LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Discussion Between Two Friends

Mark, what is the Church?

Joe, historically, the Brethren, the Scofield Bible and Lewis Sparry Chafer did the dispensing.

More recent advocates include John Walvoord (deceased), Charles Ryrie and Robert Lightner.

Dallas Theological Seminary is the greastest centre of Dispensational theology, but it has toned it down since Progressive Dispensationalism came on the scene.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 9:12 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I'm trying to understand your question to me. Please restate it and what it is that you are driving at.

Thank you for taking the time to communicate here.

Mark

May 05, 2006 9:35 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, the question was very simple. What is the Church?

How we can discuss the subject of the Church in relation to prophecy unless we know we are talking about the same thing.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 2:21 PM


bluecollar said...
Matthew, when I say the following:
"Matthew: Here is what I am working on-- Romans 11:16-24- The Gentile believers (the wild olive tree) being grafted into the root and fatness, the cultivated olive tree. The olive tree existed before, back to Old Testament times. Now the Gentiles are being grafted in. One olive tree, one people of God, dating back to the Old Testament.

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenets of promise, but now are brought near by Christ, He made both one, He has created in Himself one new man, from the two, in one body...

In John 10:16- Jesus said that He had other sheep (Gentiles) that were not of this fold (Israel) that he had to bring in so that there would be one flock and one Shepherd.

In Galatians 3:28- We are all one in Christ, no more Jew and Gentile, Now Gentiles too are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise...

In short, I believe there has always been a one people of God, that has been His plan all along- Isaiah 53:6 The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." ...

What I am saying is very similar to the position that Wayne Grudem takes. It is a position that I arived at on my own. Then when I read Wayne Grudems systematic theology I was in complete agreement with him.

I believe the church is made up of believers from all time. Hebrews 11 is part of the church in my view.I notice that David called the Messiah his lord in Psalm 110. I notice that Abraham rejoyced when he saw Christ's day as we see in John 8. Jesus said that many kings and righteous men longed to hear and see the things (Himself) that the apostles heard and saw.

I shall write more later. I shall be at work and doing errands all day today.

May the Lord bless you my friend!

If anybody else wishes to join in please feel free!

28 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Gayla, Dispensationalism is a theological system that makes a clear and consistent distinction between the Church and the nation of Israel. It favours a literal interpretation of the Bible and is committed to a Premillennial view of Christ's second coming.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 12:45 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, the problem with Progressive Dispensationalism is that insists that the Church can be found in Old Testament prophecy. It refuses to accept that the Church is a mystery hidden in God.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 12:47 AM


Joe said...
Who are the major dispensers of Dispensationalism?

May 05, 2006 3:42 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: Here is what I am working on-- Romans 11:16-24- The Gentile believers (the wild olive tree) being grafted into the root and fatness, the cultivated olive tree. The olive tree existed before, back to Old Testament times. Now the Gentiles are being grafted in. One olive tree, one people of God, dating back to the Old Testament.

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenets of promise, but now are brought near by Christ, He made both one, He has created in Himself one new man, from the two, in one body...

In John 10:16- Jesus said that He had other sheep (Gentiles) that were not of this fold (Israel) that he had to bring in so that there would be one flock and one Shepherd.

In Galatians 3:28- We are all one in Christ, no more Jew and Gentile, Now Gentiles too are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise...

In short, I believe there has always been a one people of God, that has been His plan all along- Isaiah 53:6 The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

May 05, 2006 4:16 AM


Gayla said...
Thanks~

May 05, 2006 6:48 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, what is the Church?

Joe, historically, the Brethren, the Scofield Bible and Lewis Spencer Chafer did the dispensing.

More recent advocates include John Walvoord (deceased), Charles Ryrie and Robert Lightner.

Dallas Theological Seminary is the greastest centre of Dispensational theology, but it has toned it down since Progressive Dispensationalism came on the scene.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 9:12 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I'm trying to understand your question to me. Please restate it and what it is that you are driving at.

Thank you for taking the time to communicate here.

Mark

May 05, 2006 9:35 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, the question was very simple. What is the Church?

How we can discuss the subject of the Church in relation to prophecy unless we know we are talking about the same thing.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 05, 2006 2:21 PM


bluecollar said...
Matthew, when I say the following:
"Matthew: Here is what I am working on-- Romans 11:16-24- The Gentile believers (the wild olive tree) being grafted into the root and fatness, the cultivated olive tree. The olive tree existed before, back to Old Testament times. Now the Gentiles are being grafted in. One olive tree, one people of God, dating back to the Old Testament.

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenets of promise, but now are brought near by Christ, He made both one, He has created in Himself one new man, from the two, in one body...

In John 10:16- Jesus said that He had other sheep (Gentiles) that were not of this fold (Israel) that he had to bring in so that there would be one flock and one Shepherd.

In Galatians 3:28- We are all one in Christ, no more Jew and Gentile, Now Gentiles too are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise...

In short, I believe there has always been a one people of God, that has been His plan all along- Isaiah 53:6 The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." ...

What I am saying is very similar to the position that Wayne Grudem takes. It is a position that I arived at on my own. Then when I read Wayne Grudems systematic theology I was in complete agreement with him.

I believe the church is made up of believers from all time. Hebrews 11 is part of the church in my view.I notice that David called the Messiah his lord in Psalm 110. I notice that Abraham rejoyced when he saw Christ's day as we see in John 8. Jesus said that many kings and righteous men longed to hear and see the things (Himself) that the apostles heard and saw.

I shall write more later. I shall be at work and doing errands all day today.

May the Lord bless you my friend!

May 06, 2006 6:33 AM

May 06, 2006 9:58 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, you seem to view the Church as the sum total of believers.

If this is so, in what sense are these believers gathered (that is what the Greek word Ekklesia means, a gathering or assembly)?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 06, 2006 12:26 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, it is very nice of you to post our conversation. I appreciate your interest in this subject.

God Bless

Matthew

May 06, 2006 12:27 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: I will be back later. I'm taking my wife out to dinner right now. See you then

May 06, 2006 5:56 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
I think your explanation is correct about who the church is. Jesus pointed out that he is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets and that he did not come to abolish them. Dispensationalism apparently is evolving. Any work you can do to clarify the differences would be a help and a great resource for Christian Bloggers.

Jazzycat

May 06, 2006 9:31 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: In answer to your question I look at Deut. 4:10, as does Wayne Grudem. He points out here that the word "Gather" here is the Heb. qahal, where the Septuagint uses ekklesiazo- "to summon an assembly," the verb that is cognate to the New Testament noun ekklesia,"church".

Since I believe that the sins of all believers(OT saints as well as NT saints) were laid on Christ (Isaiah 53:6), then I see in Hebrews 2:12-Jesus talking here,apparently at some point in the future,"In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You" and again"here I am and the children whom God has given Me".

I see the "assembly" here speaking of the whole of all believers, from every era.

I must admit that I like how Grudem includes the OT saints in his consideration of Eph.5:25. I also consider Acts 7:38 where Stephen refers to the ekklesia in the wilderness.

I thank you for taking the time to graciously interact here. You are a wise and respectable student of the word.

Thank you brother!
Mark

May 06, 2006 10:50 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Jazzy Cat: I would love your continued participation in these discussions!

Mark

May 06, 2006 10:52 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Is being the body of Christ essential to the Church's existence?

If so, were the Old Testament saints part of the body of Christ?

God Bless

Matthew

May 07, 2006 4:27 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: These are great questions that you ask.

You ask,"If so, were the Old Testament saints part of the body of Christ?"
------------
I will answer your second question first



In the many places in the New Testament which mention the body of Christ, i.e. e.g. Romans 12:5; 1Cor.12:12,27; Ephesians 4:11-16, it does not appear that Old Testament saints are included here. However,IMHO the linkage can be found in Hebrews 11:40. I see this verse as making New Testament saints inseparable from the Old. I also go back to Isaiah 53:6 and Hebrews 2:11-13. I also see in Hebrews 9:15 and Romans 3:25 how His sacrifice is applied to the Old Testament saints as well as us.

You ask,"Is being the body of Christ essential to the Church's existence?"
-------------
I would say yes

May 07, 2006 9:25 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

If being the body of Christ is central to the Church's existence, then the believers in Old Testament times must have been part of the body of Christ or else the Church did not exist in Old Testament times.

Would you agree with this conclusion?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 07, 2006 9:30 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: Thank you for graciously taking the time with me.

Yes, I would agree with that statement.

Bless you brother!
Mark

May 07, 2006 6:57 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, I understand if do not wish to continue this discussion.

Given your affirmation of that conclusion, it would seem that you must hold that the Body of Christ was in existence in Old Testament times.

Does being the body of Christ have no relation to Christ's ascension into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 5:44 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: It would seem that the New Testament Saints were to experience a different kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit.

From my vantage point, God has always had a plan to call to Himself a people out of the hostile human race. The church,IMHO is that people and is made up of believers from all eras, Christ having created in Himself one new man (Jews and Gentiles)Eph.2:11-22.

Where as in the Old Covenent God's name was in Jerusalem, now His dwelling place is within believers.

IMHO Romans 11:17-23 teaches that Gentiles were grafted into Israel's Olive tree, a tree that existed since Abraham's time. see verse 16.

In the times before Abraham it would seem that Genesis 4:26 is an indicator that men began to call upon the name of the LORD in the days of Seth,Abel having been murdered, thus beginning the church. This "call(ing) on the name of the LORD" in the midst of a hostile human race, being the marks of the church, finds it's origins here.

I will continue this conversation every bit as long as you would like. You have been most gracious and kind.

Mark

May 08, 2006 7:57 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: One more thing- Roman's 11:23-32 seems to teach that God is once again going to do a mighty work amonst National Israel, bringing many to faith in Himself. He is not done with National Israel.

May 08, 2006 8:09 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Blue Collar,
Dittos and when God does this bringing of many to faith, they will be brought into one church.... The bride of Christ.

I would ask Matthew, who I am sure agrees that many Jewish people will respond (in some way) in that day, how can God be sure that it is going to happen unless God makes it happen?
Jazzycat

May 08, 2006 9:04 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, there is an interesting philosophical ssumption here. That God is not in control unless He makes things happen.

Now I believe God knows the future. He knows it because He is not limited by time as we are and sees the future in the eternal present.

God's Word says that a third of Israel will repent and believe on the day of Christ's return.

It is quite possible that God has foreordained that this will happen. He is sovereign and can do as He pleases. Or this may simply be a prediction based on His knowledge of the future. I am not going to limit God as Calvinists do. God is sovereign whether He ordains the future or not. He is infinitely wise an infinitely powerful. None can resist His will.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 12:37 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, thankyou for your gracious response.

There is no reason to believe that the Olive Tree represents the Church.

There have been believers since Adam and Eve, but are they the Church?

I am really not sure how you understand the body of Christ concept.

Ephesians 2:15-16
'Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.'

We see in this text that a new body is created by Christ's savign death that contains both Jew and Gentile. The body is established by Christ's work.

1 Cor 12:13
'For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.'

The Church is established as a body through the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Without the Holy Spirit's descent, I fail to see how there is a Church or a body of Christ on earth.

There may be saved individuals, but they are not one body, as the Church is.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 12:48 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,

Point well taken. I could have worded that a lot better. Could I please have mulligan.
Actually, I agree with your last paragraph so much I will accept it with but a small addition of a verse and comment. (Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.)

While you are right in that he does not have to always ‘make things happen’, he has ordained all that comes to pass including the future and he can use the free will of man to accomplish this without having to ‘make it happen’. Calvinists are not the ones limiting God. We believe he is sovereign and in control of everything including salvation.

Jazzycat

May 08, 2006 2:40 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: I see the church in the Olive Tree:

The root is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The branches are the Jews-It is their tree.

Some branches were broken off- unbelieving Israel.

Gentiles (wild olive tree) were grafted in among them and become partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.

We (Gentiles) don't support the root, but the root (Abraham etc.) supports us.

Remember, in my earlier comments I acknowledged a different relationship with the Holy Spirit for the New Covenant saints than with the Old.

You ask,"There have been believers since Adam and Eve, but are they the Church?"
------------

I dealt with that issue yesterday when I said,"In the times before Abraham it would seem that Genesis 4:26 is an indicator that men began to call upon the name of the LORD in the days of Seth,Abel having been murdered, thus beginning the church. This "call(ing) on the name of the LORD" in the midst of a hostile human race, being the marks of the church, finds it's origins here."
-----------------------
You say,"There may be saved individuals, but they are not one body, as the Church is."
------------------------
I believe that Isaiah 53:6 and Ephesians5:25 are what links the Old Testament saints with the New Testament saints.

You must remember, I believe it to be impossible for anybody to be a believer in any era without the Holy Spirit's working. I believe the fall brought about hostility towards God from EVERY individual.

I see in Romans 2:29 that a true Jew is one who is one inwardly, the circumcision is of the heart. It is the work of God's Spirit that has brought people to faith in Him since the earliest eras.

From my vantage point there is the Particular Redemption, Wherein Christ died for a specific people, From the Old Testament times as well as the New, hence my appeal to Isaiah 53:6.

All have been brought to faith by the same Holy Spirit and their sins have been paid for by the same sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, while we look backwards to the cross.

I know the temptation of some to say that the Old test. saints didn't have enough revelation to look forwards to the cross. Let us not rule out the Holy Spirit's illuminating ministry here. Remember, David "spoke by the Spirit" when he wrote of Christ in Psalm 110; Simeon was told by the Spirit that he would see the LORD's Christ before he died; The unborn John the Baptist lept in his mother's womb because of the Holy Spirit's work-- see Luke 1:15.

Thank you for your gracious attitude here Matthew. I have alot of respect for you.

Mark

May 09, 2006 8:28 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, thanks for your repsonse.

You keep talking about soteriology. It is all well to say that God was saving people in the Old Testament and to talk about the glory of that salvation and its character.

However, this does not actually deal with the question of whether the church includes the redeemed of the Old Testament.

If you were to ask me if I thought Christians are of the seed of Abraham I would answer yes, ABSOLUTELY.

However, were Old Testament believers part of the body of Christ? That is a quite different question and the answer seems to be in the negative.

I believe the church to be a body of Jews and Gentiles who are united by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and by the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost. Such a body could only exist from New Testament times.

No Christian denies God's saving work in the OT, but these men were not incorporated into the one mystical body of Christ.

Mark, I am still in the dark as to how you undestand the body of Christ concept and how it relates to the work of our Lord and of His Holy Spirit.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 09, 2006 2:52 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew:Thank you for your patience.

Let me start in the New Testament first.

I agree with your statement, "I believe the church to be a body of Jews and Gentiles who are united by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and by the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost."

However, when I read Romans 11:11-32,I see that the church is part of a single plan, not separate from it. I used to hold to a distinction between the church and Israel view. In fact i did so for years. However, when I came across this passage in Romans on my regular sweeps through the Bible I always felt that view challenged. It made me uncomfortable to see that view challenged, I had held it so long and so did the pastors that influenced me; but yet, I was becoming more and more unsettled in my heart with that view.

Then came the day when I decided that the only way that my conscience would be satisfied would be to relinquish the Israel/church distinction view. I knew that many of my friends over the yearswould disagree with me for doing this, but I simply had to for conscience sake. Then my personal stand was bolstered by Galatians chapter 3. In this chapter again I see a single plan of God being worked out from the Old Testament right on through to the New, a seemless plan from the schoolmaster Old Covenant to the being brought to Christ in the New Covenant. Then the whole thing ties together in verse 3:29 "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"

Matthew, you are agracious and wise brother in the Lord. Thank you.

May 10, 2006 8:06 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
Your view makes perfect sense to me and is supported by numerous 'clear Scriptures'. I wish Matthew would explain his view with Scripture support.

Jazzycat

May 10, 2006 7:34 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, if the church is united by the work of Christ and by the baptism of the Holy Ghost atr Pentecost, then surely it was not united before those events.

If the church was not united, then it was no church at all, for the word means to gather.

Hence, regardless of whether God has one plan or 20 separate plans, then there was no church before Pentecost.

Did the church exist before Pentecost and if it did, in on what basis was its gathering?

We all agree that Christians are the seed of Abraham, but you have not proven that being the seed of Abraham makes one part of the church.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 11, 2006 12:19 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew,

To answer part of your question I will repeat something I said earlier: "Matthew: In answer to your question I look at Deut. 4:10, as does Wayne Grudem. He points out here that the word "Gather" here is the Heb. qahal, where the Septuagint uses ekklesiazo- "to summon an assembly," the verb that is cognate to the New Testament noun ekklesia,"church"."

I will couple that together with what I find in Galatians 7-29. The law shut us up and kept us under guard and led us to Christ as a school-master.

It is funny that you say that the burden of proof is on me. Remember, I once held to that view of the Israel/church distinction. Then my continued meditation upon Romans 11 eroded that view away into oblivian. I would say the burden of proof is on you instead.

May 12, 2006 6:51 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

that was supposed to be Galatians 3:7-29

May 12, 2006 6:53 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Again, as I said with regard to our being the seed of Abraham, this is not the same as being the body of Christ.

In fact, I would say it is by far a more glorious and wondrous thing to be the body and bride of Christ.

We are only the body of Christ through His completed work and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which unites us. This is a NT reality that was a mystery in the OT (Eph 3:5).

With regard to gathering, yes there was gathering in the Old Testment. But this was the gathering of Israelites.

We are gathered as those who are united to Christ (Eph 2:6).

The truth of the body is connected to Christ's resurrection and ascension (Eph 1:20-23). You cannot have the Church on earth without Christ seated in glory in heaven as the risen Lord.

Your patience with me is awe-inspiring, Mark.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 12, 2006 10:53 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: After this series with Spurgeon is complete I shall revisit this discussion with another post. Would it be possible for you to reproduce on this thread a compiliation of all that you have said so far so that I could make that part of that post by cut and paste? I would appreciate it, sir. Thank you.

May 14, 2006 2:28 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, you seem to view the Church as the sum total of believers.

If this is so, in what sense are these believers gathered (that is what the Greek word Ekklesia means, a gathering or assembly)?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 06, 2006 9:26 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, it is very nice of you to post our conversation. I appreciate your interest in this subject.

God Bless

Matthew

May 06, 2006 9:27 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I will be back later. I'm taking my wife out to dinner right now. See you then

May 06, 2006 2:56 PM


jazzycat said...
Mr. Bluecollar,
I think your explanation is correct about who the church is. Jesus pointed out that he is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets and that he did not come to abolish them. Dispensationalism apparently is evolving. Any work you can do to clarify the differences would be a help and a great resource for Christian Bloggers.

Jazzycat

May 06, 2006 6:31 PM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: In answer to your question I look at Deut. 4:10, as does Wayne Grudem. He points out here that the word "Gather" here is the Heb. qahal, where the Septuagint uses ekklesiazo- "to summon an assembly," the verb that is cognate to the New Testament noun ekklesia,"church".

Since I believe that the sins of all believers(OT saints as well as NT saints) were laid on Christ (Isaiah 53:6), then I see in Hebrews 2:12-Jesus talking here,apparently at some point in the future,"In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You" and again"here I am and the children whom God has given Me".

I see the "assembly" here speaking of the whole of all believers, from every era.

I must admit that I like how Grudem includes the OT saints in his consideration of Eph.5:25. I also consider Acts 7:38 where Stephen refers to the ekklesia in the wilderness.

I thank you for taking the time to graciously interact here. You are a wise and respectable student of the word.

Thank you brother!
Mark

May 06, 2006 7:50 PM


bluecollar said...
Jazzy Cat: I would love your continued participation in these discussions!

Mark

May 06, 2006 7:52 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Is being the body of Christ essential to the Church's existence?

If so, were the Old Testament saints part of the body of Christ?

God Bless

Matthew

May 07, 2006 1:27 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: These are great questions that you ask.

You ask,"If so, were the Old Testament saints part of the body of Christ?"
------------
I will answer your second question first



In the many places in the New Testament which mention the body of Christ, i.e. e.g. Romans 12:5; 1Cor.12:12,27; Ephesians 4:11-16, it does not appear that Old Testament saints are included here. However,IMHO the linkage can be found in Hebrews 11:40. I see this verse as making New Testament saints inseparable from the Old. I also go back to Isaiah 53:6 and Hebrews 2:11-13. I also see in Hebrews 9:15 and Romans 3:25 how His sacrifice is applied to the Old Testament saints as well as us.

You ask,"Is being the body of Christ essential to the Church's existence?"
-------------
I would say yes

May 07, 2006 6:25 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
If being the body of Christ is central to the Church's existence, then the believers in Old Testament times must have been part of the body of Christ or else the Church did not exist in Old Testament times.

Would you agree with this conclusion?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 07, 2006 6:30 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: Thank you for graciously taking the time with me.

Yes, I would agree with that statement.

Bless you brother!
Mark

May 07, 2006 3:57 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, I understand if do not wish to continue this discussion.

Given your affirmation of that conclusion, it would seem that you must hold that the Body of Christ was in existence in Old Testament times.

Does being the body of Christ have no relation to Christ's ascension into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 2:44 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: It would seem that the New Testament Saints were to experience a different kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit.

From my vantage point, God has always had a plan to call to Himself a people out of the hostile human race. The church,IMHO is that people and is made up of believers from all eras, Christ having created in Himself one new man (Jews and Gentiles)Eph.2:11-22.

Where as in the Old Covenent God's name was in Jerusalem, now His dwelling place is within believers.

IMHO Romans 11:17-23 teaches that Gentiles were grafted into Israel's Olive tree, a tree that existed since Abraham's time. see verse 16.

In the times before Abraham it would seem that Genesis 4:26 is an indicator that men began to call upon the name of the LORD in the days of Seth,Abel having been murdered, thus beginning the church. This "call(ing) on the name of the LORD" in the midst of a hostile human race, being the marks of the church, finds it's origins here.

I will continue this conversation every bit as long as you would like. You have been most gracious and kind.

Mark

May 08, 2006 4:57 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: One more thing- Roman's 11:23-32 seems to teach that God is once again going to do a mighty work amonst National Israel, bringing many to faith in Himself. He is not done with National Israel.

May 08, 2006 5:09 AM


jazzycat said...
Mr. Blue Collar,
Dittos and when God does this bringing of many to faith, they will be brought into one church.... The bride of Christ.

I would ask Matthew, who I am sure agrees that many Jewish people will respond (in some way) in that day, how can God be sure that it is going to happen unless God makes it happen?
Jazzycat

May 08, 2006 6:04 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Jazzycat, there is an interesting philosophical ssumption here. That God is not in control unless He makes things happen.

Now I believe God knows the future. He knows it because He is not limited by time as we are and sees the future in the eternal present.

God's Word says that a third of Israel will repent and believe on the day of Christ's return.

It is quite possible that God has foreordained that this will happen. He is sovereign and can do as He pleases. Or this may simply be a prediction based on His knowledge of the future. I am not going to limit God as Calvinists do. God is sovereign whether He ordains the future or not. He is infinitely wise an infinitely powerful. None can resist His will.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 9:37 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, thankyou for your gracious response.

There is no reason to believe that the Olive Tree represents the Church.

There have been believers since Adam and Eve, but are they the Church?

I am really not sure how you understand the body of Christ concept.

Ephesians 2:15-16
'Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.'

We see in this text that a new body is created by Christ's savign death that contains both Jew and Gentile. The body is established by Christ's work.

1 Cor 12:13
'For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.'

The Church is established as a body through the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Without the Holy Spirit's descent, I fail to see how there is a Church or a body of Christ on earth.

There may be saved individuals, but they are not one body, as the Church is.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 08, 2006 9:48 AM


jazzycat said...
Matthew,

Point well taken. I could have worded that a lot better. Could I please have mulligan.
Actually, I agree with your last paragraph so much I will accept it with but a small addition of a verse and comment. (Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.)

While you are right in that he does not have to always ‘make things happen’, he has ordained all that comes to pass including the future and he can use the free will of man to accomplish this without having to ‘make it happen’. Calvinists are not the ones limiting God. We believe he is sovereign and in control of everything including salvation.

Jazzycat

May 08, 2006 11:40 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew: I see the church in the Olive Tree:

The root is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The branches are the Jews-It is their tree.

Some branches were broken off- unbelieving Israel.

Gentiles (wild olive tree) were grafted in among them and become partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.

We (Gentiles) don't support the root, but the root (Abraham etc.) supports us.

Remember, in my earlier comments I acknowledged a different relationship with the Holy Spirit for the New Covenant saints than with the Old.

You ask,"There have been believers since Adam and Eve, but are they the Church?"
------------

I dealt with that issue yesterday when I said,"In the times before Abraham it would seem that Genesis 4:26 is an indicator that men began to call upon the name of the LORD in the days of Seth,Abel having been murdered, thus beginning the church. This "call(ing) on the name of the LORD" in the midst of a hostile human race, being the marks of the church, finds it's origins here."
-----------------------
You say,"There may be saved individuals, but they are not one body, as the Church is."
------------------------
I believe that Isaiah 53:6 and Ephesians5:25 are what links the Old Testament saints with the New Testament saints.

You must remember, I believe it to be impossible for anybody to be a believer in any era without the Holy Spirit's working. I believe the fall brought about hostility towards God from EVERY individual.

I see in Romans 2:29 that a true Jew is one who is one inwardly, the circumcision is of the heart. It is the work of God's Spirit that has brought people to faith in Him since the earliest eras.

From my vantage point there is the Particular Redemption, Wherein Christ died for a specific people, From the Old Testament times as well as the New, hence my appeal to Isaiah 53:6.

All have been brought to faith by the same Holy Spirit and their sins have been paid for by the same sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, while we look backwards to the cross.

I know the temptation of some to say that the Old test. saints didn't have enough revelation to look forwards to the cross. Let us not rule out the Holy Spirit's illuminating ministry here. Remember, David "spoke by the Spirit" when he wrote of Christ in Psalm 110; Simeon was told by the Spirit that he would see the LORD's Christ before he died; The unborn John the Baptist lept in his mother's womb because of the Holy Spirit's work-- see Luke 1:15.

Thank you for your gracious attitude here Matthew. I have alot of respect for you.

Mark

May 09, 2006 5:28 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, thanks for your repsonse.

You keep talking about soteriology. It is all well to say that God was saving people in the Old Testament and to talk about the glory of that salvation and its character.

However, this does not actually deal with the question of whether the church includes the redeemed of the Old Testament.

If you were to ask me if I thought Christians are of the seed of Abraham I would answer yes, ABSOLUTELY.

However, were Old Testament believers part of the body of Christ? That is a quite different question and the answer seems to be in the negative.

I believe the church to be a body of Jews and Gentiles who are united by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and by the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost. Such a body could only exist from New Testament times.

No Christian denies God's saving work in the OT, but these men were not incorporated into the one mystical body of Christ.

Mark, I am still in the dark as to how you undestand the body of Christ concept and how it relates to the work of our Lord and of His Holy Spirit.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 09, 2006 11:52 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew:Thank you for your patience.

Let me start in the New Testament first.

I agree with your statement, "I believe the church to be a body of Jews and Gentiles who are united by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and by the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost."

However, when I read Romans 11:11-32,I see that the church is part of a single plan, not separate from it. I used to hold to a distinction between the church and Israel view. In fact i did so for years. However, when I came across this passage in Romans on my regular sweeps through the Bible I always felt that view challenged. It made me uncomfortable to see that view challenged, I had held it so long and so did the pastors that influenced me; but yet, I was becoming more and more unsettled in my heart with that view.

Then came the day when I decided that the only way that my conscience would be satisfied would be to relinquish the Israel/church distinction view. I knew that many of my friends over the yearswould disagree with me for doing this, but I simply had to for conscience sake. Then my personal stand was bolstered by Galatians chapter 3. In this chapter again I see a single plan of God being worked out from the Old Testament right on through to the New, a seemless plan from the schoolmaster Old Covenant to the being brought to Christ in the New Covenant. Then the whole thing ties together in verse 3:29 "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"

Matthew, you are agracious and wise brother in the Lord. Thank you.

May 10, 2006 5:06 AM


jazzycat said...
Mr. Bluecollar,
Your view makes perfect sense to me and is supported by numerous 'clear Scriptures'. I wish Matthew would explain his view with Scripture support.

Jazzycat

May 10, 2006 4:34 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, if the church is united by the work of Christ and by the baptism of the Holy Ghost atr Pentecost, then surely it was not united before those events.

If the church was not united, then it was no church at all, for the word means to gather.

Hence, regardless of whether God has one plan or 20 separate plans, then there was no church before Pentecost.

Did the church exist before Pentecost and if it did, in on what basis was its gathering?

We all agree that Christians are the seed of Abraham, but you have not proven that being the seed of Abraham makes one part of the church.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 11, 2006 9:19 AM


bluecollar said...
Matthew,

To answer part of your question I will repeat something I said earlier: "Matthew: In answer to your question I look at Deut. 4:10, as does Wayne Grudem. He points out here that the word "Gather" here is the Heb. qahal, where the Septuagint uses ekklesiazo- "to summon an assembly," the verb that is cognate to the New Testament noun ekklesia,"church"."

I will couple that together with what I find in Galatians 7-29. The law shut us up and kept us under guard and led us to Christ as a school-master.

It is funny that you say that the burden of proof is on me. Remember, I once held to that view of the Israel/church distinction. Then my continued meditation upon Romans 11 eroded that view away into oblivian. I would say the burden of proof is on you instead.

May 12, 2006 3:51 AM


bluecollar said...
that was supposed to be Galatians 3:7-29

May 12, 2006 3:53 AM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Again, as I said with regard to our being the seed of Abraham, this is not the same as being the body of Christ.

In fact, I would say it is by far a more glorious and wondrous thing to be the body and bride of Christ.

We are only the body of Christ through His completed work and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which unites us. This is a NT reality that was a mystery in the OT (Eph 3:5).

With regard to gathering, yes there was gathering in the Old Testment. But this was the gathering of Israelites.

We are gathered as those who are united to Christ (Eph 2:6).

The truth of the body is connected to Christ's resurrection and ascension (Eph 1:20-23). You cannot have the Church on earth without Christ seated in glory in heaven as the risen Lord.

Your patience with me is awe-inspiring, Mark.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

May 12, 2006 7:53 AM

May 15, 2006 4:06 AM

 

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