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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Only One

I am questioned many times concerning my willingness and desire to fellowship with others who so strongly contradict the doctrines I consider critical and hold to as dear. I could easily offer numerous examples of many who wrongly passed judgment on others in their effort to determine who are “true” believers. I suppose I could justify myself with numerous scriptures that warn against attempting to make such determinations still none of this would explain how it is that I truly desire fellowship with these “false teachers” and “obvious heretics” who “can’t possibly be saved”.

Matthew, Mark and Luke each give an account of an event that occurred just prior to witnessing the miracle of Jesus raising a young woman from the dead.

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Mark 5 (KJV)
Had I been present to witness this event would I have believed this woman when she confessed to Jesus or would my vast knowledge and understanding clearly have showed me that this woman could not possibly have been made whole? She obviously believed she could make this happen by “working her way through” the crowd to touch Him and clearly she had not repented, was not baptized, confessed only to Christ, gave no consideration to the eternal consequence of her act, had no fruit at all and therefore could not possibly know if she had been chosen for God's grace, right? Even when the Lord questioned concerning her actions all she could do was talk about what “she” had done. Obviously she had “missed the mark”, right?

There was a throng of people surrounding Jesus that day and they were all heading the same direction and seemed to be walking so close to Him. They were all there to follow Him to see where He might lead or what He might do. There was only one there with the foolish intent to make her way through the press and accomplish the one thing that she had determined she must do. There was only One there that day who knew that in spite of her ignorance she had been made whole through His virtue. There were so many touching Jesus at that moment but only there who believed on Him and no one beside Him could know that she had. He was the only one with the knowledge, power and authority to say to her, “thy faith hath made thee whole” and she was the only one there beside Him who could know that it was so. I cannot know if your faith has made you whole but I do have every reason to believe in God’s gracious merciful love.

It may be that you have walked with the crowd for years but if you've never determined to do the one thing that you must do to be whole then let this be that moment. Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and be whole by His virtue.

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32 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

There is the question of what our Lord meant by 'made whole.'

8/20/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Matthew. I can appreciate that this understanding would be a cause for controversy. It seems to contradict almost every plan and order of salvation currently taught but I am unable to find cause for believing that there is one kind of faith in God that is for deliverance and another kind of faith that is for eternal life. This passage is an indication to me that the grace of God truly does surpass our understanding.

8/21/2006 05:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I truly desire fellowship with these “false teachers” and “obvious heretics” who “can’t possibly be saved”

Hey!!! You leave us Church of Christ-ers out of it! (just kidding)

You bring up a good point about not knowing if a person's faith has made them whole. But I don't think it relates only to those who disagree. Even if a person does believe exactly the same Biblical doctrines and teachings as another person, there is no way for either one to know if the "seal" has been put upon the other.

And, as usual, D.F. brings up a good point in just one sentence.

8/21/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Great post, as usual, KC. I think some people are going to be very surprised when they get to heaven by who they see there.

As far as the woman's salvation goes, Jesus said, "Go in peace, AND be whole of thy plague". The "Go in peace" part makes me think something besides mere physical healing took place.

8/21/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff, the reference to baptism was just for the Coc’ers (grin).

I think you’ve clearly stated what I intended concerning those who have walked with the crowd yet may never have done what is required. I agree that only those who are sealed are safe but I’m curious, do you find that there are those who believe in Christ and yet are not sealed?

I agree concerning Matthew as well. He is a blessing in any discussion concerning the Truth.

Preacher, thanks for the encouragement and the excellent point. I think it impossible for anyone to be at peace apart from Christ.

8/21/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

I truly believe that only in Jesus Christ we can be whole. And I totally agree that no one can be at peace apart from HIM.

8/21/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I truly desire fellowship with these “false teachers” and “obvious heretics” who “can’t possibly be saved”

I like that...

8/21/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Amen Sis!. We must have telepathy or something. I just left your place. ;-)

Adam me thinks you do too. ;-)

8/21/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

"do you find that there are those who believe in Christ and yet are not sealed"

Yes.
Faith in Christ is a prerequisite for baptism.

8/21/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff, on that point we agree but I think we differ in our understanding of how we are sealed “unto the day of redemption”. I conclude from Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit after we have believed.

I really do appreciate your willingness to discuss these things.

8/21/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

KC,
Good words. I think Christ does admonish us to look at the fruit of a person to determine the tree. That is why I can fellowship with those who disagree with my doctrine, and hopefully vice versa. The underlying question, and that which seemed to be important to Christ according to Luke 8, is whether or not we are producing fruit. Time and time again, I have seen some of the things you have written, and thought, how can he be saved and come to that conclusion? (I thought that wrongly of course). Yet, underneath our differences of understanding are the fruits of the Spirit. By a tree, ye shall know its fruit. And because of the fruit I have seen in you, and others, I know that you are a brother in the LORD.

I'm grateful that God's grace is not limited to our understandings of scripture. As the cliche goes: when we get to heaven, we will be surprised to see who is there, who is not there, and that we are there!

Blessings

8/21/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor, when you say fruit I know we really are comparing apples to apples. ;-)

Given time I hope you will come to understand why I believe as I do even if we continue to disagree but in the meantime I pray that God will continue to shower His blessings on you and yours. ;-)

8/21/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

KC, you are so wise. What seminary did you attend?

WAIT don't answer that. If you did then someone might understand why you are so wise or not so wise and therefore have reason to agree or disagree. LOL

8/21/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kris, you know too well I am just an old fool but thanks for the kindness dear brother.

As for formal education I have none but I am blessed to have many brilliant brethren who are kind enough to discuss things with me as illustrated above. ;-)

8/21/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Kris & KC...
Seminary, scheminary! Let's not give in to that common assumption that because someone has attended seminary, they are somehow more spiritual than those who haven't. That is balderdash. I have attended seminary and knew a lot of guys that were as spiritually wise as coffee grounds! The problem was, that many of them felt they were spiritual gurus because of that. I find that I learn a great deal more about our Savior when I forget that I have attended and I'm willing to listen to those who have not!

I know, off subject... but let's put that spiritual myth into the grave and leave there. God doesn't bless someone because they have been to seminary. He blesses those who walk with HIM! See Enoch, Noah, David, and even that Jesus fellow, who never went to seminary!
Blessings

8/22/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Kc,
I am always willing to discuss these things. There are too many holes in my understanding to not discuss them. ;-)

As you know, no Scripture can stand alone, but needs all the others in order to be understood properly. Let me put the passages you mentioned in with some other Scriptures.

Paul writes in Col. 3 that "those who believe" are children of Abraham. He goes on to say "that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe." And then he says that "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

So we see that Paul refers to believers as those who have already been baptized. And he states that it isn't until after baptism that a person is clothed with Christ which I understand to be another way of saying "sealed."

Lydia in Acts 16 as well is baptized and then asks if the brothers "consider her a believer" then they are welcome to stay at her house.


As I understand it, the word "believer" is commonly used to describe both someone who has already been baptized (eg: Timothy's mother in Acts 16), and someone who simply believes (eg: John 1:12 says that belief simply gives you the right to become a child of God, not too dissimilar to turning 15 1/2 gives you the right to start driving. This fits well with the Col. 3 passage I referred to.).

So when I read Eph. chapter 1 (which is a contriversial passage anyway) and Eph. chapter 4, I can safely understand that Paul is talking to and about post baptism beievers.

8/22/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor I know your point is valid but I still have great respect for those like yourself and others who, from a sincere desire to be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, have committed their time and money in order to have a better understanding of the things of God. ;-)

Jeff, thanks for the considered response. Matthew 3:11 recorded the words of John the Baptist as he defined the baptism of Jesus as being with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Isn’t this how we are baptized with Christ? In Matthew 20:23 Jesus told His disciples, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” again making reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not water baptism. I am persuaded that this is how we are baptized with Christ as referenced in Galatians 3:27 and not by water baptism. This also agrees with Paul’s explanation of our salvation in that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works. Water baptism is a work of the Church whereas the baptism of the Holy Spirit is of God. The book of Acts also records many instances of how that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and were given life prior to water Baptism. It is by His Spirit that we are sealed.

8/22/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rom 16:17

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
NKJV

The doctrines of soteriology are supra-essential. I will not fellowship with those who preach a false gospel.

Fellowship is a special activity reserved for those who are brothers and sisters in Christ, and in fellowship with God.

I am convinced that there are saved people who preach a false gospel. Paul says "let [them] be accursed". They are not in fellowship with God. They are under the sway and wiles of the devil.

I will not "fellowship" with anyone who preaches a false gospel.

It isn't enough that the person "could be a brother", for you do not know if they are saved or not (for they could have believed the true gospel at one time but now have departed from the truth).

The person must also be in fellowship with the Lord. Anyone preaching a false gospel is under a curse and not in fellowship with the Lord.

Titus 1:7-13
For a bishop must... hold fast the faithful word as has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers... whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not... Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.

False teachers divide, offend, and destroy.

You must part company with them!

Will you be assessory to their sin?

8/22/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Antonio I appreciate your admonition and I know your passion for the Truth and your love.

It is difficult for me to find my place at times but I have accepted that I am not a Titus. I have also accepted that you are and it is so clear that God has gifted you accordingly. Wouldn’t it be sinful for me to rebuke a bishop but even so isn’t rebuke a necessary part of fellowship “that they may be sound in the faith”? This does not prevent me from admonishing them and that I do but are these false teachers or are they brethren who have erred? Regarding false teachers, aren’t they those who deny Christ? None of my brethren do that.

With respect to the doctrines that I’ve learned I can only point to the commandments of love and all that they entail. Much of my position is here comes from my understanding of Romans 14.

I pray I will never be accessory to any sin but I beg your wisdom now. If you can see where I have been a stumbling block or caused division in any way please show me and I will repent. I truly want only to promote love between us that the world might know we are His and that our testimony of Him is true.

8/23/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

brother, i have a question from a friend regarding 'cross versus stake' on my blog....can u help me out please?

8/23/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Timothy,
I so glad you said what you said about seminary. Because Kc and I usually agree on most things, my comments to him are usually based on some type of sarcasim.

I had already known from previous conversations with kc over the past 2 years that he or I did not attend any seminary or 'higher' bible learning institute. I made that statement in attempt to be the unsucessful comedian that I usually am on the internet.
Anyway it blesses me to know how you feel about seminaries even after you have attended. To be clear though, I did not intend to knock seminary training, I think its good and better than no schooling if humility is the common trait of the persons attending. The apostle Paul was probably the only New Testament writer that did attend some type of theology school under Gamiel and he was one of the greatest.

Thanks Tim for just being a part of this blogging life in discussing issues over the past few months.

8/23/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Did I miss your birthday?? Somehown I'm thinking I did. Happy Belated Birthday. If I'm completely off-base, just ignore this comment

8/23/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Kristi. You're a dear sweet sister. ;-)

8/24/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

EEEWWWWwwww!!! I hate to blog on other people's blogs. (Actually, for the sake of honest, that is not a true statement.)

But you did throw a lot of stuff into that short comment of yours, Kc. I am therefore compelled to answer them. ;-)
(I put your comments to me in italics...)


Matthew 3:11 recorded the words of John the Baptist as he defined the baptism of Jesus as being with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Isn’t this how we are baptized with Christ?

JTB’s baptism was a baptism for repentance. It’s purpose was to set up the coming of the Kingdom. Paul explains the difference to the 12 men in Ephesus like this:
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
"John's baptism," they replied.
Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
(Acts 19:1-6)

The apparent sequence for these 12 guys is: John’s baptism --> believe in Jesus --> baptism in water --> An apostle laying his hands on them --> receipt of the out-dwelling gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The purpose of water baptism changed after Acts 2.


In Matthew 20:23 Jesus told His disciples, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” again making reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not water baptism. I am persuaded that this is how we are baptized with Christ as referenced in Galatians 3:27 and not by water baptism.

In Matthew. 20:23, it seems to me that Jesus is not speaking literally. As I understand it, the “cup” He was referring to was His crucifixion. The guys may have mistaken Him to mean a literal cup at the time, but I think they figured it out later.(See Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42) The baptism Jesus talks about is also not a literal baptism. Sure, He’s talking about a full immersion. But there is every possibility that it is a reference to Jesus being immersed in His task or some such thing as that.

I do think it strange that many reliable translation of this passage don’t even include the baptism statements. Because of that, and because the passage is written in such a figurative, symbolic way in the KJV, I would be hesitant to use it for setting doctrine.

This also agrees with Paul’s explanation of our salvation in that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works. Water baptism is a work of the Church whereas the baptism of the Holy Spirit is of God.


I know this one has been beaten to death for the last 400+ years…
I don’t understand how baptism would be included as a “work” regarding the Eph 2 passage you are referencing. Paul writes: ”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Why would anyone boast about being baptized? It isn’t even a work that you can do to yourself. Someone else has to do it to you. I would even go so far as to say that you are doing more work my believing than you are by being baptized.

I believe a clearer explanation of Paul’s view of salvation is found in Romans 6. Baptism is a parallel to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.


The book of Acts also records many instances of how that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and were given life prior to water Baptism. It is by His Spirit that we are sealed.

I agree that there are instances when they received the out-dwelling gifts of the Holy Spirit. But that happened even in the Old Testament. So I am not shocked when it happens in the New Testament. However, none of those instances of the Holy Spirit being given to pre-baptized people indicate that their sins were forgiven.
And you are right. It is by the Hply Spirit we are sealed.

8/24/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cinder said...

Kc, I am just dropping by to say a quick hello to you...once I'm rested up, I'll be back to catch up on reading the posts I missed!

Blessings to you!

8/24/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

KC,
You said "I truly desire fellowship with these “false teachers” and “obvious heretics” who “can’t possibly be saved.”

I understand what you and Antonio are talking about...I think. :) Antonio is talking about true fellowship in the Lord, which can only be with other believers. You are talking about "fellowshipping," spending time with them, in order to rebuke false teachers as needed, but predominantly to witness to these non-believers hidden amongst us, so they too can be saved by Christ. The best way to witness to someone is by relationship with them. And we are to be "in the world" and not "of the world." Is the difference between what you and Antonio said is your definition of "fellowship?"

8/24/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff, I hope you will always feel welcome to discuss any issue here and I appreciate your willingness to discuss this one especially because I know it is a critical doctrine to your denomination.

If we can agree that His Spirit seals us then I think we have much scripture we can discuss. I do accept your contention concerning the KJV and so, if you allow, I will offer the NASB in the future.

From what I gather the question now pertains to exactly when it is that we are sealed by His Spirit, after that we believe or after we are baptized? I will be happy to discuss that but would you agree that even more to the point the real question is, when do we inherit eternal life? ;-)

Hi Cinder! I pray you will be refreshed soon and I look forward to reading your thoughts as always. ;-)

Sis Beth I think Antonio and I both have the fellowship of believers in view. I was being sarcastic in my comment in that, for most, those who hold to a different interpretation or understanding of the scripture are considered to be false teachers and heretics when in fact they are brethren. Christ established the means whereby we are to resolve these issues but we have forsaken His way in favor of an easier way that allows us to avoid having to confront the Truth. It is easier to simply turn our back on them and justify our reproach with our own judgment rather than doing the hard work of discipleship.

I really do like your thoughts concerning our demeanor regardless or whether others are believers or not. ;-)

8/24/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Brother KC,

I want you to know that I really appreciate this post. At times with the Anxieties coming from many differant camps...well I am a person who can be easily intimidated emotionally and socially whether some realize it or not...but God has finally given me peace about the truth. I rest in him believing in His truths. Thank you for considering me a brother and understanding this.

It means a lot.

I hope we can all one day see that we do indeed believe in Faith Alone, but like this woman with the issue of blood it is hard to work through understanding how we came to Christ because I am convince that everyone that is Born Again is born into the family of God in a unique way...just like each snowflake is unique but as the snowflake so is our faith. Identical and in Christ alone and His grace alone.

8/24/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian I totally agree. God's grace is exactly as needed for each of us. I'm so thankful for you brother. ;-)

8/24/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

"I will be happy to discuss that but would you agree that even more to the point the real question is, when do we inherit eternal life? ;-)"

Um...if you say so...sure. I don't know that I have ever thought about the terms for Biblical "inheritance" before. This could be most educational for me!

And it doesn't bother me a bit if you want to use the KJV or whatever translation you want. I use the NIV in my daily reading. And it certainly ain't perfect. ;-)

I may not be too quick to get back with a response at times. I am planning a retreat, trying to reoganize the music ministry, trying to prepare a class on Church History (yeah, I know...SCARY!). All of that needs to happen in the next month or so. And I'm trying to keep up with my OWN blog. And there is every chance that I am going to need to study out the stuff you offer me. So if my responses come slowly, please have patience, as I am sure you will.

Having said all that, what do you believe about when we inherit eternal life? I have heard two schools of thought. One is that Christians have already inherited it once they are saved. (And I am sure that there is another debate regarding the details of that.) And others seem to believe that we inherit it on the Day.
I've not thought about it, but I look forward to some hearing, contributing, and learning.

8/25/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff, I'm really enjoying being able to just talk with you and not having to debate. I like where we're headed here too and I think it might be best if we first try to determine what eternal life. I'll offer a post soon for your critiqe. ;-)

8/25/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger audrey` said...

Here is another beautiful drawing from your most beloved missus :)

8/26/2006 07:27:00 AM  

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