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Fourth Night: Nichols' First Affirmative PDF Print E-mail
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Mr. Moderators, Honorable Opponent, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is through the kind providence of our heavenly Father that we have here assembled “before God, to hear all things commanded,” as Cornelius would say it. I am happy to continue to affirm the proposition which has just been read in our hearing. First of all, I want to give a review of matters gone before.

I am always ready to tell where I stand on any question, and have nothing to hide. Last night I was asked the question to be answered from my seat as to whether I appeal unto the spiritual or unto the carnal in man. I stated then, but the audience may not have heard it, I appeal unto the part that is spiritual and not unto the flesh. Man has a soul, as well as flesh or body. Jesus says, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26.) This does not say his soul is already eternally lost, and that man was born lost and on his way to perdition, and that the matter could never be changed. But man can, by trying to gain the whole world, “lose his own soul” when he would not have lost it otherwise. We appeal unto the soul. Unto the church at Rome, Paul said, “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:5.) Another translation says they “Set their minds upon the things of the flesh.” “But they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” So, these members of the church were either after the flesh, or after the Spirit. Paul said, “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the ‘Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (v. 13.) Those controlled by the flesh, and who live after the; flesh, arc here appealed to, to “mortify the deeds of the body” so as to live. They are to put to death the deeds of the body, and thus get rid of fleshly desires, as in Gal. 5:24. These members of the church at Rome were thus warned not to “walk after the flesh.” To them the apostle says, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.” (Rom. 6:16.) So then these people who had been in sin, had obeyed the gospel and become Christians. He said, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being THEN MADE FREE from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Rom. 6:17-18.) Then Paul wrote them not to mind the things of the flesh, nor to walk after the flesh lest they die. All of us should be “after the things of the Spirit,” and interested in the things of the Spirit.

In Gal. 6:8 the apostle wrote these Christians, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” All of us should sow to the Spirit, and not to the flesh. The gospel appeal is to the spirit of man, and not to the flesh. Liquor, wickedness, and sin appeal to the flesh! But we are commanded to “mortify the deeds of the body,” and to “crucify the flesh.” They that are Christ’s have done this. It is something the man does. Paul says, “They that are Christ‘s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal 5:24.) But members of the church can be “carnal,” can “walk after the flesh,” and can “mind the things of the flesh”— the same as aliens. Paul addressed “the church of God” at Corinth, and said: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you AS UNTO SPIRITUAL, BUT AS UNTO CARNAL, even as unto babes in Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:1-2; 3:1-3.) So these “brethren” were “carnal” and not “spiritual,” and Paul appealed unto them, for the gospel does not appeal unto that which is carnal and fleshly about people. But it appeals unto the better nature of men, to the eternal part of man, to the soul of man, and therefore men should, as a result of this appeal “crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24), and “mortify the deeds of the body” that they may live and not die. (Rom. 8:13.)

Then again, Paul said to the Roman Christians, “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7.) So long as man has his mind “set” on the flesh and has his mind made up to satisfy the carnal nature, he will not obey the law of God—indeed cannot. But he should set his mind on the things of the Spirit; and God’s appeal is for him to do that, and then he can obey the law of God—live right.

The Spirit of God dwells in those who walk after the Spirit, and not in backshiders. David prayed, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” (Psa. 51:11.) Therefore the Holy Spirit does not dwell in those who turn away from the Lord. “Know ye not your own-selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.” (2 Cor. 13:5.) David was an inspired prophet when he prayed, “take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” (Psa. 51:11.) That is the famous Psalm in which he prayed for pardon after he had sinned.

The reception of the Spirit to begin with, when we are converted, comes after faith, and not before. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (Eph. 1:13.) He did not say they were sealed with the Holy Spirit to make them believe. In Acts 2:38 Peter puts the reception of the Spirit after obedience to the gospel. He said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Again, he said, “And so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:32.) So, the Holy Spirit dwells in those who have faith, obey and serve God. “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:8.) That means those who live such a life after the flesh cannot please God by such a life: any more than a drunkard could please God. It does not please God for people to live after the flesh, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.” (Rom. 8:5.) That does not please God. “But they that are after the Spirit” mind “the things of the Spirit.” That does please God. The flesh is thus to be crucified in order that we may belong to Christ. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24.) “They that are Christ’s (present tense) “have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (past tense). You can’t belong to Christ until you first “crucify the flesh.” (Gal. 5:24.)

Again, the man that has a carnal mind, has his mind set on the flesh, and is walking after the flesh, can change his mind and set it on the things of the Spirit, as spiritual things appeal unto him to do so. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2.) A renewed mind is a spiritual mind, and is pleasing to God. So those Christians at Rome who were in the flesh, following the flesh, “walking after the flesh” could be transformed by the renewing of their minds. So men can renew and change their minds for the better. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed.” Acts 17:11-12.)

And finally my friend admitted my position last night that faith is necessary to salvation. He said, (as I played back the wire recording and copied it) that he “had not said, and would not say that one is saved without faith.” He was commenting on Eph. 2:8, “By grace are ye saved through faith.” Mr. Holder says he has not said it is without faith, and would not say it. Then he took the position that “faith” is a direct gift of God.

BUT HE ADMITTED THAT “FAITH” IS NECESSARY TO SALVATION. He quoted, “It is the gift of God.” But these people had to be saved “through” faith, according to my friend’s final admission. And their belief depended on their honesty of heart and nobility of purpose in searching the scriptures to see whether these things were so. (Acts 17.) So, those who have the wrong sort of heart can change the matter. James says, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” (Jas 4:8.) Solomon says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life!’ (Prov. 4:23.) So, men should guard their hearts and be careful to see to it that they allow the things of the Spirit to lead and entice them, rather than the things of the flesh.

I am calling attention again to Acts 16:30-34, to show how a sinner can change his mind. The Jailer, who was an unbeliever, said, “What must I do to be saved? and they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house,” He COULD “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” And when an unbeliever thus becomes a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ—obeys the command to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and obeys Christ—he has changed his mind and heart in that respect, showing he has control over his mind and heart, and should control, rather than let the flesh rule over him. I have called your attention to these things for I had no opportunity to fully explain myself last night, when answering his question, which I was glad to answer.

My opponent played a trick on me last night in violation of the golden rule. Jesus said, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matt. 7:12.) He would not have had me treat him like he treated me. I asked him the question: “DID CHRIST DIE FOR ALL BABIES ALIKE?” You remember he would not answer. I finally offered him a dollar to answer it, placed it over there where his moderator could hold it in store for him. And you know: he changed my question and swapped it off for a silly one he could answer, which was: DO ALL INFANTS DYING IN INFANCY GO TO HEAVEN? By his trick he actually left the impression that I do not think so. THAT WAS UNFAIR! I hope we can all get away from things like that! I was very sorry my friend did that. After we were dismissed, I reproved him for it, in the presence of witnesses, and he said, “Well you just get me tomorrow night.” And he further said, “You knew before you asked that question that I did not believe that Christ died for all babies alike.” Well, yes, I knew it; but he had failed to tell the audience, and was pretending that I had misrepresented him! My question was to bring him out on it. But he says the ‘non-elect’ babies never die, and tried to prove it by Matt. 7:22, which says, “I never ‘knew you’.” He thinks that proves God never did know the non-elect babies. He says they don’t die. But he says it without proof, and all to keep it from being said he teaches there are babies in hell! According to his doctrine, the ‘non-elect’ are on the way to hell when they are little fellows. Did any ‘non-elect’ babies die in the flood? I asked him that the first night, I believe it was, and he has not answered that either! I am not going to offer him any more money to answer, for he would get my money, then change my question to something else! (I am learning in this debate!)

Audience:    (Laughter.)

Nichols: WHEN ALL BABIES WERE DROWNED IN THE FLOOD, WERE THERE ANY ‘NON-ELECT’ BABIES IN THE NUMBER? If none, and God had spared them a little longer he would have had a world of the ‘ELECT’—good people, you know. So, according to my friend’s theory, why did God destroy the world with the flood? Then again: WERE THERE ANY ‘NON-ELECT’ BABIES DESTROYED IN SODOM AND GOMORRAH, AND THE CITIES OF THE PLAINS, WHEN ALL THE PEOPLE WERE DESTROYED? And, WERE THERE ANY ‘NON-ELECT’ BABIES KILLED WHEN KING SAUL UTTERLY DESTROYED THE AMALEKITES, “SUCKLING,” etc.? (1 Sam. 15.)

Again, if God does not permit any ‘NON-ELECT’ babies to die in infancy, but lets only ‘ELECT’ babies die, then is God not better to the Devil’s babies than he is to his own babies, according to my friend? That would show God to be in league with the Devil, helping the Devil’s cause by letting the Devil’s babies all get grown to do all the meanness they can, and by robbing the world of the good influence of the ‘elect’ babies, taking them out of the world—many of them, millions of them, all babies that ever die at all, he says AND WILL THERE BE ANY ‘NON-ELECT’ BABIES ALIVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD WHEN IT IS DESTROYED? (2 Pet. 3.) IF SO, WILL ANY OF THOSE ‘NON-ELECT’ babies die then? And if so will they as babies go to hell, or to heaven—which?

The facts are, all babies are safe! When David’s baby died, he said, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Sam. 12:23.) He knew his baby had gone to heaven— that all babies are safe! But my opponent could not tell to save his life whether any certain baby is ‘elect’ or ‘non-elect.’ He could not know! According to him, when you go to bury your baby, you could not know whether or not it is one of the ‘elect!’ He would first of all have to prove his doctrine that only the ‘elect’ babies die, before he could know where a baby goes at death. And you mothers could not know whether or not the baby in your arms is one of the ‘elect.’ Now, that is the predicament which such theories lead to. I want my friend to clear up these things, and not misrepresent himself, nor me.

I defined my proposition to mean that Christ died for all the sinful race of Adam, and that his blood is ready for all when they need it—just as it was shed for me 2,000 years before I needed it, before I was saved, and born again. Just the same way it is ready for babies when they become sinners and need it.

We all need a resurrection from the dead, babies and all, and that is through Christ. (1 Cor. 15:22.) And when babies get old enough, and are sinners, they need the remission of sins; and that is provided by Christ. So, he has provided all we need along the way. But my friend thinks they are born “dead in sin,” and that some of them are ‘non-elect’! But God says, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Ezek. 28:15.) Paul was not born a dead sinner, but says, “I was alive without the law once: but the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” (Rom. 7:9.) He did not mean he died physically, for he was still alive in that sense and writing the Roman letter. And so, he was “alive” first and “died” later. Eph. 2:1, “And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins.” (American Standard Version.) These people were not dead until they “trespassed” and “sinned” so as to die “through” these. Again in verse 5, “Even when we were dead through our trespasses.” (American Standard Version.) Not dead through Adam’s sin, as far as spiritual death is concerned.

He says one spiritually dead in sin cannot do anything to be saved. But the word of God quickens the dead sinner. David says, “Thy ‘word hath quickened me.” (Psa. 119:50.) Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth . . . ; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (Jno. 6:63.) So, the Spirit quickens by the word which he has spoken. Jesus says, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” (Jno. 5:25.) So, then, the dead are to “hear” and “live.” Jesus also said, “And these are written, that ye might believe, . . . and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (Jno. 20:31.) “Life” depended upon their “believing.” Again, in reproving some, Jesus said, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (Jno. 5:40.) My friend thinks no one comes to Jesus that he “might have life”; but he thinks Jesus must bring the life to the fellow and do it all, and that none of us has any “coming” to do to get life! Paul says they “believe on him (Christ) to life everlasting.” (1 Tim. 1:16.) So they “believe . . . to life everlasting.” They don’t get the life first, in order to believe! Again, “He that “believeth not the son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (Jno. 3:36.) Hence, the dead sinner can believe in order to have life, and as long as he does not believe, he will not see life, and cannot have it. “This life is in his Son.” (1 Jno. 5:11.) But in Gal. 3:27, which my friend says in his booklet is water baptism, Paul says, we were “baptized into Christ.” We then have spiritual life from death in sin. We are made alive “in his Son”—and have life from the guilt of sin, have forgiveness of sin, and life from spiritual death.

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and rise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Eph. 5:14.) Those here addressed were members of the church, but they, too, were said to be “dead” because they were in sin, and were not living right; they were “dead,” separated, alienated from the life of God and were in spiritual death. (Eph. 4:18.) They could awake and rise from the dead. And so it is with alien sinners, and all who are dead in sin; they can as easily “arise from the dead,” as “dead” church members. Yes, “Arise from the dead.” (Eph. 5:14.) God by the prophet said, “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.” (Isa. 55:3.) Then we read of, “Repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:l8) So there is repentance, then “life” afterward. —And remember: repentance is a command of God unto all men. (Acts 17:30.)

“FAITH IS A WORK” he said, as I copied it from the recorder last night. He said: “All spiritual blessings are to be had in heavenly places in Christ. FAITH IS A WORK.” Here he says, “Faith is a work.” Eph. 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith,” and my friend says “faith is a work.” He also said “faith works,” commenting on Gal. 5:6. He made both statements last night in his last speech. “FAITH IS NOT A WORK,” and (at another point) he said “faith is a work,” as the wire recording will show to anybody who wants to listen to it. And so, “By grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH.” (Eph. 2:8.) And he says that’s a work. But it is not a work of the law! Gal. 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, but by the faith of Jesus Christ”—now watch the next statement: “even we have BELIEVED in Jesus Christ, THAT WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST.” (Gal. 2:16.) Then, Rom. 5:1: “Therefore being JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Mr. Holder said, as I copied it also from the wire recording: “He keeps telling you that I say the individual is saved without faith. I haven’t said it, and I am not going to say it.” All right then: he has now admitted that the individual is not saved without faith! So, my proposition is true! It says the alien sinner has to have faith in order to be saved! He now admits that it is through faith. Now, all I have to do is to show that faith is an act of the sinner. In Acts 16:30-31, the Jailer said, “What must I do to be saved?” And they told him what he must do: they said, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Here the “believing” is an act of the man. Jesus said when the gospel is preached, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Then—watch it: “he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mk. 16:15-16.) So then “believing” and “not believing” are things which men do. Again: “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” (Jn. 3:36.) This shows that MAN is to do the believing! He has finally admitted that we are saved by faith, and I have shown that faith is an act of man. Paul says, “With the heart MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness.” (Rom. 10:10.) That settles it then! Faith is necessary to salvation, and is produced by the word of God! “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17.) Of course God gives it through his word.

In Eph. 2:8 it is salvation that is “the gift of God.” But that. does not make any difference; it would not mean faith is a direct gift, if it said faith is a gift. Because I have shown that it is an act of man, and that sinners were told to believe when they asked what to do to be saved.

But Mr. Holder said, “Nichols, nor any other man had anything to do with” — with believing. He was quoting Heb. 12:1-3, where Paul says Christ is “the author and finisher of our faith.” That means the “faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3.) “Faith” here means the gospel system of religion.

But my friend contradicts the Bible when he says men have nothing to do with the faith commanded of us. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed?” (1 Cor. 3:5.) Paul asks “How shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14.) Jesus speaks of those whom he says, “believe on me through their word” (Jno. 17:21), showing that the preacher does have something to do with it. Rom. 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that BELIEVETH “—believeth the gospel—the thing preached. Hence, this gospel is necessary unto salvation. Paul says, “I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, and which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved.” (1 Cor. 15:1-2.) So, they are saved by the gospel which is “the power of God unto salvation.” But it will not save those who reject it. it can save only those who will believe and accept it. Therefore it says, “It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also unto the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16.) And “therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith—” — from the faith of those who proclaimed it, and revealed it, and carried it out to the world, unto the production of faith in the heart of those who hear it, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17.) Again, “That the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe.” (Acts 15:7.) Again, “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ BY THE GOSPEL.” (Eph. 3:6.) Thus, my friends, the Bible is very clear on the matter, that the gospel is necessary to faith, and faith is necessary unto salvation.

My Friend challenged me to find an alien sinner who believed while out of Christ and unsaved. I have given him an example and he has paid no attention to it: John 8:30-44. It says, “Many believed on him” . . . “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him” . . . and he continued to talk to them. They got mad and insulted at his speech; then he said to these “believers,” “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” (v. 44.) Were these “believers” in Christ? If so, you have children of the “devil” IN CHRIST, as sure as you live! But if they were not in Christ, then they were BELIEVERS OUT OF CHRIST. Let my friend deal with it, instead of simply renewing his challenge for such a case!

In Gal. 5:6, he said faith “is not a work” but it “works.” Here is where he said “faith is not a work.” At another time he contradicts himself and says “Faith is a work.” All right. If faith is “not a work,” then when Paul says if salvation is of grace it is not of works, he did not exclude faith, if “faith is not a work.” (Rom. 11:6.) Again, Paul says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:9.) Works of “boasting” here are excluded—”not of works, lest any man should boast.” This does not exclude faith, for he has just said we are saved “through faith”: “For by grace are ye saved through faith.” (Eph. 2:8.) Paul did not deny this when he said it is “not of works.” (v. 9.)

Finally my friend says he does not mean to say at any time that one is saved “without faith.” “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law.” (Gal. 2:16.) But the rest of the verse says, “Even we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified.” (Gal. 2:16.)

Again: Paul says, “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, BUT AS IT WERE by the WORKS OF THE LAW.” (Rom. 9:31-32.) Don‘t you see that faith is over on one side, and the works of the law are over on the other side? So, faith is not one of the works of the law, and excluded. Paul says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law’?” (Rom. 3:28.) Don’t you see that faith is not a deed of the law?

He wants me to show him a text with water baptism in it that says we are baptized “INTO CHRIST.” Well, he says Gal. 3:26-27 is water baptism. (See his little booklet Page 50.)
Moderator: Raps for time.

Nichols: Thank you very much, and be sure to listen attentively to my friend.

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 February 2007 )
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