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Words From the Founder

by Dr. Walter Martin

from the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 6, 1989, page 5.

The Editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes.

The Newsletter staff is pleased to introduce this new column, based on excerpts from the writings and taped messages of the late Dr. Walter R. Martin -- founder of Christian Research Institute.

The following excerpts are from Dr. Martin's tape, "Best of Martin: Questions and Answers at Bible Class" (Part 1).

. . .

Please clarify the apostle Paul's statement, "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some" (1 Cor. 9:22).

Paul is saying, "I will do nothing to offend any person's sensitivity, and I'll do whatever I can to make others sensitive to the gospel. I become all things to all people. When I'm with the Jews, I'll talk as a Jew. When I'm with the Gentiles, I'll talk as a Gentile. Depending on my audience, I become as a Jew or I become as a Gentile."

Now, Paul is not saying he would deny Christ when he talked to the Jews; nor is he saying he would ignore Judaism when talking to the Gentiles. He's saying, "when I'm talking to different people, I talk in their context, on the common ground of their lives. I'll do that every time," says Paul, "that by all means I might win some to Christ." But Paul never compromised his commitment to the gospel, no matter who he was talking to.

After Jesus had taken the sins of the world on Himself at the cross, what happened to those sins so that Jesus could once again be in the Father's presence?

You need to understand that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. Jesus Himself did not become a sinner. That's a very important distinction. Let me repeat: He didn't become a sinner. Jesus did not have to go and present Himself to God the Father with sin on His soul. He was utterly holy and righteous. He bore our sins by dying in our place, as a substitute. And our sins were completely paid for by the blood Christ shed on the cross.

Jehovah's Witnesses sometimes ask: If Jesus is God, then why did He address the Father as "My God" in John 20:17?

Jesus is man as well as God. As a man, He was a Rabbi. As a man, He was circumcised as a Jew and was identified with the Hebrew race and the covenants of Israel. He was a true man. And then -- paradoxically at the same time -- He was the eternal God living in human flesh....

When Thomas worshipped Jesus, he said "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Jehovah's Witnesses run from this passage; they literally run from it! I've had them read the passage aloud in dialogues hundreds of times, sometimes publicly. I would say, "Now read the passage aloud." And they would read, "Thomas said unto Jesus, 'My Lord and my God.'" Then I'd say, "according to your own translation (The New World Translation), the Greek word for 'God' in this verse is 'Jehovah'....Thomas worshipped Jesus as Jehovah. Look at it."

Next I'd say: "Now, if Thomas called Jesus Jehovah, and Jesus doesn't deny it, He must be Jehovah, right?" "Wrong! I can explain that passage," one Jehovah's Witness responded to me. He then said, "When Thomas saw Jesus, he got so scared that he said, 'O my lord, O my God.'"

So I said to him, "Wait a second. Are you suggesting that Thomas took the name of Jehovah God in vain? If he did, as a Rabbi Jesus would have had to rebuke him. After all, Exodus 20:7 says 'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' But Jesus didn't rebuke him; He congratulated him. He said, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" This is an excellent passage to use with Jehovah's Witnesses.

Another good verse to show Jehovah's Witnesses is Hebrews 1:8 where the Father calls the Son "God": "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom." Who is the Father talking to? The Son! And the Father addresses the Son as "God."

This tape (catalog number C-127, $5.95) may be ordered from CRI.

End of document, CRN0017A.TXT (original CRI file name),
"Words from the Founder"
release A, March 21, 1994
R. Poll, CRI

A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.

Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute.

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