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)


GOD SPEAKS IN PARABLE

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 34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Acts 10:34-35


This passage impresses me! It is interesting to study these two particular words: “Favoritism” and “fear”.

Another way to define "favoritism" is “distinctive respect for a person”.

It is true that God has no particular respect for people, because God does not judge on appearance, but He judge by looking at the heart.


But, what about this passage where God says:

 
15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Romans 9:15-16

In the book of Romans 9, verse 14, God says He is not unjust. So, the method, God uses to choose his people may seem unfair to many; actually, He is not that. The Lord is God omnipotent who knows all things from before the foundation of world. This explains why God can wash a person even in his mother’s womb.

Now, how can we fear God? The Bible says:


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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalm 111:10


What does wisdom stand for?

28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:29That no flesh should glory in his presence.30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:28-31

According to Proverbs 8, wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ who shares knowledge, discretion, and fear of the Lord. 


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 5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;6Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11For there is no respect of persons with God.12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Romans 2:5-13


These verses are very complex when we read them. They truly seem to support the doctrine of free will. But, you wait a minute! Without forgetting the several passages that harmonize the Bible, we are going to carefully read two verses in this chapter to arrive to truth. 

In verse 4 we read:

 4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Romans 2:4

You see, it is not your personal will; it is the will of God that pushes you to repentance. 

In verse 29, God shows how he changes the heart of the true believer by the work of the circumcision. Circumcision signifies that God cleans the impurity of heart, by giving his blood on the cross. So, all the glory and credit is to God, not to us!


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But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Romans 2:29 

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Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
 7For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 
10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness

 15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:6-23


I do not have to explain this account, these verses explain themselves. Every true believer is created in Christ to bear fruit of righteousness for eternal life.



 

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 8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2 Corinthians 5:8-9


If I understand very well, when we died in our body and go to live with Christ in our soul), we still will try our best to please to God?

Is this give the idea, if we do not try to please God when we are away from this body, we might again be a victim of sin? This is the result of our confusion created by our selfishness who claims the credit of pleasing God, to obtain salvation.

We can only please God through His son Jesus Christ who died for our sins.


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And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
John 4:36


Since we will still labor when we are absent from the body, we can admit this verse is really talking about Christ’s work that will still be manifested in us, even in eternal life

 
1And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
 2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Revelation 22:1-7


 

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8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Hebrews 5:8-9


Here we read that Jesus learned obedience while He suffered on earth, and he gives eternal life to those who obey Him.

But, who did Jesus obey? And how was He able to obey?

 
32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 
33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
John 4:32-34


True believer should know that the Father sent Jesus to redeem many from eternal damnation.

 
4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 4:4-5


While Jesus was on earth, did he do what pleased Him or the will of the Father? Jesus repeats it again that He was doing the will of His Father:

 
39And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.42He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Matthew 26:39-44


Jesus' behavior, as Son of God, teaches us that every work he accomplished while on earth was the work of his Father who dwells in Him:

10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 14:10
 

Jesus' life on earth was a good example for any generation of true believers. Jesus came also to show us how any true believer should live on earth. He says it clearly in Matthew 24: 46-50:


Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

46While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.47Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.48But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Matthew 12:46-50

The works we are doing prove whether we have the Father or not. If it is true, those works cannot be ours. If they are our works, it is clear that we have not the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit living in us. And we can conclude that we do not belong to the family of God.

 
11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.


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.22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
John 14:11-31



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4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Hebrews 6:4-6


When we consider only these verses, we may think they teach if a christian falls he can go to hell.

Of course, the gospel does not teach that someone is redeemed for ever, even if he is living a sinful lifestyle. But the Bible teaches when someone is born again, he hates sin, and he desires to do God's will.

Indeed, how can we understand these verses?

To answer this question, it is necessary to read two other verses in the same chapter that may be very useful to our study:

 
7For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Hebrews 6:7-8


The useful crop represents the wheat or the truly new born again, while the thorns and thistles represent the tares or the so-called Christian:


The Parable of the Weeds

 24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13:24-30


As predicted by God, the wheat and the tares grow together for a very long time. And God explains how he will separate them:


The Parable of the Weeds Explained

 36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:36-43


The wheat has been living with the tares for about 2000 years of our era. And God scheduled a split between the two at the very end of time. 
Now, when read again the verses of Hebrew 6: 4-6, we can see they make perfect sense:

 
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 
5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Hebrews 6:4-6


those who do not belong to Christ will not stand too long. Because their lives were not really changed, they just tasted the gospel of salvation and look like a child of God. Their fruits, in any moment will be manifested. This is well explained in the Bible:

 
24Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 
25Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
1 Timothy 5:24-25


That’s the reason when we discover their fruits; it is like we were disappointed. Because for longtime we thought that they were true brothers, and later, we realize they were not true born again Christian:

 13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:13-14


God compares them to a dog that returns to eat its vomit. This tells us that their nature was not changed.

 
20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 
21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
2 Peter 2:20-22


Also God continue to say because they were not changed into a new creature, they cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The Lord still uses the language of dog to illustrate that. God is not talking about a real dog, but he uses the animal as illustration of the shameful nature of the sinner:

 
15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Revelation 22:15

In conclusion, these verses concern the religions in local churches, and all those who had pronounced the name of God vainly. Judas was among Jesus’ disciples who baptized people and did miracles, but he was among the tares (John 4: 1-2; Mat. 10:1-20; Acts 1: 16-26):


True and False Disciples

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 7:21