Friday, October 8, 2010

Grace for the Sinner

Since all people are sinners by both birth and action, no person can attain the perfection that is required for forgiveness of sins and eternal life (heaven) as opposed to everlasting death. Matthew 25:31-46 ; Luke 16:19-31 

But the good news is the “Gospel.”  The Gospel is that precious truth which proclaims the solution for [human] sin which rescues the sinner from the Triune God’s just punishment and eternal judgment. John 3: 14-21 ; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

The “’Means’ of Grace”


God’s Grace comes to the sinner through the Gospel.  The Gospel is contained in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, of which, overriding focus is the prophesied Christ who was born into human flesh to give His perfect life as the sacrifice for human sin – past, present and future. John 1:1-18 ; John 3:14-21

Christian Baptism
Christian Baptism  is often referred to, as “a means of grace.” It may be likened to a "branch (arm) of the Gospel." 

The baptismal act is also categorized as a “sacrament.”  Basically, a Christian means of grace and sacrament are, the same (by definition).  It is an act, commanded by the
Triune God, which not only offers and conveys, but seals to the recipient, the forgiveness of sins, (spiritual) life and eternal salvation (heaven).  Matthew 28:18-20 ; Acts 2:38 ; Galatians 3:25, 27 ; 1 Peter 3:21  ; Titus 3:5 ; John 3:5

All adult believers (in Christ), are commanded to be baptized.  [Matthew 28:18-20 ;  Mark 16:15-16 ;  Acts 8:26-40] For children and infants, Christian baptism is the Scriptural mode.  Matthew 28:18-20 ; Acts 16:1-34

Those Christian persuasions who wish to deny infants and small children Christian baptism, consequently ignore and / or, misinterpret the aforementioned Scriptures.  They also make themselves the dubious recipients of Scripture’s condemnation, in that they deny what the Triune God would offer to their children. Mark 10:13-16 ; Luke 18:15 ; Matthew 18:6

For those who have problems with infant baptism: 

One must be very careful not to interpret the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures by human reason.  Human reason must subject itself to the Triune God’s written revelation, as expressed in the Scriptures. Human reason must also take a back seat to various revelation mysteries which are revealed in Scripture. Ephesians 1:3-14

When Christ commanded His disciples to baptize “all nations,” it is a far stretch of both imagination and reason to exclude infants and small children from Christ’s all encompassing command.  Matthew 28:18-20

Also, the Christian Religion (since its 1st Century "inception"), is rife with the common practice of infant baptism.  And, we must not forget some Scriptures which, if taken at serious value, -- those Scriptures, include infants and children in the most necessary command, of Baptism.

By both inclusion and inference, infants and children are to be included in Christ’s Great Commission plan to baptize and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:18-20

See, also: Acts 2:1-47 -- And, especially, note: Acts 2:37-41  ;  Acts 16:1-34. Also note, specifically, Acts 2:15 and, also, Acts 2:30-33]

Finally:


Please also note Christ's own words recorded in Matthew 18:6 and Mark 9:42. What person can be more believing and trusting than a baby?


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The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper (or, as it is called, the “Eucharist,”),  is also a “Means of Grace.”  To the believing soul who (in faith) receives its four elements (bread, wine, body and blood) –- this last will and testament of Jesus Christ, not only offers and conveys, but seals to the recipient, the forgiveness of sins, (spiritual) life and eternal salvation (heaven). [Matthew 26:26-29 ; Mark 14:22-25]  See also: 1st Corinthians 11:23-26

The Lord’s Supper was first instituted and received before Christ entered into his most extreme suffering for the sins of mankind.  It can be considered, as a solemn “Last Will and Testament" – of which reason, should make the Christian duly serious as to the actual words of Christ, initiating this sacrament. Matthew 26:26-29 ; Mark 14:22-25

Please also note a very important Scripture:

1st Corinthians 11:23-26

Also Note:  Not subtracting or, adding to God's Words:


There are those in Christendom, who only ascribe to Christ’s institution of the “Last Supper,” a memorial type [of] celebration. Others, go way beyond what Scripture reveals and make the celebration of the Lord’s Supper more than what it is genuinely meant to be.

As with the understanding of all Scripture, God’s people are warned not to add or take away from His Words –- or, to twist them. Deut.4:2 ; Deut. 12:32 ; Prov. 30:6 ; Revelation 22:18-19 ; 2 Peter 3:16
               
When Christ said that the bread “is” His body and that the wine “is” His blood, He stated something prolific, indeed. [Matthew 26:26-29 ; Mark 14:22-25] The humble soul, will take Christ at His Word, and in faith, believe what Christ said -- that Christ’s true body and blood are received, along with the reception of the bread and wine. 

Human reason is not capable of explaining the intricacies of the Lord’s mysteries.  But as trusting subjects of our Creator Triune God, we are to relegate certain things (“secrets”) to His keeping and care. Deut. 29:29 ;  Romans 11:33-34 


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