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S.T.Ranger last won the day on November 17 2019

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  1. Just wanted to let you know I did post this response, and thanks again! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- site address deleted by Admin Posts here become the property of this forum and may be referenced but this site doesn't allow non sponsors to advertise nor put our posts on another forum God bless.
  2. Hey thanks! Between work, the holidays, and being sick...it's been tough getting any time to do what I love to do the most. Certain cultures do indeed try to change the "Christian story." The homosexual culture, for instance, seeks to teach all "love" as good, contrary to God's will. And that is what many do, they try to mold Christian values into, or out of their own cultures. And I would agree the maturity level of the one being taught is important, but I would explain Justification to both a four year old and a sixteen year old. And I think both would be able to grasp this simple concept: a declaration of righteousness. But, it might be that the four year old might have a little more trouble understanding that there are two types of justification spoken of in Scripture, though I think they could probably grasp that as well. If not then it can be made clearer as they grow older. But let's talk about that for just a minute, seeing it is the focus of the OP. In Scripture we see two types of justification, one which is temporal (such as we see referred to in James 2, where giving food and clothing to those in need validates genuine faith, and Abraham is declared righteous/justified because of both faith and works), and that which is eternal, which is the declaration of God pronounced upon those that believe on Christ. I know you understand what Justification means, right? So the question is...what language do I need to speak to you in to get across the significance of this distinction? I would suggest to you that Biblical language is the only language this is going to be understood. I agree we must seek to make it understandable, lol, that is what teaching is all about. Otherwise it is simply a conveyance of knowledge. A person could copy an entire book about Algebra but that doesn't mean he is going to understand it. Justification is one of those words that stands apart from most, primarily because it is a Doctrine of the Bible. It is not used as much as most would think, thus it is, in my view, necessary to make people understand this word and doctrine. So going back to speaking to you in Biblical language, what I mean is to speak about justification directly from the Bible and bringing out the context of each use. It's very simple to explain to people. You ask if they know what it means to be righteous. You can explain being righteous in its various contexts with short stories as Scripture does, oftentimes describing, as well, what it means to be unrighteous. Think of David taking Bathsheba. Now compare that to Christ laying His life down, dying for someone else's sin. You can use the Justice System of our country. Most kids understand the procedure of someone being charged, tried, and judgment being pronounced. And when we separate the two distinctive uses of Justification, Temporal and Eternal, it gets a little more complicated. But again, this is a topic of discussion for those a little more well versed in Scripture than four year olds, lol. I don't make it a habit of trying to give meat to babes, but milk only. We always cater to the maturity level of those we speak to, right? And that has no relevance to what I teach or preach to people. I do not make it a habit of spending a lot of time on what the "Church Fathers" had to say, because much of it is erroneous. I only view Scripture as the Authority and basis for Doctrine and Practice. The OP actually touches on that, in that I view both Catholics and Protestants as holding to error, particularly in regards to Justification. And the primary fault I would mention is that both fail to properly contextualize the passages they teach out of. Catholics extend a salvific and an eternal context to James 2 and Protestants do the same in Romans 4. And to be honest, I don't see too much difference in how men thought in that day and how they think today. But one thing I would point out is this: we still need to be mindful of the progression of revelation. God revealed many things to men in past Ages, yet withheld full understanding from them. Protestants believe He allowed a "reformation" in regards to understanding five hundred years ago, and I am inclined to agree. However, I think we might still see God progressively revealing to the Church an understanding that is greater than those who have gone before us. Not sure how a 21st worldview is relevant to the Doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity is simply knowledge of God from Scripture that doesn't change regardless of the culture that knowledge is introduced to. It's up to the teacher to get the student's attention, and still deliver the knowledge you want to teach them. And I have to admit I am a little mystified by your statement, that Justification, "...even with an explanation makes little sense." A man is charged with murder and all the evidence points to his being guilty. A court trial proceeds and the evidence, when thoroughly examined, shows that the man was telling the truth that he didn't kill the victim. He has been justified. In the case of Mankind and sin, Mankind is under condemnation. This would have in view the previous man not being justified through a court proceeding and actually found guilty. He has been, like all of mankind, condemned to death. He stands under a declaration of unrighteousness, of being unjust. The natural man stands in that condemnation, the verdict has already been rendered. We are conceived and born into the world under that condemnation. The man in the earthly court trial receives justification or condemnation in a temporal context. The natural man stands in condemnation in an eternal context, meaning that his standing is relevant to both a temporal and eternal standing. And only God can reverse the condemnation, or familiar terms, grant a reprieve. When God does that He declares that man to be Justified. The man has a standing of being righteous rather than unrighteous. And I would point out that our standing before God is not a result of what we do, either in the case of condemnation or justification on either a temporal or eternal basis. Men are born separated from God due to Adam's sin. I do not take the view they inherit a "sin nature" from their parents, but that they are simply separated from God thus are incapable of righteousness. Particularly righteousness on a level that they might come into relationship with God. If you read from Genesis to Revelation you are going to find one consistent practice: God always initiates relationship. We can divide those relationships into two categories as well, temporal and eternal. And it might surprise you to hear me say that an eternal relationship between God and Man did not begin until Pentecost. Most think Adam had "spiritual life" and lost it when he sinned. Adam had a physical relationship with God, and that is what he lost. And because access was denied mankind to the Garden, and thus with God, all men are born out of relationship with God and will inevitably sin. So it is, in my view, to understand that being justified is not to be equated with Eternal Salvation/Redemption. God eternally redeemed men by bringing them into eternal union with Himself, and they have a standing of Eternal Justification. We receive the life Christ came to bestow (John 3:16) when He eternally indwells us. No man had this life prior to Pentecost, not even Adam. The Lord did teach about the Trinity, as I have shown in John 14:15-23, however, men were not meant to understand that at that time. They could not even understand the Gospel, that Christ would die, be buried, and rise again. This is why Peter and John are amazed when they find the tomb empty: John 20:9 King James Version (KJV) 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. This is because the Mystery of the Gospel was not yet being revealed: Ephesians 3:4-5 King James Version (KJV) 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; We see in Matthew 16 that the Father reveals the truth that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ)... Matthew 16:13-17 King James Version (KJV) 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. But, let's not confuse that with them having the Gospel revealed to them. We see that they are forbidden to tell men that He is the Christ, and when the Lord preaches the Gospel...Peter rejects it: Matthew 16:20-23 King James Version (KJV) 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. "From that time forth." As mentioned before, the Lord did not send His disciples unto the world to preach the Gospel of Christ, but unto Israel only...to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. While this is true, let's not overlook the importance of understanding what the people of Israel would have understood about Christ's teachings. While we understand fully what He means when He refers to His death and Resurrection, they did not. Few take the time to really consider this. Even after the Resurrection...they still did not believe. When He appears to them in Luke 24 they think they are seeing a "spirit," a...ghost. Because they thought He was still dead. Again, I believe we can see at least three specific Kingdoms referred to by Christ: the Kingdom that is in the hearts of believers (and has always existed); the Millennial Kingdom (which was prophesied in the Old Testament, and from whence most gained their expectation (this is the Kingdom Peter took up the sword in hopes of ushering it in by saving his King)); and the Eternal Kingdom. Membership in the first has changed significantly since we are now immersed into Christ upon entrance, hence we have eternal life whereas the Old Testament aints did not. Paul understood the difference between the two Kingdoms Christ taught about, the disciples did not. They understood only that God would send the Messiah and He would establish an earthly Kingdom that would be ruled by the Messiah forever. Their understanding of that, though, would not have been of the Messiah Himself being on that throne forever, but more along the lines of His descendants always being on the throne. Only the disciples were wrong, and that in this way: they only had the revelation of the Kingdom that would be established on earth (for the most part), at least that is the only understanding they had. They did not understand the Kingdom of His dear Son (into which we are translated), or the Eternal State/Kingdom. Peter did not want the Messiah to die because the Kingdom he awaited could not be established if He did. That Kingdom will still be established, but that is not the Kingdom Christ established at the time of His death and Resurrection. Precisely, lol. Thus we must make Justification understandable to the newer generations, and we don't have to talk in their language to do that, lol. Not always. For most I think it's a slothful approach to study. Some are waiting around for God to "zap" them with knowledge, so remain babes most of their lives. The Writer of Hebrews rebukes the Jews for this very attitude in Chs.5-6. And I hate to say it but our current cultures contribute to the lessening of study in God's Word. In early America the Bible was a prominent Book in the lives of many, that is not the case any longer. I think that if one is diligent in seeking after God and the truth God will instruct them as He has promised. While God can and does use us, He doesn't need us, lol. He can enlighten men through His Word alone. He has done that for many millennia now. And today there is radio and tv which can also be used. While we convey the words, it is always God that enlightens the mind. That is simply something we can't do. I couldn't even save myself, much less anyone else, lol. Basically, Thormas, I look at it like this: all of us are natural men when God intervenes and enlightens our minds. We then respond. If we believe the truth delivered us we are made sons of God by being immersed into Him (the Baptism with the Holy Ghost); if we reject the truth we remain in darkness. Salvation is wholly the work of Holy God. Agreed, God does use men to preach the Gospel, but it still remains that only He can make someone understand the Gospel, and embrace it as truth. I would have to disagree: I don't see that we can share credit with God for salvation in any way. No atheist will enter the Kingdom of God. That is just basic, Thormas. The "love" shown by atheists should not be compared on an equal plane with the love of God or that of believers.: Luke 6:32 King James Version (KJV) 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. Again I would have to disagree: John 15:19 King James Version (KJV) 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. We see the Lord state plainly that "the world" does indeed "love," but He makes it equally clear that this love is not...good. Only those brought into Eternal Union with God have the life of God, that is...eternal life. That is the "new birth." And only those who are born again (which is also spoken of as being born from above, born of the Spirit, and born of God) will enter into the Kingdom of God, both that which we are translated into at salvation and that which is to come. While Jesus was a man, we must also remember that He was God with us, and in that respect He was not "one of us." He came for the specific purpose of taking upon Himself the penalty of our sin that we might become the sons of God. He came, as John 3:16 teaches, that we might receive eternal life. Again, no man received eternal life until Christ died, arose, returned to Heaven, and began baptizing men into Himself. Holy and human are not the same things. Holiness is a state of separation and refers to both being separated from something by our own choice and by God. But that is another topic entirely, lol. Sanctification is also a Doctrine that has two types, progressive and positional. I don't view divinity as something that can be "incarnate" other than the Incarnation itself. While we partaker of the divine nature we ourselves do not become divine. No more than a car becomes human when we get into them, lol. Does this mean you embrace Universal Salvation? I have also, Thormas, thanks again for the responses. Thanks, I appreciate that, and I will definitely let you know if I post anything. God bless.
  3. Sorry Thormas, it has been a little busy, but thanks for the reply! That is one of the great problems in modern Christendom...they think a differing culture changes the way we view how we are to live. Simply not the case, right is still right, wrong is still wrong, evil is still evil, and holiness is still holiness. The language of the King James, for example, is not so detached from our present (English-speaking) cultures that they cannot understand the teaching of Scripture. As far as when "...doctrine was formulated," the Doctrine of Scripture is timeless and unchanging. Meaning that the principles revealed in the Old Testament correspond with all following principles. What we do recognize, however, is the progression of Revelation. The Gospel of Christ, according to Paul, was the Hidden Wisdom of God not revealed in past Ages, but revealed in this Age. While they may have known a Messiah was coming, we know that He has come, and we have had that Mystery revealed to us, whereas they had not. And how that is relevant to the OP is in this: Abraham could not place faith in Christ as we can. Because he did not know the "Seed" would be a specific individual that would die in the stead of the sinner, thereby "blessing all families of the earth." We do not need to replace the word Justification in order to convey the Gospel to the modern world. The Trinity is not presented in philosophical language, but in direct teaching by Christ and the Apostles. For example... John 14:15-23 King James Version (KJV) 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. We see the foretelling of the indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in this teaching. And how these words are individually translated doesn't change the meaning of the teaching. Thus when we teach the modern world of the Trinity we teach using the same words used by Christ. We just can't erase from Scripture the basic principle that Man is commanded to obedience. But I do agree, man must understand what it is he must come into obedience to. For Adam it was very simple...don't eat of the fruit of this tree. For Noah, also simple, build an Ark. For Abraham, also simple, go into this land I will show you. Offer your son to Me. It all revolves around God revealing His will to man and man's response. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that God must first reveal His will before men can respond, and not only that...He must enlighten a man that he can understand. The natural man cannot receive nor perceive the spiritual things of God. He needs God's intervention. Yes, but not in the way you imply in your statement (...God is eternally for man). God is not "for" men that reject His will. While I would agree that God has eternally had a plan for Man's good, that doesn't negate His righteous dealing with sin and the sins of men. We can't say "God is eternally for man" when God is eternally against the unrighteousness of men who will face eternal judgment. I agree with that: man's response to God is always a result of God's intervention. We can love God because He first loved us, but let us remember that no man loves God in his natural state: Romans 3:10-11 King James Version (KJV) 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. While I do believe all men will have opportunity to respond to the Gospel (in this Age), I do not believe all will. Most will follow the course of their own understanding and seek to make God conform to their will. The bottom line, though, is that Eternal Salvation is accomplished only by the grace of God through the Sacrifice of Christ. Abraham was "justified" but died still in need of Eternal Redemption. The Mystery of the Gospel had not been revealed to him during his lifetime and he never placed faith in the Risen Savior. He simply acknowledged in faith that the promises God made would be kept. Not in the Old Testament. The Man Jesus, God manifest in human flesh...has a beginning in time. It is not until Pentecost that men begin to call on the Name of Jesus for salvation. While we see, during His earthly Ministry, men and women placing faith in the Messiah, not a single person "believed" on Christ in a New Covenant sense, not even the disciples: Mark 16:9-14 King James Version (KJV) 9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. 12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. Consult the Gospels, you aren't going to find the first disciple that believed Christ when He stated "I will rise again the third day." Because we know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ remained a Mystery during His earthly Ministry, we have to ask what Kingdom He referred to when He taught. It is true there is a veiled reference to the Kingdom which we ourselves have been translated into, the Lord ministered within the revelation provided to men in that day. So... ...in large part the Lord spoke of the Millennial Kingdom, which was a part of the revelation provided to Israel in that day. Another point to keep in mind with that statement is that the Lord's ministry was unto Israel...only: Matthew 15:22-24 King James Version (KJV) 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When He sent out the disciples to preach the "Kingdom Gospel" He did not send them to the World, but rather... Matthew 10:5-7 King James Version (KJV) 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. In that culture, Thormas, what they would have understood was the teaching of Christ relevant to the Prophecy they had received, and that would have been an earthly Kingdom ruled by the Messiah, and then by His descendants after Him, or so they thought. Not sure why this should be so complicated, lol. If a person understands the word it isn't hard to grasp the concept. And you seem to think I would have to use terms like Justification and Omnipresence in order to convey the Gospel to the lost. I don't. All I need to do is tell them of their sin which they are usually already aware of, their eternal destiny as taught by Scripture, and the only remedy for that destiny of eternal judgment. But as mentioned earlier, I could preach until I am blue in the face, but unless God enlightens their minds to His truth they will never be saved. I don't save people through preaching, God does. He does through the ministry of the Comforter: John 16:7-9 King James Version (KJV) 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; Again, keep in mind that this was not taking place prior to the coming of the Comforter, which could not take place until Christ returned to Heaven (John 14:13). This is true, but that does not negate that the Covenant of Law was specific to Israel and it entailed quite a bit more that had to be adhered to. Atheists can love their neighbors, and like James exhorts, give food and clothing to those in need. There is more to Eternal Salvation than simply loving GOd and our neighbors. Such as Christ dying in the stead of the sinner. What we do after salvation is a result only of what Christ has done for us...completely apart from our own participation. He died alone on the Cross, we weren't there. He decided to do that before man was ever created. And before the natural man can ever get to the point of loving God, or His neighbor, he must receive the ministry of God in his/her life through which they receive the truth, then respond to that truth. Most, according to Christ, will reject the truth, and this because their nature is to sin against God, rather than love Him. As far as our "living and fulfilling the Law," that is an impossibility. Even as new creatures we are still subject to fallen flesh, and until that flesh is redeemed men will continue to sin. When we live holy is is due to God living in us, and our yielding of our lives to His will. The Covenant of Law has been abolished, abrogated by the New Covenant, and that Covenant is not established based on our participation, it is established through the Sacrifice of Christ. And that is all the time I have today, Thormas, thanks again for the replies. I will get to the rest of these as time permits. One question, would you mind if I post your statements on my own forum? I can do that anonymously if you prefer, or not at all, it's up to you. But this may shape up to be a pretty good discussion, and I'd love to have it on my forum. God bless.
  4. These are all great questions, Thomas. You ask these in response to... To answer your first question, this is not a hard statement to understand. Nowhere in Scripture do we find anyone having faith that did not first have the will of God revealed to them. This began in the Garden. God gave man His will for his life and Adam responded. I think the next questions will serve well to expand on the meaning of the statement. God is only immanent in those who have been born again, and this did not begin until Pentecost. And even for the Regenerate we see His intervention. The primary problem of man is that he is born separate from God and thus it is only God that can reveal truths to men by which men can be saved. The truth revealed to Adam was "The day you eat of this fruit you will die." Adam's response was wilful disobedience, thus death entered the world (death, not sin). We see this pattern throughout Scripture and in the case of everyone (which is everyone, lol) who comes into relationship with God. We do see the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and that He would come upon men and women to empower them for ministry (i.e., Prophet, Priest, King, Warrior, etc.) but that is distinguished from the eternal indwelling of God which was promised in the Old Testament and brought about by Christ's death, burial, and Resurrection. When He returned to Heaven He sent the Comforter to perform a ministry specific to this Age: John 16:7-9 King James Version (KJV) 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; When the Comforter comes He will convict men of sin...because they are unbelievers. They do not yet believe in Christ, and it is His ministry by which they come to believe. Few notice that the disciples of Christ, though ministering under Him for three years...did not believe the Gospel. Peter rejected the Gospel when the Lord told it to him... Matthew 16:20-23 King James Version (KJV) 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then we see Peter seek to keep Christ from the Cross by physical violence towards men in the Garden. Then we see Peter deny he even knows Christ. Then we see Peter (and the other disciples) disbelieve He had in fact risen again. How this is relevant is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the Hidden Wisdom of God, kept secret from the foundation of the world. It was a Mystery, previously unrevealed truth. While men could place faith in a coming Messiah/Christ, that is not to be confused with believing on and placing faith in the Risen Savior, that He died for you. So the distinct ministry of the Comforter is unique to this Age, and it is through receiving the Gospel that men are reconciled to God. They are not only brought into relationship with God, but one that is eternal. We are made one with God. So while truth was revealed to men in the Old Testament, and man's response to those truths determined their standing with God (as well as created belief and faith), today the revelation being provided men is the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is how Scripture describes man as he comes into this world. The natural man (unsaved) is contrasted with the spiritual man (saved: 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 King James Version (KJV) 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. I post from v.9 because it is important to understand the context of this passage. Most view v.9 as speaking about how great Heaven is going to be, but this quotation is referring to the Hidden Wisdom of God...the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No man had an understanding of the Sacrifice of Christ. that His death is in view is stated before: 1 Corinthians 2 King James Version (KJV) 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. That is the central focus of not only the second chapter, but the latter half of chapter One. The point being that it is the Spirit of God that has revealed to us this knowledge, and that it was not revealed previously to men. Again we see the simple pattern: God reveals truth, man responds. The natural man cannot understand spiritual things hence it is God that enlightens his mind that he may respond. Apart from that intervention he would remain blind to the truths he desperately needs to know. When one receives those truths and is converted he stops being a natural man and becomes something he wasn't before, what Paul calls the new creature. Primarily we see the will of God for man revealed. All revelation has a primary goal of bringing man into obedience to God's Own will, which ultimately is for the good of man. How revelation is provided has, in my view, three primary avenues: First, we see revelation provided in Creation itself (Romans 1:20). Since the world began men have been able to understand there is a God Who created the world. Second, we see an internal witness provided to men, in which God reveals to man's conscience His will (Romans 1:19-20; Romans 2:13-15). That is what we would view as immanent. Third we have direct revelation, which occurs when God speaks directly to men, through men, or through the written Word. All revelation must be kept in the context in which it is given. For example, the revelation provided to men under the Law cannot be imposed as specific to our Age. If a Gentile tries to "keep the Law" he ignores that the Law was given specifically to Israel and that there are certain aspects of the Law they were commanded which is impossible for Gentiles to keep. A great example of revelation being kept in its context would be the Gospel of Christ. It is given in the Old Testament but the understanding of it was not given. Abraham believed God would give him a son and through his seed (offspring) all families/nations of the earth would be blessed. He believed it and had enough faith in Gd's promise that he was willing to slay his son, knowing that God would have to resurrect him (Isaac) in order to fulfill His promise. But he didn't understand that God would manifest in flesh, die in his stead for his sins, and bestow eternal life. Getting back to the OP, because of his belief and faith he was justified. He was declared righteous on a temporal basis, and this secured his eternal destiny. But he would not be justified through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus...until Christ actually redeemed him. Adam and Eve also received the Gospel: Genesis 3:15 King James Version (KJV) 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. But neither did they understand that the Son would die for their sins. It is not until the Comforter begins His convicting ministry that the Gospel is revealed to men. Notice that the disciples of Christ did not preach the Gospel, nor did the Church begin...until Pentecost. Well, believing is something both saved and unsaved can do. The devils believe...and tremble. People can believe Jesus is the Christ is the Son of the living God, but as we see in Matthew 16 this does not equate to believing on Christ in faith. It is just my opinion that many in the churches today engage in the "faith" the disciples had prior to Pentecost: they believe Christ is Who He says He is, but they have not yet placed faith in Him as Savior. As to the difference of the two in my statement, God reveals to men truths, they believe, but just because they believe doesn't mean they have faith. Abraham proved he believed by being willing to offer up his son. The Apostles proved their belief by being willing to die for Christ. Just because someone believes in something doesn't mean they have faith in it. I believe Satan is a powerful demon but I have no faith in him. Yes. In a salvific context placing faith in Christ is not just a matter of believing. Many Jews all over the world trust in the Messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures, but as evidenced by the actions of the disciples (and all men) during Christ's ministry, the "faith" they had was shallow and weak. Consider... Galatians 3:23-25 King James Version (KJV) 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Paul makes it clear that faith in Christ is specific and contrasted to faith in general. While men were under the Law (and the implication being prior to the Law as well) faith was not possible. No man under the Law had the Faith of Christ. Many believed in the Messiah that was prophesied (such as the woman at the well, John 4), and as I said many Jews today believe in that Messiah, but... ...only those who believe and place their faith in Christ have received the faith which was not possible under the Law. In our culture it is not as evident what faith in Christ looks like, but in the First Century it was impossible to miss. Men and women were persecuted for their faith, so faith would have "looked like" men and women dying, being shut up in prison. In our culture it might look like regular attendance with a group of other Christians. In a general statement, for me, faith looks like keeping the commandments of Christ. This is not to be confused with keeping the Law, or keeping the teachings He gave in specificity (i.e., "do unto others..."), but generally keeping everything He taught and viewing it as irrefutable. This would include His doctrinal teachings. Many today, for example, do not "keep" His teaching concerning Regeneration. In John 3 Nicodemus asks how men can be born again and the Lord's answer is He must be "lifted up," or in other words die on the Cross. Yet no-one "keeps" that teaching. In another sense we might say that observing what placing faith in Christ is might be difficult. While I believe we can see evidence of genuine salvation, we (humans) have the bad habit of judging books by covers, as well as demanding more of others than we do of ourselves. We see someone smoking, for example, and we question their faith. But faith in Christ begins a growth process, so all believers are at differing phases of maturity in Christ. Genuine faith in Christ is expressed according to that maturity so it might be difficult to say for certain whether one is saved or not. Okay, sorry for the length, but as I said, great questions. Thanks, much for them. God bless.
  5. If you understand the significant differences between what you said and how it was addressed it is illogical to conclude "hair-splitting." Is it your typical manner to insult new members? First, you should understand the Theology of your antagonist before you try to categorize their views, and secondly, you were given Biblical Theology. Theology that denies "western theology." On the contrary...you just did. If you look at the title of the board you will see a word: Debate. That means, Burl, that people are going to disagree. No need for you to respond with insults. If you don't want to debate I would suggest you look into other boards. If you do want to debate the topic of the OP, great, it's a good way to begin discovering how my own views stand in great contrast to modern popular pulpit mythology. It's a false charge, one that you yourself are guilty of. I am trying to have a discussion (that's where Dialogue comes in) about the topic of Justification, particularly in regards to the popular view that equates justification with Eternal Redemption. I agree. However, I posted this in the Dialogue and Debate Board specifically because my own views differ from what is really the only legitimate Theological understanding of Justification (in regards to Abraham). Nothing I said was said in an unfriendly manner. It was simply an address of what you said. If having people disagree with you upsets you to the point you ignore the points made and instead simply insult people then perhaps debate is not a good idea for you. God bless.
  6. Most people use the term "Justification" because it is a Theological term and Doctrine. We don't need to change our terms in order to "connect" with "21st C people." It is our command to have them connect with what God has said. Great! I don't take that view: Man was created by God and for God. It is Man's obligation to be "for God." Sorry, lol, have to disagree with that as well (please don't get annoyed). Many have embraced "Free Will" and think that men have the ability to understand the Gospel and essentially save themselves. The only free will natural man can exercise is to reject God's will. It is necessary for the natural mind to be enlightened by GOd in order for him/her to understand the truths God reveals to man. Relevant to the OP is the quote "There is none righteous (justified), no...not one." There is no man that seeks after God. God always seeks out man. Man cannot fulfill the Law as Christ did. Not only are we not told to fulfill the Law we are expressly told we cannot. The Lord fulfilled the Law by (1) living under the Law without sinning against it, (2) fulfilling the Prophesy concerning Himself written in the Law, and (3) by fulfilling the demand of the Law in regards to the penalty of sin. Only He could have done that, and where we are concerned, our fulfillment of "the Law" lies more in fulfilling the principles the Law meant to teach people (i.e., loving God, loving our neighbor, not stealing, lying, etc. (which display the first two)). The only way to be one with God is to be Baptized into Christ. It is not something we do, for Christ is the Baptizer (Matthew 3:11-12). Christ's dying in the stead of the sinner made it possible for men to be forgiven on an eternal basis (see previous post in regards to Hebrews 10) and as a result God began immersing them in eternal union with Himself. Christ teaches of the coming eternal indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in John 14:15-23. Neither Temporal or Eternal Justification is a relationship, it's a declaration of the position of the individual. Men are either just or unjust. As far as works are concerned, they are the inevitable result of the new creature, we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The Justification relevant to the OP is a declaration of position for a man or woman on the part of God from an eternal perspective versus the temporal position of a man or woman under Old Testament economies. Justification is equated by most with salvation itself, and while a case can be made in regards to the Old Testament Saint being "saved" due to Temporal Justification, Salvation was made more complete when Christ died and the Justified of the Old Testament became eternally redeemed. What I am hoping to discuss is specific to that topic. As far as justification being "incarnate," I would have to disagree: this gives justification a persona of sorts and suggests we control justification. The fact is that we all sin at times and at times we are not going to be just from a temporal perspective. Again I see an inappropriate use of the word "incarnate." It is God incarnate that made it possible for us to love God (hence give to God): we love Him because He first loved us. Again our response to God is initiated by His intervention in our lives. Agreed. "Emmanuel" speaks of the Incarnation, which is relevant to the OP in that we are examining distinctions between the Old and the New Testament. In particular the understanding of justification under the Law and in previous Ages. Abraham was justified before God, but he died still awaiting Redemption. Here are two people under Law who are justified: Luke 1:5-6 King James Version (KJV) 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But these two themselves, though justified...were not yet redeemed on an eternal basis. The Son was sent for the very purpose of redeeming men from the Law: Galatians 4:4-6 King James Version (KJV) 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Becoming "one with God" began at Pentecost when the Comforter was sent. He is the fulfillment of the Law, and the only way we can be said to fulfill the Law is to be in obedience to the principles of the Law God has revealed to us. But, as we see in Zacharias and Elisabeth, "fulfilling" the Law is an entirely different matter from being Justified by the grace of God. God bless.
  7. Well, it's a little early to be coming to that conclusion. If we take the view that Temporal Justification is in view in both James 2 and Romans 4 we clear up many things that confuse so many. Particularly those who are works-based in the "faith" they follow. You say this as though Christ is in everyone and men simply need to come to that realization. The fact is that all men are born separated from GOd and because of this are under condemnation. Not only do we consider that men must receive Christ in order to "know" that they have eternal life, but look at the fact that Abraham was never eternally redeemed during his lifetime. That is where the OP becomes relevant: Temporal Justification is not to be equated with Eternal Redemption which can only be attained by the grace of God when He intervenes in the life of the natural man and enlightens that man to truth (and when I speak of "Man" I am speaking of both male and female): Romans 3:24 King James Version (KJV) 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Sorry, no. Justification, whether on a temporal or eternal basis, is not something man does in a salvific context. Men can "justify" the deeds and words of other men and their own by other men, but when we are speaking of salvation only God can Justify (see link): Galatians 3:6-8 King James Version (KJV) 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Faith is, and always has been, a result of God's intervention in the life of the natural man. He reveals truth to men and they respond to it, first by believing what is revealed then placing faith in that truth. And something Abraham never did in his lifetime was trust that Jesus Christ had died in his stead. If you read Romans 4 you will see why Abraham was "Justified:" because he believed God would give him a son and that all families of the earth would be blessed through the seed, which he did not understand as the Seed: Galatians 3:14-16 King James Version (KJV) 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. If you consult Hebrews 11:13 and Hebrews 39-40 you will find Abraham, and all Old Testament Saints...died not receiving the promises. He received the promise, but we have received the promise as a matter of it being fulfilled. Paul yearns for his nation to receive these promises given them in Romans 9-10. And note v.14: in view is the receiving of the promise of the Spirit, which they did not. Nor did the disciples of Christ until Pentecost: Acts 1:4-5 King James Version (KJV) 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. And I would point out at this point that I am not saying that the Old Testament Saints were not "saved," they were from an eternal perspective. What I am saying is that they were not eternally redeemed, because Christ had not yet died in their stead yet. Their Redemption was postmortem. I would agree with that. Not sure what "inter alia" is supposed to mean, but I will say this: there are two forms of Sanctification taught in Scripture, Progressive and Positional. Progressive Sanctification is the process of being made holy, both by the work of Christ in our lives as well as efforts we pt forth. This sanctification is not salvific, and will not save despite the works men perform. Positional Sanctification is the process of God Himself setting the sinner apart unto Himself, again through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus: Hebrews 10:10-14 King James Version (KJV) 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. The "perfection" of v.14 refers to completion, not something that is flawless. If you start at the beginning of the chapter you will see he makes the point that the sacrifices of the Law could not "make perfect," or in other words those sacrifices could not bring to completion the goal for which they were offered, which was atonement and remission (forgiveness) of sins. But the Sacrifice of Christ not only sanctifies the sinner once for all, they are made compete in regards to remission of sins... ...for ever. Again, the Old Testament Saints were justified during their lifetimes, thus securing their eternal destinies, but they were not eternally redeemed by Christ until He actually died. Application of the Atonement prior to the Cross is not supported by Scripture, and is a construct of popular modern preaching and doctrine. Three final verses to consider: Hebrews 9:12 King James Version (KJV) 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Chapter Ten gives the reason of the truth of this statement. The sacrifices of the Law could never take away sins and thus make the comer thereunto complete (Hebrews 10:1-4). Hebrews 9:15 King James Version (KJV) 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Christ established the New Covenant based on His death. This redeemed the transgressions the Old Testament Saints died still in debt to. Christ had to die that men might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. He had to die for men to receive all of the promises: Hebrews 11:39-40 King James Version (KJV) 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. God bless.
  8. For 500 years we have seen Catholics and Protestants dispute how one is justified. By faith alone as Paul teaches, or, as James teaches, by faith and works. There is a simple solution: both are, in the critical passages, speaking about justification...not Eternal Redemption. Abraham was justified by faith alone, but, he was also justified by faith and works. And as long as you do not impose an eternal aspect to that justification you will have no problem maintaining the proper distinction between passages dealing with Old Testament Saints being justified in a temporal context and men being eternally redeemed through the shed blood of Christ. When Salvation is in view, we are told how that is accomplished: Ephesians 2:8-9 King James Version (KJV) 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. There is no contradiction to be found in James' statement, because he isn't stating how Abraham was eternally redeemed, but, how he was justified. That there is a Temporal Justification in Scripture and that this is the issue discussed by both James and Paul is something we must take into consideration. Let's take a look at a few passages dealing with justification that clearly speak of Temporal Justification: Luke 18:11-14 King James Version (KJV) 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Romans 2:13-15 King James Version (KJV) 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another James 2:24-25 King James Version (KJV) 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? Most would acknowledge that James is teaching from a temporal perspective, rather than an eternal. If he were not...would we not have to conclude that one could be saved/eternally redeemed by giving food to the hungry and clothing to those who are cold? We would. So the suggestion I make for those who have struggled with the seemingly contradictory statements between James and Paul is to simply maintain these passages in their proper context and there is no problem. The problem arises when, as many do, there is an equation between the justification of men in a temporal context and Eternal Redemption which can only be accomplished through the death of Christ in the stead of the sinner. Men can be justified by faith only, as well as by faith and works, but, men can only be eternally redeemed by grace through specific faith in Jesus Christ and His death in our stead. Paul makes a distinction between Jew and Gentile in Romans 2-3, but brings both under condemnation despite justification by obedience to the revealed will of God: Romans 3:9-12 King James Version (KJV) 9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Unless we maintain a proper context between the eternal and the temporal, one might find a contradiction between the righteousness mentioned here (which no man has) and the righteousness imputed to people like Abraham, Rahab, and the Publican sinner. It's a fact: Abraham was declared righteous because he believed God (concerning God's promises, in particular that his wife-beyond the age of bearing children-would produce him a son). So does v. 10 contradict that declaration of righteousness? Not at all, because Abraham was Justified according to his temporal existence...not on an eternal basis. Paul will go on, again, to make a distinction between the previous economies and the one in which he writes: Romans 3:21-26 King James Version (KJV) 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. How many people placed faith in Jesus Christ prior to the Cross? Not one. Abraham was justified by belief, faith, and works, so including him, Rahab, the Publican sinner, and anyone else you would like to include, how many were righteous? 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: So again, I suggest this to those who, as I said, have struggled with what is argued as contradictory between Catholics and Protestants. Hopefully the simple truth of the distinction we must make between the justification of the Old Testament Saint and Eternal Redemption through Christ our Lord will be just that...simple to understand. I will leave you with another statement that has an eternal context and points out, as does Romans 3:25, that the sins of the Old Testament Saints were never forgiven on an eternal basis during their lifetimes: Hebrews 9:12-15 King James Version (KJV) 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. God bless
  9. Hi guys, just wanted to say hello. Looking forward to some good discussion! God bless.
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