Bible Discussion Thread

  • Richard H Priday on John 13 - 1 year ago
    John 13 and Predestination

    This chapter; and the following are part of a private discourse between Christ and the 12 Disciples and demonstrate what has been prophesied in both veiled and now clear language as to what would happen to Christ; who whould betray Him; and once again God's inseparable relation to Christ when He is glorified as well as His elect (or chosen as stated in verse 18).

    It is clear that Judas Iscariot was also called AND chosen for the evil betrayal; which was prophesied in Psalm 41:9. This verse ALSO shows how Judas was a "close friend who He trusted". There was pain because of the betrayal for this reason despite the inevitability of it Jesus gave him the sop which was traditionally given to a guest of honor. (Verse 26). This is why we cannot make election or predestination a mere intellectual concept. If Christ could love someone who was to be the "son of perdition" ( John 17:2) then who are we to not love our enemies; and pray for those who despitefully use us? ( Matt. 5:44).

    We also need to see how Jesus loved His own unto the end (verse 1). Jesus surely had other things that could preoccupy Him after the Passover meal. Instead; He decided to reassure His disciples who still didn't get much of what He was saying. Verse 36 was the first hint that Peter would be restored after his fall into denial of Christ. He would die eventually and be with Christ. Here; he showed how being a servant was paramount in being a Godly example.

    This was the culmination of what He had been saying for the last few years; and in a a few short days it would finally be clear to the Disciples what these concepts meant. Since all but one of the 12 would be martyred eventually; they had to strip themselves of any self reliance and follow the Master's footsteps. Divine help through the Spirit for all these things would soon arrive at Pentecost.
  • Fred Scanlan - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    If, we are in Christ we will experiance only those things that are in and of Him.

    Consequently, without time or space, a moment in time ,if you will, without fear, who walk in the same paths of those that do and will love Him.

    A pure condition that only looks too Him.

    Even with the questions as the apostles had, we follow Him, waiting to see His next miracle, that will happen.

    Are we like the apostles that are waiting and watching!?

    Beholding the truths of His word?

    How this one, Judas could not see, is an example of brothers whom I've known who have fallen by the wayside! Including myself!

    Is falling from grace the same as Satan entering into the soul. What would it take to change our mind? Money?

    These things we may soon find out!

    Living in a time, this evil one waiting once again to control us.

    Being a follower of Christ is, and will be the constant subject of interference in our relationship to our Father.

    Is falling from grace the same as denial?

    I think not, if it were, than Judas would not have tried giving back the money!

    If I am wrong, please show me why.
  • Richard H Priday - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Godly sorrow leads to repentance; worldly sorrow to death. ( 2 Cor. 7:10). Note that it also leads to salvation and no regret.

    This is illustrated with Peter who clearly knew Christ; but he in a sense had to be "converted" ( Luke 22:32) from the mindset of his old nature. This would be accomplished after the Resurrection and confirmed by the questioning of Christ as to whether he loved Him and the prophesied death for Christ that he would have to endure in the future ( John 21:18).

    Judas Iscariot was only sorry for the consequences of what he did and still only saw Christ as the world did; a good man. Satan had held him for years with his greed and of course he betrayed Christ for a pittance: 30 pieces of silver. This suicidal mindset was probably a result of Satan's hypnotic pull suddenly ending; perhaps when whatever human conscience he had finally recovered. There was never any recognition given of Christ's Holiness nor was Judas ever rebuked by Him as Peter often was and no doubt everyone else. He "rebukes all those He loves" ( Rev. 3:19). Even though the other disciples ran away they still stayed from afar to witness what was happening. Judas couldn't face that. It is tragic that he could get to see the Resurrection 3 days later. He only faced an end to all meaningful existence in his mind; not realizing that he then should have sought repentance and a right standing with God. It is the sin nature which is the root cause; and we need to be Born Again to put our old self to death.

    Galatians 5:4 discusses "falling from grace" in terms of attempting to follow the law again and whoever breaks it is accursed; where anyone who breaks the law even in one area according to James 2:10 breaks it all. Falling from grace would mean once trusting in grace then going back to the law; hence never really having a salvation experience where we are enlightened to grace being needed and our own helpless ability to follow the Lord. (see Romans 8:5-8).
  • Giannis - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Hello dear Richard.

    A few thought about what you have written...

    Hebrews 12:15-17

    "15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

    17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it (the blessing) carefully with tears."

    Can one fall of the grace of God? One case is the above. Verse 15 says because of a root of bitterness in a believers heart this can happen.

    In verse 16,17 a person that is a fornicator or a profane person can not inherit the blessing(salvation). How come? Isn't the grace and forgiveness of God available to all people? Yes but under the condition of repentance (and not only). If one chooses to not repent for sins he does, even if that person is a believer, then the grace of God is not available to him, like Judas. If one chooses to leave God's way and get back to his original sinful life then the grace of God is not available to him, like Demas. There is always a condition so that the grace and forgiveness of God is available to people. And this is called Repentance. Believers who eventually leave this world in their unforgiven sins do not enter Heaven.

    Judas most possibly didn't repent for Jesus' betrayal, and even if he actually did repent he didn't proceed with asking God's grace and forgiveness. Repentance is not enough, if not asking God to forgive and not asking for Jesus' Blood. Wordly people often repent for things they do but they are not forgiven by God because they don't ask for forgiveness and the Blood of Jesus. The 5 unwise virgins (virgin means believer) were not allowed into the Marriage because they ended up in darkness, not having light in their lamps. The light represants a pure life. Darkness represants a life with sins.

  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Hi Giannis. Just one matter that struck me, from Richards reference to Galatians 5:4 ("falling from grace") & your reference to Hebrews 12:15 ("failing the grace of God"). Both Greek words are different as you know: (ekpipto; hustereo), indicating a different application. One, where those who seek justification by the Law instead of the Grace of God do not have salvation, and the other, those who don't "diligently" look to their manner of living (holiness), will receive the Lord's chastisement & fall short (fail) of God's Grace.

    I seem to see a difference here: one where salvation is never possessed because of trusting in the Law, and the other, where salvation is undermined, not enjoying the fullness of God's Grace, receiving chastisement. The Hebrews writer goes on to write about Esau (v16) who relinquished his birthright (akin to a sinner rejecting God's Offer of salvation meant to be received & enjoyed by all, having lost all hope). He then introduces Moses ("him that spake on Earth" v25): if the Israelite disobeyed Moses' warnings, punishment of death ensued. And then to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant (v24): how much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him.

    In all these warnings, chastisement of the believer is God's Rod to bring the erring child back into line. But as those who refused to obey Moses under the Law & those who turn away from obeying Jesus under Grace, an untimely death will follow if warnings are not heeded. Some see the "shall we not escape" (v25), indicating that salvation would be lost if we turn away from Christ (as in Esau's rejection), but my question: is the matter of salvation spoken of here, or, the matter of death (as those so judged under Moses)? Does the believer lose his salvation or is he first chastised, even to loss of life, if he refuses to listen (he turns away - his ears/heart) from Jesus? An interesting passage; trying to marry up all the verses associated with it from verses 5 to 25.
  • Giannis - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Pt 1.

    Hello Chris. Sorry for my delayed answer but I just managed to get back to you.

    a. Paul's letter to Galatians is not addressed to unbelievers but to the church, the saved saints of Galatia. What happened there? Some christians from other places who were Jews came to Galatia and tought people there that they can not be saved by the grace of Jesus only, but through Moses' law as well. Those people that were drifted towards such teaching were not unbelievers but were members of the local church, saved people that is. In verse 5:4 Paul tells them "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.". So one who is saved if he changes course and seeks salvation through works (Mosaic Law) then he looses God's grace, which grace in this case means salvation. Why? Because He seeks ijustification through works and not Jesus' Blood. As you write the greek word "ekpipto" is used, translated as "fallen", which is accurate enough

    b. Paul's letter to Hebrews is also addressed to believers. What Paul says is that if somebody has a root of bitterness in his heart, and does nothing about it, and keeps being in an unforgivable situation, then he lacks in God's grace. Why? Because he doesn't repent and stays in his sin. The greek "hystero" is translated as "fail" which is not the same but doesn't make any significant difference. Hystero means "lack in", "left behnd", the word Hysterisis in Physics comes from this word. What Paul means is that if a believer stays in a state that he doesn't want to repent or doesn't make any efford to correct his sin, then God's grace is not upon him. Paul uses Esau as an example for somebody who doesn't repent for his sin but still wants to get the blessing, and that can not be possible. The same happens for fornicators and profane persons. Pay attention Paul doesn't talk to unbelievers, there is no point for that, those have to come to faith to be saved. He talks to believers

    to be cont...
  • Giannis - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Pt 2. Chris

    c. It is not God who punishes people to make them change course and come back. In the story of the prodigal son, the father didn't go after his son to bring him back. It was the hard times that the son lived through, outside his father's protection, that made him decide to go back. Once a person is outside God's protection, satan is incharge. Paul says to Corinthians about that believer who was living wth his father's wife. 1 Cor 5:5 "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." How come satan has the authority to destruct a believer? Because he lives in an unforgivable sin. Will that person eventually repent and return? Maybe yes, maybe no. In our lives we have seen many cases that prodigal sons never come back, and this is a reality. Judas never came back, Demas never came back, neither did Ananias and Sapphira did.

    Often the parable of the shepherd and the lost sheep is used to justify the belief of a secured salvation, but in this case the sheep got lost, was confused, lost his vision and his way, so Jesus looked for it and brought it back. But in the parable of the prodigal son, the son didn't loose his way, wasn't confused, wasn't lost somehow, but he freely decided to go away from his house and live his sinful life spending his father's fortune. In this case father never went after him but waited for his son in the house, if he finally did come back.

    d. What do you mean with "an untimely death will follow if warnings are not heeded". Doesn't this mean that he died in his sin and was eventually lost? Weren't those Jews that disobeyed Mose's Law went to hell, like all those that didn't make it in the promised land because they believed in the spies' stories? And so many other examples in OT.

    to be cont...
  • Giannis - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Pt. 3.


    Well it really gets long, I hope I don't tire you.

    Please read Ezekiel 18:24. "But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." Since one's righteousness will not be mentioned, and he will die in his sin, what should I therefore conclude? That he is going to hell, isn't it so?

    Hebrews 10:26-27 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."

    In the above Paul doesn't talk about unbelievers, for those salvation is always available even if they once rejected it. Paul talks about people who were once in faith but later lost their faith and believed that Jesus' sacrifice and Blood were nothing really.

    So brother my belief is that if ones turns away from God, and despite God's efforts to make him repent, he dies in his sin then he will not enter Heaven but hell.

    Now I want to ask you a question. We agree that if somebody seeks salvation not only through Jesus' sacrifice, but through works, then he is not granted salvation. So what do you make of those Jews that believed to Jesus but still obeyed the Law of Moses. James said to Paul in Acts 21:20 "And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:". Those thousands of Jews were saved, weren't they? But how come since they were zealous of the law?

    I don't mean to be offensive even if sometimes it seems so. If we don't agree it is OK, we actually know what we both believe but we try to get to a possible agreement

    God Blessings
  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Page 3.

    Does Satan have the authority to take away life? I believe that only God gives & takes away life. In Satan's domain (i.e. outside the Church to which a sinning believer might be sent), pain & destruction may well be the physical demise of the believer, to the end that his "spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus".

    Re: "untimely death". I mean that a life was shortened because of God's action against sin. We see this in many instances in the OT & NT, & especially that we have already mentioned Ananias & Sapphira ( Acts 5); 1 Corinthians 11:27-30; Acts 12:21-23.

    Re: Hebrews 10:26,27 & we can add, Hebrews 6:4-6 as well; these verses have been discussed previously by bro Jesse & myself & too long to deal with here.

    Re: Acts 21:20. All I can see from this limited detail, is that the Church (the Jewish component), hadn't properly dealt with the separation of the Law & the liberty they ought to have enjoyed in Christ. Much like today, when those coming out of other religions or cults, might take a long time to understand & resolve matters that have been indoctrinated deep into their minds. The fact that the Jerusalem council seemed to understand & accept this matter didn't warrant them to address it. However, Paul always did & was taken to task for doing so.

    I hope I've addressed the points you raised, brother. I know we will see these things differently, but I hope you can also see how I understand it: the Lord knows His children & they have been brought into His family by His indwelling Spirit. Does God make an error in doing so? Or, are His children secure in Him & when they err, His correction done in love, will always bring us back into fellowship. If it doesn't do so, then, speaking personally, I would have to question my salvation, that it was merely a mental or emotional assent given, without a true change in heart & spirit. And that's the only way I can understand some of these difficult, apparently contentious, Scriptures. Every blessing.
  • Giannis - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Hello Chris

    I've read your answers and I see how you understand some scriptures and since it seems that we see things differently, I will make a summary of what we agree with and of what we disagree.

    It seems that we agree that a man who was saved by God's grace may sometimes, for his own (bad) reasons, change course and return to his original sinful life with all those consequences that accompany such an action. One may as well stay in the church but live in a sinful condition, that is he doesn't want to correct some things he does wrongly.

    God uses any way His wisdom chooses to bring that child of His back, often by permitting hard situations to go through one's life or even permits satan to "distruct" them to a specific extend, or even He Himself "punishes" His children for a good purpose.

    And it is here where our disagreement begins from, if I get it right. In my opinion you don't consider that God is powerless in front of some situations, He is actually powerless in front of man's free will, He can not violate it, He can not force people to do something they don't want to do. He works in many different ways, He makes all sort of efforts, He uses any possible way, to make people repent and return back even in the last minute of their lives. But those efforts do not always succeed not because God is not capable of but because man does not cooperate with Him, does not obey, does not repent, keeps his heart hard as stone.

    God's will is that all people get saved, but not all will be saved. His Will stops infront of man's will. This is what His righteouness says to Him. There is always a condition for people to get and keep salvation. Their cooperation with God

    Your belief is that finally God always succeeds in His efforts to bring His children back into repentance. But I think that there are many examples in both NT and OT that show us (in my opinion) that the opposite may sometimes happen.

    Anyway, thanks for your response and the conversation we are having.

  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Page 3.

    In my mind, this becomes a salvation based on human effort to please God, rather than a believer's spirit & Will secured & resting in God's Salvation & living the Christian life (with its ups & downs) in the power of the Spirit. And it is the Holy Spirit that secures & nourishes the believer to remain faithful & true to the One Who has purchased him and not our efforts to ensure our salvation is secure.

    What the apostles did by warning the Churches was to alert them to false teaching & if they were truly saved, to avoid the disciplining of the Lord, which He gives to all whom He loves. Just thought to add my belief to further define the life of a truly saved believer & God's continual work in him, ensuring nothing separates him "from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Blessings to you brother.
  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Page 2.

    Even if I use a personal example: when have I strayed into some sin & not felt the gentle tug of the Spirit - when have I persisted in that sin & not been drawn into deep conviction & sorrow for grieving the Lord Whom I love? Can I ever see myself being so drawn away, that I am willing to give up Christ for the World? Never. God's Spirit will persist with me, bearing upon my self-will & obstinacy, to restore me back to the Father. At least that's been my experience, & I perceive what Jesus spoke concerning the eternal security of those whom the Lord has secured ( John 6:39; John 10:27,28). But if I sense no conviction & a life of sin is more preferable, I would readily admit that I wasn't even saved - at least not saved by God, but saved by my reckoning.

    Then in contrast & what perplexes me: if I would believe that my salvation could be lost due to gross sin or leaving the faith, that would mean that I would never know in the present, that I'm truly saved & accepted. Why? Because of the real possibility that I could become unsaved. Then what should I do to return back to the Lord & re-gain His Holy Spirit? Obviously, to repent of my sin & cleave to Him, as I did at the first. But would that be enough, since I would never know the intensity of the sin that separated me from God, to the measure of righteousness that would please Him & send His Spirit back to me. Then how much could I obey Him & earnestly follow Him to ensure my salvation? Or maybe, to hold such a belief means that only in that Day of Judgement will a Christian know whether he has believed enough, done enough, repented enough, to be accepted by God?
  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Page 1.

    Thanks again brother for your response. Actually, I see that my understanding of who are blood-bought, Spirit-filled believers & followers of Christ are not always the same as another's understanding. Maybe, my view is too restrictive, too narrow; but I feel compelled to hold this view considering what Jesus & the apostles described of one who is genuine & a true believer. As well, I try my best to avoid making judgement on the spiritual condition of others who profess belief in Christ - I simply don't have that authority or the ability to discern a heart's condition. If I have to deal with struggles within myself, I certainly would not be in a position to discern where a person is at before the Lord. Therefore, in the Church, there can not only be false teachers (as we've already discussed & seen in the epistles), but also false Christians (i.e. amongst the laity & Church leadership). Just because a 'Christian' appearance is seen by man, doesn't mean that this reflects the condition of the heart before God. And yet, we must accept one another as those in Christ, & encourage one another in our walk of faith.

    So, if we understand that a true believer is one who is saved through Christ's Sacrifice & has the Holy Spirit in residence, becoming God's blood-bought child, what would it take for God to allow such a child to increasingly become wayward, returning back to his old sinful life, & be lost into Satan's clutches? I not only see that God would not permit it (as His Spirit cannot be willy-nilly given & taken away making God's deep work in the heart a farce), but also He immediately lovingly applies intervention to alert & restore the wayward one.
  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Page 2.

    b. I note your understanding of the two Greek words in question, that there is no significant difference between them. But why I earlier suggested that "fail" indicates 'falling short', is because of the earlier verses 5-11, indicating that believers who err, must be recipients of God's Chastisement - if not, those believers are imposters (illegitimate). So why then do we read verses 12-15, speaking about their learning from God's Discipline, to follow peace with all men, & holiness of life, and having careful introspection (episkopeo)? That they might not 'fail' (fall short) of God's Grace. If we apply 'failing God's Grace' to 'loss of salvation', then God's Discipline seems unnecessary, as that would provide no correction to bring one back to holy living. But to the true believer, God's Discipline must bring about the desired results, because if it didn't, then we would be illegitimate, even as Esau relinquished his birthright & was rejected.

    c. Re: the prodigal son parable. I think that the point of the story was that a son wanted to go out on his own, fell into hard times, came to his senses, & was joyfully received back by his father. I don't see any reference here to "God's punishment to cause a change of course & come back". It is as you say, 'the son's decision' to return & he was welcomed home, just as a wayward believer would, returning back setting his eyes only on God. No chastisement or punishment here, as this parable wasn't suggesting that. But we do read of God's disciplining in Hebrews 12. How that takes place can be different to each one of us: whether the gentle urging of the Holy Spirit, a stern message from the pulpit, sickness, even death (as was for Ananias & Sapphira). The point is, that a believer will receive the Word from the Lord in some way & will be corrected. Why? Because he is a blood-bought child of a loving God, even as a loving earthly father would never reject his child but first offer correction & restoration.
  • Chris - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Page 1.

    Thank you bro Giannis for your lengthy reply - & I trust you had a profitable time away. I'll try to deal with the points you raised.

    a. Agreed, Galatians is written to believers & in Galatians 5:1, we read of Paul's urgent warning to stand fast in the liberty given by Christ & not be swayed by others to become entangled into legalistic bondage (the Law/circumcision). And so Paul lays out the Truth to these who may be considering/drifting towards this false teaching: 'if your justification comes by obedience to the Law, then God's Grace (salvation) would no longer be yours.' I see this as a warning towards a principal: 'Law & Grace don't mix, so stand fast in Christ's liberty.' Hopefully, those erring Galatians would heed Paul's teaching rather than the false ones, & hold onto the Truth.

    But your question would be, 'what about those who don't heed it, won't they fall from God's Grace?' I agree that they would, but did anyone from their midst, come to this sad state of losing their salvation? Or was it simply Paul's warning to the Church about this false doctrine, that righteousness doesn't come by obedience to the Law, therefore don't be fooled by this teaching. And to add, Paul says in verse 10, "I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be." I guess, it depends how one wants to view this passage in Galatians: as a warning against false teachers or as a teaching that salvation can be lost.
  • Gianns - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Chris, I am currently on vacation. I'll come back to you when i'll be back, probably on Saturday.
  • GiGi - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Have a wonderful vacay, Giannis.
  • Giannis - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Thanks GiGi, God bless you.
  • Fred Scanlan - In Reply on John 13 - 1 year ago
    Could it be said, that retreating from grace is a condition that we, who believe, at one time or another might experiance?

    Becoming as little children, learning as we go?

    Your insight of Judas heart after He betrayed Christ, had become the unforgivable sin. It was true also of Simon his father who did not recognize the Savior. The "Hypnotic pull" you refer too, is the Power for his Father followed with the money for His Son!

    Knowing the word as you do and backing it up with its verses, is a complete use and application of the word of God.

    Judas did not follow Christ after his denial, as the others did. The desciples watched and followed

    Judas did not believe, nor as you say was baptised, this spiritual condition would be his demise, as He threw himself off a cliff!

    Thank you for sharing!

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