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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 37
Now I always like to remind folk that this class is non denominational, not that I’m not a member of a local church, but for the sake of reaching people we are just going to stick by what the Word says. I suppose that some of my own denomination don’t always agree with me, and all I can say to that is if you can show me from the Book that I’m wrong then fine, but if not, don’t come at me with tradition. Remember tradition in the Scripture is always portrayed in a bad light, and a lot of tradition has been totally misguided. All we like the people to do is search the Scriptures and our letters and phone calls are proof that we’re making some headway. Over and over they say, “They had never realized what the Bible really said, but now they have become students of the Scripture.” And of course that’s all we can ask, if people will just search the Scripture and look at what it says, and what it doesn’t say.
I thought that we’d finish all of chapter 4 today, but now it looks like we’ll be lucky to finish just a few verses. But once we get into these deeper things, I just can’t skip over what I think are little details that make it so interesting. Now in verse 5 let’s continue our teachings of these seven things that make up a unity in the Body of Christ, and they are, “The one Body, The one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all.” And the one we’ll start with in this lesson is “one Lord.”
Now we’re living in a world where we’re seeing the New Age Movement and the Oriental religions being pushed. These and others are coming in, and it’s so tragic that this stuff can be taught in our public schools and no one says a word about it. And the reason for that is, it’s all in the name of education. But as you know you can’t take a Bible to school, or pray in school anymore, but the ridiculousness of all this is there are so many gods coming up in this world, and yet you and I as believers are admonished that doctrinally that there is only one Lord. Now what I like to show here is the word “Lord” coming out of the Old Testament back in Genesis chapter 2. In fact let’s turn back there and look at it for a moment.
You have to remember back in the Old Testament you have the word Lord used in two different ways. You have it used all capitalized, “LORD” and you also have it used “Lord.” In this chapter is a good example of what I’m talking about. Now all the way through Genesis chapter 1 we just see the word, “God.” God said this, God did this, God was pleased and so forth. But now all of a sudden in chapter 2, and verse 4 we see something different.
“These are the generations of the heavens, and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and heavens.”
Was it a typographical error? No. It’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be. Here we now have LORD in capitals. Those of you who have heard me teach Genesis, it’s from this “LORD” that we really get the Old Testament term, “Jehovah.”
Where as “Lord” in the small case is the word “Adonai,” and in the Hebrew is translated over and over throughout the Scriptures as “Master”. Now that makes all the difference in the world. It’s the same God, but you see Paul is using the term, “Lord” here in Ephesians as the Master part of our Saviour and our Lord. Now coming back to the Book of Ephesians we have, “one Lord” and I think we can literally take it out of the Old Testament setting that we have “one Master!”
If I remember correctly the disciples referred to the Lord most times as “Master” didn’t they? It was such an appropriate term, because indeed that’s what He is. So when we come back to Paul’s teaching of the Lord being our Master, then that means everything, because we’re his bond slave as it were. He is the benevolent Master, He is never hard to serve, and so consequently we have a Lord that we can serve with all the energy that’s in our being, because He is so benevolent toward us. I just don’t know how else to put it. He is the only Lord that we serve. He doesn’t have these other aspects that the pagan gods have. So we have one Lord, one Master. Now for the next one.
Boy, now I could stay here all day couldn’t I? Stop and think of the world in general. How many different faiths are there? Why we couldn’t even begin to count the number of what they call various faiths . And even in Christendom, and I have to qualify that when I use that word, I’m not talking about the “Body of Christ” the True Church. When I use the word Christendom, I’m talking about anybody and everybody that uses the New Testament to some degree or other for the basis of what they practice. So within the realm of Christendom, how many faiths? Even among Protestants look at them. You have the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Assemblies of God, and so forth. They’ve broken Christendom down to these various faith. But what does the Scripture say? There is only one faith! We are to stand for this one faith. Now turn with me to the little Book of Jude. Now we’re not to be adversarial, just for the sake of being argumentative, but on the other hand we are to never compromise our faith, which we trust is the one faith that Paul is talking about.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith,…”
The faith, not just your faith, but rather the faith! Well what’s the faith? Well let’s just go back and look at some of the places that Paul use that word. I’m always stressing that Paul is the apostle of the Gentiles, Paul is basically the Church Age apostle, and so let’s come back to his letter to the Romans in chapter 3. He uses this word “faith” over, and over through out his letters.
Now I trust that each of you already know my definition of the word faith? It’s simply, “taking God at His Word!” That is never a bad definition. Faith is always taking God at His Word. God said it, and I believe it, and God reckons that as our faith. There is only one of those. You just can’t simply say, “Well I look at it this way,” and someone else says, “I look at it from a different view point.” No, Paul says, “There is only one faith.” It’s like I said in the first lesson this afternoon, this Book is narrow. This Book is not something that you can just look at it from 15 different directions, and say, “Well we’re all going to the same place.” No way! When Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and Romans 10:9-10 that for salvation we must believe in our heart that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again then that’s narrow.
Now have you got Romans chapter 3? And let’s start at verse 23.
“For all have sinned, (because of Adam) and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…”
All right let’s use my definition here for the word faith, and let’s just feed it in here. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation”…(our everything) through taking God at His Word concerning His blood. So what he’s saying is “I’m going to take God at His Word about what He has said about His Blood.” I haven’t got time in this lesson to look at the various verses concerning the blood of Christ. But from your own knowledge of Scripture, what is the one major attribute of the blood of Christ? What does it do? “Cleanses us from all sin!” Do you see that? We know that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, we also know that the blood of Christ is the power that has been able to withstand all the evil forces of Satan that would destroy us.
Again let me just take you back to the night of the Passover. Why did those Jews stand there at their kitchen table eating that roasted lamb with no fear and trepidation of the death angel that was striking all over Egypt? Because the blood was on the door! Remember that? And that blood was their mark of safety, and it’s the same way with us. Why are you and I as believers safe? We’re under the blood! So I have to tell people this constantly, that Satan can’t touch us because we’re under the blood. How do I know I’m under the blood? The Bible says so, and if the Bible says so, then I just simply take God at His Word. So this is a good example.
Now let’s just back up a page here in Romans to chapter 1. This is a well known verse, and the word faith itself isn’t in here, but the synonymous word is. I’ve always said there are three words in Scripture that all mean the same thing. What are they? Faith, Believe, and Trust. They’re all the same thing. Now look at them here in verse 16.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;…” (or takes God at His Word.)
To every person that takes God at His Word. Now let’s come on over to where we were several weeks ago in chapter 2 of Ephesians. Here in verse 8 is a classic salvation verse.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith: (or taking God at His Word by believing Paul’s Gospel) and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God:”
There are many we could go to – and we need to hit several. Let’s back up a page or two to the little Book of Galatians chapter 2, and verse 20. This is Paul’s own testimony.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; (so being crucified with Christ is an identification process) yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh(our everyday living) I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,”
In other words, again what’s Paul saying? “He’s taking God at His Word.” The Son of God is the One Who was declared. Now that brings me back to still another verse and that would be back to Romans chapter 1 again. I hope this all fits in your mind as at least it does in mine. Let’s begin in verse 4.
“And declared (that is Jesus Christ in verse 3) to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5. By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
And again what’s Paul talking about? So that people would take God at His Word. And what has the Word of God declared? “That Christ died for our sins, He paid our sin penalty, but He arose from the dead, and we must believe that for salvation.” This is all taken by faith. There’s only one faith! You can’t put your faith in some other god or by believing something else. You can’t put your faith in a denomination. Our faith has to be completely centered on the One who went to the Cross, and rose from the dead. Now coming back to Ephesians and let’s go on to the next one.
Again I hope as I’m teaching these words one by one, you’re getting the picture that out there in the world around us instead of being one of any one of these we’ve got many. Oh we’ve got many so called Bodies of Christ, and they know nothing of this beautiful Gospel that we believe. We’ve got so many spirits that are working. We have so many various hopes that people are clinging to, and really they’re hopeless. We have so many gods, and not like the pagans exactly, they had gods and goddesses both, and Paul says, “No. There’s only One!” Now we have all the various faiths, and I hope you’re getting the picture. Now believe it or not, it’s the same way with the next word in this verse which is baptism. We’ve got many baptisms also.
Oh as I’ve said on the program more than once over the years, there is probably no other word in the Christian language that will set people’s hair on end quicker than to disagree with them over baptism. And isn’t it funny. Something that is really doctrinally unimportant so far as our salvation is concerned can cause such enmity, and the sparks just fly immediately. Now let’s just look at this word for a moment. There is only one baptism, and even as your mind is floating out there among the world of Christendom, how many different kinds of baptism can you think of? Oh some sprinkle, some pour, some immerse.
I’ll never forget years back there were two churches. One baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and the other baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Other than that their teachings and their doctrines weren’t all that much different, but they wouldn’t accept one another’s members. I mean they were at complete odds simply because of the terminology that they used when they baptized. It’s ridiculous isn’t it when you really stop to think about it? But Paul says, “There aren’t four or five different modes of baptism, but only one. We’ve looked at it previously in I Corinthians chapter 12, but let’s look at it again.
I Corinthians 12:13a
“For by one Spirit (the Holy Spirit) are we (believers) all baptized into one body,…”
This Spirit baptism is the only baptism that Paul knows. And as I’ve taught my classes here in Oklahoma, it’s the only baptism that will make a difference for eternity. You can be baptized in water a hundred times and it’s not going to fit you for eternity. There’s only one baptism that will do that, and it’s this one that Paul teaches here.
I Corinthians 12:13a
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body….”
This one Body is the one we talked about in the first lesson today. It doesn’t matter about our status in life, there is only one baptism that counts for eternity. And counting for eternity is what it’s all about. The moment we believe the Gospel as outlined in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10 the Holy Spirit in His invisible, all powerful modus operandi placed the believer into the Body of Christ. That’s the one baptism that Paul talks about in Ephesians. He never mentions water baptism in this Book, because remember we made that jump up in Ephesians to higher doctrinal things, and we’re coming even from his earlier revelations to these later ones as we had it on the board earlier, and so now he can define the fact that there is only one baptism that counts for eternity.
Now I’m not putting down what denominations may demand for church membership, that’s strictly up to them, that’s not my prerogative. My prerogative is to show what the Bible is talking about. And it is talking about the moment we were saved we were placed into the Body of Christ! Remember the Holy Spirit never goofs up. There is never an unbeliever placed into the Body of Christ! We as believers don’t know who’s genuinely saved and who’s not saved because we can’t examine the heart. But the Holy Spirit knows immediately the moment that faith is exercised in the Gospel.
This is the reason that local churches, and I don’t care what denomination, they have unbelievers baptized in water and into their membership, because humans cannot determine, but the Holy Spirit as He baptizes never makes a mistake.
Let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 1 for a moment and look at a verse on this. This is a good verse, and I would that you would use it over and over on your friends. I had such an interesting phone call this morning from a gentlemen down in Florida. It’s the kind of phone call that just makes your day. This gentlemen had a next of kin and a nephew that he could never approach about salvation. They just wouldn’t listen to him. But he said he got the idea to tape some of our programs, and took them some of the tapes, and he just simply asked that they watch them. He went on to say, that in no time at all that dad and his son were saved, and now they’re working with him to reach other members of the family. Well that’s as it should be, when you get that kind of salvation experience, and pass it on to others then it’s genuine. Well I see I’ve only got 30 seconds left in this lesson so let’s at least read verse 13.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”
And how did the Holy Spirit seal us? By placing us into the Body of Christ!