I could accept that this is just a “man thing” except for this: this same man makes Biblical arguments about prepositions every day. The best explanation to me is that we all see what we want to see instead of what is really there, and hear what we want to hear instead of what was really said.
Many of my friends have the same problem. They want to live as “good” people and think that Christ and the church have absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. The Bible, on the other hand, says that “in Christ” we have redemption (Rom 3:24), the love of God (Rom 8:39), sanctification (1 Cor 1:2), grace (2 Tim 2:1), and salvation (2 Tim 2:10). Not out of Christ, but in. Which of those things are you willing to do without?
Baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), not after or because of, and we are baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13) not on a convenient Sunday nor because we were voted in.
Some of my brethren have a similar problem. They think that sitting on a pew is what makes us in Christ. Yet the scriptures they quote every Sunday tell them that “in Christ” we are new creatures (2 Cor 5:17), created for good works (Eph 2:10). Not only that but we must prove we are in the faith and we do that by showing Christ in us (2 Cor 13:5), following in his footsteps in those good works (1 Pet 2:21). We prove we are sound in the faith by the way we live our lives every day (Titus 1:10-2:13).
Prepositions are not that difficult and they do matter. Do you want to eat dinner at the table or under it? Do you want to take a shower in the bathroom or out of it? Do you want to sleep on the bed or beside it? Do you want your wife to feed you breakfast in bed or on the bed (where she threw it at you because you obviously do not understand prepositions!)? See? All it takes is a little honesty with ourselves, enough to see beyond our biases, beyond “what I’ve always heard,” beyond “what mama said,” and you can make the same changes that those people of the first century did—pagans who before lived lives of sin without giving it a second thought, who had no concept of monotheism, who had to change every aspect of their lives, even to the point of bringing persecution upon themselves and their families, and many times death.
Maybe that’s the problem. We are simply not that honest, brave, or sincere in our devotion to God and a Savior who gave up everything for us. We want to throw the clothes at the hamper and say to God, “See how much I love you?”
Let me tell you something—He ain’t buyin’ it.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
Thanks to Keith for being such a good sport about this one!