Whether someone already believes that Jesus is the Christ or not, the Gospel writers depicted Jesus expecting people to believe in him. One of the ways that the Gospels present Jesus expecting His followers to believe is by his resurrection from the dead.
Jesus’s Reaction to Unbelief
Jesus wanted others to believe because of those who witnessed him risen from the dead. When Jesus rose from the dead, he rebuked his disciples for not believing the witnesses of Mary Magdalene and two other disciples in the country (Mark 16:9–14). The Gospel of Mark records, “Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen” (16:14 ESV). According to the long ending of Mark, Jesus expected his closest disciples to believe without having to see him. He expected them to believe upon the evidence of two or three witnesses.
The Disciples’ Mission
Why would Jesus expect anyone to believe upon reports from a few witnesses? Continue reading
In Zechariah 12:10, the LORD spoke, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (12:10 NASB). This is one of five prophetic predictions of God pouring out the Spirit in the Old Testament (Isa 32:15; 44:3; Ezek 39:27–29; Joel 2:28–29). Zechariah 12:10 appears as the words of Yahweh as the Christ. Jesus promised His apostles, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7; cf. 16:7–13).
The Promise of the Baptism of the Spirit
Was the baptism of the Holy Spirit for all Christians? John the Baptist also prophesied, “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8; cf. Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). From John’s words, the baptism of the Spirit appears to include all disciples of Christ. However, Jesus foretold this specifically
The following is a comment in response to Mark Ballenger’s article, “Should You Be Baptized More than Once?” The article and comment can explain this post. God bless those who read:
I appreciate the sincerity that you demonstrate is seeking the truth. James D. G. Dunn has a book about the Holy Spirit and regeneration. I find your position similar if not the same as Dunn.
However, upon studying the Scriptures, my search has led to other conclusions. I hope we both remain open to reconsider how we handle God’s Word. Consider that Jesus commanded baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit when he rose from the dead (Matt 28:19-20). The baptism that Jesus commanded in his resurrection is the one baptism (Eph 4:5). Peter preached this baptism in Jesus’s name in Acts 2:38. This is a baptism of faith and repentance (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Peter also proclaimed that the forgiveness of sins is in Jesus’s name (Acts 10:43). That baptism in Jesus’s name is also in water (Acts 10:47–48). This baptism is not separate from the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38). Baptism in Christ’s name is the baptism of 1 Corinthians (1:13). First Corinthians 6:11 records a washing in Jesus’s name as when the Spirit justifies and sanctifies. This passage reveals that 1 Corinthians 12:13 refers to the same baptism and not to another baptism of the Spirit. First Corinthians 10:1–2 indicates that this baptism in Jesus’s name is in water. Furthermore, Paul revealed that those who reject the resurrection change baptism from the resurrected to a baptism of the dead (1 Cor 15:29). Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:4 associate the dynamic symbolism of baptism as the burial from the dead as you accurately described. This baptism partakes of the reality of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection that saves believers (1 Cor 15:1–4). Baptism in Jesus’s name is passive just as God rises the believer from burial to new life. No one can boast of such as a work. I urge you to consider that baptism in Jesus’s name is the moment of salvation by grace when one rises with Christ alive (Eph 2:1–10). Faith is the means of salvation and yet the believer’s rising with Christ from baptism is the condition of faith.
May God bless you in the study of His Word.
Christianity rises or falls by whether Jesus rose from the dead. To the Christian, salvation is dependent upon one believing and confessing Jesus’s resurrection. The apostle Paul declared, “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9). For this, Christians hope in the final resurrection of all saints. Jesus is the first-fruits of the coming resurrection (1 Cor 15:20–28).
By Jesus’s resurrection, Christians rise and are born again to the newness of life from baptism (Rom 6:3–6; 1 Pet 1:3; 3:21). Belief in Jesus’s resurrection and personal regeneration are essential for salvation to Christians. The rejection of Jesus’s resurrection is an opposition to the very core of the Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:14–15, the apostle Paul declared, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. And we are also found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified of God that He raised Christ.” Continue reading
The mission of the church of Christ is:
Tell the world of God’s love, forgiving grace, and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ, who died, was buried, and resurrected conquering death, so that Jesus sent His disciples to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them to observe all of His commands and to devote themselves to Continue reading
There is no greater virtue than love and no greater life-defining moral constant. From where did love originate?
If there is no God, then love has not always been a virtue. However, love has always been a virtue. Therefore, God is. Continue reading
Everything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist because all matter is constantly changing and thus entropy demonstrates that energy is becoming less usable. Causality affirms everything that began to exist has a greater cause. Therefore, the universe began to exist, and the universe must have a cause.
The universe is full of effects for which every effect must have a sufficient greater cause. The universe is Continue reading
Bart D. Ehrman. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Reviewer: Scott J. Shifferd
Bart Ehrman provides the perspective of critical scholarship of the New Testament. While these beliefs are threatening to those struggling with their faith, Ehrman’s textbook is valuable for Christians, because the text informs the believer of how a critical scholar and an academic agnostic would approach the Bible. Every student can grasp the critical viewpoints that Ehrman communicates in his textbook.
A Critical Scholar’s Bible
Ehrman’s textbook exposes students to hypercritical scholarship that exclude a probable harmonies among the New Testament Scriptures. However, such critical scholars admit much for which they leave much more unanswered. Ehrman recognized that the first Christians had a precedent for Scripture because of Judaism (10). Ehrman noted that 1 Timothy 5:18 mentioned Luke’s Gospel and that 2 Peter 3:16 referred to Paul’s writings as “Scripture.” Ehrman revealed that critical scholars can see that early Christian communities accepted apostolic writings as Scripture when written (10). Continue reading