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GNAP 2016

[16] Claiming to be a Christian Doesn’t Count: The nature of true saving faith Part V

Why does the Bible say we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling? This week Dr. Spencer discusses what this means, and why we cannot give ourselves an easy pass when it comes to being certain about our salvation. But, if we find evidence that we are born again, this brings about great assurance and confidence. We can have joy even in trials because our confidence is in God’s eternal promises, not in ourselves. Read More

[15] You Must be Born Again: The nature of true saving faith Part IV

Natural man is hostile to God. He cannot please God and will never seek him on his own. He is completely unable to accept God’s offer of salvation because of his hostility toward God. Paul says that he is dead in his transgressions and sins (Eph 2:1). He must be born again to be saved. Therefore, if Christ only died to make salvation possible, but our salvation depended on our accepting this offer, we would be utterly without hope. But, we have hope because God causes those whom he has chosen in eternity to be born again, and those who are born again will respond in repentance and faith. If you cry out to God for mercy, it may be that he is drawing you to himself, don’t resist, but seek God! God then grants to us all the grace necessary to live out the Christian life. Read More

[14] Living in Union with Christ: The nature of true saving faith Part III

The most important thing we must know about living in union with Jesus Christ is that he is Lord. He is Lord in the ultimate sense; in other words, he is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and Judge of the universe. When we become Christians, we proclaim “Jesus is Lord” (Rom 10:9), but that is simply our acknowledging the truth, it does not affect reality. Jesus is Lord, whether we acknowledge it or not. But, on the Day of Judgment, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. As people who have been born again, Christians will live in obedience to Christ, although they still have sin dwelling in them and must fight against it every day. Read More

[13] Union with Christ is Not Just for this Life: The nature of true saving faith Part II

True Christianity is not just moral renovation and it is not primarily focused on this life. A true Christian is looking forward to his reward in the next life, in the new heavens and the new earth. True salvation is based on a double imputation (or transaction); namely, our sins are imputed to Jesus Christ and his perfect righteousness is imputed to us. Because our sin is against God, it is infinite and no mere human being is able to pay for it except by spending eternity in hell. But, because Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, he was able to pay for the sins of his people, and further, because he was a perfect sinless man, he has a perfect righteousness to give to us. This double imputation occurs because believers are united to Christ by faith. Union with Christ is “the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation” according to John Murray. True Christians will walk in obedience to God’s law out of love and thanksgiving to God. Read More

[12] Which Jesus?: The nature of true saving faith Part I

Salvation is by faith alone, but just saying that you “believe in Jesus” does not guarantee that you are saved (Matthew 7:21-23). You must believe in the Jesus presented to us in the Bible, not one of the counterfeits presented in many modern churches. There are many so-called gospels being preached, but Paul called them “no gospel at all” in Galatians 1:7, those who believe in them are destined for eternal hell. The true gospel requires that we recognize we are sinners in need of a Savior; that is the bad news. The good news is that Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior. He died to pay for the sins of everyone who will repent of his sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. Read More

[11] Why we should believe the Bible, Part VIII: More extrabiblical evidence corroborating the Bible.

The idea that Christianity is the result of an evolutionary process is nonsense. God has not changed; he is every bit as gracious in the Old Testament as in the New, and he is every bit as wrathful in the New Testament as in the Old. Continuing with our presentation of extra-biblical evidence to corroborate the Bible, we have one possible bit of direct extra-biblical evidence for Abraham, and we have much indirect extra-biblical evidence for the patriarchal narratives. The names, geopolitical situations, prices of slaves, forms of treaties, social customs and so on are all correct for the period and location. It would not have been possible for someone writing significantly after the time of the patriarchs up until very recently to get all of this information correct, so we conclude that the biblical narratives are genuine historical narratives. The few places where there are clear anachronisms are easily explained as later changes introduced by copyists for the sake of clarity. Read More

[10] Why we should believe the Bible, Part VII: More extrabiblical evidence corroborating the Bible.

The view of creation sometimes called Theistic Evolution is briefly described and, in addition to having inadequate scientific support, is shown to have a serious theological flaw. The difference between the accounts of creation given in Chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis is then explained. The ubiquitous nature of human sin is compelling evidence for the Genesis account of the fall. The biblical account of the flood is consistent with extra-biblical sources. And the biblical account of creation as a whole is a polemic against all mythological presentations of creation. Christianity is not the end result of an evolutionary development of religion. Read More

[9] Why we should believe the Bible, Part VI: More extrabiblical evidence corroborating the Bible.

The Genesis account of creation, which Christians must accept as true, is often thought to be at odds with modern science. Some people incorrectly think that you must choose between the two. But, the reality is that there are a number of possible ways to reconcile the Genesis account of creation with modern science, so, even though we may not have a definitive answer, it is clear that such an answer does exist. As an example, the days of Genesis 1 might be literal, 24-hour days, and yet not be consecutive. We must also determine where the observer is who is describing the creation days. It is even possible, based on the theory of relativity, that the observer is in a reference frame in which time moves at a dramatically different pace than it does within our universe. References are given for listeners who are interested in more detail. Read More

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