Oct 11

GOD’S WOMAN (6)

In this, our sixth article on “God’s Woman,” we have reached Paul’s final words in the text under study and they are: “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” The apostle reveals to the reader the reason for all that he has written on the subject at hand. The full text reads: “That they (the “aged women,” frw) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). This brings us to the word “that,” which is the beginning of the last phase of the text. Why is this word so important to the text?
The word “that,” which introduces the last phrase in the text, is the Greek “hint” and it means: “that, in order that, so that” (Thayer). However, Strong would add to Thayer, this: “in order that (denoting the purpose or the result).” Therefore, all that the apostle has written on the subject before us, has been to reveal the purpose; the reason the qualities have been listed, is for the reason, “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” The Holy Spirit in having Paul write the qualifies, the “aged women” are to have and to teach the “young women,” is for the purpose “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Keep in mind, when God’s word is “blasphemed,” so is God “blasphemed!”
Just what does this word, “blasphemed,” mean? It is the Greek “blasphemeo,” and Thayer gives: “1) to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme 2) to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at.” Is this anyway you would desire that God and his word, be spoken of? Not if you are a child of God! As it is the word of God that has given the terms by which we become a child of God! Do you want these terms “to be evil spoken of?” Remember what Peter wrote, which was noted in an earlier article in this series, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth …” (1 Pet. 1:22). The “truth” is the word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit! It is the truth of which Jesus said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Thayer gives us this, as he defines the words “shall make you free:” “1) to make free 2) set at liberty: from the dominion of sin.” Do you, and this is asked of all, not just the “younger women,” have any desire that the word of your freedom from the wages of sin be reviled (Rom. 6:23)?
“God’s woman,” stands out in a crowd of women! Here we may also say, that all Christians stand out in a crowd of their fellows! I know you may have been wondering when the words of Solomon would be used; well, here they are in all their beauty: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Pro. 31:10-31). In these words, we have “God’s woman” both the “aged” and the “younger” women!
In these six articles, I have tried to in my feeble efforts, to bring before the reader, “God’s woman!” These six articles are my first ever to write on this subject. I trust that they have been an encouragement to my sisters in Christ. Please notice that the “young women” have now become the “aged women” and the circle continues! She is so different from the women of the world! She may even stand out as a “knot on log” to some, but there she stands in her beauty, as the word of God has lifted her up! May the word of God never be blasphemed because of her: “God’s woman,” and because of the action of any of us!

Frank R. Williams

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Oct 05

GOD’S WOMAN (5)

The “young women” are to be taught by the “aged women” “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet,” (Titus 2:4-5) but having studied these points in article number four, we now turn our attention to the following: “chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands” (verse 5). In these words, we get a look at “God’s young woman!”
First, Paul wrote that the “aged women” are to teach the “young women” to be “chaste.” This is sure not a word we hear much these days! The Greek word is “hagnos.” This Greek word, in all its forms, appears about 235 times in the New Testament. So, you are thinking that you have not read this word “chaste” anywhere near 235 times and this is true, that the English word “chaste” does not appear anywhere near 235 times. So, what is the answer? It is that the Greek word is translated into other English words, but it has the basic meaning in each case! This is the case in 1 Peter 1:23: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth …” The word “purified” is the Greek word “hagnizo;” and in 1 Peter 1:16 it is translated into the English word “holy, as in: “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (saith the Lord, frw).” Now you are getting the idea. However, you may be questioning this, as you recall the word “chasteneth” and “chastening” in Hebrews chapter twelve, verses five through eight. In these verses, there is a different Greek word used; therefore, the meaning is different. The basic meaning in each passage is the same, 1 Peter 1:23 and 1 Peter 1;16, has the same word! The basic meaning of “hagios” is “set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred.” In other words, to be “chaste, as used by Paul in our text, is to be set apart for God’s use! Is there a higher calling, than to be “holy,” set apart in service to God?
The second words are “keepers at home,” which is the Greek, “oikouros” and means: “a stayer at home, that is, domestically inclined (a good housekeeper): “keeper at home.” These words fly in the face of the modern woman, but we are not writing about the “modern” woman but “God’s woman!” Yes, we have at least one case of a woman working outside the home in the New Testament; such as Lydia in Acts sixteen, verse fourteen and the Greek word used in this text is “porphuropolis” and means: “a female trader in purple cloth.” Here is a woman who was in the business of “trading in purple cloth!” Nevertheless, may we say that one of the first training, (teaching) that the “aged women” are to give the “young women” is that of “keeper at home.” Please allow me to say once more, American women are not teaching, training, the young women in their charge to be ladies! One of the main objectives of the “feminist movement” is to make our young women, from the cradle to adulthood, into men! “Anything a man can do a woman can do!” Today we have an effort to destroy, to abolish, gender identity! We have more sex changes and young boys thinking they are girls, and young girls who think they are boys! How many families are teaching their young girls to become “keepers at home?” Mothers train your young girls to be “keepers at home!”
Third, the apostle uses the word “good,” the Greek word is “agathos” and it means and here it is necessary that we get the best, the fullest understanding of the word that can be expressed in one short paragraph but give thought to the following. Thayer gives us the following: 1) “of good constitution or nature,” 2) “useful, salutary,” 3) “good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy,” 4) “excellent, distinguished,” and 5) “upright, honourable.” Keep in mind, we are charged by James in these words, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Remember, Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38)!
Fourth, Paul gives us the words “obedient to their own husbands.” Let us, due to space, look at one word, “obedient,” which the Greek “hupotasso” and it means: “to arrange under, to subordinate.” Talk about a word that is so quickly dismissed, looked at in abhorrence, and detestable, this is the word when used with a husband and his wife! Yet, this same apostle wrote these words: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, … For the husband is the head of the wife, …” (Eph. 5:22-23). Let us take this one more step, as the apostle then revealed the manner, yes, the manner of this “obedience,” is “as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). Enough said!
This writer is fully aware that many women (so do men) totally reject the New Testament as a standard, as the authority, that we must live by, but this rejection does not change the truth! “God’s woman” accepts and lives by the words of the apostle Paul, as he was guided by the Holy Spirit as he penned the words.

Frank R. Williams

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Sep 29

GOD’S WOMAN (4)

In this fourth article, about “God’s Woman,” we will study what Paul wrote to Titus about the charge given to the “aged women. Their charge is to teach the “young women!” Paul does not leave the subjects to guesswork, or what might be good, but names them one by one! Here are the subjects Paul pointed out: “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet” these are the subjects taken from Titus chapter two and verse four and the first part of verse five. To say that we do not hear about these subjects much in the modern world is an understatement!
First, Paul gives us the words, “to be sober.” We might hear today someone say: “Are you sober enough to drive home?” However, let us see just what the apostle meant when he wrote these words. He used the Greek word, “sophronizo. Which means: “to make of sound mind.” Please notice that is it an action word, as Strong wrote, “to make.” This implies that the “young women” had not yet reached the state of being “sober.” Thus, they were to be taught by the older women to be sober! Thayer would add to the thought: “restore one to his senses.” This implies that the “younger women” had strayed from the “sober” state and needed to be restored to it. Barnes in his notes on the Bible wrote: “to have their desires and passions well regulated, or under proper control.” It is note worthy that all people should have this quality in their character.
Second, is the charge “to love their husbands.” The Greek word, philandros, and it is most interesting that it appears nowhere else in the New Testament. The words themselves are strange words to the modern world, as we are used to hearing, “I have fallen in love” and many times a marriage follows. However, in the time Paul wrote, Jewish marriages were arranged more often than not. Females were married in early youth, and marriages were usually contracted within the narrow circle of the clan and the family. As a rule, the fathers arranged the match. The girl was consulted, but the “calling of the damsel and inquiring at her mouth” after the conclusion of all negotiations was merely a formality. In the Roman world, “Living together, prenuptial agreements, divorce, religious wedding ceremonies, and legal commitments all had a place in ancient Rome.” However, Rome was different than other Mediterranean people. On the other hand, if you planned to run for office, you could increase your chances of winning by creating a political alliance through the marriage of your children. Thus, after marriage, the females had to learn “to love their husbands!” Nevertheless, in today’s world, proper “love” as defined in the New Testament should be the order of the day!
Third, in our list the “older women” are to teach the “younger women: “to love their children.” It seems strange that such words would ever need to be written but here they are as something that the “older women” are to teach the “young women!” One writer put it this way: “to help and assist them all they can; to seek their honour and interest; to endeavour to please them in all things; to secure peace, harmony, and union; to carry it affectionately to them, and sympathize with them in all afflictions and distresses; …” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible). It is almost unthinkable thing that any woman, who is with child, should ever have to be taught to love their children but it is a most necessary thing! Mother after mother choose to murder their own child in abortion! Just one more thought here, ““She who loves the root will much more love the fruit” (Chrys.).”
Fourth, Paul used a word that is hardly even heard in today’s world! The word is “To be discreet!” Just what does this unknown word mean? It is the Greek, “sophron, and it means: “of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses” but Thayer did not stop here; as he continued with: “curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate.” There is no reason to comment any more on these words. Just one last note, the words “to be” are added by the translator.
With these four points we conclude this fourth article. These are the qualities of “God’s woman!” However, let it be said, that every woman should strive to have these qualities, save to “love their own husbands!”
Frank R. Williams

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Sep 22

GOD’S WOMAN (3)

The importance of “God’s woman” in the nature of the family and the church is hard to overlook; yet this importance in some areas is overlooked and in other areas is exaggerated. Just how this deserves attention as we study the apostle Paul’s words on the subject is easy to see. Keep in mind, Paul is not writing about his opinion, or from his own mind but he is guided by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, what Paul writes is the truth, the answer to many questions, and is the final word on the subject.
That Paul’s words do not fit into the “modern” thoughts and teachings of the “modern” woman and man, should not be a surprise to anyone who holds the word of God as sacred and not to be trampled upon! That “modern” men/women have views that go against the inspired word of God is no surprise either, as there is really no difference through the ages! Let us look at the first woman and see what she did. First, that the woman, Eve, understood what the commandment of God was is very clear as it was revealed. Here is what she said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Gen. 3:2-3). So, why did she eat of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?” The answer to this question is most clearly revealed as Moses wrote: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat” (verse 6). But, this is not all she did! No, she as Moses wrote: “gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” This article is not a treatise on the actions of Eve, nor is it a dissertation on the subject, of either the sins which Adam and Eve commented in this event. It is simply to notice that the “wisdom” of the woman is no better, nor is worse than that of mankind today. However, this event has a direct relationship on the future place of the woman as it sets forth in the relationship of the man and the woman! Not that it is a new relationship, as God said of the woman in the first place in the following: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). The woman, yes, God’s woman, was made, as Moses wrote when he used the Hebrew word, “neged,” of which Strong gives, “part opposite; specifically a counterpart.” We have more than likely heard, the old saying, “Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.” (Matthew Henry). This, of course, is not inspired but holds much truth. At least it may be said, if men and women would hold it near their heart, the world would be a better place.
Now notice that the apostle reaches all the way back to the beginning to reveal the place of the man and woman; first, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” And 2) “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:12-14). To some these words are read as one might watch a horror movie; they are nevertheless, the truth! The woman and the modern man desire that the roles of man and woman be equal in all areas, but this is just not how God made them! To be co-equal would result in a total war between man and woman! As in, who will get their way today? God’s woman in marriage is set forth by the apostle in these words: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:23-25). In the relationship between the husband and the wife, the inspired word of God does not reveal equals in regard as to who is “the head” in the marriage!
Turning our attention to Paul’s words to Titus about what the “older women” were to do, he wrote: “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). That the home, the family, is the foundation of civil society should not even be the subject of debate, but for some years, part of America, has been dedicated to its destruction. Therefore, God’s woman, both the older woman who has lived it and now in teaching it to the “younger women” as God has instructed her to do; both must arise and devote themselves to be what God desires of them!
There is much power in “God’s woman,” as she is to reveal to the “younger women” her righteousness and as the “young women” teach it to their children! It was God who created the family, the first institution, as he brought the woman to the man!

Frank R. Williams

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Sep 15

GOD’S WOMAN (2)

The apostle wrote to the “The aged women likewise, … “ (Titus 2:3) but who are these “old women?” So, you think you know all you need to know about this group of women, but do you? If you happen to be an “older” woman today, you may once more think you know all there is to know about these women, but do you?
Here are a few points that you know but may not be thinking of as you read this article. 1) These “older” women were once teenagers; 2) these “aged women” were once young ladies falling in love with the man of their dreams; 3) these “older women” were once newly married women; 4) these “aged women” were once young women getting use to a fulltime job away from the home; 5) these “old women” were once mothers raising a family; 6) these “aged women” were once growing older and watching their child/children leaving home; 7) these “aged women” settled down to life of growing old; 8) these are Paul’s “aged women!” In other words, these “older women” were not always “older women!” Sometimes we are prone to look at the “older women” and think they have always been “aged women!” Be it known that this conclusion is far from the truth!
With the above thoughts in our minds, let us turn our attention to the words Paul used in describing these women. Paul used the following words: 1) the little word “in” is the Greek “en” and is “A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position” (Strong). This means that Paul is identifying a group of women who are “positioned” but what is this “position?” Paul’s next words are: “in a position of behaviour as becometh holiness.” Clearly not all women of any age are in this “position,” but these are the “older women” of whom Paul is addressing! This is what God expects of such “aged women!” The word “holiness” is the Greek “hieroprepes” and the English word, “holiness,” is greatly misunderstood! Here’s what Strong gives: “reverent” toward God! Then, Thayer says: “actions or sacred things to God.” It may be understood by the word “piety,” “reverence” towards God. It is a word that must not be over looked, for without “piety” (holiness) no one will see God (Heb. 12:14). All other “positions” that an “older woman” may have, are not acceptable to God! Second, Paul turns to the negatives; and the first negative is: the word the Greek: “me,” and “expresses an absolute denial; and it is used with these words: “not false accusers.” The Greek is “diabolos” and is understood in: “prone to slander, slanderous.” Putting the thoughts together: “absolutely not prone to slander or slanderous!” Second, “absolutely not enslaved to much wine.”
Now the apostle leaves the negatives and advances to the positives; first: “teachers of good things,” Thayer gives us: “teaching that which is good, a teacher of goodness.” Now Paul gives the reason for the above: “That.” This word gives the reason for what the apostle has written. It is the Greek “hina” and means: “in order that, so that.” So, what is the reason for the negatives’ and the positives just given? Paul put it this way: “That they may teach the young women to be sober.” It is hard for a person who is not “sober” to teach others to be “sober!” But what does the word “sober” mean, as it is so important? Strong says, “to make of sound mind” but Thayer gives us a little better understanding: “1) restore one to his senses 2) to moderate, control, curb, disciple 3) to hold one to his duty 4) to admonish, to exhort earnestly.” This requires much of the “older women,” if they are to be prepared and ready to obey Paul’s words! It reveals the highest of good character! Now, just what are the “aged women” to teach? 1st, “to love their husbands,” 2nd, “to love their children,” 3rd, “To be discreet,” 4th, to be “chaste,” 5th, “keepers at home,” 6th, “to be good,” and 7th, “obedient to their own husbands.” Without going into the meaning of each of these seven items, the apostle now gives the reason for the “aged women” to be of such character: “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” This may be summed up in these words: That others and this would include both 1) the outsiders and 2) other brothers and sisters; have no reason to speak against God or his word!
A woman by the time she may be rightly classified as an “aged women,” should have matured to the point that she is void of all of Paul’s negatives and pro… of all his positives points! If brief, here is “God’s woman!”

Frank R. Williams

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Sep 08

GOD’S WOMAN (1)

Some of the hardest working members of any local congregation of the Lord’s people, are women! Much of their work is done with few words of praise; if fact, much of their work is unnoticed! In this article and those that may follow, an effort will be made to look at “God’s Woman!” It should be noted that the word “woman” is singular and not plural. It takes a brave man to write on “God’s woman;” therefore, it is with “fear and trembling” that I write. Nevertheless, let us begin the words addressing the singular woman: “God’s Woman!”
When God looked upon his creation, he saw that all was good, but not just “good,” but that it was “very good,” (Gen. 1:31). At one point in creation God looked upon it and said; “… there was not a man to till the ground” (Gen. 2:5). This work, of tilling the ground, required man; therefore: “And 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” (Gen. 2:7). Having created all things which “man” would need throughout his existence upon this earth, God looked upon the man whom he had created, and God saw that all was well, save man; for man was without a “help meet.” Here is what Moses wrote: “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). With this action, creation was completed! It was the woman, that was the crown jewel of creation: God’s woman!
It is of great interest to read the statement made by Adam: “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen. 2:23). The reason for this interest is twofold; 1) that this statement is attributed to God by Jesus, when he said in response to the Pharisees who asked: “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matt. 19:3). Now, pay attention to what Jesus said: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matt. 19:4-5); and 2) it proves by implication, that Adam was inspired when he spoke the words: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh;” thus, Adam’s words were God’s words! The closeness, the relationship, between God’s man and God’s woman is seen in these words: “they twain shall be one flesh?” When it comes to marriage, there is “God’s woman!”
But “God’s woman” is more when it comes to being a servant of God! Here we turn our attention to the words of the apostle Paul. He wrote: “The aged women likewise, …” (Titus 2:3). The word of interest is “likewise.” It is the Greek, “hosautos” and means: “in like manner” (Thayer). This would then appear that the same requirements of “the aged men,” are to be found in “the aged women!” What are these requirements? They are: “be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience” (verse 2). Then, in addition to these, Paul would write: “the aged women:” “that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; (4) That they may teach the young women …” (verses 3-4). Strong would use a word that, in this day and time, is not looked upon with kindness; Strong would say, “old men” and “old women.” Age may be a relative term; for instance, if people lived only forty years, the “old” folks might be only thirty-five years old; while if it is the case, that people lived to an age of eighty, then, an “old” person might be seventy. You can see the relative nature of the word “age.” If you are fifteen, “old” might be forty! Then wisdom says that we, adults, do not look at the world and age through the eyes of the mature folks. Even here, note “old” people have wisdom! Nevertheless, Paul wrote: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things.” But Paul did not stop with these words: “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, (5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed”(verses 4-5). In these words, we have found “God’s woman!” It should be the aim of every woman to grow “old” with each of these qualities!
One of the failings of our time is that “the aged women” have not taught the “young women” how to be ladies! One of my sayings is: “Not all women are ladies but all ladies are women!” It appears to this writer, that great efforts have been made to make our young females into young males. God’s woman is a mature lady!

Frank R. Williams

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Aug 31

IS THERE A PLAN OF SALVATION? (4)

In this article we will “hit” the area that has been so neglected in teaching lost people how to become Christians. In other words, how to obey the gospel, as they follow the plan of salvation. Just what is this neglected area? It is the larger part of the “plan of salvation!”
First, when teaching a lost person the first part of God’s plan of salvation, this person should see the need to be in the assemblies of worship. One of the reasons for this is that this lost person, must begin loving God, as this is the first commandment, as Jesus said: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30). Just how can any person, who is teaching a lost person: “How to be saved,” fail to teach the first commandment of all commandments is the highest order of neglect! I confess that I have failed to do this in the early part of my efforts to teach the lost! However, please allow me to explain how this has happened in the years gone by. It has been assumed (assumptions are dangerous) that the people we have taught, already loved God! It is also true, that in past years, such a teacher did not have to convince the lost that God exists; as it was generally understood that it was not necessary! As most people believed in the existence of God. Of course, sadly this may not be the case today. Therefore, let this be known to all who attempt to teach the lost “the plan of salvation,” that they cover both necessary truths! With these two points before us, we are ready to continue the subject: “God’s plan of salvation.”
Second, the charge has been made that “preachers in the past” have failed to teach the lost that there is a larger part of “God’s plan of salvation.” Just what does this mean? The larger part of “God’s plan of salvation” is living faithfully the rest of one’s life, after obeying the gospel of Christ! Once more, let me confess that this has been true in many cases! I personally know of cases, where the teachers were told to not bring up the subject of the church, while teaching the lost how to be saved; how to receive forgiveness of their past sins. Oh, how sad this was and would be just as sad, if anyone should do the same today! Understanding the word “church” is the Greek word “ekklesia” which means: “a calling out” (Strong). The gospel is God’s means of “calling out” the lost into the kingdom of his dear Son!” (Rom. 1:16-17, Col. 1:13). The apostles were commanded; for this very reason: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Then, “the called-out ones” are to fulfill the eternal purpose of God, as Paul wrote: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10-11). May it never be the case that “the called-out ones” of today go out to teach the lost God’s plan of salvation and fail to teach what the lost must hear today!
Third, even more teaching should, must, be done on total faithfulness to God, as one attempts to teach the lost “God’s plan of salvation!” Even here, the words “total faithfulness,” may imply that there is something less than “total faithfulness!” One is either faithful or not faithful! We must never get into teaching “partial,” as in incomplete faithfulness! Every effort must be made to teach “faithfulness” to those who are lost! I remember a case where a preacher was teaching a “home Bible study” and the man who was lost, so understood, the necessaries, that if he was to be saved, he had to be faithful and this included being in the assemblies of worship; that he went out and sold his boat. He was a man that really liked fishing and he knew that so long as he had the fishing boat it was going to be a hinderance, a continual temptation in his being faithful once he obeyed the gospel of Christ. To get this, one must know that the only day this man had to go fishing was Sunday! Here was the case of a man who had been taught about being faithful before he was encouraged to obey the gospel! No effort to “sneak” into salvation!
Fourth, why did, and some are still doing it, we ever think that the lost may sneak into the kingdom of Christ; by what we might call, a “quick” conversion? The preacher who taught me, said that we are to teach the lost, and keep on teaching the lost, until they know they are ready to obey the gospel of Christ! Please, never set a time table, as in five lessons, and the lost should be ready to obey the gospel. No, never!
Therefore, if you are going to teach the lost, how to be saved; first, teach them to love God, and that loving God means obeying his commandments (John 14:15). It may be necessary to teach the lost that the Bible is the inspired word of God. As a matter of fact, it should be done!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/is-there-a-plan-of-salvation-4/

Aug 24

IS THERE A PLAN OF SALVATION? (3)

In the first two articles in this series it was established that there is a plan of salvation! This is the case, unless God deals with people differently, who stand in the same spiritual state of being lost and in need of being saved from their sins. Therefore, let us answer the question: “Does God deal with people, who stand in the same spiritual state of being lost,” differently?”
Perhaps a better question might be: “Is God unequal in his dealing with people who are in the same spiritual state of being lost?” First notice: “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Rom. 2:11). Here the word “respect” is the Greek: “prosōpolēpsia” and means: “favoritism” (Strong) and Thayer says: “partiality.” Thayer gives us more: “respect of the outward circumstances of man and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high born, or powerful, to another who does not have these qualities.” Before God, all sinners stand as equal; no favoritism or partiality!
Then, we have the case of the Jew and the Gentile, as Peter came to understand: “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). Here Peter, by the Holy Spirit, used a form of the same Greek word as in Roman 2:11. The Greek word for “respecter” is “prosōpolēptēs” and it means: “accepter of a face” and “exhibiting partiality.” Did you notice that the Holy Spirit used the same Greek word in Romans 2;11 and Acts 10:34; save the ending of the word? When God looks at our faces, he is not an “accepter” of one face over another; neither does God exhibit partiality! However, Peter went on to say, as he gives the answer to those whom God does respect: “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:35). This goes hand in hand with the statement in Hebrews: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). Those who fear God, who stand in awe of God and work righteousness are the same people who believe that God is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God must be sought by those who are “in awe of” God, and those who are “engaged in righteousness” believing that God will reward them in their “investigation” of him! Keep in mind, that God is only found in righteousness! The idea that God may be found on top of the highest mountain, or in the deepest part of the ocean is false, totally false! At the same time, those who are seeking forgiveness, those who are seeking to be saved from their past sins, must seek it through righteousness!
Therefore, in addressing the plan of salvation, it must be understood that God is “no respecter of persons!” Let us here recall Paul’s words: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Now, get this please, God’s power unto salvation, and yes, Paul did use the word “salvation,” is “the gospel of Christ!” Why is this true? Paul answers: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Paul’s first words are: “For there in,” looking back to verse sixteen, are the words, “the gospel of Christ!” In other words, God’s “righteousness” is in “the gospel of Christ” and “the gospel of Christ” is “God’s power unto salvation!” May I say unto you, “the gospel of Christ” is God’s plan unto salvation! Through “the gospel of Christ,” the sinner can find forgiveness of past sins, the “remission of sins!”
Here is an interesting question: “Did Peter and the other apostles on the day of Pentecost preach the gospel of Christ?” Or, were they authorized to preach something else? “God forbid!” On that Pentecost day, “the gospel of Christ” was first heard by human ears, taken into the minds of some 3,000 souls; and Luke says of them: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls: (Acts 2:41). Did these folks obey a “plan of salvation?” It is more than likely that the apostles on this great day, did not hold up five figures, and introduce “the plan of salvation;” but holding up five figures is a great way to teach the things that a lost person must do to be saved from past sins!
The “five figures” is a method of teaching and only that! It is a technique and no more and no less! Yet, it has been laughed at, made fun of, and dismissed altogether by some! But why would any lover of truth, the gospel of Christ, make fun of a method of teaching God’s plan of salvation, so long as it true to “the gospel of Christ?” Could it be that they have some other “plan,” or no “plan” at all? Nevertheless, let us not forget that we are only looking at the first part of God’s plan for salvation in this article!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/is-there-a-plan-of-salvation-3/

Aug 18

IS THERE A PLAN OF SALVATION? (2)

The plan of salvation is larger than the forgiveness of past sins! So many just think of the “plan of salvation” as it relates to passed sins, meaning, sins committed before being baptized “unto,” with a few to having those sins forgiven! The plan of salvation is larger and a lot more is required than, what we call the “five steps of salvation!”
There is a real need to make an effort to understand what is meant by the words, “the plan of salvation;” therefore, let us take a look at it. First, the word “plan.” Just looking at the dictionary, here is what is given: 1) “a method for achieving an end,” 2) “an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective” and 3) “a detailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service.” (Merriam-Webster), If a person desires to be saved from past sins, he goes in search of an answer! Of course, as we are writing about the forgivenness of our own sins or being saved from “the wages” of sins committed. Therefore, it is logical to reach, to look, for “a method for achieving this end,” it is reasonable to look in the New Testament for “an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design in “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9) to locate such, and it is right to look in God’s inspired word for the “detailed program,” by which salvation is reached. This is a brief look at the meaning of the word “plan” as used in our study.
Second, the word “salvation” and its meaning! Once more Merriam-Webster will help us here; 1) “deliverance from the power and effects of sin,” and 2) “deliverance from danger.” The two meanings serve us well here! Sin is the subject and how to be freed from the power and the effects of it and second, how can we be delivered from the danger of our past sins?
With the above understanding of the subject of a plan of salvation, it is reasonable to “search the ancient order of things” and see what is revealed in the New Testament for the answer to “the plan of salvation!” When those who heard the gospel of Christ preached for the first time, having been convicted of their past sins, they cried out: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). These sinners were at the right place in their search for the answer to their question: “what shall we do?” It might be stated this way, “What is the plan for our salvation from past sins?” When Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit;” was he giving “the plan of salvation?” or not? A second question, “Was this the plan once and for all time?
Here we must bring to our understanding, that lost people, may not always be in the same place when desiring the answer to their lost state! However, “the plan of salvation,” may be understood by looking at the answers given to the same question, though it may not be stated as clearly as Acts two, verse thirty-seven, in other places in the New Testament. For instance, no question is forth coming before Peter said: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). A short study of Peter’s words will reveal this: 1) in both texts “repent” is given, however, the second thing given in both texts are different: 1) “be baptized” and “be converted.” That these two points are the same is simple to understand, in that they are in the same place, each one following “repent;” therefore, they must mean the same thing. Remember, two things that equal the same thing are equal to each other. The two terms, “be baptized,” and “be converted,” are equal to each other; also “for the remissions of sin” is equal to “that your sins may be blotted out” is equal to each other. The third point is: “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and: “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” are also equal to each other! Therefore, they are equal to the same thing.
Therefore, to this point in our study, we have learned, that believing people are to: 1) “repent and be baptized” or “repent … and be converted;” “for remission of sins,” or “that your sins may be blotted out.” Does this constitute a plan? The answer is yes! It is a means to the same end: the forgiven of past sins!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/is-there-a-plan-of-salvation-2/

Aug 11

IS THERE A PLAN OF SALVATION? (1)

The title of this article may seem unnecessary and a question that is even strange, to most of us. However, it is a question that is getting a lot of attention these days. The first thing that needs attention, as one addresses the question: “What is meant by the words in the question.” When one understands the meaning of the words, a giant step has been taken in being able to answer the question. Therefore, this we shall do!
The first word to be studied is the last word in the question: “salvation.” Here are a few questions: 1) Is this salvation from past sins? 2) Is this salvation once and for all, as in “once saved always saved”? and 3) Is the salvation in the question a first step in a larger salvation? Now, let us look at each of these three questions.
First,” Is it salvation from past sins?” That a person who is lost, because of personal sins committed, needs forgiven; thus, salvation from past sins committed. This presupposes that such a one has committed sin. From out of the Old Testament comes this answer: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezel. 18:20). There are some who teach, “inherited sin,” but Ezekiel removes such teaching and would call such, false! However, he also makes it crystal clear, that the person who does sin shall die, as in spiritual separation from God! Paul pointed out: “For the wages of sin is death. ,,,” (Rom. 6:23). A separation from God! Paul would also tell us: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Here the apostle is using the word “all” in referring to both the Jew and the Gentile in the language of the day, he has summed up all people. Therefore, the person who has reached a time in life, that he understands the difference between right and wrong, at some point he will commit sin. It is necessary to know what sin is; therefore, John will answer: “All unrighteousness is sin: …” (1 John 5:17). Thus, we need to know what is “righteousness?” Once more the Old Testament will answer: “… for all thy (God, frw) commandments are righteousness” (119:172). Then, Paul would inform us when writing of the gospel of Christ, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed …” (Rom. 1:16-17). Sin is a transgression of the commandments of God; therefore, the person who has transgressed the commandment of God, has sinned and needs forgiveness, he needs salvation from sins commented! There is such a thing as “salvation” from past sins!
Second, is this salvation once and for all, as in once saved always saved?” Here recalling the words of the prophet, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” When one is forgiven, saved from past sins, does this put him in an eternal state of “salvation?” Let John answer: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Albert Barnes has well stated the case: “… the apostle affirms that it is a great elementary truth, which on no pretense is to be denied, that we are all sinners (That we have sinned, even after being forgiven of past sins. Understanding that there is a difference between the being “sinners,” ones who practiced sin and one having committed sin! FRW). We are at all times, and in all circumstances, to admit the painful and humiliating truth that we are transgressors of the law of God, and that we need, even in our best services, the cleansing of the blood of Jesus Christ.” The New Testament does not teach, “Once saved always saved!” Therefore, even after having obeyed the gospel, having been forgiven of past sins, we need forgiveness of the sins that we commit from time to time! Please note that John did not write, “If we say that we had not sinned”, but he wrote: “have no sin!” As in present tense.
Third, “Is the salvation in the question a first step in a larger salvation?” Yes! Here is where some fail in their understanding. Being saved from past sins, which takes place at the end of: 1) having heard the gospel of Christ, 2 believing the gospel of Christ, 3) repenting of our sins, having a change of mind about a life of sin, 4) in confessing that Jesus is Lord, we are making a vow to live a life where Jesus is our Lord, and 5) we arise and get ourselves baptized, with a view of to having our sins forgiven. In so doing we have: “… wash (washed, frw) away our sins, calling on the name of the Lord!” (Acts 22;16).
Having covered sin both past and present, though briefly, we are able to see that the word “salvation” is used while referring to the forgiveness of past sins! But, having also learned, that we may commit sin after having been saved from past sins, there is a second view to salvation. Therefore, the plan of salvation is larger than the forgiveness of past sins!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/is-there-a-plan-of-salvation-1/

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