This is the second in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.
God knows everything, which means nothing surprises Him. Satan’s brash rebellion didn’t catch the Creator off guard. Neither did Adam’s fall send the Lord into divine panic, forcing Him to sacrifice His Son in a desperate “Plan B.”
Every event in time and eternity plays out exactly as God knows it will. His foreknowledge is more than perfect, however; it’s personal.
If you are a follower of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to declare, “I am foreknown.”
The Missouri Baptist Convention has released What Every Christian Should Know about Salvation: Twelve Bible Terms That Describe God’s Work of Redemption. This book is available in print form from the MBC, as well as in print and Kindle versions at Amazon. This excerpt is from the Introduction.
This resource is designed for personal or group study. It explores twelve Bible terms that describe God’s work of salvation as He rescues us from sin, returns us to a right relationship with Him, and ultimately restores us — and the fallen world in which we live — to perfection.
People use the words salvation and saved in a variety of settings, from sporting events to political campaigns to natural disasters. Even within Christian circles, there is disagreement as to what it means to be saved and how salvation is acquired. So, it’s critical for us to begin with a definition.
Stated simply, salvation is God’s remedy for the sin that has ruined everything and alienated everyone from Him. The Lord reveals this remedy as soon as Adam and Eve rebel against Him. He promises a future Redeemer who crushes the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15). Then, He provides additional promises throughout the Old Testament, granting us more than four hundred prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowings of the Messiah, a King who comes as a virgin-born child in Bethlehem.
This child, Jesus of Nazareth, bursts onto the scene at just the right time (Gal. 4:4). He lives a sinless life and dies on a Roman cross, taking upon Himself our sins and paying the penalty of death for them (2 Cor. 5:21). Then, He rises physically from the dead on the third day, conquering Satan, sin, and death, and freely offering forgiveness of sins and everlasting life by grace through faith in Him. Before ascending into heaven, He promises to return one day to fulfill all things — that is, to complete His work of salvation and to set everything right (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; John 14:1-3).
This is the last in a series of columns addressing Jehovah’s Witnesses and their understanding of Jesus.
Previously, we looked at passages in the Watch Tower’s official New World Translation 2013 (NWT) that seem to affirm Christ’s deity, even though the Watch Tower blots out Jesus’ divine identity in other verses.
Specifically, we looked at both Jehovah and Jesus as Lord, as the Creator of all things, and as the first and the last. Now, let’s consider Jehovah and Jesus as the “I AM.”
In the second column in this series, we visited John 8:58. Let’s return briefly to this verse, which the NWT translates, “Jesus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been’” (emphasis added). Curiously, the Watch Tower translators have rendered the Greek phrase ego eimi as “I have been.”
Other English translations render these words, “I AM,” connecting them with the divine name in the Old Testament, where Yahweh self-identifies as “I AM” (Ex. 3:14). However, if the correct translation of ego eimiis “I have been,” one would expect the NWT to render this phrase consistently. But it does not.
This is the third in a series of columns addressing Jehovah’s Witnesses and their understanding of Jesus.
Previously, we saw how the Watch Tower has effectively scrubbed the deity of Christ from its official version of Scripture, the New World Translation (NWT).
If Jehovah’s Witnesses are leery of using any other translation, what hope exists for them to find the real Jesus in the NWT? Have any passages survived the Watch Tower’s theological sanitizing, so we may point our Witness friends to an eternal and divine Jesus who took on flesh to save us from our sins?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. We may begin by raising sincere questions and seeking answers in the New World Translation.
This is the second in a series of columns addressing Jehovah’s Witnesses and their understanding of Jesus.
Previously, we looked at how the New World Translation – the Bible Jehovah’s Witnesses use – offers a clear example of what happens when you start with doctrine instead of Scripture. Rather than align its teachings with Scripture, the Watch Tower generated an entirely new translation of the Bible, one that attempts to strip the deity of Christ from its pages.
Here are a few examples:
Jesus is “a god”
This verse in the New World Translation (NWT) 2013 reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god” (emphasis added). The Watch Tower goes to great lengths to explain why this is an accurate rendering of the Greek, citing grammatical rules and misquoting Greek scholars to support its belief that the Word is “godlike, divine, a god,” but not coequal and coeternal with the Father.
In truth, as the late dean of Talbot Theological Seminary, Charles L. Feinberg, noted, “I can assure you that the rendering which the Jehovah’s Witnesses give John 1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek scholar.”
Compare the King James Version (KJV): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The New American Standard Bible (NASB), English Standard Version (ESV), and Christian Standard Bible (CSB) read exactly the same.