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, July 01, 2006

Some Thoughts

I've been pondering something...
Repentance and the remission of sins is part of the Great Commission. For a complete look at the Great Commission, put together Matthew 28:19-20, along with Mark 16:15-16, and also Luke 24:46-49. Man, in his willfull folly,tries to strip this vital aspect (repentance) away from the Great Commission. Why not also eliminate baptism or obedience to Christ as found in Matthew 28:19-20. Well, I guess that will be next for some future, and more advanced version of the fg movement. One step at a time,eh. Chop away, here a little, there a little.

Paul, in his recounting his ministry before king Agrippa, said this of his calling:
Jesus is speaking to him here-
" I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you.
to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me" - Acts 26:17-18.

Paul goes on in his testimony:
"Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance" - Acts 26:19-20.

In the above we see that Paul obeyed his Lord in preaching repentance to unbelievers. They must "turn to God", corresponding to the things he said in verse 18 above, "in order to turn (convert) them from darkness to light,and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins...". Here it is evident that the order is, turning to God, then the forgiveness of sins.

Yes, let's use one portion of scripture to wipe out the teachings of another portion of scripture. Let's teach people to disobey the Master by teaching them not to present unbelievers with the command to repent. Let's fill the pews with "mental assenters".

34 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

I do this post with much regret. Imust stand for the truth no matter what the cost.

July 01, 2006 5:21 PM

 
Blogger jel said...

Mark, if you stand for the truth, why do you regret writting this post? isn't it the saying ( the truth will set you free,)


take care
friend

July 01, 2006 9:06 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I agree with you here brother. God said it...I believe what he said. No sense in arguing with his word.
God said it...That settles it.

Repent of your sin everybody who hasn't and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The old fashioned Gospel has not changed. Man may try to change it...but God's word is a rock that will not shift to our intellectual fancy.

July 01, 2006 9:50 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Janice: Thank you for the encouragement!

Brian: Right-on, brother!

Stay tuned for the coming fire-storm. Just a matter of time.

July 01, 2006 10:04 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Maybe it will be one of those silent seismic shifts.

July 01, 2006 10:23 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
Absolutely fantastic post. This is clear Scripture with no forcing through a theological template needed, unless of course you want it to mean something else. Paul also said in Acts 17:30 that God commands all people everywhere to repentance. 'Commands' sounds a lot different than 'you should' or 'if you like'.

The realization of a need for a savior is based on the conviction of sin which leads to repentance.

Jazzycat

July 01, 2006 11:14 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am interested by your position on baptism, Mark. Do you think baptism is essential to salvation?

I have never read a Gospel tract that mentions baptism. Do you advocate including baptism on Gospel tracts?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

July 02, 2006 9:20 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: Baptism is obedience to the Lord Jesus. I recall that situation in Acts 8:29-38. After expounding from Isaiah 53, Philip had led the Ethiopian Eunuch to Christ. Then we see in verse 36 that the eunich WANTED to be baptized. Baptism came out of nowhere here; Or, did it? Philip must have expounded on the eunich's need to obey, and to follow his new Lord into the waters of baptism. Though some bibles leave the next verse out, after having expressed a desire to be baptized Philip answered the eunich by saying,"If you believe with all your heart, you may". The eunich answered, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God". (again, where did that come from, it says that Philip expounded Is. 53, where did that fact of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of God come from?)

I believe that according to this account in Acts 8 that Philip had obeyed his Master in commanding the eunich to be baptized. So, in answer to your question, yes, I believe that gospel tracts should expound on and command that one coming to Christ to be baptized. To not do so is to water down the Great Commission's commands. If that one coming to Christ is not willing to follow the Lord into baptism, then legitimate questions can be asked about his having been regenerated. True regeneration ALWAYS results in a desire to become a disciple of Christ.

July 02, 2006 6:23 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
I am glad you are posting what you believe. Why do you keep saying that there is going to be a cost ... or that you are going to lose friends? We know a lot of what you believe from your comments around blogdom. It is only fitting that you would post and develop your thoughts on your own blog. If we were only frineds with those we agree with, how boring that would be! Now, relax and stop saying that you regret your posts and that you are going to cause unrest among friends. You may get into an argument or two, but that has nothing to do with losing friends as long as we all remain patient, kind and loving, which the Lord commands of brothers and sisters, right?

July 03, 2006 8:09 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

So, you would tell somebody who is not a Christian that to be saved that they must repent, believe, be baptized, obey the Lord's commandments and be willing to sacrifice their lives for His sake.

Would you make any reference to justification by faith alone in proclaiming the Gospel message?

July 03, 2006 8:49 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Unless, of course, you feel that maybe you are not being patient, kind and loving?

July 03, 2006 9:36 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

The EE gospel presentation does include repentance because without conviction of sin a person does not need a savior. After all didn't Jesus say in Mark 2:17 (I have not come to call the righteous but sinners). To deny repentance as the 'free grace' Grace Evangelical Society does is to deny the gospel. Jesus calls on the need for repentance in the following verses: Matthew 4:17, 21:32, Mark 1:5, Luke 3:3, 13:5, 15:7, 16:30.

The evangelism explosion gospel presentation can be found here for which they have a tract:

http://www.eeinternational.org/DYKFS/English/DYK_Eng_1.htm

Jazzycat

July 03, 2006 10:03 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: I believe that the great commission takes unbelievers straight to discipleship, as I see it presented in the combination of the gospels that I did in the post.

The message of justification by faith alone is the heart-beat of my message, as it was told me when I first came to Christ, as the reformers proclaimed it, as MacArthur and Piper and Spurgeon proclaim(ed) it...
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"

July 03, 2006 10:49 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose: I am only a very, very, small player in the lordship debate. However, I have noticed that the bigger players in this debate are throwing some very heavy bombs on eachother... questioning salvation, preaching false gospels, etc.

I do admit to having hostilities, and being defensive based on what I have seen written on UOG blog, Free Grace blog, Hungry 6 blog and others. In those blogs I see untrue statements of what LS/Calvinists believe. I have seen it constantly alleged that we believe in works salvation. Untrue. Even in my last post on this subject I was taken to task by someone who did not want to give up the notion that I was into works salvation. I believe those on the other side of this debate look at me and mine as the enemy; so naturally I prepare for battle when I do these posts.

The level of defensiveness that you see me display on other blogs is no different than what I see those on the other side of this debate.

Outside of your assurance that I won't lose true friends in these posts, what do I have to go on when it comes time to brace myself for the fire-storm?

July 03, 2006 11:26 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew:"Do you think baptism is essential to salvation?"

justification is by faith alone, in Christ alone.

July 03, 2006 11:55 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

You should read Bobby's post again.

July 03, 2006 2:22 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, if you think that repentance is essential to salvation, why not baptism, after all it is stressed and commanded in some of the same texts that you use to argue that repentance is essential to salvation?

With regard to justification, I am not quite sure how you would bring that into evangelism, after all, you are telling people to repent, be baptized, keep the Lord's commandments and be willing to sacrifice themselves in order to be saved.

I do not deny that you uphold justification by faith alone, however, I do not understand why you think it is not a secondary matter that is probably best kept secret from weaker believers. After all, you think I am abusing the doctrine. Perhaps an unbeliever who is told of justification by faith alone might fall into the same error that I teach.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

July 03, 2006 2:23 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Then again maybe not.

July 03, 2006 4:52 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Mark,

I just want you to know that I understand how you feel. Its not much fun being slapped with the old Traditionalist Sadly Confused label. I understand. I love you brother, even if I don't agree on all points.

Hey there should be a desire for the believer to be baptised, but it is not essential for salvation. We have had some in our church afraid of water and it took some time before they braved their fear and obeyed this command of God. God heals us first, gives us a gift and nurtures us into courage. For some it is instant, but for others it takes time.

Remember also that Peter said Baptism is a likefigure of a clean conscience toward God. Repentance and Baptism are essetially within the realm of a change of heart when one believes, but we all need to grow.

I love you brother and understand the taunting you feel.

July 03, 2006 5:00 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew:"Mark, if you think that repentance is essential to salvation, why not baptism, after all it is stressed and commanded in some of the same texts that you use to argue that repentance is essential to salvation?"
--------------------
My response:I am holding your position's feet to the fire. You wish to use the Gospel of John, specifically, the Woman at the well passage, as the model and final authority on evangelistic messages. I say in doing so you neglect Jesus' commands of how He wants the gospel to be proclaimed. Justification through Christ alone through faith alone is THE TRUTH. However, Jesus has given command how to get that message out-
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you... And He said to them, " Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned...Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations..." If your gospel presentation is not informed by the Great Commission, then you are in sin, the sin of disobedience to Christ, as you are not following His commands of how to get the Gospel out.
---------------

With regard to justification, I am not quite sure how you would bring that into evangelism,"
-------------------
I am used to extensive and prolonged exposure to those individuals that I evangelize. Therefore I take the time to explain the WHOLE council of God.
------------------

"after all, you are telling people to repent, be baptized, keep the Lord's commandments and be willing to sacrifice themselves"
------------------
Correct, because my gospel presentation is informed by the synoptics as well.
------------------

"in order to be saved."
-----------------
Wrong! I tell them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone for their salvation. - John 20:31. See, my presentation is informed by all 4 gospels. They all supplement eachother.
-------------------

"I do not deny that you uphold justification by faith alone,"
---------------------
Thank you!
--------------------

"however, I do not understand why you think it is not a secondary matter that is probably best kept secret from weaker believers. After all, you think I am abusing the doctrine. Perhaps an unbeliever who is told of justification by faith alone might fall into the same error that I teach."
-----------------
As I said above, I believe your error is not allowing your gospel presentation to be EQUALLY informed by the synoptics.

Every Blessing in Christ

Mark

July 03, 2006 9:19 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose: Why is it that when one of your friends goes off on calvinists that you are silent, and do not remind him of the need to communicate in love? You seem rather inconsistent here. I must tell it as I see it. This brand of hyper-dispensationalism is error and I would be remiss if I didn't point that out.

These are my views and I will stick with them.

Mark

July 03, 2006 9:28 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"I am used to extensive and prolonged exposure to those individuals that I evangelize. Therefore I take the time to explain the WHOLE council of God."

Right. So we are not just talking about somebody who has received a tract or heard open-air preaching.

If I had 'prolonged exposure' to an evangelized person, then I am sure I would mention discipleship, repentance and baptism at an appropriate time.

"teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you"

Does this not suggest that the Great Commission is not actually about telling a person how to receive eternal life, but about how to be a Christian?

Has a person failed to preach the Gospel if he does not explain every one of Christ's commandments to the hearer?

I think it is rather more likely that the person who is taught to obey all Jesus'c commandments is the person who has already believed. Wayne Grudem seems to think this when he uses that verse to argue for the necessity of teaching systematic theology. Obviosuly, one does not give unbelievers a thorough lesson in systematic theology.

"Wrong! I tell them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone for their salvation. - John 20:31. See, my presentation is informed by all 4 gospels. They all supplement eachother."

Right. So we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ, not by repenting and becoming a disciple.

So we need to tell people to receive eternal life through faith. Making them into disciples is something additional to that.

That is why John's Gospel does not mention repentance or baptism. Becuase it is aimed at unbelievers who need to receive eternal life. When they believe, they need to read the Synoptics to learn discipleship.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

July 04, 2006 4:06 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"I am used to extensive and prolonged exposure to those individuals that I evangelize. Therefore I take the time to explain the WHOLE council of God."

"Right. So we are not just talking about somebody who has received a tract or heard open-air preaching."
---------------
Again, you seem content and intent to ignor the Great Commission. I look at Acts 16:11-15 - the account of Lydia. After the Lord had opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul it says that she and her household were were baptized. Evidently, Paul taught discipleship in this encounter. And, curiously, she says after her baptism, "If you have judged me faithful to the Lord", in her entreaty for Paul and company to stay at her house. "If you have judged me faithful to the Lord", AFTER her baptism.

Then I look in the same chapter, 16:31-34 - The Philipian jailer.
Paul tells him to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved"; things of Johanine content. Then, in verse 32, it says that Paul "spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house". And, again, baptism followed in verse 16:33.
-------------------

"If I had 'prolonged exposure' to an evangelized person, then I am sure I would mention discipleship, repentance and baptism at an appropriate time."
--------------------
The Master indicates these things are to be taught at the outset, see comment above. In Acts 3:19 we see, "repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out...". In 1 Peter 2:25 we see, "For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" - REPENTANCE is indicated here.
------------------

"teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you"

Does this not suggest that the Great Commission is not actually about telling a person how to receive eternal life, but about how to be a Christian?"
---------------------
The Great Commission encompasses telling a person how to receive eternal life - and to start living it right then and there. There is nowhere in the Bible a place that we see a person having Christ for salvation apart from His Lordship. Nowhere. We must not divide Christ up. He is prophet, priest and King of a person's life. Our gospel presentation is to present Him that way. Hence, my appeal to the Great Commission.
----------------

"Has a person failed to preach the Gospel if he does not explain every one of Christ's commandments to the hearer?"
------------------
No. Our job is to point that person immediately to His Lordship, though, whether in so doing, we point them to a solid church which teaches a person that discipleship is enjoined to any claim of salvation. I see in Ephesians 4:11 and 4:12 that even the Evangelists are to play an active role in equiping the saints for the work of ministry, or discipleship, if you will. I see that they play a role in the edifying of the body and bringing the body along to a unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
-------------------

"I think it is rather more likely that the person who is taught to obey all Jesus'c commandments is the person who has already believed. Wayne Grudem seems to think this when he uses that verse to argue for the necessity of teaching systematic theology. Obviosuly, one does not give unbelievers a thorough lesson in systematic theology."
----------------
Granted. But, we should not shrink back from STARTING them down that road, immediately.
--------------------

"Wrong! I tell them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone for their salvation. - John 20:31. See, my presentation is informed by all 4 gospels. They all supplement eachother."

"Right. So we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ, not by repenting and becoming a disciple.

So we need to tell people to receive eternal life through faith. Making them into disciples is something additional to that."
-----------------
I do not see any such lines of demarcation in the Bible. As I see 1 Peter 1:2 we are saved to obey. According to Hebrews 8 and 10 we are brought into a superior covenant so that we can and will obey, the law having been written on our hearts, as opposed to the Old Covenant, where there were unbelievers and the law was outside and unable to aid in obedience. I get the gist, while reading through Hebrews, that New Covenant believers, in fact, the structure of the covenant itself, is a deliberate attempt by God to show His life changing powers over people who would otherwise break His laws by their very natures. His writng His laws on the heart and putting them in the mind ends up bringing about a whole new race, as it were, a race that knows God, and by virtue of His having put His laws in their hearts and minds, along with His placing His Spirit within, and moving us to walk in His ways (Ezk.36).
--------------

"That is why John's Gospel does not mention repentance or baptism. Becuase it is aimed at unbelievers who need to receive eternal life. When they believe, they need to read the Synoptics to learn discipleship."
--------------
Again, the messages of the FOUR gospels are to be intermingled. No where in the Bible are we taught otherwise.

Every Blessing in Christ

Mark

July 04, 2006 1:06 AM

July 04, 2006 9:22 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark, I hope "my friends" read Bobby's post too.

Anyone who is under "Reasonable Blogger" category in my sidebar is someone that I would feel comfortable in exhorting to be kind, reasonable, patient, loving and not sarcastic. I am sorry if you think I am being unfair in my couple of breif comments on this current thread of yours. The main reason I said them is because your tone sounds heavy and you seem burdened.

BTW, I have confronted "my friends" on several occasions both privately and publicly.

Anyway, chin up - remember that we can disagree agreeably and still be brothers without viewing debate as "battle" and those who disagree with us as "enemies."

July 04, 2006 9:34 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

I have a question for Matthew and a message for Rose.

Rose, thanks for stopping by my site and I have answered most of your questions and have asked again for an answer to a crucial question.

Matthew,
I would to like to ask the following hypothetical question:
Suppose Hitler had, at age around 18 or so, given a sincere heart felt (free grace qualified definition) profession of faith. Then the rest of his life turned out exactly like the historical record shows. Obviously, this would be rather a grand failure in becoming a disciple, however, would he be in heaven today?

Jazzycat

July 04, 2006 10:02 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Mark,

I see a similarity that you and I might possibily share. Something I had to overcome. Human advice and wisdom are of some value...yes. We should all seek to find advice, but at the end of the day it matters not what Jazzycat, Matthew, Rose or I think of you. You be the person God has made and for his purposes. Take a little advice if you want. You arent Bobby Grow either. God speaks to him and impresses his heart as well. You are a man of God Mark and God must have rule and supremecy in how you are governed.

You are a blessing to me brother, I appreciate you for the work God is doing in you. Humans don't understand what God does. 1 Samuel 17:28

God bless you in your endeavors to hold up his name in Spirit and in truth.

July 04, 2006 11:04 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose:I will acknowledge that you are in a unique position in my blogger life, and from that position you can and may exhort me. That will never change. You have both earned and commanded my respect and admiration. I have submitted to your exhortations in the past, and shall most probably do so many times again in the future. You are a wise sister and I can gain much insight from your wisdom. Please continue to feel free to exhort me. I do listen to you.

I am disturbed, however, by the things I have seen on Hungry 6, Free Grace Theology and UOG blogs. I believe them to be well-nigh heresy. See John's and Paul's way of confronting heresy in 1 John and Galatians, respectively. On this one time I shall stand alone, I do not retract my tone or what I have written. I am sorry if you lose respect for me over this one. Here I stand, I can do nothing else.

July 04, 2006 2:03 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian: Thank you so much for your visits. Please keep coming by.

Jazzycat: Bless you my brother!

July 04, 2006 2:06 PM

 
Blogger Leo said...

This reminds me of the debates that occured some years ago when MacArthur's Book,The Gospel According to Jesus came out.

It seems to me that if the Holy Spirit is drawing someone to Christ that there is some recognition that life change is going to need to occur and that Christ is going to have to be Lord of their lives. Those coming to Christ might not know the term repentance but the principle is active. My two cents anyway.

Blessings

July 05, 2006 7:45 AM

 
Blogger Joe said...

Too bad so many people "come to Christ" without repentence. They are in for a jolt.

July 05, 2006 8:17 AM

 
Blogger jel said...

Morning Mark,
hope you and your family had a safe weekend

July 05, 2006 9:09 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Leo: Your 2 cents was actually 2 gold coins.

Joe: I do believe that you are right.

Janice: May you and your's have a great day. Thanks for the visit.

July 05, 2006 11:17 AM

 
Blogger Leo said...

Thanks for the kind words.

It is interesting that gospel can be preached with exactness covering all essential points with the utmost sensitivity to culture et.al and the person may seem to confess Christ yet be false. Conversely a person might come to saving faith and be truly converted through a gospel preached that we might consider to be easy believism. We are, of course, compelled to minister the former but the Lord may still use the latter. We are left saying that salvation is of the Lord.

Blessings,

July 05, 2006 11:47 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Leo, I could not agree more. If we examine the gospel presentation that Spurgeon sat under, The one that "worked" on him, we would say it was an "easy believism" sort; yet he came to Christ in full surrender nonetheless.

Thanks for coming by.

July 06, 2006 8:20 AM

 

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