Q&A: Who is dividing the church, page 1 update on K.C.Moser LU foundationJuly 22 2004 at 3:19 AM
|Joseph D. Meador (no login)|
from IP address 220.127.116.11
NEW posts will be on the last page, page 4 for now.
Q&A: Who is dividing the church, and why do some leave the faith?
Source: Bible Infonet/Firm Foundation
Joseph D. Meador
The church is deluged with denominational attitudes. Sectarian teaching has found its way into many pulpits and into the classrooms in many of our schools and universities.
John gives us an apostolic view of the causes of such apostasy. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 John 2:19). Guy N. Woods has aptly portrayed:
They became apostates from the fold by going out. They were not 'of' the disciples, i.e., they did not possess the same spirit of obedience characteristic of the disciples, for if 'they had they would have continued with' the disciples. In apostatizing from the faith, they were 'made manifest' (shown to be not of the disciples).
Others, like those of this text, adopt false and heretical doctrines, forsake the church, and make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:19).
The Bible presents varied reasons for the infection and spread of the disease of apostasy. Why do some leave the faith?
Deception is one reason for division. Paul noted that false teachers of Corinth posed as pious and informed brethren, yet because of their lack of true Bible knowledge, were void of spirituality (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 6:4; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).
He further says that such impostors feigned Christian maturity:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible points out that many will be deceived into believing doctrinal error because they choose to follow personalities rather than the teaching of Christ (2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Matt.7:21-23).). During the premillennial heresy of the '20s end '30s, many were deceived by "that sweet- spirited preacher," R.H. Boll. In the mid-'30s, K.C. Moser advocated "unmerited grace" which placed more emphasis upon the "personal" Jesus than upon his doctrine. Obedience was minimized. Many followed Moser because he showed an irenic spirit, however contrived that spirit might have been. Some remember the "kind and meek" attitude which was displayed by the leader of the modern "Unity in Diversity" movement, W. Carl Ketcherside, though at times he exhibited a vicious spirit.
There are convincing personalities in this generation who are using the same strategy to draw away many disciples into accepting their favorite theories of grace only, and change of the unchangeable, and mutating the immutable. (The essential elements of the church, which is the body of Jesus, cannot be altered without destroying it. Instead of being the bride of Christ it becomes a harlot.)
The desire for pre-eminence is a driving force among some "professing" Christians who are bent on a course of control. Some have ventured so far in their quest for power that they encourage congregational rebellion in an attempt to "change" and "reform."
The apostle John recounted to Gaius the sad state to which Diotrephes had fallen in loving preeminence (3 John 9). Diotrephes wanted to be the petted and pampered. He refused to receive the apostle John as a brother in Christ. No doubt, Diotrephes thought he had risen to new heights of spirituality.
When the goal is control, the end always justifies the means. Such a perverted spirit would rather rip apart the body of Christ rather than mend; divide rather than graft; and, split apart rather than seam.
Some in the church despise doctrine and seek to amend the will of God to make it mold and conform to their notion of "progressive" Christianity. The Bible says we should attend to sound doctrine, continue in it, and hold steadfastly to it (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Cor. 2:17; Titus 2:7, 12; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1).
Truth does not divide. It is incapable of division. When the hammer of error falls on the wedge of discord, it recoils against the seasoned stone of faith, but fragments the unstable sandstone of human ambition. Error and weakness are the cause of division.
We cannot walk in fellowship with those who have gone out from us, even though they were once of us (1 John 1:7; 2:19).
(Joseph D. Meador is the director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies, an excellent institution for the training of men who aspire to preach the Word. He may be contacted by calling  282-2438.)
|This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 18.104.22.168 on Jun 27, 2015 1:38 PM|
Q&A: WHAT IS A CHANGE AGENT?
|July 27 2004, 2:58 AM |
WHAT IS A CHANGE AGENT?
Dear Bro. Waddey:
What is a "closet change agent"?
Dear Bro. William:
A change agent is a false teacher within the brotherhood of Churches of Christ who is not content to follow the faith and practice of Christianity as set forth in the pages of the New Testament. He or she therefore works to convince our brethren that they should adopt changes in their faith, worship and practice that will be more acceptable to the world of the 21st Century. The adjective "closet" means they operate undercover, or covertly to accomplish their evil purposes.
Among the things they are trying to change are:
There are other particulars that could be cited but these are sufficient to show that these brethren are proposing changes that are foreign and contrary to the doctrine of Christ. We must not stand silent and allow them to impose these changes of the Lord's people. Where they are successful the church will be corrupted and destroyed. I do hope you will want to work with us in mounting an offensive to defeat them and drive them from our midst.
- Our commitment to restoring the faith and practice of the church of the Bible. They argue that such an approach is no long practical or needed.
- Our praise worship. They think we are wrong in opposing the use of instrumental music and should change to at least be tolerant of those who do so. Many of them are already using musical instruments in their worship. They also think we are wrong to insist on congregational singing and thus they want us to accept the use of soloists, choirs, etc.
- The way we commune. Some of them think we are wrong in observing the Communion as a sacred memorial to Jesus' death. They would turn it into a "joyful celebration" and combine it with a regular meal for the belly. Also they wish to be able to commune on other days than the first day of the week.
- The role of women in the church. They think we are wrong for not allowing women into leadership roles, and are willing to allow them to serve as preachers and teachers of men.
- The nature of the church. To them the Church of Christ is a denomination of the same worth as the hundreds of other denominational churches founded by men. They would have us not think or speak of the church as the exclusive body of Christ.
- They think we have been wrong in not fellowshipping the Christian Churches and other denominational bodies. They wish to change us so that we will do so.
- They say we have not understood the Bible properly. So they would change the way we read and understand it. This is to allow them to impose their unauthorized changes.
- They argue that we have misunderstood the way men are to be saved. They believe we are saved by grace through faith, and that baptism is not an essential aspect of our salvation.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
|September 21 2008, 10:24 PM |
|June 26 2015, 11:12 PM |
K. C. Moser, Calvinists and Holy Spirit proponent is still driving the theology of the once-christian colleges. I will update.
|June 26 2015, 11:13 PM |
I will update a review of other Calvinist Moser shortly
CAN WE RECEIVE MIRACULOUS GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TODAY?
|July 28 2004, 2:40 AM |
CAN WE RECEIVE MIRACULOUS GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TODAY?
The twelve apostles of Christ were baptized in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost following the ascension of Christ. That brought to their remembrance the message of Christ (John 14:26) and it enabled them to speak that message in languages they had not previously known (Acts 2:4-11). Additionally it gave them the power to perform certain miraculous signs that confirmed their message as being from God (Mk. 16:20). Although everyone who confessed Christ, repented and was baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) that did not provide them those miraculous powers that the apostles enjoyed.
The people of Samaria heard and accepted the preaching of Philip. They were baptized (Acts 8:12), but it was necessary for an apostle to come and lay hands on them before they could receive the supernatural powers (Acts 8:15-17). That they did not lay hands on every one is seen in the case of Simon the Sorcerer who, although baptized, did not receive the laying on of hands (Acts 8:18-19). The apostles had laid their hands on Philip along with the other deacons at the time of their appointment (Acts 6:1-6). That enabled Philip to preach with the knowledge the Spirit provided and to confirm his message with signs, but he cold not pass this gift along to those whom he converted. That is why Peter and John, apostles, had to journey to Samaria to lay their hands on newly baptized converts to give them the miraculous gifts of the Spirit.
As to the cessation of the supernatural gifts: The apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which empowered them with the ability to do miraculous deeds. They laid their hands on selected disciples to empower them. The second generation, those upon whom hands were laid, could not pass the gift along; they had to call upon an apostle to do that. Thus when the last of the twelve apostles died, there was no one left who could lay hands on another to impart the Spirit's gifts.
When the last disciples died, upon whom the hands of an apostle had been laid, the supernatural gifts ceased to be exhibited among Christians.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Holy Spirit Baptism
|February 7 2005, 2:25 PM |
True, we do not receive the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit today.
But, I do not agree with you, that the apostles received the ability "to cast out unclean spirits, heal all manners of sickness and all manners of disease on the day of Pentecost. They were given this "power" when Jesus sent them out "two by two" some three years before, noting Matthew 10.
Pentecost, according to Peter, was prophesied by Joel. Peter explains what happened. The question: "what does this mean," asked in verse 12 by inquiring minds, is answered in verse 33. Peter does not say: "Wow, what a blessing, we have just been baptized by the Holy Spirit." No, Peter is giving the funeral service for temple centered, national Israel, for the consummating sin of killing the prophets and the Son of God; note the words of Jesus in Matthew 21:33-45: Please pay particular attention to verse 45.
The inspired preacher said: "You men of Israel, delivered by determinate counsel (Jews) and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands (Romans) have crucified and slain Jesus of Nazareth."
"What shall we do?" cried those "three thousand souls, pricked in their hearts" by Peter's inspired words. "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Peter also exhorted: "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."
This is the same "generation," that Jesus refers to in Matthew 23:23: "You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?" Peter's answer is given to all men, of all nations, for all generations in Acts 2:38 how to "escape the damnation of hell."
To say that the twelve men at Pentecost "received the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost" to make them "super men" is to nullify the words of Jesus in Matthew 10 and John 20:21-23. "The Jews require a sign" (1 Cor. 1:22). Here was a "sign" that begged the question: "What does this mean?"
Why, we hear these Galilaens speaking in our own language where we were born." Nothing is asked by the throng about the "working of miracles." I believe we need to look at Pentecost through the eyes of a Jew being there, not as a Gentile looking back on that day. Keep in mind, the Jew believed that when God spoke, He would speak to them in Hebrew. Hear again the words of Luke: "We do hear them speak in our own tongues (Acts 1:8-11) the wonderful works of God."
Interesting subject, thank you for allowing me to respond.
SHOULD CONGREGATIONS COMMITTED TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT BE IDENTIFIED AS SUCH?
|August 13 2004, 2:32 AM |
SHOULD CONGREGATIONS COMMITTED TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT BE IDENTIFIED AS SUCH?
Dear Bro. Waddey:
You wrote that "Bro. J. W. Shepherd was appointed to contact the churches and determine which were committed to staying with the old paths of Bible Christianity." Do you think the following action should take place today? Mack
Dear Bro. Mack:
Before I answer your question let me first describe a situation for you. For 100 years folks in the northern and western states who were looking for a church of Christ have had to distinguish between two groups using that name. There are congregations associated with the Independent Christian Churches that still use the name Church of Christ. They have instrumental music, missionary organizations, fellowship denominational bodies and some congregations have women in places of public leadership. There are other congregations that are striving to be simple New Testament Christians, worshiping and serving God as did the ancient disciples of Jesus. In some towns, the congregations themselves made the distinctions. Signs or ads might read, Church of Christ (instrumental) or Church of Christ (a cappella). When lists of our churches were compiled and published in those states we did not list the instrumental groups as part of our fellowship. The same is true of other factions that had separated themselves from the mainstream. Even today, the Directory of Churches of Christ prepared by Mac Lynn and published by 21st Century Christian uses identifying symbols to identify the peculiar identity of congregations. The letters "NI" identifies a congregation as "non-institutional." "NC" tells us a congregation opposes Bible classes.
In my estimation it would be perfectly legitimate to identify those congregations that have embraced the change agenda so that everyone will know what their peculiar identity is. One need only read the many hateful criticisms the promoters of change lay against the brotherhood of churches that do not accept their call for change to see that they view themselves as different from and superior to us. One need only visit their assemblies to see that they worship in ways that are significantly different from other churches of Christ. One need only hear their sermons to understand that they preach a different gospel and plan of salvation than those of the "traditional" churches which they despise. Many of them are removing the name church of Christ from their congregations so they will not be confused with the rest of us. It seems to me that they would welcome the opportunity to be identified as a separate body of people.
I can see why some of the promoters of change would not want to be identified as a different kind of church. If they can continue to operate among us and pretend to be part of the fellowship of New Testament Christians, unsuspecting brethren will be drawn into their congregations not knowing the vast differences in faith and practice the change agents are promoting. They can take preaching jobs in unsuspecting congregations. Under the cover of being a faithful member of the church of Christ they can undermine the faith of the members, subvert the leadership and capture the church for their new movement.
As to Bro. Shepherd and the Federal Census Bureau, no we don't need the government to appoint a brother for the task. We just need discerning Christians to open their eyes, note the differences that are manifold and reject those who have forsaken the Bible way.
Yours in Christ,
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
IDENTIFYING THE FACTIOUS MAN
|September 5 2004, 3:01 AM |
IDENTIFYING THE FACTIOUS MAN
I am seeking your advice and biblical insight in the following. How do we recognize and determine a heretic or divisive person (Tit. 3:10), and how can we best show others that flaw? Randy
Dear Bro. Randy:
A factious man is one whose attitude, speech and conduct causes sinful division in the family of God. Problems within a church can be caused for various reasons:
- Because of some false teaching that is being promoted.
- Because of someone's opposition to the truth that is being taught and practiced.
- Because of selfish personal interests; i.e., a determination to have ones way in some or all situations.
- Because of personal antagonisms with other brethren.
- Because of ignorance. Even a good person can in ignorance and misguided zeal be guilty of causing conflict and division in the church.
A factious person can be recognized in several ways:
- By their conduct. If they are actively trying to recruit a clique or party, if they are hostile and antagonist towards fellow-Christians. Factious people often are seen having private meetings with their sympathizers to plan their strategy, or secretly circulating petitions or letters to effect their agenda.
- By their speech. Such people often express openly their intent to "drive out" those who oppose them or to "lead a group in starting a new congregation."
- By their teaching. Often a factious person is a teacher or preacher. The manner, tone and content of the message he delivers can be designed to create unrest and unhappiness within the congregation. It can be critical of the elders and a challenge to their leadership and authority.
- Factious preachers can sometimes by identified by the content of their sermons. They present lessons that are designed to undermine the doctrine of Christ. Sometimes they ridicule past Christians and those who are clinging to the Bible way. Often they float new controversial ideas and opinions that can only cause dissension within the body.
- The person who gathers together a small group and begins to separate them from the rest of the congregation by his teaching and leadership is factious. This might be a campus worker. It might be a person who appeals to younger adults and families within the congregation. It might be the preacher. Slowly they indoctrinate their group with their faulty views and alienate them from the leadership of the church.
- Factious people will often use smooth and fair speech to deceive the innocent (Rom. 16:18). Rarely will they admit what they are about.
Given all of the above, we must make a distinction between those who cause divisions "contrary to the doctrine ye learned" from God's book (Rom. 16:17) and those who stand up to and resist the false teacher who has disrupted a congregation. It sometimes happens that the false teacher is able to deceive and gain control of the majority of the congregation...even the elders. When such is the case what shall the faithful brother or sister do? We must mark or take note of them and turn away from them (Rom. 16:17). We must refuse them (Tit. 3:10). We must resist them (Eph. 5:11-12). We must contend against them (Jude 3). When the faithful do this they will often be accused of causing division by the very sinners who have invaded and corrupted the church. The fact is they are not the ones causing the trouble. It is the false teachers and their followers. When Elijah resisted the corruptions of Ahab and Jezebel, they called him "the troubler of Israel" (I Kings 18:16-18). In reality the corrupt rulers were causing the trouble.
As we face the juggernaut of change, may we never be guilty of promoting faction in God's church, but may we always be steadfast, and unmovable in our faith and convictions (I Cor. 15:58).
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
|October 3 2004, 9:40 PM |
I just have a simple question to ask that I don't want to get drawn out on a huge rant. I consider myself interdenomination because I can worship bountifully in a CoC, a Baptist Church, Pentacostal, Methodist, etc... But for the sake of the point being made:
I am a Baptist.
I believed and was baptized and now follow the scripture, not because I am told I should, but because I want to and because I love God and wish to be acceptable to him.
Am I going to hell.
Wrong place to ask
|October 4 2004, 10:41 AM |
Unless God runs this website (and I'm pretty confident he does not), you're asking the wrong people.
Thank goodness no one here decides who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. I know I sure don't want that job.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
RE: Simple Question
|October 4 2004, 1:15 PM |
You state that you are a believer who has been baptized, that you are truly trying to be acceptable to God, that you can worship well in any denomination, and that you are a Baptist. Then you ask if you are going to hell. Are you really worried that you just might belong to the "wrong" church and that your soul is in danger? If so, then it's time to take corrective action. Or are you merely asking a rhetorical question out of curiosity to see what kind of varied responses you receive from members of the Church of Christ?
Anyone who flatly states that you are going to hell just because you belong to a particular denomination is presuming judgment from God. Only God can determine your eternity, as you undoubtedly realize. But many denominations maintain beliefs and practices which the New Testament (NT) clearly does not authorize, and these should be of concern to anyone who is truly trying to be acceptable to God. Some of these unscriptural practices include, but are not limited to:
1. Communion not taken weekly; the disciples met and broke bread on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7, KJV).
2. Pratice of infant baptism--not authorized in NT.
3. Water baptism by any means other than immersion--"baptism" comes from the Greek "baptisma," meaning "immersion" or "submersion," not sprinkling or pouring.
4. Water baptism is only an outward sign of belief--Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21 both stipulate that baptism is required for salvation; Acts 2:38 stipulates that baptism is required for remission of sins.
5. Ordination of women priests and pastors--not authorized in NT.
6. Ordination of homosexual priests and pastors (men and women)--the NT condemns fornications, which include homosexuality (1 Cor. 6:9).
7. Employing a host of worldly, entertainment-oriented media in worship, such as instrumental music, praise teams, choirs, drama, skits--defies general principles outlined in Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:19, and James 4:4.
8. The Bible is not relative to modern society, contains spurious passages, and is not the infallible Word of God--the philosophy of many liberal preachers and Bible scholars, who ignore 2 Timothy 3:16.
9. As times change, Bible doctrine must change to meet the needs of society--apostasy predicted in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
10. Salvation by faith alone, nothing else--ignores requirements of repentance, confession, and baptism, as stipulated in Matt. 10:32-33, Mark 16:16, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9, and 1 Peter 3:21.
11. As long as you have love and a "heart for Jesus," everying else is "disputable," including your beliefs and biblical doctrine--this is one facet of the "Purpose-Driven Church" philosophy, an apostasy predicted in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
While Christianity gives us spiritual "freedom" from the Old Law of Moses, we are not completely free to do as we please. Christ intended for us to follow His commands, neither adding to nor subtracting anything from them. Unfortunately, the list above, and others like it, do just that. Many in the modern church refer to this strict adherence to the "law of Christ" as "legalism." No, it is simple OBEDIENCE. I would think that anyone who is truly trying to be acceptable to God would strive to deviate neither to the right hand nor to the left in their walk with Him. Follow the Bible's narrow guidelines to salvation, not popular opinion to destruction, and do not associate with any denomination which subscribes to anything which is not authorized in the New Testament.
|October 4 2004, 5:33 PM |
I have complete faith that I am going written in the Lamb's book of life. I was simply trying to see if someone would tell me that because I am not a member of the CoC that I am going to hell. Is this truly the general consensus? I haven't a doctorate in theology, nor am I being backed by a minister or am I trying to throw the entire doctrine of the CoC down the gutter. I truly love the way that there is focus on the New Testament. But I see that the CoC is against many of my church's practices. My question is this: why would they concern themselves unless they believe it is directly related to my salvation?
1: I take communion, but not every week. I do it in remembrance of him because he commanded us to fulfill all righteousness. I am, in no way, going half-heartedly about my life as a Christian. Every aspect of my life should be directed by Christly ambitions.
2: Im utterly against infant Baptism and sprinkling baptism.
3: Ive been baptized and did so for Christ, it was for no man. However I disagree with the CoCs standpoint on Water Baptism. We know each others standpoints on this issue and I can easily go to another page in these forums to read it so a lengthy description of this is not needed. (I know I sound brash, but Im simply trying to get at the answer here.)
4: The pastor of my church is not a woman nor do I ever attend sermons where women preach. This is an issue I am currently praying over and am seeking answers too through a lot of reading.
5: Homosexuality is sin.
6: I have a difference in opinion over musical worship.
7: The Bible is perfect, uncontradictory and of Divine Origin.
8: Salvation by faith is my belief, but without faith you would not repent and confess and be baptized. I have done all of these to make myself pleasing to God. I didnt do it for membership of a denomination or to satisfy anyone but God.
9: I love everyone, but that is not a call for me to throw aside his commandments and my service to him. However, thats quite the contrary. If I have the love of Jesus, a godly love, then Ill love my father in heaven and do his bidding.
10:Lastly, the only doctrine my church goes by is the Bible.
Those are my beliefs as a Baptist. I want to know if any of these things will send me to hell, in your opinion. I am doing this to get a better understanding of the CoC, not to put it down or judge it. My best friend goes to a Church of Christ and we study the bible together constantly. He is even going to a satellite school of Sunset Bible Institute (A Church of Christ School). I love each of you and I know you have nothing against me.
Feel free to e-mail me, I'm not hiding anything and I'm serious that I simply want to understand the CoC better. I've seen many people blast the Church of Christ and visa versa, but I am not one of those people. I have an open ear to you and I hope yours are open to me.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
|October 4 2004, 9:46 PM |
Dustin, thanks for your thoughts. If you are convinced that you are following all of the New Testament's commandments, then anyone's opinion, let alone those in the C of C, about whether you are going to hell is moot. Again, only God can determine your eternity.
You might want to review your church's position on any points of biblical doctrine and ask yourself: "Does my church's doctrine and do my beliefs completely coincide with those as stipulated in the New Testament?" If they do, and if there is not room for doubt, then there is nothing more to say. If there is still a question in your mind, perhaps you need to fine tune your beliefs until they are in total harmony with those of the New Testament.
I say this, because I was raised in the C of C but later in life became an organist for and joined a Southern Baptist church for a few years. Then that church began to incorporate worldly gimmicks (like those I mentioned in my earlier post) into worship services to attract more members. After further biblical study, I realized that these elements were completely unnecessary for acceptable worship, and in some instances, they actually hindered worship, because attention was centered on performers and performances rather than on pure worship of God. This same Baptist church only encouraged water baptism and would have never taught that Christ required it for salvation; hence, there were members who professed to be Christians but who had never been baptized because they felt "saved" without it, and it was inconvenient to go through with it.
Having seen "both sides," I left the Baptist church because I believe that such a denomination does not quite measure up to New Testament standards (it's close, but not on target). I say that not to be damning or hostile, but simply because it's my conviction when I review New Testament standards. We must be able to live with our consciences. I believe that the C of C comes the closest to following the New Testament as Christ commanded.
On the other hand, people from other denominations are often turned off by the C of C because of our desire to follow the New Testament very strictly: plain worship services without external, worldly gimmicks; no jokes, amusing anecdotes, entertainment, or instrumental music during services; a cappella hymn singing; weekly Communion and collections; expository preaching that includes messages of God's mercy for those who repent and God's judgment for the hardened sinner; steps to salvation include hearing the Word, believing the Word, repentance, confession, and baptism. Sermons present complete biblical truth, the sweet with the bitter, without concern for "political correctness." Worship is a time for complete devotion to God, with de-emphasis of self and personal preferences. "What can make worship fun?" or "What can I get out of worship?" are alien concepts to us (or should be). Instead, we believe, "How can I worship so that God, and God alone, is glorified?"
On Being A Christian
|October 5 2004, 12:22 AM |
I WELCOME you into the Body of Christ. What we have in COMMON is Jesus and that is the most important thing to have in common. Really, nothing else matters. Despite what some may say here, you ARE a member of the BODY and NOTHING can change that.
You have probably solicited the WRONG people for approval in this matter as some here would say you need to be a member of the CofC to be a "Christian". that is SO sad. I am a member of a CofC, but consider myself a member of the BODY of Christ as a whole, which includes a variety of Christians from other churches.
Re: Salvation (Dustin B., October 4 2004, 5:33 PM)
|October 5 2004, 3:30 AM |
Much has already been covered since your initial post, although not in great detail. At least these topics have been mentionedbeing interdenominational (what is that versus non-denominationalism); worship, the Communion, the role of women, pastors and elders, instrumental music, apostasy, the old covenant, the new covenant, the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, etc.
I would like to study only the subject of baptism at this moment. I believe we agree that neither sprinkling nor pouring qualifies as the scriptural way of baptism, which literally means an immersion. Discussions regarding baptism in itself can be lengthy, so, let me just briefly mention what it is designed for and when it occurs. Remember, that the life of an individual is not one continuum from his physical birth until death without regard for when his spiritual journey actually begins.
It is really important for the Bible student to rightly divide Gods word. The book of Acts speaks of the various conversions that took place at Pentecost during the establishment of the church of Christ in Jerusalem. In Matt. 16:18-20, it foretold the coming of the kingdom, when Christ told Peter He would build His church, gave to him the keys to the kingdom. Surely, Peter preached to the would-be Christians, and please note that those (cf. Acts 2:47) that gladly received the word were baptized and were ADDED unto the church about 3,000 souls. In other words, we DO NOT JOIN
the churchwe are ADDED TO
the church and added ONLY AFTER
While we agree on the truth regarding the significance of faith in salvation, Gods abundant grace, the redeeming power in the blood of the Lamb or that works of righteousness are not requirements in order to receive redemption, it is very important to keep in mind that there is such a thing as remission of sins that are past.not future or uncommitted sins a Christian has to deal with later on. Romans 3:25 clearly expresses thisWhom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past
, through the forbearance of God.
There are numerous passages that deal with baptism. However, I would like to strongly emphasize Acts 2:38, because when understood correctly, the purpose of baptism is clearly in order to receive forgivenesswhich does NOT
occur before submitting to it. And look at the preceding verse first, Acts 2:37Now when they HEARD
this, they WERE PRICKED (BELIEVED)
in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? What were those that heard the gospel and believed supposed TO DO NEXT
? The answer is in the following verse.
of the following 16 translations uses BECAUSE OF
in ACTS 2:38
and it could have been easily placed in the translated text. The GREEK preposition EIS
when translated as FOR
does NOT CONTRADICT the OTHER MEANINGS of EIS in THE 1ST CENTURY NEW TESTAMENT GREEK
usage of the preposition; it also means: INTO
, SO THAT
, IN ORDER TO
all in forward, not backward direction.
VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE
: The interpretation of eis to mean because of destroys the false tenet that the benefits of (1) receiving the forgiveness of sins and (2) receiving the Holy Spirits gift should PRECEDE
both requirements of (1) repentance and (2) baptism [immersion in water]. Why? Why? Why? Consider another little Greek word, the conjunction kai
(which, surprisingly, no one denies that it means andjoining two elements of equal import). The TRUTH in the passage is that BLESSINGS, BENEFITS OR RESULTS (forgiveness and the Spirits gift) simply CANNOT PRECEDE
either of the requirements or conditions. The verse also says REPENT
(one of the conditions) which CANNOT BE SUBSEQUENT TO
being forgiven beforehand. Is this making sense? (To those who are Calvinists or Pentecostals, please do not interject your theory that the immersion here refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is wrong, in the first place, as there are many passages in the rest of the book of Acts to support water baptism. Besides, were discussing the significance of the tiny word eishowever insignificant that is to you.)
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New International Version (NIV)]
Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New American Standard Bible (NASB)]
Peter said, "Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [The Message (MSG)]
And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Amplified Bible (AMP)]
Peter replied, "Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New Living Translation (NLT)]
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [King James Version (KJV)]
And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [English Standard Version (ESV)]
Peter said, "Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given the Holy Spirit. [Contemporary English Version (CEV)]
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New King James Version (NKJV)]
Then Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [21st Century King James Version (KJ21)]
And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [American Standard Version (ASV)]
Stop your wrong ways and turn back to God,' answered Peter. `And then everyone of you can be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Your wrong ways will be forgiven you, and you will receive the Holy Spirit. [Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE)]
and Peter said unto them, `Reform, and be baptized each of you on the name of Jesus Christ, to remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, [Young's Literal Translation (YLT)]
And Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptised, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for [unto, to, toward] remission of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Darby Translation (DARBY)]
And Peter said to them, Do ye penance [Penance, he said, do ye], and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, into remission of your sins; and ye shall take the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Wycliffe New Testament (WYC)]
Peter replied, Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New International Version - UK (NIV-UK)]
Both the remission of sins and the receiving of the Spirits gift do not precede repentance, do they? Baptism does not precede repentance, does it? Repentance does not precede belief or faith, does it? Belief or faith does not precede hearing the gospel does it?
Think of baptism as being immersed with Christ into His death. Think of baptism as putting on Christ
Col. 2:12BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM
, wherein also ye are RISEN WITH HIM through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Rom. 6:4Therefore we are BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM INTO DEATH
: that LIKE AS CHRIST WAS RAISED UP
from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE
I Peter 3:20-21Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of NOAH, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were SAVED BY WATER. The LIKE FIGURE
whereunto even BAPTISM
doth also now SAVE us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Gal. 3:27For as many of you as have been BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST
have PUT ON CHRIST
Dustin, yours is undoubtedly an honest question. Are you going to hell because of your belief and practice regarding redemption in the blood of the Lamb PRIOR to baptism? Lets be realistic here. No one on earth should make that call. Since we have the Holy Scripture that explains how the first century folks became Christians, let it make that judgment. In light of what the scripture tells me, theres not a single example or instance in which one is a Christian first (or SAVED already) before submitting to baptism. For this reason, I believe its OK to rethink ones position with a really open mind. And the big question is: What if I had thought all along that I was saved (or became a Christian) prior to baptismwhen in reality I wasnt? Again, paraphrasing Acts 2:38the unbeliever (sinner) is to: (1) Repent AND (2) be baptized in order to receive WHAT?
(3) to receive the forgiveness of sins and (4) to receive Gods Spirits gift.
One final reminder, a parallel passage to Acts 2:38 is Acts 3:19(1) Repent ye therefore, and (2) be converted, (3) that your sins may be blotted out, (4) when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
RE: Salvation (Response from Donnie Cruz)
|October 5 2004, 10:50 AM |
Donnie, thanks for your review of baptism. I recall that when I resigned as organist from the Southern Baptist church, I cited a host of reasons for leaving, one of which was their erroneous take on baptism. That kindled the ire of the pastor, who shot a rather hot email message to me, claiming that there was not one single passage in the Bible which required baptism for salvation, that no passage ever stated that baptism was efficacious or regenerative. This denominational pastor operated, as do many, under the misconception that the C of C uses baptism solely as a physical means of purging sin and gaining salvation. Somehow, they just cannot get it straight that because Christ linked baptism with faith for salvation (Mark 16:16), it is not the physical water which does the saving, it is the submission, the OBEDIENCE through baptism. After fulfilling the New Testament's requirements of hearing the Word, believing the Word, repenting of and turning from a past life of sin, confessing publicly that Jesus is the Son of God, and being baptized, THEN, Christ adds us to His church. But many refuse to accept the New Testament's requirements for salvation.
|October 5 2004, 4:41 PM |
My Church does not have a Doctrine, but the Bible is my churchs Doctrine. I study my bible daily and I have found 1 John to be an extremely helpful book. I like to call it the Acid Test of Faith. In this Book, John tells us how to know whether or not we are Saved.
1Jo 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
We are commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to get baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness. Therefore if anyone teaches that we are not to be baptized, they are not teaching the Gospel. This is why I consider myself interdenominational, because if a preacher of any church came to me and told me otherwise I can show him my Bible and say he is wrong, not my church doctrine. I agree with you one hundred percent that Baptism is a commandment, and by what John tell us, you arent in Truth (Saved) if you do not follow his commandments. In other words, if they dont want to be baptized they walk not in the light and never knew him in the first place.
1Jo 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Therefore I love every member of Christs family, be they CoC members, Baptists or any denomination. Not only that, but I love every thief, murderer, drunkard, homosexual, terrorist and baby killer out there. Are we not commanded to love these people? Christ died for us while we were still sinners, therefore he loved us. It is by love that I spread the gospel, not for my merit. Every one of those people have a soul that god prizes, I should love and pray for them every chance I get.
1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
I cannot wait until I can leave this world, but while I am here I am going to follow his word to a T and do my best to please him.
1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
I most DEFINITELY do not deny the Son. Ive made my point on this already.
1Jo 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jo 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
That speaks to me so much because there he tells us a major point. Well know were saved because WE KNOW. Gods spirit dwells in us so that we feel him. This is, above all, how I KNOW that I am saved. Because he said that I will know!
1Jo 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
He sums it up right there, doesnt he? I may not have a PhD and I might just now be on my road to a Post-secondary education, but I am capable of picking up Gods word and seeing what it is he wants. Thank God that we all are! Thank you for your replies and I appreciate your care for souls, it is obvious you are ready to help anyone that needs it. Thank you JD for your words! I love hearing that phrase, Body of Christ! It is true that every denomination and church name means little when we get down to it. If we are truly washed in the blood of the lamb then we are ALL brothers! I also thank Dr. Crump and Donnie Cruz who obviously have been endowed with a deep knowledge of the scripture. If I ever have a question that I ask, then I know people like you guys are out there to help me.
Re: Salvation (Dustin B., October 5 2004, 4:41 PM)
|October 7 2004, 4:05 AM |
Thanks for your kind response. I agree with you on the faith issue especially in the life of a Christian. Since it is possible for a Christian to fall from grace with Christ becoming ineffective in his life (Gal. 5:4) or to be diverted from the straight, narrow path, he is constantly admonished to live a life of love and service to his Master. And there are numerous passages that remind us to be fervent, to persevere and to remain faithful to the end so that the faithful ones will receive the crown, the promised eternal life in the end. As one has clearly stated, It is a long road between the cross and the crown. One key reference is for the Christian to take heed lest he fall (I Cor. 10:12).
My personal feeling is that interdenominationalism does not paint the true and real picture of what the church, the body of Christ, really is. If the body of Christ is comprised of denominations, how is that possible when each denomination is a religious body in itself? The church or body of Christ is not a conglomerate of different religious bodies. If denominations comprise the one body of Christ, what gives a person the right to make exceptions or to accept some denominations and reject others as being members of that body? My understanding is that the body of Christ is comprised of INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS or DISCIPLES
wherever they may be
NOT RELIGIOUS BODIES
with varying and contradicting sets of doctrines, beliefs and practices. [Thats just a side note, since it was brought up.]
The discussion of salvation can really get very confusing without a thorough understanding of Gods scheme of redemption. [Remember the two little Greek words eis
to which I alluded in my earlier post?] I say thorough because Christians are responsible for making it clear to the lost as to what Gods plan of redemption really is. Otherwise, the repercussion is that if we professed Christians tell others [the would-be converts] the wrong plan, then, we will be held accountable for teaching error.
All the wonderful references you quoted pertain to Christian living. This is the period in which our faith is to produce good works or works of righteousness, since the life of a Christian is that of servicehe is a disciple and SERVANT
of his Lord. Im afraid, though, that often we fail to delineate a sinners previous life from the point at which that sinner becomes a Christian, who strives to remain faithful to the end of life on earth.
Heres my point, e.g.: Mr. John Sin, who was born in 1965, had lived a sinful life [robbery, immorality, atheism, etc.] until he became Mr. John Christian in 1990, 25 years later. By contrast, another individual, Mr. Peter Moral, who had done what appeared to be works of righteousness prior to his conversion, became Mr. Peter Christian 22 years later. In either case, regardless of how sinful or how good a person is, he is outside of Christ until by Gods grace he is redeemed from his past sins by the blood of the Lamb (please read Romans 3:25).
The question is not about the cleansing power in the blood of the Lamb or the great suffering and sacrifice that our Savior made. The question is not about Gods abundant grace. The question is not about faithwhich is obviously necessary before a sinner becomes a Christian. The BIG
question in the CONVERSION PROCESS
isWHEN DOES THE REMISSION OF SINS TAKE PLACE?
Does it occur BEFORE
repentance and baptism?
It is not necessary for the unconverted to know the importance of the Greek words eis
in Acts 2:37,38. However, I have already stressed the point in my earlier post that it is really important in the evangelism effort to explain to the unconverted that Acts 2:38 truly means what it says.
Romans 10:9-17 explains for the most part the steps in the conversion process;
- The gospel is PREACHED
- One HEARS the word of God
- Hearer BELIEVES [HAS FAITH] in him of whom he has just heard
- One who has faith CONFESSES the Lord Jesus toward salvation
Acts 2:37,38; Acts 3:19 explain what the early disciples of Christ experienced during their conversion at Pentecost:
- Peter PREACHED (Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 2:14)
- They HEARD the risen Christ preached (2:30-31,37)
- They were PRICKED [BELIEVED] in their heart (v. 37)
- Must do what then? REPENT (2:38; 3:19)
- Must do ALSO what? AND [kai] BE BAPTIZED or [BE CONVERTED]
- Why? SO THAT [eis] YOUR SINS WILL BE REMITTED
- And also Why? AND [kai] RECEIVE the Spirits gift [refreshing, clear conscience]
The above passages clearly specify the design and purpose of immersionthat the remission of sins in the precious blood of Jesus DOES NOT OCCUR
prior to immersion. There is no power in the water. Baptism by immersion is a physical act that symbolizes being BURIED WITH
Christ, burying the past sinful life. And it also symbolizes being RESURRECTED WITH
Christ in order to begin newness of lifethe beginning of a new Christian life. There is not a single scripture that points to the notion that baptism is a test of obedience after-the-fact. Indeed, it is a condition, a step or a requirement that the unbeliever must follow IN ORDER TO
have sins remitted or become a Christian.
Baptism is described as putting on Christ. When one puts on Christ in baptism, he is then entitled to wear the name of Christ, thus, Christian. But NOT BEFORE
baptism! Can this be any clearer picture: burying sins in baptism or putting on Christ in baptism? Therefore, the key solution to the key question of WHEN
the unbeliever receives forgiveness and becomes a Christian is found in Acts 2:38. Repent and [kai] be baptized for [eis or so that, to, toward, unto] the remission of sins and [kai] the receiving of Gods Spirits gift (or refreshing, clear conscience).
Re: SalvationWhen Does It Begin, Continue and End?
|October 8 2004, 3:36 AM |
The conversion processGods scheme of redemptionhas been discussed for centuries. No consensus has been established, the main reason being that students of the Bible have varying views on whether or not the process is a one-time done dealmeaning: from here on to eternity
or something else. Whether salvation occurs prior to or after baptism
is a colossal issue that has not been settled and will not be settled unless we honestly rely on the Holy Scripture for the answer. It is a major issueand we should never undermine doctrines that are salvation issues [ah, youve heard that phrase before]. After all, how to receive salvation is the crux of the gospelthe good news of Gods grace and love made available to the entire humankind, including the predestinated selected few (as claimed, i.e.). The Holy Scripture has it settled, though, but mans opinions have not. The open-minded reader will just have to make that judgment as to which interpretation is correctone Bible
but varying, opposing, and confusing interpretations, all claiming to be correct.
The initial salvation received after following Gods requirements, including baptism, has been discussed in preceding posts. The forgiven sinner becomes a Christian at that point. To reiterate: there is a starting point from which the just-converted sinner begins his new Christian life. What must a Christian do from here on? The first of 3 segments below summarizes the conversion process discussed earlier. The other segments deal with the Christian journey and expectations in the endthe receiving of the reward.
TO THE UNCONVERTED: RECEIVING GODS GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN CHRISTREDEMPTION FROM PAST SINS (Rom. 3:25)A FREE GIFT.
TO THE CHRISTIAN: BEGINS NEWNESS OF LIFE AFTER BAPTISMMUST REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE ENDIT IS A LONG JOURNEY.
- Acts 22:  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
- Romans 6: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
 Being then made free from sin [AFTER BAPTISM], ye became the servants of righteousness.
- Ephesians 2: 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.
Once the individual has changed his status (converted from) SINNER to CHRISTIAN, the Bible strongly suggests that the Christian is to maintain good worksthat he must persevere to the end, maintaining that strong relationship with his Lord and Master that he is to serve. This truth does not negate the constant that we are still under Gods grace as Christians, and that were not being pessimistic, either, as we strive to fulfill our responsibilities as SERVANTS to obey His commands.
TO THE FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN: WILL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE, EVERLASTING LIFE AS PROMISED.
- Ephesians 2: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- I John 2:[3,4] And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
- Matt. 7: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
- I John 2: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
- James 2: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
- Titus 3: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
- Luke 13: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
- Phil. 2: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
- Hebrews 5:[8,9] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
- Matt. 10: And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
- Matt. 24: But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
- Mark 13: And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
- Hebrews 12: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith
BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE.
- Romans 2
against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.
- I Timothy 6: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
- Titus 1: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
- Titus 3: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
- I John 2: And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
- Jude 1: Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
- John 6: Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
- James 1: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
- Hebrews 9: And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
- Heb. 10:[23,36] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
- Hebrews 4: Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
- Rev. 2:
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.