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A Word on
Substitutionary  Atonement

The cross-work of Jesus Christ does not put the elect in a potentially saved state; rather it secured salvation for the ones that the Father gave to Christ: (John 6:37-40, 44).


Christ’s death also secured reconciliation for His elect (cf. Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Col. 1:21-22; Heb. 9:12). He voluntarily gave Himself as a ransom for His chosen, on their behalf (cf. Mark 10:45; Rom. 8:32; Gal. 1:4; 3:13; Eph. 5:25-26; 1 Thess. 5.9-10; 1 Tim. 2:6): “For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people” (Luke 1.68).


Note the usage of the Greek preposition huper (“on behalf of,” “instead of”) to describe the actual and literal substitutionary death of Christ: “[the Father] delivered [paredōken; i.e., delivered up for sacrifice] Him over for [huper, lit., “on behalf of”] us all” (Rom. 8:32; emphasis added); “who gave Himself for [huper] our sins” (Gal. 1:4; emphasis added; cf. 3:13); “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for [heauton paredōken huper] her” (Eph. 5.25; emphasis added).

Further, to emphasize the nature of the substitutionary work of Christ on the behalf of His elect, the preposition anti is utilized in Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for [lutron anti] many” and Matthew 20:28, which reads identically. After careful lexical and linguistic study, Greek scholar, Daniel Wallace, concludes:

"In summery, the evidence appears to be overwhelmingly in favor of viewing anti in Matt. 20:28/Mark 10:45 as meaning in the place of and very possibly with the secondary meaning in exchange for. . . . (GGBB, 367).

In 1 Timothy 2:6, Paul combines the compound antilutron and huper to clearly denote what Jesus Christ literally did for His people—a ransom in their place: “who gave Himself as a ransom for [antilutron huper] all.”

But because of His great love and mercy for His chosen, He not only invites them, but infallibly deliverers them: “you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

 

As Paul rightly says, “By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1.30). He literally substituted Himself on behalf of His people absorbing the wrath that was due to our account because of sin. His cross-work satisfied the requirements of God's law.

 

It was the perfect justice of God, which required that the perfect demands of the law should be met (cf. Rom. 3:25-27). Christ Jesus perfectly met those requirements by His active (preceptive) and passive (penal) obedience whereby substituting Himself (both in perfect His life and death) in our place.  

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THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

 

Having a set or firm foundation as to one’s Christian faith is simply having a solid biblical understanding of the essentials of Christian doctrine especially pertaining to the gospel. Without a set-foundation, biblical error is inevitable.

 

Today, far too many Christians although having a significant (yet cursory) knowledge of Christ and the gospel, they either preach, embrace, and/or hold to a wide range of erroneous and distorted doctrines . . . Read More

 


 

On-Going Faith

 

"Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes [Gk. "coming"] to Me will not hunger, and he who believes [Gk. "believing"] in Me will never thirst (John 6:35).

 

The Christian life is one of Present Active Participles (i.e., "ing" verbs): believing, seeking, coming, hearing, praying to and worshiping Christ, etc., and defending and affirming the gospel of the Son.

 

If professing Christians would credential their pastor, favorite preacher, and/or anyone else who they are doctrinally following with the same scrutiny and research of qualification as they would their child’s doctor or own physician, there would be less theological error, nonsense, and biblical ignorance in the church.

 


 

 

The Preincarnate Christ

as the “Angel of the LORD” (YHWH)

 

While all unitarian groups (esp. Muslims, JWs, and Oneness Pentecostals) oppose any implication of the deity and thus preexistence of the Son, Jesus Christ, the biblical evidence points to the preincarnate Christ as the identity of the angel of the Lord. For example, Genesis 19:24 reads:  

 

The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the LORD [YHWH] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD [YHWH] out of heaven (emphasis added).

 

This point here cannot be missed. YHWH did something (rained brimstone and fire) from another YHWH in heaven! This can only be consistent with biblical monotheism in the context of Trinitarianism. . . . The angel of the Lord, as He claimed, was the “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”—YHWH, yet a distinct person from another YHWH (cf. Gen. 19:24; Zech. 1:12). In the highest probability, the identity of the angel of the Lord was the preincarnate Christ, God the Son, YHWH Himself, second person of the Holy Trinity. . . . Read More.

 


 

The Inadequacy and Defects of the KJV Only Position

 

Open Page of the KJV 1611 (which contained the Roman Catholic Apocrypha) 

 

Before commenting on the KJV Only position, it must be pointed out that we are not against the KJV, for it is a beautiful literary work that communicates, as with all recognized biblical translations, the word of God on all essential matters. Rather, we are decidedly against the erroneous dogmatic assertions made by the KJV Only camp. These assertions include, but are not limited to, 1) the KJV is without error, 2) all modern (non-KJV) translations (e.g., NASB, NIV, ESV, esp. NKJV) are the result of “corrupt” scribes (mainly from Egypt) removing or altering important readings and words from the original text, and 3) the Textus Receptus is the most accurate Greek edition of the NT.

 

I have found that it is quite challenging to have any meaningful dialogue with KJV Only advocates since their position largely stems from high emotion and low facts—for tradition normally outweighs confirmation. . . . Read More 

 


 

 

The Ultimate Test of Christian Orthodoxy: The Perpetual Incarnation

of God the Son

 

 

Our celebration of Christmas is a celebration of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ, God the Son, became flesh in order to live the perfect life and die on the cross fulfilling the requirements of God’s perfect law and justice—on our behalf: “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21; cf. Gal. 3:13). The incarnation of the Lord Jesus is the necessary and only means of propitiation (atoning sacrifice).- Read More

 


 

 

The Error of Oneness Theology &
Isaiah 9:6--"Everlasting Father"

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;  and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Because of the phrase Eternal Father”   
 

Oneness advocates argue that the passage is teaching that the prophesied Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the Eternal Father. Aside from the fact, that nowhere in the NT is Jesus ever called “Father,” there are several flaws in this kind of modalistic interpretation:  

1. Oneness teachers commit the fallacy of equivocation by asserting that the term “father” has only one meaning. The term father (ab) has various meanings in the OT, depending on the context.

2. When the term father is applied to God (or YHWH) in the OT (only nine times), it denotes His parental character to His children, namely, Israel (e.g., Isa. 63:16)  Primarily though, the usage of father denoted God as Creator. As a matter of fact, the term “father” is not even a standard recurring title for God in the OT; it is used only nine times. . . . Read more

Oneness the deity and unipersonality of the Son


 

The Journal for Trinitarian Studies and Apologetics (Vol. 1)

 

Order the Journal here

 

The Journal for Trinitarian Studies and Apologetics

  The Journal for Trinitarian Studies and Apologetics is a theological journal with a focus on the Triune God. For the academic and layperson. The contributing authors of this edition include:

  •   Chap 1. Robert M. Bowman Jr. - Triadic New Testament Passages and the Doctrine of the Trinity

  •   Chap 2. Hiram R. Diaz III - The Two Natures of Christ in Genesis 3

  •   Chap. 3 Mike Felker - Preexistence in Mark: A Cumulative Defense

  •   Chap. 4. Edward L. Dalcour - Jesus’ Claims to be God: Answering the Objections

  •   Chap. 5. Scotty G. Neasbitt - God the Son in Select Theophanies of the Old Testament

  •    Chap. 6. Michael R. Burgos Jr. (Editor) - Anthropological Monism and its Incompatibility with Biblical Christianity

 

                         

 

 


 

The Biblical Position on Homosexuality

"Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals. . . . will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-10 NASB)

 

 

A Doctrine of Tolerance

 

The two key Greek terms (both in the plural) in these passages (1 Cor. 6:9-10 and 1 Tim. 1:9-10) are MALAKOS translated as “homosexual” or “effeminate” and ARSENOKOITĒS also translated as “homosexual” or more literally, “sodomite” (NKJV) or “men who have sex with men” (NIV). To circumvent the obvious meaning in these passages, liberals and pro-homosexual “professing” Christians make eisegetical leaps arguing that these terms are narrowly referring to “promiscuous” homosexuality, pederasty,  prostitution, etc., and not a monogamous loving relationship between two of the same sex. . . . Read More 


 

The glory of God the Son in Hebrews 1:3

And He [the Son] is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature " (NASB)

 

The prologue of Hebrews is one of the most Christologically significant prologues in the NT. Only within the context of Trinitarianism can the Son be justly worshiped (1:6) and be identified and directly addressed as both “the God” (1:8) and the “Lord,” that is, the YHWH of Psalm 102, the immutable Creator (1:10-12), by God the Father.--Read more 


 

Quick View: "Another Jesus"  

The Jesus of

 

Islam

Although, Muslims are taught that Jesus was true prophet of Allah, sinless, virgin born, preformed miracles, etc. they reject that He was eternal God in the flesh, crucified, and resurrected from the dead. We know by now that the rejection of the deity of the Son, Jesus Christ, (and the Trinity) is common to all non-Christian cults and false religions. As with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Oneness Pentecostals, Muslims embrace a fixed unitarian/unipersonal assumption, that is, they believe God to be one sole Person. As they argue, Jesus cannot be another God besides the one true God, “Allah.” However, biblical monotheism (one God) is not equated to unipersonalism. The Trinity states that there is one true God (one Being) revealed in three Persons (not three Gods)—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 

Roman Catholicism:

The Jesus of Romanism is an impotent Savior whose atoning cross-work was anything but sufficient. Rome teaches that the work of Christ merely made a “way” for man to justify himself by adding his “required” meritorious creaturely works (such as baptism, charity, religious devotion to Mary and Rome, faith, etc.) to the work of Christ. Rome has man assisting Christ in salvation—hence denying that Christ alone saves. Refuting this false notion, Paul points out clearly that it is “by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Therefore, a Christ who did not become our righteousness, as Rome teaches, is not the Christ that Paul preached. It is God alone that saves (cf. John 1:13; 6:37-40; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess 2:13)—God does not need our help.

 

Oneness Theology (“Jesus Only” churches):

The Jesus of “Oneness” theology (historically, Modalism) is both the Father and Son (and Holy Spirit). Oneness advocates claim that Jesus has two natures, divine as the Father/Holy Spirit and human as the “non-divine,” “non-eternal” Son. Thus, the terms “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit” are not three Persons, but rather the three roles or modes that Jesus manifested. Since Oneness theology maintains that only Jesus as the Father is God (as “Son” only represents the non-divine human nature of Jesus), it denies the Trinity and deity and pre-existence of the Son. Hence, God is defined from a unitarian perspective: only the Father is God (i.e., Jesus’ divine nature). Clearly, Oneness theology is heterodox embracing a false non-divine Son different from that of the biblical revelation of the divine Son: “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father” (1 John 2:23). Oneness doctrine indeed denies the biblical revelation of both the Father and the Son. Read more  

 

Jehovah's Witnesses:

The Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, near identical to what Arius taught, is “a god” (John 1:1; NWT), but not God almighty. They teach that Jesus was Michael, the created, archangel being the “firstborn” of Jehovah’s works. They even use some of the same passages as did Arius to prove their position (e.g., Prov. 8:22; Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14) in the same erroneous way. Again, it is because of their prior theological commitment of unitarianism (God as one Person) that they deny that Jesus Christ is fully God.

 

Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):

The LDS Jesus was one of many other Gods, thus being one of the Gods of a tritheistic (i.e., three Gods) Godhead for this world, As Founder Joseph Smith declared: 

I will preach on the plurality of Gods . . . I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the . . .  subject of Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. . . .  God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost . . . these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added).

The LDS denies the concept of an eternal God, rather

[God] was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . . . and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves . . . the same as all Gods have done before you (ibid., 345-47).

 Thus, in LDS theology, neither Jesus nor the Father are eternal God—rather, they both had to become God by obedience to their God. Also, the LDS Jesus was married to Mary and Martha (cf. Journal of Discourses, 2:82; 4:259). Further, the LDS teach that Jesus was “begotten” by means of sexual relations between God the Father and the Virgin Mary. Brigham Young taught that 

The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action . . . was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers. . . . (Journal of Discourses, 8:115; emphasis added).

 Likewise, LDS Apostle and scholar Bruce R. McConkie tells us: 

Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers. . . . as the literal Son . . . he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity (Mormon Doctrine, 546-47, 742; emphasis added)--read more .


On the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity:

We believe that the Scriptures teach clearly that there is one true and living God eternally existing in three distinct Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of the three Persons are coequal, coeternal, and coexistent sharing the nature or essence of the one true God. Being distinct in Person, but by virtue of their distinguishing offices, function together in harmony in the works of creation, providence, and redemption (Jer. 10:10-11; Gen. 1:1; Matt. 28:19; John 1:1-3; Rom. 1:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18; 4:5-6; Col. 1:15-20; Titus 3:5-7; Jude 1:20-12; Rev. 5:13-14)Read more


The Trinity in the OT  

Recorded live at ABN in Detroit MI, featuring Sam Shamoun, Edward Dalcour, and Anthony Rogers

                                

 


 The "Sinner's Prayer"?   

Recently, a doctrinal lightning bolt has struck the Southern Baptist Convention. It centers on the open declaration of some Arminian SBC members affirming their doctrinal position and thus openly denying the doctrinal position of the Calvinistic members of the SBC. . . . read more

 


The “Rock” of Matthew 16:18

 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” 

 

This passage is the so-called hallmark proof-text that Rome uses to teach that Peter was the “rock” (and thus, the first “Pope”) upon which Christ built His church. This notion also spawned other false Catholic doctrines such as the “infallibility” of the Pope when speaking, ex cathedra—“from the throne”): We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” (Pope Boniface VIII, papal bull, Unam Sanctam, A.D. 1302; emphasis added). However, as with any text of Scripture. . . read more

 


 

Mormon Faith Confusion & Tolerance
 

 The current 12 LDS Apostles 

 

Ever since Mitt Romney became the a presidential candidate, the hot media topic these days centers on his Mormon religion, formally called, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with the fundamental differences between the LDS doctrine and historic biblical Christianity. However, when Christian leaders and pastors do not understand even the central differences and thus declare the Mormon faith as a truly “Christian” faith, there is no excuse. This kind of irresponsible thinking and lack of discernment removes the evangelical necessity to the Mormon people. . . read more.


The Muslim Challenge: “Where did Jesus say, “I am God worship Me?”

Although Jesus never literally stated, "I am God," Jesus’ claims to deity were much stronger and clearer than if He had said, “I am God.” In fact, some of Jesus' claims to deity were only used of YHWH alone. The specific claims of Jesus to be equal with God were not used by nor were they applied to humans or angels, as with the term “God” --Read more

 

   


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A Definitive Look at Oneness Theology:
In the Light of Biblical Trinitarianism

--by Dr. Edward L. Dalcour (North-West University, Potchefstroom, SA, 2011)

NEW EDITION: 3rd Edition, Revised, Updated, and Expanded
Adapted from Ph.D. Thesis from North West University entitled:
An Evaluation of “Oneness Theology” in the Light of the Biblical Emphasis on Trinitarianism

 "For those who do not have time to conduct the exegetical  work necessary to refute Oneness claims but who wish to be theologically informed or to discuss the doctrine of the Trinity with theologians in the United Pentecostal tradition, Dalcour has provided a valuable resource"  —John D. Laing, Professor of Systematic Theology and  Philosophy, Southwestern Theological Seminary, Harvard  School for Theological Studies (more reviews

 

 Definitive Look at Oneness Theology critically examines the claims   of  Oneness theology. The new 3rd edition, which is adapted from Dr.  Edward Dalcour's Ph.D. Thesis, contains expanded and updated  material. It provides a clear and sharp exegetical refutation to chief Oneness theological assertions and presents a positive presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity--  READ MORE

 

Oneness Pentecostals and other Oneness (i.e., “Jesus Only”) groups make up one of the largest and fastest growing anti-Trinitarian professing Christian constructs world-wide--and yet, they are one of least written about, spoken out against, and thus evangelized non-Christian cults.     Order here 

  See A Concise Look at Oneness Beliefs


Update: T. D. Jakes Changes his Doctrinal Statement

 

 

Oneness advocate and popular TV evangelist T. D. Jakes (of the Potter's House church in Dallas, TX) has changed (reworded) his doctrinal statement regarding God.  

 

 

 

Are Oneness Pentecostals Christian?        

  


 

ALWAYS BEING READY TO MAKE A DEFENSE

In the first century the axiom of the church was: "Contend for the Faith" (Jude 3),   but  regrettably that has  changed. Through the Apostle Peter, God commands all  Christians to always be ready to provide a defense (apologia) and reason (logos) for their faith (cf. 1 Pet. 3:15; Titus 1:9, 13). If Christians do not speak out against false teachings that confuse as well as deny definitive Christian theology, thus deny Christ, the false teachings will be construed as truth. Christian should be able to reasonably and biblically communicate essential Christian doctrines such as the doctrine of the Trinity, the full Deity of Jesus Christ the Son of God and Justification through faith alone.

 

See  The Rise of False Teachings within the Church

                          


The five sola's  

Sola gratia,    Solo Christo,     Sola Fide,     Sola Scriptura,      Soli Deo Gloria

Most historically informed Christians should be familiar with the Latin sola’s (sola meaning, “alone”) that were first boldly proclaimed by the Reformers in the early sixteenth century: sola gratia (“grace alone”), solo Christo (“Christ alone”), sola fide (“faith alone”), sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”), soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”), Sola Scriptura simply means: Scripture is sufficient. That is, all truth “necessary” for our salvation and spiritual life are taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture

Sola gratia (“grace alone”) opposes Rome’s view that justification comes by the grace of God and the meritorious works of man, which includes water-baptism (which Rome calls “the laver of regeneration”), performing the sacraments, good works, and esp. acknowledging all Marian doctrines, which includes religious worship to Mary. 

Solo Christo (“Christ alone”) opposes Rome’s view that the sole work of Christ is not sufficient. For Rome teaches that one must merit his or her justification in addition to the work of Christ. Further, doctrines such as Purgatory deny that Christ totally and perfectly propitiated (appeased) the Father (viz. His sacrifice averted God’s wrath *literally* taking away sin). However, that salvation is through Christ alone does not mean that the Father and the Holy Spirit did not participate in the salvation of the believer. For salvation from start to finish rests on the work of the triune God: God the Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner (cf. Titus 3:5) after which the *gift* of faith is granted by God and then exercised by the sinner as a result of being regenerated (cf. John 1:12-13; Phil. 1:29) after which the Father justifies the sinner (cf. Rom. 8:33) and, through that faith alone, imputing to him or her the righteousness of His Son (cf. Rom. 4:4-8). Christ alone simply means that the sole work and righteousness of Jesus Christ passive (allowing Himself to be crucified) and active (His perfect obedience to the Father) is the very ground of salvation. Thus, salvation is through His righteousness alone. 

Sola Fide (“faith alone”) opposes Rome’s view of faith + works. The Council or Trent (1546-63) states categorically:

If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to the obtaining [of] the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema (Canon 9).

However, in sharp biblical contrast, the very ground of justification is the work of Christ (as seen above) while faith being the very instrument that God uses to justify the sinner. As mentioned, faith is never said to be the cause or ground of justification (lest it would be a “work”), but rather the sole instrument (cf. Rom. 5:1; see chap. 1, note 11).

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”) opposes Rome’s view, which asserts that both Scripture and tradition (viz. oral traditions not contained in Scripture) are equally the word of God: “Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence” (Catechism of the Church, para. 82). “Tradition” as defined by Rome is basically the writings of the early church Fathers. Even though there existed thousands of traditions many upon which were in disagreement among church Fathers (such as the Matt. 16:18 interpretation), Catholics must believe without question (fides implicita) how Rome defines tradition.

Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”) is in light of all the sola’s. Hence, it is by God’s grace alone (not man’s participation) that He saves sinners. We cannot merit any aspect of saving grace (otherwise it would not be grace). By God’s grace alone He us grants saving faith (the alone instrument) in which He instrumentally uses to impute (not infuse or impart) us with the very righteousness of Christ. Thus, it is Christ’s perfect cross-work alone upon which a sinner is justified and the alone instrument being faith. The sole grace of the Triune God infallibly accomplishes salvation from start to finish—therefore, it is the glory of God alone, soli Deo gloria.

Aside from the sola Scriptura was another very important concept: toto Scriptura (all of Scripture). The Reformers, like many of the early church Fathers, followed the apostolic teaching that clearly emphasized: Scripture alone and all of f Scripture should be taught and valued as the Word of God.  In his farewell letter to the elders at Ephesus, Paul declares to them: “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:26-27; Paul may be alluding to Ezek. 33:6). Paul understood the severity of preaching only “parts” of God’s Word or “toning down” what God has said, as many do today. God takes a dim view at pastors and teachers who preach an edited version of the Gospel; dodging judgment and apologetic passages in the Bible—toto Scriptura, that is, all of Scripture must be proclaimed. 

 


   The atoning cross-work of God the Son was not a vague non-specific universal work for which no one is actually (but only    potentially) atoned, but rather it was a *definite atonement and according His perfect *sovereignty and pleasure of His own will (cf. Eph. 1:4-5, 11). 

Therefore, having been justified by faith, 
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
 (Rom. 5:1)


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