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  • TFRStaff 6:49 am on 2016-07-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , plan of salvation, , , , , works that merit   

    13 Objections to Baptism by Dave Miller, Ph.D. 

    Some churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation. Read >>

  • TFRStaff 8:58 am on 2015-04-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1 Timothy 3:16, , , , , gospel to the gentiles, , Jesus' ascension, , , , plan of salvation,   

    April 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (Godliness) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • “God Was Manifest in the Flesh” (Tom Moore)
    • “Great is the Mystery of Godliness” (Sam Willcut)
    • “Justified in the Spirit” (Trent Kennedy)
    • “Seen of Angels” (Kris Groda)
    • “Preached unto the Gentiles” (Bobby Burris)
    • “Believed on in the World” (Sean Embree)
    • “Received up into Glory” (Jacob Rutledge)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • J. Randal Matheny 10:32 am on 2014-11-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: plan of salvation,   

    Roadmap to heaven 

    David Kenney put together this “Roadmap to Heaven.”


    He also mentioned this video that explains the roadmap:

    • Beth 6:45 pm on 2014-12-01 Permalink | Reply

      This roadmap is only a beginning. If, after these things are accomplished, you do nothing else, certain death will result.

      What is spiritual growth?
      First we must ask, “What is spiritual life?”
      • Born again of water and spirit – not a physical birth – an unseen birth (2 Cor. 4:18)
      • First must become a disciple of Christ – Matt. 28:19 with a mind to do God’s will and not our own 2 Cor. 5:15 (having crucified or killed the old man Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10; Rom. 6:6) risen to walk in newness of life Rom 6:3-6, buried with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
      • Spiritual life starts with the birth of a spiritual baby at baptism
      Once born, we must grow. We are not born full grown, but begin as a spiritual newborn.
      • 1 Cor. 3:1 babes in Christ, 1 Pet. 2:2 as newborn babes, desire milk to grow
      • Have become such as have need of milk and not strong meat Heb. 5:12-14
      • Not laying again the foundation of… Heb. 6:1 “of full age” in Heb. 5:14 and “perfection” in Heb. 6:1 is same word as “”perfect” – [complete] that is used in Eph. 4:13 – the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. THAT’s our goal for spiritual “maturity.”
      • Gal. 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
      • Spiritual babyhood cannot be an endless state – Eph. 4:13-15. The hope of every parent for their child is that they will reach adulthood.
      • As a disciple, the point is to be AS our Master. That is the very definition of a disciple. Luke 6:40 If I am not like my Master yet, then I must grow in order to reach that likeness.
      Satan encourages us not to worry about growing, to expect less of ourselves than God requires.
      • Jer. 6:13-16 Peace, peace, when there is no peace, healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly
      • Jude 1: 4 Turned the grace of God into lasciviousness (G766 aselgeia – licence – lacking legal or moral restraints, permissiveness. “It’s OK to do what you want”)
      • 2 Pet. 2:18 -22 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness ( again, the same word G766 lascivious, lacking restraint, license) , those that were clean escaped from them who live in error – they promise liberty, but are themselves the servants of corruption.
      • Zech. 10:2 They comfort in vain
      • Micah 2:17 Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord
      • Jer. 23: 14, 17, 21-22 If they had stood in MY counsel, and caused my people to hear MY words, then they should have turned them from their evil way…

      Why would spiritual growth matter?
      We are told to examine ourselves. If the state of our inner man did not matter, what would be the point of examining ourselves?
      • Examine yourselves
      2Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
      • Examine ourselves, and judge ourselves in order to try to make changes before God has to judge us, so we don’t have to be chastened.

      • What good would it do for us to examine ourselves if we are not going to try to change the flaws that we see?
      Jas 1:18, 21-25 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
      …21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
      22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
      23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
      24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
      25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
      • What’s the point of looking into the mirror? Comparing ourselves to what we see in Christ (via scripture) IS the mirror.
      • Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
      • 2 Cor. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

      As a disciple of Christ (Christian,) what is our aim/goal to grow toward?
      • To be a Christian IS to be a disciple.

      • This Christ-likeness is not something that is put on us at baptism like a cloak, in the eyes of God. This is a real process of growing in the spiritual qualities of heart that Christ possessed, and putting off our old ungodly qualities, the works of the flesh. (shown very clearly in examples and specifics in Gal. 5:16-6:10; Eph. 4:15-6:18; and Col. 3:1-4:6., among other places.)
      • Spiritual growth must be something we are actively engaged in, 2 Pet. 1:5-10 Add to your faith virtue… 2 Pet. 1:3-15 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;….. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off…

      How much growth is enough?
      • Matt. 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
      • Phil. 2: 5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
      • 1 Pet. 2:21-23 For even hereunto were you called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps
      • God Himself is the one Who has the authority to determine to what point He expects us to grow: Eph. 4 – to be like Christ in our inner (spiritual) man.
      • Not an assumed righteousness that is “put on us” after our death, but a real change that occurs over time (through experience James 1:1-5, chastening, Heb. 12:1-11, etc.) in our hearts and minds in this life. 1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
      We cannot accomplish this goal on our own, but through God we are able:
      • Eph. 3:14-21
      14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
      15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
      16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
      17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
      18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
      19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
      20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
      21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

      We are able to be partakers of the nature of God through the promises He has given us. With that in mind, we need to actively add the qualities of heart that Jesus possessed.

      So practically speaking, what can I do to become more like Jesus, who is the measure of what I am to become? I must see what He was in heart and mind and soul, and actively strive to become like that.
      • Eph. 4:13-15 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
      In other scriptures and in other ways we are instructed to change and grow spiritually; this is a daily process that we must be about:
      • 2 Cor. 6:11-13 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened (4730 hemmed in) in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
      • 2 Cor. 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. –Renewed – G341 ἀνακαινόω anakainoō From G303 and a derivative of G2537; to renovate:
      • Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
      • Eph. 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind
      • Col. 3:10 We are renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
      • John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
      • If spiritual babyhood continues, or we regress from a stronger state, we run the risk of being lost. Heb. 6:1-6; I am afraid of you, lest I have labored in vain, Gal. 4:9-11

  • Eugene Adkins 6:27 pm on 2014-04-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , plan of salvation,   

    “Beardless Robertson brother” compares “Duck Dynasty” to Salvation Army and Vice-Versa 

    One of the great things about the Salvation Army and the Robertson family is we’re both trying to help people. Our family has been about reaching out and telling people about the good news about Jesus. And in essence, that’s exactly what the Army does,” said Robertson.”

    The above is a quote from Alan Robertson, according to an article by Kyle Rothenberg published on April 09, 2014 on Fox News’ website, as he spoke to Fox News concerning his speaking engagement at a fund-raising event in Mississippi for the Salvation Army organization.

    What caught my attention in the quote was the word “essence”. It’s interesting how the word “essence” can be used by some to completely slide (if not right out jump) over key doctrinal gaps, assuming that the doctrinal gaps exist between the guest speaker and the leadership of the hosting group. But I guess it would be “wrong” to tell someone you’re trying to raise money for that they’re wrong when it comes to the good news of Jesus and how to receive the benefits thereof.

    Now don’t get me wrong in what I am saying; this is not a “bash the Salvation Army” post. I believe the “Salvation Army” does a lot of good. And I also believe that they are doctrinally sound in many areas of their teaching and understanding of the Bible. But, as far as this post is concerned, one area that I do not agree with them on is how a person must respond to the good news of Jesus in order to be saved. Sure, they believe that one is saved by grace through faith – but according to my understanding they do so to the extent that their version of salvation “by grace through faith” excludes the necessity of baptism when it comes to its role in the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5, Acts 2:38). If I’m wrong concerning the Salvation Army’s stance, feel free to correct me. But if I’m correct in my understanding then it is the Salvation Army who stands in need of correction.

    Furthermore, this is not a “bash the Robertson’s” post. I praise the Robertson’s clear and resilient stance against the homosexual agenda and their movement of intolerance, and for their stance on other moral issues and the importance of family in spite of their popularity. They have been given a national platform that few are willing to stand on when it comes to politically incorrect topics. But, as far as this post is concerned, going beyond the forces that seek their caving in to “political correctness”, my concern is that their popularity in the spiritual world will only lead to more and more caving in to a version of “spiritual correctness” that winks at what should not be ignored. Namely, what Jesus himself said when it comes to enjoying the benefits of his good news (Mark 16:15-16).

    The spirit of unity and the unity of the Spirit should not be confused with one another. They are two different things (Ephesians 4:3-6), and they should be recognized as such.

    Now, I believe building bridges is one thing, but helping to support bridges that blatantly teach false doctrines concerning the gospel of Christ and one’s salvation is a road that I wish the Robertson’s, at least to which family members it may apply, would not travel down, for good deeds do not necessarily lead to good results (Matthew 7:21-23), nor does the endorsement of another’s “essence” that resides in error (Romans 16:17). And this is something that I hope they would recognize when a comparison is made.

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:44 pm on 2014-01-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , plan of salvation   

    The church at the center of God’s plan is a necessary topic in evangelism 

    During one of my classes this past weekend on the NT church, good brother Alex Soares commented that Paul said in Ep 5.25, “Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.” That puts the church squarely at the center of God’s plan.

    The church is the object of Christ’s love and sacrifice. When the question is asked, “What did Christ accomplish by his death?”, the church must be mentioned. How then can one talk about Christ’s sacrifice to non-Christians and not mention the church, as some propose?

    That same day or the next, someone read from Ac 20.28, where Paul speaks of “the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.” The text reinforces the Ephesians passage.

    Those who urge leaving out the church when speaking of the gospel have an agenda that is not reflected in Scripture. Either that, or they are ignorant parrots of progressive mouths.

  • J. Randal Matheny 3:49 pm on 2013-12-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eternal purpose, , , plan of salvation   

    Two important stories on BNc today:


    And my editorial today on Forthright Mag, giving a great and motivating view of the big picture:


  • J. Randal Matheny 7:06 am on 2012-07-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , plan of salvation   

    Salvation chart 

    Ron shared this on Facebook. I’ve no idea as to its origin.

    Plan of salvation

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  • J. Randal Matheny 7:00 am on 2012-03-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , plan of salvation   

    If Christ had refused the Cross: Steve Preston’s BibleTalk 

    What If Christ Had Refused To Go To The Cross? by bibletalk on Posterous

    Even though the plan of salvation through Christ had always been in the mind of God (Eph. 3:9), it would have come to naught if Christ had refused to sacrifice Himself. Let us then think about what might have happened if Christ had refused the will of the Father.

    Steve lists three effects too horrible to think about. His last paragraph deserves special attention as well.

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