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Samie

Another Missing Verse?

43 posts in this topic

We, SDA's, believe that there is no single verse in the Bible that hints at the sanctity of Sunday as day of rest, nor is there any single verse that hints at the transfer of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.  If I remember right, there was even a time when the sum of US$ 1 Million was offered to anyone who can find and show such a verse from the Bible.  I believe that US$ 1 Million cannot be claimed by anybody.  No such verse exists in the Bible.  It's really a missing verse.

But, I think, there's another missing verse in support of a doctrine being preached by most preachers including SDA preachers.  It's the verse that supports the doctrine that unless a person first believes, he cannot be in Christ.  And this doctrine lies at the very core of the brand of gospel popularly being preached to the world.  Hence, most Christian preachers have the idea that only "believers" can make it to heaven.  Many SDA preachers I know even make it a step farther: to be really in Christ, is to be a member of God's remnant church - the SDA Church.

We are a Bible-believing people and tell the world all our doctrines are supported by the Bible.  So, is there anyone who knows of such a verse?  Yes, there are lots of verses on "believe to be saved", "believe to have everlasting life" or "believe to receive eternal life".  But is there even one that gives any hint on "believe to be in Christ"?  Because if there's none, why do we preach it?

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I even fear that many preach the gospel with the "believe to be in Christ" motif.  So how can we expect Him to come soon when the general motif of gospel preaching is not even supported in Scriptures?

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Too tired to write or carefully analyze, but a quick reading has really caught my interest.

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So, to first "be in Christ" you would have to believe in Christ, correct? Hence Jesus saying, "abide in me, and I will abide in you" and goes on to say that if you abide in him his words are in you. So, to me, if you are to be in Christ, a prerequisite would be to believe in Christ, then to make choices and study and abide in him. 

I hope I understood the question right. 

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11 hours ago, Andrew Smith said:

So, to first "be in Christ" you would have to believe in Christ, correct? Hence Jesus saying, "abide in me, and I will abide in you" and goes on to say that if you abide in him his words are in you. So, to me, if you are to be in Christ, a prerequisite would be to believe in Christ, then to make choices and study and abide in him. 

I hope I understood the question right. 

I am actually looking for the verse hinting that unless people first believe in Christ they couldn't be in Him.  Until now, this is a missing verse for me. I'm waiting for somebody to show me the verse.

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Romans 16:7 "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was."

There was a time when Andronicus, and Junia, and Paul were NOT "in Christ".  What action or thoughts - on their part - brought them "in" to Christ?

Concerning the Ephesian believers, Paul wrote: 

Ephesians 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world."

There was a TIME when they were NOT "in Christ".  

Concerning the Jews who did not yet believe, Paul wrote:

2 Corinthians 3:14 "But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside." (NRS)

They believe in Yahweh, but the veil is "still there" because they are NOT "in Christ". 

Philippians 1:29 "For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well"

Believing in Christ is a privilege GRANTED or GIVEN to human beings.  But the humans must ACCEPT the gift.  Or REJECT the gift.   BEFORE one accepts the gift, he is NOT "in Christ". 

The humans must "open the door" when Christ knocks.  The Father "draws" us to Christ.  If we do not resist, we will be drawn to the foot of the cross.  We will see God's love for us, and we will "open the door" of our hearts.  The Spirit of God through Christ will then "come in" to fill our hearts, and we will be "in Christ", and He will be "in" us.  

Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God".  Faith then is a GIFT from God.  We return to God, only what He has first given to us.

While I would agree that our salvation is "the gift of God", I would also contend that God will NOT bypass our FREE WILL.  We can reject the GIFT.  UNTIL we accept the gift of faith in Christ Jesus, we are NOT "in Christ". And so long as we reject that gift, we remain separated from God, in the sense of belonging to Him. 

I would contend that we are not "in Christ" UNTIL the Spirit of God is "in" us.    Philippians 2:5 "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus" .  What MIND was in Christ?  Answer:  the Father. 

Philippians 3:9 "and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith."

 

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Believe FIRST - or - "in Christ" FIRST ?  I think we must define what it means to BE "in Christ". 

Does it mean to be LOVED by God the Father and Christ His son?  No. 

God IS love.  God loves all men everywhere, whether or NOT they believe in His Son.  John 3:16 says "God so loved the world". 

On 1/28/2017 at 2:25 PM, Samie said:

But is there even one that gives any hint on "believe to be in Christ"?  Because if there's none, why do we preach it?

The words "in Christ" or "those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1) is another way of saying "those who believe" or "believers", or "those of the faith", or "the faithful".  

Why would I say "believe to be a believer" ?  That would be grammar school English, as if teaching the difference between verbs and nouns.  Of course - one must believe to BE a believer.  And I'm NOT a believer UNTIL I believe.  Put another way, believers ARE "in Christ", and those "in Christ" believe in Him. 

To believe is a gift, granted to us by God our Father, because of what Jesus did  (Phil. 1:29).    But we can resist the GIFT.  We have all seen individuals resist that GIFT, no matter how much evidence is shown to them. 

Also believing does not happen in a vacuum.  The human mind must have INFORMATION upon which to base belief.  Without INFORMATION, the person would not know WHAT he believes IN. 

Romans 10:14 “But how are they to call on One in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in One of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim Him?” (NRS)

    Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” (NRS)

I think this must be at least the 10th thread by Samie on this subject.  I am happy to debate this subject as I have the time.  It helps to strengthen reasoning and increases familiarity with Scripture.  But the argument always comes down to the same place.  I do not agree with Samie's interpretation of certain passages. 

 

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Thanks, Rachel. 

Which of the texts you cited do you think gives any hint, if at all, that a person is not in Christ UNLESS and UNTIL he first believes?

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On 05/02/2017 at 3:35 AM, 8thdaypriest said:

Believe FIRST - or - "in Christ" FIRST ?  I think we must define what it means to BE "in Christ". 

I'll have to stick with the definition that, I think, Scriptures provide.  For me, to be in Christ is, simply, to be part of His Body, as a branch is part of a vine (John 15:4, 5).  Or just like in a human body - an ear or part of an ear is part of the body (Rom 12:4, 5; 1 Cor 12:12 - 31).

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On 05/02/2017 at 3:35 AM, 8thdaypriest said:

Believe FIRST - or - "in Christ" FIRST ?  I think we must define what it means to BE "in Christ". 

The words "in Christ" or "those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1) is another way of saying "those who believe" or "believers", or "those of the faith", or "the faithful".

 

11 hours ago, Samie said:

I'll have to stick with the definition that, I think, Scriptures provide.  For me, to be in Christ is, simply, to be part of His Body, as a branch is part of a vine (John 15:4, 5).  Or just like in a human body - an ear or part of an ear is part of the body (Rom 12:4, 5; 1 Cor 12:12 - 31).

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Yes, Samie, there is a missing verse. Show me from the OT that the "in Christ" motif is part of the plan of salvation. Look in the sanctuary services, the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, the laws given to Israel, etc... as these show the plan of salvation in detail. They are the entire gospel in symbols, and if you cannot show it from there it doesn't exist, Biblically speaking.

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On 08/02/2017 at 10:26 AM, joeb said:

Yes, Samie, there is a missing verse.

Please correct me if I misread you, but I understand you as acknowledging there is indeed no verse in the Bible hinting that people need to first believe for them to be in Christ.

However, I understand your next statements to be saying that IF the "in Christ" motif could not be shown from the OT sanctuary services, then the "in Christ" motif does not exist in Scriptures:

On 08/02/2017 at 10:26 AM, joeb said:

Show me from the OT that the "in Christ" motif is part of the plan of salvation. Look in the sanctuary services, the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, the laws given to Israel, etc... as these show the plan of salvation in detail. They are the entire gospel in symbols, and if you cannot show it from there it doesn't exist, Biblically speaking.

The Bible tells us that, aside from Christ, there is no other name given to men for their salvation (Acts 4:12).  Hence man's salvation is found only in Christ, proving that the "in Christ" motif is simply not just part, but the only way for the plan of salvation to be carried out, both before and after the cross.

Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). Being slain from the foundation of the world, the precious blood of the Lamb had been shed long, long before the OT sanctuary services were instituted.  Since there can be no redemption without shedding of blood (Heb 9:22), and the blood of the Lamb had been shed from the foundation of the world, redemption had been effected from the foundation of the world!

        KJV Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

That same day Adam sinned, God implemented the plan of salvation He devised before the foundation of the world and saved Adam in Christ, an act that cost the Father His only begotten Son, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  With Adam in Christ, all his descendants are born in Christ!  And being in Christ, people have the capability to believe, for apart from Him, man can do NOTHING.

BUT, can the "in Christ" motif be shown from the sanctuary services? Yes, no doubt. Even joeb himself is thoroughly aware of this.

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 7:26 PM, joeb said:

Show me from the OT that the "in Christ" motif is part of the plan of salvation. Look in the sanctuary services, the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, the laws given to Israel, etc... as these show the plan of salvation in detail. They are the entire gospel in symbols, and if you cannot show it from there it doesn't exist, Biblically speaking.

It's easy with 20/20 hindsight to see the plan of salvation in the OT; but I don't believe that either the humans or the evil spirit beings running around over 2,000 years ago could even fathom the plan of salvation.  Even the NT claims:

 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen,  what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”  the things God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor.2:7-9)

The "rulers of this age" referred to in this scripture are satan and his ilk.  Prophecy is written cryptically on purpose.  We never know how it will unfold until it unfolds.

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On 2/6/2017 at 6:43 AM, Samie said:

I'll have to stick with the definition that, I think, Scriptures provide.  For me, to be in Christ is, simply, to be part of His Body, as a branch is part of a vine (John 15:4, 5).  Or just like in a human body - an ear or part of an ear is part of the body (Rom 12:4, 5; 1 Cor 12:12 - 31).

THE BODY

Colossians 1:18 “He is the head of the body, the church” (NRS).

Colossians 1:24 “Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the church.”

Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (NIV).

Ephesians 5:30 & 32 “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. . . .      This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (NKJ).

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (NRS).

    Paul says Christ “gave himself up for her” - meaning His bride - His church.  When Paul says “we are members of His body” he is addressing “the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.”  Paul is NOT addressing the general public!
 

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DEFINITION OF THE CHURCH
1 Corinthians 1:2 “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (NKJ)

The church is called THE BODY,  also the BRIDE, also a HOLY TEMPLE indwelt by God, also a SPIRITUAL HOUSE, and "the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD", and a HOLY PRIESTHOOD.  All these terms Paul and Peter used to describe the church.

Ephesians 2:19  “You [non-Hebrew believers] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God . . . being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the LORD, in whom [in Christ] you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”  

If those who become part of Christ's church are "no longer" strangers or foreigners, then BEFORE they became part of Christ's church they WERE strangers.  They were NOT "in Christ" or members of His church, or members of His body. 

1Peter 2:3-4  IF indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

CONCLUSION:  Those who "come to Him", those who "call on the name of Jesus Christ" (obviously because they believe in Him) become members of His CHURCH.  Before that - they are aliens and strangers. 

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5 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

CONCLUSION:  Those who "come to Him", those who "call on the name of Jesus Christ" (obviously because they believe in Him) become members of His CHURCH.  Before that - they are aliens and strangers. 

I suggest we again consult the Bible as to who compose the members of the Church, the Body of Christ:

On 17/01/2017 at 10:25 PM, Samie said:

 

Scriptures tell us that Jesus gave His life for the church:

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

 

Therefore, His Body - the church - is composed of all whom Jesus died for.

 

Scriptures tell us that Jesus died for all:

NKJ 2 Corinthians 5:14-15  

14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 

15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Scriptures tell us that the "all" Jesus died for is "every man":

Hebrews 2:9   But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Therefore, every man is in the Body of Christ - the Church, UNTIL one’s name is blotted out by Christ from the book of life. 

Overcomers will Christ NOT blot out from the book of life and will be seated with Him in His throne even as He also overcame and sat down with the Father in His throne (Rev 3:5, 21).  All not blotted out will have their portion in the kingdom of heaven (Rev 21:27); all blotted out will have their portion in the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).

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9 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Ephesians 2:19  “You [non-Hebrew believers] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God . . . being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the LORD, in whom [in Christ] you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”  

If those who become part of Christ's church are "no longer" strangers or foreigners, then BEFORE they became part of Christ's church they WERE strangers.  They were NOT "in Christ" or members of His church, or members of His body. 

Strangers from the Church, the Body of Christ?  No, not quite; the Bible does not say so.  Instead, they were strangers from the commonwealth of Israel (see vv11, 12).  In Christ, no one is a stranger; both Jews and Gentiles are members of the family of God, as v19 you quoted EXPLICITLY says. 

We were all born in Christ, by virtue of God's grace, because He implemented the plan of salvation right on the day the emergency occurred in Eden, and saved Adam through Christ that same day he sinned.  God immediately sent down heaven's Ambulance with the Doctor of heaven to save Adam.  With Adam in Christ, all his descendants are born in Christ.  This is good news, a better one than the one being popularly preached - that only "believers" are part of the Body of Christ, which smells of salvation by works because it teaches that unless man puts in his share of the deal, he could not be in Christ.

Can any man DO ANYTHING to be in Christ? No, Christ EXPLICITLY said so: "APART from Me, you can do NOTHING".  Man's being in Christ is God's work FOR man.  All grace.  Not an iota of human participation, else, it easily reduces to salvation by works.

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4 hours ago, Samie said:

Can any man DO ANYTHING to be in Christ? No, Christ EXPLICITLY said so: "APART from Me, you can do NOTHING".  Man's being in Christ is God's work FOR man.  All grace.  Not an iota of human participation, else, it easily reduces to salvation by works.

I appreciate the thought that we "mere mortals" are dependent upon Jesus for everything. My question is: "What's wrong with a little bit of "works?"

Quote

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."  (James 2:17)

 

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1 hour ago, The Wanderer said:

I appreciate the thought that we "mere mortals" are dependent upon Jesus for everything. My question is: "What's wrong with a little bit of "works?"

There's nothing wrong with good works; they are NEEDED, but needed, NOT to be in Christ, but in overcoming evil with good.  Being born already in Christ Who is their Strength to do good, people have His power and are commanded to repent, that is, overcome evil with good. 

Why are all men commanded to repent (Acts 17:30)? Because all have sinned.

Believing - the exercise of faith - is a good deed.  Believing is overcoming the evil of unbelief.  The object of believing is NOT to be in Christ because people are born already in Christ; instead the object of believing is to overcome the evil of unbelief and receive everlasting life (John 3:16; Mark 10:30; Rev 3:5, 21; 21:27). 

Having been taught that people need to first believe to be in Christ, one major challenge facing Christian believers is overcoming unbelief in the fact that people are born already in Christ because God implemented the plan of salvation He devised before the foundation of the world when the emergency occurred in Eden and saved Adam in Christ the same day he fell into sin, an act that cost the Father His only begotten Son, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  With Adam in Christ, all his descendants are born in Christ.

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Greetings Samie,

 

On ‎29‎/‎01‎/‎2017 at 7:25 AM, Samie said:

But is there even one that gives any hint on "believe to be in Christ"?

Galatians 3:26-29 (KJV): 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  

The above teaches that we are only in Christ through faith and baptism. Only those thus “in Christ” become Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promises made to Abraham and his seed.

 

Kind regards

Trevor

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1 hour ago, TrevorL said:

Greetings Samie,

 

Galatians 3:26-29 (KJV): 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  

The above teaches that we are only in Christ through faith and baptism. Only those thus “in Christ” become Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promises made to Abraham and his seed.

 

Kind regards

Trevor

Thanks for your response, Trevor.

However, I can't read the verse as saying we become in Christ by believing, does it?  Instead it says, as Tyndale would have it:

     TNT Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the sonnes of God by the fayth which is in Christ Iesus.

It's the faith of the son of God that made us children of God, NOT our belief in Him.  Believing in Christ is only possible when one is already in Him Who EXPLICITLY said apart from Him man can do NOTHING - he can't even believe. 

IF your reading of the verse is what he intended, then apostle Paul contradicted himself when he identified himself with the Athenian unbelievers as offspring or children of God (Acts 17:29). For the apostle, people begin life spiritually alive, then died (Rom 7:9).  And to be spiritually alive is to be in Christ Who is our life (Col 3:4). 

The teaching that unless one believes he cannot be in Christ presupposes that people begin life APART from or NOT in Christ.  This teaching is diametrically opposed to what Christ Himself taught via the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son (Luke 15).  Before the sheep was lost, it was with its shepherd; before the coin got lost, it was with its owner; before the son went lost, he was with his father.  So with us.  We begin life NOT lost. And to be not lost is to be in Christ.

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31 minutes ago, Samie said:

  TNT Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the sonnes of God by the fayth which is in Christ Iesus.

And who was Paul writing to?  People who had already put their faith in Jesus - the Church at Galatia.  They had already chosen to be part of the Body of Christ, so yes - they were "all the sonnes of God by faith".

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4 hours ago, JoeMo said:

And who was Paul writing to?  People who had already put their faith in Jesus - the Church at Galatia.  They had already chosen to be part of the Body of Christ, so yes - they were "all the sonnes of God by faith".

Their act of CHOOSING simply signifies they have done SOMETHING and that shows they were already in Christ PRIOR to their choosing otherwise they would have done NOTHING.

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2 hours ago, Samie said:

Their act of CHOOSING simply signifies they have done SOMETHING and that shows they were already in Christ PRIOR to their choosing otherwise they would have done NOTHING.

So those that choose NOT to join the body of Christ (or those who do NOTHING) were never in Christ to begin with?  Sounds a lot like predestination to me.

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8 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

So those that choose NOT to join the body of Christ (or those who do NOTHING) were never in Christ to begin with?  Sounds a lot like predestination to me.

The good news is we were all born in Christ because God implemented the plan of salvation He devised before the foundation of the world when the emergency occurred in Eden and saved Adam in Christ the same day he fell into sin, an act that cost the Father His only begotten Son, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  With Adam in Christ, all his descendants are born in Christ.

As to predestination,

KJV Ephesians 1:3-5   3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

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