Mac’s Response To Todd’s And Jay’s Answers, Part 4

Response to Jay’s and Todd’s Post Concerning Repentance

by Mac Deaver

Now let us consider Jay’s and Todd’s most recent post concerning repentance.

First, Jay and Todd find fault with the concept that (1) if there is no cessation of the sin, then there is no repentance of it, and that (2) repentance must be with regard to all sin in a person’s life. So, with regard to the first point, they are claiming that one can repent and continue in the sin of which he repents! That is certainly a redefinition of repentance that amounts to a cancellation of repentance and amounts to an unintentional attack on the process of actual conversion. I cannot repent of slapping you as I continue to slap you. If I can repent of slapping you while I continue the practice of slapping you, what could repentance possibly mean? The very concept of repentance evaporates before our eyes. The very concept of Jay and Todd leads to the continuation of practiced sin while one allegedly enters the church. This is not an extension of grace; it is a corruption of the church. It eliminates the possibility of conversion. It turns the church back into the world.

Their confusion over this and the degree to which they are willing to go in attacking the concept of repentance in order to allegedly extend God’s grace to more people winds up eliminating the possibility of conversion at all. This is serious.

T  F 1. One can repent of a given sin without any cessation of that sin in his life.

T  F  2. In order for one to repent of a given sin, he must stop doing it for a while.

Todd and Jay answer the first one True; Phil and I answer it False. Todd and Jay answer the second one False. Phil and I answer it True.

Now, regarding the second point with which Todd and Jay find fault. They find it impossible for one to have to repent of all sin because of the possibility of one’s not knowing that some things that he does are, in fact, sins. This, I admit, is the more difficult

point. However, let us begin by saying that people need to be properly taught before they are baptized. Rushing people into the water with improper and/or inadequate instruction is not scriptural. Second, since all responsible people are moral specimens, we all intuitively have a grasp of moral infraction which is violation of moral law. We all have at least a minimal intuitive grasp of moral obligation in order to reach moral accountability. There are certain things that all morally responsible people comprehend, whether we articulate them or not. Since every person wrestles with whether or not flesh or spirit dominates in his life (Gal.5:17), he knows that the works of the flesh are against his best interest and are not good (Gal.5:19-20). However, he may yet choose flesh over spirit because of its pleasure and because of his lack of interest in his spirit. A person who is converted must realize the difference between living according to the domination of flesh and living according to the domination of spirit. He must be willing to turn his back on a life of sin. If he is not willing to resolve, with God’s help, to live a spiritual life, then he is not ready for baptism. He can’t claim “conversion” and continue to fornicate, adulterate, intoxicate, fabricate, etc. He can’t plan on being the same person following baptism (as far as moral practice goes) that he was before. If there is no cessation from immorality, there is no conversion to spirituality. If there is no godly sorrow, there is no repentance, and no repentance, no conversion (11 Cor.7:10; Acts 2:38). Third, the prospect must be informed with regard to “pure positive” duty. This category of responsibility is different from moral obligation. Faith in Christ, repentance, confession, and baptism are all “pure positive” (rather than moral) obligations. Some of his Christian duties would be pure positive duties as well. In other words, the sinner must understand that he must be faithful following baptism with regard to Christian duty.

Now, Todd and Jay argue for a “partial” or an “incomplete” repentance as sufficient to one’s becoming a Christian. They say that I argue for a “complete” repentance while contradicting myself in claiming that a new convert could be initially wrong about some doctrine. However, needing to learn more doctrine is not the same thing as implying that one has not repented of all sin in his life. A new convert might not yet understand the full force (in application) of the principle of authority (Col.3:17). However, that initial immaturity in intellectual grasp does not imply that he has failed to give up the sins he has been committing. So, when Todd and Jay say, “Of course, this definition of “repent” contradicts Man’s other theory: that a novice Christian might initially be in error on some point of doctrine and yet be saved…” they are wrong. A person who lives a very irreligious and immoral life could obey the gospel and yet need to comprehend some truths of which he knows little or nothing. However, consider the following:

T  F  1. A person who is a drunkard, liar, fornicator, adulterer, and thief, can repent of four of the five activities, be baptized, and continue as a practitioner of the fourth kind of sin and still be recognized by God as a legitimate convert.

T  F  2. A person who is a drunkard, liar, fornicator, adulterer, and thief, must repent of all these activities in order to become a Christian.

T  F  3. A person who is a drunkard, liar, fornicator, adulterer, and thief, need not know that these things are sinful in order to become a Christian.

Third, if it is possible for a person to offer “imperfect repentance” on the basis that he cannot in all circumstances know all his sins, we would offer the following:

(1) The concept could not at all apply to some sins (I think that just here both Todd and Jay and Phil and I would agree). An extreme example of this category of sin would be that of a man who is a murderer and wants to obey the gospel but without repenting of murder; we would all agree that he cannot obey the gospel in this condition).  If a murderer does not know that he must repent of murder in order to become a Christian, his ignorance of the fact does not cancel his guilt of the crime, and his ignorance could not lead to forgiveness.(2) The concept of “imperfect repentance,” if applicable to some sins would not and could not apply to others. Are we all agreed? This would mean that the very concept, if accurate at all, could have only very limited or minimal application. And yet, Jay and Todd in their line of argumentation would have us to believe that the concept has maximal application. And by exaggerating the application, they extend grace to more people who continue in sin that grace may abound. Their idea seems to be that (1) conversion follows the process of very limited instruction, (2) partial obedience, (3) and  continuing spiritual development  which contributes not one whit to continuing salvation because salvation is in no sense ever essentially connected to works.

Now, I am willing to grant that in some cases, some people may obey the gospel without comprehending that certain sins in their life are actually sins. Todd and Jay raise the possibility of a sinner who upon conversion keeps on buying a lottery ticket because he is unaware that this is unscriptural. You could argue the same for people who buy “chances” on various items. Some things appear innocent to those in the world. You could argue the same for some who evidently at baptism were unaware of the sinfulness of certain words that they often used and continue to use following baptism. But even allowing for this, this category of not yet detectable sin would have to be an exceedingly small amount of items in order for conversion to have taken place. And proper teaching would avoid most of the mistakes continually made by new converts in this regard. Now notice the difference between:

Organized crime’s involvement in gambling—unorganized illegal gambling—legal gambling in casinos—legal gambling at races—legal gambling at card games—buying a lottery ticket—buying a chance at a school function. The sins are not all of equal consequence, require unequal amounts of time and attention, could even involve strikingly different motivations. I would not say that a person who obeyed the gospel without knowing that buying a lottery ticket was wrong should necessarily be baptized again. I’ll leave that up to the person involved.  If, however, in monitoring his life, that person later reaches the conclusion that he did not at baptism know all that he needed to know, he should not risk damnation over the pride of refusing to admit the earlier mistake.

Todd’s and Jay’s analogy between us parents and our children and God and his children is much to the point. We forgive our accountable children their sins against us when they repent. We guide them lovingly along. We chasten them because we love them, and we know that their future depends upon their receiving the correction. We punish them in order to their correction. And when God does this, it is because he loves us, is activated by omniscience knowing everything about our situation (Heb.12:5-13). Todd and Jay claim that as long as we are sincere (in penitence and in a submissive faith), we continue in grace. Can we continue in grace if we refuse to change course when God chastens us? If we fail to recognize the chastening for what it is, and sincerely move along in doctrinal error and/or immorality, without rightly submitting to the correction, can we be saved? No.

But now as we wind things up, note that Jay and Todd are arguing that a person can live sincerely in sin and because he is “in grace,” he remains saved. Sincerely committed and continued sin is not viewed as disobedience! This is a tragic and extremely consequential error that they make.

They provide us an example. A couple is allegedly converted. However, following conversion the minister who baptized them counsels them as they prepare for marriage. He learns that they are “sleeping together.” Upon being told this, they were advised to stop—to repent—and they did. Now, Jay and Todd asked, “Was he asking them to move from an unsaved state to a saved state? No, they were surely in grace. They plainly had hearts for God so much so that they immediately gave up their sexual relationship as soon as they learned better. They were penitent before and they were penitent after.”

My response: what a confused mess! The couple had “hearts for God” while practicing fornication. How could they be “surely in grace” at the same time that they were living in fornication? Grace so defined is not grace at all. The exaggeration of grace becomes a sanction of sin. People living in fornication, because of the nature of moral law, know that it is wrong. We do not always admit what we know is wrong (Rom.1:32; 11 Sam.12:1-7). People who do not know that their fornication is sinful could not know the moral distinction that obtains between fornication and marriage. And fornicators who are baptized while continuing to live in fornication are not now Christians. Read carefully 1 Corinthians 6:9-11!

It is quite revealing and quite sad that Jay and Todd would provide for us as an illustration of their concept of “repentance” and “obedience” a fornicating couple who are “converted” and who have “hearts for God” but who continue to practice fornication following their “conversion.” They have to learn later that their fornication is actually sinful, and they do allegedly learn this while preparing for marriage to one another. And though they continued to practice fornication following baptism, we are informed that surely they following baptism were in grace! What doctrine. This is that to which all their comments on ignorant sins or not yet detected sin leads. And the position by them taken indicates the degree to which our culture has impacted the thinking of the church. It reminds me of Corinth (1 Cor.5).

(And by the way, if the couple in their illustration is “in grace” following their immersion in water while they continue to practice fornication, then why should the minister have told them to repent of it. If a person can live immorally at the same time he is in grace because of his alleged ignorance of the immorality, why not allow the couple to remain in ignorance? Wouldn’t Jay’s and Todd’s concept of “grace” covering continued immorality imply that the less taught the greater the good accomplished? Why? Because if they ignorantly remain in the grace covered immorality, they are bound for glory. What if upon being taught that fornication is sinful (per Todd’s and Jay’s claim that they didn’t know it before they were baptized), they reject the information and refuse to leave the sin? Now, they are lost according to Jay and Todd. Why not rather leave them in safe ignorance rather than place them in risky knowledge if grace covers the continued practice of immorality?

Given Jay’s and Todd’s concept of repentance and obedience this fornicating couple following their baptism were “obedient” and “faithful” and “walking in truth” and “keeping the commandments” just as the woman in their lottery ticket illustration! Believe it who can! I say it kindly, but I say it nonetheless that distinguishable concepts (like repentance, obedience, morality) in the Scriptures take an unmerciful, though unintended, beating as Jay and Todd argue for a different kind of “grace.” It is a kind of “grace” from an all together different kind of gospel (cf. Gal.1:6-10). I know, and I say it lovingly and kindly and yet firmly, that the concept of grace for which they are contending is not that taught in the gospel of Christ.

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115 Comments on “Mac’s Response To Todd’s And Jay’s Answers, Part 4”

  1. Jeff B. Says:

    “And by the way, if the couple in their illustration is “in grace” following their immersion in water while they continue to practice fornication, then why should the minister have told them to repent of it.”

    Because salvation is more than just heaven after we die. It is enjoying a quality of life within this life, too! We teach this couple how to live according to God’s ideal so that they can enjoy the blessings of their salvation to the fullest. Without repentance of their fornication, they are not necessarily hell-bound in the afterlife, but neither are they experiencing the fullness of salvation, as they are missing out on the present blessings of walking in the light. The more we submit to God, the more fully we experience salvation.

  2. Royce Says:

    Lets test Mac’s theory of repentance. Mac, are you sinless? If you are not sinless your theory and teaching is false through and through. If you have any sin in your life, according to your teaching on repentance, you have not really repented and are lost.

    If you say you do not have any sin you are a liar and make God a liar. Which is it?

    The idea that we are to disciple dead people is absurd. Because Mac, Phil, and other traditionalists believe Christianity is doing certain things and keeping rules, they foolishly think you can teach a non Christian all of the Christian disciplines before he is born again. The Bible cleary teaches that the unsaved person has no aptitude for spiritual truth.

    When Phillip taught the man from Ethopia he only taught him about Jesus and his work for sinners. He did not talk to him about what is moral or immoral. When Peter preached before the 3,000 were saved he failed to do what Mac suggests ought to be done.

    (By the way, to “obey” the gospel is always a reference to “belief”, not baptism in the Bible. Not one place in the Bible is “obey” or any of its derivitaves connected to baptism. If we claim to be Bible people lets use language the Bible supports.)

    What Bible examples teach one must know to become a Christian is far different than what Mac teaches. Mac teaches law (rule keeping) and the Bible teaches that sinners are saved by hearing and believing the good news about Jesus. The idea that a lost man, dead in his sins and transgressions, is capable of submitting fully to the Lordship of of Jesus, BEFORE he is made alive by the Spirit is an example of the error of legalism.

    Men are only set right with God on the basis of what Jesus has done, not on the basis of what sinful men can do.

    Royce

  3. laymond Says:

    Royce quotes, “If you say you do not have any sin you are a liar and make God a liar” (as usual to make a point for his side) so context is dumped.

    Royce said, “Men are only set right with God on the basis of what Jesus has done, not on the basis of what sinful men can do.”
    Royce what had Jesus done for Zacharias, and Elisabeth.? and others of the old rule, the law of Moses was the only thing removed by Jesus, not the commandments.
    Luke 1:5: 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.

    Question; Who is lying here, answer; neither, but one is quoted often out of context. you cannot be a sinful Saint. (but if God has no law against a thing it is not a sin) I believe men see more sins than God does.
    Royce, if man has no control over sinning, why would Paul set up certain conditions a man must meet before becoming a leader in Christ’s Church.?

  4. Royce Ogle Says:

    Laymond,

    The “context” is walking in the light. Even the man who wants desperately to do God’s will (walk in the light) will sometimes disappoint even himself and sin. Precisely the reason Jesus had to offer his perfect life to God as our perfect substitue is that we can never, as much as we try, live above sin. We try and when we fail, and we do, we confess (see the sin the way God sees it) and are contunually cleansed by the blood of Jesus. It is in this context John teaches that to claims sinless perfection is to make God a liar.

    Some might quote Mac or Phil out of context but it an’t me.

    Royce

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Amen Jeff! When people sin it doesn’t mean they are hell bound. God tells us not to do sinful things such as fornication to help us. He is trying to keep us from causing pain to our own life and to the lives of people we love. The sins we do not only effect our lives but also effects the lives of the people around us.

  6. laymond Says:

    1Jn:1:10: If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    1Jn:2:4: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    As I see it living in sin is not a choice that is acceptable to God, nor John, John called those people who claim Christ as their savior, and do not keep the commandments a liar as well as those who say they have not sinned (never sinned).
    I believe John is saying we all need Christ, except those who have committed no sin, but such persons do not exist, because we have all sinned.

  7. Dusty Chris Says:

    Preach it Jeff. God wants to be in fellowship with Him and a sinful life keeps us from experiencing that. Repentance isn’t magical, it’s relational. It’s saying we are sorry and trying not to do it again. Repentance is God’s work as much as grace, mercy and love…we can’t do it without Him. Repentance doesn’t demand perfection but submission. I can’t be perfect but I can be submissive to the will of God.

  8. J. T. Says:

    I have no idea how Jay and Todd will respond to this post, but I would ask a question.

    Must I repent of all of my individual, specific sins – or must I repent of my sinfulness?

    If it is the first, I am put in the position of the Catholic at confession. I must list all of my sins – every one.

    If it is the later, I recognize that I am sinful and without God. I turn to God to follow Him. This will mean a change in my behavior – but it will be through a pattern of growth through the renewing of my mind as I fix my heart upon Jesus and am transformed into His image “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18).

    If I understand what Jay and Todd have been saying, they agree with the later of these – and that as long as I am focused on Jesus by faith, I continue to be transformed throughout life. Then, when I see Him as He is, I will be like Him (1 John 3:1-3).

  9. Alan S. Says:

    Todd and Mac, I’d love to a fly on the wall at your Thanksgiving reunions, and family Bible discussions.

    I think all the questions and misrepresentstions and misunderstandings can be summed in one question:

    Do you put your faith in what God has done for your salvation, orofo you put your faith in what you are doing for your salvation? I think Paul gave us the answer inhis letter to the Galatians. If we are trusting in anything other than Jesus, including trusting our own efforts to please God, for our salvation then we are wasting our trust for we have put our faith in a good news that really isn’t good news at all.

    God bless

  10. Bob Hogue Says:

    Luk 18:9 And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought:
    Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get.
    Luk 18:13 But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    We see the Pharisee had Knowledge,
    Works,and Understanding of The Bible but did not go home Justified.
    The Publican was a sinner and did
    not have the knowledge and works that the Pharisee had but went home justified.

    God looks at the heart and bestows Grace.

    We are not saved by Perfect Knowledge,Perfect Performance,
    or Perfect Understanding but By the Grace
    of God.
    Some think they are saved because
    they understand the Bible perfectly and don’t sin “much”.
    We are saved By Grace thru Faith
    in Jesus as Saviour and Lord.Not
    by works we do!!
    Eph 2:1-10

    Bob

  11. wjcsydney Says:

    Believing we do not sin once we have repented seems to me to be pride – a sin! Who is not selfish, ungenerous, critical, judgemental at times? The more we allow the Holy Spirit to make us over and reveal our sinfulness, the more we will realise that pride, selfishness, lack of love for the poor, the downtrodden, those who need justice are the big sins. Not murder, fornication, drunkeness. Those are pretty limited really but the others are endemic amongst Christians.

  12. D'Angelo Says:

    “Without repentance of their fornication, they are not necessarily hell-bound in the afterlife” This sentiment has been repeated by almost everyone on here.

    9Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,  10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  11And such were some of you: but yea were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these : fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness…1envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which Ia forewarn you, even as I didb forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19, 21)

    Note specifically, “unrepentant fornicators are not hell-bound”

    8But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. (Rev 20:8)

    Brother, I am not understanding where you are getting this idea. Surely, an eyebrow ought to go up when your particular opinion of grace, violates Paul inspired teaching on grace.

    True or False the verses cited above teach that fornicators will inherit the kingdom of Gpd

    True of False the verses above that fornicators will not be case into the lake of fire.

  13. D'Angelo Says:

    True or False the verses cited above teach that fornicators will inherit the kingdom of God

    True of False the verses above teach that fornicators will not be cast into the lake of fire.

  14. Royce Ogle Says:

    True or false liars share the same fate as other sinners such as fornicators?

    True or false those who have put their trust in
    Christ are no longer referred to as sinners but rather as saints in the Bible?

    Sin, any sin (even gossip), is not acceptable to God. Had Jesus not paid the debt in full for our sins all of us are bound for the lake of fire.

    D’Angelo, if you or anyone else is depending on his or her own goodness or the absence of sin in this life on earth to secure your place in heaven the lake of fire is your destiny.

    God only counts righteous those who are in Christ, those who are trusting in Him and looking for His return. Everyone else is lost, church members, preachers, elders and eveyone else who is trying to establish their own righteousness instead of wholly trusting Christ.

  15. Alan Says:

    So, with regard to the first point, they are claiming that one can repent and continue in the sin of which he repents!

    It is impossible to repent of something you don’t believe to be sin. In such cases, the issue is not whether Jesus is Lord, nor whether the person is committed to obedience. Instead, the issue is whether or not the thing they practice is sin.

    Unless and until the person understands from the scriptures that the practice is sin, it is counterproductive to press them to repent. It is worse than a waste of time. Focusing on a supposed unwillingness to repent distracts attention from the real question.

    Can we continue in grace if we refuse to change course when God chastens us? If we fail to recognize the chastening for what it is, and sincerely move along in doctrinal error and/or immorality, without rightly submitting to the correction, can we be saved? No.

    If that is the standard, then I doubt you or I or anyone else will be saved. The standard you described requires us to come to perfect understanding and perfect implementation of every teaching in scripture before we die (and to remain in that perfect state until death) in order to be saved. Any standard less than that requires forgiveness for our misunderstandings — but you insist that we must “rightly submit” in order to be forgiven.

    Mac, do you believe you would go to heaven if you died tonight?

    If so, then by your own standard, you evidently believe you have perfect understanding of every doctrine and perfect practice of every doctrine, at this point in your life. Beware, because even if your standard is incorrect, you might be judged by your own standard. As you have judged, you will be judged.

    On the other hand, if you are unsure about your own salvation, then how can you be so dogmatic about the application of your current incomplete understanding to others?

  16. D'Angelo Says:

    True or false liars share the same fate as other sinners such as fornicators?

    True

    True or false those who have put their trust in
    Christ are no longer referred to as sinners but rather as saints in the Bible?

    True, but that is because they are washed, sanctified and justified (1 Cor 6:11) and they do not practice sin (Gal 5:19-21). I notice you did not answer my questions. You seem to believe grace allows people to remain in fornication, even against the words of Paul. What you say sounds very similar to Jude 4, “ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.”

    Please answer the questions I presented.

  17. D'Angelo Says:

    True or False the verses cited above teach that fornicators will inherit the kingdom of God

    True of False the verses above that fornicators will not be cast into the lake of fire.

  18. D'Angelo Says:

    Royce said,

    “D’Angelo, if you or anyone else is depending on his or her own goodness or the absence of sin in this life on earth to secure your place in heaven the lake of fire is your destiny.”

    You seem to equate the demand for holy living (1 Peter 1:16) as “meritorious living.” And that just is not true.

    Lets see, “8But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” (Rev 21:8).

    Well, Mr. Royce I do not see those striving to be faithful in that list there, do you? I think it is interesting that you that condemn those who believe we should put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13), and that we live so that we “might not sin” (1 John 2:1). And condone those who live in fornication, something that Paul specifically condemned. You need to re-study this issue.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    D’Angelo,

    No one is saying people should try to sin as if sin is okay. We should try to do what the Bible tells us to do.

    Have you perfectly repented of all your sins?

    When people do what the Bible tells us not to do it is sin, it is also sin when don’t do what the Bible tells us to do.

    Do you always love your neighbor, do you always give to the poor, do you always keep what you said to someone else?

    James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    If you have failed in one point of the law you are guilty of all the law which includes murder, adultery, idolatry ect.

    Do you perfectly do all the things the Bible tells you to do?

    If not you are in need of a Savior.

  20. D'Angelo Says:

    I see you have no interests in answering my questions. Why should I answer any of yours when you will not answer one of mine? Have a good day, sir.

  21. Royce Says:

    I see the brotherly love D’Angelo! lol

    Of course Christians are to flee sexual immorality of every kind as the Bible instructs. The point I am making is that other sins are in the same lists as “fornicators”. It is easy to choose your favorite sin to hate and ingore everyting else God says about sin.

    ALL sin is hateful and an offence to God. This is why Jesus lived the life we could not live (no sin, and perfect obedience) and presented that life to God on behalf of sinners of every stripe, for sins of all kinds, once for all time, once for all people.

    Anyone who thinks he can strike some deal with God about his sins apart from Christ’s worth and work is wrong. Only those who put their whole trust in Christ are justified and everyone else is lost.

    Don’t make the error of thinking that if you are not gulity of sexual sin, divorce, or murder that you are in better standing with God than those who have committed those sins. Those who rag on people about certain sins are most often guily of other sins while they speak.

    Salvation is not a partership with God, with His part and your part. Jesus did your part and salvation is of the Lord from start to finish. If we believe the Bible where it teaches again and again that lost people are DEAD and need LIFE, and I think you do, exactly how does a dead man contrubute to his resurreciton?

    There are many wonderful promises made to believers but not one of them are for make believers. Only those God has made righteous on the basis of Jesus offering of himself are fit for heaven. Jesus is the door and he is the only way to God. Many church folks are trying to come in windows, down the chimney, or up through the floor. A hypocrite may fool me or you but not God.

    Royce

  22. Jeff B. Says:

    D’Angelo,

    I just noticed that you were quoting me in this comment. However, much like the way “conservatives” quote scripture, you quoted a PORTION of my sentence without quoting all of it. You quoted it to imply that I believe that someone actively involved in fornication is experiencing salvation. However, the second half of my sentence in my orignial post clearly says “neither are they experiencing the fullness of salvation, as they are missing out on the present blessings of walking in the light.”

    Also, the hypothetical couple who is guilty of fornication was pointed out in the main post to be living a penitent life, but was ignorant of the fact that their fornication was not consistent with God’s will for them. Therefore, while they had not repented of that specific sin, they were penitent Christians who only lacked sufficient knowledge.

    I think one fundamental difference that we have in this discussion is our definition of “salvation.” I believe that salvation is both now and not yet. You seem to think of salvation exclusively in terms of the afterlife. I believe that the “now” of salvation (our experience of the blessings of a redeemed life) is dependent in some way on the degree to which we adhere our lives to God’s will. The penitent couple who, due to ignorance of God’s will for them, remains in their fornication is not able to experience the blessings of redeemed living (or, one could say, salvation) in the same way that they would be able to if they had waited until uniting in marriage.

    However, I believe that their penitent spirit is recognized by God and that their imperfect obedience may very well be covered by God’s grace. If this is the case then the “not yet” element of salvation sees them as being redeemed by God’s grace in spite of their failure to experience the fullness of blessing in this life.

  23. Jerry Starling Says:

    Laymond,
    You asked Royce, “Royce what had Jesus done for Zacharias, and Elisabeth.? and others of the old rule, the law of Moses was the only thing removed by Jesus, not the commandments.”

    The answer is found in Romans 3:25 – “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished….”

    Remember that Jesus is the lamb of God “slain from before the foundation of the world.”

    Hence, even those under the first covenant who trusted God were saved by the blood of Jesus.

  24. Chris Moore Says:

    Are fornicators going to Heaven or not? Is that so hard to understand? Why is this question not answered if everyone is searching for the truth and wanting an honest discussion?
    The question, once answered correctly, exposes much! So the question, it seems, will not be answered.
    I would like to ask a question (I hope to get an answer). (Galatians 6:1-2) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
    Question: How could a brother restore a person if the person really hasn’t become lost when engaged in sin? The comments I’ve read so far seem to lead to the conclusion that no sin merits hell.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Chris-Are fornicators going to Heaven or not?

    Answer-Sinners who are saved by the blood of Jesus are going to heaven.

    Now if you would Chris please answer my questions.

    Have you perfectly repented of all your sins?

    When people do what the Bible tells us not to do it is sin, it is also sin when people don’t do what the Bible tells us to do.

    Do you always love your neighbor, do you always give to the poor, do you always keep what you said to someone else?

    James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    If you have failed in one point of the law you are guilty of all the law which includes murder, adultery, idolatry ect.

    Do you perfectly do all the things the Bible tells you to do?

  26. Alan Says:

    Chris Moore wrote:

    Are fornicators going to Heaven or not? Is that so hard to understand? Why is this question not answered if everyone is searching for the truth and wanting an honest discussion?
    The question, once answered correctly, exposes much! So the question, it seems, will not be answered.

    Ok I’ll bite. Here’s the most relevant passage I know of:

    1 Cor 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    So, on the one hand, it plainly says that fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God. OTOH it also says that some of the Corinthians had been such — but they were washed, sanctified, and justified by Jesus. So, although they stand guilty of fornication, they are clean, as though innocent. So, yes, *some* who have committed fornication will enter the kingdom of God — not because of their own perfect repentance, but because they were washed, sanctified, and justified. If you disagree with that, your problem is with the scriptures, not with me.

    Now, as for the person who is washed, sanctified, and justified, but subsequently commits fornication (or any other sin…)

    1 John 1:6-10 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    So a person who has been washed, sanctified, and justified is not sin-free from that moment on. Such a person is cleansed from his sin.

    1 John 5:16-17 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

    So not all sin in a Christian’s life is fatal. Is fornication one that is not fatal? The scriptures don’t explicitly say — but my impression is that it has more to do with the attitude of the one committing the sin, rather than whether the sin is on a particular list of non-fatal sins. I suspect sin committed in rebellion is on the fatal side, and sin committed in ignorance is on the non-fatal side. But as I said, the scriptures don’t explicitly say.

    Do you accept that there is some sin that does not lead to death?

  27. Royce Ogle Says:

    Chris,

    You stated “The comments I’ve read so far seem to lead to the conclusion that no sin merits hell.” The fact is that EVERY sin merits hell. That is the reason we must have Christ as our substitute who paid for every sin.

    What no one seems to want to address or admit is this. If Fornication will cause a Christian to be lost so will lying, gossip, and I could list many, many more. The one who is guilty of one offence is guilty of the whole law. Once you transgress on purpose in God’s view it is as if you have committed every sin.

    Only the once for all sacrifice of Jesus satisfied God’s demand for sinless perfection and perfect obedience. When Jesus shed his blood it was for us, all of us wicked sinners.

    Those who are in Christ are safe. Those who are not are in grave danger. Jesus will not die again, when his work was done he sat down never to make another offering for sin.

    What God gives those who put their trust in Christ is eternal life, His life, and His righteousness and they shall NEVER die according to Jesus.

    Many teach that we are only given a new chance to keep all the rules and if our performance pleases God, somehow Jesus work plus our goodness allows us to be saved in the end maybe. That is hogwash. We humans in our own energy and ability come up short every time. The righteousness that saves is the righteousness which is by faith to all who believe. Everyone else is lost.

    Those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will be cast into the lake of fire. You don’t get an entry into the Lamb’s book of life by church membership, giving 10%, beleiving the right doctrine, or worshiping the
    right way, in the right place. The Lamb is Jesus Christ and eternal life and forgiveness of sin is only in and through him.

  28. Chris Moore Says:

    Gal. 6:1-2 talks about restoring a brother. Restore to what? Paul should’ve said, “If your brother has trespassed, go tell him that since he is a Christian, he can’t be lost.” Why was Simon the sorceror told to repent? The apostles should’ve said, “Simon, its a good thing you’re a Christian or you would be in grave danger.” (Revelation 22:18-19) For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” If the person who took away or added to the book was a Christian, John was a little confused wasn’t he? Once you’re added to the book, that’s it, right?


  29. Restore to a right relationship. There is more to the Walk than staying out of Hell. There is so much more to the Kingdom than that. So to answer the question “Restore to what?” you must be able to read Scripture with ears to hear, rather than doctrines to prove, and that goes for both sides.

    In 1 Corinthians 5, there is a kingdom principle that God would rather destroy rebellious flesh to save the soul. “…hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” So, being “handed over to Satan” is not eternal damnation, but a way for God to not break covenant with Himself. He promised to save us, and He will – over our dead bodies if necessary. He is, in fact, a very loving God in this respect.

    Previously in chapter 3, Paul makes this assertion about the role our works will play on Judgement Day:

    “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

    Notice if you have no works worthy of heaven, you will suffer loss, but still be saved. What kind of Christian would have such a dead faith as to have no works? And yet, this person will be saved as well.

    So, in fact, Paul does say, “It’s a good thing you’re a Christian, or your lack of faithfulness in your works would be an issue.” It’s just that it doesn’t fit the “Once saved, maybe saved” version of the gospel that has been taught over the years in the CofC (a “different gospel”, to coin a phrase.)

    Romans 8:15 says: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'”

    Indeed, the gospel of the fear of Hell is a different gospel than Paul preaches. The obsession of the CofC with Hell quite effectively violates Paul’s command to think of things that are true and noble and right. We are not to meditate on how to stay out of Hell, but what the “Spirit of sonship” means to our families, churches, and neighborhoods.

  30. Jerry Starling Says:

    Brad,

    Your post reminded me of a time when I was a young student at the Sunset School of Preaching. Along with others, I worked in a campaign in Houston during one of our “off” weeks. The preacher had a powerfully eloquent introduction in which he repeatedly asked, “What made these early Christians do what they did against all odds?” He literally had me on the edge of my front row seat. After he asked the question (for what turned out to be the last time), I almost whispered into a silence that sometimes comes over a large auditorium, “Jesus!” Everyone heard me, including the preacher. He stopped, looked at me, and said, “The answer our brother has given is a good one – but tonight I am preaching on the fear of going to hell!”

    The next day, after we drove back to Lubbock, the story was laughingly embellished by a fellow-student to the point that I had really frustrated the preacher and ruined the sermon.

    Cline Paden, hearing the story, dryly remarked, “There must be something fundamentally wrong with a sermon that is ruined by the name of Jesus.”

    I think there must be something fundamentally wrong with a theology that is ruined by an appeal to the work of Jesus.

    Is it possible to be lost after being in grace? Of course it is – when our faith in Jesus is shipwrecked, or we become fractious and divisive, or sin deliberately while knowing full well we are spitting in the face of our Lord. But this does not happen every time a Christian (one who is in grace) stumbles through weakness, whether his stumbling is through weakness of the flesh or of the intellect.

    We do not have to live our lives in fear. Jesus came to destroy the works of him who held us in bondage through our fear of death.

    For freedom, Christ has set us free. Let us not be enslaved again through our fear of going to hell.

    Do we reverence God? Absolutely! Will we make mistakes? If we say we do not, we make Him a liar.

    Walking in the light,in 1 John, does not mean we never make a mistake. It speaks to the direction and tenor of our lives. Are we giving diligence to grow in grace and knowledge? Then we will never fall – even though (in this life) we will never be perfect in either of these. It is only when we see Him as He is that we will know perfectly and will be completely like Him.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    2 Corinthians 2:7-8 “So that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”

    We also should forgive restoring another of their sin so they won’t be overwhelmed grieving the wrong they have done.

  32. Jr Says:

    Jerry: You wrote: “Is it possible to be lost after being in grace? Of course it is ”

    I find it curious that so many can maintain this teaching in the face of John 10:27-30 and Ephesians 1:13-14. What does “they will never perish” and “no one will snatch them out of my hand” mean? What does “were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it” mean? It means we are kept for good if we are truly His; just like it says. Man cannot change this.

    If one continues a life of sin without repentance, all the way to death; even if he/she proclaims to be a Christian and has been baptized; they were never born-again to begin with. Jesus never had them in His hand. If He did, they wouldn’t have led the life of unrepentance that they did.

    This is why perseverance of the saints is so important. Perseverance proves election.

  33. Jerry Starling Says:

    Jr,
    You objected to my stating that of course it is possible to fall from grace. The subject of the post these comments address does not deal with the possibility of apostasy, but with the conditions under which it occurs. Both sides of the discussion agree that it is possible to fall from grace, as do virtually all of those who are making comments.

    Many passages in the Scriptures warn Christians of the possibility of falling from grace, though those who abide in Christ do not fall.

    In John 15:5-6 Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from you you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

    This is a strange way of speaking if Jesus meant that it is impossible for one who was once His to depart from Him. I do not for a moment believe as some do that a single sin by an otherwise faithful Christian jeopardizes his salvation. But when we are told that we stand by faith, we need to heed the warning (see Romans 11:20 and its context).

    Yes, the Christian is sealed with the Holy Spirit as you note (Ephesians 1:13-14). Later in that same epistle Paul warned, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” In another of his epistles, he charged “the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:1), “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thess 5:19).

    Allowing your faith to become shipwreck, refusing to abide in Jesus, putting out the Spirit’s fire (KJV – Quench not the Spirit) – all of these speak of the possibility of falling.

    Add to that Hebrews 6:4-6. “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

    Can you honestly say that those of whom the writer speaks here were never Christ’s in the first place, that they have never been born again? Or is it possible that your Calvinist heritage has blinded your eyes to much of the important teaching of the Word of God?

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Jerry, you didn’t answer this question Jr asked.

    What does “they will never perish” and “no one will snatch them out of my hand” mean? John 10:27-30

  35. Alan Says:

    What does “they will never perish” and “no one will snatch them out of my hand” mean? John 10:27-30

    It certainly doesn’t mean that they won’t reap what they sow (Gal 6:7-8) nor that they can continue practicing the works of the flesh and still inherit the reward (Gal 5:19-21) nor that they cannot be cut off from the tree (Rom 11:20-22). “Be not high-minded, but fear!”

  36. Anonymous Says:

    Hebrews 4:1-3 “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”

    When a person hears the gospel they get a taste of what salvation is, but those who don’t truly believe that Jesus brings such salvation to them have fallen short of salvation and were never in grace.

    Chapter 10 they were being told that sacrificing animals was not sufficient to take away sins they were being told to have faith that the sacrifice Jesus gave that His blood covers our sins. Those who had not believed were fallen from grace.

    10:29 “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

  37. Anonymous Says:

    The reward of salvation or the reward we receive when in heaven, who will be the greatest in heaven.

    1 Corinthians 3:6-8 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will recieve his own reward according to his own labor.”

  38. Anonymous Says:

    They were speaking to believers and to those who claimed to be believers(false believers).

  39. margaret Says:

    MAT.12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. either in this age or in the age to come. Was Jesus talking about the pharisees that were saying that the healing of the blind and mute man was by the devil. or does this apply to us today. I have read commentaries that said that sin could not be duplicated today. But I have heard some people come awfully close. What are your thoughts on this? I guess I have never formed an opinion. It wasn’t like I was planing on blaspheming the Holy Spirit anyway.I enjoy reading everyones opinions. I know you all are so educated and I do envy(sin) you. Thank You for your response. Jesus loves all of you(even the ones I don’t agree with} Margaret

  40. Royce Ogle Says:

    “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

    How I wish this could be true of us church of Christ people. But sadly it is not. It appears that most of us don’t understand that salvation is through our Lord Jesus Christ and make his death meaningless.

    You would think that by our name, “church of Christ”, that our focus and our mission would be centered on Christ. Perhaps we should change our name to something that better represents who we are. Is Jesus Christ just one of the Bible characters or is he himself our salvaiton and hope?

    The very sad truth is that a body of teaching, a theology of sorts, has been developed that does not center on Christ but rather protects and propogates the traditional church of Christ. Much of it can’t be supported by a single verse of scripture but the zealots roll on preaching church of Christ, how to establish one’s own righteousness, and an assortment of lists of do’s and don’ts to adhere to or to avoid and if you do everthing they say just right you might be saved in the end.

    Those who attempt to substitute or to suppliment what Jesus accomplished for sinful men are the ones who should worry about being damned. “Let him be accursed” is very strong language but that was Paul’s rebuke of those who preached another gospel in his day and it is still just as wrong today.

    I caution all of us, we had better not stray too far from Jesus Christ and the simple good news about Him. Salvation is only though him, there is no other way but his way, and he himself is the way.

    I wonder what God thinks of discussions like this? It is sad that for those few in our fellowship that preach Christ, and not the chruch of Christ, they are always swimming up stream. If you want to be branded as a false teacher, a change agent, and worse, just preach Jesus. What a sad commentary on a movement that bears His precious name.

  41. Jerry Starling Says:

    Anonymous,
    You are right. I did not answer Jr’s question about “they will never perish.” I have thought that “no man can snatch them out of my hand” means that no other person can forcefully take you away from the Savior – but that it does not mean that you yourself cannot choose to leave Him.

    But, neither have you answered my questions about passages that speak of Christians losing faith or falling from grace.

    There is a tension between two horns of a dilemma. On the one hand is a works-based salvation that depends on absolute faithfulness until death (or at least a prayer for forgiveness shortly before death!). On the other hand is the doctrine of once saved always saved.

    I do not believe either of these positions, for I believe the Scriptures are clear that neither is true.

    Can I explain every passage that speaks of security in somewhat absolute terms? No, I cannot. But do you explain the passages that do speak of those who have made shipwreck their faith (1 Tim 1:19f) when we “stand by faith” (Rom 11:17-20)and “are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:5)?

    Paul asked the Galatians, “Who has bewitched you so that you should not obey the truth” and “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith” (3:1-2). He goes on to tell these people who have received the Spirit (3:2; 4:6) and have been born again (3:26-27) that they have fallen from grace when they seek to be justified by works of law (5:4).

    It is not taking the Word of God seriously to dismiss passages like this by suggesting these people had never truly belonged to Christ. If these, whom Paul said had begun well, had not been born again, how can any believer know that he has eternal life? (1 John 5:13)

    The answer to that question is, I believe, that he knows he has eternal life as long as he continues to believe and to walk in the light. This is the message of the book of 1 John.

  42. Jerry Starling Says:

    Thank you, Royce, for a well-stated, passionate plea for the primacy of Christ and Him crucified in our teaching!

  43. Anonymous Says:

    John 10:29 says God is greater than all, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my hand.”
    I Timothy 1:19 also says some had rejected the faith, those who rejected the faith were never in grace, verse 2:4 says that God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.

    There are those who never had faith and are fallen, and there are those who stumble in faith who have fallen.

    Galatians speaks of those who have estranged themselves from Christ it doesn’t say Jesus had left them at all (Galatians 5:4). Galatioans 5:7 says they were hindered in obeying the truth, their progression in the Spirit had been hindered, it doesn’t say they rejected the truth.

    Do followers of Christ in times of weakness sometimes fall not having the faith they should, does God leave them when this happens? Sometimes people have moments of weakness and fall though it doesn’t mean God has left them.

    Matthew 14:27-31
    “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

    Peter saw the storm around him and became scared and in that moment of weakness he lost faith then in his moment of being scared of dying he called out to Jesus to save him. When Peter lost faith Jesus didn’t leave him there to die Jesus remained there with him and reached out His hand and helped Peter.

    When we see someone stumbling in there faith we should do the same and reach out our hand and help them. Too many are too eager to condemn them as if Jesus is no longer with them.

  44. Anonymous Says:

    Please excuse the typing errors. Too many other things going on over here.

    John 10:29 says God is greater than all, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

  45. Jerry Starling Says:

    It seems to me that “Anonymous” is still quick to say that people were never in grace when the Scripture says they have fallen from grace. How can you fall from a position you never held?

    It is true that the New King James Version says in Galatians 5:4 that these, whom Paul later says have fallen from grace, are estranged from Christ. The old King James Version translates this as “severed from Christ.”

    I have never thought that this meant that Christ had rejected them, but rather that they had rejected Him. They no longer trust Him as the sole basis of their salvation. They are returning to the yoke of slavery to law. It is this that causes them to fall, not those who, as you wrote, “in times of weakness sometimes fall not having the faith they should.” These have weak faith, whereas the ones of whom I speak are those who no longer trust Christ as their sufficient Savior and seek to add their own works in order to gain their salvation.

    I do not think that our ideas are miles apart. I believe that, since we stand by faith and are kept by God through faith, as long as we have faith we are in grace; if we, having partaken of the heavenly gift and the Holy Spirit, reject faith in Christ we fall from grace. You, however, seem to believe that if someone leaves faith it merely shows that his faith was never genuine in the first place.

    The warnings in the Scripture against falling certainly seem to say that falling is a definite possibility. It seems to me to be a mere sophism to say, “Well, if someone seemed to have faith, but then leaves that faith, it only shows that he never had it in the first place.”

    Yes, as you write, John 10:29 says God is greater than all, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my hand.” Yet it is still true that Peter wrote, “…we are kept by the power of God through faith….” (1 Pet 1:5). If we leave our faith, we leave God’s protective custody.

  46. Royce Ogle Says:

    Is the new birth a real spiritual birth, or only a figure of speech? (birth cannot be reversed)

    When Jesus said “they shall NEVER perish…” What did he mean? Did he mean what he said?

    Jesus said “and I will raise them up in the last day”. Will he or not?

    The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is God’s “guarantee” of the final possesion of the believer. Is God’s promise in this regard reliable or not?

    Christians are said to be “new creations” in scripture. Is this true or only a figure of speech?

    If we are not to believe the new birth, the new creation, Jesus’s own promises, none of the promises about eternal life apart from human effort then what exactly are we to believe?

    Until I find out differently I am going to use a simple rule. I will take Jesus literally, accept the promises of God as they are written, and depend on Jesus with all my being, and expect the promised outcome.

    Those who want to trust their own goodness are free to do so.

    The wages of sin is death but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore bragging and boasting is eleminated completely. No person will be in heaven saying I am here partly because I lived a life good enough, I was in the right church, I believed the right doctrine, I din’t do…., I did do…. No, all will only be able to claim Jesus did it all, all to Him I owe.

  47. Zach Cox Says:

    Royce,

    After reading many of your comments I’m trying to see if I understand your thinking, so correct me if I’m wrong. Do you advocate that how a Christian lives subsequent to being “born again” has absolutely nothing to do with, nor any effect on whether or not God pronounces “well done good and faithful servant…” when all is said and done?

    Thanks,

    Zach

  48. Anonymous Says:

    Zach, do you believe a person who is born again isn’t saved until they live a perfect life never stumbling never messing up?


  49. I’m obviously not Royce, but this is the most important question to answer!

    There are multiple principles at work here. From 1st Corinthians 3 that all of a man’s work can be found flammable, but the man’s soul, not. Then in 1st Corinthians 5, we find Paul telling the church to hand someone over to Satan so that the flesh causing the sin may be killed off, and the soul saved.

    Now, immediately, those who are slaves to Law pop up and say, “So you’re saying that it doesn’t matter what we do!” On the contrary, this is where the Spirit steps in, and is in charge of our maturity. Because it is the fruit of the Spirit – the work of the Spirit, not us – that brings love, joy, peace, patience, et. al.

    When it comes to sin, Paul says, “It is not I, but the sin within me.” So it works out like this:

    1. God promises that “None will ever be snatched from my hand.” (John 6)
    2. God can not be a liar. (Take your pick, 1 John is good)
    3. The Spirit produces fruit, not the man. (Galatians 5)
    4. The works of the sinful flesh do not affect salvation, because the soul now belongs to the spirit, even while the flesh is still dead and rebellious. This is because flesh cannot produce fruit. It can only show results of the Spirit, and it is not a perfect reflection of this at all. (1 Cor, Romans, Galatians)
    5. God will let the flesh be destroyed to prevent rebellious flesh from causing God to deny Himself by not fulfilling His promise. (1 Corinthians 5)

    The idea that man is in control of most of the salvation process is not the gospel. The whole point of the the Old Testament (2/3 of the Book) is that you can’t do anything. That’s why in Hebrews 10, the author quotes the OT to say, “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:’This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.’Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.'”

    God puts. God writes. God remembers no more. Not us.

    Note that nothing in 1st Corinthians said that the man who was to be handed over to Satan was not showing love, joy, peace, and patience, etc. It says that his flesh was out of control. Some people are like that. But the Lord’s plan for salvation in that case is simple: kill the flesh, save the soul.

    For the rest of us, the Spirit’s work continues to make not only our spirits look more like him, but our flesh as well. It’s not an either-or scenario. There is the Spirit’s work, and then there is the flesh’s inaccurate reflection of what’s going on inside, and its continued rebellion, in spite of “what I want to do” (Paul).

    By the extreme conservative standard, Paul could not be saved because he admitted a life that continued in sin, even though he knew better. But what he was saying is, “Yes, flesh wants to keep sinning. Do your best to control it for the glory of God, so that men will notice the difference in you and be led to salvation.”

    But even if you can’t do that, you are saved (1st Corinthians 3). Not because of you, but because of Jesus, so that no man can boast.

  50. Anonymous Says:

    Amen Brad!

  51. Zach Cox Says:

    Anonymous,

    No. Did something I said give you that impression?

  52. Zach Cox Says:

    Brad,

    Since I asked the question am I to assume that you are referencing me as “those who are slaves to Law?”

    You characterize my question as if it is a straw man; it’s actually just an attempt to understand someone else’s point of view; i.e., I’m genuinely curious if Royce believes what I ask. You wrote:

    “Now, immediately, those who are slaves to Law pop up and say, “So you’re saying that it doesn’t matter what we do!”

    Is that not a legitimate question? In fact, you went on to answer the question (kind of )in reference to the Spirit–an answer, btw, which is substantively similar to one I would offer. The main difference would be that I believe a persona can voluntarily choose to quite sowing to the Spirit and subsequently forfeit his inheritance.

    Zach

  53. Zach Cox Says:

    sorry for typos

  54. Anonymous Says:

    John 10:29 says God is greater than all and no one can snatch them from His hand. Everyone has their struggles some have harder struggles than others but God who is greater than all will help them.


  55. I’m not referring to you as a slave to law, no. I know there are lurkers and seekers both who will automatically want to pose that question, so I went ahead and answered it.

    Yes, it’s a legit question, and the Bible answers it in a way that addresses more than the question asked. Much like Jesus answering the question, “Who is my neighbor” with the answer to “How do I act neighborly?”

    I’m not trying to characterize it as a straw man, no. I thought you were genuinely looking for clarification. Sorry if I communicated otherwise. I did butt in, after all. :^)

    As far as voluntarily choosing to quit sowing to the Spirit, I’m not sure what you mean. I do know that nothing can separate me from God’s love, not even me. That’s a promise! And since Hell is a complete separation from God, even I can’t get me into Hell. The gates of Hell can not prevail against this kingdom I am a part of. Again, another promise. Hallel Yaweh!

    How many promises of God do we need to be confident in salvation? Figuring out when someone is unsaved again (?) is like saying, “We just don’t think you know what you’re doing God. Surely, you don’t mean to save everyone that you promised to save? That would be scandalous!”

    Indeed.

    Note the parable of the workers in Matthew 20:1-16. I think many of us simply aren’t willing to accept the generosity of God when it comes to salvation, because the “reality” we know doesn’t work that way. But the kingdom he is building is not of this world, or of any other foundation that can be shaken. His promises are both true and unchangeable!

    Any other type of salvation would yield an empty heaven.

  56. Royce Ogle Says:

    Wow, you are getting it! Sinful men are justified based not upon what they do but what Jesus has done. That is why he had to die in our place for our sins.

    Yes it matters what we “do” after we are born again! We who are save are created (there is that word again) to do good works. We should “walk in them”, that is our lives will be a pattern of good works. Our lives are to glorify God and rightly represent Jesus to a watching world. Should we sin so grace can flourish? God forbid! The awful fact is that all of us still sin to some degree and again, precisely why Jesus had to live a life of perfect obedience, without sin, and offer that life to God for me and you. We always come up short with our very best performance.

    The Bible teaches over and over that one who is truly born again will walk in the light, that is have a habitual lifestyle of wanting to please God. Not one of us ever does so perfectly (we must have Jesus work and worth on our behalf) but all who belong to God will follow. When Jesus taught about the sheep and their relationship to the shepherd (Himself) he made it clear. They know him, they hear his voice, and “another they will not follow”. The book of 1st John makes it abundantly clear that those who claim to be Christians and don’t live like it aren’t. All of those “if we’s” in 1st John are not conditons of keeping salvation but markers to show if a person is saved or not. Chapter 5 says “these things are written that we may KNOW we have eternal life”, And this is the way we know, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”.

    The decision about who is saved and who is not is not about works, it is about who has the Son and who does not. Believers are save, make believers are not. And believers will not live like sons and daughters of hell.

    Thanks Brad 🙂

    Royce

  57. Royce Ogle Says:

    {safe, not save}

    One final thought.

    Each of us who are saved live in two realities. We live physically and spiritually. And, much in the same way there is two dimensions to how we are related to God. The first is what I call “Positional”. It is our “Standing” with God. “Therfore being justified by faith we have peace with God..” and then…”Through him we HAVE also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…” (Romans 5:1,2) Ephesians 1 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HAS blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love. he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which He HAS blessed us in the Beloved. In him WE Have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
    In him WE HAVE obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” We right now have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, an inheritance, a promise of the redemption of the body, an adoption as sons. That is all past tense. That is our “positional standing” with God as sons.

    Then there is our “Practicle” standing before him. We are living in flesh with its enmity against God, its pull toward sin and so we resist the devil, we say no to ungodliness, we walk in the light, and when we do mess up and sin we quickly agree with God about and confess it and the blood of Jesus keeps on and on and on cleansing us. The Hebrew writer put is this way. (speaking Jesus) “He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” There it is. Justification and sanctification. The two are completley different and should not be confused.

    We are justifed at a point in time and are being sanctified as we live in obedience to the teaching of scripture and the pleading of the Spirit within us.

    The final part of salvation, “glorification” is a sure promise. We will be raised from the dead and made to live in bodies like Jesus own glorified body that he now lives in since the resurrection.

    Justified, being sanctified, and finally glorified, all because God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Eternal life is Christ himself. We can only receive hime by faith and accept the gift. We can’t earn it or deserve it and we can’t make if more perfect than it is.

    Christ is all in all and without him there is nothing to look forward to but hell.

    Now, I hope you understand what I believe.

    Royce

  58. D'Angelo Says:

    Guys, I find it amazing that you all would argue that people who are sexually immoral will inherit the kingdom of God and will go to heaven. Yet Paul said they will not and John said they will be cast into the lake of fire. The perversion of grace (Jude 4) that is taking place on this site is utterly unfathomable.

  59. D'Angelo Joyce Says:

    By the way 1 Corinthians 6:11 clearly indicates that they WERE fornicators not that they ARE fornicators. That entails the fact that the began their life of repentance and were immersed (Acts 2:38; Acts 18:8). Now some evidently were either struggling with it or questioning efficacy of abstinence so he gives them reasons why they would not fornicate, (1) They were not made for that (2) They are members of Christ (3) You become one with harlots (4) You sin against your body (5) Your body is the sanctuary of the Spirit. He is giving them preventative measures, lest they fall away (1 Cor 9:29-10:13, please read those verse, if they could not fall away then what is Paul speaking of?). If this is what you call “conservatism” then Paul was a conservative. All I have done is cited scripture.

    The fact of the matter is Paul was neither a conservative or a libertarian but he was a faithful, sound, Christian. That is what we need to be. I imagine if he were hear to here this discussion he would say the same thing that he said to the Corinthians.

    “Become right-minded and stop sinning, because some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame!” (1 Corinthians 15:34)”

  60. Alan Says:

    I think I am in agreement with you on 1 Cor 6:11. Paul was warning the Corinthians, motivating them not to return to their previous sinful lives.

    But I wonder if we agree about this passage:

    1 John 5:16-17 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

    Do you believe there is sin that does not lead to death? If so, what would that sin be?

  61. Anonymous Says:

    D’Angelo,

    There have been efforts made to answer your questions, but you have made no effort to answer ours. Please answer these questions.

    No one is saying people should try to sin as if sin is okay. We should try to do what the Bible tells us to do.

    Have you perfectly repented of all your sins?

    When people do what the Bible tells us not to do it is sin, it is also sin when people don’t do what the Bible tells us to do.

    Do you always love your neighbor, do you always give to the poor, do you always keep what you said to someone else?

    James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    If you have failed in one point of the law you are guilty of all the law which includes murder, adultery, idolatry ect.

    Do you perfectly do all the things the Bible tells you to do?

  62. Jr Says:

    First, let me correct your assumption. I have no “Calvinist heritage.” I was born and raised and am still a part of the church of Christ fellowship. I am 29 years old and after reading the Scriptures for myself, and listening to Christ-centered and God-glorifying preaching, the Arminian (and more appropriately; semi-Pelagian) scales have fallen from my eyes. The entirety of scripture screams God’s Sovereignty in all things. I much prefer a God-centered theology vs. a man-centered theology where God is de-godded and becomes simple reactionary to the ever-powerful man as Ruler of all destiny.

    Now to the point: It is interesting you mention 1 John because I think it has one of the most specific verses in regards to the issue we are discussing.

    “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:19)

    “continued with us” coincides with being “of us.” Therefore, if one does not “continue with us” (that is, persevere) then they were never “of us” to begin with. That is, never a part of the born-again community.

    Security is in Jesus, not in man’s actions. THAT is what John 10:27-30 makes clear. Salvation belongs to the LORD; and no other. God gives it as He pleases. He is God. He is the Creator. We are man. We are the created. He is Holy Holy Holy. We are dead, guilty, sinful.

    “[A]ll the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’ (Daniel 4:35)

    “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?” (Romans 9:20-21)

  63. Jr Says:

    Margaret: I will try and answer your question; though I encourage further study of the Word as I could be off base. The Spirit is the gift that gives us the power of repentance; therefore – when we can’t repent we have unforgivable sin.

    In other words: Every sin is forgiven at the Cross – past/present/future – for those who are in Christ Jesus. But if one does not have the Spirit they cannot even repent for they won’t even want to because they are dead in sin (like we all were).

    Imagine that. Imagine not even having the capability of repentance. That thought makes me tremble. Oh how I thank God for His grace and mercy in sending His Spirit on His people!

    (hope I didn’t confuse you)

    Grace to you –

  64. Jr Says:

    Amen, Royce.

    Let’s keep praying, typing, talking and proclaiming, brother.

    The idols of tradition and religion have clouded our theological eyes for too long. It seems to have reached a turning point; however, as there are more and more young guys out there getting back to Bible and the love for the Sovereignty of God in all things.

  65. laymond Says:

    Royce said, “The awful fact is that all of us still sin to some degree”

    Where is that in the bible Royce? I didn’t know sin came in degrees.

  66. laymond Says:

    Royce said, “Christ is all in all and without him there is nothing to look forward to but hell.”

    How are the Jews going to be save Royce?

  67. Alan S. Says:

    Be careful not to read into the posrts what is NOT being said. NO ONE has EVER posted that the sexualy immoral will inherit the kingdom of heaven. What several HAVE tried to say that is not everyone understands immorality in the same way, and the repentance is expected not before the understanding but after. Tghe scritures only make ONE requirement to be a Christian – turn from the life of trusting something other than the Lord to trusting in the Lord. THAT is what repentance is. When one turns to the Lord and turns away from their old life, they are following, disciples of Christ. Christians. And as followers of Christ, they will do all that Christ expects them to do. The only perversion I have seen here is by those who will pervert what others say because they will not or cannot understand grace.

  68. Royce Ogle Says:

    Laymond,

    You are really scratching the bottom to find something to disagree with. Degree? The point is all sin, some more than others. Ever hear of first degree murder as compared to 2nd degree murder. The average school kid would understand what I meant.

    Those Jews who will be saved will be saved by the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus (a Jew by the way) said “No man comes to the Father but by me..” I think that should clear the matter up don’t you?

    Royce

  69. Royce Ogle Says:

    Just as baby humans have to be taught to brush their teeth and tie their shoes and to be honest, baby Christians must be taught too. Walking in the light is a sign one is in Christ.

    The “light” is the revelation or knowledge one has about what God wants. A man who comes to Christ honestly repentant and wanting to please God might learn later that his tobacco addiction is contrary to God’s will that believers honor their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Tribal pepole who come to Christ might have to be taught modesty or that multiple wives is not God’s ideal.

    According to what some conservatives teach, every person comes out of the water a mature Christian.

    Royce

  70. laymond Says:

    Royce, did I not read somewhere if you commit one sin you commit all.

    as for the Jews salvation please explain Eze.37
    (I know a school kid can understand it, but I’m not a school kid)

    Eze 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, [even] they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David [shall be] their prince for ever.

    Eze 37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

  71. Anonymous Says:

    laymond, what point are you trying to make? Do you not think Jesus saves Jews also?

  72. Jr Says:

    I will give laymond the benefit of the doubt that he is not saying Jew’s can’t be saved at all but that he is saying that Jews can be saved without Christ.

    Both of which are dead wrong. To address the latter:

    There are not two ways of salvation. First, all men (Jew and Gentile) are under sin and nothing rids us of it except the blood of Jesus Christ. Nobody comes to the Father except through Jesus; and as Romans makes clear – the sons of the promise are those who are God’s – Jew or Gentile – it doesn’t matter. And sons of the promise are sons by faith. That is the point. The wall of hostility (Eph) has been broken down between all men, and all men can now be sons of God, in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. In essence, we become Jews by faith, by promise, and not by seed.

    2 Cor 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

    The proclamation to the Jews and everybody else is the same: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31)

    Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:42-44)

    “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits” (Matthew 21:43) Jews, just like everybody else, must come to Jesus.

    “Many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness” (Matthew 8:11-12) Again, same point. Jesus is the way out of darkness for all men – Jew and Gentile.

    I don’t even deny that a great and wondrous occurrence of grace will happen one day where all Jews will become children of the promise and come to faith in Christ. But even then, it will be through Christ. It must. It is the only way.

  73. mark Says:

    If I can repent of slapping you while I continue the practice of slapping you, what could repentance possibly mean?

    I need to stop making my wife mad!

  74. Randall Says:

    Royce (and others that may be interested),
    In one of your previous comments above you make the distinction between our “positional” and ‘practical” standing before God. Thanks for taking the time to make the point and provide the explanation. You may wish to also read a sermon by Arthur W. Pink called a Four Fold Salvation. Pink makes the point that we have been saved from the Penalty of sin, we are in the process of being saved from the Power and Pleasure of sin in our lives, and ultimately we shall be saved from the very Presence of sin. So our salvation is past, present and still future. You can Google Pink and find him easily enough – the sermon may be available on line here: http://www.godrules.net/library/pink/234pink1.htm
    Peace,
    Randall

  75. Royce Ogle Says:

    Thanks Randall,

    I have taught exactly that for over 30 years. Think of it like this. As I have said, “justification” (saved from the penalty of sin) happens at a point in time. However, “salvation” is a long, long process. It began in eternity past (Eph 1 and will consumate in eternity future. In a very real sense we can biblically say we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved.

    I picture salvation as a huge tent. Under that tent is justification, sanctification, and glorification, and all of the work of God from start to finish on behalf of wicked sinners whom He has loved and is loving.

    Royce


  76. I think we can all agree that someone who unknowingly continues in sin past his/her original declaration of penitence – and in a gently restorative way. What mystifies me is why we all seem to think we can determine whether a given person is saved or lost at any given moment when clearly only God can know that.

    We are called to judge actions, not people … for we cannot fully know their hearts as God does.

    We are called to extend His grace, not His vengeance. To me, that indicates that we should think better of others than ourselves; give them the benefit of the doubt and offer any corrective advice with the humility of a fellow sinner saved by grace.

    Sadly, I see too little of this tenor in the cacaphony of these posts and comments.

    More harmony would serve us better in singing this hymn of grace, especially in a place as public as this, where those who do not believe are watching and listening.


  77. Sorry … first line should say that such a person should be corrected – and in a gently restorative way.

    My error.

    Among many.

  78. margaret Says:

    Dear Jr. Thank you so much for answering my question. Your answer has indeed helped me. I guess I was thinking in terms that a person was truly sorry and repented, would he be forgiven. I should just leave that to God. And pray for those people that do not know about Jesus and what He did for us. Grace and the Holy Spirit were subjects that never came up in the Church where I was raised. I really cannot remember a sermon on Jesus and what he did for us on the Cross. Can you imagine how I felt when I finally left that way of thinking and learned that God loved me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. I thank God every day for His love, Grace and mercy. God Bless You. Margaret

  79. Jerry Starling Says:

    Margaret,
    For a fuller discussion of your question, you might want to check out Jay’s book, “Revolutionary Grace and the Holy Spirit.”

    You can download it in pdf format from his blog site, http://oneinjesus.info.

  80. margaret Says:

    Jerry, Thank you for that information. I will certainly use it. And Royce, thank you for your comments. Everything you said is true. I think I could write a book on my experience, leaving the coC, the Church of my parents. At times I still read the Bible thru coC eyes. I wonder what God thinks about us fussing and fighting with each other over every little thing. God loves us..He is not in Heaven just waiting on us to mess up. He knows we are going to mess up, We are His children and He showed his love for us by what he did for us. We should never forget that.

  81. Richard Says:

    Richard to Royce, greetings in Christ from sunny California,
    you stated..
    Until I find out differently I am going to use a simple rule. I will take Jesus literally, accept the promises of God as they are written, and depend on Jesus with all my being, and expect the promised outcome.

    My observation–one should start noting that Jesus spoke directly to the lost sheep of the house of Israel not Christians.

    Those Jews and Jesus was a Jew — those Jews were lost–they were lost because of something that they had done and I see you doing it.

    They found a reason and a way around the Mosaic law and it killed them and they knew it not.

    It would be fine to take Jesus literally, but do so through the words of the Apostles and not directly from Jesus…Consider John 17.

    Richard


  82. Richard,

    Clearly, I am not understanding you.

    Are you saying that what Jesus taught is not applicable to us unless distilled through an apostolic filter?

    Are you saying that Royce – like the Jews Jesus spoke to – is finding “a reason and a way around the Mosaic law”?

  83. Richard GF Says:

    Hi Keith,

    Two things–First what I had reference to is as the Jews bypassed the Mosaic law–well, we are not under the mosaic law but I see folks doing the same thing that the Jews did–and, like the Jews do not believe that they are so doing.

    Second–Hmmm. Were the Jews lost? Were they in apostasy when Jesus came? Were they the people of God i.e. kingdom of God?

    If we do not understand that Jesus was specifically sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel–not to the whole world at the time–one will have problems in undestanding that Nothing said in the gospels up to the cross apply to:
    [1] Gentiles
    [2] Christians
    [3] Samaritans

    The Jews did not like nor follow the Mosaic law by the time of Jesus–and what about God’s people today? How many are practically doing the same thing?

    Richard

  84. Richard GF Says:

    Greetings,

    Ok, I think I have this figured out. We have two groups both on the extreme–promoting a view of repentance that they use to promote their position.

    Further, when each side makes a valid point and I do see some on each side –no one notices because it is not what one wants.

    When you have Phil and Mac–with a non scriptural approach to repentance –then the other guys jump in and make a real mess of the whole issue–but their conclusions they draw are way too broad–nor do I believe either side has a clue as to what salvation is and what it isn’t.

    Neither side is going to profit here until you stop and get back to basics.

    Give a definition of repent that is biblical not traditional based on erronious teachings.

    Give a good basic definition of sin–and see where both sides can agree and then move onward.

    A good example– I happen to be familiar with the teachings of Phil and Mac but I no little or nothing about the other side except from what I have read here.

    Example–for Mac and Phil–repent is not defined by scripture but by an erronious teaching of marriage divorce and remarriage. That is evident from what I know but can be seen here in what I have read about what Mac states about repent. He is clueless simply because of the erronious teaching on MDR.

    Now, the other side seems to exploit this and then sinks their own side by sticking Instrumental music into the issue.

    Neither side seems to understand sin and while it is true that it seems like Mac and Phil do not understand the teaching of the New covenant on the word “new” and what it means. The other side on theother hand, just runs way too far away from the definition of new by really broadening it out way out.

    BTW–James 1:12-17 is one of the better examples of sin and when it has consequences.

    Richard

  85. Brad Adcock Says:

    Wow. I am speechless. I mean…wow.

  86. laymond Says:

    Brad said “Wow. I am speechless. I mean…wow.”

    What took your breath away Brad? was it the part where Jesus came only for the Jews ?
    Was it the part where gentiles are not now and never were under the Mosaic law ?
    Or was it where Richard said, people today are looking for a way around what God told them to do, just as the Jews did under the law of Moses.?
    Question, Keith and Brad; how can we gentiles have a new covenant with God when we never were under the old covenant? weren’t we just grafted onto the new covenant made with the Jews. seems to me that is what the bible said. And Jesus couldn’t have been speaking to Christians, because there were no Christians until after his death.
    Don’t let what Richard said take your breath/speech away, it came from the bible.
    (except for the part about people today, that came from observance I’m sure)


  87. So Jesus wasted His time staying an extra day at Sychar of Samaria? The prophecy of worship in any place He conveyed to her was not really of any significance to her at all and was only for a time coming but not of for a time that “now is” – her present? – as He said? (John 4)

    Are you saying He should not have shown mercy to the Canaanite woman whom He told “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”? (Matthew 15:31)

    And that the sheep which are “not of this sheep pen” cannot possibly be Gentiles? (John 10)

    Because it sounds to me like a hermeneutic contrived from a single verse in which Jesus is challenging the faith of that Canaanite woman, giving her the chance to display it in spite of ethnic prejudice to His followers and all around them.

    I really need to understand you clearly, Richard: Are you saying Jesus’ teachings have no relevance to me whatsoever, since I am a Gentile of the 21st century, unless interpreted by apostolic teaching?

  88. Richard GF Says:

    Brad, greetings in Christ from sunny California,

    Brad, what is your mind picture of Jesus? Who was He?

    Many times we concentrate on the more obvious fact that He is the the Son of God but He is also the last prophet to Israel.

    Mat 15:21 And Jesus went out thence, and withdrew into the parts of Tyre and Sidon.
    Mat 15:22 And behold, a Canaanitish woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon.
    Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
    Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    Mat 15:25 But she came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
    Mat 15:26 And he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.
    Mat 15:27 But she said, Yea, Lord: for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
    Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it done unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was healed from that hour.

    Is it not true that Jesus spoke the truth when He stated that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel?

    It is evident from the contents of the scripture that all involved knew that the woman was not a Jew including Jesus.

    You emphasized what Jesus did do for the woman but you need to know what Jesus did not do for the woman.
    He did not teach her about the kingdom of God and her need to be in it..

    Jesus on more than one occassion showed mercy to the Gentiles but you will not find Jesus teaching them about the good news of thekingdom of God. It was never meant for them.

    The samaritans northe Gentiles could apostasize from something they never had. Only the Jews had done this.

    As a Christian I am not a lost person–I understand that when I read the gospel accounts up to the cross that Jesus knew his audience–and it was not Christians nor Gentiles nor Samaritans.

    The instructions for Christians come after the cross not prior to.

    And, as long as both sides continue to mingle the covenants–you will never get at the truth. We need to stay away from the law that brings death not life.

    Richard


  89. Uh, Richard, I think you meant this for “Keith,” I think; not “Brad.”

    Though I must confess I share Brad’s consternation.

    If Jesus felt that He was truly sent only to the lost sheep of Israel, he could have bypassed Samaria and never paused at the well of Sychar – rather than spending a whole extra day there. Now, that’s the truth. What I proposed was that Jesus said what He did to the woman to test her, not to suddenly express a universal truth by which all future scripture must be interpreted (which wouldn’t have been a truth of any value to her at all!).

    You said, “… you will not find Jesus teaching them about the good news of the kingdom of God”. In fact, I find John 4 to be a conversation FULL of good news about the kingdom of God and if you can’t see it, I don’t think there’s anything I can say that would help you see it.

    Praise God that Jesus made a lunch stop in Sychar and that we ALL are blessed by the teaching shared there!

    All I can say, Richard, is that among all of the ways of looking at scripture that there are out there, yours is certainly one of them.

  90. Brad Adcock Says:

    Hello, Richard. Hope you weren’t offended by my comment. It’s just that I’ve never heard anyone espouse such a belief, and I was a little taken aback.

    First off, in regards to the Matthew 15 passage, you said that I “emphasized what Jesus did do for the woman.” I never mentioned any Scriptures, so I couldn’t emphasize anything.

    I understand the idea of not mixing old and new covenants, I agree. Nearly everything that Paul wrote was at least in part to fend off those false teachers who tried to make the gentile converts become jewish proselytes to become Christians.

    I get that Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. But taking your earlier advice to someone else and looking at Christ’s mission through the lens of an apostle, it was Paul who wrote in Romans 2:11-12, “For God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.”

    Later in the same chapter, Paul also said, “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”

    There are other places (Rom 2:26-29; 10:4, 11-13; Gal 3:28, 29; Col 3:11) that as I read within the totality of Scripture indicate that the physical, outward appearance or heritage of a person don’t matter as much to God as they do to us.

    It’s just interesting to me that you seem to me to be saying that we as gentiles can be covered by the blood of Christ (a Jew), we just can’t take His words at face value unless some other Jews, who He hand-picked, tell us the same things second hand. When I think about being included in the wonderful plan of salvation God instituted before the foundation of the world, I just don’t read where I as a ‘gentile’ have to pick and choose carefully what parts of that salvation God has allowed me to take part in.

    Again, I say all of this in brotherly love; hope you take it that way. 🙂

  91. Jerry Starling Says:

    Richard,

    Has it occurred to you that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all wrote long after Pentecost? To whom were they writing? Was it to the lost sheep of the house of Israel? Or was it a broader audience that includes us?

    If these are not written for us, why are they included in the canon of Scripture? Or should we cut them out of our Bibles?

    Jesus is the greatest man who ever lived – in addition to being the Son of God, our Lord, and our Savior. It is a strange hermeneutic that says that what He said and did (except for his death and resurrection) has significance only to the Jews of the first part of the first century A.D.

    This, I believe is the reason your position is drawing such incredulity.

  92. Alan Says:

    There’s a germ of truth in what Richard says.

    When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus answered by enumerating several of the ten commandments.

    When the Philippian jailor asked what he must do to be saved, Paul replied that he must believe in Jesus… a very different answer from the one given to the rich young ruler!

    OTOH I find it hard to accept the notion that the words of Jesus were intended only for those Jews living at the time, prior to the cross. The early church didn’t take them that way. Certainly in the area of righteous morality, Jesus was teaching universal moral truths, as applicable today as they were the day he spoke them.

  93. coreydavis Says:

    The doctrine being espoused above, MMLJBC (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John before the cross) is usually advocated by those looking for a way around Jesus’ instructions on marriage, divorce & remarriage. The two always seem to go hand-in-hand.

  94. Alan Says:

    Your comment poisons the well. Instead of attempting to discredit the position through negative association, it would be better to discuss the question on the merits.

  95. Royce Says:

    Alan,

    What did Jesus tell Nicodemus? He didn’t mention the law as I recall.

    Was the man from Ethopia a Jew? Phillip preached Jesus to him from one of the OT prophets.

    There is not a germ of truth in what Richard says that I can find.

    Jesus said “NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME”. If “NO” man can come to God who many does that leave who can be saved apart from Jesus and what he has accomplished for sinners?

    The gospel is for the Jew and Greek, it is universal, and everyone of every ethnicity can be saved by putting their faith in Jesus.

  96. Alan Says:

    Royce wrote:

    There is not a germ of truth in what Richard says that I can find.

    Royce, if someone came up to you on the street and asked you what they must do to inherit eternal life, would you start listing the ten commandments? If not, then you implicitly admit that there is a germ of truth in what Richard has said.

  97. Royce Says:

    All one has to do is read the comments on this site to be completely convinced that the coC has big time problems. This is as confusing as Chinese arithmatic.

    Have at is guys. This is the premier spot for people to skin their ignorance.

    Royce

  98. D'Angelo Joyce Says:

    Jesus clearly taught that the law and the prophets was up until John but from that point the kingdom of God was preached (Luke 16:16). The preaching of John and Jesus was a bridge between the law and the gospel or better yet pre-kingdom pointers. I found it difficult that Jesus teaching on the new birth, loving one another, marriage and divorce, and the Lord’s supper were all abrogated at his death. Paul when giving instruction said “let not the wife depart from her husband” and claimed that it did not come from him, but from the Lord. That is it was not new revelation from the Spirit but an old revelation from Christ (Matt 19:4-6). The gospel accounts are applicable today.

  99. D'Angelo Joyce Says:

    Jerry makes a great point. The Spirit was going to bring all things back to their remembrance (John 14:16. 16:13). That would include the gospel accounts. Scholarship has argued correctly that the different gospel accounts were written for different audiences in mind. I think it strange that you would a gospel account for the gentiles containing the teaching of Christ in preparation for the kingdom (Luke 16:16) and it would have no application for them.

  100. Alan Says:

    The gospels absolutely are applicable today.

    Like any other scripture, one needs to take into account the context and the circumstances of the people being addressed. Jesus told the rich young ruler to obey the commandments in order to inherit eternal life. It’s not difficult to see that this instruction was limited to the context of those under the Law, not including Christians today. I doubt many on this site (from either side) would dispute that.

    OTOH, that example is the exception, not the rule. It’s not rocket science, but a certain degree of common sense is needed.

  101. Royce Says:

    No one is justified by keeping the commandments for one glaring reason. No one can perfectly keep them (except Jesus).

    Alan, Jesus mentioned the commandments to the young man who insisted he had kept them from his youth up, a lie. Jesus proved to him and to those who read the story that the young man had failed. He loved his money more than God and his neighbor.

    When Jesus said, “except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharacees” he was not expecting that anyone would be able to follow the law more closely than those whose lives were given to that task. He was making it clear that human righteousness is not enough. It is in the gospel that the righteousness of God is revealed and that by faith, not doing more and doing it better.

    Royce

  102. Richard GF Says:

    Greetings,
    What I am reading here is typical of first time that folks give consideration to anything that is strange to what they have been taught.

    I am going to take my wife down to the ocean and then when I return I will get into this in easier detail.

    But consider, the purpose of the gospels–I still teach those things even today–and, my motel signing is coming and going right now..later

    Richard

  103. Alan Says:

    Royce,

    A couple of old guys like us ought not to quarrel in front of all these young folks around us. 😉 The truth is, we don’t disagree on much. Where we do disagree, it’s mainly a matter of differing emphasis rather than real disagreement.

    When I teach on the sermon on the mount, I don’t say it is obsolete due to the cross. I call people to strive to be perfect, as the Heavenly Father is perfect. And I empathize with them, because we all fall so far short of that. We are sinners and we cannot do anything about that ourselves. We are totally dependent on what Jesus did for us.

  104. Richard GF Says:

    Greetings in Christ from sunny California for a few more days,

    Quite frankly, while getting some medical treatments for my wife–it is not my goal to change this subject to MMLJ up to the cross as being Old Covenant..It is and if this is new out of the box–try this link and think about it
    http://www.yesforfamilies.com/covenant/book/

    The subject started out being apostasy and here is what I see–

    As long as folks continue to attempt to bring in the Mosaic law as part of the program for us to follow or observe today–we are committing a big no no.

    It really affects the definition of words.. I have seen the word repent tossed around here and meanings that do not apply scripturally but are used as such all the time.

    And, folks are using the Old Mosaic covenant{gospels up to the cross in order to do so}

    Let me give a couple of examples–of stating that the gospels are for us today. We do that without fully considering the consequences of such thinking.

    When is the first time period–that you have heard anyone teach salvation via Jesus–

    Mat 19:16 And behold, one came to him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.
    Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
    Mat 19:19 Honor thy father and mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
    Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I observed: what lack I yet?
    Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
    Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful; for he was one that had great possessions.

    Point being–If the gospels are to applied to us today–then one should be teaching this text for salvation.

    If not why not? Isn’t the answer obvious–It does not apply–and if it does not apply then is it you and I or some other man or God who decides what does and does not apply in the gospels?

    So, if you are reading this and a teacher or preacher why aren’t you teaching this–It is most certainly the words of Jesus Christ telling someone how to be saved…

    Here is where to begin–determine what the good news is that is preached in Mark 1:1 understanding it is not the same good news found in acts 2 and the doors for some will become open..

    The Jews could not believe that they were lost–but thousands did believe John the Baptist and Jesus and upon their baptism–they were put back in a righteous relationship with God and God once again acceptedtheir sacrifices.

    While this is strange it is not hard.

    Richard

  105. laymond Says:

    Alan, I do believe I have heard this statement from both you and Royce.

    “We are totally dependent on what Jesus did for us.”

    I know what I am asking for when I say we should reconsider, who did what.

    Jn:3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Heb:5:5: So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

    Lk:22:42: Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
    43: And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

    No, I am not belittling the part Jesus, the Son of God played in this saga, the horrible suffering he endured in order to make the prophesy come to reality, and obey his father, but God the Father is the savior of mankind, through his sacrifice of his only begotten Son.
    I have no knowledge whether either of you have a son, I do and it would be a much greater sacrifice for me to give my son, than myself. Jesus was the lamb of God, God was the giver of the sacrifice.

  106. Alan Says:

    The scriptures call both Jesus and God our savior. Arguing about which it is, to me, is meaningless. I’m perplexed that this is even a topic of dispute.


  107. Actually, I do teach this text as a part of God’s plan to save us from self and sin, tempered by Luke 12:33. It clearly communicates the kind of generous, compassionate lives that followers of Christ should live. And it foreshadows the ultimate generosity of Jesus in giving Himself for us on the cross.

  108. laymond Says:

    Alan, now you know how I feel when God is left out of the mix, (we are Totally dependent on what Jesus did for us), NO we are Totally dependent on GOD the FATHER, who gave us his ONLY SON so that we might be saved. “THE LAMB OF GOD” when you read the bible do you just skip. Lk:22:42: Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
    God set forth the plan, God followed the plan, God is not only the Father of mankind, God is the savior of mankind. all glory belongs to God the Father. seems I have heard that somewhere.

  109. Royce Says:

    …and Jesus is God

  110. laymond Says:

    Royce, I see you skip Luke 22:42 also

  111. Royce Says:

    Laymond,

    You mean like the way you ignore these and dozens of others?

    …the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 1 John 4:14

    …our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. II Peter 3:18

    …God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. II Peter 1:1

    …the Christ, the Saviour of the world. John 4:42

    …the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Titus 1:4

    a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

    Neither is there salvation in any other (than Jesus): for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
    –Acts 4:12

  112. laymond Says:

    Royce, lets take the first you quoted,—— …the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 1 John 4:14

    how does that reconcile with what you said earlier—-quote–“and Jesus is God”

    Mt:12:17: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
    Mt:12:18: Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

    Who sent who, to do what?

  113. Alan Says:

    I can imagine Jesus in heaven looking at God, shaking his head in amazement that these guys would quarrel about this. Let’s go find someone with some needs and try to meet them. That would be a much better use of our energy.

  114. Alan Says:

    The above was posted in reply to Laymond’s July 15, 2009 at 10:25 AM post.


  115. […] Now, there’s another point Dad makes about this couple that we need to address. He says, […]


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