BIBLICAL CENTER FOR BIBLE STUDIES

God's love... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Joh 3:16)

 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Joh 3:36

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 ONE WAY: JESUS! 


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28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

John 5:28-29

 

 

Who is the source of goodness?


The Rich and the Kingdom of God

 18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Luke 18:18-19


So, since no man is good, except God alone; someone is only able to please God when he belongs to Him.

 11Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
3 John 1:11



I know the word “imitate” or “follow” could give the impression of free will. Nevertheless, as God lives in me I will not follow evil; but I will do God's will


 
6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:6
 

If somebody thinks, in his flesh nature, he can please God, without God's help, he is a liar. Because nobody is good, except God!

 
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17

 


 

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Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

 15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:15-21

 

Why someone loves God?

 19We love him, because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19


What is love?

8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:8

 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10

Any effort or zeal that a true believer exercises, in his walk with Christ, It is not of him; God’s love is at work.

 5And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5

Likewise, God does not direct the hearts of the non believers into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.


 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 
9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10



Why God loves a person?

 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:3


What are the commandments of God?

 36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:36-40



But there is a problem: God says, there is NO ONE who can keep the commandments:


 
10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 
11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
James 2:10-11


 4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
1 John 3:4

Then why did God give the commandments if we can't keep them? 


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Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Galatians 3:13

The commandments were given to show humans that they can't be good enough on their own to get to Heaven.

 3The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Jeremiah 31:3

You see, that’s not our love; that’s the love of God who saves us and makes us capable of good works.


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And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16

 


 

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 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

John 15:13-14

 

Who had ever done that?

Jesus is the only. That’s the greater love:


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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 Many can have Jesus as a good friend, when we share the true gospel with them.


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5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:5

That’s a very interesting subject. How can someone be born of the water? Is it by water baptism? Well, for Christianity, that’s one of the many complications in the Bible.  "To be born in water and in the Spirit" is another turn of phrase for “to be born again”. In the beginning, when God created Adam, we read:


The Beginning

 1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:1-10



In verse 1 we read “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”. 
In verse 9 we read that the water under the sky became dry ground, which is called the land. And then, later in the sixth day of the creation, God made a creature in his own resemblance.


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So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7


Do you see the connection between the Spirit and the water that gave birth to a living being?


In the first application, the Spirit is God, the water become dry ground; the Spirit of God breathed 
into man (made of water, or of dust), and we got Adam, a living being. That was the old creation. Because of the fall of Adam in Genesis 3, we have an interesting story of the new creation of many in Christ. It is found in John 3: 5,  


Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

 1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
John 3:1-8

Who are the Water and the Spirit?

The verse is not talking of physical water, because later Jesus said to Nicodemus:


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If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
John 3:12


This passage surely shows that Jesus was talking parables. So, in this case, Christ is typified by the water and the Spirit who can wash away our sins:


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For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 
19By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 3:18-21


At the end of the verse it clearly says the physical water is a symbol. It does not clean us from our sins. But its meaning, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the real baptism that can only save someone.


 4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Titus 3:4-5 


Again, this verse presents Christ as the Water and the Spirit who transforms our old man to Christ’s nature.


 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 
3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:2-4


The problem many have, anytime they see “baptism” in the Bible, they automatically refer it to physical water. Baptize is the English form of a Greek word which means to immerse: Give up the old life to a new life in Christ, the water. Water baptism is a picture of death and resurrection in Christ.

16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mark 16:16


It does not say “Whoever believes will be baptized and be saved”, but it does say “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved”. When you believe, God gives you Faith, you receive the Holy Spirit (sign that you are baptized) as a gift of salvation. 
Since the Water is the message of God that transforms you in the Spirit of Christ, God can push you to repent, by confessing your sins in the name of Jesus.

 
16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 22:16

Only God can do that, no Physical water is necessary. Today, many people think physical water is a requirement for salvation. That was also Paul's situation when he did not understand the Holy Scriptures.


 
5After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 
6Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
John 13:5-10
 

If water baptism is essential for salvation, none of the Old Testament people is saved. There was no water baptism in the Old Testament. Even during our new era, many people are not saved:

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The criminal on the cross had no time to be baptized. So, He went straight to hell.

-          Somebody who died immediately, after Jesus forgave his sins, cannot be saved, because there was not enough time for him to be baptized into water.


Are these statements true?  Why people say these things?

-           Jesus said the order in salvation is:  BELIEVE + WATER BAPTISM = SAVED

-           Jesus says the order in salvation is:  BELIEVE = SAVED + WATER BAPTISM

That’s not true, Jesus never said that. As a matter of fact, there is no particular case in salvation.

Since the beginning of time, Jesus always is the essence of Salvation

 

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And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Acts 16:30-31



The household is a picture of God’s elects.  BELIEVE = GRACE = FAITH OF CHRIST = BAPTISM = SAVED

 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8



Again, it is not your personal belief or faith that saves you; this particular “believe” is the faith of Christ. Otherwise, Satan and many others can get saved, because they also believe in Christ.

 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James 2:18-26

Only the Faith of Jesus Christ can produce works.

 

  •  Neither Hindu water baptism nor “Christian” water baptism can wash away your sins or save you from eternal hell (annihilation).
  • The Bible says there is one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).  
  • That one baptism is found in Mark 1:8: John the Baptist said “I indeed have baptized you with water, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”

·      It is only a picture, a showing forth of the death and the burial and the resurrection of Christ.

  • According to the Bible, the gospel defined in 1 Cor. 15, is not about water baptism, it is about Christ.  Paul declared that he was not sent by Christ to baptize, but to preach the Gospel. 1 Cor.1
  • Our sins are not washed away by water baptism in a river or a sea. In fact in most cases the water is not even sanitary, and if you drink it you would probably get sick.

 

Before we finish this study, it is very important to see how God demonstrate to us our new creature in Jesus, at the time of his death.
   

19Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21But he spake of the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
John 2:19-22


At the cross Jesus destroyed the body of the old man and resurrected as a new creature.

How did that happen?

 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
John 19:33-36
 

Again we see the water as the gospel of God, and the blood as his Spirit or His life he gave for us. Jesus resurrected, body and soul, as a new creature. As He is the Gospel of God, he comes to give life to many dead people.


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This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
1 John 5:6


It's the only manner someone can become a new creature. It is not by water baptism, but by the water of the gospel, which gives life. So now, we can understand how we eat His flesh and drink His blood. Indeed, nobody can eat the physical body, and drink the physical blood of Christ. This explains why water baptism can't help someone to enter the kingdom of God. To believe, to be Baptized, to eat, to drink etc. are spiritual terms for the gospel of Salvation, which is Christ. Actually, when it comes to Salvation, no physical work can help.

 
 53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 
54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
John 6:53-56 


Yes, it is not because you personally believe, baptized in physical water, eat physical bread, and drink a physical drink; if you are saved, God had chosen you from the beginning of time.

 
9Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2 Timothy 1:9


If you still do believe that baptism in water can save you, I wish that the Lord open your eyes to see the truth.


Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

 1And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

 
14And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 
15Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.


 26Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth
John 9


Jesus is sent by the Father to wash us from our blindness in Adam. Are you washed?


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Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:2


When baptism is well understood in the Bible, we understand why people of the Old Testament were saved, without physical water baptism.

 
14O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
Jeremiah 4:14