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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Should we believe in unseen things?  This is an alleged contradiction which their website claim has no Christian answer yet.

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction (skeptics’ comments included):

Yes.

That is the definition of faith.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Unseen things are the object of faith.

while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Believers walk by faith, not by sight.

for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

And they are saved by an unseen hope.

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” (Romans 8:24)

Paul says that we should believe “all things,” which would include things that are not seen.

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

To believe in God, you must believe that he exists, even though you’ve never seen him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Jesus praised people who believe in unseen things, calling them “blessed.”

Jesus *said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’” (John 20:29)

No.

“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,” (Colossians 2:18)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:

(more…)

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Rembrandt-philosopher

a. Passages demonstrating God’s elect will persevere in their faith and works

i.      Dilemma: We have seen that a Christian will be saved forever but does that mean a Christian can do whatever and still be saved?

1. No, God maintains a Christian’s salvation by means of having them endure in their faith and walk.

2. Arthur Pink’s sober warning: “Many an ignorant evangelist has given his hearers the impression that once they “accept Christ as their personal Savior” they need have no concern about the future, and thousands have been lulled into a fatal sleep by the soothing lullaby “once saved, always saved”. To imagine that if I commit my soul and its eternal interests into the hands of the Lord henceforth relieves me of all obligation, is to accept sugar-coated poison from the father of lies.”[1]

ii.      The need for Christians to endure to the end: “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”(Hebrews 3:6)

1. We are “part” of Christ’s house “if we hold fast

2. Believers also have “hope firm until the end.

iii.      Relationship of endurance and being saved: “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

1. Context: Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ disciples asked three questions (v.3) and Jesus proceed to warn His disciples.

2.      Note that the one being saved endures.

3. He or she endures to the end.

4. This of course is the work of God, since “will be saved” is a theological passive showing it’s the work of God.

iv.      Those the Father give to Jesus will keep His Word: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” (John 17:6)

1. Context: Jesus’ prayer to the Father the night before His death.

2. Speaking to the Father, Jesus acknowledges that those “whom You gave Me out of the world” “they have kept Your word.

3. The verse in the Greek ends with “kept” even though it should end with the object (“Your Word”), and hence there is a nuance in the emphasis they beliver will keep God’s Word.

4. Also, “kept” is a future functioning perfect indicating the action is so certain it’s as if they have been completed already.

v.      What does endurance mean?

1. Endurance means you are a disciple: “ So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;”(John8:31)

a. Jesus is here speaking.

b. Here Jesus clarifies that keeping God’s Word means being a disciple of Jesus.

2. Endurance means you will overcome the world: “For whatever is [a]born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”(1 John 5:4)

a. The Apostle John is writing here.

b. Note this verse identifies saved believers as “born of God 

c. Note one “born of God overcomes the world

d. The Greek verb for overcome is νικα, where we get our English word Nike.

e. Is this by our own merit?  No, it’s by faith: “and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith

3. Endurance means you will fear God: “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.” (Jeremiah 32:40)

a. Context: Jeremiah the Prophet has just pronounced the judgment of God but transitions to the Good News that God will change the people’s hearts one day.

b. Note this verse teaches God will never forsake those who partake of the eternal covenant: “an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good;

c. How?  “and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.””

d. This truth means a true believer in the human side of things will manifest fear of God.

e. Note Jeremiah 32:39 states the same idea.

4. Endurance means you will produce Good works: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

a. This verse follows the famous verse of grace as the basis of our salvation in Ephesians 2:8-9.

b. Note that believers are “created in Christ Jesus for good works,

c. When did God have this in mind? “which God prepared beforehand

d. Consequence: “so that we would walk in them.””

5. Endurance means you love Him: John 14:21 and 1 John 5:3.


[1] Arthur W. Pink, “Eternal Security: It’s Nature” in Eternal Security.  <Accessed at  http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Security/sec_03.htm>

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