by Peter Ditzel
Contrary to those who claim the Holy Spirit is only an energy or force, the Bible clearly shows that the Holy Spirit has the attributes of a Person. In the New Testament, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit,
The Bible teaches that our relationship to God is one of sons born to their Father (see “The Sons of God“). This fact raises the question of whether the ultimate human potential is to be God. Does our being sons of God mean that we are (or are to be) members of the Godhead on a footing with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? After all, the Bible indicates that we are brethren of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:12-17), and Jesus is God. Are we also to be God?
This article appeared in a publication called Supplement to the British Flag published February 1, 1862. The British Flag was billed as "A Journal for Soldiers and Sailors." It was published by the United British Army Scripture Readers' and Soldiers' Friend Society. No author's name was listed with the article. The article addresses three general and very common errors: 1) "My works prove I am saved," 2) "My works prove I am not saved," and 3) "Christ has surely saved His people, but how do I know whether that includes me?" These three errors are so common, and so frequently instigated by preachers, that I believe that just about every reader can benefit from reading this article. Aside from breaking the first paragraph into four shorter ones for the sake of eye appeal, I have not edited the article; all emphases are in the original. –PD
Christ is the great and proper object of faith. My faith, therefore, should rest on Him—not on myself nor anything in myself. He that trusts in himself, or in his righteousness or holiness, is a Pharisee, not a Christian.
The word “millennium,” although not found in the Bible, has become a common term in Christianity. Verses 2-7 of Revelation 20 mention the words “thousand years” six times. The word “millennium” comes from the Latin “mille anni” found in the Latin Vulgate of Revelation 20 and means “thousand years.” Thus, the thousand years spoken of in Revelation 20 has come to be called the millennium. From these few verses in Revelation has come a controversy among Christians that has lasted for, well, millennia. There are three basic views concerning the millennium, which also happen to be views as to what will happen when Jesus Christ returns: premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism. There is also another view, full preterism, that says the return of Christ has already occurred and we are living in the aftermath. In this article, I will state what each of these positions believes, and then I will briefly point out which of these positions I believe is best supported by the Bible.
A. The question is whether this applies to Christians.
Malachi 3:7-12 says,
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
A certain seventh-day Sabbatarian recently averred to me that the difference between him and me is this: “I am a Saturday worshipper, you are a Sunday worshipper.” I readily accepted his definition of himself. And I thank him for his honesty in admitting it. But I quickly objected to his description of me: “I am not a Sunday worshipper! Rather, I am a Christ worshipper, and not a worshipper of any day!”
A. I have, as you pointed out, many times explained that the Ten Commandments do not apply to Christians, but were given only to Old Testament Israel (check out the list of articles under “Covenant and Law” on our articles index page). To answer your question, I will first go to the gospel of John. In John 13:34, Jesus says, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” In John 15:10-12, He further says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” So we see that Jesus clearly identifies His commandments as loving one another.
A. This verse states, “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” Certainly, this is a difficult Scripture that would seem to contradict other New Testament Scriptures about the law. We know from these other Scriptures that Jesus fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17), that we are dead to the law (Romans 7:4), that we are not under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14). We also know that we can find no place where Christ’s servants preached the law. But we know that the Bible does not contradict itself. There is a danger when facing such a Scripture, however, to try to force our opinion on it, to read into it what we think it should say rather than accept what it does say. Keeping this in mind, let’s see if we can find out what God is telling us in this Scripture.
To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.
Charlotte Brontë, Preface to the Second Edition of Jane Eyre
All one has to do is read posts on some Christian forums to know that the labels legalism, legalist, antinomianism, and antinomian are being shot back and forth like spitballs in an out-of-control classroom. But do those using these terms really know what they mean? From what I have read on these forums, it seems many do not.