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Currently, we are using the book of David Bernard 'The New Birth' in our teaching. And some of Christians commented with this writings and teachings. We would like to solicit your ideas on how should we respond those people. And also please give us some insights with their respective comments below. Please refer to the footnote numbers citing the terms and taughts in red letters. In another sense of the word, however, salvation is still future. We have not yet received final and complete deliverance from all the curse of sin. We still live in this sinful and imperfect world, have mortal bodies, have the sinful nature 1 within us, face temptation, and have the ability to sin. Our salvation will be complete only when we receive glorified, immortal bodies like that of the resurrected body of Jesus (Romans 8:23; Philippians 3:20-21). At that time we will no longer be subject to sickness, pain, the temptation of sin, or the possibility of death (I Corinthians 15:51-57). This last stage in God's salvation plan for us is called glorification (Romans 8:30), and it will occur when Christ comes back for His church (I Thessalonians 4:14-17; I John 3:2). Thus the Bible often speaks of salvation as a future event: 'But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved' (Acts 15:11). 'For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed' (Romans 13:11). 'So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation' (Hebrews 9:28). The Relation Between Past, Present, and Future Salvation Obviously, the three tenses of salvation are closely related. Future salvation will come only to those who have experienced past and present salvation in this life. Those who are saved in the present have full assurance of salvation in the future. However, a one-time past experience does not automatically guarantee future salvation. We are responsible for keeping our salvation until the end. Just as we have received past salvation through faith in Jesus, we will receive future salvation only if we continue to live by faith in Jesus. We can forfeit our present salvation and our promise of future salvation by a voluntary return to sin and unbelief. The link between past and future salvation is continuance in present salvation. 2 The kingdom of God also has a future aspect in that one day God will completely destroy all opposition to His rule and will display His kingship in every facet of the universe. His kingdom will come physically to this earth in the thousand year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:4-6). It will be established throughout eternity by the judgment of all sinners and by the creation of a new heaven and a new earth without sin. Sin is rebellion against God, so God's kingdom will find perfect expression only when all sin is judged and eliminated. 3 In order to gain a better understanding of this passage, we should examine the significance that Peter attached to the phrase 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.' On one occasion he explained that the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost the same as the Jews who 'believed on the Lord Jesus Christ' (Acts 11:15-17). Thus he linked faith in Jesus Christ with receiving the Spirit. Paul taught that the kingdom of God includes joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). Although it is not specifically stated in Acts 16 that the Philippian jailer received the Holy Ghost, the reference to his joy may indicate that he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (See also Acts 8:39.) 4 The situation on the Day of Pentecost was different in that Peter gave a direct answer to a direct question about salvation. The Spirit had been poured out, so Peter did intend for his answer to give explicit instructions and to produce an immediate new birth. His listeners were Jews and Jewish proselytes, most (if not all) of whom had heard about Jesus of Nazareth. Since they were well acquainted with religious concepts and terminology, Peter was able to give them a precise, thorough answer in a single statement. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas confronted a man who knew little if anything about God. He had just attempted suicide. He was recovering from the fright of an earthquake and was awestricken in the presence of the supernatural. They answered his question in a simple, general way that would be understandable and reassuring. They let him know that the way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. Then they explained the gospel in detail to him and his household. The differences in these three passages stem from the different situations, but the content of each is consistent with the others. Two passages speak of water baptism, and the third refers to the birth of water. Two passages speak of the work of the Spirit in salvation, and the third describes an experience that caused rejoicing, which is experienced when a person receives the Spirit. Only one of the three passages explicitly mentions repentance and only one explicitly mentions faith in Christ, but many other verses teach that both faith and repentance are prerequisites to salvation. 5 We conclude from these three passages that salvation comes only6 through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith will lead to water baptism in the name of Jesus (birth of water) and to the baptism of the Spirit (birth of the Spirit). Other verses that mention salvation support this conclusion. For example, it is stated that salvation comes through: (1) the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12); (2) confession of Jesus as Lord, belief in His resurrection, and calling on His name (Romans 10:9-13); (3) grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9); (4) repentance (II Corinthians 7:10); (5) sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (II Thessalonians 2:13); and (6) obedience to Christ (Hebrews 5:9). We can view salvation from two complementary, not contradictory, points of view: (1) It has a minimum requirement, namely, the new birth;7 (2) It is a process of progressively appropriating God's grace throughout a continual life of faith and holiness. We will see both aspects fulfilled in our lives if we are to inherit eternal salvation. From start to finish, our salvation rests on faith in Jesus Christ. If we have faith in Him we will repent of sin, be baptized in His name, receive His Holy Spirit,8 and continue to live a holy, Christian life by faith. In this way we will receive both present salvation from sin and future salvation from all the eternal consequences of sin. 1. This is term from the false teaching of John Calvin. We do not have to sin. We do not have to give in to temptation. - ! Corinthians 10:13. 2. Revelation 2:10 3. This is a false teaching and a false application of Revelation 20. See ! Thessalonica 4:16-18. We will meet Christ in the Air. There is no 1,000 years reigh on earth. 4. This is a false teaching. No one received the baptism of the Holy Spirit excexcept the apostles Acts 1:26, Acts 2:1 and Cornelius and his household Acts 11:15. 5. Te Spirit works only through the word in salvation. 6. Baptism is absolutely ncessary for salvation. 7. The new birth is baptism. 8. This is a false teaching. No one has received the Holy Spirit since the last apostle dier. During ther lives certain gifts were given by the laying of their hands.
1. This is term from the false teaching of John Calvin. We do not have to sin. We do not have to give in to temptation. - ! Corinthians 10:13.
GC answer: I don't know about John Calvin, but I agree that we do not have to sin, that we can choose to walk away from temptation. I believe made has a fee will, although some people get themselves in bondage to sin.
2. Revelation 2:10
GC answer: I see no contradiction between this verse and what Bro. Bernard has said. Revelation 2:10 says, 'Be faithful until death (continue in your present salvation), and I will give you the crown of life (you will receive the future salvation).
3. This is a false teaching and a false application of Revelation 20. See ! Thessalonica 4:16-18. We will meet Christ in the Air. There is no 1,000 years reigh on earth.
GC answer: I see no problem with Bro. Bernard's teaching. There is no contradiction between meeting Christ in the air and His kingdom coming to the earth. Also, Revelation 20:6 specifically states, 'Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.'
4. This is a false teaching. No one received the baptism of the Holy Spirit excexcept the apostles Acts 1:26, Acts 2:1 and Cornelius and his household Acts 11:15.
GC answer: What about the men of Ephesus in Acts 19:1-6? Of cource, now this person is creating a doctrine out of what is not there. Just because the Bible doesn't say a person received the Spirit does not mean he didn't. I believe we should see the ones who are specifically mentioned as prototypical examples. At our assembly, everyone has received the Holy Spirit and spoken in other tongues at their new birth.
5. Te Spirit works only through the word in salvation.
GC answer: I have no problem with Bro. Bernard's explanation. I don't know what this person means when he says the Spirit works only through the word, but if he means someone must first hear the preaching of the gospel, then I would agree and I believe Bro. Bernard would too. But that was not his point in the passage referred to.
6. Baptism is absolutely ncessary for salvation.
GC answer: I agree with that and I believe Bro. Bernard does too. He is making the point that there must also be repentance and faith preceding baptism. I would not have explained it quite the way Bro. Bernard did, not I know what he meant because I know him.
7. The new birth is baptism.
GC answer: The birth is water baptism AND the gift of the Holy Spirit. See John 3:3-5.
8. This is a false teaching. No one has received the Holy Spirit since the last apostle dier. During ther lives certain gifts were given by the laying of their hands.
GC answer: This person has no way of knowing that no one has received the gift of the Spirit since the last apostle died. He is basing his belief on his own experience. The truth is, the promise of the Spirit is for 'as many as the Lord our God shall call.' I received the Spirit in 1981 and as I said, everyone in our assembly has received the Spirit.
I would recommend you not spend too much time debating this person. He sounds like his mind is made up and you probably won't persuade him of anything different.
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