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Re: Muslim becomes Christian and so does his wives [Re: Joe k] #37482
Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:34 PM
Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:34 PM
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The inspired Apostle wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). How does a new convert examine himself truthfully having not been taught in the word and doctrine (Eph. 4:11-15; Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 4:1, 16, etc.)? As previously stated, the answer is the catechumen as seen in the Book of Galatians (6:1-6). In Scripture this interviewing is done. John did his interviewing – out loud at times. How did he know who to baptize and whom not to baptize? How did he know whom to call a viper and whom not to call a viper?

Quote
Luke 7:7 He said therefore to the multitudes that went out to be baptized of him, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And even now the axe also lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the multitudes asked him, saying, What then must we do? And he answered and said unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath food, let him do likewise. And there came also publicans to be baptized, and they said unto him, Teacher, what must we do? And he said unto them, Extort no more than that which is appointed you. And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse any one wrongfully; and be content with your wages.

John apparently looked for a changed heart and evidence of the fruit. In John's exhortation to his hearers he articulates rather specific examples of repentance consistent with the sins of the categories of groups in question. Repentance should be discernible or evidenced in some way. Of course, in the Ethiopian eunuch’s case “the angel of the Lord” told Philip his mission (Acts 8:26) and the Spirit said to join himself to the Ethiopian’s chariot (29). Thus, no wonder this is a slam sprinkle baptism confirmed by the fact – “the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip” (39) thereafter. Of course, we have Paul (Acts 19:1-5) asking the folks in Ephesus "what baptism did you receive." Of course, here we have Paul who wrote the book on discerning of spirits and Philip who had direct revelation from the “angel of the Lord” [i.e. a theophany of Christ] and the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Now, JoeK I do not think either of us measures up to the likes of a Paul or Philip, do you? While we may having the gift of “the discerning of spirits” at times I see God utilizing secondary causes [examinations] to allow us to properly discern as well.

On a side note, Packer in Puritan Evangelism makes some interesting positive comments regarding Puritan “preparation”practices saying,

Quote
It is never man, but always God, who determines when an elect sinner shall believe. In the manner of conversion too, God is sovereign. The Puritans taught that, as a general rule, conviction of sin, induced by, the preaching of the Law, must precede faith, since no man will or can come to Christ to be saved from sin till he knows what sins he needs saving from. It is a distinctive feature of the Puritan doctrine of conversion that this point, the need for “preparation” for faith, is so stressed. Man’s first step toward conversion must be some knowledge, of God, of himself, of his duty and of his sin. The second step is conviction, both of sinfulness and of particular sins; and the wise minister, dealing with enquirers at this stage, will try to deepen conviction and make it specific, since true and sound conviction of sin is always to a greater or less degree particularised. This leads to contrition (sorrow for and hatred of sin), which begins to burn the love of sinning out of the heart and leads to real, though as yet ineffective, attempts to break off the practice of sin in the life. Meanwhile, the wise minister, seeing that the fallow ground is now ploughed up, urges the sinner to turn to Christ. This is the right advice to give to a man who has shown that with all his heart he desires to be saved from sin; for when a man wants to be saved from sin, then it is possible for him genuinely and sincerely to receive the One who presents Himself to man as the Saviour from sin. But it is not possible otherwise; and therefore the Puritans over and over again beg ministers not to short-circuit the essential preparatory process. They must not give false encouragement to those in whom the Law has not yet done its work. It is the worst advice possible to tell a man to stop worrying about his sins and trust Christ at once if he does not yet know his sins and does not yet desire to leave them. That is the way to encourage false peace and false hopes, and to produce “gospel- hypocrites.” Throughout the whole process of preparation, from the first awakening of concern to the ultimate dawning of faith, however, the sovereignty of God must be recognized. God converts no adult without preparing him; but “God breaketh not all men’s hearts alike” (Baxter). Some conversions, as Goodwin said, are sudden; the preparation is done in a moment. Some are long-drawn-out affairs; years may pass before the seeker finds Christ and peace, as in Bunyan’s case. Sometimes great sinners experience “great meltings” (Giles Firmin) at the outset of the work of grace, while upright persons spend long periods in agonies of guilt and terror. No rule can be given as to how long, or how intensely, God will flay each sinner with the lash of conviction. Thus the work of effectual calling proceeds as fast, or as slow, as God wills; and the minister’s part is that of the midwife, whose task it is to see what is happening and give appropriate help at each stage, but who cannot foretell, let alone fix, how rapid the process of birth will be.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Muslim becomes Christian and so does his wives [Re: J_Edwards] #37483
Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:29 PM
Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:29 PM
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J_Edwards said:
The inspired Apostle wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5).


I agree Joe. But it does not say let someone else examine you...
Quote
J_Edwards said: How does a new convert examine himself truthfully having not been taught in the word and doctrine (Eph. 4:11-15; Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 4:1, 16, etc.)? As previously stated, the answer is the catechumen as seen in the Book of Galatians (6:1-6). In Scripture this interviewing is done. John did his interviewing – out loud at times. How did he know who to baptize and whom not to baptize? How did he know whom to call a viper and whom not to call a viper?


Paul addresses the people in Galatians as brethren. They were already added to the church at the time of his leter to them.Professed believers. Hence he speaks about restoration. He was not writing to teachers in regards to the unregenerate or uncoverted, even babes in Christ are added to the church. There was no interviewing done Joe. How can you conclude that? Those who came to the Jordan with a sincere heart of repentance were dipped. That is it. There was no question and answer time on the shore.

Quote
J_Edwards said:John apparently looked for a changed heart and evidence of the fruit. In John's exhortation to his hearers he articulates rather specific examples of repentance consistent with the sins of the categories of groups in question. Repentance should be discernible or evidenced in some way. Of course, in the Ethiopian eunuch’s case “the angel of the Lord” told Philip his mission (Acts 8:26) and the Spirit said to join himself to the Ethiopian’s chariot (29). Thus, no wonder this is a slam sprinkle baptism confirmed by the fact – “the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip” (39) thereafter. Of course, we have Paul (Acts 19:1-5) asking the folks in Ephesus "what baptism did you receive." Of course, here we have Paul who wrote the book on discerning of spirits and Philip who had direct revelation from the “angel of the Lord” [i.e. a theophany of Christ] and the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Now, JoeK I do not think either of us measures up to the likes of a Paul or Philip, do you? While we may having the gift of “the discerning of spirits” at times I see God utilizing secondary causes [examinations] to allow us to properly discern as well.


Exhortations are needed. Instruction in the Lord are needed. My point being is a long grueling examination is not. Like I said, a professon that Jesus is the Christ, and one believes in him should be all that is needed. I take people at their word... Then the body is to continue to care and teach this person.

Look at the example in Acts.. And please do not say this is some exception to the rule.

Peter proclaimed the message of the Gospel to the people. Then :: 40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

IT is plain and simple. That DAY they were added to full fellowship.. There was no probationary period of extensive examination. They showed repentance, we baptised and added..

42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

After being added, the results are obvious.

1) Unity in Doctrine
2)Celebrating the Supper
3)Prayed together
4)Sharing all they had
5)Joy
6)Praise to God

And the Lord added to the church DAILY


AS an aside for me, look at the example of Paul. Where was his examination by the other Apostles? There was none..

26And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

27But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

28And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.


It kinda reminds me of the movie Goodfellas. Barnabas only had to say, He (paul) is a good fella...And the rest accepted Paul on the word of barnabas. If ANYONE was in need of an examination it should have been Paul. Yet there is no mention of one.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Muslim becomes Christian and so does his wives [Re: Pilgrim] #37484
Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:40 PM
Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:40 PM
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Joe k Offline
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Pilgrim said:
Quote
Joe k said:
Pilgrim I applaud some sort of litmus test with a hearty Amen. What I dont applaud is when one takes self examination to mean a morbid introspection, and examination of others to look at their lifes by the fruit only. They should be added on confession of belief, recognition of sin, and repentance. There MUST not be a long lag between that and full membership in the body.

Joe,

We can agree about the "morbid introspection" and most of the Puritans would also heartily agree. There a few denominations which still practice/encourage what we would call "morbid introspection", e.g., the NRC. And it seems we can agree that an examination by the Elders of prospective members is necessary. That examination should address the areas of doctrine, experimental and life. However, I am unsure about what you mean by a "long lag between that and full membership"? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" /> A person may be genuinely converted yet not seek membership in a local assembly for various reasons, e.g., the difficulty in finding one that is a true church, location of the individual and a good church, reluctance on the part of an individual to join any church due to lack of understanding, etc. And, if you mean by that some long examination process on the part of the church, e.g., weeks of grueling interrogation, then that would be unacceptable.

If one is examined rightly by the Elders and found to have a valid profession of faith in the above three areas I mentioned, then there is no reason to delay full communion. Further training/education should be recommended to all new members, however. And a true convert shouldn't have any objections to that recommendation at all. In fact, one who has come to Christ should/will most naturally want to seek such things, IMHO. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


I agree with this Pilgrim. Perhaps we were talking past each other and I apologise for misreading you. I know that when the Lord adds people to the Church it is infallible and as sinful men we always have the risk of admitting a tare to grow amongst the wheat.

I read something that Roland Hill once said: AS I was walking down the street, a man stumbled out of a saloon to greet me. Raising his hand he said,"Hello minister Hill, I am one of your converts, and I replied, yes you are one of mine, for if you were one of the Lords you would not be drunk>>


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Muslim becomes Christian and so does his wives [Re: Joe k] #37485
Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:49 PM
Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:49 PM
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Joe k said:
AS an aside for me, look at the example of Paul. Where was his examination by the other Apostles? There was none..

Oh contrare mon frere!


Galatians 2:1-10 (ASV) Then after the space of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. And I went up by revelation; and I laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles but privately before them who were of repute, lest by any means I should be running, or had run, in vain. But not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place in the way of subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth not man's person)-- they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me: but contrariwise, when they saw that I had been intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with [the gospel] of the circumcision (for he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles); and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision; only [they would] that we should remember the poor; which very thing I was also zealous to do."


Methinks there was MUCH examination of Paul by the Apostles before he was given the "right hand of fellowship".


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Re: Muslim becomes Christian and so does his wives [Re: Pilgrim] #37486
Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:48 PM
Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:48 PM
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Quote
Pilgrim said:
Quote
Joe k said:
AS an aside for me, look at the example of Paul. Where was his examination by the other Apostles? There was none..

Oh contrare mon frere! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nope.gif" alt="" />

<blockquote>
Galatians 2:1-10 (ASV) Then after the space of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. And I went up by revelation; and I laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles but privately before them who were of repute, lest by any means I should be running, or had run, in vain. But not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place in the way of subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth not man's person)-- they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me: but contrariwise, when they saw that I had been intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with [the gospel] of the circumcision (for he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles); and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision; only [they would] that we should remember the poor; which very thing I was also zealous to do."<br>
</blockquote>
Methinks there was MUCH examination of Paul by the Apostles before he was given the "right hand of fellowship". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Pilgrim, I know it is a rare occurance with you since you are part of the new ecclesiastical enlightenment of internet theologians, you do err on this subject. This account happenned after Acts 9 narrative given by Barnabas. And had nothing to do with Pauls addition to the Body, but infact was in regards to approving his message of Grace. In fact this is the account of his rebuke of Peter.

Let me even go back further to the account of Paul's conversion in Damascus. Ananias who once called him "that man" greets him with brother Saul. Which would mean he is included in the Body. NO examination. No asking for a conversion narrative. Just brother saul..


In fact, lets use Gal 1 also.

15But when God, who set me apart from birth[a] and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.


This states clearly he did not go to the others to be examined...He was added to the church and did not see the other leaders for 3 years Pilgrim!!! 18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord's brother

The account in Galatians 2 happened 15 years later. Are you telling me it was 15 years of Peter and james and john et al inspecting pauls fruit? Not a chance Pilgrim...


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Muslim becomes Christian and so does his wives [Re: Joe k] #37487
Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:25 AM
Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:25 AM
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Quote
JoeK said,

I agree Joe. But it does not say let someone else examine you...

So, you think NEW converts are MATURE enough to examine themselves FULLY and they do NOT need the rest of the body of Christ. Where did these NEW converts get all this knowledge and maturity from? How did they instantly discover how to interpret Scripture?

New professors are not instantly mature (Eph. 4:11-15; Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 4:1, 16, etc.). Note the text does NOT say you are to examine yourself ALONE? The tools for correctly examining oneself come from a proper application of the Word of God, prayer, etc. which a new convert has not been taught. Thus, we are to examine ourselves within the context of learning from community – Galatians 6:1-6; 2 Timothy 2:24-26, etc. Any new convert – who is truly converted – would invite such an opportunity to insure their faith was right with God. Examining yourself in accordance with Scripture only means that you yourself are responsible for your decision(s) and are responsible for taking actions, etc., but it no way means you are suppose to be the lone ranger and not seek godly counsel, instruction, and “obey” them that have the rule over you, etc. (Gal. 6:1-6, Heb. 13:17, etc.).

Quote
JoeK said

Paul addresses the people in Galatians as brethren. They were already added to the church at the time of his leter to them. Professed believers. Hence he speaks about restoration. He was not writing to teachers in regards to the unregenerate or uncoverted, even babes in Christ are added to the church. There was no interviewing done Joe. How can you conclude that? Those who came to the Jordan with a sincere heart of repentance were dipped. That is it. There was no question and answer time on the shore.

JoeK, not everyone that attends a church is a member of the church – even then. Brethren was a common title to those inside/outside of the church and does not necessarily mean someone is saved or a member of the visible church. However, what your explanation really brings out is that you must support baptismal regeneration, for you are assuming that the un-baptized new converts are not brethren and yet you desire to baptize them? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" />

I agree with you that Galatians 6 is relevant to restoration. But isn't a new convert being restored? (i.e. the Muslim must deal with all those wives....) For instance, Galatians 6 says we are to carry one another’s burdens. Is this ONLY during a restoration period of a mature Christian’s life, or do you think that it may be a life principle that may be applied anywhere along the growth of a person professing Christ, (Luke 4:18 ff, etc.). The same could be said for verse 6, “Anyone who receives instruction [catechumen] in the word” .. may also refer to new converts as a general rule. Do new converts need help with burdens and instruction when first saved? Hmmm

Quote
JoeK said,

Exhortations are needed. Instruction in the Lord are needed. My point being is a long grueling examination is not. Like I said, a professon that Jesus is the Christ, and one believes in him should be all that is needed. I take people at their word... Then the body is to continue to care and teach this person.

JoeK, I believe the only person using the term “grueling” is YOU. I believe I argued that the whole process should be done from an attitude of love, acceptance, and fellowship.

Quote
JoeK said,

Look at the example in Acts.. After being added, the results are obvious.

1) Unity in Doctrine
2)Celebrating the Supper
3)Prayed together
4)Sharing all they had
5)Joy
6)Praise to God

And the Lord added to the church DAILY

Yes, Peter did a great job that day didn’t he. Please do note that it was a “day” that began early in the morning. However, if you would back up a few verses to Acts 2:14 you would see that the Eleven were with him. Peter was not alone. As matter a fact, if we take Acts 2:1 and 1:15 into consideration the 120 were there. Now you may like to believe that the Eleven and the 120 were just twiddling their thumbs but I believe they were circulating and mingling doing the Lord’s work [see below]. And though you quoted vs 40, did you get the jest of it?

Quote
Luke appears to say that the Jews asked questions about many subjects related to Peter’s message. He stresses the word other, which in the Greek stands first in the sentence for emphasis. Luke leaves the impression that Peter warned the inquirers to examine carefully the evidence he has presented. In fact, the tense of the verb exhorting (in Greek) indicates that Peter repeatedly appealed to his listeners with this request: “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” The request is an echo of a line in the song of Moses familiar to the audience because of its use in the synagogue worship services:

They have acted corruptly toward [God];
to their shame they are no longer his children,
but a warped and crooked generation. [Deut. 32:5]

In other words, the sermon (or at least parts of it) was preached over and over. It was an all day affair, which began prior to the third hour of the day (2:15). And while Peter was preaching 131 people were working the crowd (3000/131 = app. 23 people per person). Now how do you think they came to know who was a believer? How did these on this special day of Pentecost know who had received the word and who had not? Do you think questions were asked? Moreover, who answered all the questions? – just Peter? (Acts 2:37 ”Brethren, [plural] what shall we do?”). There was plenty of time and people for some examination.

However, the Day of Pentecost was a very special day and a very special gift was being given out – the gift (sg., not gifts) of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 38). True believers would have easily been able to be picked out! [see Calvin]. So, yes instant baptism would have been the call of that day.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
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