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The Nature of a Biblical Covenant

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    • Best arguments for Covenant/Household Baptism

      Really short version by JTB.SDG:   1) The covenant promises to Abraham were about salvation in the fullest sense (Gen.17:7-8; NT scripture). "...to be God to you and to your descendants after you." This is the essence of God's covenant with Abraham; and if you get this, everything else falls into place (below).   2) The covenant promises were made not only to Abraham but also to his offspring (Gen.17:7-8). "I will be God" --not just to Abraham--But: "to you and to your descendants after you. . .I will be their God." The exact same promise that is made to Abraham is equally made to his descendants.   3) The covenant sign of circumcision was given to Abraham as a sign of THAT salvation. The sign of the covenant represents what the covenant is. If the covenant is about salvation, the sign is about salvation. This means that circumcision wasn't actually an ethnic or national sign--it was a spiritual sign. a) Abraham was marked with circumcision to signify his faith only after he believed (Rom.4:11). True. So why infant baptism? Abraham believed FIRST, and then and only then did he receive the sign.   b) Because he was then to apply that same sign to his infant sons before belief was possible (Gen.17:7-8). The exact same sign that he only received AFTER believing, he was to mark his infant sons with at 8 days old. It's what God commanded. Adult-circumcision for Abraham; but infant circumcision for his sons.       4) New Testament believers have entered into the SAME covenant promises made to Abraham (Rom.11:17 makes it clear there was not an OT tree and separate NT tree, but we are grafted into the same tree begun with Abraham). Galatians 3 and other Scripture make it really clear that the promises made to Abraham are GOSPEL promises that extend also to us as NT believers. Our only hope as NT believers are the covenant promises made to Abraham.   5) The NT Scriptures confirm that those covenant promises still extend to our children (Acts 2:39; household baptisms in the NT; and think about 1Cor.7:14--children of believers are "holy"--in what sense? Are they automatically saved? No. In the sense that they are "set apart" from unbelieving children. How set apart? They are part of the covenant--the same pattern as OT children).   6) THUS, our infant children should continue to be marked with the covenant sign.   IMPORTANT CLARIFICATIONS:   7) This doesn't mean that all Abraham's children (or ours) will be saved: this is by faith alone (cf. Ishmael, Esau; Rom.9:6-8, etc).   8) But it does mean that our children are included in the covenant and should receive the sign.   So--a question for you--I would love to hear. What about this would you object to?

      in Covenant/Household Baptism

    • Ron Swanson Teaches Seminar On Biblical Manhood

      PAWNEE, IN—Pawnee Third Baptist Church hosted its annual Xtreme Men Living Xtremely for Christ to the Extreme (XMLXFCTTX) last weekend, and this time, the church managed to get the perfect speaker to teach the lesson on living like a true biblical macho man: Ron Swanson. The post Ron Swanson Teaches Seminar On Biblical Manhood appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • Is Annihilationism Biblical?

      The bible distinctly teaches that immortality is a gift given to the elect only, the bible repeatedly describes the wicked as being destroyed, burned up, and killed (souls included), and the bible demonstrates the nature of God’s wrath against unrighteousness by unleashing it unto Jesus in the form of physical death after momentary spiritual separation, and not eternal conscious torment.   But nearly all churches teach differently. The modern day church teaches that everyone has eternal life and that the wicked will continue on for forever. This view that those who burn in hell burn for all eternity is called Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT), or Unconditional Immortality.   Let's see what the bible really has to say...           Point 1: ​ The bible specifically states more than 34 times throughout scripture that immortality is given as a gift to the righteous only. In Genesis, God casts Adam and Eve out of the garden specifically to protect them from the curse of immortality.   1 John 3:15; Mark 10:17; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:18; John 3:16; John 5:39; John 6:54; John 6:68; John 10:28; John 17:2; John 17:3; Acts 13:48; Romans 2:7; Romans 5:21; Romans 6:23; 1 Timothy 6:19; Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 3:15; 1 John 5:11; 1 John 5:13; 1 John 5:20; Jude 1:21; Genesis 3:22; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2; Revelation 22:14; John 4:14; Revelation 21:6; 1 Corinthians 15:53; 1 Corinthians 15:54; 1 Timothy 6:16           Point 2: ​ The bible expressly states that the wicked shall be destroyed, slaughtered, and burned to ashes repeatedly throughout scripture. Our example of what will happen to the wicked is Sodom, which is no longer burning.   Mathew 10:28; Romans 6:23; James 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 John 5:16; Revelation 20:14; Revelation 21:8; Philippians 3:19; Psalm 145:20; Mathew 7:13; Psalm 68:2; John 3:16; John 10:28; Jude 1:7           Point 3: ​ If the punishment for sin was eternal conscious torment, Jesus must still be dead. Or else his tiny sacrifice of simply death must be meaningless in the face of God’s eternal anger.   Isaiah 53:5-6; John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:24; Mark 10:45; Hebrews 10:9; Romans 3:25; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 5:25; Leviticus 16:10; 1 John 3:16; Deuteronomy 21:22           The supporters of eternal conscious torment use the following passages as core support: ​   1. “ And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. ” - Isaiah 66:22-24   Ellicot’s Commentary for English Readers Isaiah 66:24 "And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind." - “...devoured by worms, or given to the flames. Taken strictly, therefore, the words do not speak of the punishment of the souls of men after death, but of the defeat and destruction upon earth of the enemies of Jehovah…Even so taken, however, with this wider range, it is still a question whether the words are to be taken literally or figuratively (though this, perhaps, is hardly a question), whether the bodies, which represent souls, are thought of as not destroyed, but only tormented, or as consumed to nothing, by the fire and by the worm…”   The commentators are unsure whether or not the worm is literal or figurative. They seem to take the side of ECT, but admit it isn’t clear either way.   The book of Isaiah is known for being the most poetic, figurative book in the Old Testament.   Also,   Quench - the definition of quench verb (used with object)   2. to put out or extinguish (fire, flames, etc.).   3. to cool suddenly by plunging into a liquid, as in tempering steel by immersion in water.           2. “ And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. ” - Daniel 12:1-2   This simply means that their name will forever be held in contempt; that they will never be redeemed. Such as how the people of Sodom are held in contempt even today. 4,000 years later, and most people seem to know that the Sodomites were bad people. Everlasting contempt. The Sodomites will never be redeemed.           3. “It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.” - Mathew 18:6-9   “In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.” – Jude 1:7   Sodom is no longer burning, despite having been burned by this eternal fire.           4. " And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. ” - Mathew 25:31-46   Eternal in result, not in cause. In other words, the death of a human being is eternal (at least if dead for a certain period of time). A dead human will never come back to life. The result of that death lasts forever and ever. But the person isn’t suffering eternal death. The process of death itself is not eternal. It is quick.   Likewise, God’s punishment for the wicked is eternal in result, or in consequence. But certainly not eternal in process, or in action.           5. “ And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. ” - Revelation 14:9-11   “ For the LORD has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams will be turned into pitch, And its loose earth into brimstone, And its land will become burning pitch. It will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will be desolate; None will pass through it forever and ever. But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation ” – Isaiah 34:8-11   How can an owl, raven, pelican, and hedgehog dwell in this land if it is burning forever?   Also, the symbolic imagery of “smoke rising from a destroyed city” is not new: “… and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace. ” – Genesis 19:28. This imagery is a symbol. The prophet Isaiah is best known for being one of the more poetic writers of the bible. Put two and two together and it makes sense that he would use such imagery and it is perfectly reasonable to believe that he is speaking figuratively when he says the smoke will “go up forever and ever”. In other words, he is speaking of the permanent destruction of the city. While the physical smoke may have dissipated, the memory of it will remain forever and ever. It symbolically will continue to rise.   http://rethinkinghell.com/2017/04/a-primer-on-revelation-149-11/           6. “ And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." - Revelation 20:10; 14-15   This is talking about the Beast, Devil, and False Prophet. Not humans.   http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2015/12/a-primer-on-revelation-2010/           7. “Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment." - Luke 16:19-31   If this passage is meant to be taken as a literal picture of the end times, and not as a metaphorical parable, as proponents of eternal conscious torment suggest, a plethora of massive problems arise. For example, how can a man in hell speak to a man in heaven like he was face to face, despite the “great chasm” that separates them? Also, how can all the righteous fit into Abraham’s bosom? Also, how can Heaven be anywhere near perfect if all the screams from people being eternally tortured in hell are clearly audible?   It is clear that this passage, while uncharacteristic of most other parables, is not meant to be taken as a literal picture of the end times.           Conclusion: ​ The bible distinctly teaches that immortality is a gift given to the elect only, the bible repeatedly describes the wicked as being destroyed, burned up, and killed (souls included), and the bible demonstrates the nature of God’s wrath against unrighteousness by unleashing it unto Jesus in the form of physical death after momentary spiritual separation, and not eternal conscious torment.   Annihilationism is therefore...biblical.  

      in Theological Debate

    • Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

      What does the Bible tell us about Mary, the mother of Jesus?   More...

      in Bible Study

    • Need help with an apologetics question re: Old Covenant

      I was talking with a somewhat liberal Catholic who has also attended the Eastern Orthodox for a period of time.  He said that he didn't believe in the Catholic notion that if you commit one mortal sin you go to hell, but that there was certainly greater and lesser sins.  I said that I believed all sins were mortal in a sense, in that we all deserve hell for our sins. He said that if that were the case, then Christians would be worse off then under the Old Covenant where you could sacrifice animals to atone for sin and Gentile God-fearers could be saved.  I asked what was the point of Jesus coming and dying if some of us could be a sinner that was "not really that bad", but beyond that I blanked out on how to answer his point.   Any input would be greatly appreciated if only so I can answer myself in my own mind. 🙂

      in Apologetics and Theology

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