Perseverenta sfintilor (Ramanerea in credinta) Partea 1

de Wayne Grudem

Risca adevaratii crestini sa-si piarda mintuirea? Cum putem sti daca suntem cu adevarat  nascuti din nou?

EXPLICATIE  SI BAZE BIBLICE

In discutia noastra anterioara ne-am ocupat de aspectele diverse ale mantuirii complete pe care ne-a cistigat-o Christos si pe care Duhul Sfint o aplica in prezent in vietile noastre. Dar cum putem sti ca vom continua sa ramanem crestini pentru tot restul vietii? Exista ceva care ne va tine sa nu ne indepartam de Christos, ceva care sa garanteze ca vom ramane crestini pina la moarte si ca vom trai impreuna cu Dumnezeu in cer pentru toata vesnicia? Sau ar putea  fi posibil sa-L parasim Christos si sa pierdem binecuvintarile mintuirii noastre? Subiectul perseverentei sfintilor incearca sa raspunda acestor intrebari. Perseverenta sfintilor arata ca toti cei ce sunt cu adevarat nascuti din nou prin puterea lui Dumnezeu vor persevera ca si crestini pina la sfirsitul vietii lor si ca numai cei ce vor persevera pina la sfirsit au fost cu adevarat nascuti din nou.

Definitia aceasta vizeaza doua aspecte. Mai intai ne da de inteles ca exista o asigurare pentru cei ce s-au nascut din nou cu adevarat, fiindca le aminteste ca puterea lui Dumnezeu ii va pastra crestini pina la moarte si ca vor trai in mod sigur cu Christos in cer pentru toata vesnicia. Pe de alta parte, prin cea de-a doua jumatate a definitiei ni se arata clar ca una dintre dovezile ca o persoana este cu adevarat nascuta din nou este raminerea in viata crestina. Este important sa se tina cont de acest aspect doctrinar ca sa nu se dea false asigurari oamenilor care nu au fost niciodata cu adevarat crestini.

Intrebarea aceasta este una in privinta careia credinciosii evanghelici s-au contrazis de foarte mult timp. Multi dintre cei ce fac parte din traditia wesleyana/arminiana au sustinut ca este posibil ca o persoana cu adevarat nascuta din nou sa-si piarda mintuirea, in timp ce credinciosii reformati au sustinut ca lucrul acesta nu este cu putinta in viata celor cu adevarat nascuti din nou! Cei mai multi baptisti au urmat traditia reformata in aceasta privinta; totusi, ei au intrebuintat de multe ori termenul ,,siguranta eterna” sau ,,siguranta eterna a credinciosului” in locul expresiei ,,perseverenta sfintilor”.

A. Toti cei ce sunt cu adevarat nascuti din nou vor persevera pina la capat

Exista multe pasaje care ne invata ca cei ce sunt cu adevarat nascuti din nou, credinciosii autentici, vor continua sa traiasca viata crestina pina la moarte cind se vor duce sa locuiasca impreuna cu Christos in cer. Isus a zis:

Caci M-am coborit din cer ca sa fac nu voia Mea, ci voia Celui ce M-a trimes. Si voia Celui ce M-a trimes este sa nu pierd nimic din tot ce Mi-a dat El, ci sa-l inviez in ziua de apoi. Voia Celui ce M-a trimes este ca oricine vede pe Fiul, si crede in El, sa aiba viata vesnica; si Eu il voi invia in ziua de apoi (Ioan 6:38,40).

In locul acesta, Isus afirma ca toti cei ce cred in Elvor avea viata eterna. El spune ca va invia acea persoana in ziua de apoi – ceea ce, in contextul credintei in Fiul si al certitudinii vietii eterne, inseamna ca Isus va invia acea persoana pentru viata vesnica impreuna cu El (n-o va invia ca sa fie judecata si condamnata). Ni se pare foarte greu sa evitam concluzia conform careia toti cei cu adevarat credinciosi in Christos vor ramane crestini pina in ziua invierii finale pentru binecuvintarile vietii traite in prezenta lui Dumnezeu. In plus, textul acesta subliniaza ca Isus face voia Tatalui care este ,,sa nu pierd nimic din tot ce Mi-a dat El”. Inca o data se spune ca cei care au fost dati Fiului de Tatal nu se vor pierde.

Un alt pasaj care subliniaza acest adevar poate fi gasit in Ioan 10;27-29, unde Isus a zis:

Oile Mele asculta glasul Meu; Eu le cunosc, si ele vin dupa Mine. Eu le dau viata vesnica, in veac nu vor pieri, si nimeni nu le va smulge din mina Mea. Tatal Meu, care Mi le-a dat, este mai mare decit toti; si nimeni nu le poate smulge din mina Tatalui Meu.

Prin aceste cuvinte, Isus adevereste ca celor care Il urmeaza pe El, celor ce sunt oile Lui, li se da viata vesnica. El arata ca ,,nimeni nu le va smulge din mina Mea” (v. 28). Unii au obiectat fata de acest verset si au spus ca desi nimeni nu-i poate smulge pe credinciosi din mina lui Christos, ne putem smulge pe noi insine din mina Lui. Dar afirmatia aceasta pare sa fie un simplu joc pedant de cuvinte – oare cuvintul ,,nimeni” nu-l include si pe cel aflat in mina lui Christos? In plus, stim bine ca nu ne putem increde in inima noastra. De aceea, daca ar ramane posibilitatea sa ne putem scoate din mina lui Christos, nu cred ca textul acesta ar mai fi facut asigurarea intentionata de Isus.

Cu mult mai importanta in acest pasaj este expresia plina de putere ,,in veac nu vor pieri” (v. 28). Constructia din limba greaca (ou me plus aoristul subjonctiv) estein mod special emfatica si poate fi tradusa mai explicit prin constructia ,,este sigur ca niciodata nu vor pieri”. Acest lucru subliniaza ca cei ce sunt ,,oile” lui Isus, care-L urmeaza pe El si carora li s-a dat viata vesnica nu-si vor pierde niciodata mintuirea si nu vor fi niciodata despartiti de Christos – ,, ei nu vor pieri niciodata”.

Exista alte citeva pasaje care sustin ca cei ce cred au ,, au viata vesnica”. Unul dintre acestea este Ioan 3:36: ,,Cine crede in Fiul, are viata vesnica” (comp. si Ioan 5:24; 6:4-7; 10:28, 1Ioan 5:13). Daca aceasta este cu adevarat viata vesnica pe care o au credinciosii, atunci este viata eterna traita  impreuna cu Dumnezeu.Acesta este un dar oferit noua de Dumnezeu si primit o data cu mintuirea (Ioan 3:16-17,36; 10:28 viata aceasta este contrastata cu judecata vesnica si condamnarea). Arminienii obiecteaza spunind ca ,,viata vesnica” este doar a simpla calitate a vietii, un tip de viata traita in relatie  cu Dumnezeu, pe care cineva o poate avea pentru o vreme, dar care se poate pierde uneori. Aceasta obiectie nu ni se pare convingatoare daca tinem cont de nuanta clara a unui timp fara sfirsit implicat in adjectivul etern (greaca aionios ,,etern, fara sfirsit”). Negresit, exista o calitate speciala in aceasta viata, dar accentul pus prin adjectivul etern cade asupra faptului ca este opusa mortii; este opusul judecatii si despartirii de Dumnezeu; este o viata care va continua vesnic in prezenta lui Dumnezeu. Si cel care crede in Fiul are aceasta ,,viata eterna” (Ioan 3:36).

Dovada extrasa din scrierile lui Pavel si din alte epistole ale Noului Testament arata ca cei care sunt cu adevarat nascuti din nou vor persevera pina la sfirsit. Nu mai este nici o condamnare pentru cei ce sunt in Christos Isus (Romani 8:1); de aceea, ar fi nedrept ca Dumnezeu sa pedepseasca vesnic pe cei ce sunt crestini – pentru acestia nu mai ramane nici o condamnare, pentru ca toata pedeapsa pentru pacatele lor a fost platita.

Dupa aceea , in Romani 8:30, Pavel subliniaza legatura existenta intre scopurile eterne ale lui Dumnezeuin predestinare si realizarea acelor scopuri in viata, impreuna cu realizarea lor finala in actul de ,,glorificare”, actul final prin care se vor da trupuri inviate  acelora care au fost uniti cu Christos: ,,Si pe aceia pe care i-a hotarit mai dinainte, i-a si chemat; si pe aceia pe care i-a chemat, i-a si justificat; iar pe aceia pe care i-a justificat, i-a si glorificat” (modificarile din verset apartin traducatorului). In locul acesta, Pavel vede evenimentul viitor al glorificarii ca o certitudine atit de bine evidentiata in scopul lui Dumnezeu incit poate vorbi despre ea ca si cum ar fi fost deja realizata (,,i-a si glorificat”). Acest lucru este valabil pentru toti cei ce sunt chemati si justificati – adica pentru toti cei ce devin cu adevarat crestini. O alta dovada ca Dumnezeu ii pastreaza pe cei ce sunt nascuti din nou in siguranta pentru eternitate  este ,,sigiliul” pe care-l pune Dumnezeu asupra noastra. ,,Sigiliul” acesta este Duhul Sfint care locuieste in noi, care actioneaza si ca o ,,garantie” pe care ne-o ofera Dumnezeu ca vom capata mostenirea care ni s-a promis: ,,Si voi, dupa ce ati auzit cuvintul adevarului (Evanghelia mintuirii voastre), ati crezut in El, si ati fost pecetluiti cu Duhul Sfint, care fusese fagaduit, si care este o arvuna  a mostenirii noastre, pentru rascumpararea celor cistigati de Dumnezeu, spre lauda slavei Lui” (Efeseni 1:13-14). Cuvintul din limba greaca tradus in acest text prin ,,arvuna sau garantie” (arrabon) este un termen juridic si comercial cu inteles de ,,prima rata, deposit, avans, zalog” si reprezinta ,,o plata care obligapartile participante la contract sa faca si platile urmatoare”. Cind Dumnezeu a trimis Duhul Sfint in viata noastra, El S-a angajat sa ne dea toate celelalte binecuvintari ale vietii vesnice si o mare rasplata in cer impreuna cu El. Tocmai de aceea Pavel poate afirma ca Duhul Sfint este  ,,o arvuna” a mostenirii noastre , pentru rascumpararea celor cistigati de Dumnezeu” (Efeseni 1:14). Toti cei care au pe Duhul Sfint in viata lor, toti cei ce sunt cu adevarat nascuti din nou au de la Dumnezeu promisiunea si garantia neschimbatoare  ca mostenirea vietii vesnice in cer le este asigurata. Insasi credinciosia lui Dumnezeu sta ca si garantie ca acest lucru se va intimpla.

Un alt exemplu de asigurare ca cei credinciosi vor persevera pina la sfirsit se gaseste in Epistola lui Pavel catre Filipeni: ,,Sunt incredintat ca Acela care a inceput in voi aceasta buna lucrare o va ispravi pina in ziua lui Isus Christos” (Filipeni 1:6). Este adevarat ca in locul acesta pronumele ,,voi” este la plural (greaca hymas), referindu-se astfel in general la credinciosii din biserica din Filipi, dar totusi, el vorbeste despre credinciosi specifici carora le scrie si le spune ca lucrarea buna a lui Dumnezeu inceputa in ei va continua si se va incheia in ziua reintoarcerii lui Christos. Petru le spune cititorilor lui ca sunt ,,paziti de puterea lui Dumnezeu, prin credinta pentru mintuirea gata sa fie decoperita in vremurile de apoi” (1Petru 1:5). Cuvintul paziti (greaca phroureo) poate sa insemne atit ,,tinut sa nu scape” cit si ,,pazit de atac” si este posibil ca ambele tipuri de pazire sa fie prevazute aici: Dumnezeu Ii tine pe credinciosi sa nu iasa din imparatia Lui  si ii si protejeaza de atacurile exterioare.

Participiul prezent folosit de Petru confera si sensul ,,voi sunteti continuu paziti”. El accentueaza spunind ca pazirea se face prin puterea lui Dumnezeu. Si totusi, puterea lui Dumnezeu nu lucreaza separat de credinta personala a celor ce sunt paziti, ci prin credinta lor. (,,Credinta”, pistis, este vazuta in mod obisnuit in epistolele lui Petru ca o activitate personala a credinciosilor; vezi 1Petru1:7,9,21; 5:9; 2Petru 1:1,5; si in mod obisnuit in Noul Testament.) Exemplele paralele de lucrare a lui Dumnezeu ,,prin” cineva sau ceva sugereaza in scrierile lui Petru (1Petru 1:3,23; 2Petru 1:4, si probabil si in 1Petru 1:12; 2:14; 3:1) ca increderea sau credinta personala este mijlocul folosit de Dumnezeuca sa-i pazeasca pe cei ce sunt ai Lui. Astfel, sensul versetului poate fi urmatorul: ,,Ca sa-Si pazeasca poporul, Dumnezeu Isi foloseste in permanenta puterea prin intermediul credintei acestuia”, o afirmatie prin care se da de inteles ca puterea lui Dumnezeu energizeaza si sustine continuu credinta individuala, personala.

Pazirea aceasta nu urmareste un scop temporar, ci are in vedere mintuirea care asteapta sa fie descoperita in vremurile de pe urma. ,,Mintuirea ” nu este folosita aici cu intelesul de justificare trecuta sau sfintire prezenta (vorbind in categorii teologice), ci cu referire la dobandirea deplina in viitor a tuturor binecuvantarilor rascumpararii noastre – sau implinirea finala si completa a mintuirii noastre (comp. Romani 13:11; 1Petru 2:2). Cu toate ca este deja pregatita sau ,,gata”, ea nu va fi ,,revelata” de Dumnezeu omenirii in general pina in ,,vremea de pe urma”, vremea judecatii finale. Din cauza acestei ultime expresii este greu sau poate chiar imposibil sa intrzarim un sfirsit al activitatii prin care Dumnezeu ii pazeste pe ai Sai. Daca paza lui Dumnezeu are ca scop pastrarea credinciosilor pina cind acestia vor primi mintuirea deplina si cereasca, suntem indreptatiti sa tragem concluzia ca Dumnezeu va realiza acel scop, iar ei vor ajunge la mintuirea finala. In ultima instanta, mintuirea finala a credinciosilor depinde de puterea lui Dumnezeu. Cu toate acestea, puterea lui Dumnezeu lucreaza in permanenta ,,prin” credinta lor. Vor ei sa stie daca Dumnezeu ii pazeste? Daca vor continua sa se increada in Dumnezeu prin Christos, Dumnezeu lucreaza si-i pazeste, asa ca Lui sa I se aduca multumirile.

Aceasta evidentiere a pazirii lui Dumnezeu in combinatie cu credinta noastra asigura o tranzitie fireasca spre cea de-a doua parte a definitiei doctrinei perseverentei.

Caia Florin – Tineri cu sirme in urechi

Se pot vedea peste tot tineri cu sirme in urechi ” sau cu M P 3 in buzunar ei se deconecteaza asfel de tot ce–i inconjoara pentru a-si asculta netulburati muzica . Aceste aparate portabile cu minuscule lor casti sunt un mijloc excelent de a nu mai trebuie sa asculti ceace se petrece in jutul tau , ceace te enerveaza .

Poti sa asculti in sfirsit ceace iti place , fara sa trebuiasca sa ti cont de celalalt de linga tine . Dar nu pretind aceste aparate si izolarea noastra , egoismul nostru , deoarece ne conectam tot mai mult asupra noastra ?

Domnul Isus a spus de mai multe ori cind a explicat ceva ; ,,Cine are urechi de auzit sa auda !” Exista lucruri pe care trebuie sa le auzim , chiar daca nu ne plac . Lucrul cel mai inportant este sa-l ascultam pe Dumnezeu cind ne vorbeste . El face acest lucru in diferite moduri :

  1. Mai intii prin vorbirea fara de cuvinte al creatiei ;,, Cerurile spun slava lui Dumnezeu si intinderea lor vesteste lucrarea minilor Lui . Si aceste fara vorbe , fara cuvinte a caror sunete sunet sa fie auzit .” Psalm 91 –1
  2. Apoi prin Evanghelie ;,,Credinta vine in urma auziri iar auzirea prin Cuvintul lui Hristos ,”Romani 10 –17
  3. Dumnezeu vorbeste deseori prin evenimente .

Sa ne deschidem urechile la glasul lui Dumnezeu si sa recunoastem cind ne vorbeste ! Amin , Amin .

Manu Negrea: Din vesnicie Uploaded by 

Paul’s Prophecy

Whether one believes in prophecy or not, most Christians do in fact believe that God can speak to us through His word, through other people, through situations and through events. How can we discern if it is of God or not? We must always filter it through the word of God.

Upon reading Acts 21 it seems like there might be a contradiction in what the Spirit is telling the elders there and what He is telling Pual. At first glance it may seem that the Holy Spirit is prohibiting Paul from going to Jerusalem when in fact the Spirit is warning him of what lies ahead:

From Acts 21 – IVP New Testament Commentaries

As Paul said happened in every city, the Holy Spirit predicts his coming suffering. This time the disciples conclude that the prediction is not just a warning but actually a prohibition. So Luke expresses it: through the Spirit they urged (literally, „were repeatedly saying”) Paul not to go on to Jerusalem (compare 20:23). Since the same Spirit has compelled Paul to go to Jerusalem (19:21; 20:22), we would be confronted with a contradiction if the prediction were actually a prohibition, but such need not be the case (see note). Paul, then, is not disobedient to the Spirit by disregarding the prohibition. As with all the Spirit’s predictive warnings, it is intended simply to stiffen his determination as he once again realistically counts the cost (20:22-24).

Sometimes the counsel of friends, filtered through the grid of their fears and concerns for our safety, can be misguidance. Like Paul, we must determine to „do the right thing” even when outward circumstances and projected outcome do not appear to be stamped with the blessing of God.

As the whole church, including women and children, escorts the party to the port via the beach, they kneel in a solemn prayer of committal reminiscent of the leavetaking at Miletus (20:36-38). The bonds of Christian fellowship forged in this short week are strong, and they cannot but help give strength to the apostle as he continues down the road to certain suffering. We too should never miss an opportunity, by fellowship and prayer, to strengthen the determination of fellow Christians as they face hard tests.Tyre to Caesarea (21:7-14)

Most commentators draw the conclusion that the Holy Spirit revealed only the fact of Paul’s fate, and that the conclusions drawn from this were not those which came from the Spirit, and were not the will of God for Paul.

Dan Wallace – discovery of a Markan papyri fragment dating back to the first century and dialogue with Bart Ehrman

Dan Wallace writes that on 1 February 2012, as he debated Bart Ehrman at UNC Chapel Hill on whether we have the wording of the original New Testament today, mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year. (source Dallas Theological Seminary) The article continues:

These fragments now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, more than 43% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.

It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.

Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years.

Ehrman

How do these manuscripts change what we believe the original New Testament to say? We will have to wait until they are published next year, but for now we can most likely say this: As with all the previously published New Testament papyri (127 of them, published in the last 116 years), not a single new reading has commended itself as authentic. Instead, the papyri function to confirm what New Testament scholars have already thought was the original wording or, in some cases, to confirm an alternate reading—but one that is already found in the manuscripts. As an illustration: Suppose a papyrus had the word “the Lord” in one verse while all other manuscripts had the word “Jesus.” New Testament scholars would not adopt, and have not adopted, such a reading as authentic, precisely because we have such abundant evidence for the original wording in other manuscripts. But if an early papyrus had in another place “Simon” instead of “Peter,” and “Simon” was also found in other early and reliable manuscripts, it might persuade scholars that “Simon” is the authentic reading. In other words, the papyri have confirmedvarious readings as authentic in the past 116 years, but have not introducednew authentic readings. The original New Testament text is found somewhere in the manuscripts that have been known for quite some time.

These new papyri will no doubt continue that trend. But, if this Mark fragment is confirmed as from the first century, what a thrill it will be to have a manuscript that is dated within the lifetime of many of the eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection!

You can watch the Ehrman – Wallace debate in the video below:

Is The Original New Testament Lost?

:: A Dialogue with Dr. Bart Ehrman & Dr. Daniel Wallace

Uploaded by 

An evening of scholarly dialogue on the origins, the transmission, and the reliability of the New Testament. Do we have the original manuscripts? Can we trust the copies passed down to us? How accurate is our New Testament today? These questions and more were discussed by two top-tier NT scholars. Both Dr. Ehrman and Dr. Wallace presented their respective positions before opening the floor for a time of Q&A.

Wayne Grudem and Ian Hamilton: The state of prophecy today

A debate between Ian Hamilton (Cambridge Presbyterian Church and formerly a minister in the Church of Scotland) and Wayne Grudem (Phoeniz Seminary, Arizona, formerly at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois) about the role of prophecy in the church today. Chaired by Adrian Reynolds. Recorded at the 2010 EMA. From The Proclamation Trust on Vimeo. From 2010, Phoenix, Arizona.

Ian Hamilton is currently teaching at Cambridge and Wayne Grudem did his doctoral studies there. The aim is to talk about some of the things we know we don’t agree about, but, we think that it’s mature and the time is right as Evangelical Christians who love Christ, who love His word and believe firmly in His word and hold firmly to it; to be able to talk about some of the things we disagree about in a constructive mature way; to gently challenge one another. To think about some of the implications about how these things affect church life. That’s the reason for having these two dear brothers here with us.

I managed to transcribe notes from the first 38 minutes of a 76 minute discussion; the first of its kind (videotaped and publicly posted) between two  Godly men, who are also widely respected theologians, and who both believe in the continuationist position on the gifts of the Spirit, however, Ian Hamilton believes prophecy is not one of those gifts that continued after the New testament canon was closed.

Wayne Grudem:

I have not spoken much about this gift of prophecy question or taught much about it for several years… As I came back to the discussion, I thought it might be helpful to start out with an overview of the whole Bible, Genesis to Revelation.

There is a view that I am going to call cessationsim. A cessationist position that with regard to the gift of prophecy would argue that God doesn’t communicate information directly to us today, apart from the words of the Bible or in addition to the words of the Bible and that’s the viewpoint I’m going to be disagreeing with.

I think what strikes me the most as I look from Genesis to Revelation on this question, is what seems to me the absence of any clear biblical evidence to prove the heart of the cessationist position. I don’t think there’s any passage in scripture, or any combination of passages that should lead us to think that God doesn’t communicate directly with His people throughout all of history, in individual, personal ways that occur, in addition to in and through the written words of scripture. If we look at the whole scope of biblical history, we see that from beginning to end, God had a personal relationship with his people; a relationship in which he communicated directly and personally with them. And, this communication was never limited to the words that He gave all of His people in the book of the covenant, or the writings of the canon of scriptures.  God had a personal relationship and a direct communication with people from the beginning of the Bible and throughout its history.

So, think of his personal relationship and communication with Adam & Eve,  with Cain & Abel, with Enoch, who walked with God (Genesis 5:24), with Noah, with Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob; the narratives of which are filled with discussions of God appearing to them and speaking to them, personally. With Moses, and David, with Solomon, and with many old testament prophets and kings to whom God communicated directly, individually and personally.

And then, in the New Testament, in the person of Jesus, God the Son, communicated individually  and personally with many people while he was on earth. And then the New Testament promises a personal relationship that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will have with each individual believer. Here are some verses:

  • John 14:23 „If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him”. The imagery of making the home of the Father and Son with us, that imagery implies personal fellowship.
  • Revelation 3:20 „If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him and he with me”. The imagery of eating with one another implies ongoing personal fellowship.
  • Paul in Philippians 3:20 „Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that to you also”. That implies personal communication from God, revealing sin in the lives of individual Philippian Christians.
  • Romans 8:14 „For all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God”. The present indicative verb for „all who are led”, indicates that this leading is a regular or ongoing process; being led by the spirit of God.
  • Galatians 5:16,18 „But I say, walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”. Again the verb (in Greek) indicates ongoing activity- being led by the spirit of God.

My point is that from the beginning to the end, the Bible tells us of a God who relates individually and personally to His people. And now, it seems to me that some in the cessationist position are coming and telling us: Contrary to the experience of all of God’s people throughout all the books of the Bible, that God no longer communicates personally and individually with any of his people except through the written words of the canon of Scripture. So it seems to me that a cessationist position asks us to believe

  1. that throughout the Bible, God communicated to His people both through written scripture, as much as they had at any point, and through additional, direct, personal interaction with people.
  2. But then it asks us to believe that God now only communicates through the written words of the canon and no longer with direct, personal fellowship and interaction with people. This is quite strange in light of the fact that the new covenant seems to be better in every way, but how can it be better if we’ve lost that element of personal relationship with God and personal communication with God in addition to the words of the canon. That element that characterized all periods of history that the Bible talks about. Where is anything in the Bible that would lead us to believe that?

Of course, I understand that cessationists believe that the canon is closed and I agree with that. But the question is not that of the canon. The question is what about communication, from God to specific individuals that is not part of the canon? If the Bible is the book of the covenant, that stipulates the terms of the relationship between God as king and us as His covenant people. Then, are we to say that the king can never communicate with His people in any additional ways, besides the covenant document? Can he who created speech, and loves His people,  never speak to them  directly and personally? A cessationist view, if I understand it correctly, allows no element for individual, personal guidance from the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian, ever. Our guidance is simply to be taken from reading the Bible and using mature wisdom to apply it to our lives. But surely, the vast majority of Christians, throughout history have known and experienced the guidance of the Holy Spirit in making decisions, especially while they are praying and reading the words of scripture, but in other times as well. Apart from the concentrated times of reading scripture and prayer. And, they have known that this guidance includes not only the direction and commands and principles of scripture, but also subjective impressions of God’s will and additional thoughts and specific memories the Lord brings to mind. It seems to me that a position that rules out personal guidance from the Holy Spirit today is so completely different from the whole course of Biblical history and from the New Testament teaching on personal fellowship that we have with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Specifically with regard to the gift of prophecy, we have … and I think it is a sub category of that broader category of personal fellowship and communication from God to believers and so I would look at passages like 1 Thessalonians 5 19-21, and in that passage Paul says, „Do not despise prophecies, but test everything, hold fast to what is good”. And, so I think that he is implying here and in 1 Corinthians 14, when he says, „Let two or three prophets speak and let the others way what is said”, that God can bring things to mind, and when we report something that God has suddenly brought to mind, that Paul would call that the gift of prophecy functioning in the church. But it is always to be tested by Scripture. Paul says, „Do not despise prophecies, but test everything. Hold fast to what is good”. It is to be tested by scripture and by what we know about our lives and the word in general and we may be mistaken by those kinds of things, but of course , sermons can also be mistaken and advice from others can also be mistaken, but they have a useful role in the Christian life.

I think this element of prophecy, as well, is something that the New Testament talks about; views as commonly functioning, in the churches in Rome, in Corinth, Ephesus and Thessaloniki and is something that ought to be appreciated and valued today.

Click below for the rest of the notes…….

Mai mult

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!


România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari