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#28937 Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:31 AM
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1st Corinthians 12:3 says, "...no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit."

In 1st John 4, we read in verses 2-3:

"By this you know the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God."

In vs. 6 of that same chapter, we read "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit if truth and the spirit of error."

Now, what I am about to tell you is not a hypothetical situation. We met a man recently, and as we got to know him found that he believed in the orhtodox teachings about Jesus strongly- he affirmed the truth of 1st Cor. 12:3 passage to the point that he would not refer the Jesus by any other name but "the Lord Jesus." He studied the gospels meticulously.

Yet he completely rejected apostolic authority. He said that the worst thing to happen to the church was to have the apostles come along and "mess everything up" that Jesus had done. He said that they had a few good things to say, but were no more inspired then any other Christian, and that their works should not be a part of the Bible- only the 4 gospels qualified.

What I am wondering, is how can someone "pass the test" of 1 Cor. 12:3, 1st John 4:2-3, etc., and yet fail miderably the "test" of 1st John 4:6, which lays down the line on submitting to apostolic doctrine and authority? I'm curious what your takes are on this.


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Was the person from a Restoration Church (Church of Christ, Christian Church)?


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Henry Offline OP
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No, he attended a Weslyan church. He was from India and I suspect some of his spiritual background was starting to influence him... he indicated a distaste for any part of Scripture that mentioned retribution, judgement or violence, for example.


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He said that they had a few good things to say, but were no more inspired then any other Christian, and that their works should not be a part of the Bible- only the 4 gospels qualified.

His position is senseless. Two of the gospels were written by apostles, and the other two were written by close associates of the apostles. Jesus left no writings of His own (speaking in human terms). So either way he is accepting the testimony of the apostles!


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Henry said:
No, he attended a Weslyan church. He was from India and I suspect some of his spiritual background was starting to influence him... he indicated a distaste for any part of Scripture that mentioned retribution, judgement or violence, for example.

Evidently he hasn't read much of the Gospels? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bingo.gif" alt="" />


Kyle

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I know, what he belives is incoherent and self-contradictory to the point of absurdity. I sent him a 4-page letter highlighting this, mainly drawing on Christ's statements to his disciples in the last few chapters of John.

What I'm wondering is, what do we make of someone "passing" one of John's tests of true Christianity, and yet miserably failing just a few verses later?

Last edited by Henry; Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:46 PM.

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Henry said:

What I'm wondering is, what do we make of someone "passing" one of John's tests of true Christianity, and yet miserably failing just a few verses later?

He is either as yet unconverted (since in rejecting those whom Christ sent he rejects Christ Himself and the Father who sent Christ), or else he is extremely immature.


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I sent him a 4-page letter highlighting this, mainly drawing on Christ's statements to his disciples in the last few chapters of John.

Let us know what kind of response you get from your letter.

If he attends a Wesleyan Church, he certainly doesn't believe what they teach. Wesleyans may have their problems, but that isn't one of them.

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Matthew 10 and Galatians 1 are good places to start.

John 13:20 is also intriguing- "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."

Of course, he may say that Paul and the other apostles were lyring and not really sent from Christ, but that is an argument that just doesn't hold water.

Also, thinking about his Wesleyan background, he would say that we can lose our salvation. I think that would be a prudent thing to address, as he wouldn't believe in "once sent, always sent"


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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Henry said:
1st Corinthians 12:3 says, "...no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit."

In 1st John 4, we read in verses 2-3:

"By this you know the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God."

In vs. 6 of that same chapter, we read "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit if truth and the spirit of error."

I know that I'm jumping in here late, but I just have a quick comment.

1. There is a point when versus are taken too literaly. Such as 1 Cor 12:3. We see here more of an example of what a Christian should be professing I believe rather then a black and white issue of "whom ever proclaims Jesus as Lord with their lips is of God."

Because we all know that not all who proclaim Jesus as Lord with their lips is truly saved, right?

We also know that there are false prophets in the church today that know the scriptures very well, but they are reading them not by the will of the Spirit but of their own will for the sole purpose of bending them to their own desires. This is nothing new and has been a reality of the church from the begining.

What this person is teaching is wrong and it is not orthodox. This person should be rebuked and told that his interpretation of the Holy Word of God is in serious error.

You have done what is right. You have showed him he is in error. If he continues to ask for your guidance, then great, continue to disciple him. If not, then I would pray for him and ask God to forgive him.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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Henry Offline OP
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I contacted this man last in late Sept., and have not heard back from him at all.

But the thing that's been on my mind is more the nature of John's words, the nature of the "tests" of true faith he establishes, and the akward nature of "passing" one and "failing" another.

Dave, I think you might be on the right track with what you said about taking 1st Cor. 12:3 too literally. But then, was the understanding you bring up really what Paul had in mind, or are we modifying our understanding of the text because we run into some appartant irreconcilablilties in real life? That's the track I'm thinking down...


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