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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where are they now?

John 12:42-43 states;

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

These believing rulers certainly could not qualify as disciples but in light of the remaining verses in this chapter do you find Jesus condemned them or reassured them?

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24 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A verse that is easily missed.

I do not think Jesus is either condemning them or re-assuring.

These men clearly had eternal life, but I am not sure it was re-assurance that is needed.

I think it is the reader that should be re-assured by Jesus' saying here.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/09/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew thanks for your thoughts on this. Perhaps reassure was a poor choice of words. I think "embolden" might better relate what it seems to me that Jesus was doing.

5/09/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Herobill said...

By "embolden", do you mean maybe he's trying to persuade them to come all the way out?

I don't know, but I'm sudenly intrigued...

5/09/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

How do you know Jesus is not speaking about them when He says:

48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Does it not appear at least that they did reject Him by not confessing Him?

5/10/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Oh and don't you just love verse forty?

40He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

God blinded them and hardened their hearts so that they would not see nor understand nor be converted?

5/10/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Being unable to see their hearts, and without further reference to those who "believed without confessing," I cannot say where they are now.

I can say this: Any of them who ultimately confessed Jesus as Lord and believed God raised Him from the dead are with Him in glory.

5/10/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Seeker said...

I would say He was exhorting them.
By not confessing Him, they thought they might have the best of both worlds; be secret believers, yet not be excluded from their high positions in the synagogue. In a way, remain in the shadows, or as Jesus puts it, in darkness. I believe He was saying, 'If you believe you will NOT remain in darkness, you WILL confess Me'.
He wasn't condemning them, but that's not to say they might not have ended up being condemned in the end.

5/10/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

HB your question makes me want to lean back to thinking that Jesus was trying to encourage them to continue in their belief. What I find intriguing is the various implications we all make on this passage based on our own soteriology.

Adam I think your position is the most difficult to maintain in light of this scripture. If works are requisite evidence of grace then you must ignore the word “Nevertheless” in verse 42 that makes it clear that these believing rulers stand in contrast to the blinded Pharisees. With that word firmly in place then verses 44-46 seem to encourage these rulers to do as HB said and come out of the closet. Verses 47-48 are an explanation to these rulers as to why these unbelievers are even tolerated by Jesus. Verses 49-50 are Jesus testimony that He is proclaiming the commandment of life from the Father and seem the strongest argument to me that He is encouraging them in their faith.

Joe and Karen you both seem to hold the necessity of an open confession and I can sympathize more with your understanding.

Matthew and I seem to agree that their belief in Jesus is all that is necessary to ensure their eternal abode. I will try to elaborate on my point soon. ;-)

5/10/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Before everyone yells at me for being wrong...don't worry I assume I am anyway :)

40He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Unlike the Pharaoh He said He did this so "I should heal them" establishing who He is

So 42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

I think He is addressing that issue of there blind eyes and hard hearts then as you go on 44 and down this is the healing of Jesus that He spoke of in 40.

I think He is defining Himself and the Father if you will for the benefit of those He speaks of and also making clear there is to be no greater love then that of the love for the Father.

OK this is lacking, its a thought process I am trying to write down and failing I think...I need more coffee :)

Keep chasing God cause He wants to be caught

5/10/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Mrs. Zeke please feel free to continue your thinking here anytime. I think we're all sounding out our own considerations and gleaning what we can from each other on this. ;-)

5/10/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Kc -

I've been reading this post and the comments with interest, but haven't had the time (hard to believe THAT, isn't it?!) till now to jump in with my own thoughts (partly because they've not been too cogent the past couple of days).

Anyway - you say:

"Matthew and I seem to agree that their belief in Jesus is all that is necessary to ensure their eternal abode. I will try to elaborate on my point soon. ;-)"

I don't buy that, myself, for several reasons. In the first place, why would Jesus have even raised the subject (about them believing, but not confessing) and expounded on that very thing if it were not a necessity to do so on their part?

There are other scriptures that reinforce that very thing and I've got one floating around here in my head, but do not have the scripture and verse available to me, so I'm going to have to sit here with my Bible and try to find it so I'll have it in its context.

The scripture I'm thinking of is something to the effect (boy, this aggravates me, not to be able to put my hands on it at once) that even Satan and/or his followers (certain demons, perhaps, who Jesus was trying to expell) BELIEVE, but that is not enough.

Second - I don't see their failure to confess their only problem, or more accurately, it is a symptom of the "real" problem, which is that these believing, silent rulers "loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

This is the true obstacle and hindrance to their (and our) full obedience to Jesus, and I use the word obedience deliberately, although I know many people today don't want to think about that word and its significance as it applies to our salvation because of what you raise here, the implication that we must engage in certain "works" to be saved.

There is a big difference between obedience and being "saved by works." They are not the same thing at all.

This is how I see it. I know and fully understand that we are saved by God's grace. That is not the issue. But we have to accept that gift of grace. Jesus said that "not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord" will be saved, which dictates action on our part of some kind. Don't you think?

He gives us the greatest command. To love God with all our heart, soul and mind. In other words, this is the ONE thing we are called to do - give 100% of all that we are, and then to love our neighbors as ourselves, which flows out of that "one thing."

I mean, how can we say we are doing that one thing, if we seek the praise of men more than God, as Jesus says here, and won't even confess Him to others around us?

Again, this is not the same thing as works on our part. Our good works "flow from" our 100% commitment and love for God in saving us by His grace.

I don't know if any of you have ever looked at or read Ray Fleming's blog over at "The New Freedom Sanction", but he has an excellent blog without many readers that I read every day. He just had a good post about this very thing the other day about the word "freedom" (in describing why his blog is named The New Freedom Sanction) and he and I had a good discussion in the comments section. I urge all of you to check Ray out and add him to your list of blogs because he definitely brings a lot to the table, so to speak, in his blog and I higly commend it to you.

I've some more thoughts here and need to go do some serious study on this to find my scriptures I'm thinking of and so poorly discussing. I'd like to hear your comments on my questions and thoughts about these things.

Maybe I'm getting way off base on the question you're asking, Kc, but I don't think so. To me, these believing rulers' biggest problem was their failure to put God and Christ first in their lives, but the praise of other men, more. At least at this particular point in their lives. As far as what happened afterward or whether they came around after Jesus' crucifiction or not is another question. Is Jesus trying to exhort them and reassure them and does He want them to being eternally saved? Of course! I think so. (As well as to speak to us.)

But I think the main thing Jesus is saying is that if we each and every one - all -fail to put God first and foremost in our lives AND in an outward way, as well as inward, we have no hope.

I mean, do you really think we can be an "internal" believer only? Is that being a Christian at all in any way? A "closet" Christian? I've actually used that last term and think it applies (trying to be a "closet" Christian, which I don't believe one can do) for some good people I know who "say" they re "spiritual" but not "religious" and do not do anything they do in the name of Jesus.

You think I'm way off base here, msyelf? What are your views? How do you see these things and reconcile all of these inconsistencies I see?

Sorry I haven't commented in so long. I've been reading all along (except for the 2 weeks I had no computer or internet access), but have been super busy. But, I'll be back. Later this afternoon.

Till then.

Cheers! Dee

5/10/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It says not only that these men believed but that they 'believed on him'.

Either it is true or it is not true that he that believeth on the son hath everlasting life.'

Confessing Christ is nver made a condition for receiving eternal life, but belief on Jesus certainly is.

There is nothing in this what Jesus says that casts doubt on the salvation of those men.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/10/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Dee

"I mean, do you really think we can be an "internal" believer only? Is that being a Christian at all in any way?"

In a sense, no we cannot.

We are not redeemed by 'becoming a Christian.'

We are redeemed by trusting in Jesus Christ to grant us eternal life.

If we fail to confess Christ, we will face God;s judgement.

In this life, through God's chastening and possbily premature death.

In the next life through loss of all rewards and failure to inherit the kingdom of God (but not loss of eternal life, which can never be lost).

"But I think the main thing Jesus is saying is that if we each and every one - all -fail to put God first and foremost in our lives AND in an outward way, as well as inward, we have no hope."

Putting God foremost in our lives involves obediance and works.

If our salvation depends on our works, we are not saved by grace. Eternal life ceases to be a free gift.

The fact is that very few Christians do put God foremost in their lives. If you are correct, very few Christians do have any hope at all.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/10/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Seeker said...

Soteriologically speaking, my tendencies follow those of Dee's.

5/10/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Seeker said...

=We are redeemed by trusting in Jesus Christ to grant us eternal life.=

What does it mean to trust in Jesus?

What does it mean to love the approval of men rather than the approval of God?

5/10/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

KC, I agree with you and Matthew that their belief was sufficient.

5/10/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dee thanks so much for engaging this so openly. I don’t think it would be fair to say you are off base and this post was intended to help us all consider our own convictions. I plan to expound on my understanding and I hope you’ll continue to challenge me on this. For now I have a question;

Dee, Karen (and Adam please feel free to hash this out here with me again), in 1st Corinthians 5 Paul admonished the Church at Corinth for failing to take action against a certain sinner. Given your present understanding what does it mean to turn such a one over to satan to destroy the flesh that his spirit might be saved?

5/10/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Does anyone think there is never a time when you are to be quiet about your belief? I do but the examples are extreme.
Old Pastor and a our friends at Asian outreach certainly had to keep there mouths shut while going through check points with Bibles. Bibles pleaded for by the believers in Yunon Province. It does not connect but there must be other times where unless urged by God the believer is to remain quiet cause we do not get the benefit of what tomorrow will bring God knows. However in the context of the post I think Christ was making the hard hit point that Our love of Him needs trump our desire of mans acceptance but I don't see the condemnation I see a offer of healing within the context. But that does not automatically mean that it is always done in the way of professing belief in public especially if God has a need for you to be somewhere else in the future that you would not be if you opened your mouth.

Is what I said seen as hiding?

For the record everyone one I meet knows exactly what I believe, but I never would have been able to get in the door of the pagan community if I walked in and said "Hi I am a Christian". God made it so certain people in that belief system were ready to hear at different times and over time all knew. But would I have even been heard one word if I went blazing in with my beliefs in front of me?

God's good and perfect , I'm not, thankfully there is a Savior to bridge the difference.

5/10/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Gordon I was fairly certain but it's encouraging to know that. ;-)

Mrs Zeke I think you've made an excellent point and there are examples in scripture that indicate that in order to please Him there are times we must be silent and times we must speak. If we begrudge the Spirit and fail to do according to His will at the appropriate time are we in danger of eternal condemnation?

I say our election to eternal life is made sure by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ and not by obediance or submission or anything else we could offer. That is not to say these things do not have both present and eternal consequences, I believe they do but I trust God's word and His promise concerning His gift of eternal life.

5/10/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Regarding keeping silent:

There is an Assemblies of God missionary who, while on furlough, made his rounds, itinerating to the various churches in the district, cementing his support base so that he could return. He ministers in a Communist far eastern country where the preaching of the gospel is forbidden. So he runs an orphanage and school for a people who would otherwise be homeless and have no access to education.

It made a number of people in my fellowship uncomfortable to the point of anger that this fellow did not make the preaching of the gospel a centerpiece of his missionary effort. They questioned whether we should support a man who wasn't openly witnessing for Christ. Well, consider the man's dilemma. If he doesn't preach, he alienates the people who foot the bill for his efforts. If he preaches, he gets booted from that country, and no one feeds nor educates the children.

I think you have to be a hardcore religionist jack*ss to not come to the conclusion that it's better to feed and house the children, especially after hearing this brother's testimony.

As it turns out, this fellow is in a fair amount of contact with the county overseer. This overseer knows this man is a Christian, but would be duty-bound to shut down the orphanage and deport the missionary if he caught him violating the communist party rules. But after being exposed to this fellow for 20 or so years, and observing the love this brother displays toward everyone, including the overseer, his heart has grown toward my missionary friend. Over tea one day, the overseer even said, "One day, when I am retired from my duties, you and I shall sit and talk freely, for I wish to know what it is that makes you love people so."

Sorry to make such a long comment over a side point, but it's a story I like to tell, and thought was relevant. Although we're talking about people who keep silent for fear of losing respect or position, not because of the greater good. That's a whole 'nother story.

I think Jesus was saying,"Now is not the time for me to judge, but the day will come."

5/10/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

"Confessing Christ is nver made a condition for receiving eternal life, but belief on Jesus certainly is."

Rom 10:9 if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

5/10/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Seeker said...

The man in I Cor. 5 was calling himself a believer, a brother; and he was living in unrepentant, open immorality. And the church was proud in its tolerance (v.6).

It's not apparent whether any reconciliation had been attempted. The man, calling himself a believer but living as though he were not, in Paul's view was not to be associated with.

If he were not claiming to be a believer, they would be free to associate with him, though not, of course, as a brother. As it is, he was staining their fellowship with a lie; that it's okay for a man to live immorally with his father's wife.

Paul was saying to remove him from association with them as a body of believers, since he was unrepentant of his immorality.

I cannot say with certainty that Paul sees the man as a true believer, although it's possible. I would think that one need not deliver an unbeliever to Satan, since he's already in Satan's realm.

Satan can, and does, deal in the lives of believers. This may be off-subject, but we do have biblical warnings in this regard.

A believer's spirit WILL be saved, no matter the disposition of his fleshly body. Paul is saying that this man's flesh will be destroyed (possibly unto death) so that his spirit MAY be saved. Hence, I cannot be totally certain of the man's spiritual state.

5/10/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey I would say that missionary was preaching the Gospel with his life and his love.

I do think however that there is more to this passage given the circumstance. This dialog was initiated through the circumstances unlike the sermon on the mount.

Adam what does this mean, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness"?

Karen that is truly the most honest interpretation I have ever heard form someone who holds your convictions and once more you've earned my trust and respect. I know the implication is clear to you but I want to restate it for all.

If this mans eternal destiny depended on his obediance then he would have NO HOPE at all and I think that point has been stressed already. None of us can earn eternal life. This is not to say that his actions had no impact on his eternal standing but even more they impacted his very life and it was lost, a total waste and he, as we, must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ and answer for the works done in our life.

"13Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1 Corinthians 3

5/11/2006 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Adam, there is more to being saved than receiving eternal life.

Progressive sanctification and voercoming the world are part of our salvation and are dependant on our confessing Christ.

Romans 10 says that with the heart a man believeth unto righteousness. Therefore, Paul does not compromise his doctrine of justification in that passage by adding an extra condition to being justified.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/11/2006 10:46:00 AM  

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