And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 21 May 31, 2009
In this issue:
Contained within the New Testament are several references to doors. Let us notice a few.
A Door On Which To Knock
In His Sermon on the Mount, the Savior said, “…knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). The idea is that there is a door on which we must knock to have it opened and receive the blessings on the other side. That is, we must seek the righteousness of God. It requires action on our part. We cannot expect the Lord to enter our lives against our will. Rather, the Bible says, “…the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). We can rejoice in the promise that when we knock, “it will be opened” (Matt. 7:8).
A Door To Open
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). What a sweet thought it is that the Lord of Glory is seeking to enter our lives.
He is not just awaiting our action, but is Himself looking for a home in the hearts of men. He commissioned the proclamation of the gospel and through it He dwells in our hearts by faith (Matt. 28:19, 20; Eph. 3:17; Rom. 10:17). Let us open the door to the Master.
A Door To Enter
Jesus is the door of the sheep (Jn. 10:7, 9). It is through Him and by Him that one may enter the flock of God. Being a part of that flock entitles us to blessings that others in this world do not enjoy. For instance, we can call on God as our Father (Gal. 4:6). The Son of God is the only way to go to the Father; to become His child (Jn. 14:6). There are not many doors—Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Joseph Smith—only One, Christ. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Will you knock, open, and enter?
Hebron Herald, March 2009
Question: “Can you explain to me how to respond to these verses at 1st Corinthians 15: 20-28 to a person who uses it to prove there is not a Trinity God Head.”
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
I will be glad to assist you with your Bible question concerning the attempt to use 1 Cor. 15:20-28 to deny the persons of the Godhead.
First, it appears you have quoted the NIV translation in your question. Its rendering of 1 Cor. 15:27 is poor, injecting the nouns “God” (theos) and “Christ” (Christos) into the verse where they do not exist. Its failure to use the pronouns that exist in the verse lends itself to the (false) notion that while the Father is God, Christ is not. 1 Corinthians 15:27 has been consistently translated from the KJV to the NJKV to the NASB in the following manner:
For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.” (NASB)
(I recommend any of these three translations for your Bible study above the NIV translation.)
Rather than denying the persons of the Godhead, this passage confirms that both the Son and the Father are God (Deity). First, note that the passage identifies two of the three persons in the Godhead: Christ (15:20, 22-23) who is the “Son” (v. 28), and God the Father (v. 24).
This passage describes the final victory of Christ over death through the resurrection of all the dead in the last day (Jno. 5:28-29). Christ the Son, who has been given “all authority” is now reigning in heaven and will continue to do so until death is abolished in the resurrection of the dead (Matt. 28:18; 1 Cor. 15:23-26). When “the end” comes, Christ the Son will deliver “the kingdom to God the Father” (1 Cor. 15:24). Here is God the Son delivering the kingdom to God the Father.
Please understand that the word “God” means “Deity” (theos). The Son and the Father are equally Deity (Jno. 10:30), yet they (as well as the Holy Spirit) have different roles and functions in the accomplishing of human redemption. (See the work of all three in human redemption in such passages as Jno. 16:8-15; Eph. 1:3-13; 3:3-7; 2 Tim. 1:9-10.)
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 teaches that when the end comes and victory over death is fully and finally realized in the resurrection and the dawning of the eternal kingdom, God (Deity) will forever reign (v. 26-28).
To try to deny the persons of the Godhead from this passage is futile; two of the three are specified in it. This passage announces that the Christ the Son will be victorious over death and God (Deity) will then reign forever and ever.
For other passages that affirm the three persons of the Godhead, see Matthew 3:16-17; John 15:26; 16:13-15; 17:1-5; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4.
In closing, you will notice that I have not used the term “Trinity” in defining and defending the Godhead because that word is not in the Scriptures. There is no need to use a creedal word to explain and understand what the Bible affirms, namely, that the Godhead is comprised of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
I hope this helps, and thank you again for your Bible question.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:36-41
I. THE NATURE OF THE QUESTION: WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Question is Conditional, Acts 2:37.
II. THE BIBLE ANSWERS THIS QUESTION.
Answer in Romans 6:17-18.
III. HISTORICAL CONTROVERSY.
Circumcision/LOM, Acts 15:1-2
IV. CONCERNS AMONG CHRISTIANS.
A. We Must
Constantly be Reminded of the Gospel Plan of Salvation (2 Pet 1:12-13; Phil
Concl. “What must I do to be save?” is asked and answered in the NT. What will you do?
Judges and their ‘Life Story’
Now that President Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court we are hearing a lot about her life story. It is indeed compelling and a tribute to her and her mother, and to this country that made such a life possible.
As a matter of record, Judge Sotomayor has stated: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” (A Judge’s View of Judging Is on the Record, The New York Times, May 14, 2009)
The question before us then, is to what extent should a judge’s life experiences impact their execution of justice according to the law?
The Bible answers this question with clarity: One who judges the people must do so impartially, executing justice according to the law and not according to biases just as one’s “life experiences.”
* Exodus 18:16: When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.
* Deut 1:16-17: 16Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. 17You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s.’
So great is their responsibility and power that God said judges sit as gods among the people (Psalm 82). Yet, the only true God “judges among the gods” (the judges, jrp) and severely rebukes those who are partial and biased in their judgments: “How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?” (Psa 82:2) God judges the judges!
When an objective standard exists – law – an impartial judgment can and must be rendered by every judge. When the standard is one’s “life experiences” then biases creep in and justice is no longer blind. God will judge us impartially according to truth (Rom 2:2-11). Such is the nature of judging righteous judgment (Jno 7:24).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 06/12/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA