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John 1 12 13. Does the passage refer to Christ?

  1. Ericdierker profile image82
    Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago

    I have concluded it does not refer to Christ. It refers to the time before Christ's presence (physical) on earth. John the probable author is speaking of before Christ.

    The next verses speak of the flesh of the Savior.

    But many seem to quote these two verses to rally against Universalism. "Houston we have a problem"

    ""12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.""

    And then the next paragraphs start with a title: The Word Becomes Flesh

    1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
      SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      This is very interesting Eric. I need time to ponder on this. I have over looked your point about 14 coming after 12 and 13. Now I am curiouse.

      1. Ericdierker profile image82
        Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I am wholly convinced now that John had it right. And makes perfectly clear in following verses that all are now saved. I do not know what it takes to become unsaved. But it would have to be an act of volition not omission for sure. And so it becomes clear that the work of the Christian is less about going out and saving, and more about, not causing one to stumble.

        1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
          SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Eric, do you believe that once the truth is revealed to all, that one, some or even many will refuse the great gift of grace that is already given to us all? I am just curious what you think about UR.

          1. Ericdierker profile image82
            Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I am just unfortunate enough to have witnessed Christians pissing folks off enough to get them to reject. There is an error in Churches to try and convert. Mankind rejects such things. Good for mankind. There is only one method to convert and that is love. There is no reason for a man to speak out loud that he loves. But if he does love then he has received. I am not UR. I am just one that believes God is Love, and therefor all who love know God. Us calling it God only frustrates the mission.

            1. A Troubled Man profile image58
              A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Your observation is entirely caused by the latter, hence Christians can stop pissing off folks anytime.

              1. Ericdierker profile image82
                Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                If only it were so my friend.

            2. SwordofManticorE profile image75
              SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Thats the thing, Eric. Has there ever been a person that has never known love? My wife would agree with you about love and God. I am still searching this thought. Yes there is a gross error in the church (ecclesia), and it needs prayer and healing. I believe that the current condition of the world is not because of atheists, buddists, hindues, muslims or any other form of religious belief, the state of the world is because of the church and the history of Christianity and its belief system.

            3. profile image0
              Brenda Durhamposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              What do you mean by that?
              "Us calling it God......"

              By the way, I think you're trying to read too much into the verse in question....
              It is about Jesus.  It simply refers to the "new birth" that Christ's resurrection obtained for anyone who accepts Him.......being "born again".....Spiritually,  as opposed to being born into some form of earthly inheritance or family.
              The fact that the verse comes before "And the word was made flesh"......doesn't imply any ulterior significance.

              1. bstiltner77 profile image81
                bstiltner77posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Bravo Brenda! Context is king here and any reasonable reading of the text, in my opinion, leads to no other conclusion than the fact that Jesus is in view. Also, we need to remember that it is quite dangerous to embrace a position of interpretation that is contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture...In other words, even if a case could be made that this is an obscure passage (I think not) it would still behoove us to base our interpretation of it on the passages which are less ambiguous. Yet again, I maintain that there is no ambiguity in this passage. With all due respect to Eric and Sword...there is simply too many references in Scripture contrary to the idea of Universalism to ignore, deny or explain away. I think the concept of "Forced Love" which is required in order to embrace Universalism, will prove very problematic for those who wish to intellectually wrestle with it with honesty. I must agree with C.S Lewis who once stated, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end. ‘Thy will be done’ ” (Lewis, The Great Divorce, 69).

                1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
                  SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  How many referrences are there in scripture that are contrary to Universalism? Because I have found of 600 that says the exact opposite.

                  1. Jerami profile image76
                    Jeramiposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What I like best about believing in universalism (If it is true?) is that it makes no difference if we believe in it or not. It is what it is!   
                    (if it is true?) there is no need to convince any one of its truth, it is what it is!

                    I think that unless every time a baby is born into this physical realm a NEW spirit/soul is created ...?
                    Now that sounds silly to me!  Does the sex act between two humans create new spirits/souls?                      Is that scriptural?   Or did God breath the soul into the body? 
                    If the latter is the case, the soul existed before it entered the body!    And if the soul existed before it enters the body AND it continues to exist after it leaves the body, it is then eternal.   
                    Can an act  that it commits, within a time frame which must in comparison, seem to take less time than a sneeze cause it to lose its eternalness?   In the same way that an evil act, which only lasted 30 seconds  when you were a teenager abolish the person that you are today?   
                    Or something like that.

                2. profile image0
                  Brenda Durhamposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Amen.

  2. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 3 years ago

    Looking at the verses in question, and the ones before and after; I think you have to take those two out of context in order to arrive at that conclusion.

    1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
      SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Who says you have to take scripoture in its context to understand its meaning? Rules about how to read scripture is one of the many reasons why I left the church.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I didn't say there were rules. I suppose it makes sense to pull whole sentences out of context to create a new meaning.  I mean, Christians already do that even with individual words.

        1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
          SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Ok, then please tell me what the parable of the rich man and Lazerus means in its context written in Luke 16.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I've read that several times and still have no idea what that has to do with the question asked by the OP, or my opinion of that question.

            1. bstiltner77 profile image81
              bstiltner77posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Emily, he is trying to make the case that a typical interpretation of the parable, when taken at face value, in context, results in a belief of a literal Hell which he is opposed to ... If I am not mistaken.

              1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
                SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                My purpose here is not making a case, but to help those who seek see. Christ said if they have an ear, let them hear. That is the purpose of my question, but once I have established that there is no ear that can hear. I dont waste time talking to them. If you take the parable liteally, you end up with a literal hell. The message that Christ was giving the pharisees and the scribes was something else and has nothing to do with a hell, therefore debunking the belief that you have to take all scripture in its context.

                1. profile image0
                  Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I'm all ears. Please elaborate a little more

                  1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
                    SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    You already know my position here Deeps, and yes friend. You ARE all ears.

                2. A Troubled Man profile image58
                  A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  No one here is interested in your purpose here, you need not worry about that.



                  That is the reason why your purpose has nothing to do with anyone but yourself, it is an entirely selfish purpose that only you believe will benefit, while everyone else is simply annoyed. You have no interest whatsoever with anyone but yourself.

            2. SwordofManticorE profile image75
              SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              You believe that we should read the bible in its context, so what is your understanding of the parable in its context?

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                First, it is a parable. Second, it is supposedly the words of Jesus. There is a big difference between what a prophet teaches and what a pupil writes about the nature of the teacher after the class has been completed. John was giving his interpretation of who Jesus was; so, no, I think taking any portion of that out and determining it to be contrary to what the whole thought implied is probably not a good idea. Can you do it? You can do anything you want.

                But, to the parable. Even if it does appear to say that hell exists; and even if it was a firm statement that this guy ended up there it does not follow (in my opinion) that such a place would still exist. I feel confident somewhere Jesus said he hadn't come to abolish the law; but to fulfill it. So, at the moment the parable was shared it could feasibly be argued that such a place existed. Not after the resurrection.   I, personally, think the point was simply to be kind to the less fortunate. That somewhere within eternity you will regret your selfish actions.  But, since I don't believe in hell maybe I'm being too charitable about the teachings of Jesus. Maybe he was a fire and brimstone preacher.

                1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
                  SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  If you take the parable into the context of who it was spoken to and when it was spoken, you get a better understanding of its symbolic meaning. In a nut shell, Christ was telling His disciples that the blessings given to Judea from God will end and be given to the gentiles, further, He also told them that the age of the old covenant will end with the beginning of the new covenant. He also added that those who are Jews will face persecution for many centuries as long as they do not except Christ as the messiah. I did not take the parable in its context, because there is no context,  yet I have come to understand its symbolic meaning spiritually. I believe this also applies to most of Christ's ministry to the Jews.

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    So, it is your argument that a parable has no context then nothing written within the book has context? I'm confused, because you took the parable, in its entirety, to come to a conclusion. Yet you are arguing that doesn't apply to the verses brought up by the OP. Why?

                  2. bstiltner77 profile image81
                    bstiltner77posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Sword, please clarify..."If you take the parable into the context of who it was spoken to and when it was spoken" and "I did not take the parable in its context, because there is no context,  yet I have come to understand its symbolic meaning spiritually."...it would seem that your attempt to somehow evade context is going to take a bit more work. With all due respect, never-mind the fact that we will have to agree to disagree on the reality of Hell...the fact of the matter is that you are fooling yourself by these gymnastic approaches to the Scripture. You can't be "okay" with a contextual understanding and then when the clear conclusion is one that betrays your sensitivities simply dismiss it through suggesting a symbolic or "Spiritual" conclusion. I really do not mean to come across mean spirited  but quite frankly, I think you should give some honest evaluation to the manner in which you are approaching the Scripture. Do you not find it problematic that you spend so much energy trying to explain Hell away that in the process you are having to sacrifice the integrity of the Scripture and viability of your own logic? I say this not as a cheap shot towards you...you strike me as someone who has experienced deep struggles with the traditional "church" which I can appreciate. However, one of the things we all must be an guard of, including myself, is allowing the misrepresentation of Christianity that we find ourselves subjected to on so many occasion, to drive us towards equally dangerous misrepresentations. For instance, if your experience in the Pentecostal church left you frustrated, angry, disillusioned, fed-up, confused, etc...perhaps the answer is not in isolating yourself from the institution which Christ Himself died for and perhaps the answer is not in developing an understanding of Scripture which is driven more by for-drawn conclusions rather than an honest desire to understand. I do not pretend to have all the answers; however, I can assure you of this, if there is a real Hell and I believe there is and if God is truly righteous, loving and Holy, and I believe He is, then it is not our job to somehow explain His ways away so as to satisfy our lack of understanding and be more appealing to the masses...we do God a great injustice with such an approach and in the end, one may find him or herself in a seat of tremendous responsibility for having led many astray. Lastly, some suggest that those who believe in a literal Hell are equally those who incessantly focus on it and are characterized as "Fire and Brimstone" types. This is really an insufficient understanding of people like myself. On the contrary, because of the reality of hell, I spend the majority of my time proclaiming the Good News that God has made a way for all who embrace the sacrifice of His Son to never have to face that horrible place. Though it is true that Jesus spent considerable time talking about the punishment of the wicked, it is also true that He came to seek and save the lost... That's all for now.

      2. bstiltner77 profile image81
        bstiltner77posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Sword, I maintain that you do need to take or read Scripture in context to understand its meaning...not just me, but a world of people who approach any form of literature with integrity and honesty. Whether you wish to call it rules or religiosity or any other demeaning term, the fact of the matter is that you read instructions, letters, blogs, novels, the newspaper and all other forms of literature "In Context" if you wish to come away with a reasonable and accurate understanding. It's unfortunate that you left the "church" over this and many other reasons but your negative experience with those who may have displayed unloving and fleshly attitudes does not negate the fact that if one seeks to rightly understand the word it should at least be read with as much carefulness and integrity as we read the comic strip of a Sunday morning paper. This is not me being unloving by the way...simply stating that your position of "No need for context" is quite honestly unrealistic and tremendously dangerous in my perspective. In fact, perhaps the reason there is so much hypocrisy and division within the "Believing Community" is in part due to the fact that we fail to fully embrace passages such as 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB95) — 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
        By the way...I encourage all those reading this reply to read the above passage in context...lol

        1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
          SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          It is not at all incredible, that a book which has been so long in the possession of mankind should contain many truths as yet undiscovered. -- Bishop Butler

          I put Butler's opinion above yours thank you, and that most Christians take everything in scripture in its context may be the reason why Christianity has lost most of its glory.

          1. bstiltner77 profile image81
            bstiltner77posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Sword, I suspect you read that Butler comment in context...or maybe not. I have no issue with you valuing Butler's opinion over my own... I admittedly have much to learn. Nevertheless, I should point out that Butler's most famous work, "Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel"  is a collection of 15 sermons on various topics...all of which I might add were based upon verses or passages which he placed and explained in context. I have no bone to pick with you Sword but statements such as "Who says you have to take scripoture in its context to understand its meaning? Rules about how to read scripture is one of the many reasons why I left the church" strike me as being very foolish and self-defeating since neither you, me, nor Bishop Butler operate within that framework unless we are driven by a self seeking motive.

            1. SwordofManticorE profile image75
              SwordofManticorEposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              It would of been more follish of me to have stayed. Many books are to be taken in its context and that I have no problem with, but it has been said by many Christians that Christ spoke more about hell than He did heaven is a perfect example why we should not take His teachings in its context. Christ taught us that His words are both spirit and life, yet if you take His word literally, you end of believing what you and most of all Christianity believe in. Hell! I asked some one what their understanding of the parable of the rich man and Lazerus means in its context. Yet no one has yet given me an answer to their understanding of it. All I am trying to say is that there is more to scripture than meets the eye.

              Btw, I am not self-defeated, I am willingly defeated.

              1. bstiltner77 profile image81
                bstiltner77posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Sword, the issue here is that the scripture is not a buffet line for you and I to pick and choose from... Though attractive that idea might be. The fact if the matter is that Jesus did have much to say about Hell and though it may not be very palatable, it is there. We cannot allegories or spiritualize it and maintain a position of integrity. I imagine you believe in a real Heaven... set the record straight if I am incorrect, if this is the case, you are committing intellectual suicide and religious hypocrisy by interpreting the "happy scriptures" literally and "unhappy passages" spiritually, figuratively, metaphorically or in any other manner. I do not expect to be popular with such a position but I am okay with that. Simply said, God is love and loving but also just and Holy...two characteristics he is simply not willing to sacrifice in order to satisfy our sensitivities. Yet again, what do I know... I'm just a guy who believes the B.I.B.L.E... By the way , I am not at all surprised that you found 600 verses supporting Universalism...I would have expected nothing less. Until next time my friend.

 
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