Old Doxoblogy

Monday, August 22, 2005

Monday Missions-A Short Statement On Missions With Scripture Proofs

I believe that mankind is depraved. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. We are powerless to help ourselves. Outside of the work of Christ, mankind is destined for hell.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.", "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:9-20)

I believe that God has chosen men to salvation. God has ordained a means of saving them. He has chosen the 'foolishness' of the preached Gospel to save those who will believe.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1Co 1:18-29)

I believe that Christ has offered a complete and perfect sacrifice for those who believe. I believe that this is the Gospel message that is to be preached. 'Christ died for sinners.'

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1Co 15:1-10)

I believe that God draws men who were predisposed toward sin to repentance of their sins and faith in Christ's effectual death on the cross by the working of the Holy Spirit through the preached Word.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:1-9)


I believe that we are kept and equipped by the Holy Spirit for the work of the ministry of reconciliation.

For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2Co 5:1-21)

7 comments:

"mike" said...

Hi Jeremy,
I want to chat with you about "ULI" again.
Did you notice that in the Ehesians 2 passage, when Paul says we were "dead" in trespasses and sins, that in the same passage, a couple of verses later, he says that now we are "seated in the heavenlies"? This goes to my point in our earlier discussions that sinners are not truly dead yet, anymore than we are truly in heaven yet. It is positional, it is what will be carried out, and as long as we are in this flesh, sinners can respond to God and go over to the "seated in the heavenlies" category (but not vice versa).

No, I don't believe unsaved people are seeking God (because the Bible says they aren't), but He is seeking people and some respond and some don't. God doesn't determine who they are or else there would be no freedom or choice. Christ wouldn't be continually calling people to make a choice and come etc.... if there were no choice involved.

I also think it is unhealthy of you Calvinists to think of those who are currently unbelievers as "dead". What must you think of them when you are interacting with them?

Furthermore, as I said before in your previous posts, one has to be alive before one can die. Also, there is a second death spoken of in Revelation, which implies two deaths, but with your system of thought, there are more than that.

I wouldn't pick on this so much (in fact I don't care if I ever hear about predestination and election again) but 5 point Calvinism seems to permeate all your posts!

Jeremy Weaver said...

Mike,
1) WE have a real union with Christ. Where Christ is, there am I. I can't explain it, but it is true. Believers are united with Him in His death, resurrection, and as these verse indicate, His ascension.

2) Freedom of choice as you understand it is a myth. Fallen mankind are not free to do anything other than what they want to do. We want to sin, so we sin. God liberates this will by giving us the power to choose Him. And once this power is given we are then drawn by God effectually to the point of faith in Christ.

3)The fact of the matter is that we are all born 'dead in trespasses' as Paul states in Ephesians 2. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ." Please stop saying that sinners are not dead in their sins, because you are going against the clear meaning of scripture, 2,000 years of church history, and your own conscience which tells you that you were dead and have been made alive in Christ.

4)There are different kinds of deaths recorded in scripture. Physical death, dead in sins, dying in Christ, dying to the flesh, etc.

5)Don't just stop with saying Calvinism permeates my posts. I would hope that you would say delight in God, obeying and enjoying Him permeate all my posts. I have a very big view of God and a small view of man. Man cannot save himself, but God does the impossible. God is higher, more Holy, more Just, more Loving, more Terrifying, more Awesome, more Powerful, and more Gracious than you will ever understand until you see mankind for what we really are. Low, unholy, unjust, without fear of God, puny, weak, and merciless.
Can you not see that God is our Creator, He excerises complete Authority over His creation, and that this has no bearing whatsoever on free will? Have you ever thought about all the millions of billions of trillions of atoms that constitute this world and realize that God is controlling every single one of them? And that if any one of those atoms became a rogue atom out of control that His eternal power and sovereignty would be a sham? How much more to think that somehow we have the power to thwart His eternal purpose which He purposed in Himself before the world began?! When loved ones die, what greater comfort can we give than this, that God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him? He is working them, not reacting to them, but actually molding us by everything that happens in this world in order that we come out in the shape of His Son.
God is great and I dare not question his all-knowing wisdom. he knows what is best for me and He does what is best for me. In this I rest. This I hope is what permeates all of my posts, messages, witnessing, life, and anything else that I do.

mike said...

Jeremy,

As to #2: just because one keeps repeating a thing doesn't make it true.

Also, I do believe God has everything under His control and "holds all things together", but that doesn't mean He hasn't allowed freedom. That is why He created Hell - where he will put down sin - all those "rogue atoms" that make up mankind.

I have a question for the Calvinist mindset (which I am looking to you as a representative of). Is God the author of sin? Because if He has tight control over everything and there is no freedom of choice (it is a myth?), where did sin come from?

I know, we will never agree!! God bless you anyway...

mike said...

By the way, Jeremy, all those things you said about mankind are true, but be careful, the Bible says we were made in the image of God. We must view people realistically and respectfully, which is hard when one refers to them as corpses.

Also, we know in our own lives that through our freedoms, we can do much that grieves God. How can that be if He is making everything happen to "mold" us. See, I think He is molding and directing us, I just think His reins are a little looser (by design - "in His image") than you see it.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Mike,
You wrote; "As to #2: just because one keeps repeating a thing doesn't make it true."


What if Scripture keeps repeating a thing? Does that make it true? Or, how many times must something be stated in scripture in order for it to be true?
John 3:3-8, John 6:37, Acts 16:14, Romans 8:28-30, 1 Corinthians 1:23-31, 2 Corinthians 3:6, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Timothy 1:9, James 1:18, 2 Peter 1:3.
Also look at the salvation experience of everyone who was called to salvation as it is recorded in the Bible. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, the Apostles, etc.

Bhedr said...

Jeremy,

Good post!

Mike,

I can remember the first time I read Romans 9 I was deeply troubled but after time as I yeilded to the passage my faith grew. I understand with what you struggle with.

There was a purpose to God putting Satan in the Garden. God had to destroy a lesser creation in order to establish one that could never fall by way of the cross. you see on the seventh day God rested but he was not finished with creation. We had to die in order that he re-create us into an image that would not fall. An image of His own Son.If this had not happened then how would any creation understand his amazing love? The angels don't and many of them rebelled as they had a freewill and chose to sin as we did.

If we did not die in the garden then why did he set an angel to gaurd the tree of life. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. We must accept Jesus for who he is, not what we think him to be. We must believe in Him. If we do not meet him at the cross then we will not come to life. If the old nature of man is not nailed to the cross then it will abide alone forever.

His desire is that we be content with Calvary and nothing else to fulfill us.

mike said...

Jeremy,
Yes, of course scripture is true, whether it repeats itself or says something one time.

As to #2, the reason I picked on it is because the way you state that humans are not free to do anything but sin. This seems to contradict the Bible. Why would God ask mankind to do that which is not our choice to do? "Come unto me..." "Repent..." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved". What kind of odd reasoning is it that human beings are free to choose whatever sin they want, but if they hear the gospel and they want forgiveness, they cannot ask His forgiveness unless He has already decided they would. They are free to choose sin but not God's forgiveness for that sin! I say RUBBISH.

I will concede to point #4. It is OK to call unbelievers dead. But I still think we need to be careful about our attitudes - I read that even Spurgeon, when he preached, would think of his whole audience as predestined.

I want you to know, I looked up every verse you listed above (I have done it several times before) and I CAN see where the tulip comes from. (I could cite many verses that show the flip side of the coin.) It just seems to me there is more to the picture because of how tulip contradicts OTHER verses that you have not listed. (isn't this called isogesis?)

Perhaps it is worth considering that when Paul is talking about "us" who were predestined... that doesn't say, "you! Jeremy Weaver!" or "you, Mike!" "us" means the church. I think this fits the whole of scripture better to see it as a group not a particular individual. (But I know you are a particular redemptionist so you would never consider this, but only dismiss it as what you used to think as a kid)

The one that is difficlt for me is when Jesus says "All that the Father gives me will come to me..." I think somehow there IS a great mystery in all of this that our minds cannot grasp: how God is sovereign, yet he asks us to respond to his offer and receive it. I don't believe that the offer is a sham. It seems to be a sham if it were not available to "the whole world" (like it says), but only certain select ones.

God bless you!