Tag: Faith (Page 1 of 4)

Pray: “Lord, increase my faith”

When was the last time you prayed that prayer?

I think there is, for many Christians, sometimes, a sense of aversion to praying like that given the great abuse of the subject of faith in ‘television evangelicalism’. People hear well-polished, self-help gurus posing as evangelical preachers saying things like, “Believe that God has abundance coming your way”, “believe God is going to get you that bigger house and that nicer car”, “believe that you will get that promotion”, and they think, “These ‘faith-guys’ are saying ‘believe this and that’ as a guise for inciting materialistic cravings in their hearers! They don’t preach through the books of Scripture. They don’t focus in on the glories and excellencies of the Savior. Rather, every week it’s the same thing: “God wants you to have more”, “Give Him permission to bless you by believing Him”, “Don’t settle for just enough when you can have an abundance”. Thus, the rampant abuse of the subject of faith has inadvertently lead many to forget how important of a subject it is beyond its quintessential role in salvation.

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Does Acts 2:38 Teach Salvation by Baptism?

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

First, let’s notice what the people had asked Peter that provoked his response in verse thirty-eight: “What must we do?” (vs.37b). Their question appears akin to the Philippian jailer’s question in chapter sixteen, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30b). To which Paul responded by saying, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (vs.31). For starters, we shouldn’t think that Luke was unaware of this contrast when he comprised this volume. Although the language Peter used in Acts 2:38 is different than that of Paul in Acts 16:31, I would argue that both are saying the same thing using different language in different contexts.

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Does Colossians 2:12 Teach Salvation By Baptism?

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Col 2:11-12)

The idea of what’s spoken of in this passage appears to clearly be of a spiritual nature, similar to Romans 6:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, and 1 Peter 3:21. We can see that in the immediate context of the passage. The believers were circumcised with the circumcision “made without hands.” It was this spiritual circumcision (cf. Rom 2:28-29), “the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh”, that Paul called “the circumcision of Christ.” Now, if the circumcision that saved believers and put off their sins was done “without hands” shouldn’t we conclude that the baptism that Paul was speaking of was “without hands” as well? It would be strange for Paul to stress that one physical ritual wasn’t what put off the sins of the flesh but that it was a physical ritual of water baptism that united a person truly with Christ in His resurrection.

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Does Galatians 3:27 Teach Salvation By Water Baptism?

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

As you might have already gathered by the question presented in the title there are many who use Galatians 3:27 as a proof text to support their belief that water baptism is a necessary instrument of the salvation process, without which a person cannot be saved. While we want to hold up the importance of baptism as an ordinance instituted by the Lord Himself, we do not want to confuse its importance with saving faith. Not just because “we don’t want to” or because it doesn’t fit with a certain system of theology but because the Scripture does not teach such a doctrine. Galatians 3:27 is a great example of how people can do great injustice to the meaning of a text by avoiding a number of incredibly important hermeneutical principles.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Was Abraham Justified by Faith or by Works? (Rom. 4:2; Jas. 2:21)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Rom. 4:2-3)

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Jas 2:21)

If someone isolates these verses outside of their context they could understandably say, ‘It looks like the Bible is saying in one place that Abraham was not justified by works and in another place that Abraham was justified by works.’ As is the case with many of these alleged discrepancies the issue concerns isolating Bible verses and setting them against each other as opposed to realizing that sentences fit within paragraphs, paragraphs fit within chapters, chapters fit within books, and when contexts are examined verses like the ones above are seen to be complementary not contradictory.

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