Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions

[Download MP3]

Was God ever “divorced”?  Did Judaism influence ancient Greek mythology?  What’s so different about repentance for Christians, as opposed to Muslims or Jews?  It’s that time again!  Dr. Brown answers your questions!

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Don’t be moved by the latest argument or fad; God’s Word is still the best selling book in the world for a reason.  It is still truth, it is still setting people free, and if we will take His Word seriously, we will be transformed!

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Jesus our Lord is utterly trustworthy.  We do have an adversary who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy, but in Jesus we will be kept safe.  Keep your eyes on Him, follow Him,  and rejoice.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR A LIMITED TIME!   The Great Debate [DVD]:   Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Bart Ehrman on the problem of suffering. ONLY $10, PLUS FREE SHIPPING!

Call 1-800-278-9978 from 2-4 pm EST, or ORDER ONLINE!

Other Resources:

How Saved Are We? by Dr. Brown:  This unsettling book challenges us to ask ourselves what kind of born-again experience we have had if it calls for almost no personal sacrifice, produces virtually no separation from the world, and breeds practically no hatred of sin.

_

Go and Sin no More [mp3 CD]: Titled after Dr. Brown’s book release, this eight part series highlights key biblical truths regarding sin and holiness. This series is a must for believers desiring to walk in holiness before the Lord.

Clear the Way for Prayer! VOR Article by Bryan Purtle

“Pray without ceasing….” -1 Thess. 5.17 The apostles of Scripture, basing their lives on the pattern left by Jesus, gave themselves unreservedly to a life of prayer, and they called the saints to enter into the same reality by the grace of God. They knew that it was only by entering into the place of […]

67 Comments
  1. Dr. Brown,
    1. Thanks for reminding me of Psalm 137.

    To “dash” demonic thoughts (when possible sinful acts are in the period of “gestation” or “infancy”) against the “rock” of the Word of God — Jesus is the Word, and is called the “Rock” [Daniel 4 + in other verses] and a “stumbling stone” [in 1 P 2:8 + Ro 9:33 + Is 8:14] — I think, is a valid *application* of the Scripture for today (it is not an explanation after the order of the one you gave, though).

    2. Didn’t Jesus bring something new to the table, anyways — “It was said… but I say…” ?

  2. Not of necessity “new”, as in “discontinuity”; but “new”, as in when a “seed” is planted, and the “new” form of it is seen: the seed-bearing plant.

  3. I wouldn’t like someone rejoicing over hurting me.

    I suppose if I had been rejoicing at the injury and hurt of others by my own doing, I should be able to understand why others might have the same reaction to the things they did that were to my harm.

    If I can perceive such a thing to be evil against me, then I should know that what I have done was wrong.

    If I can get that far, I suppose I might not be so far from the kingdom of God.

  4. 🙂 Here we go again.

    I am totally with the caller Dennis (thankfully I am not alone) – Love Dr. Brown’s show and ministry, but totally do not agree with Dr. Brown’s idea of repentance and its connection with Salvation.

    If I am wrong, then I have asked this question several times – but I have never received an answer for it – If repentance is the one vital key ingredient in Salvation, why is it missing in John’s Gospel when John’s gospel is EXPLICITLY evangelistic –

    “Many other signs therefore also Jesus did before his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life in his name.”

  5. Question…

    Do we need to do our part in order to receive Salvation?

    Lets look at it this way… A Parable of sort here. Lets compare Salvation to a cake. o k, now…Can we truly have our cake and eat it too?

    Lets say Salvation represents a cake.

    There are many ingredients to make a cake.

    1)flour represents repentance. (Anyone can receive Jesus’s free gift of Salvation but if you are living in unrepentant sin, ex) a homosexual life style, being a liar, a thief, an abuser, etc. you can not enter Heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    2)eggs represents obedience (To love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor )Mark 12:30-31

    3)chocolate(its a chocolate cake 🙂 ) represents faith in Jesus. Faith in the sacrifice. Romans 10:9-10, 13

    4)sugar represents forgiveness. (If we do not forgive we can not be forgiven by our Father in Heaven.) Matthew 6:15

    5) salt represents confessing your sins, acknowledge that you are a sinner. 1 John 1:9

    There might be more ingredients here. But hopefully you get the gist of the point of this parable.

    Is this a correct parable or do you believe we can receive Salvation(cake) w/o eating the ingredients of the cake? Would there be a cake (Salvation) w/o the ingredients.

    HMMM. Food for thought, or should I say cake for thought?

  6. Sister Debbie,

    Thanks, the Cake analogy is nice, and made me hungry too, but but may I present some Scripture passages and perhaps we can discuss.

    When the word is undefined, “Salvation” does not mean “saved from sins” – if that were the case, then all who say they are “saved” (from sin) must live total sinless lives (Sinless perfection). Even our esteemed leaders in faith will not honestly make a claim to Sinless perfection! If they do, then they are lying (“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 Jn 1:8). Being “Saved” is a very large concept and it involves Justification (Rom 3:24, John 5:24), Sanctification(1 Pet 1:15, 1 Thes 5:23) and Glorification (1 John 3:1-2, Rom. 8:17) – on a personal level we are saved from the penalty of sin once for all at the moment we put our faith in Christ(Justification), we are being saved from the power of sin progressively as we surrender our lives to HIM daily (practical Sanctification), and finally one day we will be saved from the presence of sin in the age to come(glorification). All of these concepts come beautifully together in 2Co 1:10 “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (Notice all the 3 tenses being used, Past, present and future – Justification, Sanctification and Glorification)

    Due to my sins I was in the enemy camp and spiritually dead (Eph 2:1), with no hope but to perish in eternal separation from God (Rom 6:23a). Since God knew I could not pay the penalty of sin myself (Isaiah 64:6), HE interposed HIS SON Jesus Christ(1 Cor. 15:3), who knew no sin (1 John 3:5) but was MADE sin on the Cross (2 Cor. 5:21), to pay the penalty of sin, and imputing to me HIS righteousness, (“not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith”. Phil 3:9)

    Now consider this passage from Ephesians 2:

    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    What is our WORK? Is receiving a GIFT considered WORK? Our Justification is based on the FINISHED WORK of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing you and I can do to ADD TO HIS FINISHED WORK!

    The Salvation I described above STARTS with a NEW BIRTH. The answer to the question Nicodemus asked our Lord in John’s Gospel is still a puzzle to many believers today. NEW BIRTH starts with believing in Jesus Christ (John 3: 15, 16). Once you are BORN, you CANNOT BE UNBORN! Its the most natural phenomenon, and yet, there are fine believers who will claim that you can lose your salvation (ie. become UNBORN) But John 3:15 clearly sates “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”. According these believers who insist that you can become UNBORN – ETERNAL LIFE IS NOT ETERNAL AT ALL. In fact, they will insist that ETERNAL LIFE can be terminated by your sin, something that defies the bounds of language (If its Eternal, it cannot be lost, if it can be lost, then its not Eternal, plain and simple!!) Also notice, that Christ says nothing about Repentance to Nicodemus or to the Samaritan Woman, just to make it clear.

    So, what about sinning believers? Apostle Paul himself said in Romans 6 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

    Notice what Apostle Paul DID NOT SAY. He does not say – that you believers who sin are now unbelievers! Rather he is using positive reinforcement by saying, “How can we continue in wickedness anymore?? Don’t you know that we are dead in Christ???” He does not say – you need to be born again, and again and again!

    So back to your first point – how should we interpret 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind……”. Notice the words “shall not inherit” – could this have implications to the third part of the Salvation, ie, Glorification? Pls. prayerfully consider this question. Also in this connection notice the words of Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15 “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:”

    Once again, I would request you to read “Absolutely Free” (available for about two dollars aftermarket price – http://www.amazon.com/Absolutely-Free-Biblical-Lordship-Salvation/dp/0310519608) by the late Dr. Zane Hodges, an eminent Biblical Scholar and a former Professor at the Dallas Theological Seminary.

    May I also throw in one additional passage – I think I heard Dr. Brown from yesterday’s show use 2 Timothy 2:19 as a test for Salvation (if I misheard, I offer my apologies, I do not wish to misrepresent) – May I humbly suggest that “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” is not a test for Salvation, but rather is an exhortation to Holiness (Notice the word “Let”)

    Hope this is helpful. My idea is not to take a Teacher’s role, but rather “as iron sharpens iron….”

  7. James, re: repentance in the Gospel of John, first, if it is found prominently in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts but not in John, do we then throw it out? Hardly! For that matter, John doesn’t mention “hell.” What should we make of that?

    Second, the concept of repentance is found plainly in John, including John 3:16-21, where salvation means coming out of darkness into the light. That is repentance! I think what you’re doing is understanding “repent” and “repentance” through the distorted lens of the anti-lordship folks as opposed to through the lens of what I’m presenting in the Scriptures. Could that be possible? Your last post to Debbie, for example, argues against things I personally don’t even hold to, making me wonder aloud about the distorted lens through which you could be viewing things.

  8. When we repent of our sins, by faith receiving the the grace of God that does redeem us by the suffering of Christ, we are called to live apart from all sin, which is a part of our salvation.

    Being saved from so great a death as the judgment against us requires because of our sins, we do rejoice in God our saviour. Yet, we must soberly remember what we were and what we are called to be. We must continue to live in this grace of God
    by faith. So we die often, and live again. By this process we are in the work of God that will bring us to perfection.

    My friend had a call on his phone. It was a co-worker who was asking for prayer, but the man was not a Christian. He was of some other religion.

    His friend was asking that by divine influence, the judge, to whom he was to soon appear before, would see fit to give him mercy concerning a certain traffic violation.

    We asked him if he had indeed committed the offence and if so, if he had taken it to God, repenting of it, and by faith in Jesus, thanked him for forgiveness.

    He said he had not, and wasn’t going to do that.

    So, no such request before God’s throne came from us on his behalf.

    We did pray for the salvation of his soul, if he will, thanking God for saving such as will be saved by Jesus.

  9. In addition to #11, the man had indeed committed the traffic violation, something of importance as we minister to others the good news.

  10. James,
    Even the Jewish, Muslim, Jehovah Witnesses , Mormon, Unitarians and Muslims believe in Jesus, Heck, even the demons believe in Jesus. Just because you believe in Jesus doesn’t mean you are saved. To be born again is like receiving a spiritual operation. We are all born spiritually dead. When we ask Jesus to come live inside of us and to receive His free gift of Salvation, we then become changed. Hence, born again means to change. Go from “our” way of living to “God’s” way of living.

    If you accept Jesus free gift of Salvation but yet do not change then you can lose your Salvation. If this was not true why would Jesus waste His time talking to the “churches” in the book of Revelation to change. To Hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the church.

    My Pastor said the other day…When the rapture takes place there still will be plenty of folks who will be going to church on Sunday. Meaning just because one goes to church does not mean you are saved.

    In order to receive this free gift of Salvation we can not spit in the person’s face who gave it to us. We need to walk in appreciation of this free gift and show gratefulness. How do we show appreciation of this free gift. Change. We need to change us.

    To be born again means to change from the inside.

    Galatians 2:20
    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

  11. Dr. Brown,

    Dr. Zane Hodges’ book “Absolutely Free” caused many revisions in the treatment of repentance in the Lordship camp – especially with John McArthur I understand. Dr. Zane Hodges was, as you are aware an editor for the NKJV Bible, so his understanding of Greek where not suspect.

    I am sorry that you were not helped by Zane’s book, but my wife and I have paid a terrible price for standing for the clear Free Grace Gospel, which I do not want to go into here, but suffice it to say, this issue is very personal to me. We can accuse the other of the “rose colored glasses” 🙂 but then we must get back to the Word!

    Unfortunately I do not share your understanding on “coming out of darkness” in the passage you mention. Just to be clear – I am not against repentance. God can cause any set of circumstances to bring an unbeliever to Salvation – including repentance! My only concern is that adding repentance as a First to Salvation in every case is distorting the plain and simple Gospel of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The prescription to the Philipian Jailor is the least common denominator in Salvation –

    Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    What Lordship Gospel has done to the believer is that they are never at Peace! They are constantly looking inward, and wondering whether they are saved or not? May I ask you – how is this any different from Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai’s lack of assurance at his deathbed which caused him to cry? Assurance is the essence of Salvation!

    Dr. Brown, I have learned a lot from you – I was a full concessionalist before listening to you. I have changed my position now. I am reading through many a books that you have recommend over the air, including a few which in my opinion do a very “poor treatment of the Word!” – so I have changed my positions, and I remain teachable. I only pray that you will not easily dismiss the free Grace Position.

    I appreciate you giving me an opportunity to share my views with out any hindrance. You are at liberty to take that away if you feel it distracts from your point of view and your ministry.

  12. Auto correction kills the post – please read “cessationalist” instead of “concessionalist” in the 2nd last para of my last post.

  13. One more thing – my point about the absence of repentance in John’s Gospel when it is so prevalent in the Synoptics is PRECISELY the point! This becomes even more glaring when the stated purpose of John is Evangelistic. So did John err in giving us a partial Gospel presentation? If I were writing a thesis on “How to be Saved” and only implied about Jesus Christ without making explicit reference to His Person and Work, would you give me a passing Grade? And yet we accuse John of this very thing! If Repentance is the First Word of Salvation, then Apostle John did a very poor job!

    Perhaps we must consider why Jewish repentance (a covenant people under a unique relationship to God, who had the sacrificial system as a basis of approach) was important to the Synoptics, while this is absent in John’s Gospel.

  14. James,
    Just want to note this. I believe in receiving Salvation(free gift from Jesus) first, then the Holy Spirit shows you how to clean house. Meaning, the changes that takes place in a follower’s life. We need to work with what the Holy Spirit is showing us. Repentance, forgiveness, live in Holiness(with God’s help). etc.

    James…
    Do you believe in repentance and being changed into Jesus Christ? or do you believe in just receiving Salvation and that is it?

  15. Sister Debbie,

    We must discern things that differ. Of course I believe that repentance is VITAL (VITAL VITAL) in the life of a believer. How else can we get forgiveness of sins when the Holy Spirit reveals it to our spirit? This is the realm of Sanctification! We are commanded to be Holy in Peter’s Epistle I quoted before. But because the “old man” still lives in us, we can get our “feet” dirty in this wicked world. That is where the Holy Spirit convicts us by the Water of the Word and we repent and confess our sins to God.

    My problems is only when repentance is prescribed for Justification! Pls. refer to the several verses from the Bible I quoted in my several posts above – we are justified freely by believing on the name of Jesus Christ (His Person and Finished Work). When Christ says that by believing in HIM, we inherit Everlasting Life, then we simply put our trust in HIS Word for our Resurrection. See John’s rendering of the discourse between the Lord and Martha at Lazarus’ tomb (I am the resurrection passage)

    Kindly re-read my post # 8 and see the distinctions about Justification, Sanctification and Glorification. In the early 1900s, G. H. Lang wrote a very nice paper on Atonement – someone has put it up online to read. This was very helpful to me. ATONING BLOOD – WHAT IT DOES AND WHAT IT DOES NOT DO by G. H. LANG

  16. James,
    You would get along great with my Pastor.

    Anyways, I’m getting confused in all this. I just want to state I did not write anything in error. But for some reason, I think you think I am wrong in what I posted.

    I think I am just going to eat some choc. cake now. 🙂 (kidding)

  17. Debbie,

    On the contrary, I was agreeing with you. Sorry that even my agreement sounds like a quarrel 🙂 Have a good cake!

  18. I suppose we could ask if anyone has ever been justified without repentance and look at Abraham who was justified by faith, but in a practical sense in our lives, doesn’t our justification usually come after we have repented?

    Suppose we believe in Christ but have sin and are living in sin, are we presently justified, or are we a sinner in need of justification by faith?

    Abraham was given a promise of God, a very great and precious promise and he was found to be just simply by believing the promise. But there came a time when his faith was put to the test and he went to offer up his son Isaac and by doing so through faith he was found to be right.

    I suppose the lesson in this is that even a right man who walks by faith in God will at times be required to do things by faith in order to pass some tests that come, and it might not be anything about repentance.

    But in our daily lives we do find repentance to be so central a matter, so much so that we find a need to die daily in order to be right with God.

  19. Dr. Brown – thank you for your irenic spirit.

    Debbie – Free Grace folk have been labeled many things by the Anti-Grace folk (lordship), including “easy believism”. The question – “Don’t the Devil also believe in Jesus?” is a straw-man. Let me ask a question back – “Does the Devil believe in Jesus Christ for Eternal Life??” Because that is what Martha believed in when she believed in Jesus Christ.

    Ray – We cannot go one better than Scripture. If the Scripture says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house” – that is ALL that is needed for Justification before God – believing on the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. You asked a very good question about the Justification of Abraham – it was by Faith Alone, which is the whole point of Romans.

  20. Without Faith it is impossible to please God.

    A couple of years ago when I led my sister-in-law to the Lord 8 days prior to her death. We prayed Romans 10:9-10, 13. Plus, I asked her if she has any unforgiveness in her you need to let it go and forgive. She said she has no unforgiveness in her.

    I truly believe she is with the Lord now in Heaven. The Lord gave me a vision of her smiling a few months after she passed away.

    Child like faith.

  21. “If repentance is the one vital key ingredient in Salvation” – James

    So you’re saying you don’t have to think of Jesus as your master to get into heaven? Is there a back-stage entrance into heaven?
    Because if you do have to think of Jesus as your master to get into heaven then repenting is obviously essential.

    “What Lordship Gospel has done to the believer is that they are never at Peace! They are constantly looking inward, and wondering whether they are saved or not?” – James

    This is a lie. The Lord says “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life”. If you trust in the Lord then you shall not worry.

  22. James, thanks for your irenic spirit too. Here’s the problem in a nutshell: You are opposing something that you do not understand. For example, you write, “What [the] Lordship Gospel has done to the believer is that they are never at Peace! They are constantly looking inward, and wondering whether they are saved or not?”

    Not at all! I never think like this, and most I everyone I know who believes the “lordship gospel” doesn’t think like this. It’s only people who are extremely introspective and self-condemning who think like this, but what I’ve found is that they have the same problems with any system of belief they have, since the issues are in their own hearts and minds.

    As for the lordship message, it’s quite simple: The one who saves us is the Lord Jesus, and now that we are saved, it is our privilege and honor to serve Him as Lord. When we fall short, we confess our sins and are cleansed and continue to rejoice in the Lord and seek to please Him in every way. It’s wonderful! Who would reject this?

  23. Dr. Brown, your definition of “Lordship Gospel” must differ from my definition of it; perhaps that is why you say I do not understand it. The Lordship Gospel I have real trouble with is the kind of Gospel presented by John MacArthur in “The Gospel According to Jesus”, and some of the writings of J.M. Boice, W. Chantry, J.I. Packer etc. For a non-partisan view of the issue pls. check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lordship_salvation_controversy

    “The issue of faith in the Lordship controversy is whether its volitional aspect involves only simple trust or confidence in something, or that plus a deeper commitment that includes surrender and obedience. Lordship Salvation assumes the latter position.” (C. Bing)

    I have several levels of problem with Lordship Salvation. In his “The Gospel According to Jesus”, John MacArthur makes the claim that “…obedience is an integral part of saving faith” (pg. 174). I can quote several problem quotes from his book, but just this one makes a claim that is clearly against the Bible, as far as I know (Romans 3). Another problem is Assurance is nonexistent – People in Lordship camp have been taught that they should look to their own works for proof of their own Salvation for Assurance. Your experience and perhaps the experience of your “Lordship” friends must be different, but I can tell you from personal experience that a man I know who has been under the influence of such teaching as “Obedience is the inevitable manifestation of Saving Faith” (pg. 175, John MacArthur’s Gospel According to Jesus) who went crazy trying to measure up.

    Dr. Brown, what you articulated above comforts me – We are saved first by believing in Jesus alone – then we are under the Lordship of Christ as a Child of God – and when we sin as a Child of God, we repent and confess our sins to maintain communion with God, and is not a question of our Salvation Status, for once a Child of God, always a Child of God (We can be a BAD Child of God, at which point God’s Governmental dealings and discipline comes into play). I am not a Theologian or a Seminarian so I may not be articulating everything perfectly – that is the reason I suggested Zane Hodges book, but you discounted it entirely. Perhaps you will consider Charlie Bing’s book – “Lordship Salvation, a Biblical Evaluation and Response” for further light in this matter.

    Dr. Brown, I do not have a quarrel with you personally, I love you in the Lord, and I respect your honesty and the Grace with which you treat others. I will grant you that perhaps its my sensitivity to the issue that makes it very difficult for me when I hear about repentance REQUIRED for Salvation. As far as I know, all that is REQUIRED for Salvation is FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ (His person and His Finished Work). I am afraid of mixing FAITH+ANYTHING for Salvation – because anything other than Faith is Works. Sola fide! I am Sore AFRAID of the Galatian Error. Hope you understand.

  24. (Contd from above)

    I must add that good works are important, but not for Justification – it flows out of our RELATIONSHIP with God. I have been consistently quoting Eph 2:10, just so that I may be accused of easy believism, let me quote that again:

    For ye are saved by grace, through faith; and this not of yourselves; it is God’s gift: not on the principle of works, that no one might boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them.

  25. James,

    You wrote, “Dr. Brown, what you articulated above comforts me – We are saved first by believing in Jesus alone – then we are under the Lordship of Christ as a Child of God.”

    So, can an atheist be saved without repenting of atheism? Can an idolater be saved without repenting of idol worship? Also, what would you tell a serial killer who asked you, “If I believe in Jesus as Savior He will forgive me, and I don’t have to stop murdering people, right?” What would you tell him?

    Be assured that I don’t take the dialog here personally, and my goal is for all of us to understand God’s Word and God’s ways more accurately. For me, repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin, and since I cannot accept the linguistic explanation of “repentance” as being merely a change of mind, and since I see repentance required throughout the NT, I do not see repentance as a “work” but rather as a turning to God for salvation from sin — and all of it by faith.

    I look forward to your responses to my questions, asked above.

  26. It seems to me that James and Dr brown believe in the same thing.

    James…
    Do you still believe Dr Brown believes differently then you do?

    It seems like all the posters here believe in the Free gift of Salvation and also in repentance.

    James..
    It seems like you read a lot of books.

  27. Dr. Brown. You and I both agree on our starting point of sola scriptura. And therefore, it is to the Scripture we must take these questions. (You will also agree that the murderer coming to Christ is not your every day event, is a Philosophical Question – just so that we are clear.)

    So let’s take our Question of how does one get saved to the Samaritan Woman at the Well. Our Lord felt compelled (Jn 4:4) to pass through Samaria just to minister to this one sinful woman – idolator and adulteress and all. Don’t mean to preach a sermon, but the woman, understanding that the Lord Jesus was some Spiritual person, starts on a Theological banter, but Christ cuts to the chase, and give the most startling answer:

    Joh 4:13, 14 “Jesus answered and said to her, Every one who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinks of the water which I shall give him shall never thirst for ever, but the water which I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life.

    Note the Lords words here “shall never thirst for ever”! He is offering this sinful woman Eternal Life and there has been no mention of the woman’s sin of idolatry and adultery yet! She is asked to drink this water of life which will NEVER EVER MAKE HER THIRSTY AGAIN! No word of repentance here!

    Also the example of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery in John 8:1-11. He offers her Justification first and then says “Go and sin no more!”

    I like to go to the example in Acts 16:30-33. Here is a desperate man – the Philipian jailor, ready to commit suicide! You cannot get a more desperate man in the entire Bible. He falls down before and begs his prisoners (that is low) Paul and Silas – “Sirs, what must I do that I may be saved?” This is the only place in the Bible that I am aware of where Saved is in the question and saved is in the answer – their answer is “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” No repentance for idolatry, no repentance from cruelty! Nothing! Just believe!

    This is a very hard pill for us to swallow! We, as humans, believe in justice. Our first reaction to this even is “how is that possible??” Isn’t believing just too easy???

    I came out of pantheism and paganism (not personally, but my family). For several generations we have been doing nothing but “believing” on the Lord Jesus Christ for our eternal destiny. But once we got saved, the family smashed the Cove and the Idols that we had! My family was desperately wicked and idolatrous! We have since repented! But repentance was not the basis for our salvation, Faith in Christ’s promises were! When Christ said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” John 11:25 – that is what I put my trust in – in Christ’s Words! My Salvation rests on His Finished Work! My response to His offer of Salvation can be many fold – I can fall on my knees and say Thank you Lord!, I can cry – I personally remember as a 10 year old boy crying when I was saved! Some people don’t show much emotion, but their conviction is just as strong as mine. We cannot rely on subjective emotion, we must rely on objective Word of God.

    I have said this in many other posts so I do not wish to repeat this in every post but I am not anti-repentance, I believe repentance in the life of a believer is critical for maintaining communion with God. Also, I do not restrict any role of repentance in how a person gets to be saved, God may use even repentance to get a person to Christ – HIS hands are not bound. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21) – This repentance is towards God! Not necessarily from their sins! Anyone who comes to Christ, if He does not believe that God Is…..how can he ever be saved? Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

    All this typed in a hurry before I leave for work, will try to catch your reply as I get a break otherwise will reply to you in the evening. I sincerely appreciate you desire for interaction – most Teachers only like to teach. I learn things from you, my esteemed brother!

  28. James,

    I’m still awaiting simple and straightforward answers to the questions I raised, OK? Your answers will be quite revealing. I also have one additional question: What if your family did NOT repent of its idolatry after believing? Would it have been true faith or not? Would you have been truly saved or not?

    As for sola scriptura, the difference between you and me appears to me that I’m willing to take the whole testimony of the Word and put it together as opposed to ignoring whole portions of Scripture.

    First, I note in your last comment that you define repentance as turning from sin but say it is a result of salvation rather than a requirement of salvation. So, I’m please to see that you don’t endorse the Hodges view of repentance only meaning, “change your mind” (about Jesus).

    Second, we look at the Word — sola scriptura!

    “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15 TNIV); note that repenting comes before believing, and that repenting is not synonymous with believing. This, of course, is paralleled in Acts 20:21.

    What is the great commission? “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)

    Based on these exact words, what does Peter preach in Acts 5:31? “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. (Acts 5:31)

    And long before we arrived at Acts 16:30-31, what did Peter preach in Acts 2:38, when the desperate crowd asked what they needed to do to be saved? ” “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)

    And what exactly did Paul preach? “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20)

    James, before you respond, re-read these verses, part of God’s precious and holy Word, and ask yourself if perhaps you’ve been missing something. Can there be any possible misunderstanding of what Paul meant by his words here? He would have no problem telling the atheist, the idolater, and the serial killer — part of my earlier questions to you — to turn from sin and put their faith in Jesus to save them. In short, he would say to anyone who asked, “No, you CANNOT have Jesus as Savior and refuse him as Lord.” In fact, according to Paul, the “formula” for salvation in Romans 10 begins with CONFESSING JESUS AS LORD.

    So, in short, we preach to all men that they have fallen short of God’s glory, that they are guilty in His sight, that in themselves, there’s nothing they can do to receive His mercy, but He sent Jesus to die for their sins and take their place, and if they will turn to Him, He will have mercy on them and forgive them and wash them clean and grant them a brand new life serving Jesus as Lord. It’s all a gift, it’s all grace, it’s all by faith — and it includes repentance, since salvation is a brand new beginning, not to serve ourselves or Satan or sin but to serve God.

    So, again, let’s start with simple answers to my questions from the previous post and the beginning of this one, and then you can tell me what I am misinterpreting in the verses I’m quoting here.

  29. “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ…willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.”

    – Martin Luther, 95 Theses (Thesis #1)

  30. James,

    It does seem that you use John as a trump card or a nuclear bomb, instead of basing your belief on every word of YHHW. Y’shua preached repentance.

    Matthew 4
    17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of YHWH is at hand.

    Mark 1
    14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
    15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

    The Apostles also, when sent out by Y’shua, preached that men should repent. John was one of the Apostles. Did he change his mind or simply relate things in a different way than the others in his memoir.

    Mark 6
    12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

    Messiah also did not isolate one passage and claim that all others must be subservient to it. He applied scripture in cumulative way.He said that the 10th commandment applied to the 7th commandment shows us that we are guilty of the 7th in our hearts.

    That John related his testimony of the things Y’shua did and said without mentioning the word “repent”, does not mean that he disagreed with Matthew, Mark, Luke, Paul, Peter, James, or even Bartholomew. (Bart never gets the press he deserves.) There are very few passages in John that overlap with the other gospels, until we get to the end. He told about different things and in a different style.

    If we allow John’s style to dictate true doctrine over the rest of scripture, we are actually John’s disciples instead of Y’shua’s disciples. The same thing goes for Paul or Moses. The Spirit is supposed to lead us into “all truth”, not just John’s or Paul’s or Moses’s revelation of truth.

    Shalom

  31. James,

    1 Corinthians 3
    4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

    We should not say, “I am of Peter.” or “I am of Paul.” or even “I am of John.” I know that you do not say that out loud, but it seems that you have given John, or your understanding of John, a higher place than the rest of scripture. Better, I think, to let every word of YHWH interact equally with every other word of YHWH.

    Shalom

  32. Dr. Brown – (as a preamble, I must note that what I am saying is in a very respectful and peaceful spirit. I am not trying to TRUMP or win an argument here. I want the Lord to be Glorified in our discussions, and not have a mud throwing session for the delight of the Wicked one. Since written electronic medium does not convey emotions, I am at a loss when the words I write sounds like words written in anger, when they are not. I esteem you, and respect you as a dear brother in the Lord – we serve the same Lord. May that be the spirit of all the commentators on this page – this is an intramural discussion.)

    When you ask me to answer a question straight, I do that and I support it with Scripture. I believe in the total inerrancy of the Bible. If one part says one thing and another part says something else, then the “problem” is with my understanding of the Scripture and not with the Bible. So if I quote statements from John, I am assuming that what John is saying, is the same thing what Peter, Paul and Luke would agree with – so to the charge that I am cannibalizing Scripture, while you are taking a holistic view needs serious examination.

    These are heavy questions – it is the question of our very existence in Christ, and I cannot give you a simple Yes or No answer (even if it bothers you). I always hesitate to do a simple Yes or No because you can frame your question in a way to get an answer you want to hear and not what I want to say.
    Since we are talking straight questions – let me ask you a question. (It’s all one question – even though broken out in progression)

    Do you believe a believer can sin? Do you believe a believer will go to hell if he sins? If so how much sin will send a believer to hell? Are Adultery, Murder and some of the Named Sins the only sins that would merit a believer going to hell? Who decides how much sin is tolerable and within the margin of Grace? Do you believe in an assurance of Salvation based on your works as a believer or the Word of God, which one?

    I often hear you speak how you were “radically” and dramatically delivered from Drug addiction. I praise the Lord who is Alive and who can do it. However in the lives of many believers, this is not the case – for some, it takes months or years with the help of the Holy Spirit to get rid of their addictions. I know one dear brother in the Lord who is so deeply scarred to this day due to his participation in wars of the United States as a soldier. For people like him and others, they do not have the joy of that “radical” deliverance – all they have is the PROMISE OF THE WORD OF GOD! And may I suggest that that is ENOUGH! Praise God for your “radical” deliverance, but praise God that at the end of the day your salvation also is only based on the shed Blood of the Lamb of God, and not your experience.

    You asked a question about an idolater and his Salvation status. Do I believe an idolater can be a believer? Let me ask you that question back – Do you believe there can be saved believers in the Catholic Church? I believe there are – and they continue in the Catholic Church! And yet they pray to Mary everyday! Is that not idolatry?

    You can be a Catholic person and be saved! You can be a person who lies and be saved! (That makes you a saved liar – bad behavior) You can be a person who lustfully looks at another person and be saved! (That makes you a saved luster – bad behavior) You DO NOT become SINLESS once you are saved! You yourself agree to that, Dr. Brown! You seem to only have a problem with “big sin” – seem to be the logic here is…small sins, meah….you can confess and get it out of your way, but BIG SIN – you must be an unbeliever to be committing BIG SIN. In my very humble opinion, the idea itself is quite ridiculous. YOU become the judge of what is OK sin and what is NOT OK SIN. Dangerous place, if you ask me.

    The question you should really be asking is – are there any consequences for sinning as a believer? I believe yes! Absolutely! Affirmative.

    I believe that not only do you suffer on this earth (which is but a tiny tiny fraction of your LIFE), you will miss out on a great deal in the coming 1000 year reign of the Messiah (Millennial Kingdom)! Instead of ruling and reigning with HIM as a co-regent, you will have a much too diminished role IN THE MILLENIUM AND PERHAPS ALL ETERNITY! All the while being assured of Eternal Life and being in “heaven” (which is a very poorly defined concept in the minds of many believers – who think “heaven” is one happy party place for ever; that all Christians are automatically going to be the bride of Christ; and get tons of Crowns).

    Not only does the FATHER deal with sinning believer on this earth – “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Heb. 12:6), there is just recompense in the Eternal life too, note these two passages for starters:

    “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God (Rom. 14:10-12, NKJV).
    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).

    Dr. Brown, we believers will be recompensed according to our WORKS – “whether good or bad” which means that as I sow, so shall I reap at the BEMA (Judgment Seat of Christ).

    There will be many believers, (praying that you and I won’t be in it) who will be weeping in the Millennial Kingdom (the wiping of the tear from every eye only happens at the end of the Final Rebellion, in my understanding).

    “Every 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1Co 3:13-15

    As the above passage clearly states – the sinning believer “himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire”! What does that mean Dr. Brown, if not that Salvation is by Faith, and Eternal Recompense is by Works?

    Lordship Salvation confuses this VITAL issue! If they see a sinning brother or sister, they automatically condemn them to hell! This is TOTALLY alien to the Scripture! Look at the Gross Immorality of the man who was having sexual relationships with his Father’s wife in 1 Cor 5:

    “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

    This debauched man was a believer in table communion with the saints in Corinthians [see note]!!!! Apostle Paul is giving this man over to the distroyer that his flesh would be destroyed BUT, HIS SPIRIT WOULD BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus.!!!!

    [note: Apparently sexual immorality was a rather common practice in the Corinthian culture, and it was creeping into the Assembly too, as a result, Paul has to WARN THE BELIEVERS – 1Co 11:29-31 “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” Paul says, many are DEAD (dead and buried in a local grave) because of sin!]

    Back to 1 Cor 5 – Paul does not say “Cast the unbeliever out of the Assembly – he belongs to the Devil” – but rather understands that this man who is in sin, is a fellow believer, and therefore, when he repents and confesses his sins in 2 Cor 2: 6-8, we find Paul himself asks that this man be brought back to fellowship “The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”

    Now lets take the Romans 10 passage – Dr. Brown, you stopped with vs. 9 – lets take a few more verses and look at them together –

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in 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?”

    If there is any “formula” here – the formula is this – “Whosoever believeth on HIM shall not be ashamed” (THE OBJECT OF FAITH – Jesus Christ). You say the confession to Christ’s LORSHIP must be made first – ok, let’s see if that is the case – the verse goes on to says – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” OK, so it’s those who call on the name of the LORD will be saved – I am with you so far. But then here come the crux of the matter – “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?” Aha! So you must BELIEVE FIRST! Makes perfect sense!

    Now to the different verses you quoted which according to you seems to suggest that one cannot be saved without having repentance first. Before I can answer this question – there is this little question of Theological framework. You have declared quite consistently over the many hours that I have listened to, that you reject a dispensational framework, which probably means you are from a Covenant perspective, I don’t know – I may be wrong – but that would explain a lot of problems right there! But that’s fine – in anycase, I identify myself as a dispensationalist, even though I have slight issues with some of its points. Please bear with me as I build my case here.

    [Something to keep in the backburner as I answer this – The Jewish nation as presented in the Bible was a nation under God. Israel had a covenant relationship with God. They had a sacrificial system that served as the basis for Approach to God. All their blessings rested on their obedience to God and His Word! ]
    Statement of Fact – Jesus was a Jewish Messiah, Mathew says that from the get go – “Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Acts 3:25 makes a clear statement – “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers.” Also Romans 9:4,5 “…Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

    In Contrast, we the Gentiles had this: (Eph 2:11-12) “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ [Messiah], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

    When the Lord Jesus Christ came into the World, HE did not come to the Japanese, or the Koreans or the Mongolians – He came to the Jews – and therefore, John 1:11 is TELLING – “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” He did not come to the Indians or the Arabs – instead HE CAME TO HIS OWN and what did they do? They Rejected HIM!

    (Do not get upset with me – this has nothing to do with ethnicity or racial responsibility. In a broader context, I, a gentile, rejected Him when He first came as well since it was my sins that put HIM on the Cross; I am not trying to point an accusing finger here.)

    John the Baptizer went about preaching repentance not to the Dutch people or the Saxons or the Roma – he preached repentance to the Jew! It was folk from Judea and particularly from Jerusalem who went out to him to repent and get baptized! These are not heathen unbelievers going out to John the Baptizer, these are the Covenant people in sin going out to John!

    Mark’s account is this – Chapter 1:3-5 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.”

    To such a blessed and privileged people (Jewish people) came the Messiah – the Lord Jesus Christ! And what was the response?

    But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.(John 19:16) “All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”(Matthew 27:25)

    So yes, for a people who so soundly rejected this Blessed Messiah, they had to repent! Acts 2:28, Acts 5:31, etc is precisely the remedy for this people – they must REPENT and publicly identify themselves with the Rejected Messiah in baptism!!!Furthermore, the fact remains, that prior to the Messiahs establishing of his Millennial Kingdom in the future, the Jewish people must repent NATIONALLY –

    Zec 12:10-14 “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

    Acts 20:21 – clearly states repentance unto God. For those who had a wrong impression about God, they were instructed to change their mind about God! I understand repentance (metanoia) to mean both a change of mind and also a change of behavior which results out of that changed mind. I am not a Greek Scholar but I have it from the best authorities that my understanding is correct. This is also the sense in Luke 24 – it is repentance – not repentance from sins. Its repentance unto God! As I already stated, I have nothing against Zane Hodges understanding of repentance as a change of mind – Biblical repentance is TURNING to Jesus Christ. Please show me one passage from the Scripture that says “forsaking sins is the way to be saved”. You will not find any!

    It appears that I have written a rather lengthy post, but for a Scholar like you, for whom 700 page book is like an afternoon reading, this should be nothing. 🙂

    In Christ’s love.

  33. Tom: Amen and Amen to your quote from Martin Luther. Repentance should be an integral part of a BELIEVERS life – that is how we keep short accounts with God!

  34. “Better, I think, to let every word of YHWH interact equally with every other word of YHWH.” – Bo

    Tangent: This is one concern I have with the Bible. You downgrade each individual testimony because they are not in perfect harmony and then you kinda average them to find your truth. Different testimonies saying different things, different viewpoints…otherwise you’d never have to instruct James in this way. You’re telling us to string a tight-rope through the entire Bible and then ease on across instead of respecting each different viewpoint.

    Here are some strange viewpoints/loose language from Ecclesiastes, some of which, while they aren’t particularly evil, are at odds with my personal convictions and don’t seem quite perfect given the state of the earth:

    “So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 8:15 (there’s no urgency or vision in this)

    “It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice.” – Ecclesiastes 9:2 (no hope here)

    “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” – Ecclesiastes 9:10 (no vision or hope in this)

    “Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything.” – Ecclesiastes 10:19 (no urgency)

    This is just one example. It is interesting to see the viewpoint, but I don’t think Jesus Christ would say those things. Therefore, I have trouble calling the Bible perfect or perfectly unified.

  35. James, normally I don’t have the time to engage in lengthy discussions here, but I want to do my best to see this one through for a bit more. Thanks for your comments and your investment of time.

    Here’s what I’m having a hard time following. I quote numerous, clear scriptures to you, but you have a problem with them because they’re not in John, then you turn around and say how important it is to embrace the total testimony of Scripture. Something is not lining up here.

    Again, I’ll be able to interact further when you give me a simple answer to my simple question about the serial killer. What do you tell that person if they ask you if they continue to murder people and follow Jesus? Really, this is an incredibly easy question to answer, and the only way it can present a problem is if your theology is unable to brace certain clear statements in the Word. So, before we continue, how about a straightforward answer to my question.

    Also, your understanding of repentance is reading a lot into the text, which is why I included Acts 26 in my citations: Repentance clearly means a turning away from sins, which is why Paul says that people need to prove it by their deeds. It appears that you have failed to realize that repentance is an about face: turning away from sin and turning to God.

    In any case, I await your answer to the serial killer (or, make it an adulterer if you like). What do you tell that person if they say, “Can I continue to kill people (or, can I continue in this adulterous relationship) and be saved?”

    Would you be kind enough to start with a simple post addressing this? If you can’t give a simple answer, then I suggest that you have thereby disqualified your other arguments from being taken as seriously as you want them to.

  36. Jesus Christ NEVER gave a straight answer to loaded questions. Christ’s answers were like this – “John’s baptism–was it from heaven, or from men?”. So I am in good company.

    For the Lord any man who LOOKED at a woman with lust committed adultery – so yes, Believers can SIN. If this is news to you, I will be very disappointed.

  37. Bo, my dear brother in the Lord, I didn’t mean to offend – I am not a debater like Dr. Brown.
    I can only do so much at a time, so when Dr. Brown was in session, I wanted to interact with him. I have been reading your threads on the young earth story – and I am rooting for you.

    In Christ

  38. Dr. Brown,
    @Post 40

    There is a huge difference between someone sinning wilfully — an evil action against someone, and someone LACKING POSITIVE ACTION.

    God doesn’t let people off the hook who stop committing adultery, but who do not follow through with ALL OBEDIENCE — that is why I say that people purchase their salvation, and the idea of a “free gift” is ludicrous. Why would I have to do another deed (which, lacking doing good is a sin, so I am DRIVEN to do do do do do do do, or else I am sinning) if salvation (being safe) was a gift? It is not a gift, then.

  39. Dr. Brown,
    If you say that we serve because we’re thankful, then are you saying that if I am not thankful, I will not receive the Promise? Thankfulness is, then, REQUIRED for salvation?

  40. James, my question is not a loaded question! And surely, if you’re leading people to Jesus, they’re coming to you with questions just like this.

    In any case, I mean you no insult when I say that your non-answer to my question ends the discussion for me here, and I hope and pray you will get a better understanding of the gospel I preach, based on the Scriptures.

    As for the usage of metanoia in the NT, here’s what I wrote in It’s Time to Rock the Boat:

    “But doesn’t the Greek word for repentance only mean ‘a change of mind’? Isn’t God just telling us to change our minds about Jesus? Isn’t this talk about ‘being sorry for our sins’ a carry-over from Old Testament legalistic bondage?” Absolutely not!

    First, John the Baptist, Jesus, and all the apostles were first-century Jews who spoke Aramaic (and probably Hebrew), and the fundamental Aramaic and Hebrew word for repent means “turn around, turn back, do an about-face.” (The other Hebrew word used for repent means “feel sorrow, grief, and regret; have second thoughts, change your mind.”) Second, the New Testament makes it perfectly clear that the proof of repentance is seen in one’s actions (see Luke 3:7-14 and Acts 26:20). Third, the best scholars of New Testament Greek understand the Greek words metanoeo (repent) and metanoia (repentance) to mean more than just a change of mind.

    The authoritative Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states:

    “…metanoeo and metanoia are the forms in which the NT gives new expression to the ancient concept of religious and moral conversion…. [The repentance preaching of Jesus] demands radical conversion, a transformation of nature, a definitive turning from evil, a resolute turning to God in total obedience (Mark. 1:15; Matt. 4:17; 18:3).”

    A.T. Robertson, one of the greatest Greek scholars of the century, taught that the New Testament preaching of repentance said:

    “Change your mind and life. Turn right about and do it now.”

    The widely acclaimed New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology says:

    “The predominantly intellectual understanding of metanoia as change of mind plays very little part in the NT. Rather the decision by the whole man to turn around is stressed. It is clear that we are concerned neither with a purely out¬ward turning nor with a merely intellectual change of ideas.”

    Just think of how silly it would be if “repent” only meant “change your mind.” The words of Jesus would then become preposterous:

    Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented [changed their mind?] long ago in sackcloth and ashes (Matthew 11:21).

    No! They would have “repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

    John’s baptism would have become nonsense:
    …a baptism of repentance [changing of mind?] for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3).

    No! It was a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.

    If repentance is only a change of mind with no conviction involved, then why did Paul tell the Corinthians: ”Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret…” (2 Cor. 7:10)?

  41. Dr. Brown,
    Honestly, the issue of salvation is very perplexing and firghtening to me… it seems like I can’t win either way — if I try to serve God out of fear that if I don’t obey I will go to hell, I cannot, because of so many reasons (especially, when the Lord actually shows up to me); but if I try to just say “I am saved and I don’t have to worry about going to hell”, I have no strength, no “push” to do anything God wants (instead of serving self) and I won’t do the things God wants.

    If I try to serve out of fear, I feel like God tries to show me the cross… like, I am saved already???

    I wish I really understood this most basic doctrine 100% correctly.

  42. Dr. Brown, thank you again for the interaction. I am surprised that you quote 2 Cor. 7:10 – this is CLEARLY written to BELIEVERS in Corinth. “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” So the REAL question that needs to be asked is what Salvation is in view here? I would suggest that it is the same line of thought that Paul uses in 2 Cor. 1:10 – our continuing (day-by-day) Salvation!

    For all the Lexical quotations that you quote on repentance – Dr. Brown, you will agree that I can quote you the opposing view as well. For instance BAGD “MATANOEO” – “to change the mind.”

    Your reference to the Hebrew word that is translated by the Greek word “metanoeo” must be to “shub” – if so, may I reffer you to Wilkin –

    “The term shub was used 1,056 times in the Hebrew text. None of those occurrences is translated by metanoeo in the Greek OT. Not one. This is inexplicable if the translators of the LXX felt that metanoeo was a good translation of shub.Rather, the translators routinely used strepho and its various compound forms to translate shub.”

    Dr. Brown, I am not a thick headed person. I am not trying to pull pigeons out of thin air either. The reason I keep bringing up John’s Gospel is because John’s Gospel states that he is giving us information on how to gain Eternal Life. And then he goes on to say NOTHING of REPENTANCE. Does that not strike you as odd??

    You perhaps did not read my post # 36 fully – because I explain passages similar to Luke 3:14 – This is being spoken not to unbelieving gentiles, but a covenant people already under a relationship with God. So to them – yes, they would need to repent and follow through. This is not being spoken to unsaved people.

    I will pose you a question about Acts 26:20. It is the same Paul who also wrote Romans 4:5. “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” Is Paul saying two things out of his mouth? Is he confused? Or is it our understanding?

    What am I not arguing for? I am not saying that repentance happens in a vacuum. People change their mind about God and then they act on it. No problem with that. But if you say you must first repent, which in your parlance, must be evidenced by good works and straight and holy living before he can be a Believer is totally not in Scripture, I am sorry. This is the reason I bring John’s Gospel – where this thing is absent.

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*