Index by Subject

“God’s Will Be Done”

A phrase often heard from Christians referring to sickness and tragedy…desiring to bring comfort, conclude “God’s will be done”. If they were simply wishing that in the future God’s will be done, that would be fine. But sometimes it appears as though the well meaning brother is referring to the event itself when he says with a perplexed look on his face: “God’s will be done…”. On the contrary, God’s will is that we remain faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10)…not that we get sick or do not get sick or die! After all “…it is appointed for men to die…” (Hebrews 9:27). One may be reading more into the statement than the brother means, but words and phrases have meaning. We ALL need to be as articulate as possible for we will all be held accountable for our words (Matthew 12:37)! Continue reading » “God’s Will Be Done”

Legends of the Churches of Christ

Even casual discussions with friends and loved ones who are outside of the churches of Christ can reveal a very strange mythology that has developed around them.

They are sometimes mischaracterized, maligned, and ostracized on the basis of misunderstood or poorly explained practices. Not all the criticisms, of course, are unfair or false, even if the scriptural basis for the differences among us goes unexplored. It is the mythology about churches of Christ that concerns us now, the kind of thing one hears about them from those operating according to ignorance or malice. Continue reading » Legends of the Churches of Christ

Worthy to Obtain

Every believer should be familiar with the words of Christ as they touch on the sentencing phase of Judgment Day. Where the wicked will hear, “Depart me from me all you workers of iniquity,” the faithful hope to be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant. … Enter into the joys of your lord.”

Perhaps, we are sometimes led to believe it doesn’t matter what we do at all, even in regard to our soul’s salvation, but the sentence of Christ surely emphasizes it is more blessed to do well than to work iniquity. There are many spiritual blessings to be found in Jesus, but those that are eternal are the ones that only the worthy obtain–not by worth of personal merit, but by the interaction of faith and grace. Heaven is a prize, a gift, a reward, an inheritance and a a treasure. Thus it is an objective worth striving after and one which only the faithful and few will attain. Continue reading » Worthy to Obtain

The Will of Christ

One of the most popular doctrines rooted in this country today is the doctrine of Calvinism. This doctrine more or less consists of five main points. The first, that man is born in sin, or Totally Depraved. Next, that God has predestined certain men to receive salvation, or Unconditional election. Then, Christ’s blood only covers those whom God chose or predestined, or Limited Atonement. After that the belief that God sends the Holy Spirit upon you and you cannot reject it, or Irresistible Grace. Finally, that once you are saved, you are always saved and cannot lose your salvation, or Perseverance of the Saints. All five of these points revolve around one main theme: That man has no choice whether or not he is saved. The free-will of man is taken away by the belief in these points. Now the basis of the erroneous teaching came from a man named Augustine, who lived in the fourth century. Augustine taught that a man inherited the sin of Adam, and therefore we are born in sin, and not born pure. This doctrine is widely known as Original Sin. John Calvin took that basis and established the rest of the points we just pointed out.

Continue reading » The Will of Christ

Editorial: Free Will – Confusing the Simple

The concept is so simple… man is a free moral agent.  He can and does make choices, every day of his life.  Some men choose to do good.  They support their families, pay their taxes and are productive citizens.  Others choose to do evil.  They are unfaithful to their spouse, they cheat their neighbor, they commit crimes.  Those who choose to do good could choose to do otherwise.  Conversely, the evildoer is one by choice as well.  They are responsible for the evil they do.

This can be demonstrated anecdotally.  We see it every day, even recognize it in our own lives.  If our consciences are tender, we strive always to do good.  However, from time to time we choose wrongly, and our conscience is pierced with guilt.  Those who choose to do evil again and again have their consciences hardened (seared), and feel guilt no longer.  Regardless, we always maintain the ability to choose.

Continue reading » Editorial: Free Will – Confusing the Simple

Contending for the Faith: How Faithful?

Dear Larry, I have a question.  Is salvation based on being faithful? If so, how faithful?

William

Dear William,

"How faithful" does your wife expect you to be to her?  That is what the Lord expects, too — "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2).  Your wife would not like it, if, after telling you that she has been faithful to you, you were to ask her, "How faithful?"

Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: How Faithful?

Can a Saved Person be Lost?

I have a question, Is there any condition, when somebody has been saved, and they are a Christian, can that person get unsaved?  Thank  you, William

Reply:

Thanks for your question, William.  I shall seek to answer it with Scripture.  I will also send you some articles which apply to your question.  

First, there are those who believe there is not "any condition" which will cause a saved person to become lost or unsaved.

Continue reading » Can a Saved Person be Lost?

"What is Written … How Readest Thou?": The Inward Conflict – Who Is Described?

Examining Romans 7:7-25

To say that this passage has been the occasion for much debate is an understatement. The fact that it is a difficult passage, regardless of the interpretation defended, is a truth to which all serious students would readily agree. In this brief study, we cannot raise all of the questions posed about this text, much less take the space required to reason towards answering all of those questions. We will, however, try to lay a foundation needed to properly understand the main points. For a detailed study, Whiteside’s commentary gives an excellent examination of this text.

The apostle Paul began the epistle to the Romans by affirming that the Gospel is God’s power to save those who respond in faith to that message. He then shows that all are in need of that salvation because all have sinned beginning with the Gentiles and then concentrating on the Jews (Romans 1:18 – 2:20). The next two chapters emphasize the themes of faith and grace as they relate to the justification of the sinner through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This point is also made with special emphasis to the Jews. Up to that point in the book, the writer stresses the need for, and nature of God’s action in salvation.

Continue reading » "What is Written … How Readest Thou?": The Inward Conflict – Who Is Described?

Contending for the Faith: Answering a Baptist Preacher’s ‘Unanswerable Questions’

COMMON SENSE QUESTIONS A "CHURCH OF CHRIST" PREACHER CANNOT CLEARLY ANSWER

By Pastor David Martin
Solid Rock Baptist Church

David Martin is pastor of the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 5893 Old Brownsville Rd. E, Bartlett, TN 38135 USA; phone: 901-634-1622. He is a 1984 graduate of Pensacola Bible Institute of Florida, and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1986. He has been in his current pastorate for eight years. His article on the Church of Christ cult is the result of in-depth personal conversation with a Church of Christ elder that led to a 3-day public debate with a Church of Christ evangelist in 1997. The debate was attended by 250 people nightly from within a 300-mile radius of Memphis, Tennessee.This is one of the most controversial articles on the church of Christ you will find anywhere. No church of Christ preacher can satisfactorily answer any of the questions posed by Pastor Martin.

Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Answering a Baptist Preacher’s ‘Unanswerable Questions’

Breaking Neo-Calvinism

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Tips and Tactics

    • 1. Neo-Calvinists are notorious for saying one thing when they mean something else entirely
      2. Make certain that terms such as “law,” “grace,” “imputed righteousness,” are clearly defined and that they stick with the definition
      1. Neo-Calvinists don’t want to admit we must believe to be saved, or that we must accept God’s grace, or that man must do anything to be saved.
      2. Make them say it!
      1. Legalism – “You’re a modern-day Pharisee, legalist, etc.”
      2. Ignorance – “Do you know everything?”
      3. Unrighteousness – “All our works are as filthy rags.”
      1. A great deal of Neo-Calvinism comes from perverting Romans.
      2. You must know what is taught before you can know error when you hear it!
  • A. Define all terms. Watch for “term jumping”B. Make them say “Must.”

    C. Get ready to be charged:

    D. Know the book of Romans

No Law

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “We are under grace, not law. We must not depend on what we do, but on God.”
      1. Romans 6:14-15
      2. Galatians 3:11
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say:B. Passages Misused:

Continue reading » No Law

Assurance – Security

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Some sins don’t separate us from God. Christ’s blood automatically covers sins of ignorance or inadvertence.
      1. 1 John 1:7-9; 5:16-17
      2. Romans 4:8
      3. 2 Corinthians 5:19
      1. Using a hypothetical situation to make you play God.
      2. “A man is a faithful saint for 50 years, gets splashed by mud on the street one day, curses, and then is hit by a bus. Will he be lost or saved?”
      3. Don’t play God! Clemency is up to the Judge. All we can do is quote the law!
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say:B. Passages Misused:

    C. Favorite Tactic:

Continue reading » Assurance – Security

Doctrine-Gospel Distinction

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Gospel is the good news about Christ, and nothing more. Gospel cannot be preached to saints. None of the epistles are Gospel. We must agree on Gospel, but not on doctrine. Fellowship should be extended to all who accept the Gospel.”
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say:B. Passages misused:

Continue reading » Doctrine-Gospel Distinction

Righteousness Imputed

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. Galatians 2:17
      2. Romans 4:5-10; 5:1
      3. Hebrews 7:22
      4. Isaiah 64:6
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say: “Men are saved by His good works. Jesus is our substitute. We are accounted righteous because Jesus is righteous. The righteousness of Christ clothes the believer with the righteousness the law demands. Man is too corrupt — he can never be righteous on his own.”
    B. Passages misused:

Continue reading » Righteousness Imputed

Only Grace

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Salvation is by grace alone”
      1. Romans 4:1-5; 11:6
      1. Watch them say “grace only” whenever you talk about obedience, but then say “one must believe”
      2. Which is it – grace only or grace and faith?
      3. See John 6:29
  • A. Neo-Calvinists B. Passages Misused

    C. Red Flag:

Continue reading » Only Grace

Justification – Sanctification Difference

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Justification is done by God, makes one right with Him. Sanctification is an ongoing process wrought by the Spirit.”
      1. Romans 5:1-5, 17; 8:1ff
      2. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
      3. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  • A. Neo-Calvinists: B. Passages Misused

Continue reading » Justification – Sanctification Difference

Study Charts

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

The Seed of Calvinism

God’s Sovereignty Must Rule and Control Everything!


John Calvin’s Five Tenants

      • Total Depravity
      • Unconditional Election
      • Limited Atonement
      • Irresistable Grace
      • Perseverance of the Saints

Continue reading » Study Charts

Introduction: A Study in Neo-Calvinism

(An Issue That Will Not Die)

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

Naturally, the roots of Neo-Calvinism are found in plain vanilla Calvinism. This booklet attempts to briefly cover that ground before turning its attention to this “offshoot” of John Calvin’s original errors.

John Calvin made one wrong assumption, and it totally corrupted and destroyed everything he ever thought or wrote from then on. His decision that God controlled everything crept into his beliefs about salvation, redemption, etc. Look carefully at the TULIP and you will see his erroneous ideas about sovereignty behind every point.

The Neo-Calvinists among us make some similarly wrong conclusions, and then build a house of theology upon the shifting sands of error. May this booklet help you to destroy this pernicious teaching.

Continue reading » Introduction: A Study in Neo-Calvinism

Calvinism

In the previous article mention was made of Martin Luther, one of the most prominent theologians of the Reformation movement. Because of his influence, most Protestant groups today believe that salvation is obtained by faith alone. His influence on Protestant denominations is rivaled only by John Calvin.

Calvin was born in 1509, and came to adulthood under the influences of the Reformation begun by Martin Luther. In 1536 he published the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, which contain a systematic theology based on the premises of the total depravity of man, and the individual predestination of the saved. Though few Christian denominations can be said to be fully Calvinistic in their theology, Calvin’s writings have had a profound influence upon Protestant doctrine.

Continue reading » Calvinism

Associate Editorial: How Was Christ ‘Made to be Sin’?

One aspect of Calvinistic doctrine is the three-fold error whereby it is taught that (1) Adam’s sin was transferred to mankind; (2) man’s sin was transferred to Christ; and (30) Christ’s personal righteousness was transferred to believers. None of these statements are true nor do they reflect accurately the Bible doctrine of “imputation.” In this article we will note the second of these errors and study the claim that the sins of mankind have been transferred to Christ.

A verse often used in this context is 2 Corinthians 5:21: “Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” The phrase “he made to be sin” is the controversial part of the text and one that is grossly misused. We need to understand in what sense God made Christ “to be sin.” Did God place our sins on Christ? Would that make Christ a sinner? Did Christ die a spiritual death as well as a physical death on the cross? Just what is meant? As in all studies, we need to consider all that the Bible says and not take one verse to mean something that would contradict other Bible passages.

Continue reading » Associate Editorial: How Was Christ ‘Made to be Sin’?