Romans 5:12: What a great verse to hold in your heart! What does Paul mean by “one man sin entered into the world?” This is a reference to Adam’s sin in Genesis 3:6-7. Adam’s sin in Genesis 3 provides the foundation for the reason we live in a sin cursed world and need a redeemer in a first place. Dear Christian, do not throw this away! In the spirit of “modernity,” many have found it necessary to avoid drawing on and trusting the supernatural, particularly creation. Some will say, “It doesn’t matter what I believe about creation, if I have Jesus, that’s all that matters.” God forbid. It does matter. Your view of creation is a reflection of, or rather a manifestation of, your view of scripture itself. And the same author who said “In the beginning,” (Gen 1:1, John 1:!) also said “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). That author is the Holy Spirit; and His authority is absolute and trustworthy. If you don’t believe Genesis 1-3, tell me, at what point do you start believing?
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for this is none under name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
Satan has created counterfeit religious systems; these systems teach partial truths, such as the truth that there is such a thing as sin. Satan is entirely satisfied if you believe you are a sinner, as long as you don’t obey Christ. So false systems have been created which allow men and women to believe they are a sinner, but to deny the truth spoken in Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in ANY OTHER (emphasis my own). The apostles not only proclaimed that salvation is available in the Christ, but affirmed Jesus’s own declaration that there is NO salvation in any other. Jesus isn’t an “option.” He is not one of many possible paths to God. He is the only path, and the only path to salvation. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Catholicism – these are all religions that deny Christ as the only savior, the only provision for salvation. Christ isn’t one of a number of God’s to put on your shelf, He’s God almighty, solitarily! He’s doesn’t open the door for you to work your way to God, or prove your righteousness to Him; He is the only provision and all the provision!
There are (at least) 2 definitions for fear that we must understand. The first definition, the one used in the verses above that describe a proper fear of God, implies reverence. The word used in 2 Tim 1:7 is a different word. This word has more to do with the cowardice and timidity that people often have out of a desire for SELF-preservation. Let me be clear. God DID GIVE us the SPIRIT OF FEAR and AWE and REVERENCE OF HIM. If you have this, it is from HIM. What God has not given us is the spirit of cowardice that Paul was warning Timothy of in 2 Timothy. If you read the 2 letters to Timothy, you will see that Timothy struggled with the fear of men. He feared persecution for the gospel; I also infer that he was even afraid of some of his own church members’ opinion of him and “his youth.” (1 Tim 4:12)
What a tough verse to ponder! It sounds simple, but if you’ll bear with me, you’ll see that there must be more to this verse than what appears plain from a simple reading. Out of context, and all by itself, this verse seems to be a command not to judge…but in context, and using legitimate rules of interpretation and sound logic, I’ll show that this verse commands something different, and nearly opposite of that! When I’m finished, we will understand why false converts, false teachers and nonbelievers everywhere are shouting this verse from the rooftops, and you’ll be ready to defend your faith when you are accused of not being Christlike, because you are “judging.”
What a simple verse, truly! But as always, God’s text is packed with meaning, and in this case, utterly under attack for centuries now. Sadly, it is professing Christians who have likely done the most damage with attempts to put meaning here that is not inherent in the text. Notice I did not call those attempts “well-intentioned,” as a truly well-intentioned attempt at interpreting the Bible will start with a biblical worldview and a belief that scripture is the ultimate authority.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Can a Christian smoke? Should a Christian drink “socially?” What’s ok before marriage? These are common questions, and they are good questions, for immature believers to ask, that is. How do they relate to the 1 Corinthians 10:31? I’ll try to show how.
This is the second part of the teaching on God’s grace. Here we learn that God’s Grace is Unconditional, Irresistible, Eternal and Persevering.