Exchange With A P astor, Part III. More of “you know, but you don’t know.”.
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One more comment before I retire for the night. The Scribes and Pharisees knew their scripture better than anyone of their day Jesus looked at them and said, "you search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but they are they which speak of me. And they missed the whole point of what they knew in their heads.
That's certainly possible to do, Dan. But Jesus never chastised them for following God's law too closely. He chastised them for not following God's law FULLY.
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
He chastised them for supplanting the word of God with the traditions of men.
Notice what Jesus said to the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-33. They came to Him testing Him concerning the resurrection of the dead, which they denied. He told them in v. 29-32
"Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God[a] in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
Jesus chastised the Sadducees for not paying close enough attention to the burning bush passage back in Exodus 3. They should have known there is a resurrection of the dead because of the tense of the verb "to be" in Exodus 3:6!
I find it sad that you both have judged my heart to be wrong because I answer questions about Christianity by going back to the source of Christianity, which is God's word.
What is a Christian? A disciple of Christ (Acts 11:26). Who is a disciple of Christ? One who abides in His word (John 8:31). The seed of the kingdom is the word of God (Luke 8:11). Read the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 and Luke 8. You get Christians when you plant the seed that is the word of God.
Jesus is the source of Christianity because He is the source of the word (doctrine) that creates Christians (John 14:26, 16:13).
The thief on the cross was not subject to the same law that you and I are subject to. He died before Jesus will was probated, so to speak. A testament is not in force until after the death of the testator (Hebrews 9:15-17). Jesus had the right while here to forgive sins, as He did for the thief. Read Mark 2:1-12.
After He was raised, Jesus said repentance and remission of sins would be preached in His name beginning at Jerusalem ( Luke 24:45-49).
That promise was fulfilled in Acts 2, when Peter preached the first gospel sermon. There he told the Jews who had killed Jesus, who had been pricked in their hearts by what he had said, who had asked, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37) "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins... (Acts 2:38)
After Jesus died, the remission of sins, a gift which He gives, is given according to the instructions He left behind in His word.
So what would happen today if some one going to the electric chair cried out to Jesus the same way the theif did? Would Jesus not be our mediator? Did the theif not "repent" by turning to Jesus? In this scenario will Jesus turn His face from the person in sin? Did He ever love us while we were yet sinners?
What if that criminal was in the chair and was just about to “cry out to Jesus,” but the switch is thrown before he has the opportunity to finish thinking about it? We can remove faith and confession of Christ as conditions for salvation because of this hypothetical by the same reasoning you have used.Secondly, if the condemned criminal in your hypothetical had to “cry out” like the thief, then he had to do something other than have faith alone. You are now arguing with Nathan, who says we are saved by faith alone.Third, Jesus loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8-11). But that doesn’t mean that He saves us unconditionally. There are things we have to do to take advantage of the gift Christ has offered us.
We must have faith in him. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24We must repent of our sins. “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3We must confess Him. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
We must be baptized. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16We must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. “ Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”” Matthew 16:24Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”
Which one of these commands given by Jesus can we refuse to do and still be right with Him?
(Lk. 23:42-43). Was this really a "past age" before Christ's death or before the terms of pardon were announced publicly? No, it wasn't. The thief died AFTER Jesus died (Jn. 19:31-33), for no one ever died in His presence. The thief died in THIS PRESENT AGE, not in a past age, and the "terms of pardon" were made very clear a long time before Acts 2. The Gospel of John points out over and over again that one is saved by BELIEVING on Christ (Jn. 1:12, 3:16, 3:36, 5:24), not by water baptism. In fact, AFTER Jesus had came up from the dead and returned to Heaven, John tells us that we can have life through Christ's name by BELIEVING on Him, not by getting baptized in water (Jn. 20:31).
The thief could not have believed that God had raised Jesus from the dead as Paul commands us to do in Romans 10:9-10 because Jesus had not yet been raised from the dead. The thief was not saved under the law of Christ which we live under today because it was not yet in effect. Repentance and remission of sins had not yet begun to be preached in the name of Jesus. Read Luke 24:45-49.