As my first official blog, I am going to talk about a few possible misconceptions and possible half-truths that many preach, teach, and talk about. Some are just simple traditions passed down that many don’t bother to look up to see if it’s true or accurate according to what scripture actually says. Some of these are just simple observances and others create absolutely wrong mindsets. How about we venture onto these now…
1.Common response to a leader who sins: “So and so has fallen from grace.”
Let us look at what scripture says falling from grace actually is.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing). (emphasis mine)
Here we see here that falling from grace is trying to be justified by law. Here is another good paraphrased version:
The Message (MSG)
4I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. (italics mine)
So what was the law made for?
Amplified Bible (AMP)
20 But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,
21 So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.
2. God changed the Apostle Paul’s name from Saul to Paul.
Nowhere in scripture does it say God changed Saul’s name to Paul. I haven’t heard from anyone when or where God changed his name. It wasn’t at his conversion because in Acts 9:17 Ananias, when praying for Saul’s sight to be restored he called him, Brother Saul. Other references where he was called Saul include: Acts 9:19, 9:22, 24, 26, Acts 11:25, 13:7 etc. Now Acts 13:9 shows when Saul starting going by the name Paul. Saul was his Hebrew name and Paul his Roman name. So my opinion is when after he started his calling to preach to the Gentile, he chose to be called by his gentile/Roman name.
3. God told Noah to take with him two of every animal onto the ark.
This is a half-truth. According to Genesis 7:2,
“You shall take with you seven pairs of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female” (emphasis mine)
So in actuality God told Noah to take 7 of every clean animal and two of every unclean animal.
4. The New Testament began in Matt. 1:1, Mark 1:1, Luke 1:1, and John 1:1.
According to Hebrews 9:15-18:
For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For acovenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. (NASB emphasis mine)
So here we see the New Testament/Covenant/Will was not made or put into effect until Jesus Christ died and shed His Blood. Likewise if someone makes a will and delegates an inheritance the recipients cannot receive that inheritance until there is a death. That is why Jesus said it was better that He go away. After His death, burial, and resurrection He then breathed upon the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit.
5. God convicts Christians of sin.
I will preface this with a statement. I have recently run across the belief that God doesn’t “convict” Christians. After hearing the argument it kinda makes sense. I am not making a doctrinal stand on this. This is purely exploring the topic and a possible belief. I don’t think it is something that makes a huge difference but it is an interesting take on the word and what scripture says. Some may say a word doesn’t make that much of a difference, in which I agree mostly, but some word’s meanings make a world of a difference. So here is the belief.
The word convict or elegchō in greek means to bring to light with the suggestion of shame of the person convicted. This is used in about three New Testament scriptures: John 16:8, Titus 1:9, and Jude 1:15 and all these are in relation to ungodly, the world, and unbelievers and not Saints or Believers. The word conviction in English is used to describe the judgment that is put upon a convict or someone guilty of a crime. To convict or bring a conviction is made for convicts. Believers are declared righteous! We have an Advocate with the Father! We are righteous and not convicts anymore. There is another word in greek for conviction and that is plērophoria which means, having a strong belief or opinion on somethingand and elegchōs which means a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested. This is different than elegchō.
What the Holy Spirit does do for Christians is bring counsel, comfort, holiness, guidance, power, grace, and the fruit and gifts of the Spirit.
To Be Continued