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Think On These Things, Issue #011
November 01, 2014

Think On These Things

A Bimonthly E-Zine of Bible Studies With Chris



Table of Contents

Is a Good Person Saved?
It's a Matter of Perspective
How Does God Communicate to Man Today?

Is a Good Person Saved?

To the cynic, this is a cold, cruel world in which everyone is out for themselves and no one cares for his fellow man. However, I am convinced that man is generally good and wants to do what is right.

I recently saw a news story of a man crossing the street in a wheelchair with a bag of groceries when suddenly his wheel fell off and he fell to the ground. The car that was at the intersection got out of his car, picked the man up off the ground, fixed his wheelchair and helped gather his groceries.

Such a story is not uncommon in the news. It does not account for the countless acts of kindness and selflessness that do not find themselves in the media. Indeed the world is filled with good people.

Can one be a good person and still be lost? Indeed they can. One of the most common misconceptions concerning salvation is that if one is a good person, honest, kind to his neighbor, a good parent, then he will be accepted into heaven. Such meritorious works will never be enough to earn one’s way into heaven. Paul wrote, “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2.8,9)

The problem comes with a misunderstanding of the nature of sin. It is sin that separates man from God (Isa. 59.2), and nothing that we can do, by and of ourselves, will ever remove those sins. The only thing that can remove our sins is the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1.18,19), offered as a gift (grace) from God (Rom. 5.15).

Furthermore, God has put in place a set of requirements, things that we must do, in order to receive that grace. Those requirements include faith (John 8.24), repentance (Luke 13.3), confession of our faith (Rom. 10.10), and It's a Matter of Perspective

One day a rich father took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night on the farm of a very poor family.

When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"Very good Dad!"

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.

"Yeah!"

"And what did you learn?"

The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon."

When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless.



How Does God Communicate to Man Today?

It is God’s desire that we worship and serve Him throughout our lives. However, without knowing what God expects of us, it is impossible to please Him. Therefore, it was necessary for God to somehow communicate with His creation and reveal to them what He expects man to do.

Originally, this communication came in the form of the prophetic word. God would speak to prophets who would then take that message and deliver it to man. While in certain rare cases, God would speak to one directly (Moses), He says, “If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision. I speak to him in a dream.” (Num. 12.6).

Indeed, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophet” (Heb. 1.1). Yet this means of communication was never meant to be permanent, but was in place until the final and complete message was made available. That final message came through Jesus Christ. HEBREWS 1.2: “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son”.

The implication of such a statement is clear. Speaking to man through the prophetic medium was “in time past.” No longer does God speak to man by sending His word through prophets. Why? Because everything that He intended man to know has already been revealed (2 Pet. 1.3). Thus there is no longer any need for modern day prophets.

Some argue, that modern day prophets are necessary because the word of God has become corrupted, misinterpreted, and mistranslated making it impossible for the average person to know the will of God. In the context of the knowing the thoughts and ways of God through His word, the prophet Isaiah revealed that “it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55.12). And what is the purpose of God’s word? The apostle Paul answers that question when he wrote, “by which, when you read you may understand..” (Eph. 3.4).

When Christ sent the Holy Spirit to reveal His message to the apostles (John 16.12-14), they took that revelation and wrote it down. We have those words of Christ in the gospels and epistles of the New Testament. And through this New Testament God speaks to us through His Son.



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