Tag: blood

Water Baptism

Sarah R – I was wondering if water baptisms started with John the Baptist’s ministry. Were there baptisms in the Old Testament?

Dave – Thanks for your question. Beyond preparing peoples’ hearts for true repentance (a desire to stop sinful behaviors, not just feel sorry about them), John the Baptist was also proclaiming a prerequisite to receiving the Messiah for salvation. He was also fulfilling OT prophecy concerning the coming of the Savior in the “spirit of Elijah” as Malachi 3:1 and 4:5 reveals. Jesus later confirmed that those Scriptures referred to the Baptist (Matt.11:14).

In the Old Testament period, baptism was a ritual of conversion to Judaism. Pagans would become proselytes through this ritual by self-baptizing to become part of the Jewish people. So it was an identification with the people of God.

Water is the element naturally used for cleansing the body and its symbolical use entered into almost every cult, and into none more completely than the Jewish faith, whose ceremonial washings were proverbial.

The Dead Sea Scrolls also depict the baptism ritual as something practiced by much of Jewry at that time. To this day Jews practice baptism for both male and female converts who immerse themselves in a ritual bath.

Long before the Jews practiced baptism, the concept or spirit behind Christian baptism is found in the Old Testament. For instance, the passing of Israel through the Red Sea on the final Day of Unleavened Bread, was likened to a baptism by Paul (1 Cor 10:1-2). And further baptismal and resurrection typology may be found in the crossing of the Jordan River which was a type of entering the Kingdom of God followed by pulling down the strongholds of the enemy (Joshua 3:15-17; 2 Cor 10:4). At the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Levites were cleansed via sprinkling of water – a type of baptism to purify them in preparation in service to God and man (Num 8:6-7,11,21). Further, the Levites had to be bathed or washed clean in water in Ex 29:4 which is one of the ceremonial washings referred to in Heb. 6:2.

Were sins forgiven before Jesus and The Baptist? I think so. If people (Jews or Gentiles) believed in Yahweh (the God of the Jews), believed that the shedding of innocent blood was necessary for forgiveness, and believed in the coming of a Messiah, people could have eternal life. If they trusted in their own goodness or ignored those things listed, then they would not have life on Judgment Day. Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet, proclaimed that a righteous person shall live by their faith (Hab.2:4). Bear in mind, however, that animal sacrifices were a mere, temporary cover for sins, whereas Jesus’ Blood did away with them forever.


Jenn K – There is also the analogy of Noah used by Apostle Peter in I Peter 3:20-21.

Alona R – I never thought of the passing through the Red Sea on the final Day of Unleavened Bread being likened to a baptism by Paul. Certainly there were ceremonial washings for various reasons, i.e. the lepers who were healed and had to go through washings and going to the temple to be inspected before being declared clean again. As you mentioned too the Levites seemed to be cleaner than most because of their ceremonial washings. In the day most people used oils and perfumes to cover their bodily odors rather than bathe as we do now, but there are still Asians and Europeans who do not use water as much as we do. I guess we all relate to water as a cleaning agent for exterior soil, but fail to connect to water as a daily cleansing agent for our sin.

Can a Christian Lose Salvation?

Solid Christians are on both sides of this issue. Historically, John Calvin (1509-1564), believed that you cannot lose it. Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609) disagreed and believed that one can lose salvation. My opinion? Not sure, but if we can lose it, it must be rare because God does not let go of His kids easily (if at all). The upside of believing in eternal security is that blessed assurance (peace of mind). The downside is there may be a greater tendency to sin and/or to develop a lack of motivation to serve Jesus. The upside in believing in conditional salvation is developing an attitude of being careful how one lives, while the downside is perhaps drawing wrong conclusions about individual souls and giving up on them.

Scriptures that lead one to believe in eternal security:

Ephesians 1:13-14: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

John 10:28-29: “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

Others include: 2 Corinthians 5:5; John 6:37,39; Romans 8:28-29; 2 Timothy 2:19.

Scriptures that lead one to believe salvation can be lost:

Hebrews 6:4-6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if 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 10:26: “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins….”*

Others include: Matthew 5:13; John 15:6; 2 Peter 2:20-22; Matthew 7:21-22; Matthew 12:31-32; 2 Peter 1:10.

*Comment on Heb. 10:26: Since we believers know the truth, we usually know full well what the sin is that we are about to commit. I know for a fact that every believer has sinned willingly. We knew before we did it that is was wrong, yet we still wanted to do it and we did it. This is sinning willfully. Therefore, taking Hebrews 10:6 at face value, all Christians have lost salvation, but we know that this is not true. So, we must look at this verse with a different perspective. Perhaps it simply means if we hear the truth and continue to reject it, there is no covering for the person’s sins. Or, that it refers to people who have heard the Truth but refused to admit that something is sinful, and they continue to do it without any remorse, regret, or regard for God and what He says. A third possibility is that a Christian can expect nothing but God’s judgment for that sin, since they haven’t brought it to the cross, in fact, have RESISTED the cross.

What about believers repeating the same sins? I think Paul covered this well in Romans 7:14-8:1.

In Summary: Those who believe the Bible teaches “once saved always saved” can assert that anyone who falls away was never saved to begin with. This, of course is something that can never be proved, but that does not eliminate it from the possibility that it is true. The important point that people may miss in this debate is that if/when a believer sins repeatedly or once in a while, that if they are repentant and still desire to follow Jesus, then they must be in good standing with God since it is He that GRANTS repentance (Romans 2:4, 2 Cor. 7:9, 2 Tim. 2:25). If a person has truly lost salvation, their lifestyle would most likely reflect that. The grace and mercy and longsuffering patience of God goes longer and deeper than most fallen humans think. Therefore, I think it would be a bit presumptuous to conclude that a certain believer has crossed some line with God and now has lost salvation. Though I have not answered this difficult question, perhaps the emphasis should be on not judging others and being content that as long as we care about being in His will, that we are in still the palm of His hand.

Another question I have is “Just what difference does knowing the answer to this question really make?” No matter which one is true, all believers need to love Him, tell others about Him, and live righteously. Anyone can do these things without knowing the truth about this issue. Furthermore, anyone from any viewpoint should and can also do these things. This issue seems to me to be more of a divisive issue among believers rather than something that inspires us to do right. If we know someone who claims to be a believer and is not living properly, all we can do is pray and help them change using Biblical guidelines. We will not know for a fact whether or not they have lost salvation, so whether we are a Calvinist or an Arminian, we should react the same…so what real difference do these doctrines make??


Anon #1: My husband and I have always disagreed about this issue–he believes in eternal security, I believe we have free will and can choose to turn our backs on God and throw His gift back in His face. Admittedly, it only matters if you fall away–which our daughter has now done. She ‘believes’ there is no God at all, and the times in her youth when she heard from Him were all in her head/psychological wishful thinking. So I am in agony wondering what will happen if anything happens to her before she repents and returns. It may be less emotionally painful to believe eternally secure, but I would have to KNOW, and I don’t. Honestly, it feels like she died and this nice young woman who I don’t really know well took her place. I still grieve her loss. It’s painful. God has given me some verses in Jeremiah that lead me to believe she will return, and I cling to them when I start to worry too much, but it’s not easy. My husband doesn’t see it quite the same, though I think he would agree that this “new daughter” is not our old one. A book that I am copying for our pastor at work (I’m the church secretary) teaches you can lose it, and I am a sobbing wreck by the time I finish a paragraph, as it describes our daughter to a T. Some things I wish we could really know before we die…

Dave: I know exactly what you are experiencing. But one thing I’ve had the Lord tell me recently is that Christian authors, though most mean well, are NOT the Word of God. The Word of God is not clear on this topic. Therefore, I conclude that we cannot know, and therefore our role is to trust Him. How can any human judge correctly that another human has just stepped over that invisible line (if it exists for believers) where God will not take them back? With all due respect to your pastor, do not let a book written by a fallible human plummet your faith in God’s mercy and faithfulness. I am convinced that His mercy goes farther and deeper than any human thinks.

Over the 44 years of knowing Christ, I have heard hundreds of testimonies of people falling completely away from the faith only to return later (and they went FAR away). In the meantime, praying and fasting for important outcomes always helps. If your faith wavers on this situation, just simply be honest with our Abba Father and tell Him about that, and ask Him to help you trust and believe. This is every believer’s battle. God has blessed you with a fantastic mother’s heart, so be encouraged in Him.

Anon #2: Whether or not a Christian can lose his salvation hits home at a very personal level regarding my wife’s sister whom you’ve known for years. She and her son moved from the Rochester area a few years ago and began attending my church. They were both baptized, became members and were active in the church. The son graduated from one of the finest Christian schools and began to attend a Christian college. Then he announced to the family he was gay and had been living a secret lifestyle for years. As you can imagine this was a shock to everyone and what happened later became even worse. After one of our pastors counseled his mom (our church regularly counsels gender confused teens), she left the church, walked out of her executive job, moved to another city and completely supports her son’s gay lifestyle. Worse, most of her family supports her and her son, and believe homosexuality is something he was born with and consider him still a Christian.

I had no other choice but to lovingly confront the family about the sin of homosexuality assuring them God loved him just as much as He loves me and wants the best for everyone, but also made it clear in Scripture that homosexuality is a sin and separates one from God just as any other sexual sin like adultery and sleeping around. I gave the best counsel I could drawing from a Christian book (Sex and the iWorld-Khune) regarding homosexuality. Since then the family has made distance from me and his mom refuses any more contact.

I have never seen so much turmoil in a family, but what bothered me the most was the compromise and abandonment of the Christian faith by those who call themselves Christian. Perhaps what I have written here can also lead to some more questions in your study. Any Biblical counsel would be most appreciated at this end.

Dave: Wow, sad news…but not beyond the reach of our heavenly Father. You did well to share truth in love with your wife’s sister. The best Christian ministry for gays is L.I.F.E. Ministry in NYC. You can find it on-line. I encourage you to contact them and they can help. It is run by ex-gay Joanne Highly who married ex-gay Ron Highly many years ago. Ron has died, but Joanne is still doing a great job at the helm. Their insights into homosexuality such as its causes and effects go beyond all other Christian info I’ve ever seen. LIFE = Living In Freedom Eternally.

That sudden abandonment of the “Christian faith” stems from them never bonding to God’s Word, and, perhaps, God is using this controversy to expose this (and hopefully repair it). At present, I cannot pronounce any of these people as “non-Christians” or ones who have lost salvation. They are in danger, however.

I can understand the mom’s reaction (note to readers: I know her personally). After experiencing a horrible dad (years of sexual abuse), then losing a husband to divorce, she seemed to pour all of her love into her son. Her son was her light and joy in her rough life. It was her and him against this cruel world and they survived. Her son probably gave her a sense of purpose and meaning to her life. Then to see him being “attacked and condemned” (from her perspective), she predictably ran to his defense and away from Christians. She needs counsel to unravel her past. At this point, I am not sure what role you can play other than praying and seeking help from LIFE since she won’t talk with you.

I reject any notion that someone is born gay. The media slants reports to convince people that science has proven this. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many gay men have had poor father figures in their life – neglect, abuse, lack of closeness. I’m not saying this is THE cause, but it probably contributes to it from the environmental category of thought (as opposed to the genetic theory). I would guess that the son was not close with his dad, and that his mom doted much on him. It is reasonable to assume that he has had a longing in his heart to be close to a male figure. All this, of course is speculation by me, a non-expert in this field. And I do not mean to blame the mom at all. Her love toward her son is most understandable, even commendable. Both of them may need special prayer to rid themselves of demonic oppressions – in God’s timing, however. Hope this will help in a most difficult and sad situation. I will pray as well.

Anon #2: Thanks for your good counsel Dave, I will visit the sites you mentioned. I believe you are right about her going through so much and in her relationship with her son. I do keep them in prayer and hope someday to make things right between us. Sometimes I wish I had not been so direct with her, but she was so fixed on his gay lifestyle as being OK she had really influenced the family to question their beliefs and side with her. God will have to take hold of this one for sure to make a difference.

Linda P (10/21/13) – I was introduced to Christ by Dave Scheer as a a sophomore in high school. I believed. I was the seed that fell on the rock. I grew quickly, then withered. It took me 40 years of being lost in the desert before I finally looked up again. I was baptized in July 2010. I am a disciple, a work in progress. I am learning, and praying, and living and sharing my faith. I sure hope that those of us that haven fallen away and come home aren’t lost to the Kingdom. I believe we are not. God used all the bad boys and girls to prove a point, as far as I’m concerned.

If we choose to sin rather than take the high road, we lose out in many ways, but can we still be saved? End up in the same heaven as one who is, say, heterosexual but cheats on their spouse? abuses their babysitter? secretly lusts for their sister-in-law? has been married and divorced 3 times? and on and on…

I know sexual sin is a bad one, but sin is sin. I believe God looks at our hearts more than our actions and measures out rewards accordingly.

Quite frankly, as long as I get there and can drag some with me, I don’t care where I land in the pecking order!

My daughter is 25 next month. She learned to live a secular life from me. I never gave her a solid foundation in Christianity. As least yours has been there and will most likely return. Take comfort in knowing that. I am at fault for my daughter’s lack of faith. You are not.

Dave to Linda – Thanks for the feedback and insights. About your daughter, while it would have been better that your life was a Christian example for your daughter’s formative years, it is not your fault if she never repents and gets saved. Many believers had non-Christian parents but still found the need to repent and believe. With or without you, your daughter needs to realize her spiritual need. So do not be too hard on yourself. And, don’t forget that she has seen that great change in you and I’m sure she knows your “sea shell” story! She must know that you are better today than during your backslidden years. You are a fantastic witness to her now.

We walk by faith not sight, and live by grace not human effort. Romans 8:1 is always a great reminder when we look down on ourselves.

Linda to Dave – And thank you for your feedback. I know it’s not my fault that my daughter is my clone, and we all have to come to our own realization of where we stand with God. I also know she does see a change, and she is a typical, 25 year-old, secular, materialistic female who looks at it like she has all kinds of time to be good, she’s going to be bad while she’s young and free.

As my elderly friend says, “Stop worrying about your daughter. You said she’s just like you, and YOU came around! She will, too!” Then she said, “And don’t preach to her or you’ll just alienate her! Pray and set a good example. That’s all you can do. Someone else will bring her to Christ. God hears praying mothers.”

How Atonement Works

Chris L: How do you believe atonement actually works? It’s the bedrock of Christianity but I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I can recite the basic explanation, but to me, it leaves a lot of questions. So many aspects seem assumed – sin separates us from God (which is how we love to explain ‘death’) but can be atoned for by a perfect person “dying” in our place who then ‘defeated’ death by having God bring Him back to life? It’s like we are talking a different language where no one knows why anything works the way it does.

Dave: You’ve asked a deep question to which we can only see the answer in part. I think you are asking why Christ’s blood sacrifice has the power to bring humanity into God’s perfection. I think Christ’s atonement works because of an eternal truth that maintains without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins (Heb 9:22). Why blood?  Because it contains the essence of life (Lev 17:11). Who knows, perhaps there are some laws of physics behind all this that we can never know while on earth in fleshly bodies. We must be ever mindful of how limited mankind’s science is. For every new discovery of what God has made, there are “ten” more questions we can now ask which we couldn’t ask before…and we won’t know those answers for some time. If and when we do answer them, there will always be more new questions to ask. So where does man’s science end? It’s as frustrating as the little kid who keeps asking “why” to every answer the dad comes up with. It just keeps going forever. We can always ask why did God set up the truths of life and ultimately we must admit our ignorance, but at least this revelation gives us enough to understand why Jesus had to give His life blood for us rather than simply living a perfect life and then disappear into the heavens. We must be careful not to get carried away with the never-ending scientific inquiry cycle because we can always learn more about the structure of life and the universe, but that does not mean we will come closer to our Creator (2 Timothy 3:7).


ML: I think all these questions are faith issues. I think it is really easy to see that atonement works. We hear the story of the drunkard or the heroin addict falling to his knees and crying out to God for His forgiveness and in an instant those chains are thrown off and in many cases that addiction is gone. A new life begins. Jesus paid the price for those sins, and only He can forgive and restore that person as He paid the price for those sins. That (person) is God, only He has the right due to being the perfect sacrifice who freely gave His life to reconcile us to God. It’s no different than believing the virgin birth, Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lions den. It’s ultimately getting close enough to God that, even though you can’t explain it, you know that you know God is who He says He is. If there is one untruth in the Bible then it is all garbage. Would it be fair to say that when we say “it leaves a lot of questions” we could say I have a lot of doubts?  If that is the conclusion, it is not an intellectual question but a heart question.

Cindi L: Yes, we ever balance between knowledge that puffs up and love that edifies. My “end” to the knowledge I gain always challenges whether it leads me to fruit towards others (love). Same with revelation of attributes of God. I have always asked throughout childhood why would God set it up this way and have to die such a cruel death and shed blood this way…it always bothered me.  

Additional thoughts from Chris:

Chris L: I’m still left with lots of questions regarding the general atonement process. The comparative story about a man the switching of the clothes of a condemned prisoner in order to fake authorities into executing the innocent man was interesting and dynamically told, but not very clear to me. The authorities would just say ‘oh, we didn’t execute the right person.’ Why would the wrong person dying save the one condemned to death?  I’m often frustrated at hearing general principles told as if they are self-evident. Like “God is Just, therefore the penalty of sin is death, which is separation from God, but He can forgive sins if someone who lived a perfect life dies for everyone else, because this cancels out the sin-penalty of the entire world, but this sin-debt-cancelation is only available if you ‘believe’ it”.

I’m not trying to sound dismissive – but in the many, many sermons I’ve heard, at the heart of it, it’s not really explained that well to me and often gets broken down into some set of unexplained principles like the above. And then when I ask certain questions, they are just answered by reference to these principles. Why can’t God forgive sins without Jesus dying? Because He is just, which requires death…  How does Jesus dying save me? Because Jesus took the penalty by living a perfect life, which allows that sort of death to account for all the sin-death penalties in the world. Why can’t I die for someone else’s sin and save them? Cause I am not perfect.

The answers I get generally don’t go deeper than that. It doesn’t strike me as particularly ‘just’ in my understanding of justice for an innocent man’s death to wipe out everyone else’s penalty. If someone says ‘hey, I know that man just murdered someone, but don’t worry, I am innocent of that crime and I will die in his place’, society would say that’s crazy talk – the murderer is one the one at fault, not you, and his penalty is his penalty.

It also doesn’t strike me as logical that, having somehow taken the penalty, belief would be necessary to receive justification. If I pay your debt, you no longer have debt, period. You don’t have to believe anything – by this law you are debtless.  So, if we view sin as like a debt, it doesn’t seem just that someone can pay it, and it doesn’t make sense if someone could pay it, you’d have to accept it in order to have it paid.

Unless, of course, ‘those are the rules.’ Which is what it comes back to frequently. A lot of emotional stories about people sacrificing their lives for others as examples of what Christ did for us, lessons in how to draw a picture of salvation in five minutes (God on one side, me on the other, sin in between, and the cross bridging the gap), etc.

What frustrates me is not the principles, but the way they are often presented as self-evident.  Like ‘duh, it makes total and complete sense, can’t you realize that?’ when I am honestly very confused by it all.

And I’m not even sure all the disciples and apostles had it completely figured out.  They refer to the mystery of salvation, and it’s not like the mechanics of salvation are set out text-book style too clearly.  I know Romans is maybe pretty darn close, but even that isn’t super clear on all the questions and mechanics, at least to me.  And Paul still talks about it as a mystery at times.

Maybe I’m way off, but my concern is really not that these principles are false. It’s that there must be some really, really deep stuff going on, and to me, it cheapens it when some messages dismiss the complications. I think it might take the mystery out of the mystery. As weird as it sounds, I actually feel better with adding “and this part is an amazing mystery!” next to parts of the salvation story rather than a presentation that acts like it has it all figured out.

At the same time, I know God is asking me to seek out answers and be able to defend the faith with reason, so I shouldn’t be content with ‘it’s a mystery”…

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. Thanks again! Your favorite nephew, Chris 

Dave: Thanks for elaborating your intellectual frustrations. Believe it or not, I share some of them.

You asked, “How does Jesus dying save me?” One flash my mind received as I read those words was…Because Jesus obeyed everything the Father told Him to do and because He was willing to go the the nth degree to demonstrate the Father’s love, if any soul would see or hear what happened and side with Jesus (believe He is the Savior), then that has the power to cancel all of God’s Wrath toward the sinner. It’s maybe like God saying to a newly saved person, “My boy! You did it! I produced the most dramatic, extreme example of love and you embraced it! Now I have more plans for you (in eternity). It’s like little Charlie winning the grand prize in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Unlike the other kids, Charlie loved Wonka and believed he was good and had the best for his kingdom, the Factory. When Charlie showed his faith by giving Wonka what Charlie thought was a candy bar that could put Wonka out of business if put in the wrong hands, Wonka knew that he found someone he could use. Scripture speaks of “ages to come” in Ephesians 2:7. Notice the plural on “age.” I view our lives as only Phase One. In order for God to advance to Phase 2, a weeding out of evil had to take place, and that’s what I think the purpose of the Lake of Fire actually is. Not a place of eternal torment, but of punishment based on what a soul knew and how much rejection of Truth was done. Then they go out of existence. It is called by Revelation the second death. So if they die after physical death, I don’t see much room for living eternally in hell. This is now getting way off your topic, but it follows logically.

I don’t think we humans can totally grasp what you want to grasp, but I do think you may have not considered that “wrath piece” and I think it may help you somewhat with your grappling. I can picture God melting with tears of joy when He considers Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. I actually do think that the first “question” God asks souls when they face Him is. “What did you do with My Son? You know I pulled out all the stops for you.” For many, that will be a big [gulp!]. Bottom  line, no one is worthy of heaven unless they have “kissed the Son” (look at Psalms 2:12 for revelation).

Your Affectionate Uncle,


Chris: – Good to hear I’m not going crazy 🙂 Thanks for the email! That is a neat explanation.  Sort of puts Heaven as a real beginning, not some sort of end-destination.  There must be something to that idea that God needs us to embrace Jesus – that sort of character that permits God to change us.  That feeds into a whole other interesting phenomenon too – the free will thing. Does God do everything or do we have a role to play? Sometimes I read the scriptures and feel that God needs us to believe both, even though they seem contradictory.  God does everything – He controls all things, everything – nothing is outside of His plan, design, control, predestination, etc. and any time we start to think that we can control things we stray dangerously close to pride and self-delusion. God saves us – we don’t save ourselves.  Yet, at the very same time, He tells us that we are supposed to do things, make changes, and that our choices have consequences.  We are supposed to believe, pray, do good works, use our ‘talents’ for good.  It feels contradictory. Explanations I’ve heard for either side rejecting the other feel shortchanged.  I’m trying to embrace the contradiction – realize the God does everything, I control nothing, and prevent my pride from thinking I “do” anything to “earn” salvation while simultaneously trying to do good, praying for His Kingdom to come, trying to be a positive influence, and recognizing that my choices really do effect eternity. Hard for me to do though, and then I can stray into almost apathy at times.

That idea about being someone God can use…I like it. Thanks!

Dave: Good, glad it helped. Yes, heaven is just the beginning to more ages and God has prepared much for each saved soul – 1 Cor 2:9 – but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

About doing good and how much of a role does God play in our good works. First, Scripture says, “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Ps.46:10). I don’t think it’s a good idea to strive to be good. If our salvation was accomplished in the spirit, so then our good works should automatically follow a truly regenerated heart and be wrought by the spirit. Loving Him first in all things and loving others will keep us walking in the spirit so that we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh (Gal.5:16). In other words, let go and let God have His way with you daily, depending upon His Spirit to perform works through you…and give him the credit for it. Perhaps the only aspect that we do ourselves is to decide to allow His Spirit to take us over. John 15 definitely speaks about humans needing to depend on Him. We mature when we constantly bathe ourselves with the reality of life is not about us, it’s about Him.

In His Love,

Your affectionate Uncle


Dear Chris,

I’ve been further contemplating your question about why believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for own sin and His resurrection has the power or authority to make salvation happen. Lucifer’s pathway to sin was his allowance of pride to infect him. So God performs the extreme opposite of that via the Cross. When someone accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior by faith, they are admitting their lack of ability to save themselves, and that takes humility. Jesus did say unless one humbles themselves as a child they cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. Because pride and humility are opposites, perhaps this truth causes faith in Jesus to contain the power to save.

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