Could It Be A Coincidence?!?!

Allow me to start off by saying, I don’t believe in coincidences. Rather, I affirm the sovereignty and providence of God over every moment. So, the title of this blog was to grab your attention and get you thinking, no to really ask if what I am about to put before you are a confidence or not.

Earlier this morning, I began to tune in and listen the G3 Conference happening in Atlanta, Georgia and as soon as I tuned in Dr. James White was preaching. Dr. James White and I have had interaction before which you will come to understand better by the time you are done reading this blog. This morning, Dr. James was preaching through John chapter 8, and in my estimation, he did a great job showing the force of the interaction between the religious leaders and Jesus. The religious leaders had wandered over to false teachings, teaching the commandments of men rather than the truth (see, Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:8, etc.), and because of their clinging to the truth they thought they knew (regarding their lineage back to Abraham) they could not see the Truth right in front of them. Their intellectual dishonesty blinded them. I thought it was an interesting detail that the religious leaders would assert something, they had to knowingly know to be a falsehood (v.33), as Dr. White pointed out, to further bolster what they saw as their “truth claim”. Before I begin to detail a bit where I see other’s doing that and other aspects of intellectual dishonesty running rampant today, I’d like to appreciate one last point from Dr. White’s message. Taking note of John 8:24, Dr. White pointed out the doctrinal absolute we can get from this text, namely that in order to not “die in your sins”, you must believe that Jesus Christ is and was the “I AM”, and it is this truth that “shall make you free”.

That being so, I affirm that Jesus Christ is the “I AM” that appeared to Abraham, in the glory He had with the Father before the world began. That would make me a Christian.

So, what is the coincidence talk about? How does this relate to rampant intellectual dishonesty today?

Sure enough, as I opened my TimeHop application this morning (which takes me back to my previous posts each day throughout the years), today a conversation I had 3 years ago via Twitter with James White. I had emailed, Facebooked, and tried to reach Mr. White through Twitter to engage his thoughts on eschatology (as I have charged that he ignores inconsistencies in eschatology all the while debating Muslims who profane Christian pulpits), yet he continually ignored me. So yes, being a bit frustrated with his ignoring the reaching out, I charged him with “intellectual dishonesty”. The same intellectually dishonest that was exhibited by the religious leaders as they spoke with Jesus Christ. Yes, I have and am continuing to charge Christian leaders who operate under the confused guise of inconsistent “futurist” views of eschatology as “intellectually dishonest”. In this regard at least.  Why such strong words on my part? Well let me explain…

I will readily acknowledge that Islam is an aberrant teaching that needs to be taught and defended against. Oddly enough, if his speaking this am and popping up on my TimeHop was “coincidence” enough, I have also been in the middle of a study helping encourage a friend away from Islam – so hearing Dr. White surely seemed in perfect timing (as I do indeed appreciate much of his work in that area). However, we must not ignore the fractured nature of the Body of Christ regarding the ‘end times’, and a willingness to be content with the confusion, as long as the Full Preterist doesn’t come along. All the confusion is ok, but the clarity Full Preterism brings – no, that’s heresy. And yes, many have been abused and broken in the Christian Church due to the intellectual dishonesty and ignorance that runs rampant in that regard. For maintaining the consistent view of Full (Biblical) Preterism many have been ostracized, have been told to maintain a bad conscience regarding good theology to maintain the status quo, have been removed from leadership positions, divorced, and so much more…and yet this is subtly ignored, or just lambasted as “heresy” by many in the contemporary church.

So…the good news? 2019 is going to be a year that you can expect to see more purpose, clarity, and accountability within the “Preterist Movement”. We have marked out the need to see more practical and productive teachings regarding our living out the “fulfilled eschaton” and a continued call to accountability on behalf of Christian leaders to foster honest conversations and teachings in these regards (with the same conviction and passion they had in rebuking it).

Surely, there are no coincidences.

Submitted for Christ’s glory & the Church’s edification,

Michael Miano
Pastor, Director, & Apologist
The Blue Point Bible Church
The Power of Preterism Network
MGW Apologetics

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Celebrate Christ: The Fulfilled Lord’s Table

Yesterday, January 6th, Pastor Michael Miano preached a sermon about celebrating Christ in and through the Lord’s Supper at The Blue Point Bible Church. You can listen to that sermon at the following link, http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/911968-1-6-19-bpbc-worship-service

In said sermon, he promised to put my notes online. Below you will find the sermon notes and an included online post about the Lord’s Supper from preacher Steve Baisden.


Sharing in the Lord’s Table
Communion = Fellowship

Celebrate Christ Sermon Series – 2 Peter 1:3

“Turn you eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”. – Helen Howarth Lemmel

“Home is not a heavenly mansion in the afterlife but a safe place in the midst of our anxious world”. – Brenning Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

“Let no one deceive himself. He who has no sight of Christ’s glory here and now, shall never see it in the hereafter”. – John Owen

Move into this with the right mentality – Psalm 139:23-24

Who are regarded as the beneficiaries of Christ’s provisions?

What can we do to deepen our understanding of and appreciation for the wonder of Christ’s presence?

How does the Lord’s Table provide insight for a new world in our day? 

WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK OF THE LORD’S SUPPER?

Alot of thoughts shared in this message will be paraphrased quotes from “Bread Broken and Shared”.

(eternal life- John 17:3; salvation, baptism, covenant, His death, His life, His flesh, His blood, His presence and glory, etc)

“The danger…to be satisfied with only partial vision, the full brightness of the Truth might blind us and make us realize to what extent the Lord’s Table is a ongoing mystery of SURPASSING greatness and beauty”.

Let’s turn to 1 Cor. 11 – The Apostle Paul speaks of the Lord’s Table as a reality which all know and could agree on, in order to make a statement about the quality of the Christian life of the Corinthians. The main thing Paul was concerned about was what it means to love as brothers and sisters.

“The New Testament problem was unique: to find words to describe an experience of coming together as a community to share a meal at which Christ was both participant and nourishment”.

“The Lord’s Table is the way Jesus has found to transcend time and space”.

WHAT SHOULD COME TO MIND?

“Unless our life choices, our value systems, our actions, are informed by the Lord’s Table, they are not fully Christian”.  – “…it is the life of Christ which God offers us”.

“If we are to continue the work that Jesus has started, if our Lord’s Table celebration is to be reflected in our lives, we must learn to extend the reach of this celebration beyond it’s present limits”.

The Lord’s Table is all about RELATIONSHIP
“Attachment is the foundation of the soul’s existence”. – Boundaries
“Our deepest need it to belong, to be in a relationship, to have a spiritual and emotional “home”. The very nature of God is to be in relationship: “God is love”, says 1 John 4:16. Love means relationship – the caring, committed connection of one individual to another”. – Boundaries

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
“…the reality of our incorporation in Christ”.
“The Lord’s table is the source and summit of the Christian life” (define source and summit)

“The Lord’s Table perpetuates aspects of Jesus’s life and gives us the strength to pattern our lives after His”.

Eucharist prayer –  Through him, with him, in him,  in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours,  almighty Father,  for ever and ever.

GAINING A SCRIPTURAL UNDERSTANDING

“We are struck with a further realization: The four accounts of the Lord’s Table that we now possess were not written primarily to teach us about the Lord’s table! Rather, in each case the writers used an accepted tradition – one familiar to their readers – as a means to develop a specific truth”.

(Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-35; Luke 22:17-20)

“…situating these texts in the heart of Jesus’s last days, their concern was to use the Lord’s Table to clarify the meaning of Jesus’s suffering and death”.  cf. brought to mind – Jer. 31:31-34; Isaiah 42:1-9; 49:1-6; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12

CHRIST IN US – HIS BODY – FILLING UP AND BEING FORMED
Ephesians 3:17
Colossians 2:7

Christ formed in you – Galatians 4:19; Colossians 1:24 -27

His death – Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 2:20; 2 Cor 4:10;

His life – glory (John 14 & 17); changed (1 Cor. 15😊; 1 Thess 4- gathered and glorified.

1 John 3:2 is to be interpreted through the lens of John 14 & 17
Glory (weight/value)- love- presence = relational terms

HOW SHOULD WE CONSTANTLY CELEBRATE HIS PROVISION OF “HIS LIFE IN US” AND REFORM OUR THOUGHTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS TRUTH WE LEARNED TODAY?

“In memory of Me” – “In saying that the Lord’s Table is Christ’s memorial, we are acknowledging that through His grace and power God is able to even today to insert us into a past moment (“Dynamic Transcendence”) – keeping the reality actual and authentic for subsequent generations”.  – “God and man insert themselves in the accomplishments of the past”

“Examine Yourself” – True reflection at the Lord’s Table “…is never a passive, comforting moment alone with God that allows us to escape the cares and concerns of everyday life. (contrary to popular thought). Rather, the Lord’s Table is where all these cares and concerns come to a focus, and where we are asked to measure them against the standard lived by Jesus Christ..”

“When we meet Christ at His table and say “amen” to His body which is offered for us, we say in the words of St. Augustine, “amen, to what we are”.

“And when our supportive network is strong enough, we will all help each other mature into what God intended us to be: “bearing with one another in love. Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3)”.  – Boundaries

“Fundamentally, the Lord’s Table is a victory – a victory of One who is absent from the world to become present in a world which conceals Him”. – St. Cyril of Alexander

“The presence of Christ demonstrated in and through the Lord’s Table is at the heart of the church. But it will be a redeeming presence for us only if the whole ministry of Christ’s life is accepted and lived. Only in this way will the Church become the presence of Christ to the world”.  Essentially, “It moves us to become Christ for others”.

“By joining in on the Lord’s Supper, the provisions of the Son, we commit ourselves to do our part to continue His mission on earth”.  “The more authentic our commitment to mission, to share the broken bread, the more will Christ’s presence (God’s glory) will be recognized”

Our Lord’s Table message to the world – His Life in and through us:
“Faithful obedience is active remembrance”
“The first thing that we must come to understand is that seeing the glory of God means having friendship with God”. -Alan Bondar  (contrast of covenants, Heb 12:18-24; 2 Cor. 3-5)
“Only those who continue to seek the praise of God through genuine, self-sacrificial love for others will see more and more of God”. Why? Simply: Because God is love (cf. 1 John 4:15-16)



Steve Baisden
January 5 at 10:18 PM
“ye do show the Lord’s death till he come”

Invariably, whenever people want to dispute the idea that the Lord has already come a second time for the judgment and the resurrection they will bring up 1Cor 11:26 which says “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” They will contend; “if you believe that the Lord has already come, then why do you still partake of the Communion because you are only supposed to do that till the Lord come”?

On the surface this seems to be a valid argument, and certainly it must be answered. In order to do this we will look at both the immediate AND remote context of (1Cor 11:26). We will examine the type/antitype (the Old Testament shadow compared to the New Testament’s reality of the Communion). We will show what the Lord said regarding the ‘when’ of the partaking would actually take place, and we will also show how the word “till” is used in scripture.

Jesus instituted and commanded the Communion observance. He instituted this act of worship at the Passover Meal in the upper room with the twelve the night before His crucifixion. He told them that He would not eat any more thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God (Lk 22:16). He also told them He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God would come (Lk 22:18). The “fulfillment” and the “kingdom” had to both take place before our Lord would partake of those elements with His people. In Lk 21:20-32 Jesus said that the kingdom would come when Jerusalem was compassed with armies in that generation. This is the kingdom that Jesus was referring to as coming when all would be fulfilled! “When you see Jerusalem compassed with armies… these be the days of vengeance when all things written may be fulfilled” (Lk 21:20,22). In Lk 21:27-31 Jesus spoke of His coming in redemption and that is when He was bringing the kingdom in fulfillment. Jesus was not alluding to Pentecost. We know this because contextually (Lk 21-22) the kingdom Jesus was referencing would not come till Jerusalem was compassed with armies in its fulfilled sense in that generation.

Obviously Jesus planned on having communion with His disciples after his coming in the fulfilled kingdom. The communion’s actual observance with the Lord being present could not be observed until all be fulfilled, including that kingdom that was promised to come WHEN Jerusalem was compassed with armies in that generation (Lk 21:20-32).

Partaking of the Communion was a command for ALL Christians. Those who would partake of it before the Lord’s actual coming, Pre AD 70, would do it looking forward to that day when they could partake of it new with Him in His Kingdom. But we, on this side of His coming, post AD 70, partake of it with Him as He promised, in His fulfilled kingdom! Christians today can observe the communion as our Lord desired it to be observed, not as the Corinthians that Paul wrote to who were looking forward in anticipation to His coming in His fulfilled kingdom.

Context is key; Paul was writing to the Corinthians BEFORE the encompassing of Jerusalem in that generation when all would be fulfilled with the coming kingdom! Ask yourself which side of the encompassing of Jerusalem in that generation (2000 years ago) are you on.

“Till” in (1Cor 11:26) is translated from the Greek word “Achri” meaning (until, unto, up-to). Rom 5:13 uses this same word and says “For “UNTIL” the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Since the word “till” is used here does this mean that sin did not continue after the law came? CERTAINLY NOT! “Till” does NOT necessitate termination! It may simply mean a point in time when a change would happen. Paul would say “I have lived in all good conscience “until” this day” (Acts 23:1), does that mean after that day he did not live in good conscience anymore? Certainly not! The same is true with the Communion. The Communion for the CORINTHIANS pre AD 70 was to be taken in expectance of the Lord’s return. They would partake of it as a command waiting for His return at which time, they then, could partake of it with Him “new in His Father’s Kingdom” having been fulfilled (Lk 21,22, 32). “Till” only represents a point in time which a change would take place, NOT TERMINATION!

How many times have we all heard something to this affect “Till daddy gets home I want you to be a good boy for mommy.” Whenever a dad says this to their children, does this mean that when dad gets home it is then ok for the children to misbehave and be bad? After all Daddy did say “TILL’ I get home…” Doesn’t “till” mean that at that particular point a change will happen? Yes it does, but the question now must be, what is the change? It is NOT the little boys attitude that must change from good to bad, it IS the change in the household that now the father has returned. “TILL” does NOT necessitate termination! If it did then the little boy would have to terminate his good behavior. But we all know better than this… don’t we? In like manner, the change that would come with the “till” of (1Cor 11:26) was NOT an ending of the Communion, it was the change of the Lord returning to be with the saints when they partook (Mt 26:26-29, Lk 21-22).

Considering the communion is a command that all Christians are to observe, and certainly this includes the pre AD 70 Christians, then just as Jesus explained, they couldnt observe it as He promised “TILL” the fulfillment in His kingdom and Paul was simply reminding the Corinthians of this very thing!

This is the exact scenario we find in the type/antitype relationship with the Passover in the Old Testament as it foreshadows the Communion of the New Testament.

When the children of Israel were in Egyptian bondage they were commanded to partake of the Passover meal; this signifying that the spirit of death would pass over all the homes where the blood of the Lamb was applied and the death would not affect them. This was instituted the night before the death of the firstborn. In like manner, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper the night before the death of the firstborn of God; Jesus. After that the nation of Israel passed through the red sea being baptized of Moses (1Cor 10). In like manner, after Jesus institution, His people were delivered from Judaism through baptism (Acts 2:37-47).

The nation of Israel, after passing through the Red Sea, entered a forty year time period of wandering before they crossed the River Jordan into the promised-land. After they crossed into the promised-land they continued to keep the Passover (Jos 5:10). In like manner, Christians entered into the forty year time period until they were delivered into the promised-land (Kingdom of God that was to come with the Lords return when Jerusalem was compassed with armies Lk 21:20-32, Mt 16:276-28). And in like manner, Christians are to continue in keeping the Communion, just as the Israelites continued in keeping the Passover!

God gives the shadow in the Old Testament, so that it will help us in understanding the actual in the New Testament (Rom 15:4, Heb 10:1)! The proper application of the type/anti-type of the communion is that after the fulfillment of the promise, we are to continue in observing the communion just as the Israelites continued in observance of the Passover!

Remote context also demands our continued observance. Isa 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah promised the kingdom that our savior would bring, would never end! Luk 1:32-33 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Isn’t it sad that so many Christians today expect the everlasting kingdom and its blessing of communing with Jesus to end at some future time?

Another angle; The same people that make this argument will also argue that they partake of the communion WITH THE LORD. So, if it is true, if they do commune with the Lord, and the Lord is there with them, then the Lord MUST have returned! Sometime between when Paul wrote the Corinthians and told them they partook showing the Lords death till He come and today when Christians say they partake with the Lord in their presence. The Lord must have returned and the ONLY logical biblical choice of His return is EXACTLY when He said He would… AD 70 when Jerusalem would be destroyed and all would be fulfilled (Lk 21:20-32)!

Now please tell me >WHEN< will the futurist commune with the Lord? They say once the Lord returns there is no more communion, but the Corinthians were taking it looking for His return. So, they were NOT taking the communion with the Lord, they were taking it looking for His return, yet when He comes the futurist say the communion ends, which means they will NEVER partake WITH HIM! 0h the blind hard-hearted position they have put themselves in….. never communing with the Lord, all the while Jesus said He would commune with all in his house….

May heaven help us to get back on the straight and narrow and continue to observe the communion as the Lord wills, WITH the Lord Jesus, not waiting for Him! [SB]

 

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Notebook Review (Oct. 2017 – Dec. 2018)

I recently saw a post that highlight the following sentiment that rang so true with me, “If you know me based on who I was a year ago, you don’t know me at all. My growth game is strong. Allow me to reintroduce myself”.

As you read through this blog, whether you are familiar with my passion for growth and maturity in my own life and in the lives of others, you will see this more clearly.

Two empowering quotes that I am drawing from my previous studies and carrying with me into the upcoming new year are:

“The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. – Socrates

“A passive mindset “manages” to live with mediocrity, but an active mindset leads to change until excellence results”. – Orrin Woodward

The Scriptural background I can use to enforce this type of thinking comes from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of timidity, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.

What I am seeking to do with this blog is empower, encourage, and edify you with details from my compiled notes. Every time I finish going through a 5-subject notebook I like to write a blog of review. I just happened to finish my notebook which recorded studies and details from October 2017 – December 2018.

HEALTHY BIBLE INTERPRETATION

Back in October 2017 I was doing quite a bit of study regarding proper Bible interpretation, namely considering the label “heretic” and “heresy”. Consider what Thomas Aquinas, historic Catholic scholar said about one who is to be rightly called a heretic:

 “He is a heretic who, while keeping the outward appearance of Christian religion, devises or follows false opinions for a desire of human approval, earthly reward, or worldly pleasures”.

Sadly, so many in the Church are wrapped up in vestiges of false teachings, in some respects even defending such teachings with animosity toward the truth (nothing new for followers of Jesus Christ). However, much of the tension and continuance of these false teachings simply comes from bad hermeneutics. Bob Dewey has a good article on Bible interpretation wherein he remarks, “The basic idea in hermeneutics (the science of Bible interpretation) is that the author’s meaning is to control our interpretation…This means, most importantly, that we love Truth and have a heart to learn, even if what we learn is not what we hoped for or expected”. Furthermore, he rightly notes. “Perhaps the most important antidote to errors of interpretation is not a method, but an attitude”.

What is needed is a necessary attitude of desire to admit our presuppositions and to move past them by gaining an audience relevance perspective regarding the Scriptures. Samuel Lewis Johnson, a conservative preacher from the early 1900’s, who surely had his share of presuppositions and paradigms, noted, “Failing to examine the methodology of the Scriptural writers carefully, and following to abjectly and woodenly the limited rules and principles of human reason’s presuppositions, we have stumbled and lost our landmarks along the pathway toward understand the Holy Scriptures, namely that Scripture is its own interpreter, a fundamental principle of Bible interpretation”. Again, I assert though, admitting our need to reexamine things considering audience relevancy is so vital.  Richard James Fischer said, “Separating what may be true from what is likely false is not an insurmountable task. There are tests we can apply”. Yes, however, that comes with the demand of an intellectual honesty in the reforms that are needed. The New Interpreter’s Bible said it like this, “Today, we are beginning to gain some clarity about the cultural otherness of the Biblical text, and more important, the cultural otherness of exegesis and interpretation for modern readers”.

This past year I wrote a few articles and prepared a few presentations that really leaned in on the necessity of good Bible interpretation. Here are a few links to those resources.

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/how-do-we-literally-understand-the-scriptures/

https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/revelation-14-correlating-verses-outline/

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/884/

 

A THEOLOGY THAT AFFECTS MY LIFE

Recently in a conversation about the blessing of serving at and fellowshipping with The Blue Point Bible Church, it was noted that I live out a mature faith. Simply put, intellectual honesty leads to an authentic orthopraxis. I am so indebted to the various influences I have in my life, be they those who gather at BPBC, those in the “Preterist Movement”, or those who I may glean insight from in passing (in person or on social media). On Facebook, Apostle Lionel Blair remarked, “Stop using your imperfections as an excuse for carnal greed”. Rather, the Hebraic mind accepts our flaws and limitations but pushes on toward progress. As Rabbi Hillel remarked, “Where there are no men, be thou a man”. It is a praiseworthy thing to note that in the last year of my life I have given this necessary call, to do what ancient Christian Polycarp was told, “Play the man”. As I look through, I have most assuredly grown into a man of constant examination and challenge. Taking note of my convictions has surely been a good growth spurt, as was encouraged by the following quote from Pastor Jamaal Bernard, “A person who lives according to preference rather than conviction will be apologetic about his faith”.

 

REFORMATION NOW

In my life the concept of “reformation” is almost a motto. I believe that we see things fulfill their God-given design when they are ever-reforming, not stagnant nor prematurely complete. I was excited to read the following quote in the October 2017 issue of the Salvation Army’s publication, War Cry:

“There is enough truth in the Gospel to start a new reformation in every generation”.

True to that spirit, every year, I challenge myself and others to consider necessary areas of reformation (I have even gone on to develop a ministry aimed at doing exactly that in our local assembly).

On 11/1/2017, I wrote down the following insights as reforms that I see as necessary.

Reformation in life
– Good conscience provides authentic boldness
– Necessary boundaries lead to needed peace
– Growing into the man I respect (1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Peter 1)
– No distractions, proper prioritizing.

Reformation in Church
– Preterism
– Understanding of the Biblical narrative and our proper place in that narrative
– Nurturing a common disciplined life

Reformation in World
– Peace, Loy, Joy, Faith
– Restoration (#ProjectRESTORE)
– Conversations, evangelism, the manifold wisdom of God
– “The world will be saved by beauty”. -Fyodor Dostoevsky

And of course, a few months later, in a shorter fashion, I jotted down the following details to further foster necessary reforms in my life.

5/25/2018
“You cannot walk in faith if you are not expecting something”.
My hopes/expectations
– To be effective and useful in ministry
– Enjoyable, peaceable, home/family life
– To be a catalyst of encouragement & reform

2017 into 2018 surely was full of great studies, challenges, insights, conferences, and fellowship. All the more anticipated as we move into 2019. All 3 of my published works (Freaked Out by the New Covenant, Wicked, and Clarity in Revelation) are continuing to edify others, all 3 ministries (The Blue Point Bible Church, The Power of Preterism Network, and MGW Apologetics) are advancing, and so much more to come.

 

WEBSITES/ RESOURCES

Before I conclude with some encouraging thoughts, of course praying that your time spend reading through this review has been edifying, I’d like to leave you with a few links that I had jotted down in various places of my notebook.

Details from and about Wicked – www.wickedthingsexplained.wordpress.com

Sermons going through our series #ThinkingThruScripture from Genesis to Leviticus – www.buzzsprout.com/11630

Jewish Writings – www.Sefaria.org/texts

A Modern Rabbinical Look at things – www.Rabbisacks.org

Ministry & Pastor Resources – www.CreativePastors.com

 

CONCLUSION

A new year compels us to be grateful for all that we have and dedicated to a greater responsibility in living out our appreciation. I conclude this blog praying for you and myself, that we would find a greater hunger for Godly things, make better decisions, and continue to grow into an ever-reforming maturity. May the following quotes inspire you in those regards.

“We have to figure out how to hunger for more from God. King David had his problems when he lost his hunger…when we are hungry for more responsibility and more fruit, we embrace learning from anyone and anything…”. – Brian Tome

“The decisions you make today shape not only tomorrow, but the journey ahead”.
– Alan Hirsch

“The measure of my maturity is the extent to which I take responsibility for the maintenance of my Spiritual condition. Today this will be my highest priority”.
– Just For Today, NA Guide

 

In Service to Him,
Michael Miano
Pastor, Director, & Apologist

www.bluepointbiblechurch.org
www.powerofpreterism.com
www.mianogonewild.wordpress.com

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Chapter Six: The Hill To Heaven from Alan Bondar’s Book (TJBTV)

In our Saturday Bible Study at The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org) we have been studying through Alan Bondar’s book, The Journey Between the Veils. Alan’s insights are very beneficial to gaining a Scriptural perspective of many things, especially Christ’s incarnational work and the temple typology regarding Paradise and Heaven.

In our study we have completed up to Chapter Six: The Hill to Heaven. These are some of the notes, as promised, from that study.

“He took the one way 40-cubit journey and permanently opened the way for us to get to God…Christ ascended the hill to heaven once and for all after 40 days (His ascension) and would come again, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly awaited Him (cf. Hebrews 9:28)”. – Alan Bondar

In Hebrews 8:4-5 we read, “Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer gifts according to the Law, who serve a copy and a shadow of the heavely things, just as Moses was warned by God was he was to erect the tabernacle; for “See,” He says, “that you  make all things according to the pattern which was shown to you on the mountain”.

It was necessary that Christ complete this journey to consummate the wedding banquet.

In Psalm 24:1-10 we read, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, in the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”

“Only the King of Glory may come in. Only the King of Glory may ascend into the hill of the Lord. Who is the King of Glory? It is none other than Jesus. But it is no coincidence that Jesus waits 40 days before ascending through the second veil into heaven through the glory cloud. It was a 40 cubit journey…Luke’s account of the steps of Jesus will take us on that journey in consecutive order beginning not inside the first veil, but outside the first veil.” – Alan Bondar

 

TEMPLE TYPOLOGY/ CHRIST’S WORK

Luke 23:44-49 – “…the veil of the Temple was torn into two…”

Luke 24:25-28, 29-35 – “…was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the Prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures…They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of bread”. (cf. John 6:31-35; Matthew 12:1-8)

Luke 24:44-47 – “…Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem”. (cf. Isaiah 46:6; John 8:12, 20; Revelation 21:22-24; Acts 26:22-23; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Exodus 25:31-39)

Luke 24:48-51 – “…the promise of my Father…He lifted His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven”. (cf. Leviticus 9:22-24)

 

CONCLUSION

“The reason Jesus came in the flesh was to remove the veils for us so that we don’t have to die as we pass through them…Instead, because Christ passed through the veils for us, the glory of God can dwell in us”. – Alan Bondar

We have surely moved from hoping to having.  Live in the fullness of His faithfulness today.

 

Get your copy of The Journey Between the Veils at the following link, http://donkpreston.com/product/journey-between-the-veils/

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Discerning Cultural Parameters & Nuances in Scripture

The more I learn and fall in love with the story that graces the pages of the Bible, the more I become dismayed with the widespread failure of many to read it, and even more so to read it appropriately. Just yesterday I found myself in a conversation with another Bible student wherein we lamented how all too often many read the Bible with personal interpretation (“what does this mean to me”), and even our corporate Bible studies are guided with the question, “What does that mean to you”. Simply put, this is not “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and we should be ashamed (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15-16).

As the title of this blog suggests, I want to explain the importance of discerning cultural parameters and nuances when reading and understanding the Bible. Oddly enough, all Bible teachers, pastors, and scholars alike know the principle of “audience relevance” and reading things in context. The quotes I could provide are numerous, but yet it seems many fail to be consistent as they move into reading some of their more favored interpretations of certain passages and portions of Scripture. I have noticed that often when talking through a certain challenging topic with other Believers , the conversation usually starts off in agreement with how we should read and understand the Scriptures, but as challenge sets against the presupposition they might hold, good interpretation is thrown out the window in favor of personal interpretation and traditional thoughts.

So what is an honest Bible student who doesn’t want to be ashamed to do?

I’d like to share a couple of quotes from some historic and modern Biblical scholars and use those quotes as springboard to explain some things.

 

“Literary genres have rules and conventions by which they operate. Communication is jeopardized if we do not understand the parameters of the genre of the literature we are reading.”. – Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, CBSB

Gaining an understanding of the different books of the Bible is necessary, and then one must discern different types of literature within the books. If a text is a poem, it would be erroneous to read it as a biography. The distortions many get when they fail to discern the literary genre and Scripture of Biblical literature can be devastating not only to understanding, but to faith in general. The CBSB explains, “…we must adjust our expectations so that we will come to those genres understanding the ancient conventions attached to that genre rather than imposing our own conventions on their literature”.  It really is important to do this and to consider at every point of studying Scripture.

 

“A text can never mean what it was never intended to convey”. – Milton Terry

If we are reading the Scriptures with what is called “audience relevance” than interpretation and application must stay within those confines. Audience relevance is our consideration of what the text meant to the original audience that received it. Who, when, where is the original audience? Who or what is saying it to them? What cultural parameters and nuances affected their thinking? Why and how did they come to thinking about the topic?

After we consider these things, only then can we truly get the morsels of truth our of the Scriptures. Granted, it takes work and study, but that is the purpose of gathering as the Church – to reason through these things and find how they apply to the “healing of the nations”. Flee personal interpretations!

 

“One definite and simple meaning of Scripture is in every case to be sought”. – J. S. Russel

It is a popular thing to hear Christians recite “No Scripture is of private interpretation (cf. 2 Peter 1:20)”. The most of that passage was to illustrate that the prophets of ancient Israel did not speak on their own accord, but being moved by God they spoke inspired truths. Amen. However, another issue is that many have failed to understand the genres, the audience relevance, and therefore the clear meanings behind the text. It would seem that rather than help encourage study, Scripture verses and chapters have confused people and led to all sorts of strange interpretations. In order to arrive at the one definite and simple meaning of Scripture, which again must be sought (meaning it’s not meant to be easy), requires a background knowledge of the culture, the cross-references, and gauging that against alternative interpretations. Thank God for the gifting of teachers, amen?

 

“Even though the Bible was written for us, it wasn’t written to us. When we take our Western, modern culture and impose it on the text, we’re putting in meaning that wasn’t there, and we’re missing the meaning the text has”. – Dr. John Walton

I remember the paradigm-shift that I underwent as I considered that the Bible wasn’t meant to be read as a smorgasbord of information, but rather had an ancient-eastern mindset. That opened up a portal of necessary study and challenge.  If we are seeking truth, we do no justice to Scripture by imposing our own spin on things, however being honest with this has been tricky. Consider the wisdom of J.I. Packer in this regard, “We do not start our Christian lives by working out our faith for ourselves; it is mediated to us by Christian tradition, in the form of sermons, books, and established patterns of church life and fellowship.  We read our Bibles in the light of what we have learned from these sources; we approach the Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the church and the world…It is easy to be unaware that it has happened; it is hard even to begin to realize how profoundly tradition in this sense has molded us.  But we are forbidden to become enslaved to human tradition, either secular or Christian, whether it be “catholic” tradition, “critical” tradition, or “ecumenical” tradition.  We may never assume the complete rightness of our own established ways of thought and practice and excuse ourselves the duty of testing and reforming them by Scriptures.”

Another quote that bolsters all of these is as follows:

“Ultimately, everything in the Bible was written in particular times and cultures. So even though everything in it is for all time, not everything in it is for all circumstances. They better we understand the circumstances a passage originally addressed, the more confidently we can reapply its message to appropriate circumstances today”. – Dr. Craig Keener

 

I do hope this helps some sincere Bible students out there either begin their journey, or to work their way through the journey. I thank God for any wisdom He has granted me in this area and seek to walk worthy of my call to “encourage the saints in sound doctrine and to rebuke those who oppose it (Titus 1:9)”. I know I surely wish I had this wisdom when I began reading the Bible.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Michael Miano
The Blue Point Bible Church
miangonewild@yahoo.com

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The Tabernacle & the Glory of God

At The Blue Point Bible Church we have just completed going through sermons on the Book of Exodus. You can visit our podcast and listen there, and join we us as we continue our current sermon series, ‘Thinking Thru The Scriptures, at the following link, www.buzzsprout.com/11630 

The revealing of the details of the Tabernacle are seen in Exodus chapters 25-30. The glory of these things is pronounced in passages such as Exodus 34:29 and 40:34-38. Throughout my studies I would venture to say that praising God for what He has done in regards to salvation in and through Jesus Christ is the end all goal of all that the Tabernacle highlighted and is the offering that was so demanded (cf. Exodus 25:2; Hebrews 13:14-16). Also, worthy of note is that in the Book of Exodus, the details of the Tabernacle are set out twice – Exodus chapters 25-30 and then again in Exodus chapters 36-38.

  • Make Me a Sanctuary (cf. Exodus 25:8; Revelation 21:22)

 

 

  • Ark of the Covenant (cf. Exodus 25:10; 37:1; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

  • Mercy Seat (cf. Exodus 25:17, 22; 37:6; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

  • Table of Shewbread (cf. Exodus 25:23, 30; 37:10; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

  • Golden Candlestick (cf. Exodus 25:31; 37:17; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

  • 10 Curtains (cf. Exodus 26:1; 36:8; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

 

 

  • Goat Hair Curtain (cf. Exodus 26:7, 13; 36:14; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

 

 

  • Ram Skin Covering (cf. Exodus 26:14; 36:19; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

 

 

  • 48 Boards (cf. Exodus 26:15; 36:20; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

 

 

  • Bars (cf. Exodus 26:26, 30; 36:31; Hebrews chapters 8-10)

 

 

 

 

  • Veil of Blue & Purple (cf. Exodus 26:31; 36:35; Hebrews 10:20)

 

 

 

  • Veil for Outer Door (cf. Exodus 26:36; 36:37; Hebrews 10:20)

 

 

 

  • Brazen Altar (cf. Exodus 27:1; 38:1; John 1:29)

 

 

 

  • Outer Court (cf. Exodus 27:9; 38:9; Ephesians 2:13)

 

 

 

  • Priestly Garments (cf. Exodus 28:1-4; 39:27; Revelation 3:18)

 

 

  • Breastplate of Judgement (cf. Exodus 28:15; 39:8; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Romans 3:22)

 

  • Robe of the Ephod (cf. Exodus 28:31; 39:22; Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 21:7)

 

 

 

  • Engraved Plate/Crown (cf. Exodus 28:36; 39:30; Isaiah 28:5; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4)

 

  • Coat of Linen for Priests (cf. Exodus 28:39-40; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 6:33)

 

  • Altar of Incense (cf. Exodus 30:1; 37:25; Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8)

 

 

 

  • Wash Basin of Brass (cf. Exodus 30:18; 38:18; Ephesians 2:14-17; Revelation 21:1)

 

 

 

  • Holy Oil (cf. Exodus 30:25; 37:29; 2 Corinthians 1:21; Hebrews 1:9; 1 John 2:26-27)

 

 

 

  • Holy Incense (cf. Exodus 30:35; Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8)

 

Each one of these points reveals something about the glory of God. I have intentionally left space in between each point because I encourage you to go through the passages and make this study one of your own. Go ahead, add or takeaway details as you see fit,  and mark out details that you learn from each of these points.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano

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THINKING THROUGH A NARRATIVE SOTERIOLOGY (#2)

INTRO

Back in May 2018, I offered up a #1 in what I knew would become a series of articles on narrative soteriology (an understanding of salvation as understood through the Biblical story). In this article, I will continue, prayerfully with increased clarity, outlining a narrative perspective on how we should gain understandings of salvation.

You can read article #1 at the following link, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/thinking-through-a-narrative-soteriology-1/

NARRATIVE THEOLOGY

In detailing Narrative Theology, I explained that, “This interpretative style not only runs against the all too popular method of “proof-texting” (which lacks context), it also stands contrary to the historical- grammatical method of interpretation, the continuous-historical method, and the redemptive-movement method. Many have seemingly missed how these interpretative methods influence their own interpretations, not to mention the various principles that are outlined through each of the methods. However, the narrative-historical method of interpretation is no easy effort, and often requires detailed explanations (akin to storytelling), rather than the easy answers and superficial responses many have developed and offered up (either by assumption or “Tradition”).”

TOTAL DEPRAVITY?

I had mentioned two particular areas of theology that I have recently come to understand, which stand in contrast to some popular teachings I may have previously agreed with. For example, I had previously held to a presupposed understanding of “Total Depravity” as 16th century reformer John Calvin would have outlined it. In article # 1, I stated “It would seem that all throughout the Scriptures, man is beset by sin (weakened not necessarily dead), oftentimes wandering in idolatry (darkness).  So, it also seems that God brings forth His light (Truth), and it shines offering those to whom it shines the opportunity to pursue, walk toward, and dwell in it. The determining factor seems to be what man sets his mind on and pursues. Those with good and honest hearts, God strengthens and draws in through the Gospel (Luke 8:15). Those steeped in idolatry and leaning upon their own understanding (cf. Proverbs 3:5), being unreasonable and set against the Truth, God rewards in keeping with their idolatry, and so they stay stuck in darkness (cf. Proverbs 4:19; Ezekiel 14:4; John 3:19-20).”

“IN ADAM”

Also, as I have studied and developed this narrative understanding, and furthermore have highlighted a metanarrative (story within the story), I noted in article #1 that, “I am becoming more and more convinced that it is improper to develop a systematic approach to New Covenant soteriology based upon what was revealed in and through Adam (as I have previously said and asserted a few times). Namely, because what is revealed through the story of Adam is the story of the Old Covenant.” I am currently working on some teaching resources in regards to proper “In Adam” teachings.

What I would like to do in this #2 article is share two recent learning points I have been blessed with and offer an update on my understanding of some of the details that come from this conversation. To preface this detailed study, I’d like to share a point I made on my social media earlier today, “I promote what I would call an “effective Christian foundation”, which is not getting caught up in the minutia/ details of repentance, confession, baptism, and maturity – but rather putting together the Biblical narrative (in context) and applying the details that seem simple enough and convict us (granted this may change per Believer). That is not to say that I won’t entertain conversation and study about the details, nor seek further conviction regarding how they apply. However, my stake and claim is found in maturity, not the rudimentary principles of conversion.”

LEARNING POINTS

At The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org) we have been going through the details of the Exodus. This past Sunday I preached about the type and antitype of being “baptized into Moses”. The Apostle Paul emphasizes that this was an example upon them whom the end/goal of the ages had come (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11). In the sermon that I preached I detailed significant factors such as “audience relevance” putting the antitype of “baptism in Moses” to be the shift of the covenant (i.e., baptism in Moses represented the Old Covenant, and “baptism in Christ” represents the New Covenant) and the correlation of water and wind/spirit in Exodus chapter 14 and John 3:5. Interestingly enough, Pastor Steve, Pastor Emiritus at BPBC made a good point after the sermon, the baptism in Moses was “in the sea, and in the cloud” (cf. 1 Cor. 10), yet the Israelites did not get wet. The water was not the distinction, rather the work of God (God with them) was the distinction. As you outline and follow with understanding the type and antitype of this baptism, it would seem to highlight more of identification with the covenant rather than the mode of the baptism. You can listen to that sermon at the following link,  http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/785921-saturate-healing-the-historical-amnesia-in-the-church

Also, as we have been studying different aspects of God’s sovereignty and man’s ability in our Saturday Bible Study at BPBC, we came upon Ephesians  2:7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He has loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved) and has raised us up together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”.

This seems to highlight the points I have been making in regards to the need to not only pay attention to pronouns, but also in recognizing the time of the Elect to be the first century. From Ephesians 2:7 it would seem that God did something for the “us” He raised up in that time (“showing kindness toward” them) in an effort that in ages to come (NOW), through His Church (Ephesians 3:10), He would “show the exceeding riches of His grace”. Our understanding of God’s grace comes from looking back at the kindness He showed to His elect during that time of transition until the time of reformation (AD 70). I know Tony Denton’s resources have been encouraging and challenging in regards to the “transition time” and the details of salvation. Two verses Mr. Denton brings to mind are Luke 21:22 and Hebrews 9:15, and obviously there are a host more that really challenge us to contextually put together the narrative and then apply the details.

BAPTISM

Speaking of Tony Denton, he makes some interesting points that need to be considered when gaining an understanding of baptism as it relates to the time of transition. View his video at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNt8-r14sOo

I have continued my studies and conversations with preacher Holger Neubauer in regards to baptism and have finally begun to offer up some conclusive remarks. In early August 2018, I shared with Holger that through my studies I have come to see the need to develop an “effective Christian foundation” in a Believer’s life rather than dwell upon the specifics. I am outlining this “foundation” as the need to hear the Gospel, repent, confess Jesus Christ, participate in water baptism as an emblem of faith, and mature in Christ. This is built upon the estimation that our goal is to create lives that love with a pure heart, maintain a good conscience toward God and others, and possess a sincere faith (cf. 1 Timothy 1:5).

This is not me developing some new understanding. Rather, this is based upon study of a few resources, some of which I am continuing, and therefore offering up an understanding in clarity of what I see to be a rather confused and lengthy study. For example, in his series, ‘Where’s The Water’, Dr. Kelly Nelson Birks explains and details the proper parsing of the verbs in regards to the Greek word used for baptism.  Dr. Birks charges that most interpretations of “water baptism” are based upon assumptions of water. Also, Garth Wierbe, an online Biblical commentator, in an article on baptism offered up the following insight, “If the Scriptures really wanted to emphasize or limit the meaning of baptism to what we do in “water baptism” they would have used “bapto” (in the Greek) not “baptizo”.” In reference to Acts chapter 2, Mr. Wierbe notes, “What are each of them to be baptized into? Into the pardoning of sin…And when will that happen? When they change their minds based on what was just preached to them about Jesus Christ”.

This seems to be more in line with what “one baptism” we mark out as important. Baptism in Christ is not and “in and out situation”, like water baptism, but rather an immersion into something that absorbs and transforms. Matter of fact, it is because I believe baptism into Christ to be so much more than “water baptism”, I was able to agree with Church of Christ preacher Steve Baisden, in his article ‘Baptism For What?’, when he stated, “If baptism for the remission of sin is all that is involved for a baptism to be valid, why then did Paul demand the disciples to be rebaptized (cf. Acts chapter 19)? After all, they were baptized for the remission of their sins (Mark 1:4)”.

Baptism into Christ is far more than a remission of sins, far more than an obsession with water, rather baptism in Christ is belief in and immersion/identification with Christ (cf. Mark 16:15-16), or a repentance from a false belief and identification with the name of Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 2:38). In Romans chapter 10, the Apostle Paul says if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus (this is an act of repentance and confession/ belief) and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (this is baptism/ immersion into/ identification with Christ, more than mere belief), you shall be saved”. Consider this, “For with the heart a man he believes in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (cf. Romans 10:10) sounds a lot like the point Jesus Christ made in Matthew 15:18 (if what comes out of a man’s mouth defiles him; therefore, they must also be able to make him clean). Consider the following texts that seem to make the case for this understanding – 1 John 1:9; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Timothy 6:12.  Furthermore, Hebrews chapter 6 seems to urge us to a maturity that is beyond foundational things (which includes but is not limited to details of baptism and the resurrection of the dead). A maturity which I believe is expounded upon by the things listed in  2 Peter chapter 1.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

A charge of “let us move on to maturity” does not necessarily limit the importance of these details nor disregard them, but rather places emphasis on the fact that these need not be the things that constantly set us in opposition. I know I will surely continue my studies in this area, and prayerfully continue to be blessed and challenged by conversations with brother Holger Neubauer.

Holger has charged that I am guilty of a “tautology”, which is an unnecessary repetition, is regards to my understanding of baptism. Sure enough this is an argument used by a Baptist to charge the need of Christian Baptism during the 1800’s. Richard Ingham, in his ‘Appeal To Friends on Christian Baptism’ remarked, “The supposition that Christ meant the baptism of the Spirit, …involves the most unnatural and improbable tautology”. You can read his statement and points at the following link, https://books.google.com/books?id=1FEqjQULJZYC&pg=PA40&lpg=PA40&dq=tautology+baptism&source=bl&ots=rUvJKZpIAu&sig=gdl7lGKljp577iPvFrTNDkS1llg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjj78iesZDdAhUynOAKHWCRAUkQ6AEwBHoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=tautology%20baptism&f=false

Mr. Ingham and Holger have charged that this understanding of baptism (to be immersed into the teachings of Christ) that it would therefore create the unnecessary statement of “make disciples and make disciples” in Matthew 28:19-20 or “believe and believe” in Mark 16:15-16. This is not so. The Greek words used in both passages, matheteo – teach, and pisteuo – believe –  mark out mental assent, whereas the word baptize means to be fully immersed. Therefore, what Christ is ultimately saying is, Go and tell the nations the Gospel, teaching them and lead them to confess and repent, and thereby make disciples by immersing them into the faith and the works of following after Jesus Christ. No tautology.

In reference to why I place “water baptism” into my understanding of an “effective Christian foundation”, is that there are passages where simply put, water does show up. I am still looking for solid answers in those regards. In my going through various studies on baptism, noting that different “camps” have different versions of what they mark out as baptism in the Bible, it becomes a convoluted argument and many times hard to assess how important water baptism is. For example, Holger Neubauer shared a great Facebook post regarding the 7 Baptisms in the Bible, I had mentioned to him finding a previous article that listed 7 other versions of baptism, and sure enough I just finished reading through Dr. Peter S. Ruckman’s version of the 7 Baptisms in the Bible. Yikes!

I believe as I mentioned above, that our role as Christians “making known the manifold wisdom of God” and bringing “healing to the nations” through the Water of Life, is to help create and foster lives that love with a pure heart, maintain a good conscience toward God and others, and possess a sincere faith (cf. 1 Timothy 1:5). Moving forward I will continue to assert and maintain my convictions of a an effective Christian foundation – Gospel proclamation, repentance, confess, water baptism, and maturity – and not get bogged down by details, but rather teaching these things aiming for clarity and conviction, neither allowing hypotheticals to become to norm (a great insight from Holger Neubauer).
Blessings in Christ,
Michael Miano, pastor
The Blue Point Bible Church

 

“Salvation is more than a profession of faith, or a dip in a baptisty, or a moral life, or conformity to external rules of religion. It’s more than _______________________ (fill in the blank). Salvation is the supernatural transformation whereby one is renewed inwardly and thereby transformed outwardly”. – Richard Belcher, Journey in Grace

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