"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Beware of Apologetics", and hope as a salvation issue

This morning in David's sermon on Hope he pointed out the danger in apologetics. I have never really given this much thought, but he is right. Don't get me wrong (or David), the apologetics ministry is very good, but it can lead to problems. As David said, beware because it tries to use science to prove Christianity. When you start trying to prove something meant to be based on faith the water tends to start getting a little too deep. Apologetics is great for us to understand and study as a way of confirming our faith and for making us feel more connected with our faith, but we mustn't base our faith solely on it and shrink God down to fit our limited capability of understanding. Our faith as the Bible describes is, Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. What happens when something or someone proves that what we might be basing our faith on is wrong? Would this collapse our whole belief system. Hopefully not. David illustrated this issue with Copernicus and Galileo and what happened to the church when the earth was proven to be round and not flat. This new scientific finding led the church to question their whole understanding of God's creation. We will never (until He shows us in Heaven-- one question I can't wait to ask) understand God or His expansive creation. He allows our minds to wrap around a few small things, but we cannot bank our belief system on these, very small things in comparison to totality. Faith is meant to be more than belief in what we can prove-- would it then still be faith? And faith is a salvation issue.

What saves us? Is it Grace? Faith? Baptism? Well the Bible says, Ephesians 2:5 "...made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Therefore the answer is grace.

BUT, it also says, Romans 1:17 "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'" So faith then.

OK, what about 1 Peter 3:21 ...and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." OK, so baptism then.

Here's another thought altogether. Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

Well, David put it all together quite nicely-- God freely gives grace to any who will take it; through the receiving of this grace we become faithful, and obedient doing the things, like baptism, which we are told to do, and as all this happens we will have hope of our eternal life to come. Isn't this the Gospel of Christ in a nutshell?


  1. One of the concerns I have about "Christian Science" is that people may try to stake their faith on it, and put it up there with the Bible as infallible. Many of the creationist theories may indeed be correct, but if those theories really are the result of science, they have to be subject to revision and correction as people learn more. Good post and undoubtedly a good sermon too.

  2. Do you consider yourself a saint, or do you become a saint after you die?

    Tammy Faye

  3. From what I read in the Bible, the members of the church are called saints over and over. I am a member of Christ's church and therefore He considers me one of His saints. I consider myself nothing without Him. I am a sinner redeemed through His blood and am only worthy of being called a saint because of the price He paid for me.

  4. Which church is Christ's church? How many churches does He have. There are hundreds of churches. How can you know which one to join?
    Tammy Faye

  5. The church is not a building, a name, a group of people... you choose out of a line up. It is the group of believers who believe in Jesus and accept Him as their redeemer. They are all over the earth, not in a particular building with a particular name. The particular building you choose to identify with I suppose is a personal choice between you and God. He will put you in a group of people where you can grow, with elders who will nurture you in Christ and help you grow in faith and hope. People in the South east have got it lucky, there are churches(buildings) on every corner practically. In the North and West and in other countries believers do not have the luxury of such a choice. We need to learn to get along with ALL of our brothers and sisters and stop arguing about which building you go to. I hope that answers your question "Tammy Faye".

  6. I understand that the building is not the church, but do you choose baptist, or adventist, or methodist? How do you decide without the spirit tells you? I understand your answer, but I'm still confused as to which name I should use.
    Tammy Faye
    PS Thanks for your reply. I hope you can continue answering some of my questions.

  7. I will lovingly answer your questions.

    I must say that no matter what group name you identify with (Adventist, Baptist...) if you are following your heart (which only God knows and this is really where His concern lies) and you do it for Him and bring Him glory, then you are free to choose.

    The purpose of corporate worship is as much to keep you strong in your faith and teach you the doctrine of the Bible so that you can follow Christ and be encouraged by others who believe as you do as much as it is to Worship Jesus. Our worship together as believers is such a small part of worship. We she do all things (as the Bible says) to bring God glory and in this we worship Him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul.

    Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

    So, if you do not believe that Saturdays should be heal as a sacred Sabbath then I would not suggest you attend an Adventist church. If you do then absolutely go to this church-- they are Christians following the same Jesus fully accepting His blood and hold the Sabbath sacred for God, likewise with other denominations. If you are convicted that dancing is wrong and the drinking alcohol is wrong then join a group of believers who can hold you accountable to these things like the Baptists, just be sure that you are doing it for God.

    Romans 14:5-7 (New International Version)

    5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.

    I will tell you this about the spirit, He will talk to you. It is so amazing. If you are in a church that is not where God wants you, He will make sure you are told in as many ways as He needs so that you get the picture. If you have the relationship where you expect Him to talk to you and you listen He will.

    For me, we have been in wrong churches (for us) before. The sense of this may start off subtly with a question in something that is being done that you may not believe (maybe a divorced deacon or something else...) even though not a salvation issue, it may something that causes you to stumble in what you are convicted. (Maybe you are convinced in your heart or mind that drinking is wrong and the congregation uses real wine in communion...) Maybe your spouse feels like the church is not the right place for you for any reason at all... If you ignore the Holy Spirit, He may do something to swallow you like Jonah, so to speak--- some obvious or huge incident that would make you leave. When you find the right group to fellowship with, you will be encouraged, taught, and held accountable on your convictions and the teachings of Christ. You will have all that Jesus intended you to have in a fellowship of believers.
    No matter where you decide to gather, make sure you do not give up. The Bible says,
    Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

  8. Thanks
    I will have to do more studying. I feel like I have a new friend.
    Tammy Faye

  9. It has come to my attention that this post sounds like I do not like apologetics (which literally means to defend). I have sat and read many of the articles produced by AP. Ollie receives the Discovery Magazine every month as a gift from her great aunt, and I like it. I have read some articles that I do not like or that I think are inadequate explainations of the Bible or are not accurate to the Bible. Now-- here is the kicker! Don't just read something and take it as the Gospel-- unless it is The Gospel. The writers at AP will be the first one's to discredit the inspired work of the Holy Spirit today (from what I gather) so certainly read the Bible which even they agree is inspired. Remember base your faith on Jesus as fatih and not because something a human has writen or discovered proved God. This is not faith. Remember the people who write for AP are people afterall and are subject to human interpretation of the scriptures as are any of us...so read it for yourself! Read the Bible!!!!!


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