Saturday, December 29, 2012


I have been teaching on the characters from the Old Testament in my Wend. morn. class at church. The first character was God Himself, my notes coming from a sermon I once preached when I was a pastor in North Carolina. Here are the notes (They are out of order, but that is how they came out when I cut and pasted. One may not know what I am refering to, but I do):

Genesis 1-3:Knowing God, and

Knowing He is Good. 08/29/04

Know people by their fruit-a

godly/secular principle

Founding Fathers

Florence Nightingale, Wilberforce
Creation declares God good-

seasons-Watchman Nee/Old Man

Adam/Eve had the evidence

through surroundings/relationship

with God. Read Gen. 1-2.

Gen. 3-serpent more cunning-

make Eve doubt, slander God.

Strat-Is it sin? Deny danger,assert

possitive effects. Goal-give us

false image of God. This is sin-

deliberate disobedience to further

self-act of non-love.

Tozer-“The Church has

surrendered her once lofty concept

of God and has substituted for

it one so low, so ignoble, as to

be utterly unworthy of thinking,

worshipping men.”

Tozer-“Modern Christianity is

simply not producing the kind of

Christian who can appreciate or

experience the life in the Spirit.

The words “Be Still and Know

That I Am God” mean next to

nothing to the self confident,

bustling 20th century mind.”

Rom.1:18-20-For the wrath of God

is revealed from heaven against all

ungodliness and unrighteousness

of men, who suppress the truth

in unrighteousness, because what

may be known of God is manifest

in them, for God has shown it to

them. For since the creation of

the world His invisible attributes

are clearly seen, being understood

by the things that are made, even

His eternal power and Godhead, so

that they are without excuse.

1:4,10,12,18,21,25-”It was good.”

1:31-“Indeed it was very good.”

2:15-Adam in


animals, given helper. V17-only

one law.

“Has God indeed said?”

ICor 13-tells us to think no evil

of each other-but Satan gets us

to think the worst-before we sin

against others, we have low view

of them.

Little by little-20th century.

Lost sense of awe-why we don’t

do our best for God, know His

presence or His goodness.

How do we know God’s

goodness? Luke 11: 9-13- Ask,

seek, knock.

Here are the rest of my notes from the classes taught thus far. The may seem skimpy, but there is a good deal of discussion on Wend. morning:


Name Adam- of the ground.

Gen. 1:26- Image Bearer, Dominion, “us”, the Trinity.

Adam was to carry on the activity of God in the cultivation and guarding of the garden in a world already made perfect. God made earth for Man and Man for the earth. God is seen as benevolent and caring. Man was to multiply so to bear God’s image over all the earth. The builders of the Tower of Babel wanted to stay in one place and make a monument to them selves.

Gen. 2:7- Breath of life, Man was shaped by God.

Gen. 2: 15-20- One law. Companion Gen. 5:2 (Mt. 19:4)

Gen. 3- He ate. 1Tim 2:14, Adam not deceived. Rom. 5:13-14, Sin, death through Adam, we are not all guilty of Adam’s specific sin. We are born with the propensity to sin. 1Cor. 15:22, in Adam, all die while in Christ all are made alive. Rom 5: 15-21, through the offense, death reigned but the gift is life through Jesus Christ. When Adam sinned, he hid from God, blamed the woman, accused God. Man lost fellowship with God and with each other. God made skins for them; something had to die for sins.

Gen. 3:15- Promise of salvation.

Gen. 3:20- faith of Adam, called Eve the mother of all living.

Gen. 4, 5- Family of Cain/Seth. Call on the name of the Lord. Adam lives till Methuselah’s time. Told generations of his experiences.

Gen. 3: 17-19, Gen. 8:21.


Called woman, “taken out of man,” Hebrew, “Isha taken out of Ish”; rib or side.

Called Adam Gen5:2- Mankind, See Gen. 3:22-24.

Called Eve- Gen. 3:20, “the mother of all living, life giving, the mother of all who have life.”

Gen. 3: 1-7, How Satan tempts Eve.

Gen. 3:16, Judgment on Eve.

Eve names her children, Gen. 4:1, 25.

Mark 10:6- Jesus states Man was created male, female in the very beginning.

Are women to be subordinate?

“…neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so, man also comes through woman, but all things are from God.” 1Cor. 3:11-12. See also Gal. 3:28, Eph. 5:21.

Cain, Abel, Seth:

Gen. 4: 1-2—Cain- acquisition or possession. Abel- breath or vapor.

Gen 4:25—Seth- substitute

“In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from the first born of his flock.” Gen. 4: 3-4 NIV

Abel, a true sacrifice by faith- “By faith Abel offered to God a most excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.” Heb. 11:4.

Gen 4: 6-8:

The Lord told Cain why he would not accept his offering.

No good reason for Cain’s anger.

There was a path to acceptance.

Cain must master sin.

Gen. 4:9- Parents had hid from God, but Cain disrespected God, had no remorse for his brother, lied to God? What are the two greatest commandments? Love God and neighbor. Cain violated both.

God knew what Cain had done, but he was testing whether Cain was repentant.

Gen. 4: 10-15- punishment- Cain’s reaction- no remorse for deed, but sorrow for being caught. Worldly sorrow. God is merciful to him.

Gen. 4: 16-24- increase in sin through Cain’s generations:

Out of God’s presence

Named city after son, self promotion.

20-22- beginning of commerce, culture, crafts, without reference to God.

23-24- sinful boast. Cain’s nature passed on.

What about Cain? Why did he kill his brother? 1Jn. 3:11-15- no love for his brother. The model for false teachers- Jude 11.

Abel was 1st righteous man, first to be murdered. Why was he murdered? He was righteous. Why do the righteous suffer? Because they are righteous.

Abel’s blood speaks of justice, vengeance, Jesus’ blood, of forgiveness.

Gen. 4: 25-26- Seth as substitute, Man began calling on the name of the Lord. Adam and Eve had learned their lesson.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Teaching on the Characters From the Old Testament, Preaching Repentance

This past Wendnesday morning I began teaching on the characters from the Old Testament. This first lesson focused on God Himself; what we can learn about Him from creation in Genesis 1 and 2. I have my lesson on Adam prepared. Today or tomorrow I'll work on the lesson about Eve. I hope to be 7 lessons ahead by the end of next week.

A few weeks ago I preached at my church on repentance with a special emphasis on how we include the message of repentance in our witnessing. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Teaching and Preaching

I teach a class at my local church on Wednesday mornings. We have just finished going through Mark's gospel. We began in either October or November of 2011. For the last three weeks we have studied the Kingdom of God. The first lesson had us going throughout the entire New Testament. The 2nd and 3rd weeks we have been going through Mt. 13.

The week I was ordained I preached a message on the Ten Commandments.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Last Friday evening I was ordained in an Evangelical Christian association of  churches which is Wesleyan in theology. The process has taken six years within this association, but the process really began in 1998 when I first began to discern God's call for me to enter the ministry. Throughout this time I attended and graduated from Wesley Biblical Seminary, pastored in North Carolina, engaged in prison ministry, and sat on the board of a Crises Pregancy Center. Currently, I teach a class at the church I now attend. I would like to name the association I was ordained in, but because there has been one attempt to trace my whereabouts because of something I wrote, I make it a policy not to reveal that kind of information on this blog. This blog will continue to update readers as to my ministry activities.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Against An Inclusivist View Of Salvation

From Four Views of Salvation in a Pluralistic World, edited by Dennis L. Okholm and Timothy R. Phillips:

From Chapter 4: A Particularist View: An Evidentialist Approach by R. Douglas Geivett and W. Gary Phillips. This is a refutation of Universalism (all religions lead to God) and Inclusivism (One can only come to God through Christ, but other religions can be salvific in that they lead to Christ).

Acts 4:12- “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Peter heals a lame man in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:6). He explains that faith in the name of Jesus made the man whole (Acts 3:16). Under arrest, Peter repeats this (Acts 4:10). In Acts 4:12, Peter extends and reinforces his point.

Both clauses of Acts 4:12 make a case for particularism. In the 1st clause, Peter excludes the possibility of salvation in any other than Jesus. The 2nd clause is stronger and more precise. The word “for” indicates that the 2nd clause is added to in order to explain Peter’s initial claim. The four terms of the 2nd clause reveal Peter was a particularist.

Term 1. “Under heaven”-shows just how extensive is the exclusion of any other name but Jesus Christ concerning salvation.

Term 2. “Given among men”- The universality of the requirement that salvation is found only in the name of Jesus.

Term 3. “must”- dei, or edei, in Greek. In Luke-Acts, all uses of dei or edei are related directly or indirectly to Jesus as the one who fulfills the Father’s salvation plan.[ This is true even in childhood (Lk. 2: 49). It determines his activity (Lk. 4:43, 13:33, 19:5). It leads to Jesus’ suffering, death, and glorification (Lk. 9:22, 17:25, 24:7, 26, Acts 1:16, 3:21, 17:3). Has as its basis in the will of God concerning him which is written in scripture and which Jesus follows unconditionally (Lk. 22:37, 24:44). This will of God applies to the entire Christian community, even down to every detail of individual Christians’ lives (Lk. 12:12, Acts 9:6, 16, 14:22, 19:21, 23:11, 27:24). This revelation of God’s will demands a response of faith in those who are lost (Acts 4:12, 16:30. In response to the jailor’s question, Paul’s reply in 16:30 has the force of saying “you must believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved.) See also Jn. 3:7. This info is from a footnote citing Walter Grundemann in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.]

Term 4: “name”- refers to the authoritative fullness of the being and work of Jesus. Includes specific knowledge of Jesus as savior- Acts 8:12, 35, Acts 9:15 (cf. 9:27), Rom 15:20, 3Jn. 7. Persecutors of the Church associated the name of Jesus with the message of salvation- Acts 4: 17-30, 5:28-33, 40, 26:9. The name of Jesus was the dividing point between believers and their persecutors. There was such a close association between the content of the Gospel and the name of Jesus that the words “Jesus” and “name” are used interchangeably- Acts 5:41, 9:34, 3Jn. 7. The subjection of demons is apparently made in direct reference to the name of Jesus- Acts 19: 13-15, cf. Mt. 7:22.

In conclusion, see Phil. 2:10.

John 3: 16, 18- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

God’s universal salvific will is executed through a particular divine arrangement, belief in the name of the Son. There must be something that is an object of saving faith. These verses stress belief. Belief has as its object is this passage which is Jesus.

Rom. 10: 9-15- “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call upon Him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Paul was compelled by God to preach the Gospel (1Cor. 9:16), especially to those who had never heard it (Rom 15: 20-21). He opens Romans with the declaration that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which saves all who believe (Rom. 1: 16-17). All men and women are sinners deserving God’s wrath (Rom 1: 18-20, 2:1, 3:9-24, 5:12-21); individual faith in Jesus Christ removes one’s guilt and satisfies God’s wrath (Rom. 3: 21-31, 5: 1-11, 6:23). It is difficult to account for the evangelistic mandate and the sufferings God’s witnesses are called to endure if the unevangelized need not have to hear the Gospel to be saved. To be saved, specific truths must be believed and a specific confession must be made (Rom 10: 9-10). Hearing the Gospel is a natural prerequisite to salvation for both Jews and Gentiles (Rom 10: 14). As there are many who cannot call upon the name of the Lord (Rom.10: 13) Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9), an evangelist must be sent. Only then can the unevangelized hear and believe and be saved (Rom. 10: 13-15).

John 14:6 and 17:20- “Jesus said unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.”

This is Jesus’ upper room discourse which is the centerpiece of John’s Gospel. In it He promises to give the disciples the Holy Spirit and reminds them of essential teachings with the phrase “these things I have spoken unto you.” (See Jn. 14:25, 15:11, 16:1, 4,6, 25,33. Geivett/Phillips write in a footnote, “The use of the perfect tense stresses the abiding nature of the words Jesus has spoken, which later the Holy Spirit will help the disciples to recall.”) Jesus does not just have knowledge of the way, truth, and life; He is the way, truth, and life. No one (oudeis) comes to the Father but by this way. Therefore, whoever wants to come to the father must come by this unique way, by Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way to God because He is the truth of God (Jn. 1:14) and the life of God (Jn. 1:4, 3:15, 5:26, 11:25). The use of the definite article before “way”, “truth”, and “life” expose all other alternatives as false ones. Belonging to “the Way” was a mark of distinction between believers and unbelievers in the early Church (Acts 9:2, 19:9, 23, 24:14, 22). Jesus prays for believers and their witness to the world. He specifically states that He does not pray for those who do not believe (Jn. 17:9). He does pray for those who will believe in Him through the message of the Gospel (Jn. 17:20). This shows a link between those who will be save in the future with the proclamation of the Gospel message.

Other verses that indicate that particularism is more naturally evident in the Bible than inclusivism: Jn. 1:12, 14, 18, 5:23, 1Jn. 2:23, 5:11-12.

In both Testaments, other religions are viewed as non-redemptive at best and at worst as the domain of darkness: e.g., Ex 20:3-6, 2Chron. 13:9, Is. 37:18-19, Jer. 2:11, 5:7, 16:20, Acts 26: 17-18, Col. 1:13. God’s wrath abides on those Gentiles who are not rightly related to Jesus Christ: 1Thess. 2:16. Those who repented of idol worship turned to God: 1Thess. 1:9. Other religions are religions are devoid of salvific truth and reality: Acts 19:26, 1Cor. 1:21, 8:4-6, 10:19-20, Gal. 4:8, 2Thess. 1:8, cf. 1Thess 2:13.

There is in scripture a motif of “fewness” in those saved and “wideness” in those who face judgment. Only 8 survived the flood in Genesis. Peter saw the flood as a pattern for eschatological judgment: 1Pet. 3:20-21, 2Pet. 3:6-7. See also Heb. 11:7. See the scriptures concerning Babel, Sodom, Pharaoh’s Egypt, the Canaanites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, etc.

There are those in scripture who had received special revelation, yet were required to receive more redemptive truth before they could be saved: Jn. 4: 9, 24, Acts 2:5, 38, Rom. 10:1-3, Acts 9:2, cf. 10:33, 43. See also Acts 19: 4-5.

Inclusivists base their hope that people can be saved apart from knowledge of Jesus Christ on God’s universal salvific will. See 2Pet. 3:9, 1Tim. 2:4.

2Pet. 3:9- 2Pet. 3:1-2 anchors the discussion of salvation in 3:9 solidly within special revelation. 3:6 offers a picture of fewness, not wideness, in salvation. One should consult Acts 2:38 for Peter’s own account of the connection between repentance and belief in the name of Jesus.

1Tim. 2:4- The target of God’s desire is described with two infinitives: for all to be saved and for all to come to the knowledge of the truth. This implies that God’s universal salvific will is that all come to salvation through Jesus Christ, not apart from Him, v. 5. Verses 5-6 tell us that there is only one mediator “who gave himself a ransom for all.” Geivett/Phillips write, “Finally, assuming that God’s will is coextensive with his salvific plan, inclusivists would, it seems, be compelled to argue that 1Timothy 2:4 teaches universal salvation (that is, universalism) and not merely access to salvation. As has been observed, inclusivists confuse God’s wider heart with wider hope.”

Inclusivists, in explaining how access to universal access to salvation is accomplished, point to what they see as a “faith principle” in Heb. 11:6. They claim that saving faith has a theocentric focus rather than a Christocentric object. They see this principle operating in the Old Testament in the lives of those redeemed without special revelation, such as Jethro, Job, and Melchizedek. This line of reasoning faces difficulties. Those saved prior to the Incarnation were recipients of special revelation which they responded to in faith: Enoch (Gen. 5:22), Job (Job 39-42), Noah (2Pet. 2:5), Melchizedek, Jethro (Ex. 18:11), Naaman (2Kings 5:15), the Queen of Sheeba (2Chron. 9:8), Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4: 34-37, the inhabitants of Nineveh (Jonah 3:5). They were not among the untold. Even if there was such a “faith principle” in Heb. 11:6, one must still insist upon belief in a personal God. This would bar sincere Hindus and Buddhists from salvation, as well as the ethical agnostic and atheist. Finally, Heb. 1:1-2 states that at a particular moment in history, the focus of special revelation has narrowed to God’s incarnate Son.

The Inclusivist “Faith Principle”- Inclusivists appeal to Heb. 11:6, saying that saving faith has a theocentric focus rather than a Christocentric object. Principle operates in Old Testament on those redeemed apart from special revelation: Melchizedek, Job, Jethro, others.
Difficulties: Those saved prior to the Incarnation always were saved through special revelation to which they responded to in faith-Enoch (Gen 5:5), Job (Job 39-42), Noah “a preacher of righteousness” (2Pet. 2:5), Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness, Jethro (Ex. 18:11), Naaman (2Kings 5:15), the Queen of Sheeba (2Chron. 9:8), Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4: 34-37), inhabitants of Nineveh (Jonah 3:5). They were not among the untold; inclusivists who advance this principle have weighty burden of proof. Also, Heb. 1:1-2 states that the focus of special revelation has narrowed to the incarnate Son. This chronology cannot be dismissed; salvation is now only available through explicit faith in Christ.

The Inclusivist “Logos Doctrine”- States that the second person of the Trinity is the unique Logos which is not confined to one segment of human history or world geography. Logos gives light to every man (Jn. 1:9) so that anyone can be saved by the universal Logos apart from specific knowledge of the incarnate Logos.
Difficulties: Verb for light in Jn. 1:9 cannot refer to causing salvation because that would imply universalism since the light goes out into all the world. John had the incarnation in mind (according to D.A. Carson). The light is the divine invasion which divides the human race, forcing distinctions (Jn 3:19-21, 8:12, 9:39-41) as it shines on every person, regardless of whether they receive it or not (Jn. 1:13-14). It is through the incarnation that the light comes into the world. The Logos became incarnate, there is no salvation through a non-incarnate, universal Logos. The Logos is not theocentric, but Christocentric.

Alleged “Wideness Texts”- Inclusivists believe these texts reveal God’s benign, or even, optimistic attitude toward other religions, ex. Acts 10: 35.
Difficulties: Acts 10: 34-35 emphasizes God’s impartiality in His provision of salvation; anyone, regardless of nationality, can be saved if they believe. Acts 10: 43 puts salvation in this context, everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

The Inclusivist “Cornelius Paradigm”- Inclusivists state that Cornelius should serve as a paradigm of God’s redemptive pattern among the unevangelized; they believe that as Cornelius was saved before Peter arrive, that his heart was moving in the right spiritual direction apart from further revelation.
Difficulties: The point of the episode was to show the disciples the far reaching ongoing mission of God’s mandate (Acts 1:8), that salvation was also for the Gentiles. Cornelius’ salvation was still regarded as in the future (Acts 11:14). This future salvation was tied to special revelation (Acts 10: 1-6, 22, 33, 11:14). The result of Cornelius’ obedience resulted not more information only, but also redemption (Acts 11:15). The focus of Cornelius’s faith was solely Christological (Acts 10:43, 48, 11:17). Cornelius is an example of a God-fearing sinner who responded to special revelation concerning Jesus Christ so that he could be saved.

Four Views of Salvation in a Pluralistic World was originally published by Zonderavan.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Gift Of Exhortation

From The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide to the Pastor by R. Alan Streett.  This will be the final post concerning this book.

Gift of exhortation, Rom. 12:8.

The word “exhort” comes from the Greek word “parakaleo” (para-to the side, kaleo-to call, used in Greek to mean to call to one’s side, call for, summon). Used 108 times in the New Testament, variously rendered “besought,” “exhort,” “entreat,” “called.” A call by the preacher to stand by his side as an indication of repentance and faith in Christ.

5 times parakaleo is used in the New Testament in relation to evangelistic preaching:

Acts 2: 38-41, 11:23, 2Cor. 5:20, 2Cor. 6: 1-2, 2Tim 4: 2,5.

In 61 out of 108 occurrences of parakaleo, it means “to beg or plead” or “to express an urgent request.”

Paul tells Timothy that his exhortations will be accompanied by long suffering or patience 2Tim. 4:2.

See also Titus 1: 7-9.
Key passage explaining the operation of the gift of exhortation: 1Cor. 12: 4-6. There are a variety of gifts (1Cor. 12:4) and of course, exhortation is one of them (Rom. 12:8). These gifts can be administered in a variety of ways (1Cor. 12:5). For example, one can use the gift in evangelism (Acts 2:40), or one could exercise it to minister to the saints (Acts 14:22). There are diversities of operation for each gift (1Cor. 12:6). Greek word for “operations”- energema (energized or empowered) from which the word “energy” is derived. God energizes all the gifts, He provides the power and the level at which it operates. According to A.T. Robertson, each gift produces a different result according to the power supplied to it by God.

Paul describes the operation of the gift of exhortation in 2Cor. 5:20: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (parakaleo, exhort) you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” A prime characteristic of the gift of exhortation: God uses the evangelist’s mouth to urge his hearers to be saved.

Evangelion In Scripture

Evangelion (translated Gospel, noun, synonym for Kerygma) means good news. Used 77 times in the English New Testament. In context of Christian faith, means glad tidings of salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul equates two terms in Rom. 16:25, “Now to him who is of power to establish you through my Gospel (evangelion), and the preaching (kerygma) of Jesus Christ…” Evangelion speaks of the content of the Gospel message proclaimed.

An analysis of the 7 scriptural titles directly associated with evangelion, each which illuminates the Gospel message (From James S. Stewart)

1. The Gospel of God, Rom. 1:1. The Gospel’s origin is in God.

2. The Gospel of Christ, Rom. 1:16, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2Th. 1:8, the Gospel of His Son, Rom. 1:9. The Gospel is about Christ, but what about Him? Two-fold message, His person (His historical reality and His present ministry in heaven, and His atoning death on the cross, His burial, His resurrection). Neither part of the two-fold message can be separated. Paul stated that he was sent to preach the gospel, which he demonstrated both elements of the two-fold message (1Cor. 1:17-18). See also 1Cor. 15: 1,3,4, Rom 4:25, Acts 2: 36-37, 2Cor. 4:5

3. The glorious Gospel of Christ, 2Cor. 4: 3-4. Emphasis on the gospel’s intrinsic worth and majesty.

4. The Gospel of the grace of God, Acts 20: 24. The good news about God’s grace. Presupposes sin nature inherited from Adam and that all men and women deserve eternal punishment. On the basis of Christ’s atoning death, God offers forgiveness of sins. No one can earn this forgiveness; it is a free gift (Rom. 3:24).

5. The Gospel of Peace, Eph. 6:15. Peace is the fruit of the Gospel, see Rom. 5:1, Rom. 4: 24-25, Col. 1:20, Eph. 2: 13-14, Is. 53:5. The Cross produces peace in believers.

6. The Gospel of your salvation, Eph. 1:13. The individual appropriation of the gospel. The atoning sacrifice of Christ does not automatically save everyone; it establishes a basis upon which God can show mercy to all who believe, 2Cor. 5: 21, 1Pet 3:18.

7. My Gospel, Rom. 2:16.

Evangelizo (to bring good news, to announce glad tidings). Used 55 times in the New Testament. In LXX, used to describe a runner coming with the news of victory, it occurs twice in the Psalms proclaiming God’s faithfulness and salvation. Signifies the act of preaching the good news that the battle for souls was won by Christ’s atoning death, Jn. 12: 31-33, Col. 2: 13-15, Heb. 2: 14-15, 1Jn. 3:8). Evangelizo and Kerysso similar in meaning, but differ concerning the direction of action. The first emphasizes the act of bringing the message to others, the second speaks of being sent by a king with a message.

Evangelistes (bringer of good tidings, means basically the same thing as keryx). Used 3 times in the New Testament, appears in most English translations as “evangelist.” An evangelist is one specifically gifted to gather souls into Christ’s Church and who trains others to evangelize (Eph. 4: 8-12). This gift originates with Christ. The title is mentioned in connection to Philip (Acts 21:8), and Timothy (2Tim. 4:5). Philip went out from a local Church assembly to evangelize, Timothy was commanded by Paul to do the work of an evangelist within a local church body. Each local assembly contains lost souls (1Cor. 14:23).

From The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide to the Pastor by R. Alan Streett.

Exhortation To Sinners: God And Man Working Together

In inviting those in Corinth to be reconciled to God, Paul was making use of the gift of exhortation: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore (parakaleo- para, to the side, kaleo, to call, to call to one’s side, to summon) you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2Cor. 5: 20.

Paul did the calling, but it was as if God gave the invitation: “We then, as workers together with Him also plead (parakaleo) with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2Cor. 6: 1-2.

Rev. 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” The invitation is issued by both the Spirit and the bride, God and man working together to bring the lost into the Kingdom of God. As man exhorts sinners to come to Christ, the Holy Spirit draws them to Christ. It is the evangelistic preacher’s duty to gather souls for Christ. As the seed (the Word) is sown publicly, it must be reaped publicly. The sow only is to leave the job undone. A public invitation is an integral part of evangelism. Failure to harvest souls for God is not with the Lord of the Harvest, but with those who are supposed to be laborers in God’s field.
From The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide for the Pastor by R. Alan Streett.

Biblical Quotations from the NKJV

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What Have I Been Doing

I still teach a class at Church on Wednesday mornings. We have been going through Mark's Gospel; we have just finished chapter 11. In March I preached a sermon on John 12. I have begun reading books on practical ministry for ordination. I will finish The Purpose Driven Church today or tomorrow.

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Testament References To Old Testament Examples Of God's Wrath

From The Goodness of God by John W. Wenham:

The wrath of God, temporal and eternal- Mt. 25: 41-46, Acts 5: 1-11, 13:11, 12: 21-23, Mt:23: 34-37, 24: 15-21, Mk.13: 14-20, Lk. 21: 20-24.

Mt. 3: 7-12, cf. Lk. 3: 7-17, Jn. 3:36, cf. 1Jn. 5:12, 16, Acts 24:25, Rom. 1:18-2:16, Eph. 5:6, 1Thess. 4:6, Heb. 10: 26-31, 12: 18-29, James 2: 13, 1Pet. 4:17, 2Pet. 2:1-3, 7, Jude 7, 14, 15, Rev. 14: 10-20, 19:15, 20:14.

Heb: 11:31 f., James 2: 25, Heb. 11:17, James 2:21, 1Cor. 10:22, Rom. 12:19, Heb. 10:30, 1Thess. 4:6, Heb. 10:29, 2Thess 2:11 f. 1Cor 13, Rom 12: 9-21, Gal. 1:9, 1Cor. 16:22.

Rev. 18:6- 19:3.

Rom. 9:13, 17 f., Mal. 1:2 f, Heb. 12: 17, Jn. 12: 39 f. (Is. 6:10, 29:10, alluded to in Rom. 11:8.)

New Testament references to Old Testament rebellions: Mt. 24:37, Lk. 17:26, 29, Heb. 11:7, 1Pet. 3:20, 2Pet. 2:5, Mt. 10:15, 11: 23,24, Lk. 10:12, 17: 28-32, cf. Rom. 9:29, 2Pet. 2:6, 7, Jude 7, Rev. 11:18, Jn. 3:14, 1Cor. 10:5, Jude 5, 11.

Jesus speaks on:

Judgment- Mt 10:15, cf. 11: 21-24, Lk. 10: 12-15, Mt. 12:36,41, 42, cf. Lk. 11:31, 32, Jn. 5: 26-29, 12:48.

Perdition, destruction, losing one’s soul- Mt. 16:26, Mk. 8: 36, 37, Lk. 9:25, Mt. 22:2, 7, Lk. 13: 3,5, Jn. 12:25, 17:12.

Sins not forgiven- Mt. 6:15, 12: 31, cf. Mk. 3:29, Lk. 12:10, Jn. 8:24, Mt. 7:23.
Hell- Mt. 5:29, 30, 10: 28, cf. Lk. 12:5, Mt. 23: 33-36, Lk. 11:50, 51.

Fire- Mt. 5:22, Jn. 15:6.

Eternal Fire, Eternal Punishment- Mt. 18: 6-8, cf. Lk. 17:1, 2, Mk. 9: 42-48, Mt. 25: 41-46, Lk. 16: 19-31, Mk. 9:43, 48, Mt. 8:12, 25:41, Rev. 14:11, 20:10.

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth- Mt. 13: 30-42, 49, 50, 24:50, 51, cf. Mt. 25: 26-30, Lk. 13: 24-28.

Outer Darkness- Mt. 8:12, 22: 13.

Torment- Lk. 16: 22-28, Mt. 18:34, 35, (“jailers”: Greek “torturers”).

Warriors played their part in preparing the world for the Gospel: Heb. 11: 32-38.

Jesus used the destruction of animals and plant life to illustrate his message and demonstrate his power: Mt. 8: 28-34, 21: 18-22, Mk. 5: 1-20, 11: 12-24, Lk. 8: 26-39.

New Testament References to the destruction of the Canaanites as a work of God: Acts 7:45, 13:17 ff., Heb. 11:31, 12:29.

New Testament References to the death of Egypt’s first born and the drowning of the Egyptian army as works of God done on behalf of people of faith: Heb. 28,29.

God hardens the hearts of the disobedient: Mt. 13:14-15, Jn. 12: 37-41, Acts 28: 25-28, Rom. 9:17-18.

God gives those who suppress the truth to the hideous results of their own sin: Rom. 1: 18-32.

Rebellious Ones Shall Be Accursed (Avoid, Expell Divisive Persons): Gal 1:8-9, 1Cor. 16:22, 2Tim 4:14, 1Cor. 5:3-5, 2Cor. 2: 5-11, Titus 3:10, 2Jn. 10, Rev. 6:10, 16: 5-7, 18:20, 19: 1-16.

New Testament Quoting of Cursing Psalms: Eph. 4:8 (Ps. 68:18), Jn 15:25 (Ps. 69:4), Jn. 2:17 (Ps. 69: 9a), Rom. 5:3 (Ps. 69: 9b), Mt. 27:34, 48, Mk. 15:36, Lk. 23:36, Jn. 19: 28, 29 (Ps. 69:21), Rom. 11:9, 10 (Ps. 69: 22-23), Acts 1:20 (Ps. 65:25, 109:8), Mt. 27:39 (Ps. 109:25).

God Hardens The Heart: Scripture References

God hardens the hearts of the disobedient and punishments of warning give way to punishments of destruction: Ex. 4:21,7: 3, 13, 14, 22, 8: 15, 19, 32, 9: 7, 12, 10: 1, 20, 27, 11: 10, 14: 8. See also Is. 6: 10-12, Mt. 13: 14, 15, Jn. 12: 37-40, Acts 28: 25-28, Rom 9: 17, 18.

From The Goodness of God by John W. Wenham

The Old Testament Book Jesus Loved To Quote: Deuteronomy

The Old Testament book which Jesus quoted the most was Deuteronomy:

Mt. 4:4 (Dt. 8:3), Mt. 4:7 (Dt. 6:16), Mt. 4:10 (Dt. 6:13), Mt. 5:31 (Dt. 24:1), Mt. 5:33 (Dt. 5:11, 23:22), Mt. 5:38 (Dt. 19:21), Mt. 15:4 (Dt. 5:16), Mt. 18:16 (Dt. 19:15), Mt. 19:7 (Dt. 24: 1,3), Mt.19:18, 19a (Dt. 5: 16-20, 24:14), Mt. 22:24 (Dt. 25: 5,6), Mt. 22:37 (Dt. 6:5), Mk. 10:4 (Dt. 24: 1,3), Mk. 10:19 (Dt. 5:16-20, 24:14), Mk. 12:19 (Dt. 25:5,6), Mk. 12:29 (Dt. 6:4), Mk. 12:30 (Dt. 6:5), Lk. 4:4 (Dt. 8:3), Lk. 4:8 (Dt. 6:13),Lk. 4:12 (Dt. 6:16), Lk. 10:27 (Dt. Dt. 6:5), Lk. 20:28 (Dt. 25: 5,6), Jn. 8:17 (Dt. 19:15).

From The Goodness of God by John W. Wenham.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"The Effective Invitation" by R. Alan Streett. Chapters 10 And 11

The last two chapters of R. Alan Streett’s The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide for the Pastor are called “Music and the Invitation” and “Inviting Children to Christ.”

“Music and the Invitation” presents a historical overview of the role music has played in Evangelism. Streett begins this at history of music and evangelism with Acts 16 when Paul and Silas sang in the Philippian jail; this surely had as much effect on the jailor as the earthquake. Streett quotes Donald P. Ellsworth: “Unquestionably the jailor was moved to ask this question partly because of the great earthquake which they had just experienced. However, there is nothing intrinsic in an earthquake which would encourage a man to seek to be saved. Paul’s and Silas’s singing must have had something to do with it. We can be reasonably sure that the songs were at least meaningful to those prisoners who were listening, because Paul writes elsewhere (1Cor. 14:15) that singing is to be done with the understanding.” Paul said he used all means to win others to Christ (1Cor. 9:22); music is certainly one of these means. In fact, all great moves of God have involved singing. In the forth century, John Chrysostum and Niceta of Remesiana spread the gospel with the singing of hymns. The role of music in individual Christian’ lives almost became extinct during the Middle Ages (St. Francis of Assisi excepted), but was revived by Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield turned to Isaac Watt’s hymns to find appropriate musical accompaniment to 18th century revival services. Watts had three criteria for a hymn: 1. it had to be evangelistic, presenting the gospel, 2. it was freely compose rather than an exact translation of scripture, 3. it was written to express the thoughts and feelings of the singer. Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns and is credited with both introducing a congregational style of singing which expressed the thoughts and feelings of the individual and with writing the first invitational hymns. (Streett repeats the legend, which is incorrect, that the Wesley’s used bar tunes as the melody for their hymns. To set the record straight in your own mind, see here.) Streett closes out this historical overview with the development of the gospel song and the development of the role of song leaders in evangelistic crusades.

Streett lists five functions music plays in evangelistic services. First, music can attract non-Christians to the service. Second, once non-Christians come to a service, music prepares their hearts to hear and accept the gospel. They come loaded down with the cares of the world; music temporarily removes that load so the word of God can penetrate their hearts and minds. Third, music helps prepare the heart of the evangelist to preach the gospel and give the invitation. Fourth, music is just as effective, if not more so, as a sermon in preaching God’s word since it touches the heart and emotions. Fifth, it aids non-Christians in surrendering to Christ.

History is filled with examples of young children coming to Christ: Corrie ten Boom, Ruth Graham, and Leighton Ford came to Christ at the age of five while Jonathan Edwards was seven. Most developmental psychologists agree that children begin to develop a conscience between the ages of five and nine. When a child can internally distinguish between right and wrong, he or she is morally accountable to God for their sins. The Streett’s last chapter, he gives much practical advice in presenting the gospel to children. He writes: “Because pre-adolescent youths are intellectually, socially, and emotionally immature, the minister of the gospel must realize that evangelism among this group is an extremely delicate process. Most children can be easily manipulated into making shallow or even pseudo-commitments to Christ. Through the use of peer pressure, the promise of rewards, or the inward desire to please the Christian worker, unwary children are often cajoled into quasi-conversion experiences. Such unscriptural methods can lead to undesirable consequences, and sometimes hinder children from making legitimate decisions for Christ in later years. Inadequately-trained youth workers, despite good intentions, often do more harm than good.” Children come to Christ the same way adults do, through the proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are not two gospels, one for adults and one for children. We greatly err when we assume a child cannot understand the gospel. Children can only come to Jesus through His cross. The problem is not “Should I preach the kerygma?” but “how can I preach the kerygma so a child can understand?” The first obstacle is a theological language barrier. The preacher/teacher must redefine terms for children as they think in concrete terms. Terms such as sin, conviction, crucifixion, resurrection, Holy Ghost, repentance, faith, blood of the lamb, give your life to Christ, admit you are lost, come to Jesus, washed in the blood, ask Christ to save you, invite Christ into your heart, make a stand for Christ, etc., need redefining for children who are uninitiated in Church vocabulary. Children must be taught that God is their creator and loves them and cares for them, and wants to be their friend forever. When presenting sin to children, don’t use adult examples but the acts of rebellion they engage in everyday. Children must be taught that the acts they commit against family and friends are also sins against God; sin is him/her choosing to do what they want to do when God wants them to do something else. Children understand the concept of punishment, yet must be taught that God loves them still when they rebel. Children must be taught that Christ had to come to earth in the form of a man so to be the perfect sacrifice for sins. Children have no problem accepting the truth of the resurrection. When presenting the gospel, remember that a child’s attention span is short. Do not drag out the presentation. Repetition is the key. Children must be taught that acts such as coming forward or raising their hands does not save them. They must be taught repentance with the acknowledgement that the child’s sins caused Christ to die. Children can be convicted through God’s word and the Holy Spirit. Repentance should be presented to a child as meaning to be being sorry enough for his/her sin that they no longer want to do them again. Children must also be taught to trust their savior, which is not difficult for a child to do. When extending the invitation to children, the problem of peer pressure must be eliminated. Instead of asking them to come forward, the children should bow their heads and signify their commitment to Christ by raising their hands or lifting their heads. The preacher/teacher must convey to them that they should not express a commitment just to please them. Never offer rewards or privileges in exchange for a verbal commitment. Never embarrass a child into making a commitment. After a child makes a commitment, he/she should be counseled immediately to cement the decision made and to encourage them to share their new found faith.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Word Studies

To be updated periodically:
Chosen and Elect
Knowledge (Ginosko) and Foreknowledge
Evangelion In Scripture
The Gift Exhortation

Word Study: Knowledge (Ginosko) And Foreknowldge

From God’s Strategy in Human History by Roger T. Forster and Paul Marston:

Meanings of “Know” in scripture- “Foreknowledge” is made up of the two Greek elements “previous” (pro) and “knowledge” (ginosko). Ginosko, like the English word know, can have many shades of meaning. It is not always possible from the contexts in which they appear to distinguish them. But it is beneficial to examine the various meanings so they will be clear in one’s mind. Then when one considers the word foreknowledge, the various possibilities will be clear. These were the meanings of ginosko at the time of the Apostles, from the Greek New Testament and the Septuagint:

Perceive (usually knowledge of the facts) - 1Jn. 3:24, Mk. 13:28, Lk. 7:39.

Understand- Jn. 8:43, 10:6, Acts 8:30. (In some cases, difficult to distinguish from perceive, at other times closer to knowledge of persons, see below).

Experience or follow- Micah 3:1, 4:9, Zeph. 3:5, Heb. 3:10.

Acknowledge- Dt. 33:9, 1Chron. 28:9, Job. 19:13, Jer. 3:13. See also Gen 38:26, 1Kings 10:24, Is. 33:13, 59:12, 61:9, Jer. 14:20, Dan. 4:22, 29 where “acknowledge” appears to be the preferable reading. Sometimes it might be difficult to distinguish between recognize and knowledge of persons. See Acts 19: 15- “And the evil spirit said unto them, Jesus I know (ginosko), and Paul I know (epistemai), but who are you?”

Recognize (personal or impersonal objects)- Lk. 24:35, Mt. 12: 33, 1Kings 20:41.

Knowledge of persons (implying understanding of them, object of the verb is a personal one, but a personal relationship may [Mt:25:24] or may not be involved [Jn. 2:24, 5:42])- Mt. 25:24, Jn. 2:24,25, Jn. 1:47,48, 5:42, Ps. 138: 1,2,6, Jer. 12:3.

Knowledge of persons (special relationships)- 1Jn. 2:4, 1Jn. 4:7, Mt. 7:23, Dt. 34:10 (compare with Ex. 33:11, 12, 17), Hos. 6: 3,4 (see also 8:2), Gen. 4:1, Lk. 1:34.

Foreknowledge- Used only seven times in the New Testament. These are the five times it refers to something other than the Church:

2Pet: 3:17, Acts 2:23, 1Pet 1:18-20, Rom. 11:12, Acts 26: 4-5.

God’s foreknowledge of the Church:

1Pet 1:1,2, Rom 8:28-30.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"The Effective Invitation" by R. Alan Street. Chapters 8 and 9

Chapter 8 of The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide To The Pastor by R. Alan Streett is called “How to Prepare and Deliver a Public Invitation.” Street states that the ideal conclusion serves three primary purposes: it serves as an effective closing, it applies the truths spelled out in the sermon to the lives of the listeners (What does the sermon mean to me?), it calls upon the listeners to take immediate action in response to what they have heard. Streett quotes L.R. Scarbourough: “The invitation is the logical climax of the evangelistic sermon. Without it the message is incomplete and its effects unknown.” As the conclusion is the most important part of the sermon, the invitation is the most important part of the evangelistic sermon. But it is here that most ministers fail. Reasons vary as to why most fail, but one major reason is that most do not know how to give a good invitation. Relying on the Spirit’s power, one must learn to prepare and plan the invitation with the same care as the rest of the sermon. Prayer is the key. Communion with Christ gives us Christ’s own burden for souls (Rom. 9: 1-3). After reaching this point, much of the battle will have been won. We must rely on the Spirit as we prepare and deliver an effective invitation. How does one transition from the message to the conclusion? One way, utilized by Billy Graham, is to ask an appropriate question, such as “What are you going to do about it?” You can ask scriptural questions (Mt. 22:42, 1Kings 18:21, Acts 16:30). Or you can close with a statement of promise (2Cor. 5:17, Jn. 3:3, Col. 3:10, Ezk. 36:26). Then the evangelist must give theological instructions; Peter did not allow the question “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) to go unanswered. People must be called to repent, believe, and follow Christ openly, unashamedly. These terms must be clearly defined and given scriptural support. The proper use of persuasion must be present. Streett quotes Dr. Robert Dale: “To leave the truth to do its work, and to trust the hearts and consciences of our hearers to apply it, is a great and fatal mistake.” Streett also quotes J.I. Packer: “[ Evangelism is] is communication with a view to conversion.” (See Lk: 14:23, Acts 17:4, 18:4, 19:8,26, 28: 23,24). To persuade successfully, one must be persuaded one’s self that Christ is the only path to salvation, make the appeal personal (with plenty of personal pronouns), use appropriate scriptures (see Heb. 4:12, Ps. 119:30, Rom. 10:17, 2Tim. 3: 15), if your invitation moves the will of your hearer and brings it into submission to the person of Jesus Christ. There are two avenues of approach to the will: the intellect and the emotions. A man can be motivated to specific action if his mind is convinced it is reasonable and his heart is convinced it is necessary. Use of a motivational theme is a highly effective method of reaching the will through the intellect and emotions. A topic of interest, interspersed with appropriate scriptures and exhortations, will lead to appropriate responses. One set of scriptures and exhortations should reach the mind, the second set the heart, all with the goal of moving the will. But the conclusion does not end here. There must be a call to public commitment, a response to what one has heard. Says Streett: “Emotions can be roused and the intellect stirred, but unless the sinner is challenged to exercise his will and given the opportunity to do so, it is unlikely he will do it on his own. This is why the public invitation is the hub of the evangelistic sermon.” One must choose one’s method of public invitation. It should be simple and personal. People are ready to act; keep it short. Memorize the appeal so as to maintain eye contact. Have a conversational tone, you are speaking to individuals here. Be serious, showing the depth of your concern. Don’t rush, weigh your words carefully. Don’t engage in distracting mannerisms or behavior that attracts attention away from the message. Introduce no new material. Wait for the Holy Spirit to produce results; pray after the message as Satan will be actively trying to prevent people from responding (Eph. 6:12, 2Cor. 10:4). After prayer, one must be ready to accept the results. Wait until the people have stopped responding. If there is little, or no response, wait a few minutes before closing.

Chapter 9 is entitled “Invitational Models.” Invitational models fall into two categories: those that call for an immediate response and those for a delayed response. All have a record of success, all have drawbacks. Through trial and error, the pastor/evangelist must learn which one suits his personality and theological interests as well as his church setting (ex.- is the church large or small?)


The After Meeting- It eliminates the pressure to make an immediate decision, eliminates the embarrassment of coming forward, it eliminates the dramatic element and circus atmosphere of a public invitation, it separates the sincere seekers from the curiousity seekers, it gives a quiet place for the pastor to speak to enquirers.

Special Appointments- Allows the pastor and seeker a mutually convenient meeting time, it shows the pastors concern for the individual, and provides privacy in dealing with the seekers spiritual needs.

The Signing of Cards- It allows the pastor to meet with the seeker in the seeker’s own home, eliminating the distractions of an altar call or a noisy room, allowing both to be more open with each other.

Special Classes- Allows time for a relationship to build between pastor and seeker, guarantees that the instruction will be thorough.

The Delayed Altar Call- The Holy Spirit is given time to work without the pressure of time, the people will know what to expect, they will not be caught off guard.

The Dangers of the Delayed Response- God calls sinners to be saved immediately (2Cor. 6:2, Mt. 4:17, Mk. 1: 16-20, Mt. 8: 21-22), allows the convicted person to quench the workings of the Spirit to get their minds off the issues at hand on onto the things of the world, it gives Satan an opportunity to snatch away the word placed in the sinner’s heart, the Holy Spirit may not draw that person in the future.


The Altar Call- Calls for an immediate decision, motivates the new believer to confess Christ to others in the future, eliminating fear of public testimony, his open confession places his lifestyle in public view.

The raising of hands and standing at the seat- Allows for a immediate, public response when coming forward is impractical.

The Act of Public Confession- No one knows who has made a decision until they have publicly responded, eliminating pressure.

The Progressive Invitation (The weakest model)- It calls upon responders to take steps they never intended to take. Some would not raise their hands for prayer if they knew they would be called forward. They feel trapped and embarrassed.

Baptism- Many churches consider baptism to be the initial act of public confession after conversion. Many pastors testify to successful responses to public invitations when the service is opened with baptism. Baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it reinforces the gospel message preached immediately afterward. Many unsaved relatives are present that would not normally attend church.

The Private Decision- Instead of calling responders forward, the pastor asks that people let him know of their decision before they leave the building. It is immediate, but eliminates pressure. Informing the pastor is an indicator of sincerity.

The Dangers of the Immediate Response- It is susceptible to gimmickry, the tendency to number all inquirers as converts, lack of follow-through counseling. Counselors should have the gift of exhortation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"The Effective Invitation" By R. Alan Streett. Chapters 6 And 7

I have read the next two chapters of The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide to the Pastor by R. Alan Streett. Chapter six, “Answering the Critics”, deals with objections to the practice of extending a public invitation during the service. Streett deals with nine objections from David Martin Lloyd-Jones. Streett lists nine objections from Lloyd-Jones (LJ) and then answered them. Streett’s answers are in caps:


2. Many who come forward are responding to the personality of the preacher, general fear, or psychological influences rather than for spiritual reasons. THIS DIFFICULT TO PROVE OR DISPROVE. AGAIN, LJ IS CONCERNED WITH ABUSES OF EXTENDING AN INVITATION. THESE ABUSES DO NOT NEGATE THE LEGITIMACY OF THE INVITATION.



5. Most evangelists who issue public invitations are attempting to manipulate the Holy Spirit. This objection may spring from LJ’s Calvinist understanding of election that only those chosen by God will be saved. THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION HAS NO BEARING ON THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC INVITATIONS. THE PREACHER IS COMMISSIONED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL AND ISSUE THE CALL TO ALL PEOPLES. HE/SHE GIVES THE MESSAGE AND WAITS FOR THE REPLY.


7. A public invitation encourages people to think they are saved if they came forward. This objection is linked to objection #6 and can be answered in the same way.



Chapter seven is called “Extending a Public Invitations—The Reasons Why?” Streett gives scriptural reasons which were gone over in chapter four. He also gives historical reasons which will not be gone into here. He then gives practical reasons:

1. The public invitation is a practical way to accomplish the main task of evangelism: winning people to Christ at the earliest possible moment.

2. People under the conviction of sin miss half of what is said, all they know is the need to be saved and they have no clue about how to be saved. A public invitation helps clear up their confusion.

3. A call to come forward offers help to those who have heard the entirety of the Gospel message but are confused as to its meaning.

Psychological Reasons:

1. Man needs an outlet for response. When the heart and mind are stirred, there has to be an avenue of expression. The inward workings of the soul seek physical manifestation. Failure to provide an outlet leaves souls burdened and psyches frustrated.

2. People are mentally conditioned to expect it. To extol the benefits of receiving Christ and not give an opportunity leaves people confused and disappointed.

Consequential Reasons:

1. Christian observers recall their own walk forward and are motivated to rededicate themselves to Christ.

2. Christians who bring their unsaved friends to Church will be assured that their friends will have an opportunity to be saved.

3. People will be stirred to become soul winners.

4. It builds up Christian observers spiritually.

Affects on Pastors and Evangelists:

1. They witness the lost being saved.

2. They can measure the effectivenss of their presentation.

3. They have immediate access to new converts, thus being in a position to disciple them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Word Study: Righteous

From God’s Strategy In Human History by Roger T. Forster and Paul Marston:

The words “justify” and “righteous” are from the same Greek root.

To quote Dr. Leon Morris on the word justify, “When we turn to these passages where the verb ‘to justify’ occurs, there can be no doubt that the meaning is to declare righteous rather than to make righteous.”

Morris states that the modern western conception of the word righteous is not at all what the biblical term means. Today we think a righteous person is someone who lives up to a code of conduct; a perfectly righteous man would be one who lived according to some moral law. This understanding of the term righteous makes it an ethical term. This understanding is similar to the Greek understanding of the term. But this is not the Hebrew understanding of the term. To quote Morris, “The Hebrew concept is not grasped by making a facile equation with the Greek…or the English ‘righteousness’, it is not an ethical term but a religious.” Why is the term religious? To the Hebrews the term righteous meant primarily that a man was right with God and only secondarily that he would act in a manner befitting this position. The righteous are those acquitted at God’s bar of justice and righteousness is the standing of those who have been acquitted. This concept of a great assize was developed and elaborated by the rabbis. All men would be tried by God; some would be accepted as righteous, others condemned as wicked. It was from this mindset that the New Testament terminology concerning righteous and righteousness was derived. The righteous man is one who is accepted by God , the one who conforms to His way. To the Hebrew, being righteous meant, by primary definition, being right with God and ethical behavior was the expected result and reflection of this.

God’s righteousness: (How can God be righteous if righteous means to be right with God? The word means slightly more than this. It is used five times as an adjective referring to God) Jn. 17:25(General reference), Rom 3:26, 2Tim 4:8, 1Jn. 1:9 (God’s forgivness is in accordance with the laws of His holy nature) , Rev. 16:5 (Here the Lord is shown to be righteous by the process of just judgement, which is in accordance to the meaning in 2Tim. 4:8).

Job and Righteousness: In view of the Hebrew concept of the term righteous, Job was righteous before God in that he was in right standing before God. (The same could be said of Lot and Noah.) Job’s claim was to be in a fundamentally right standing with God, and because of the Hebrew concept of the term, God condoned what he said. See Job 13: 18, 40:8. It is this background that gives understanding to the questions asked in Job 9:2, 15:14, 25:4. In each case it is one’s standing with the Lord that is in question and the implication is that one cannot earn that standing in his own strength. To quote Morris, “The Bible does not necessarily condemn the claim of a man to be righteous. What is wrong is a claim to be able to make oneself righteous, i.e., to earn God’s acquittal.”

Gentiles, Jews, and Righteousness: The Hebrew understanding of the term righteous must be applied to verses such as Rom. 9: 30-32. If we applied the ethical understanding of the term, the verse would seem to say, “The Jews were trying very hard to lead moral lives but the Gentiles were not. Then the Gentiles found themselves acting morally and Jews could not.” This is certainly not the intended meaning. Paul was referring to the Jews attempt to achieve right standing with God through their intense quest to keep the whole of the Law. Its not that the Gentiles had no interest in being right with God, but their interest was small in light of the obsession of the Jews to keep the Law. The Gentiles were acquitted, had right standing with God through faith, not the works of the Law.

Word Study: Chosen And Elect

From God’s Strategy in Human History by Roger T. Forster and Paul Marston.

Chosen and Elect- From the Greek word eklektos. Does imply unmerited favor, but the main idea conveyed is that God has bestowed an office, has given a task, a responsibility to perform. Those chosen have a calling, a vocation. We cannot “uncall” ourselves, but we can refuse to perform the task. Used in 6 different contexts (This list includes verses containing the adjectival or verbal forms of the word as well as the noun [eklektos]. The verses many are called but few are chosen will be dealt with below. The only other uses of this word are Lk. 10:42, 14:7, Acts 6:5, 15:7, 22, 25, Rom. 16:13, 1Cor. 1:27, 28, 1Tim. 5:21, James 2:5, 2Jn. 1, 13. None of these are important to this study.):

1. Of Christ: Lk. 9:35, 23:25, 1Pet. 2:4, 6 (Is. 42:1). Jesus is the only eternal Son, the only candidate to be the Messiah, but chosen in the sense of fulfilling a task (Is. 42:1, 49:3, 5, 6 [see also Lk. 2:32]). There is a link between Christ’s chosenness (eklektos) and his belovedness (agapetos)- Mt. 17:5, Mk. 9:7 (“This is my beloved Son…”)and Lk. 9:35 (“This is my Son, my chosen…”). We see that when either “elect” or “chosen” are applied to Christ, its primary meaning is not one of selection, but one of belovedness. See Lk. 23:35, 1Pet 2:4, 6 where the connection between chosenness and belovedness is made. Since Church is elect in Christ, the same connection between the two words is made.

2. Of the Church in Christ: Rom. 8:33, Eph: 1:4, Col. 3:12, 1Thess. 1:4, 2Tim 2:10, Titus 1:1, 1Pet. 1:2, 2:9, 5:13, 2Pet. 1:10, Rev 17:14. (Mt. 24: 22-31, Mk. 13: 20-27, Lk. 18:7?) Central idea in Eph. 1:4-we are chosen IN Christ. The Church is elect because it is in Christ and He is elect. Also, the Church’s election involves a task: WE have been blessed in every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies with Christ(Eph. 1:3, 2:6) , but in the heavenlies, there is a battle against the powers of wickedness(Eph. 6:12). Being elect means we are to fight in Christ’s armor, Eph. 6:2. We take up Christ’s task. We are to be the light of the world as he is the light of the world, Mt. 5:14, Jn. 8:12. Words about Christ in Is. 49 eventually applied to our task as Christ’s body. God will be glorified in Christ (Is. 49:3) and in Christ’s body, the Church (Eph. 3:21). God did not select who would repent and who would not. We were not chosen to be in Christ but we are chosen because we are in Christ. Our election is not separate from His election. What the Church has in Christ: Eph 1:3 and 2:6, 1:4, 1:6, 1:7, 1:11, 1:13, 2:13, 3:12. We share in His belovedness (Eph. 1:6 [only a hint here], Col. 3:12, 1Thess. 1:4, 2Thess. 2:13, Acts 15:25, Rom. 11:28, 2Tim. 2: 10-12, Rom 8: 1 [No condemnation for those IN Christ Jesus], 17,18, 32-34). Is. 49:7-the words speak of Christ, in Rom. 8: 31, 33, 34, Paul applies words to the Church. As those who are descendants of Jacob are chosen, those who are in Christ are chosen-as Christ’s death is ours, so is His election. Our election in Christ is a corporate election-We are living stones as Christ is (1Pet. 2:4,5) and we are elect as He is (1Pet. 2:4,6,9). You are God’s building (1Cor. 3:9) and you are the Temple of God (1Cor. 3: 16). “You” is plural, “Temple” is singular. The Church is collectively God’s Temple, built on the foundation of Christ. The Church is an organism of living stones with Christ as head. To become part of the building by God’s grace is to share in its election. Noah was chosen, Noah’s family was chosen in Noah.

3. Of the nation of Israel: Acts 13:17, Rom. 9:11, 11:28. (Is. 45:4, Dt. 7:7) God chose them from among all other nations; the whole nation was chosen. Israel’s task was to prepare the world for the Messiah, to bless the whole world. Some fell away from God’s purpose for them. God knew in advance what their reactions would be. The choice of the nation had nothing to do with the eternal destiny of individuals. Paul attacks belief of national selection as a guarantee of heaven in Rom. 2 and 9. God put His name on Israel (Num. 6:27), the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles when Israel failed to live up to her calling (Ezk. 36:20, Rom. 2: 24), yet God used Israel’s disobedience to stir the Gentiles to repentance. This was a corporate election. God did not chose certain individuals to be Jacob’s descendants, it was because they were descendants that they were elect. Birth was not only way to experience this election. One could chose to become an Israelite, Ruth 1:16. She entered Israel’s choseness so that she was in the linage of the Messiah. Choseness of Israel linked to task of servanthood (1Chron. 16:13, Ps. 89:3, 19, 105:6, 42,43, Is. 65:15).

4. Of believers within the nation of Israel: Rom. 11: 5, 7. Elect according to grace. Two groups, saved and unsaved, in Israel (Rom. 1:16-18, 2: 6-11, 3:19). Faith/grace verses works under the Law, Rom. 4:2-6. Can divide Romans into chapers 1-3-distinguishing the two groups, chapters 4-8-the mechanics of justification and salvation, finishing with thoughts on the future of the Church, chapters 9-11-returns to issue of two groups in Israel. Its not that Abraham had no choice but to have faith. Abraham’s faith earned him nothing, but God reckoned it as right standing. Faith brings right standing only because God in His grace reckons it as such on the basis of Christ’s finished work. Grace/faith inseperable, to be contrasted to works/debt.

5. Of the 12 disciples: Lk. 6:13, Jn. 6:70, 13:8, 15:16, 19, Acts 1:2, 24, 25. Apostles chosen, including Judas, who Peter said fell from his office. (Acts 1:17-25) God alone chooses. Unmerited. But not an irresistible blessing. A privilege, an opportunity for blessing, but also for condemnation. Same applies for the choosing of Israel. Salvation or condemnation came first to the Jews, then the Gentiles. Jesus had foreknowledge that Judas would betray him, but did not cause Judas to do so.

6. Of Paul: Acts: 9:15. See also Acts: 22:14, 1Cor. 9:1, 15, etc. Paul occupied a special position as an Apostle with the other Apostles and is thus called “a chosen vessel.”

Note: Augustine, in maintaining that God chose who would repent and go to heaven while the rest went to hell, incorrectly applied #’s 4 and 5 to the eternal destiny of individuals.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"The Effective Invitation" by R. Alan Streett. Chapters 4 & 5

I have read the next two chapters of The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide For The Pastor by R. Alan Streett.

Chapter 4 is entitled "Evangelists and Invitatons." Here the author points out that contrary to the insistance of the critics of the public invitation, the public invitation predates Charles Finney by about 1,900 years. 1st century preachers publicly called on sinners to make a public witness of their repentance, faith, and baptism.  With the legalization of Christianity in the Roman empire and its later becoming the state religion, membership in the empire came to be seen as membership in the Church and so the public invitation fell into disuse until the Reformation. Still, there were those who still preached for a public response. In the early Church, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostum preached in this way. St. Patrick of Ireland was another; it is recorded that during his ministry 120,000 converted to Christ and 365 churches were formed.  In the middle ages, Boniface and Bernard of Clairvaux carried on the practice, as did Peter Waldo and his followers, the Waldensians. The Waldensians would travel in twos and preach in the streets for a public response.  The first person in modern times to practice mass evangelism was the Jesuit Jacques Bridaine (1701-1767). Jonathan Edwards exorted those who wished to respond to his messages to meet him privately. In one account he writes, "I received into one communion about a hundred before one sacrament, and fourscore of them at one time, whose appearance, when they presented themselves together to make an open explicit profession of Christianity, was very affecting to the congregation: I took in nearly sixty before the next sacrament day."  George Whitefield followed a similiar method: "Preached at six in the evening from the Court House stairs to about six thousand people. I find the numbers that came Tuesday to my house [seeking spiritual instruction] greatly increased and multiplied." John and Charles Wesley ended all their sermons with an appeal to come to Christ. They used four basic methods to extend a public invitation:
1. Exorters were to be on the lookout for anxious souls.
2. Seekers were enjoined to attend the mid-week service  to join in public prayers as a sign of public faith.
3. Those that repented were encouraged to step forward and publicly seek membership.  These were formed into local societies for prayer, Bible study and evangelism.
4. Those anxious about their souls were encouraged to make their way to the mourners bench, or anxious seat at the front.
It was Charles Wesley who first coined the phrase "anxious seat," but it was Finney who popularized the practice. Yet in Finney's ministry, the attendance to the anxious seat was not an end in itself. Those who went were incouraged to make their way to the inquiry room for private instruction. William Booth, Spurgeon, and Moody followed a similiar practice. Someone wrote of a Moody sermon: " was organized to counsel the hearers to act, not just listen; they had either to agree to what Moody was asking them to do, or deliberately refuse to do it.  This was the essential structure of all his sermons."

Chapter 5 is called "Billy Graham's Use of the Public Invitation." Streett provides a history of the development of Graham's practice in extending the invitation. Then he discusses how Graham transitions from the body of the sermon to the invitation. Graham begins an invitation with a key transitional question such as "What do I have to do?" Graham makes sure this question is raised in the hearts of the hearers by audibly expressing it. Then he answers the question. Graham explains why he wants people to come forward. People, according to Graham, want and deserve to know why the appeal is made. Examples of such explanations include that man sins publicly and needs to be forgiven publicly, or Christ died publicly on a cross and wants us to live publicy for him. The central theme of Graham's sermons is the cross of Christ. While Graham's sermons are logical and well structured (he rarely employs emotion), Graham depends on God's power alone, mediated through the Holy Spirit, prayer, and God's Word, to draw men to God. "I used to think in evangelism I had to do it all, but now I approach evangelism with a totally different attitude. I approach it with complete relaxation. First of all, I don't believe any man can come to Christ unless the Holy Spirit has prepared his heart...I don't believe any man can come to Christ unless God draws him. My job is to proclaim the message." 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Teaching Activities

I am still teaching a class at church on Wend. mornings at 10 a.m. For the past couple of months we have been studying Mark's gospel. We left off last time at Mk. 7:23. While I do prepare beforehand, discussion is open to all and so one never knows how far we will go beforehand.

Last Fall I preached on the Ten Commandments in Carrolton, OH.

Advent Studies

Before Christmas I read Classic Sermons on the Birth of Christ, edited by Warren Wiersbe, as an aid for meditation upon the Christ's birth. I have read it before and it is interesting to note that the sermons I enjoyed the most the first time I read it are not the ones I found spiritually helpful this time around. This is not to say the former do not have material good for the heart and the head. But some of the sermons I dismissed as not particularly helpful the first time around have I think been of lasting spiritual impact this time around. Particularly some of the preachers whose sermons were considered to appeal to the heart rather than the head. I specifically refer to the sermons by George H. Morrison, Clarence Mccartey, Clovis Chappell, George Truett, and Walter Maier. I remember reading the long sermon by Spurgeon and thinking it was boring; this time it excited me as well as fed my soul. There were three sermons that I felt were duds during the first reading and still consider them so: those byAlexander Whyte, A.T. Pierson, and H. P. Liddon.  A secondary motive for reading these sermons is to get ideas for short advent messages of a minute or two to be given during services. An added benefit to this volume is that it introduces us to sermon collections we would never have heard of otherwise. Next Christmas I plan on reading my copy of Augustine's sermons.

What Is The Church?

The following scripture study is from "The Church of God, or What is the Church and What is Not" by D.S. Warner. While I classify this with my ordination reading, this small pamplet was not required reading. This was read to show that I am exploring past writings of the Christian affiliation I am a part of.

1. What is the Bible definition of the Church? Eph. 1: 22-23, Col. 1:8, 24. "The Church is the body of Christ.  And being the body of Christ, it necessarily includes all his members...No sect contains all the body of Christ, therefore no sect is the Church of God.  Then as honest men, who expect to be judged by the Word of God, let us never call anything the Church but the body of Christ;i.e., all the saved, either universally, or in any given locality."

2. Who Is The Founder Of The Church?  Christ purchased, founded and built the Church.  Heb. 11:10, 22-24, Heb 3: 3-4, Acts 20:28, Eph. 5: 25-27, Mt. 16:18.

3. When Was The Church Built?  Mt. 16:18 speaks of the Church being built in the future; 1Cor 3:9 speaks of the Church being already built. See also Eph. 2: 20-22, 1Pet 2:5.  "In A.D. 29 Christ said, 'I will build my church.'  In A.D. 56, and after that the apostles said, 'Ye are God's building'; 'are built up a spiritual house.'  So the Church was built between 29 and 56 A.D.  It is true that the church began under the labors of John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles, before the day of Pentecost.  Many beleived and entered the kingdom then, and constituted material for the Church.  But the coming of the Holy Spirit was the point of time when the church was really built and set in order as seen in 1Cor 12:6, 11-13, 18, 24.  The church is defined as 'his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all' (Eph. 1:23).  The church proper then did not exist until the fulness of Christ came,which was on the day of Pentecost..."

4. Who Is Its Foundation?  Is. 28:16, Ps. 18:31, 1Cor 3:11, Eph 2: 20-21. "In the last text we see that the apostles were the foundation-stones. If we were held to apply 'the rock' in Mt. 16:18 to Peter, there is nothing in such an application of the text that conflicts with the Scriptures. The apostles all being foundationstones, of course Peter was one of them. He does not single out Peter here because he had any preeminence over the rest, but because he was conversing with him, and his name, Cephas--a stone--called out the assertion. For evidence that all twelve were foundations, see Rev. 21:14. Christ is the all-underlying foundation. The apostles, being first chosen and inspired to give us the New Testament, were foundation-stones occupying a connecting position between Christ the Rock, and the rest of the building. Christ is then the only Rock. 'Other foundation can no man lay.'..."

5. Who is the head of the Church? Christ.  "The head of an institution is its lawmaker.  'For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us' (Is 33:22)"  See Eph 1:22, 4: 15-16, 5: 23-24, Col. 1:18, 2: 18-19, James 4:12.

6. What is the door of the Church? Christ.  Jn. 10: 7, 9, Eph. 2: 18.  "In these scriptures we see clearly that Christ is the door of the church and salvation the mode of induction, and that it is a door that stands open continually, and no man can shut.  Christ is not the door of any sect, therefore no sect is the church of God.  The experience of salvation does not constitute a person a member of any sect on earth; therefore they are not the church of God.  All sects have a door, a manner of admitting members, that is open and shut by men; hence they are unlike the church of God, whose door no man can open and shut.  They are therefore not his church." (This is not to say that any specific Christian fellowship is not part of the universal Church.  No particular fellowship can claim to either constitute the entirety of the Church or can declare someone to be saved or unsaved based on membership in that fellowship.)

7. Who takes members into the Church?  The Triune God.  Acts 2: 46-47, 1Cor 12: 13, 18.  "Here the setting of the members into the body, or adding to the church, is ascribed to God, to Christ, and to the Spirit.  Of course these are one, the Triune God."

8.  Who are members of the Church?  "If, as we have seen, salvation is the process of entering the Church, it follows that no one is in the Church who has not salvation."  See Eph. 3:15, 2:19.  "Then it follows that only the sons of God, such as are born of the Spirit, are in the Church.  See 1Jn. 3: 8-10, 5:18.

9.  Who organizes the Church? Answer: The Holy Spirit.  See 1Cor. 12: 8-11, 27-28, Acts 20:28, 2Cor. 3:5-6, Eph. 4: 10-13, 1Cor. 12: 18, 24-25.  "Other scriptures also show the harmonizing of the body of Christ by the hand of God and through the Spirit.  But those given are sufficient.  One thing, however, we shall mention, and that is the laying on of hands by the elders in ordaining elders, etc.  That this pertains to the organization of the Church, we freely allow.  But it is never called organizing the Church.  God ordains a way of qualifying and choosing, and his ministers ordain in the sense of recognizing the divine call and dedicating thereunto.  This order is clearly seen in Acts 13: 1-4...The Church, then, is organized by the Lord, who sets all the members in the body as it pleases him and distrutes the gifts and callings through his own wisdom to all the members of the body. Men may organize a human compact, but never the divine body which is the Church..."

10. How many Churches has God? Answer: One.  "Every description of the divine church shows its oneness. 'Other sheep [Gentiles] I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring...and there shall be one fold [church], and one shepherd.'" (Jn 10:16) Rom. 12: 4-5, 1Cor12: 12, 13,20, Eph. 2: 14-16, 4: 4-6, Col. 3:15. For verses comparing the Church's relation to Christ to the relationship of a wife to a husband, Hos. 2: 19-20, Rom. 7:4, 2Cor. 11:2, Jn. 3:29, Is. 54:5, Eph. 2:19, 3:15.

11. But does the Bible speak of more than one Church? Answer: No.  "The word 'church' frequently occurs in the plural form, but never in the sense of sects or denominations. When more than one church is spoken of it is always the one church of the living God in different localities." Acts 9: 31,14: 21, 23, 15:41, Rom. 16:4, 1Cor. 4:17, 7: 17, 16: 1, 19, 2Cor. 8: 18, Rev. 1:11.

12. Does the Bible teach the unity of all believers? Answer: Yes.  Jn. 17: 11-12, 20-23, 1Cor. 1:10, Gal. 3:28, Phil. 1: 27, 2: 2, Rom. 15: 5-6, Acts 4:32.

13. What is the basis of union? Gal. 3:28, Rom. 12:5, Jn 17: 11-12, Is. 62:2, Eph. 3:15 ("From whom the whole family in the heavens and on earth is named."), Acts 20: 28, 1Cor. 1:2, 2Cor. 1:1, 1Cor. 10:32, 1Cor. 11:16, 22, 15: 9, Gal. 1:13, 1Thess. 2: 14, 2Thess. 1:4, 1Tim. 3:5, 14-15.  "Here are twelve instances of the title, 'church of God.'  This corresponds with the Saviors prayer, and is the common appellation.  But as there was but the one church, the qualifying part of the name was not needed in every instance."

14.  What is the bond of union? Answer: Love.  Col. 3:14, 2: 2, Rom. 8: 35-39.

15.  What experience perfects us in oneness? Answer: Entire sanctification.  "In connection with his prayer for oneness, the Savior prayed the Father to sanctify the disciples and all that would believe in him through their word, which includes us. 'And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one.' Jn. 17: 22-23. Sanctification, perfection, or the glory of Christ, each relates to the same experience, and this makes God's children one.  'For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them bretheren.' Heb. 2:11." See Eph. 4: 11-13, 1Pet. 1: 18-19. "The salvation of the Lord, which qualifies us for heaven, makes us one on earth...All efforts at union but that of God's holiness is as pounding cold, crooked pieces of iron against each other to make them fit together. The more blows the more crooks and differences. Put them into a furnace of white heat and they will lose their cold, stiff , crooked individuality, and flow into one mass.  That is God's way of uniting his people in the fire of the Holy Spirit...Freedom from sin knits together in love...On the plain of Bible holiness no outward observances are made a test, in fact, nothing is made a test of fellowship.  For holy men 'judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.'  'If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin' 1Jn. 1:7.  Fellowship is of the Spirit (Phil. 2:1) and exists where heart-purity exists. It is the conscious blending of hearts filled with the same Holy Spirit...One may have been lead into all truth; the other not.  This does not interupt fellowship. Nevertheless it is the duty of such as 'know the truth' in meekness to instruct those who do not. Ignorance of some truth does not destroy fellowship, but resisting the truth does because it forfeits salvation. We must not sanction people's errors, but if they are saved show our love and fellowship to them so long as we do not get the evidence that their wrong doctrines have become wilfil, or they have in some way lost salvation.  Then fellowship ends, but love and kindness still continue in faithful efforts for their salvation.To ignore fellowship simply because of some doctrinal error is bigotry.To agree to disagree, or to put on equality truth and error, is Babel confusion."

16.  What does the Bible say of sects? 1Cor. 12:25, Rom. 16: 17-18, Titus 3: 10-11, 1Pet. 2: 1-3, 1Cor. 11: 18-19 ("Here we see 'heresies' means the same thing as division.' "), 1Cor. 3:1-4, Gal 5:20.

17.  Can we observe the ordinances outside all sects? "The New Testament clearly shows that Christ enacted certain ordinances, namely baptism, or in plain English immersion; the washing of the saints' feet; and the Lord's Supper. But we need join no sect to observe these. They do not belong to any sect on earth; but they are placed in the body of Christ for the exclusive observance of its members."

18.  Can we meet to worship without a sect? "Is it so that God's children cannot meet to worship him unless they meet in some sect name, some name other than the one Christ told us to meet in?  Thank God, we find no difficulty in assembling together outside all sect names and inclosures. But sectarians are actually so blind that they think holy men cannot convene together to worship God and enjoy any means of grace unless they join some eartly craft; as tho all grace were in a sect, and nothing in Christ."

19.  Is the Church visible without a sect organization? Answer: Yes. 1Cor. 6:15.

20.  In coming out of sects do we have to form another sect? Answer: No. "When a non-professing sinner is converted to God and born of the Spirit, he is thereby made a member of the Church of God, but is in no sect at all.  And since there is no command in the Bible to join any sect, he can obey all the Word and keep salvation in the church without ever joining a sect, and so can every saint of God on earth do the same...The question is not , What system is most practical for all Christians to adopt as a basis of union? but, What foundations do all Christians actually and necessarily stand on?  By abiding only in Christ, his body the church, we stand on the foundation which includes all Christians in heaven and earth; and not as a member of any sect, or cut-off faction...But since the Word of God commands us to abide only in Christ and declares us 'all one in Christ Jesus,' 'one body in Christ,' by staying in him only in whom all Christians must abide and in whom there are no sinners, we are joined to all saints and seperated from all sinners and stand free before God of the great transgression of sectism."