Teach me Your ways O Lord. Who do I have in Heaven but Thee? Who do I have on earth but Thee? What am I but a spec of dust?! …I know we are a man-centered people and we think it’s all about us, but we are wrong…

If I see one more Southern Baptist church with a sign out front that says, “Salvation: So Easy A Caveman Can Do It,” I think I’m gunna be thrown in jail. Blasphemy! …”So Easy A Caveman Could Do It”…

So difficult is our salvation that only GOD can make it possible! Do you think He’s a flu shot? I could talk to most Southern Baptist’s and talk to them about salvation, and they’d say, “Don’t worry about me, I done did that.” You done did what?? “Well I took care of that a long time ago…” If you’re not taking care of it today, you didn’t take care of it a long time ago. The evidence that you repented unto salvation one time, a long time ago, is you are still repenting today and growing in repentance!

The evidence that you believed unto salvation many years ago, is that you’re still believing today and even MORE! And the evidence that He changed your life is that He’s still doing it. If He’s not still doing it, He didn’t do it to start off with.

We almost believe since so many people seem to be ignoring the idea of God, that He’s like some little beggar with a tin cup standing stranded on a corner somewhere, and if we at least throw our dime in it’s a lot better than anyone else. God is not poor! Tozer said this, and I agree, “If every man on earth became blind, it would not diminish the glory of the sun and the moon and the stars; and if every person on earth turned atheist it would not diminish the glory of God. He has no need of you. As a matter of fact, realize this: Satan and the angels fell, and God sent them no Savior, and they will go to Hell. Our father Adam fell, and I want you to know if God had never sent us a Savior and allowed the whole human race to go straight to Hell, He would still be just and still be glorious and still be loving.

Go offer your employer what you offer God – see how long you last. Offer even acquaintances what you offer God and see how long they remain your friends. Offer your family what you offer God and see how long you have a family. You see missions, we can get excited about missions, but do you witness to the guy sitting down beside you? You get all excited about doing things in the world, but are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing here? Because missions begin here.

If I were to hand out a piece of paper right now and I were to say, “Each one of you on the first part of that sheet I want you to write your calling and your ministry in this church. Then on the second part of the fist page I want you to write down everything that you’ve accomplished this year through your local church serving and ministering. And then on the back write out your plans for next year on how your going to give your life away, in the context of this local church, to serve Christ and the nations.” From most of you I’d have to receive back a blank page. Because one thing the church guys got right, it’s this: 20% of the members of the church do 80% of the work, and 80% of the people do nothing – they come; they attend.

Imagine if I was your employer and you came to me and I said, “Okay let me see your sheet of paper.” And I look up there and it says you’ve done nothing this year according to you – you have no calling. You say, “That’s right, but every time the door of this factory is open, I let you know I’m here.” I look on the back spot – you have no goals, you have no desire for the next year, you’re not going to produce anything. “No I’m not employer, but I promise you this: every time the door of this factory is open I’m gunna be here.” That’s basically the mentality in church today. Every time those doors are open, I’m gunna be here…at least on Sunday morning.

We’re not called to congregate in order to watch other people minister. You’re called to congregate in order to be fed by the Word of God, and worship, and then spend the rest of your week ministering unto the people of God and for the glory of God. “Yeah, but how can I do that with all the other activities I have?” If anything gets in the way of serving the Kingdom, even your right eye, pluck it out. Or your right hand, cut it off. “But I’ve got so many activities!”

Look at this! How are you raising your children? To do this right here?? You’ll carry them all over for soccer and football, and this and that lesson, and gymnastics and everything else, but you’re not teaching them to serve God! You’re not preparing them for the day they will stand before Him! You are making them just like you! And that’s terrifying! You want them to have educations and titles and this and that, you want them to play ball and do this and that, do you not know that your children are going to stand before God and on that day everything you’ve taught them is going to burn up in the fire! …What are you teaching them? Your life is so full of activities you can’t give Him anything. You can’t give the church anything. You don’t talk to me about world missions unless your gunna talk to me about this local church. Because God’s only got one thing going it’s not a denomination, and it’s not a program – it’s a bride! And that bride manifests itself in this church!

Oh my dear friends. Every part of your head to your feet is wounded. Every part of your family is busy and frustrated. How long will you have to do this? Why will you not repent and throw away everything, and serve the Lord?! I’m not saying this to hurt you. I’m saying it because it’s true.” – Paul Washer

Stranger Danger? When, If Ever, Should We Avoid Evangelism?

stranger danger

“They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:59-60).

It seems to be historically accurate to assume that the men who God used the most all flew right into the face of human reason and natural logic.  Moses and the Exodus, Noah and the Arc, David and Goliath, Lydia and the Gospel, Joseph becoming ruler of Egypt, Daniel in the Lions’ Den, etc… And one thing that stands true as a theme in every story is that if you were to ask their peers the question, “should they try” or “should they press onward” or “should they risk everything,” then the majority vote would recommend, with loads of reasonable and logical advice, “No.”

We wonder sometimes if we can tell who is capable of receiving the Gospel in advance? We’ve met people who won’t even try to give the Gospel to persons they feel are hostile, or that they are uncomfortable with — not even one hopeful attempt.  They logically disqualify people before they ever even open their mouths to give the Word of God a chance by quoting Matthew 7:6, “don’t cast your pearls before the swine” or “don’t give that which is holy to the dogs.”  They say things like “I know people like that…it’s a waste of time” or “if they won’t __________, then they won’t embrace the Gospel” or in some rare instances, “I’ve already tried evangelizing that person before, it’s a lost cause.”

I know there are fine lines between bold and stupid, but as far as I can tell the people who God used most would have ALL been pronounced “stupid” by any logical or reasonable thinking.   Which leads me to personally believe that we don’t do enough for the cause of evangelism–especially in our own cities or home towns.  What if the arguments that avoid evangelizing, or write-off potential candidates for Christ as “casting pearls before swine” are horribly wrong?

I did a bit of research and found some interesting quotes from my pastor, John MacArthur.  Here is what he had to say about the issue in a few different blogs and sermons:

1. “the vast majority of the evangelism opportunities you will have will be initiated by you. You’re the one who will need to steer the conversation to biblical truth and eternal matters. We can’t wait on the spiritually lost to become inquisitive about God’s Word; we need to actively look for ways to inject it wherever and whenever we’re able….Jesus didn’t wait for the Samaritan woman at the well to ask Him how she could be saved—she wasn’t even aware of her spiritual needs. But He took the initiative, confronted her sin, and offered her mercy and salvation.”

2. “Do you have the passion that inspired John Knox to plead, “Give me Scotland or I die”? Is your attitude that of George Whitefield, who prayed, “O Lord, give me souls or take my soul”? Do you, like Henry Martyn, mourn when you see others trapped in false religion and cry out, “I cannot endure existence if Jesus is to be so dishonored”?

God used those faithful men as powerful tools to bring salvation to dying people. Each of them had a clear and vivid understanding of what is at stake in the gospel — it’s an issue of life or death, an eternity in heaven or hell. Do you realize that your unbelieving family members, your co-workers, and your neighbors will spend forever suffering in torment away from the presence of God if they don’t embrace Christ? That realization should drive you to your knees to plead, not only with them to believe the gospel, but with God to save their souls.”

3. “Paul was far more concerned with seeing sinners embrace Christ than he was with the exercise of his liberty. Thus he was willing to set aside his freedom for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).”

4. “Jesus would have failed personal evangelism class in almost every Bible college and seminary I know. Matthew 19:16-22 describes a young man who looked like the hottest evangelistic prospect the Lord had encountered so far. He was ripe. He was eager. There was no way he would get away without receiving eternal life.

But he did. Instead of getting him to make a decision, in a sense Jesus chased him off. He failed to draw the net. He failed to sign the young man up. Should we allow our ideas of evangelism to indict Jesus? I think we need to allow His example to critique contemporary evangelism. Christ’s confrontation of this young man gives us much-needed insight into reaching the lost.”

5. “Jesus said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth” (John 17:3-4). Reconciling man to God is the greatest way to glorify God. That’s the reason Christ came (Luke 19:10). Believers are an extension of the ministry of God the Father and Son in receiving glory by the salvation of lost sinners: ” As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). “As” conveys intention. As the Father sent the Son into the unredeemed world, so the Son has sent believers. We have no different mission in the world than the incarnate Jesus Christ.”

6. “Jesus’ point is that certain truths and blessings of our faith are not to be shared with people who are totally antagonistic to the things of God. Such people are spiritual dogs and swine, who have no appreciation for that which is holy and righteous. They will take that which is holy, the pearls (the rarest and most valuable of jewels; see Matt. 13:45–46) of God’s Word, as foolishness and as an insult.

A wild animal whose primary concern is scavenging for food will hardly appreciate being thrown a pearl. He will resent its not being something to eat and possibly attack the one who throws it.

Dogs and swine represent those who, because of their great perversity and ungodliness, refuse to have anything to do with the holy and precious things of God except to trample them under their feet, and turn and tear God’s people to pieces.

There will be times when the gospel we present is absolutely rejected and ridiculed and we make the judgment to turn away and speak no more, deciding that we should “shake off the dust of [our] feet” (Matt. 10:14) and begin ministering somewhere else. There will be times when those to whom we witness will resist the gospel and blaspheme God, and we may speak words of judgment. Like Paul, we must then say, in effect, “Your blood be upon your own heads! I am clean. From now on I shall go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6).”

 
Here are 2 Scriptures that explain some discernment we should have in evangelizing.

1. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly” (1 Cor. 3:1-3).

2. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

It seems to follow, that if there is care needed when giving certain Biblical truths to “brethren,” then there should also be much care placed upon what truth we choose to share with the mission field.

We cannot forget Christ and the rest who died in order to advance God’s Kingdom, so obviously danger in and of itself should not be a deterrent.  Remember Paul was no stranger to putting his life on the line every day, “Why are we also in danger every hour? I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Cor 15:31).
Here are 2 final passages to consider:

1.  “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.  For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.  I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” (1 Cor 9:16-23).

2.  “But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.  I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?  If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands” (2 Cor 11:21-33).

The Credo, Paedo Baptism Debate

So far, here is what I have discovered, 

Paedo Baptists are being repeatedly busted for misrepresenting Scriptures in the New Testament, claiming that there are indications infants were baptized, but when confronted by actual Greek scholars they are forced to abandon those vain attempts. It should be a red-flag when they keep desperately trying to use Scriptures, reaching out of context. Meanwhile, Credo Baptists are armed to the teeth with slam-dunk passages and massive arsenals of Scripture to support their views. 

Circumcision in the Abrahamic Covenant was applied to all the children in a nationalistic sense, not just the children of believers. So the continuity that is presented by Paedo’s and transferred from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is done so erroneously. The idea that we should exclusively baptize only children of believers as some seal of a covenant is made-up, and is not found anywhere in Scripture. Neither the Old nor the New Covenant has this rule of exclusively baptizing the infants of believers, so where does it come from? Not the Bible. 

Just as an added complication, but certainly not the main artery of this debate, is that girls were not circumcised either, so there is a gender issue that break down the continuity even further. Paedo Baptists speak as if there is some perfect harmony between the Old and New Covenants, but that’s just not true. 

The Old Covenant consisted of both a nation and the Church – a political entity and the people of God. The New Covenant consists only of those who belong to God. This is a critical distinction. In the New Covenant, every member is forgiven and has the Holy Spirit, but that is not true of the Old Covenant. The Covenants are not the same. 

The New Covenant consists of every type of people group, but that is not true of the Old Covenant. They are different, distinct, and defined with separate terms, so we cannot treat them the identically at all. I mean, it’s the difference between before the cross, and after the cross. It is the difference between before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and after the indwelling. It is the difference between believers and unbelievers! That is a overwhelming difference! How can we just ignore the fact that in one covenant unbelievers are welcome, but in the other they are emphatically excluded? We can’t. 

There is in fact no Scripture which specifies that baptism replaces circumcision, and there is in fact no Scripture that says infant baptism is the standard for the New Covenant. If it were so, it would have been clearly stated as part of the New Covenant. Paedo Baptist’s take Old Covenant procedures intended for both believers and unbelievers alike, and then force those old procedures as rules for a distinctly different New Covenant of only believers. They are two differently defined Covenants so we just cannot force complete continuity where there isn’t complete continuity. The two covenants are obviously different in very important ways, and the continuity that Paedo claim is just not found in Scripture, nor is it commanded anywhere that we baptize infants. 

Now, with that being said, there is certainly no room for Paedo’s to condemn or crucify Credo’s, or accuse them of being unbiblical, or to charge them with heresy. In the words of R.C. Sproul, “I cannot prove to John MacArthur that Scripture commands the baptism of infants, and by not baptizing infants he is being disobedient to his Lord.”

Here is what John MacArthur had to say,

“Infant baptism is not in Scripture. Against this fact, there is no clear evidence. Scripture nowhere advocates, commands or records a single infant baptism. It is therefore impossible to directly prove or support this rite from the Bible. Schleiermacher wrote, and I quote, “All traces of infant baptism which one has asserted to be found in the New Testament must first be inserted there,” end quote.

And a host, I think, of German and front-rank theologians and scholars, including those of the Church of England, have united basically to affirm not only the absence of infant baptism from the New Testament but from apostolic and post-apostolic times. It first arose and arguably, I suppose, in the second and third centuries, the conclusion, for example, reached by the Lutheran professor Kurt Aland who has written on this after intensive study of infant baptism is that there is no definite proof of practice until after the third century. This he believes cannot be contested.

A Catholic professor of theology, Hasselbacher writes, quote, “The controversy has shown that it is not possible to bring in absolute proof of infant baptism by basing one’s argument on the Bible without the help of tradition.” And even the notable B.B. Warfield affirmed the absence of infant baptism from the Scripture.

It would be my conviction here though not necessarily at all points that this is a good place to apply the Calvinistic regulative principle which says, “If Scripture doesn’t command it, it is forbidden.” Now that sort of tells you where I’m at.

Given the Sola Scriptura commitment of the Reformation, given the fact that the Reformation was predicated upon that and given the Bible as the singular and therefore supreme and only authority in the matters of faith, we might assume that the discussion was over at this point. But in spite of all such testimony, infant baptism is still defended and practiced as if biblical.” – John MacArthur, “Baptism Debate With R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur” from Ligonier Ministries
Link to Debate: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/baptism_debate/

Here is what James White, Credo position, has to say,

Here is what Bill Shishko, Paedo position, had to say in response,

And finally here is the link to the debate between Thomas Schreiner and David VanDrunen: http://inthylight.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/paedo-credo-baptism-debate/

If I find any more debate material on this subject, I will add it to this post.

Go to the Mission Field Every Day!

The mission field is our next door neighbors, the cashiers at the grocery stores, the beggars on the corners, joggers, classmates, mailmen, people at the gym, our coworkers, our families, salesmen who confront us, our doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, and anyone we engage in conversation. We can’t sit back waiting for people to come to us, like some evangelistic opportunist. Those opportunities are great when they occur, but we have to intentionally seek and make opportunities too. And we don’t have to go to a foreign land to fulfill our lives in Christ and evangelize, in fact that’s secondary to sharing the Gospel wherever you are at right now. Listen to the conversation John MacArthur had with a church group leader in 1971,

“Well,” I said, “you probably go down the street and share your faith? Right?” He said, “No.” He said, “we’ve [their church group] been in existence two and a half years and we’ve never told anybody.” He says, “We don’t feel we’re called to that.” He says, “We feel we’re still an infant church and the infant church never went out and evangelized.” I said, “How long have you been a Christian?” “Fifteen years.” I said, “My friend, you’re not an infant believer.” Plus I’m not too sure that’s legitimate anyway. But the idea was they had been called and chosen to sit with each other, and sing songs every day. My friend you were chosen to go. The world isn’t about to come, you have to go. The Bible doesn’t say, “Hey, all you in the world, come to the Church.”

“Go out on the highways and the by‑ways and compel them to come in,” Jesus said, “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Jesus said, “After the Spirit of God has come upon you, you should be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Sumeria, and the other most part of the earth.” Get out and reach the world. My friend you were chosen to go, not to come. And come ’til you’re ready to go, and then go.

So Christ elected a group of men out of the world of darkness. He saved them first, He trained them, He loved them, He called them his friends, He ordained them, sent them right back in the world where He got them, only when they went back they were ready to do something to the world they came out of. What a high calling. Every believer has been chosen for salvation, ordained to special service and you’re to be fired right back into the world again to communicate Jesus Christ. The idea is motion in the Christian life. The idea is to go.

I’m thinking of a verse in II Thessalonians 1:11. Paul says “Wherefore, also, we pray, always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.” Boy, we’re called and ordained to glorify the name of Jesus Christ in the world. We’re called and ordained to let God work His perfect will through us. We’re not called to sit. We’re called to go.” – taken from “The Friends of Jesus” 1971

Link to sermon “The Friends of Jesus” by John MacArthur, 1971 ,
http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1554/the-friends-of-jesus

The Friends of Jesus