The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Bible Passages About Salvation

Understanding Jesus: What does it mean to be born again?

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Do you refer to yourself as a “born again” Christian?  If so, why?  Because that’s what it says in the Bible, right?  But have you ever looked up the passages in which that term is used and studied the original context?  Probably not, so let’s do it now, because it’s really quite interesting. Read more of this post

Romans 10: Paul’s Racism, His Pride & His Beautiful Feet

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The apostle Paul was an ethnic Jew.  In his day, ethnic Jews—especially Jewish men—were taught from the cradle to believe that they were far superior to everyone else.  Jews referred to non-Jews as Gentiles, and being called a Gentile was not a complimentJews liked to refer to Gentiles as uncircumcised dogs which, in their cultural context, was like a white man calling a black man a nigger today.  It’s critical that you appreciate how deeply racist the Jews in Bible times were.  You need to understand that these folks had completely blown off Yahweh’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Read more of this post

False Formulas for Salvation – Romans 10:9

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If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom. 10:9)

Like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 is a favorite verse among Christians which they like to use as a quick summary for how to obtain salvation.  But like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 doesn’t come close to accurately summarizing God’s salvation requirements.  This isn’t because salvation is complicated—on the contrary, it’s a very simple matter of submitting to the real Gods as the Supreme Authorities that They are.  But this isn’t where Romans 10:9 takes us, because the apostle Paul wrote Romans, and the apostle Paul didn’t personally submit to any God as truly supreme. Read more of this post

False Formulas for Salvation – 1 John 1:9

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“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The same John who wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation also wrote the three epistles known as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.  While 2 and 3 John don’t get out much, 1 John has several famous one liners in it, including this frequently quoted statement about salvation being obtained through the confession of sin.  But is this really accurate?  Is merely listing off our sins enough to grant us salvation and cause use to be blameless in the sight of God?  No, it’s really not.  In fact, salvation doesn’t have anything to do with God considering us to be “blameless.”  We just think it does because, like the New Testament apostles, we’re focusing on the wrong things (see Jesus vs. the NT Jews: What it Means to Please God). Read more of this post

False Formulas for Salvation – John 3:16

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

This is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible, and we often use it to summarize God’s requirements for salvation.  But is this really an accurate summary?  Not even close.  In fact, when you really stop to think about it, John 3:16 is a very lousy verse to use to try and help a non-believer end up on the right side of eternity.  Now let’s learn why. Read more of this post

Salvation According to Paul: If You Sin, You’re Damned (Romans 7-8)

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As we start Romans 7, we are continuing in our study of Paul’s theology of sin and salvation.  Back in Romans 5, Paul laid out some absurd theories on where sin came from.  In Romans 6, Paul said that once we Christians get baptized, we are magically changed so that our basic nature is no longer depraved, and this makes it possible for us to now live sinless lives.  Not only is it possible for us to be perfect, but perfection is what Yahweh demands of us.  Read more of this post

More Lies from Paul: God Loves Jews More Than Gentiles (Romans 11)

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Open up a box of crayons and look inside.  Which colors do you like the best?  Which colors do you like the least?  Do you know where you get your opinions from?  The Ones who made you.  You see, before you were born, Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit decided whether you’d like blue better than green or red better than orange.  They programmed your little brain to have an extremely narrow definition of concepts like good, beautiful, delicious, and fun.  Why did They do this?  Because They are obsessed with variety.  And since it was Their plan from the beginning to make zillions upon zillions of humans, They came up with many creative ways to ensure that all of those humans wouldn’t end up as clones of each other.  Just as you don’t want to listen to a fifty hour song that only has one note in it, your Creators weren’t interested in creating zillions of humans who all think, act, and look alike.  So when it came time to create you, They put together a zesty little combination of fascinating features that would result in you being not quite the same as anyone else.  They painted your skin a very specific shade.  They programmed the cells in your body to grow into a very specific shape.  Are you thin or fat?  Are you a straight stick or do some parts of you bulge out?  Perhaps you have a fat gut or a large butt or a big chest.  Maybe your nose is huge or your ears stick out or you’ve got boats for feet. While you look in the mirror and see a bunch of flaws, your Gods see fascinating variety.  They like ears that stick out just as much as ears that lay flat.  They like long fingers just as much as stubby ones.  Big guts, small guts, high butts, low butts, flat chests, big chests—it’s the variety that makes it all so fun.  They don’t want a white world or a black world.  They want snow white, inky black, and every fascinating shade in between.

The next time you’re out among people, take a moment to notice that endless variation that is all around you.  No two humans are exactly alike, and if you’re honest, there are plenty of human features that you just don’t find very appealing.  The truth is that you’re quite the narrow-minded little thing with a very pinched up view of “attractive.”  This isn’t your fault, it’s how you’ve been wired.  Being narrow minded comes naturally to humans, but our Gods are not humans, and when we start blurring the lines between Them and us, all kinds of problems arise. Read more of this post

Romans 5: Paul Leads Us Astray on Sin & the Character of Yahweh

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In the Bible, we read accounts of Yahweh and Jesus doing and saying various things. Then we find a lot of filler material in which human authors give their theological interpretations of the things that Yahweh and Jesus did and said. The problem is that many of the conclusions those humans draw are straight up wrong. For example, the Gospel writer Matthew interprets many of Jesus’ actions as intentional fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. The problem is that several of the passages that Matthew links to Christ have nothing to do with Christ (see Messianic Passages According to Matthew). In other words, Matthew is just making stuff up. Read more of this post

The Parable of the Great Feast (Luke 14)

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In Luke 14, we find Jesus reclining at the table in a Pharisee’s home, doing His usual Jesus thing. He’s just embarrassed many of the guests at the dinner by calling attention to the fact that they were trying to exalt themselves by grabbing seats of honor at the table (see Understanding Jesus: All who Exalt Themselves will be Humbled). Now He turns to His host and blasts him with the accusation that he’s not as generous as he seems for having everyone over to dinner. After all, these Jews were living in a tit for tat society. If you invite your buddy over for some lavish meal, it’s understood that he now owes it to you to return the favor. Read more of this post

Applying Hebrews 10: Old vs. New

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This is a continuation of Applying Hebrews 9: Refusing to Let Go.

The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Heb. 10:1-4)

Where does the author of Hebrews (who we’re calling Rabbi) get off declaring that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins under the Old Covenant? Yahweh said they did. Is Rabbi now a higher authority than Yahweh? Yahweh never suggested that His Old Covenant sacrificial system was insufficient in any way. He said that when sacrifices were done properly, they provided complete atonement for past sins. It was because those sacrifices only provided past atonement that they had to be repeated, for humans sin continuously. But the fact that a man has to provide new sacrifices to Yahweh for his sins this year doesn’t mean that his sins for the previous years weren’t fully forgiven. Yahweh said that atonement sacrifices were sufficient to take away sins. Rabbi is totally out of line to try and depict the Old Covenant as a broken, insufficient system. Read more of this post