Timecode per segment:
[4:55] What is the bible?
[5:20] Who is the God who wrote it?
[13:45] How can the Bible make people holy before God? The Bible is the only book that can teach us salvation.
[17:04] The one who listens and understands the words of God will be blessed but must be a doer of the work.
[20:00] But how did man end up separated from God and become His enemy?
[22:23] Why does man need to be reconnected back to God before it’s too late?
[28:15] How can man properly reconnect back to God?
[30:31] What is the door people must enter in to be saved?
[35:53] Why should one seek the true Church of Christ?
[44:00] Why are those in the Church of Christ, the ones who are given the correct understanding of God’s words in the Bible?
[46:40] How are we sure that the preachers inside the true Church of Christ are sent by God? .
[expand title=”Show/Hide Transcript”]
Brother Bob Pellien: Hello everyone, I’m Brother Bob Pellien, and welcome to the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. Today’s topic, the Bible.
Though it is known to be the best selling book of all time and it is even said to have been translated into more than 2,000 languages, whether in whole or in parts, some still question its relevance in our modern times. So, is the Bible still relevant today? We’ll find out today right here, on the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition.
Joining us today in this episode is Brother Johnny Martin in Quezon City, Philippines, Brother Donald Pinnock in Toronto, Canada, as well as Brother Joseph Penwell in Washington, D.C.. Brothers, thank you for joining our discussion and, welcome to the program.
[Panelist of Ministers greet Brother Bob]
Brother Bob: Brothers, in as much as the Bible has reached far and wide, throughout the world, it certainly has affected and even influenced the lives of, well, countless people from all walks of life. And though it may well be considered in various different ways by others, for example, that some may look at it as merely a history book, or just a book of customs and morals, or even just a book of literature regarding the Hebrew people. But what really makes the Bible unique? Well, let’s first ask: Do people believe that the Bible is still relevant today?
[On-screen text graphics]
TODAY’S TOPIC: IS THE BIBLE STILL RELEVANT TODAY?
Interviewee: Everything in the bible is still relevant. So, I mean I’m not going to choose and pick which ones.
Interviewee 2: Everything that’s being taught from the Bible is…can be taught in everyday life and just be part of what you do and how you do things, and the way that I live my life is to praise God, pretty much, and basically make Him happy and shine our light for others.
Interviewee 3: I think the Bible is still relevant if you read the Bible.
Interviewee 4: I believe, for certain people, it is. However, for myself, I think it was written a long time ago. Even though you can read some readings, it might be interpreted in today’s world.
Interviewee 5: As a piece of literature, yes.
Interviewee 6: Yeah, of course. I mean, as a kid, I go to Sunday school and stuff. So, I know a lot of the stories, and I see the similarities between then and now and it’s really…I think it’s applicable.
Interviewee 7: Yes, I think a lot of people follow it.
Interviewee 8: I believe it impacts some lives, but I feel like it’s kind of lost its…I guess, not necessarily strength, but a lot of people don’t have much faith anymore. Just because I feel like, especially this generation, we’re not as close to God as we should be or could be.
Brother Bob: So, Brothers, you can see the varying degrees of commitment to the relevance of the Bible. How did you see those various comments when they were asked about the Bible’s relevance?
Brother Joseph Penwell: Well, Brother Bob, I think they show a different kind of opinion that people have for the Bible. Some of them truly believe in it, while others are just saying it’s not really relevant anymore in their lives. It’s just an old book that may have been good literature but nothing more.
Brother Bob: I couldn’t help but notice that they were always speaking in the third person. “Well others think that it’s still okay.” “Seems okay.” There didn’t seem to be any real commitment to the relevance of the Bible in modern times. Did you think so, Brother Johnny?
Brother Johnny Martin: Well, Brother Bob, one of the things that caught my attention was the young lady at the end of the video clip, where she talks about this generation doesn’t really believe in God. She made a comment about how the Bible may have lost its strength, and, of course, it’s sad to hear reactions like that when it comes to how people feel about the Holy Scriptures or the Holy Bible.
On the other hand, some of the people featured there in the video clip were talking about yes, they do believe that the Bible really is relevant. They don’t want to pick and choose from within its teachings on what they are going to uphold in their life. They accept the Bible to be applicable still in our time. It really is nice to hear that reaction from others.
Brother Bob: So, Brothers, all in all, we’re talking today about the Bible. What is the Bible? Let’s begin our discussion there. What is the Bible? Is it merely a history book? Is it really just a book of morals? Is it a book of customs or just another piece of literature?
Brother Johnny: Well, Brother Bob, if I could go ahead and answer that, I would say that the Bible belongs to a class of its own. It really is unique.
Brother Bob: Why do you say that, Brother Johnny? Many wouldn’t agree. Many would ask why we would call it unique at all?
Brother Johnny: Well, because of the author of the Bible. Now, some might be wondering who the true author of the Bible is. Well, let’s read the answer. Here in Jeremiah 30 and 2, this is stated:
“Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
[Jeremiah 30:2 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: But what makes the Bible unique? Again, it is the author of the Bible, and who is the true author of the Bible? It is the Lord God Himself. Now, who is the one speaking in the verse that we just read. It’s God, and who was God speaking to here? The Prophet Jeremiah, and what does God command the Prophet Jeremiah to do? It said there in the passage, write in a book for yourself, all the words that I have spoken unto you. So, we have the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, but the Book of Jeremiah, which contains the words that God spoke to him, well, that’s only one of the many books that comprise what is known today as the Bible.
Brother Joseph: Yes, Brother. Actually, the Bible consists of 66 books. It has two divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains 39 books, while the New Testament contains 27. Also, there are about 40 different writers of the Bible, Jeremiah being one of them. But we should take note that even though there were the different writers of the Bible, God Himself claims that these are His words and no others’. So, the Bible is very unique, because it is the only book that contains the words of God.
Brother Bob: Let’s bring in Brother Donald to our discussion from Toronto, Canada there. Brother Donald, knowing that the Bible contains the words of the Lord God, some of our viewers may be wondering, well, who is that God? If we’re going to say that His words are contained here in the Bible, who is the God who has His words contained there?
Brother Donald Pinnock: To answer that question, Brother Bob, please allow me to read Malachi 2 and the verse is 10:
Have we not all one Father?
Has not one God created us?
[Malachi 2:10a NKJV]
Brother Donald: The Bible is very clear in teaching that when it comes to the God, as mentioned in the Holy Bible, it is one God, the Father in Heaven, who is also known as the Creator.
Brother Joseph: In fact, the Apostle Paul taught the very same thing in his letter to the Christians in Corinth, and you can read that in 1 Corinthians and the chapter’s 8 and the verse is 6:
yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live.
[1 Corinthians 8:6 TEV]
Brother Joseph: So, therefore, we can take note, beloved brethren, and dear friends, that what was taught by the Old Testament writers were also taught by the New Testament writers, that there is only one God and He is the Father.
Brother Johnny: Now, Brothers, may I point out that because the Bible contains the words of God, the Bible is a holy book. In fact, that is how the Apostles referred to the Bible, here in 2 Timothy 3:15-17:
and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
[2 Timothy 3:15-17 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: So, dear friends, notice what the Apostle Paul said here about the Bible. He said here in the verse, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures.
Brother Bob: Why is it called holy though, Brother Johnny? Some would say, it’s just a book. Why would you call a book holy?
Brother Johnny: Well, because Brother Bob, the Apostles wrote here, all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and in Leviticus 11:44, the Lord God told His servants, be holy, for I am holy. Therefore, the Bible is truly holy. The Bible should be honored and respected by all, for the Bible contains the words of our Creator.
Brother Bob: And so Brothers, considering all of these things that have been read, what then truly is the relevance, learning and obeying the words of God written in the Bible? Before we answer that, we went and asked people such question as: Do you really need the Bible to get close to God and be saved? Let’s take a look at some of the kind of responses that we got to that question.
Interviewee 3: You can be close to God without the Bible by praying or just having faith in the Lord and having a personal belief. You don’t have to follow any religion, I don’t think.
Interviewee 2: As you’re walking around, say you’re going to school, one day you wake up and someone decides, like, hey, skip school today, or go do something. And something in your heart really feels that, hey, don’t do that, something’s telling you that that’s not the right thing to do. To me, personally, I believe that that’s God speaking to me and telling me that that’s not the right thing to do and that I should stay focused on my path.
Interviewee 5: People could be good and nice to each other, be peaceful, and then I think they’re good people, and I don’t think God really has much to do with it.
Interviewee 8: You should have a general sense of the Bible, but I feel like you can definitely have a relationship with God. For instance, my mom, she’s really religious and she reads the Bible every day. I don’t necessarily read the Bible, but from her I learn and that brings me closer to God as well.
Interviewee 4: I think you could be spiritual and have your own beliefs. So, no, you don’t need, what is it your question was, the Bible, to be spiritual.
Interviewee 6: You can still have a relationship despite not reading and stuff.
Interviewer: So how can one achieve that relationship without the Bible?
Interviewee 6: Through prayer, through prayer. I know for me, I need to pray a lot more.
Interviewee 7: No, I think people can still have a belief in Him and be close to Him by praying every day or just following the rules in your religion.
Interviewee 1: I mean, if you don’t read the Bible, there’s no way you can know who you’re following, what God you’re following. You don’t even know what you’re following, who you’re worshiping, you know.
Interviewee 3: It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship with God. That’s what my mom says.
Brother Bob: So Brothers, that last gentleman seemed to think that the Bible was relevant. Most of the others seem to think that we could just have a relationship with God without the Bible being relevant in that relationship. Is that what you took also from those comments?
Brother Donald: Well, Brother Bob, it is very clear that when it comes to the understanding of so many others, it varies. Some were saying that it has some importance, while others believe that the Holy Bible is not that important. However, just like what Brother Johnny read earlier in 2 Timothy 3:15-17. All Scripture was given by inspiration of God. And again, the God we are referring to is the true God, the one who created us, who knows what is best for man. So, what is the benefit of the Holy Scriptures that were inspired by the Lord our God? We read earlier, it is good for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, so that a person may be complete, thoroughly equipped, when it comes to serving God and ultimately attaining salvation. So, regardless of the dispensation of time, the Holy Scriptures is very, very important.
Brother Joseph: That’s why the Lord Jesus Christ actually pointed out that the words of God have truly a power to sanctify, or to make one holy. And we can read that here in the Book of John. The chapter is 17, the verse is 17:
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
[John 17:17 NKJV]
Brother Joseph: Therefore, if anyone lives in accordance to the words of God or the teachings that are found in the Bible, then that one will be made holy or become sanctified before the Almighty God.
Brother Bob: Those are important points, Brothers. It’s great to know. God’s teachings that are really recorded in the Holy Bible, and obedience to these teachings of God recorded in the Scriptures, as we have just heard, are going to lead any one of us to a state of holiness. But is that all? One would say they could be holy in just being a good deed doer. If the Bible, and following in teaching, is the true way to become holy, is there any other thing to be gained from the Bible?
Brother Johnny: Oh yes, Brother Bob, there is. I’d like to go back to 2 Timothy 3:15. We’re going to read it again, dear friends. We want to point out something there in the passage:
And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
[2 Timothy 3:15 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: What is it that we should notice here, dear friends? The Apostles show us that the Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise to salvation. So, the Holy Scriptures, or the Bible, is the only book that contains God’s wisdom for salvation. Now, there are a lot of books out there in the world, a lot of writings out there that people could read, but amongst all of them, the Bible really is unique. It’s the only book out there that can teach us the wisdom of God that will result in our salvation.
Brother Bob: So, it’s definitely a relevant book. Right, Brother Joseph?
Brother Joseph: Yes, that’s very relevant, and if I can point out at this instance that even if the Bible does contain the teachings concerning salvation, if one doesn’t learn it, and if one doesn’t implement that teaching in their life, then it will have no effect on them and will not lead them to salvation. In fact, this is what we can also read in 1 Timothy, the chapter is 2, the verses are 3-4. Listen to this:
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
[1 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV]
Brother Joseph: Notice, it is God Himself who wants man to be saved, but He told us how is it that we can be saved? He said that one must first come to the knowledge of the truth, and as what we learned a little bit earlier, that truth is the word of God and the word of God can only be found in the Bible.
Brother Donald: And this is the very reason why the members of the Church Of Christ, all over the world, they continue to invite people to listen to His words inside the true Church Of Christ. However, it is not enough that man comes to the knowledge of the truth. In fact, according to the Holy Scriptures, there is something that should be done when it comes to God’s words or teachings. We can read the answer here in James 1:25, and the following is recorded:
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
[James 1:25 NKJV]
Brother Donald: It is very clearly stated, in the Holy Scriptures, that one indeed should listen, they should understand, they should comprehend the words of the Lord our God. But in order to be blessed, it is so important that one is a doer of the work or the word. They put into practice the teachings or the words of the Lord our God, in turn for them to receive His blessings.
Brother Bob: So, you know Brothers, based on those important things that you have read from the Holy Scriptures, if there’s one thing that’s really clear, we should not be surprised that, first of all, the Bible does exist. Why? Because God wants everyone to benefit from what He promised to humanity, and that is salvation. He wants people to know the truth. He wants people to know who the true God is. He wants people to know how to be saved, and for this to happen, it’s essential to live in holiness, essential to live in obedience to God’s commands, and come to know the truths that are contained here in this book.
Dear friends, when we come back, we’re going to find out if mankind was really able to do that. Was man able to live by God’s divine instructions contained in this book, the Bible? You’re watching Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. Stay with us.
[On-screen text graphics]
INC INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Brother Bob: Welcome back to the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. Today, we’re talking about the Bible, and is the Bible still relevant today? Thus far, we’ve learned that the Lord God spoke His words. He gave a commandment that they would be written down, down in a book, and that book is the Holy Scriptures or the Holy Bible.
We also have learned that obedience to His commands results in sanctification, or one is made holy who hears, implements by obeying, and most of all, the end result for all of that would be one’s eternal life or salvation.
But then, Brothers, has mankind been able to completely follow the commands of God written in the Holy Bible? Has it been given its due importance? Is it being implemented by humanity for the sake of mankind’s salvation?
Brother Johnny: You know, Brother Bob, that’s a really interesting question, and to answer that, let’s hear what God says as recorded in Malachi 3:7:
Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts.” But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’
[Malachi 3:7 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: So, the question is, have people really obey the laws, the commands, the teachings of God which are recorded in the Bible? Well, the Lord God said, here in the passage, from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. In other words, people have been disobedient to the commands of God. He said that ever since the time of the fathers or the ancestors, even going back to the very first couple, Adam and Eve, people have departed from the ordinances or the commands of God. In short, they have not obeyed them.
Brother Bob: Brothers, what’s been the consequence from such stubbornness or disobedience?
Brother Joseph: Well, something very bad resulted, because according to what the verse stated, man became separated from God. In fact, God said, returned to Me so that I will return to you. Therefore, man became separated from God or, in other words, he became disconnected from his Creator, and it’s not the fault of God in any way. Man brought all this on himself.
Brother Bob: Right.
Brother Donald: That’s so very true, Brother Joseph, and that is the reason why in the same verse that you read, it is mentioned that man should return to God. It is absolutely critical that man does so. However, the problem is, man by his own volition, or in his own way, is not able to return to God. That is why it is also stated in the verse in what way shall we return?
Brother Bob: Wait a minute, Brothers, why is it so important to return to God? Many would say that their return to God is just believing that He exists, but returning to God seems to imply something different.
Brother Johnny: Well, Brother according to the Bible, when mankind turned away from the commands of God, something terrible happened to his relationship with God, his Creator. As far as what that is, let’s read what the Apostles say in Colossians 1:21:
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
[Colossians 1:21 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: So, friends, according to the verse that we’ve read, mankind was not only alienated or separated from God, but how does God regard man because of the transgressions or wicked works that he has done? Man is now regarded by God as an enemy or as an adversary. Therefore, it is important for people to come back to or return to God.
Brother Joseph: Yes, Brother. In fact, the anger of God can be seen in what is happening in the world today. What’s the proof of this? Let’s read what is written in Isaiah, the chapter is 24, and the verses are 5 down to 6:
The people have defiled the earth by breaking God’s laws and by violating the covenant he made to last forever. So God has pronounced a curse on the earth. Its people are paying for what they have done. Fewer and fewer remain alive.
[Isaiah 24:5-6 TEV]
Brother Joseph: Therefore, the Bible is teaching us that there is a curse of God upon this earth because of man’s disobedience to His laws and commandments.
Brother Bob: Which of course is commonly called sin. Is it not, Brother Donald?
Brother Donald: Yes, it is, Brother Bob. According to 1 John 3:4, sin is a violation or a breaking of God’s laws. But what some people fail to understand is the severity of living a sinful way of life, because the Bible teaches that there is a wage of sin. We can read about this here, in Romans 6:23:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
[Romans 6:23 NKJV]
Brother Bob: Does it mean though, Brothers, to say that when one dies, he’s already satisfied this decree that you just read there, Brother Donald, God’s decree that sinners have to pay for their sins?
Brother Donald: Yes, the payment of sin is death. However, one should not be misled in thinking that the physical death or the cessation of breath is the full payment of sin. When it comes to the full payment of sin, it is taught here in Revelation 20 and the verse is 14:
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
[Revelation 20:14 NKJV]
Brother Donald: Therefore, when it comes to the full payment of sin, it is the second death in the lake of fire.RETURNstay with
Brother Bob: What is that though, Brother Donald? What is that second death? People will be surely wondering, how could I die a second time? What’s being referred to as that second death?
Brother Donald: Well, that second death is a full payment of sin. It’s not a physical death, but rather it is the death of an individual, an everlasting torment, that has been mandated or decreed by the Lord, our God. This, in turn, is what all people need to be saved from, because according to Romans 3:23, all people have committed sin. Therefore, all people should be cast into the lake of fire, or they should experience that second death.
Brother Bob: So to you, all our viewers, it is our hope that you have noticed something. Notice that all these teachings that are being read are clearly recorded in the Bible, which is why it would be unwise, to say the least, to fall into the belief that the Bible is irrelevant, because then one would not study the Bible, not come to understand these valuable and important truths that have relevance to a person’s life, and especially eternal life. The Bible contains God’s teachings concerning salvation, and that is the solution to man’s terrible plight here in this world.
Brother Johnny: Actually, Brother Bob, we did hear a while ago the solution to the problem. It was read, from the Bible, that God encourages mankind to return to Him. To be reconciled to God, we should be reconnected to the Lord, our God, before it’s too late.
Brother Bob: Dear friends, when we come back, we’re going to find out how we can do this, according to the teachings of the Bible. Please stay with us.
[On-screen text graphics]
INC INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Brother Bob: We’re back, once again, here on the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition, and today we’ve been discussing the relevance of the Bible. We’ve just learned that mankind has a serious problem, and that problem must be solved, and that it is the problem concerning sin and the consequences of sin. According to God’s own invitation, the solution is to return to Him, which is equivalent, as Brother Johnny mentioned just a moment ago, is the equivalent to being reconciled with God. So, Brothers, the question now is, how can one properly return to God or be reconciled with Him?
Brother Joseph: Well, regarding this, Brother Bob, one shouldn’t just rely on just anyone’s opinion. As [for] what we’ve been studying, we really need to find out what it is that the Bible is teaching us, the words of God that are His truth, which teaches how to be saved. We can read that here in the Book of John, the chapter is 14, and the verse is 6. Listen to what is recorded:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
[John 14:6 NKJV]
Brother Joseph: Therefore, according to the teachings of God, as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, there is only one way that man can return to God. And the only way that one can return to God is by going through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Donald: If we were to ask others, however, Brother Joseph, they would say that they understand our Lord Jesus Christ is the way. But tragically, unfortunately, many people do not know how to benefit from the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ is the way that leads to God, for man to be reconnected unto God, and ultimately to attain salvation. How is it that one can benefit from our Lord Jesus Christ being the one and only way back to God and toward salvation? We can read the answer here in John 10: 7 and 9:
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved,
[John 10:7,9(a) NKJV]
Brother Donald: So, if there are those who are saying that they understand or they acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ, they understand that He is the way, He is the Savior, that’s well and good, but not enough. According to our Lord Jesus Christ, Christ is likened to a door, and one has to enter our Lord Jesus Christ in order to be on the path that leads to salvation.
Brother Johnny: And if I may, Brother Donald, may I add here that many people are satisfied with just knowing about the door or knowing about the Lord Jesus Christ, or with just reaching the door, like those who say that faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ is enough to be saved on the Day of Judgment. But the truth is, our Lord Jesus Christ requires, those who want to be saved, well, they have to enter in through the door.
Brother Bob: But, Brother Joseph, how can a person do that? How can that be accomplished?
Brother Joseph: Well, the answer is right here in the Bible. Let’s read, here, in the Book of John, the chapter is 10, the verse is 9. Let’s read it now from the Revised English Bible:
I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe…
[John 10:9 REB]
Brother Joseph: Therefore, to enter into our Lord Jesus Christ, as the door, one needs to enter into the fold or the flock, and when they do that, according to the Savior Himself, we will be safe or we will be saved.
Brother Bob: So, that assembly of sheep that have passed through the door, the Lord called them sheep, that flock is obviously not literal sheep. So, what’s being referred to as that flock, that gathering of those that have passed through Jesus as the doorway?
Brother Joseph: Well, the Apostle Paul, also one of the writers of the Bible, has taught us what is it, that is that flock. That’s in the Book of Acts, the chapter is 20, the verse is 28, from the Lamsa Translation:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.”
[Acts 20:28 Lamsa]
Brother Joseph: So, very clear, is the teaching of the Apostle Paul. That fold or that flock that one must enter in order to be saved is none other than the Church Of Christ.
Brother Bob: But, why do people need to obey that command so meticulously? Brother Johnny, what did Christ do for the sake of His church, the Church Of Christ?
Brother Johnny: Well, Brother Bob, as was read in the verse, our Lord Jesus Christ purchased or redeemed the Church Of Christ with His blood. That’s a very important point, a very important teaching of the Holy Scripture.
Brother Donald: In fact, it is so very important, Brother Johnny, that the Bible teaches in Romans 5:8-10, how the members of the Church Of Christ, they benefited from the shed blood of our Lord Jesus. Let’s read the said citation:
But God has shown us how much he loves us — it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! By his sacrificial death we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger! We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life!
[Romans 5:8-10 TEV]
Brother Donald: Very clear is the teaching of the Apostle Paul, and of course, he was talking to the members of the Church Of Christ, his fellow members, when he said this. What was the benefit gained by the members of the church through the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ? They were put right with God or meaning to say they were reconciled with God. They were reconnected unto him. What is the greater benefit for those who have benefited from the sacrificial death and the redemptive powers of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul goes on to say, how much more than will we be saved from God’s wrath or anger?
We understand that, when He comes to God unleashing His great anger or wrath, that will take place come the Day of Judgment. So, how fortunate are those who become members of the church built by our Lord Jesus Christ? They are surely on the path that leads to salvation.
Brother Bob: Dear friends, when we come back, we’ll find out just how important it is to be inside the Church Of Christ when it comes to God’s teachings written in the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. Stay with us. You’re watching the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition.
[On-screen text graphics]
INC INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Brother Bob: Welcome back, everyone. The topic we’ve been discussing today concerns the Bible, posing this question, is it still relevant today? Well, we left off learning that the Bible, which contains the words of God, teaches us that God wants all people to return to Him, and that the only way to do that is to return to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The way to benefit from Christ, as the way back to God, well, one should enter or join the Church Of Christ in order to be reconciled back to God.
Well, dear friends, in connection then to the Bible, which is our topic today, why is it that all people must seek out, therefore, the true Church Of Christ, so as to be reconciled back to God? Brother Johnny?
Brother Johnny: Well, Brother Bob, to answer that question, I’d like to read from the Bible in Ephesians 3:10, this is what the Apostles say:
to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,
[Ephesians 3:10 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: So, why is it that people really need to seek out, look for the true Church Of Christ? Because Scripture shows us here that the manifold wisdom of God will be made known by the church. God’s wisdom is made known by means of the Church. Now, we know that the Church being referred to, that makes known the wisdom of God is none other than the Church Of Christ, according to Acts 20:28.
So, for people to know, understand that wisdom of God, well, people need to know about the true Church of Christ.
Brother Bob: So, if they’re separated from the Church, they have not entered in it, well, then they have no connection to acquiring that wisdom of God that’s being made known through the Church that will lead them to salvation. Well, brothers, why is it that God set it up that way, to make known His manifold wisdom by means of the Church? Who are inside the church that will be instrumental, by the way, in preaching the words of God written in the Bible, giving people, therefore, knowledge of God’s wisdom to be reconciled with Him and obtain eternal life?
Brother Joseph: Well, we can read that right here, Brother Bob, in the Book of Colossians. The chapter is 1 and the verses are 24, down to 25:
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God, in its fullness—
[Colossians 1:24-25 NIV]
Brother Joseph: Therefore, inside the Church Of Christ, there are those who were given by God the commission to present unto us His words in their fullness.
Brother Bob: So, Brother Joseph, it means, then, that outside the Church Of Christ, well, there may also be preachers who actually read from the Bible, but they’re not able to give people the fullness of God’s words. Why not? Because there, as you just read, they were not commissioned to do so. Well, here’s where sometimes there may be those who would hesitate to accept that, thinking that, well, they can just pick up the Bible and read it themselves. No need for anyone to be commissioned to read it or preach to them, because as long as they can read, they will be able to come to the knowledge of the truth. So, we went out and asked people, do they really think a preacher is necessary? Let’s take a look, here, and understand the kind of responses and the way of thinking that people have regarding that. Here’s what they had to say.
Interviewee 4: For myself, no, I don’t need organized religion. Matter of fact, I don’t go to church, but I was raised a Catholic, and I have a great relationship, as far as I’m concerned, with the man upstairs.
Interviewee 5: It depends on how you act. I don’t believe that organized religion has done much good for the world. Well, we’ve had crusades where people have been killed. We have people being killed today. Through the ages, always, people go to war over religion and hurt people over religion.
Interviewee 2: To some extent, yes, but I think if you want to be closer to God, then I believe that you should be reading your word, or going to church, or talking about the Bible, or just the right things to do.
Interviewee 8: Probably not, because without the idea or general sense of who or what that person or thing is, then you don’t really have a good understanding.
Interviewee 6: No, not necessarily. You can do this at home. My mom, on Saturdays, my mom and my brothers, and I, we have devotion. Really what it is, is annotating and reflecting and responding, you know, applying it to your daily life. So, that’s basically what you need to do.
Interviewee 1: You don’t necessarily need church. I think all you need is you and God. For example, if you’re not like, I don’t know how you say it in English, Elias. Elias in English right? The Prophet. So, if you’re not like those guys, and you don’t know where to start, you don’t know what to read, you don’t know certain things, it is very helpful to have a pastor. But, I mean, if you are somebody like that, then you could just study the Bible on your own, pray to God. But it is a support group and it’s a family and it’s there for a reason.
Brother Bob: So, Brothers, we can see from that wide array of responses, they have some hesitancy accepting that a preacher is needed. It seems like they can just have that relationship with God and hold the Bible, and that’s all they will need.
Brother Donald, does our Lord Jesus Christ comply with the way of thinking of those particular individuals interviewed, and anyone else who would be thinking like that, that that the one sent, commissioned to preach to us the words of God, does Jesus agree that that’s unnecessary?
Brother Donald: Well, Brother Bob, in answer to your question, allow me to read Mark 4. The verses are 11-12:
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
[Mark 4:11-12 KJV]
Brother Donald: Our Lord Jesus Christ was speaking to certain individuals, and He says, unto you is given the kingdom of the Lord our God or the mystery of the kingdom of God. Meaning to say, when it comes to understanding how a person can enter that kingdom of God or attain salvation, that knowledge has not been given to everyone. That is why it is so important that people don’t just listen to any kind of preacher, believing that whatever they say will help them to benefit in this life and most especially to attain eternal life.
No, there are those who have been specifically given that knowledge, and they are inside the church built by our Lord Jesus Christ. One should also understand that the Holy Bible, it’s not an open book per se, especially when it comes to the prophecies of the Lord our God. That is why the Apostle Paul also says in Romans 16:25, that the words of God are being kept secret or they are hidden in mystery.
Brother Johnny: And, you know, Brother Donald, I’d like to go back to the verse that you read a moment ago. It said there, those who are without, or in other versions of the Bible, it says those who are outside. You know, those outside are not inside. They’re not in our Lord Jesus Christ. They are not inside the Church Of Christ, and based on what was read just a moment ago, those outside have not been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.
Brother Bob: Why are we so sure though, Brothers, that inside the Church Of Christ, we’re able to receive the correct understanding of God’s words written in the Bible? Because there’s a lot of preachers that are teaching people that the Bible is irrelevant.
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Speaker: I think culture is already there, and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant, when it quotes letters from 2000 years ago as their best defense, when you have, in front of, you flesh and blood people who are your brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and they just want to go through life with someone.
Brother Bob: Believe it or not, rothers, that’s a very popular preacher, nowadays. People are listening to individuals like this, Brother Donald.
Brother Donald: Yes, but again, we cannot over stress, or reiterate, the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ that was read earlier in Mark 4:11-12. Our Lord Jesus Christ made known, to you has been given the knowledge to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, and the ones He (was) referring to are those who were commissioned inside the Church. When it comes to those who are outside the church, yes, they may see the words written in the Holy Bible, but when it comes to the true understanding, it has not been gifted or granted unto them.
Brother Bob: What does that mean, Brother Johnny, that they were given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God?
Brother Johnny: Well, the answer to that is here, in 1 Corinthians 2, 7 and 10, where the Apostle Paul wrote this:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, But God has revealed them to us through his Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
[1 Corinthians 2:7,10 NKJV]
Brother Johnny: So, friends, through the guidance of God’s Spirit, those who are inside the true Church Of Christ, who were commissioned to preach God’s manifold wisdom, they’re able to preach God’s true teachings because of the guidance that God gives through His Holy Spirit.
Brother Joseph: And this is the difference between the preachers inside the Church Of Christ, and those who are outside, those who are part of the world. Inside the Church Of Christ, the preachers have the divine guidance of the Almighty God through His Holy Spirit, but those who are outside do not.
Brother Bob: Brother Joseph, our viewers may certainly want to know the biblical basis for that statement.
Brother Joseph: Well, let’s read it, Brother, here in the Book of John the chapter is 14, and the verses are 26 and 17:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
[John 14:26, 17 NKJV]
Brother Joseph: Therefore, it’s not really a great surprise that there are many different teachings, even though there is only one Bible, because there are those who have taken (it) upon themselves to preach the word of God, even though they were not given the commission that came from the Almighty God.
Brother Donald: Oh, this is the reason why for us, members of the Church Of Christ, we are so very, very fortunate, because this is the church that belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ. Herein, we have received the true gospel, and because of this, we are also sure that we are on the path that leads to salvation.
Brother Bob: To all of you, our dear viewers, we hope that you’re finding inspiration in what you are hearing here today. We invite all of you to attend the worship services of the Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo) that is nearest to you. Well, we’d like to thank Brother Johnny Martin in Quezon City. We’d like to thank, as well, Brother Donald Pinnock in Toronto, Canada, and Brother Joseph Penwell in Washington, D.C., for giving to us Bible based answers so that, as the Apostle Peter said to the members of the church, you’ll be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are. That’s 1 Peter 3:15. Well, that does it for us here on the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition for today. We hope you’ll join us again next time. I’m Brother Bob Pellien.
Thanks for watching. First, we invite you to join us in a short prayer.
[Brother Donald prays]
Our Almighty and loving Father in heaven, thou who has created each and every one of us, we thank you so much for granting us this opportunity, that we can expound Your teachings as written in the Holy Scriptures, Your words that have great a bearing on man receiving your graces in this life and, most especially, when it comes to attaining salvation and eternal life. We pray on behalf of our friends, our viewers of this program today. We ask of You, please, may You touch the heart of each and every one of them. May they continue to seek out more of Your truths, dear Father, that, when believed in, and most especially obeyed, will lead them to that life everlasting.
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, seated as You are on the right hand of the Father, may You please mediate our prayers on our behalf. May You also have mercy upon our guests of this program today, that they may fully understand the importance of becoming a member of Your Church.
Dear God, we once again call upon You. It is our faith that You have heard our prayer. You are blessing our friends, our visitors. We also remain united with the spirit of the Church Administration, because this is the only means by which we can remain united with You.
It is our faith, dear God, that You have heard our prayer, and all of this we ask for in the precious name of thy Son, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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