Q&A-01- Questions & Answers Series #1
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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
In Jeremiah 37:17 the question was asked, “Is there any word from
We welcome you today to our new series of lessons entitled ‘Bible
Questions and Answers.’
Occasionally people submit questions for us through our website or
email, and we want to answer those questions. Many of these are very
good questions, questions that I suspect many of us have wondered about
in the past. We hope you'll stay tuned as we're going to look to the Bible for
the answer to these wonderful questions today.
Our first question is asked in this way, ‘Is it scriptural for a woman to
pray in worship when men are present?’
Friend, that's a very good question. From the outset we want people
to realize that the woman has a valuable role in the church. God has given
her specific duties. God has given her specific things that she excels at that
men can't do as well. Friend let's also realize that there are boundaries and
guidelines and limitations as it relates to public prayer where both men and
women are present.
I remember recently someone telling me that they had gone to a
denominational service and during the service while they were men present
a woman just got up and began to pray, and it made them feel
uncomfortable. They didn't know exactly how the Scripture felt about that.
How does God define this in prayer? Is it scriptural when men and
women are gathered together for a woman to stand up and lead prayer?
The answer is no from the Scripture. In 1 Timothy 2:11-12 the apostle
Paul says these words, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission,
and I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man but to
be in silence.” In the worship assembly when we are gathered together, a
woman is to be silent. She is to learn in submission, and she is not to take
a leadership role in which she has authority over a man. Being in the place
where one stands up and leads prayer publicly would be a leadership and
authority position, and thus women are not authorized to do that in the
presence of men. In fact 1 Timothy 2:8 the apostle Paul will say, “I desire
therefore that men,” that's the Greek word for males, “I desire therefore that
men pray everywhere.” God has designated that as part of the leadership,
responsibility given to men in the church. That doesn't mean a woman can't
say a prayer, a good prayer even, in front of other women. Doesn't mean
that she doesn't know how to pray or isn't important, but this is the
guideline and the setting which God has put forth for prayer in the public
Now another passage also addresses the role of women in the
worship assembly is found in 1 Corinthians 14:34. The apostle Paul says,
“Let your women keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to
speak, but they're to be submissive as the law all also says.” What about a
woman preaching or a woman standing up to lead prayer in a mixed
assembly or something like that? The Bible says they're to remain silent.
The Bible says they're to be submissive. The Bible says that men are to
Again we're not saying women aren't important. Thank God for every
faithful woman in the Lord's church who fulfills her role, which does her part
to help the church, who is faithful in serving God in every way that is
outlined. We want to be clear that the Bible does not say that women
should take a leadership role in preaching or praying and things like that
that God has specifically addressed for men. This will be one of the
identifying characteristics of the role of men versus the role of women. Are
we going to go by what the Bible says and do these things?
Now I know as well as you do that there are a lot of denominational
organizations where women will stand up and preach or women will stand
up and lead a mixed assembly in prayer. If we're going to go by what the
Bible says, if we're going to take God at His word and follow His teaching,
we need to realize there is a designated and specific role given to men and
there is a designated and specific role given to women and each have
unique responsibilities inside the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not
acceptable, according to the Scripture, for a woman to preach or a woman
to lead prayer in a mixed assembly. That would be a clear violation of these
Let's then turn our attention to our second question that's been
The question is asked in this way, ‘I recently heard someone say or
teach that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Does the Scripture teach that Mary
remained a virgin all her life?’
Now this is one of the predominant doctrines of Catholicism, and
Catholicism will teach its adherence from a very young age that Mary was a
virgin and that she was a perpetual virgin all of her life- that she remained a
virgin until death. What exactly does the Bible say on this idea?
There are three passages which clearly and explicitly refute the idea
of Mary remaining a perpetual virgin forever. That's just not taught. In fact it
is clearly taught that she was not a virgin all of her life in Scripture.
What passages are they? Would you look in your Bible with me in
Matthew the first chapter? Matthew chapter 1 we learn clearly that Mary
was not to remain a virgin all of her life. In fact we see that from the
language of Matthew 1:24-25. Notice these words with me the Bible says,
“Then Joseph being aroused from sleep did as the angel of the Lord
commanded him and took him his wife and did not know her till she had
brought forth her firstborn son. And he called his name Jesus.” Here it is
clearly implied that while Christ was in the womb, while she was pregnant
with Christ, Joseph did not know her ‘until’ there's the adverb of time
indicating there was a point in time when she was no longer remaining in
that virgin state. He did not know her until she brought forth a son. Now we
learn from this that they did have relations together, that she did not always
remain a virgin, and that the natural relationship between Joseph and Mary
is something that is sanctioned by Scripture. Do you remember Hebrews
13:4? “Marriage is honorable among all the bed undefiled, whoremongers
and adulterers God will judge.” Just like any other married couple, Joseph
and Mary had the right to participate in the relations God has designed
between a man and woman. There's nothing in the Scripture that indicates
that she remained a perpetual virgin all of her life. In fact, the next two
passages we're going to look at clearly teach that Mary had other sons and
daughters besides Jesus.
Now I want to direct your attention to the 13th chapter of the gospel of
Matthew. I want you to notice these words with me as we think about this
question. In Matthew 13:53 the Bible says, “Now it came to pass when
Jesus had finished these parables that He departed from there. When He
came to his own country He taught them in their synagogue, so that they
were astonished and said ‘where did this man get this wisdom and these
mighty works? Is this not the carpenter's son is not his mother called
Mary?’” Now watch this, ‘and his brothers James, Joses, Simon and
Judas? And his sisters are they not all with us? Where then did this man
get all these things?’ Here we learn that Jesus had both brothers and
sisters, and it goes on to mention those Simon, Joses, Judas, others. He
had a family, and thus if Jesus had- listen carefully now- if Jesus had
brothers and sisters, then friend that requires that Mary was not a perpetual
virgin. It goes on to say that He had brothers and sisters and it actually
names Jesus brothers in this context.
I know the argument is this some will say ‘Well that's just using the
term brother as we might use it in a spiritual sense talking about more of a
spiritual family than is a physical family.’ That cannot be the case when you
read Mark chapter 3. In Mark 3 we learned that Jesus' family, who was
calling to Him, was His physical family and Jesus clearly contrasted that
with His spiritual family. Look in your Bible in Mark chapter 3. I want you to
see what they say to Jesus and His response about His physical family
calling to Him. Mark 3:31 the Bible says, “Then His,” that is Jesus', “then
Jesus' brothers and His mother came and standing outside they sent to
Him calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him and they said to
Him,” watch this now, ‘Look your mother and your brothers are outside
seeking you.’ “But He answered them saying, ‘Who is My mother or My
brothers?’ He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him and
said ‘Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of
God is My brother and My sister and My mother.’”
Now this is a clear contrast between physical family and spiritual
family. Jesus' physical family, His mother and His brothers, they came
looking for Him, and they begin to call to Him. And the people said ‘hey
your mother and your brothers are here.’ Jesus looked around and He said
‘wait a minute these people right here, spiritually, you're My mother, My
brother, My sister.’ He clearly contrasted spiritual family from His mother
and His brothers, physical family, that was calling to Him. What does the
evidence of Scripture teach us? When you combine Matthew 1:24-25 that
Joseph did not know Mary until Jesus was born with Matthew 13 and Mark
chapter 3- it's clear Mary was not a perpetual virgin. Where did those ideas
come from? They came from the doctrines and teachings of men- not from
I hope you'll listen real carefully to this- this is a major doctrine of
Catholicism that we have just seen from the Scripture is not true. If
Catholics are teaching error on that what else are they teaching error on?
Friend that's something you want to examine carefully, that you want to
make sure that a person follows the Bible on these teachings, and not the
word and the will of men.
A third question, and as we present this series of lessons we want to
remind you that if you we want to let you know that if you'd like to submit a
question you can do that through our website just visit us at
thegospelofchrist.com/questions. You can fill out a form and send us
questions or you can email them at this address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. If you've got a Bible question you'd like
for us to address, we will try to do that. Just send those into us through our
website or the email address given and we can surely do our best to
answer those from the Scripture as well.
Third question for our consideration today is this someone writes in
and asks, ‘Is sprinkling an acceptable mode of baptism?’
By this when we think about that baptism, if you look at Webster's
dictionary today under the word baptism, it might say immersion, sprinkling,
or pouring. A dictionary definition sets up the idea that could be any one of
Friend what about a Bible definition? Is sprinkling an acceptable
mode of baptism found in the Scripture? Friend you don't find, when talking
about the mode of baptism, you don't find sprinkling as an acceptable
mode. And so, no- it is not an acceptable mode and here's the reason why.
In the Greek language there are two different words for sprinkling and
baptism. The word rhantitso is the word for sprinkling, and it is used in the
New Testament for the sprinkling of blood and other items like unto that.
God had a word for sprinkling in the Greek language rhantitso and that's
not the word He used. He used the word baptitso which if one studies the
Greek language it is used of submerging, immersing, or plunging in the
water. The words themselves are unique and the Bible uses the word for
immersion or plunging. But then we can also know from Scripture several
examples which we see clearly show us that the mode of baptism is only in
the Bible used as immersion.
Now let me mention those passages to you. Mark 1:9-11 it is said at
the baptism of Jesus, “And coming up out of the water the spirit descended
upon Him like a dove.” Now you know a lot of people are asking the good
question ‘What would Jesus do?’ Friend what would Jesus do concerning
the mode of baptism? Listen now, “Coming up out of the water,” that
doesn't sound like sprinkling. That doesn't sound like pouring. To come up
out of water, you first have to go down into it. In fact the little Greek word
there is the word 'ek' meaning out from within is the idea. Jesus came up
out of the water that's a clear picture of immersion.
Here are three other passages that also teach us about the mode of
baptism. John 3:23 “John was baptizing the region of Aenon near Salim,”
the Bible says, “because there was much water there.” Much water- how
much water does it take to sprinkle? Not much- handful, spoonful, little bit.
How much water does it take to pour a little on somebody? A glass maybe.
How much water does it take to immerse, get a full grown adult all the way
under the water? Much water.
Then two other passages Acts 8:36-40 we have the example of the
Ethiopian eunuch. Philip has been teaching him about baptism. “Here's
water what doth hinder me from being baptized? ‘If you believe with all your
heart you may.’” He stopped the chariot. Both Philip and the eunuch got
down out of the chariot. They went down into the water. He baptized him,
and they came up out of the water. Why’d they have to both get out of the
chariot? One of them could have gone and got some water if sprinkling or
pouring were okay. Why did they have to both get in the water? Why’d they
both come up? There's the idea again that you find from the examples in
the New Testament that baptism is immersion. But the fourth example is
really one of the clearest pictures. Romans 6:1-4 baptism is likened unto a
burial. Paul said, “We're buried with Christ in baptism.” Now Paul would not
use an illustration, or the Holy Spirit would not use an illustration, that
contradicts the mode of baptism. Think about baptism in the terms of a
burial. When a body is buried, what happened? It's completely encased in
something. For example our culture today you dig a hole in the ground,
there's dirt on the bottom, dirt on every side, and then they lay the body on
top, and sprinkle a little dirt on it. Right? No. Pour a little dirt? No. They put
that body in the grave, and they completely immerse it covered in the
ground. A burial by its very definition is an immersing and encasing in
something, and thus when we think about baptism in the New Testament it
clearly is immersion.
Now I understand a lot of people have trouble with that idea as it
relates to babies, as it relates to Original Sin, we've got questions in the
future that we're going to answer about that. Friend we do not find in the
Bible sprinkling as a mode of baptism in any of the examples that we see.
Let's then turn our attention to a fourth question that has been
submitted. Someone writes, ‘I once heard someone say that to be saved
we need to say the sinner's prayer. I've been looking into that idea some,
where is the sinner's prayer found at in the Bible?’
That's a very good question. In fact I have heard it mentioned a lot
myself so much so, that you would think it's got to be in the Bible
somewhere. The prayer will usually go something like this, ‘Dear Lord
Jesus I recognize you as Lord and Savior. I ask you now to come into my
heart, my life, and save me in Jesus name Amen.’ Now where is that or
some variation of it found in the Bible? We hear preachers all the time who
will say to be saved just say the sinner's prayer, and they'll repeat those
words. Where is that at in Scripture? Where did it where was anybody told
to say a sinner's prayer? Where is that model for the sinner's prayer found
at in Scripture?
Here's what's astounding, you can read your Bible from the very first
verse of Genesis 1 to the very last verse of Revelation 22 and you won't
find the sinner's prayer mentioned one time! What? Isn't that amazing?
People are going around telling others to be saved you need to say the
sinner's prayer. Here's an example of that sinner’s prayer, here's what you
need to do, and millions of people have bought into that idea and now think
they're saved. You don't ever find that even one time in the Bible. That's
exactly right you don't even find it one time in the Scripture. I preached a
meeting one time in a congregation where I had mentioned as talking about
the plan of salvation that you can read your Bible from Genesis 1:1 all the
way through Revelation chapter 22 and you will not find the sinner’s prayer
as men are told to pray today. Afterward a lady came up to me and she
said she said, ‘Preacher I heard what you said about the sinner’s prayer. It
kind of troubles me a little bit.’ She said, ‘I'm going to go home and ask my
pastor if that's in the Bible.’ I said, ‘Well I hope you do and whatever Bible
verses he gives you, I want you to bring those back and show me.’ We
started the meeting up the second night. She came up to me as the
meeting before the meeting began and she said, ‘Preacher,’ she said, ‘I
went home and I asked my pastor about the sinner’s prayer being in the
Bible if it was in the Bible and he said you was right. I told him he was a
liar.’ Friend I want you to think about that. That man had total multitude of
people probably maybe even that lady herself that to be saved she
probably needed to come forward have some kind of altar call, kneel down,
say the sinner’s prayer, receive Jesus in your heart, and you will be saved.
When she questioned him about that he said, ‘Well it's just not in the Bible.
There isn't one.’ Isn't that amazing? Where's the sinner’s prayer found in
the Bible? It's just not there friend.
What does the Bible teach on the subject of salvation? If people are
not taught to pray the sinner’s prayer in the Bible, what are they taught to
do to be saved?
As we look to the Scripture, we find questions about salvation being
asked. Acts 2:37 on the day of Pentecost they cried out, “Men and brethren
what shall we do? What can we do now that we realize we've killed our
own Messiah and we want to be forgiven?” Acts 16:30-31 the jailer said,
“Sir what must I do to be saved?” There is a clarion answer in every
example that we find of what month one must do to be saved, and it's not
the sinner’s prayer.
You first have to hear the word of Almighty God. For Peter to preach
about for those people to hear about salvation in Jesus, they had to hear
the message of Christ first. The Bible clearly teaches faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17. Once a person
has heard the message, looked at the message, examined the evidence,
and checked it from the Scripture to see if it's true, once he determines that
it is- he must believe Jesus is the Savior of the world. Without believing in
Jesus there'll be no salvation. Jesus said in John 8:24 “Unless you believe
that I'm He, you'll surely die in your sin.” Then a person must be willing to
repent that is you've got to turn from a life of sin and selfishness to God's
way of thinking. It's a changed way of thinking that leads to a changed way
of acting. In Luke 13:3-5 Jesus said ‘Unless you repent, you will all likewise
perish.” Peter preached in Acts 3:19 ‘Repent and turn again that your sins
may be blotted out that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence
of the Lord.” Once then a person has repented, he must confess Jesus as
the Savior of the world. Romans 10:10 says “For with the heart the mind
one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made
unto salvation.” Like the Ethiopian eunuch, men and women must say ‘I
believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God,’ Acts 8:36-37.
The Bible does teach, and we hope you'll listen real carefully, the
Bible does teach that to be saved you must be baptized. 1 Peter 3:21 says
those exact words, “Baptism,” listen this is what the Bible says now,
“Baptism does now also save us.” Is that hard to understand? “Baptism
does now also save us.” If the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:21 ‘baptism does now
also save us,’ why would we dare say anything different?
Jesus said in Mark 16:16 “He that believes and is baptized will be
saved. Unless a man is born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the
kingdom of God.”
More than anything, each of us needs to have the zeal and the desire
in that if God says it- no matter how hard, how difficult-our life is going to
line up with the will of God, so that ultimately we can go to heaven one day.
Study Questions for: “Questions and Answers: Lesson 1”
1. According to 1 Timothy 2:11-12, how should women learn?
2. What does 1 Timothy 2:11-12 say of a woman teaching when a man is present?
3. What does 1 Timothy 2:11-12 say about women in a leadership role?
4. According to 1 Timothy 2:8, who is to pray in a worship assembly?
5. What does 1 Corinthians 14:34 say about women in a worship service?
6. According to Matthew 1:24, when did Joseph “know” Mary?
7. Did Jesus have brothers and sisters according to Matthew 13:53?
8. According to Mark 1:9-11, was Jesus baptized by immersion?
9. According to John 3:23, why was John baptized there?
10. According to Romans 6:1-4 why was there baptizing there compared to the other