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Archive for the ‘Covenant Amenability’ Category

The Principle of Restoration in the Battle for Truth

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Introduction

This subject deals with attitude. Neither restoration nor maintenance of the church of Christ is possible apart from the proper and wholesome attitude toward Truth. Paul wrote of the crucial importance of one's attitude toward the Truth:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 The. 2:10–12).

Notice that twice in this remarkable passage Paul emphasized the importance of proper attitude toward the Truth in the phrases, received not the love of the truth and believed not the truth. The sentence upon those possessing such blasphemous attitudes is manifold: (1) deception through unrighteousness, (2) belief of error (i.e., "strong delusion," "a lie"), (3) taking pleasure in unrighteousness, and, at last, (4) perishing, being lost, and damned.

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Billingslyism, a Response—Who Has Fallen From Grace?

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Introduction

In order to please God, the doctrine of Christ must ever control our desires. Conversely, men behave exceedingly dangerously when desire becomes the father of their doctrine. This very phenomenon is apparent in the several attempts that have been made in recent years to escape the restrictive nature of Jesus' words in Matthew 19:9 relating to marriage, divorce, and remarriage: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”1 The attentive apostles obviously recognized the serious import of His words immediately, suggesting, “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry” (v. 10).

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Why the Plan of Salvation Was Necessary

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Introduction

The Bible is a book about sin and a Savior. Paul announced wonderful news in this regard:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death (Rom. 8:1–2).

This grand statement at once calls attention to mankind’s need of a means by which he might be saved from “the law of sin and death” and to the fact that such a plan is available and operable. The need for salvation implies dire jeopardy of some sort and a cause for this danger. The cause of this irreparable loss is transgression of the law of God—sin: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV). The jeopardy is loss of one’s soul in eternal separation from God in Hell—death in the ultimate sense.

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THE SCOPE OF THE COVENANTS—ARE ALIEN SINNERS AMENABLE TO THE GOSPEL?

Introduction

In the early 1950s W. Carl Ketcherside and Leroy Garrett were disturbing churches with their hobby that drew a distinction between gospel and doctrine. They alleged that only the “gospel” of the New Testament as they defined it (i.e., the plan of salvation) applied to alien sinners, and that the “doctrine” of the New Testament as they defined it (i.e., all of the remainder of the New Testament) applied only to Christians. They made this artificial distinction primarily in an attempt to legitimize their contention that it was sinful for a preacher to serve with a single congregation over an extended period of time (commonly called the “anti-located preacher” hobby). (Of course, they alone were qualified to determine what an “extended period of time” was!) In 1954 the late E.C. Fuqua affirmed in a written debate with Thomas B. Warren that non-Christians are not under Christian law and that the world is in no sense under any Law of Christ.1

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ARE ALIEN SINNERS AMENABLE TO THE LAW OF CHRIST?

It is exceedingly strange that anyone claiming to be informed in the Word of God would deny that alien sinners are accountable to the law of Christ. However, there have been in the past and there presently are those who advocate this fatal error. In essence, those who advocate this view divide the Gospel into separate bodies of spiritual law, with one for aliens only and the other for the church only.

A brief history of past and present proponents of this heresy is in order. In the early 1950s brethren Carl Ketcherside and Leroy Garrett began insisting that there is a Scriptural distinction between “Gospel” (the plan of salvation) and “doctrine” (the rest of the New Testament), arguing that only aliens were to hear the “Gospel” while the “doctrine” was to be taught only to saints. At about the same time the late brother E.C. Fuqua began denying that “the World” (alien sinners) was not subject to any spiritual law of Christ, but was only under civil law. He was effectively exposed and discredited by brother Tom Warren in a written debate in 1954.1

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