LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, December 29, 2008

Let the Old Covenant Vanish!

The Westminster Confession of Faith states clearly that believers are not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be justified or condemned. However, it goes on say in Chapter 19, section 6 that the Law of God binds and directs Christians to walk accordingly as a rule of life informing them of God’s will and their duty. In short the WCF rejects law keeping for the purpose of justification, but endorses law keeping in sanctification.

Does Scripture support the use of the law for sanctification? I think not. The following passage seems to reject the law as being useful for sanctification:

Galatians 3:2-3 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? (3) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Paul says, having begun by the Spirit (justification), are you now being perfected by the flesh (sanctification)? This does not mean the precepts of the law have changed, but it does mean that sanctification does not proceed through the law. Paul contrasts the flesh with Spirit. Law keeping is an act of the flesh that leads to death, and Paul in the following passage in Romans makes it clear that believers are to serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code:

Romans 7:4-6 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (5) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (6) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Paul says clearly that Christians are released from the law and now serve in the new way of the Spirit. Christian service is without a doubt part of sanctification and Paul states emphatically that the written code has no place in it. Why does Covenant Theology hold on so tightly to the Old Covenant and the written code? Hebrews 7:22 states, This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. Hebrews 8:13 adds, In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Why would a covenant that is obsolete and vanishing away be considered necessary in sanctification?

Therefore, I believe Paul’s objection in Galatians is not only valid for justification; it is also valid for sanctification!

Please give your thoughts or comments.

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100 Comments:

Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
I hope this is what you have in mind.

It should be pointed out that I go to a PCA (Presbyterian) Church that affirms the Westminster Confession. I have benefited greatly from some great Pastors and theologians in the PCA. However, I had problems from the very beginning of my Christian learning experience at aroung age 50 in reconciling covenant theology with Scriptures. Dispensationalism made no sense, so I continued to try to work out covenant theology. That has been unsuccessful and I think I now see the light at the end of the tunnel with New Covenant Theology.

While salvation needs no system of theology, it is nice to view Scripture through a lens that makes sense.
wayne......

December 29, 2008 2:05 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Wayne,

I tend to run with the WCF position here. Thinking "of the top of my head" and conscious of my non availablility of time to think it all out in what would be a major study, I am wondering why Peter exhorted his readers to sanctification (1 Peter 1:15) on the basis of what is written (1 Peter 1:16) in Leviticus 20:7 "Be ye holy, for I am holy"?

The 10 Commandments were givn to us as human beings - the 4th for instance going right back to Creation itself - and we do not cease to be human when we became the children of God.

Just a thought or two!

Regards,

December 29, 2008 4:11 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
pressed for time myself (Rose's blog), why is the 4th command the only one not quoted in the New Testament?

December 29, 2008 6:44 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
what NCT believes is that the law of Christ is the believer's sanctification. Throughout the New Testament we find the teachings of Christ, whether from Him in the gospels or from His disciples, the writers of the NT. The whole NT is the law of Christ. In walking in His ways one experiences sanctification. Nine of the 10 commandments are quoted in the NT. Therefore they are now incorporated into the law of Christ.

December 29, 2008 7:01 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

That does not mean that man can now lay down with an animal just because we don't see mention of that in the NT. God's holiness is seen in the OT. One should shudder if they deliberately break what is seen in the OT.

December 29, 2008 7:06 PM

 
Blogger Kris said...

Wayne,

I agree whole heartly, Galatians was written for the purpose of correcting the error of being santified by law. Colosians also states that this has no power over the flesh.

Great post & laid out well to understand.

Kris

December 29, 2008 10:29 PM

 
Blogger Kris said...

I should have said whole heartly agree.

Sorry about that

December 29, 2008 10:35 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 29, 2008 11:00 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Thanks! Could you please answer a couple of questions? Do you think Galatians 3:3 is referring to sanctification? Do you make a distinction between New Covenant exhortations to sanctification through the Spirit and Old Covenant adherence to the written code through the flesh?

As Mark pointed out the precepts of the law, except the fourth commandment, are contained in the New Covenant law of Christ. It seems that Paul contrasts the better covenant of the Spirit, faith, and Christ against the Old (obsolete) Covenant of flesh, sin, and death in several of his epistles. He literally compares life with death when he distinguishes between New Covenant faith and the Old Covenant written code of the flesh.

Wayne

December 29, 2008 11:01 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi,

I think that the "Law of Christ" as far as sanctification is concerned, should not be put into conflict with the 10 Commandments. As Mark rightly points out, 9/10 of the commandments are incorporated into the law of Christ. It is therefore not an "either/or" situation, but "both." We give evidence of our faith by (at least) our desire to keep the commandments of God.

I cannot give an authorative answer as to why the 4th Commandment is not actually quoted in the NT - I might suppose that the fact that the day itself was changed from Saturday to what we now call "Sunday" (or more accurately "the Lord's Day")

I would imagine that the problem in Galatia lay more with the people there thinking that their justification lay in their keeping of the law, hence the severe anathema etc., in Galatians 1:8-9. This is not to say that they did not have wrong views re: their sanctification. As much as I desire to keep the commandments of God (as a child of God in Christ) yet I am only fooling myself if I think that I really do so perfectly. Hence, although I should "sin not" yet if and when I do, I have an advocate withthe Father (1 John 2:1-2)

Regards,

December 30, 2008 4:44 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin, many things that you have written I have swiped and placed on this blog. That is my way of showing you my respect. I am not your adversary.

You say, "I cannot give an authorative answer as to why the 4th Commandment is not actually quoted in the NT..."

In Hebrews 4:2-11 we see that we who have believed do enter that rest... Christ is our sabbath. The writer of Hebrews has just interpreted that to be the case. Those who believe in Him have entered the true sabbath rest.

December 30, 2008 7:40 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The sabbath was an OT type of Christ.

December 30, 2008 7:42 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Isn't Galatians 3:3 referring to the error of using the law for sanctification?

December 30, 2008 9:52 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Mark,

While I agree that we find our rest only in Christ (Matthew 11:28-30)yet the rest that I see is still remaining to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9) IMO is a reference to our eternal rest in Heaven.

Jazzycat: I don't think using the law per se for sanctification is the problem. If the commandment that forbids me to be an thief keeps my fingers out of the cash register, then that is good although I cannot consider that is the be all and end all of my sanctification. Negative virtues can be overrated! Neither does the outward performance of some positive action i.e. loving my neighbour as myself etc., However, the absence of these things hardly enables me to claim sanctification either.

Regards,

December 30, 2008 12:29 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Thanks. We are in much agreement on many doctrinal points and I have really been impressed by your skill in apologetics. That being said, I would still like your view on Gal. 3:3 and whether Paul is speaking of the error of using the law for sanctification. This is important to my criticism of the WCF.

My argument is with using the law for sanctification rather than New Covenant principles as taught in the New Testament. You do not need the Law to keep your hand out of the till.

December 30, 2008 3:25 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
As I read verses 3, 6-7, 10-11 it seems to be talking about a current state. That's not to mean that the future is not at all in view here though.

December 30, 2008 3:27 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Jesus said “ Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets, I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

I’m sure because Jesus offered the free gift of eternal life by faith alone apart from the law they thought Jesus was against the law. And that is why he said “Do not think.” And of course we know Jesus fulfilled the law and is the end of the law (Rom 10:4; Gal 3:19).
Heaven and earth will not pass away until the end of the Millinum (Rev 21:1).
We see the law is in effect for the Jews during the tribulation period when Jesus again starts dealing with the nation Israel (Matt 24:20).
Also Jesus will rule with a rod of iron during the Millinum and the law will be fully in force with sacrifices which will look back to Jesus sacrifice on the cross (Rev 19:15;Zech 14:16-21).
Romans 7 tells us the law would not pass away, but there is a stipulation in the law that if a womens husband passes away she is free to marry another and thus is not an adulteress. The believer has passed away in the death of Christ so has died to the law.
But Paul was still aware of a law that was in his members that was warring against the law of his mind. Paul saw a superior law which was the law of the Spirit which would set him free from the law of sin and death to serve God in the inward man.
The Galatians had fallen from grace by going back under the law, but all the law could do is bring death. BECAUSE THE LAW IS THE POWER OF SIN (1 Cor 15:56).
The believer is no longer under the law but under grace, Jesus is the believers rest. But thier still is an inhertance rest the believer must enter as a partaker with Christ (Duet 3:18-20;12:9,10; Heb 4).
We know Moses did not enter that rest because he struck the rock twice and that Rock was Christ. So we know that the inhertance is not speaking of heaven because we see Moses on the Mount Transfiguation. God is not the God of the dead but the living!

alvin

December 31, 2008 5:49 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
So much of what you have said depends heavily on classic dispensational presuppositions.

When Christ came and made believing Jews and Gentiles one new man, unbelieving Jews became no better than unbelieving Gentiles. There is no place in the New Testament that teaches that unbelieving Israel is in any favored position over unbelieving Gentiles. One can only conclude the opposite when one forces the Old Testament onto the New Testament.

December 31, 2008 10:52 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Mark/Wayne:

Mark: Certainly we have present rest in Christ.

Wayne: I do not believe that Paul is discounting using the law in sanctification. Neither do I believe that he is making it the all in all or making it the sole means and ignoring the ongoing (at his time) revelation of the NT. Your argument with using the law for sanctification rather than New Covenant principles as taught in the New Testament seems to suggest an “either/or” situation has arisen when in fact both may be used. Paul evidently had no problem using the Commandments to urge the children to obey their parents in the Lord in Ephesians 6:1, specifically quoting the 5th Commandment and identifying as the first commandment with promise. It is in the exact same usage of these Commandments that I advocate.

I think the problem in Galatians 3:3 is that the Galatians were too reliant on the law without the help of the Spirit of God to seek to keep it.

Regarding the necessity of the law to keep my hand out of the till (BTW: I was going to use the words “the till” but I wondered if it would travel the Atlantic and so I went all posh and called it the “cash register”) - just as Paul did not know lust until he read “Thou shalt not covet” so likewise I would not know theft, except the law informed me that I should not steal.

Regards,

December 31, 2008 12:20 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin, you say - "just as Paul did not know lust until he read “Thou shalt not covet” so likewise I would not know theft, except the law informed me that I should not steal."

You, having read the New Testament, and Paul having quoted that portion of the OT, and in the process incorporating it into the Law of Christ, would know not to steal, no?

December 31, 2008 12:29 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
where in the New Testament do we learn the the Jews will be under the law in the trib period? Paul states that the law is to lead them to Christ, Galatians 3:9-24. The law serves only to lead people to Christ, especially those who were under it (Jews).

December 31, 2008 12:36 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Sorry Mark, can you rephrase your question? As it stands, it is incoherent:

You, having read the New Testament, and Paul having quoted that portion of the OT, and in the process incorporating it into the Law of Christ, would know not to steal, no?

Regards,

December 31, 2008 1:24 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin, let's try again -

You, read the New Testament. Paul having quoted that portion of the OT, incorporated it into the Law of Christ. Now you know from the Law of Christ not to steal.

December 31, 2008 2:53 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The point is, God meant the OT law to shut people up to the faith that should afterwards be revealed. It was never meant to be a means of sanctification.

December 31, 2008 2:58 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Mark,

Why do you think then that Paul sought to establish that children (presumbly Christian ones too) should obey their parents from the 10 Commandments in Ephesians 6:1-2?

Regards,

December 31, 2008 3:00 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The pious Jew loved the Law for he loved the Lord. In following the law - as his regenerate nature would not have it another way - he was blessed. For one not to folow meant death.

December 31, 2008 3:01 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Collin asks,
"Why do you think then that Paul sought to establish that children (presumbly Christian ones too) should obey their parents from the 10 Commandments in Ephesians 6:1-2?"

That was his incorporating that portion of the 10 commandments into the Law of Christ. He was an inspired NT writer, that was his duty.

December 31, 2008 3:06 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The NT, which is the Law of Christ, contains ALL that is necessary for the Christian's sanctification. Yes the OT is God's word, and should be studied and meditated on; but to walk in the fottsteps of Christ is sanctification.

December 31, 2008 3:10 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Mark,

Again I agree. that we should walk in the footsteps of Christ. However, I find that He walked in the 10 Commandments, did He not the sum of which is to love the Lord our god with all our hearts etc., and our neighbours as ourselves?

Regards,

December 31, 2008 4:35 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
Picture a funnel. We (NCT) see Christ and His apostles (and the other NT writers) as the means by which God's laws come to the Christian - His law handed down to us through Christ. This is the Christian's life and practice, Christ being the *new* Lawgiver.

December 31, 2008 4:50 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Mark,

Before I answer you, please forive the atrocious spelling and punctuation in my last post - especially our God with a "wee 'g'" :o(

My answer: How practical is the difference that you can obviously see here?

I mean, if a child is told that he should obey his parents on the basis of the 5th Commandment of the law given at Sinai, then why should I not keep myself from idols on the basis of the Second Commandment or flee fornication on the basis of the Seventh Commandment etc.,?

There is no practical difference, is there? Does it change any if I declare myself to be keeping (or at least desiring to keep) these Commandments and doing so because as a Christian, my desire is to do the will of God?

Regards,

December 31, 2008 5:01 PM

 
Blogger Kris said...

I think Mark & Colin are both missing Wayne's and Paul's point in Galatians & I might add Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 3:5-9

The 10 comandments as glorious as they are were a ministry of death. They cannot sanctify they can only kill. Only the Spirit can give life and Paul called the Galatians foolish for having begun with the Spirit and then turning to the law for perfection. They were in danger of receiving the grace of God in vain.

The Law cannot perfect, its sole purpose was to kill, it was a ministry of death. Because it is needed to show the sin living in us.

December 31, 2008 5:12 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Kris,

Why then did Paul introduce the Fifth Commandment into the lives of the young in Ephesians 6:1-2 and draw attention to the fact that it was the first commandment that contained a promise?

Could he not have simply left it at "Children, obey your parents in the Lord?"

It's getting late on this side of the water.

Goodnight all. Safe home

Regards,

December 31, 2008 5:22 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Kris,
Wayne is NCT too, along with me. He and I are saying the same thing. Wayne holds to the idea of the Christian following the Law of Christ. What difference you see is that I am answering in a different context in talking to Colin.

December 31, 2008 5:27 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Kris,
please observe my 12:36 and 12:58 PM comments. They sum the OT law up similar to you.

December 31, 2008 5:33 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
I have been out and have had a hectic day so far. It will take me a while to catch up.

Quickly though, I take exception to your wretched man view of Romans 7. I think Paul is describing himself and others as unregenerate law-keepers in the wretched man passage. The view that he is describing himself as a regenerate believer that you seem to hold is oddly in line with FGT who use this as a proof text for the carnal Christian thinking.

I do not deny indwelling sin, but I do not think that is in view in this passage.

wayne

December 31, 2008 6:31 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin asks,
"[why shouldn't I] keep myself from idols on the basis of the Second Commandment or flee fornication on the basis of the Seventh Commandment etc.,?"

1 John 5:1 - Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen

1 Cor. 6:18 - Flee sexual immorality...

Colin, at the Mount of Transfiguration Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the Prophets) were there with the Lord. After the cloud lifted they saw none but Jesus only. He was the fulfillment of them both. He alone shall be our gaze.

The Law of Moses was to show sinners that they were sinners, to bring them to a place of helplessness - to a place where all they could do is long for and look forward to the grace and salvation of God found only in Christ alone. It was never meant to be a means of sanctification. Our gaze should be upon Christ alone. He is our King as well as our prophet and priest.

December 31, 2008 6:38 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
You said….
Paul evidently had no problem using the Commandments to urge the children to obey their parents in the Lord in Ephesians 6:1, specifically quoting the 5th Commandment and identifying as the first commandment with promise. It is in the exact same usage of these Commandments that I advocate.

I think this has been your best argument, but it is far from conclusive to your view. As I have said, the precepts of law are valid and sound. Paul has made it clear that the law is good. However, in context Paul is using the commandment to validate his New Covenant exhortation of Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. The passage starts with his exhortation and not a call to obey a law of the Ten Commandments.

December 31, 2008 10:53 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
You said……
I think the problem in Galatians 3:3 is that the Galatians were too reliant on the law without the help of the Spirit of God to seek to keep it.

Where in Galatians do you see Paul asserting law keeping through the help of the Spirit? I see Romans 6-8 and the Epistle to Galatians as rejecting law-keeping entirely.

Romans 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

December 31, 2008 10:54 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
You said………
just as Paul did not know lust until he read “Thou shalt not covet” so likewise I would not know theft, except the law informed me that I should not steal.

Certainly this passage in Romans 7:7 refers to Paul before regeneration when he was a law keeping Jew! Yet most covenant theology adherents view the wretched man passage later in Romans 7 as being post-conversion Paul. To believe that, you have to believe the same regenerate Paul wrote “I delight in the law of God” and “I died to the law.” Notice Romans 7:24 where Paul asks who will deliver me…… If this were post-conversion Paul deliverance why does he speak of it as being a future event?

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

Galatians 3:23-26 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

December 31, 2008 11:01 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi all,

Happy New Year!

Hey! I’m getting kinda swamped here :o(

I think both sides of the argument of whether Paul was saved or otherwise when he wrote the latter part have problems. Many a true blue Christian has cried out “O wretched man that I am” etc., It is very hard to see an unsaved man, at least honestly, saying that he delighted in the law of God after the inward man.

While Ephesians 6 may start with a N/C exhortation that children should obey their parents in the Lord, yet it continues with the 5th Commandment i.e. “Honour thy father and mother” and encourages us to do so with the promise that our days will be long upon the earth."

Furthermore, in 1 Peter 1:15-16, the basis of Peter’s exhortation to me to be holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle) is on the basis (“because”) that it is written in Leviticus 11:44 “Be ye holy as I am holy”

Furthermore, I do well if I fulfil the royal law of Leviticus 19:8 as James tells me in 2:8 but that if I ignore this royal commandment, then I become convicted of the same law as a transgressor (v9) I am further warns me that if I commit no adultery, (as I ought not to do under the 7th Commandment) yet if I kill, I become a transgressor of the law that says “Thou shalt not kill” (i.e. the 6th Commandment) How can this be said of any Christian, if according to you, they are not under this law?

If a police man from some Arab country rings me here in Ireland to me that I cannot speak against Muhammed as it is against the law of his country, I would politely, though firmly, tell him that I am not under the law of his country. I am sitting here in Ireland with complete liberty under the law to denounce his prophet as an imposter if I think it is an apt description. By the same token (if what you say is true) I could politely tell the inspired writer that I cannot become “a transgressor” of the 6th Commandment which tells me that I cannot kill seeing that it no longer applies to me

Regards,

January 01, 2009 9:10 AM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

Mark said: There is no place in the New Testament that teaches that unbelieving Israel is in any favored position over unbelieving Gentiles.





Matt 10: 5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’



Matt 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”



John 1: 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.



Jesus came to the house of Israel to set up His Kingdom but they rejected their King.



Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’”[



The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached once again in the Tribulation and that generation of Jews will receive their King.

Matt 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

If you check the context you will see the end is the end of the tribulation period, and the salvation is physical. They will enter the Kingdom in their physical bodies and many of their children will follow Satan when he is released from the bottomless pit. (Rev 20:2-3,7-8) (Matt 24:3,6,13,14 end of the age-end is not yet-the end shall be saved-then the end will come) vrs. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved



Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,



This is the church age where both Jews and Gentiles are baptized into the body of Christ, and that body will be raptured at the beginning of the Tribulation the coming surprise.



Mark said: where in the New Testament do we learn the the Jews will be under the law in the trib period?



Matthew 24: 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.



Jesus said that, because He knew that generation of Jews would have a rebuilt temple of God and would be practicing the law. So if they were fleeing on the Sabbath the Beast would know.



Rev 11:2
But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.



The temple of God will be rebuilt, and the outer court will be given to the Gentiles.



2 Thess 2:4
who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.



Notice the temple is called the temple of God.

January 01, 2009 10:16 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Happy New Year, Colin!

>"While Ephesians 6 may start with a N/C exhortation that children should obey their parents in the Lord, yet it continues with the 5th Commandment i.e. “Honour thy father and mother” and encourages us to do so with the promise that our days will be long upon the earth."<
--------------
Colin, again, what is taking place here is the OT law is being incorporated into the Law of Christ. You did well to observe that the chapter began in an N/C exhortation, the significance of that fact shouldn't be overlooked. Notice that Paul goes back to that style of exhortation again right there in verse 4, and goes on to verse 9. No OT verses are cited in verses 4-9. The point is that the New Testament ( the Law of Christ) contains all that is necessary for a Godly walk. As Wayne pointed out to you earlier Paul was validating his exhortation to children by quoting the OT Law. Remember Christ is prophecied to be the Law Giver in Gen. 49:10; Deut. 18:15-19; Isaiah 42:1-4.
--------------
"Furthermore, in 1 Peter 1:15-16, the basis of Peter’s exhortation to me to be holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle) is on the basis (“because”) that it is written in Leviticus 11:44 “Be ye holy as I am holy”
---------------
Again that quote from the OT is couched within Peter's authoritative apostolic exhortation, and is quoted for validation of his exhortation; and to incorporate that command into the Law of Christ.
-----------------
"Furthermore, I do well if I fulfil the royal law of Leviticus 19:8 as James tells me in 2:8 but that if I ignore this royal commandment, then I become convicted of the same law as a transgressor (v9) I am further warns me that if I commit no adultery, (as I ought not to do under the 7th Commandment) yet if I kill, I become a transgressor of the law that says “Thou shalt not kill” (i.e. the 6th Commandment) How can this be said of any Christian, if according to you, they are not under this law?"<
---------------
I think your misunderstanding of the NCT position is evident here. Note that the quote of Lev. 19:18 is couched within James' authoritative exhortation (commandments) begun in verse 1 of chapter 2, and goes through 26? Again, it is an appeal to the OT to validate his stand, and is written to a largly Jewish audience, the NT largly unwritten yet.

NCT beleives that God's Holy standards are the same from the OT to the NT. Those unchangable standards are expressed through two lawgivers: Moses in the OT and Christ in the NT.

Regards

January 01, 2009 10:21 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
That Christ came to Israel first you will not see an argument from me. He is the reason why the Nation of Israel existed in the first place - to bring Christ into the world. But as soon as the veil in the temple was rent in two the distinction between Jew and Gentile was gone. Believing Jews and Gentiles are now one new man. Unbelieving Jews are in the same state of affairs as unbelieving Gentiles: they need to repent and believe the very same Gospel.

That temple that you speak of - that would be every Christian as well as the Christian church as a whole. See Ehesians 2:19-22.

Your use of the law for the trib. period - Paul says that law was to bring sinners to a place where all they could do was look to Christ. See Galatians 3:19-24. Until you deal with what is before us here in Galatians there is no discussion. You of the dispensational camp must consider this portion of scrpture in your hermeneutic.

January 01, 2009 10:39 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Mark,

Wherein does it matter if I see myself, as a Christian, obeying Moses when he (by the finger of God, no less) tells me that I am not to commit adultry and, at one and the same time, see myself as obeying Christ who also forbids the same sin?

I do not claim to obey Moses but not Christ. I obey Moses because of my relationship to Christ. I do not pit Moses against Christ nor Christ against Moses. They both do the exact same thing i.e. declare the will of God on this matter (in our example, marriage relationships. This is that we negatively refrain from sin and positively maintain faithfulness and love within the marriage bond.

Regards,

January 01, 2009 10:51 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
look at the Great Commision. We are to teach all nations to observe all that Christ has commanded us. The epistles are loaded with exhortation to obey apostolic commands. neither am I pitting Christ against Moses; but it is clear that Christ's law supercedes Moses' in this period before the eternal state.

Believe me, when you see my views on the christian sabbath you will be calling me an antinomian.

January 01, 2009 11:11 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
forgive my incomplete answer to you regarding the temple...
A couple things here.

That temple in Matthew can be Herod's temple. The court given to the Gentiles could be the Roman armies under Titus. Neither you nor I can be dogmatic here.

January 01, 2009 11:16 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

That the Antichrist will stand in the temple... I am still working with that in my reconsideration of eschatlogy.

January 01, 2009 11:18 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin, my reworked response to you from earlier...

That Christ came to Israel first you will not see an argument from me. He is the reason why the Nation of Israel existed in the first place - to bring Christ into the world. But as soon as the veil in the temple was rent in two the distinction between Jew and Gentile was gone. Believing Jews and Gentiles are now one new man. Unbelieving Jews are in the same state of affairs as unbelieving Gentiles: they need to repent and believe the very same Gospel.

That temple that you speak of - some places in the NT that would be speaking about every Christian as well as the Christian church as a whole. See Ehesians 2:19-22.

Your use of the law for the trib. period - Paul says that law was to bring sinners to a place where all they could do was look to Christ. See Galatians 3:19-24. Until you deal with what is before us here in Galatians there is no discussion. You of the dispensational camp must consider this portion of scrpture in your hermeneutic.

January 01, 2009 11:22 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Mark,

That Christ gave us new commandments (e.g. evangelise the world) does not negate those commandments to refrain from theft, idolatry and murder etc., All we have here is further revelation.

If “Moses’ law” was given to him and through him to us by the Almighty “finger of God,” how then can it be superseded by the law of Christ? Is the law of Christ therefore greater than the law of God? Moses, after all, was only the postman.

Regards,

P/s I appreciate the time that you are taking to discuss this with me.

January 01, 2009 11:26 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
Look at the Sermon on the Mount as seen in Matthew 5-7. Christ quotes the OT beginning in 5:21. Before that (verses 5:1-20) He does not; and after verse 5:48 He ceases to do so; yet the Sermon goes on. The point is that a model is seen here, and carried on throughout the NT - OT quotes are, for lack of a better way to put it, merely couched within NT commands and exhortations.

Now I must go outside and shovel many tons of snow off my driveway before my "law giver - my wife" wupps me up.

See ya later, sir.

January 01, 2009 11:41 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Mark,

I realise that “she who is be obeyed” probably has earned her designation :o)

It is a small point to start with here, but it is (with due respects) only in response to a small point. Christ did refer to the law after Matthew 5:48. He referred to it in Matthew 7:12 when He said: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Instead of saying (whether inadequate or not) that OT quotes are only couched within NT commands, why not say instead that NT commands build upon and further explain those same OT Commands? For instance, the 7th Commandment forbids adultery. Some might limit a violation of this commandment to the actual physical act. Anything less (they might say) is not a violation and therefore they are not guilty. But in Matthew 5:28, we see that we don’t even have to talk to this woman, never mind lie with her. All we have to do is lust after her in our hearts – form an impure picture in our mind etc., - and we are as guilty of violating the 7th Commandment as David was when he took Bathsheba on that fateful night so long ago. The 7th Commandment has not been superseded. Lust was always a sin against the 7th Commandment. All Christ did was formally put it into words and make it clearer than before.

Regards,

January 01, 2009 12:05 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
It is very hard to see an unsaved man, at least honestly, saying that he delighted in the law of God after the inward man.

Do you deny that unsaved Jews can attempt to be law-keepers and can regard themselves as delighting in the law of God? Or, is delighting in the law of God a sign of a saved person?

Doesn’t Gal. 3:10 include a reliance on the law for sanctification?

Gal. 3:10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

It seems to me that looking back to the Old Covenant law for sanctification encourages and points a believer to a fleshly external attempt at sanctification rather than a New Covenant focus on Christ, grace, and the Spirit to lead one to an internal sanctification of the heart. I believe that is part of the message of Galatians.

January 01, 2009 12:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Great point on your view of Christ expanding upon adultery (lust, etc.). I think this touches the heart of New Covenant thinking on Old Covenant vs. New Covenant precepts. The old is outward while the new is inward. The old is mechanical, the new from the heart. The old is slavery, the new is freedom. The old is death, the new is life. The old is law, the new is Spirit.

As Romans 8:2 puts it, ” For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Why would we want to go back to the Old Covenant for anything when Christ and the New Covenant is sufficient for everything?

January 01, 2009 12:41 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Alvin,
Thanks for your input. This post has been primarily an objection to covenant theology. Your comment gets into dispensational thinking and hopefully we will explore that more fully in later posts.

Verses like the following are what has made it difficult for me to give dispensationalism much traction: Gal. 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

I believe the N.T. shines the light of interpretation on the O.T. prophecy.

January 01, 2009 12:48 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin, with all due respect, sorry my large point was so small to you. :-)

Can you please show me where Matthew 7:12 is *quoted* from in the OT?

January 01, 2009 1:07 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin, also, The Lord's teachings on divorce and adultry; could the average OT person have known the depth that Christ put on them from reading the OT scriptures - the only portion of God's word available to them?

January 01, 2009 1:10 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
One more IMPORTANT question: In Galatians 5:1 the liberty by which Christ has set us free - that which we are to stand fast in - is the liberty there liberty from sin or from the law?

January 01, 2009 2:06 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

You said:

Alvin, my reworked response to you from earlier...

That Christ came to Israel first you will not see an argument from me. He is the reason why the Nation of Israel existed in the first place - to bring Christ into the world. But as soon as the veil in the temple was rent in two the distinction between Jew and Gentile was gone. Believing Jews and Gentiles are now one new man. Unbelieving Jews are in the same state of affairs as unbelieving Gentiles: they need to repent and believe the very same Gospel.


Mark there is no disagreement concerning Jews and Gentiles being one in the body of Christ. But you completely disregard the fact that Israel was already the children of God in the sense they were His chosen people, even though they had broken the covenant He had made with them. So they had offended God and before He would set up His Kingdom there had to be National repentance. A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins was a prerequisite for harmony with God who they had offended. That prepared the way for them to believe in Jesus as their Christ. And once they believed in Jesus as the Christ they had forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Other words they had harmony with God by their repentance and faith in Jesus Christ brought regeneration. (Acts 20:21) Everyone receives regeneration the same way, by faith alone in Christ alone. The Kingdom was reoffered to Israel in Acts 1:6-7;3:19,26. The nation Israel has been temporarly set aside, but in the future there will be a generation of Jews who say "blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" and all Israel will be saved and receive their King.

That temple that you speak of - some places in the NT that would be speaking about every Christian as well as the Christian church as a whole. See Ehesians 2:19-22.

There is no contradiction here, Jesus said in Matt 16:18 and on this rock I will build My church. The Church was yet to be built, in fact it wasn’t until Pentecost that believers were baptized into the Body of Christ by the Spirit. And the Body of Christ is the Church where there is neither Jew nor Gentile but one body. Jesus said in John 14:17 speaking of the Spirit, “for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John The Baptist made clear “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29). John knew that he wasn’t part of the bride of Christ when he spoke those words but just was a friend of the Bridegroom.

The temple that Jesus speaks about in Matthew 24 is not the body of Christ but a physical rebuilt temple that The Beast will go into and commit the “abomination of desolation” he will desecrate the holy place (Matt 24:15). Daniel the Prophet spoke about the temple being destroyed in A.D. 70 in Daniel 9:26 And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Mark that happened A.D. 70 and Titus a Roman general was a prince at the time. Verse 27 gives us the seven year tribulation, and in the middle three and a half years is when the Beast desecrates the rebuilt temple.

Your use of the law for the trib. period - Paul says that law was to bring sinners to a place where all they could do was look to Christ. See Galatians 3:19-24. Until you deal with what is before us here in Galatians there is no discussion. You of the dispensational camp must consider this portion of scrpture in your hermeneutic.

That’s right the law is to be as a schoolmaster to lead people to Christ. The OT law should have prepared the Nation Israel for their King! It was meant to shut their mouths and show them their guilt and a need for a Savior (Rom 3:19,20). The Jews will be observing the law in the Tribulation period the temple will be rebuilt (Matt 24:16-22 Rev 11:1).


Alvin,
forgive my incomplete answer to you regarding the temple...
A couple things here.

That temple in Matthew can be Herod's temple. The court given to the Gentiles could be the Roman armies under Titus. Neither you nor I can be dogmatic here.


Mark, the temple in Matthew cannot be Herod's temple. And this is why, Matthew is recording only Jesus second coming there. It's Luke who records Jesus speaking of Herod's temple. First, in Matthew 24:15 Jesus speaks about the "abomination of desolation" spoken by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place. And if we go to Daniel 9:26 we see Jesus crucifixion "Messiah is cut off." Then we see A.D. 70 the prince and the destruction of the city and sancturay. Then in verse 27 we see the seven year tribulation period "then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week" that is seven years. But, in the middle of the week that's forty two months, he brings and end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate. Mark, that is the "abomination of desolation" spoken by Jesus in Matt 24:15. We see John in Revelation speaking about the forty-two months which equals 1260 days, the Jewish month was thirty days. In Rev 11:1 John is speaking about the temple and the outer court being given to the Gentiles who will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months which is three and a half years. The two prophets will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom for 1260 which is three and a half years.

Mark, then in Luke 21 starting in verse 12 is the key. "But before all these things. Jesus is talking about the destruction of Herod's temple from verse 12 to 24. In verse 20 Jerusalem is surrounded by armies. And in verse 24 Jesus says that Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And when is that? Rev 11:1 speaks of the temple and the altar, also worshipers there.

Rev 11:2
But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.

Mark there you have the three and a half years again which will be the great tribulation the last 42 months.

In Matthew 25:31 we see the Son of Man coming in His glory and in verse 32 we see "All the nations" which are the Gentiles, they are spoken of as the nations. The unbelieving Gentiles will be seperated from the beleiving Gentiles then the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

2 Thess 2:4
who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

alvin

January 02, 2009 11:16 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
Due to carpal tunnel I shall break my answer to you up into several comments so my wrists can rest.

You say -
"But you completely disregard the fact that Israel was already the children of God in the sense they were His chosen people, even though they had broken the covenant He had made with them."
-----------------
National origin was NEVER a basis for one to be a child of God.

Remember John 1:11-12 He came to His own (Jews), and His own did not receive Him.
verse 12 *But* as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, *to those who believe in His name.*

Remember that Paul said in Romans 9:6 that they are not all of Israel who are of Israel?

Remember what the Lord said in John 8:39 "if you were Abraham's children you would do the works of Abraham"?

Remember what Paul said in Galatians 3:26 Sonship with the Father is through faith in Christ?

Remember Galatians 3:29 -If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise?

Only those who of faith, Jew and Gentile, are children of Abraham, and children of God.

January 02, 2009 11:46 AM

 
Blogger Kris said...

Hello Wayne & Mark,


Wayne you said:

"It seems to me that looking back to the Old Covenant law for sanctification encourages and points a believer to a fleshly external attempt at sanctification rather than a New Covenant focus on Christ, grace, and the Spirit to lead one to an internal sanctification of the heart. I believe that is part of the message of Galatians."

This is great, you summed that up perfectly. I agree 100%

Kris

January 02, 2009 12:02 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
After reading Matthew 24:15-21 I see that it is possible that Jesus was talking about the Roman invasion in AD 70. Doesn't Josephous shed light on the hoorors the Jews suffered then? Did not many imposter Christ's come thereafter?

It is incredible that the dispensationalists all are willing to leap-frog over that horrible event suffered at the hands of Titus. I see strong evidence that Titus' invasion is what Matthew 24:15 covers - but I'm not dogmatic on it since my eschatology is under reconstruction.

January 02, 2009 12:03 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Kris,
are you saying Christians are without law??????

January 02, 2009 1:17 PM

 
Blogger Kris said...

No Mark, I am saying exactly what Wayne is saying.

I hope that is clear. The Law is spiritual but we are still in this flesh, therefore we have to consider ourselves dead to sin because we are not under Law but under grace.

Isn't that liberating?

January 02, 2009 1:46 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

And how am I saying something different - unless you aremisunderstanding me?

January 02, 2009 1:49 PM

 
Blogger Kris said...

Mark, I was just answering your question to me.

January 02, 2009 2:02 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Question?

January 02, 2009 3:11 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Mark and Jazzycat,

Sorry I never got a chance to make reply today. Hoefully, Ill get a few words in the morning (DV)

Regards,

January 02, 2009 5:16 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

You jump to your own conclusion! I NEVER said Israel was born again. Just like Nickodemus they needed to be born again. Which was a surprise to him thinking he was already a child of God because he was a jew by birth. God calls the nation Israel His son but not by new birth. "When israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. Hosea 11:1
Thus says the Lord: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. Exodus 4:22
And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
Mark true Israel is not all Israel, but God speaks to the nation of Israel as though they are. He doesn't qualify who is and who is'nt in these verses. If you were a Israelite you believed you were one of the children of God in the SENSE you were part of the chosen Nation.

Also I can tell you spent no time looking at the verses I gave you from Daniel concerning the temple.
So I can see I'm wasting my time.

so long . . .alvin

I hope your ready for the coming surprise . . .parousia [pronounced par-oo-see-ah] Matt 24:3,27,37,39

January 02, 2009 6:27 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"You jump to your own conclusion! I NEVER said Israel was born again. Just like Nickodemus they needed to be born again. Which was a surprise to him thinking he was already a child of God because he was a jew by birth." God calls the nation Israel His son but not by new birth."
--------------
I never said that you said they were born again. YOU were the one that said they were children of God, and I called you on that. No one is by national origin - only by faith in Jesus Christ is one a child of God.
----------------
"When israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. Hosea 11:1"
-----------------
We see in Matthew 2:15 that Hosea was actually a prophecy of Christ.
----------------
"Thus says the Lord: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. Exodus 4:22
And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
---------------
Alvin, you shall notice that what God said concerning the children of Israel being a kingdom of priest and a holy nation in Ex. 19:6 was conditioned on their obeying His voice and keeping His covenant. See Ex.19:5. Israel failed to do so.
----------------
"Mark true Israel is not all Israel, but God speaks to the nation of Israel as though they are."
---------------
I agree!!
--------------
"He doesn't qualify who is and who is'nt in these verses. If you were a Israelite you believed you were one of the children of God in the SENSE you were part of the chosen Nation."
--------------
Agreed!!!
--------------
"Also I can tell you spent no time looking at the verses I gave you from Daniel concerning the temple."
--------------
Why would I deal those verses if my system does not demand that I do. I do not subscribe to the Dispensational views of Daniel.

I did not get what you are driving at with your "parousia" statement.

January 02, 2009 7:29 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
Your whole shpeel with lost Israel needing harmony with God... Like I said earlier - and you never addressed it - after the veil was rent the Jewish religion was done. Now unbelieving Israel is no different than unbelieving Gentiles...they both must repent towards God, and have faith towards Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21, 26:18-20.

January 02, 2009 7:57 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
Daniel 9:27a is speaking of Christ; 27b He brings an end to scrifice and offering by offering Himself on the Cross; 27c (And the wing of abominations...) is talking about Titus' invasion and destruction of Jerusalem.

January 02, 2009 8:44 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

Both Peter and Paul understood the parousia (2 Peter 3:4-10; 1 Thess 5:1-3). The parousia means “coming” and it can mean more then just an arrival but a span of time like the first advent was. Peter compared it to the flood just as Jesus had in Matthew 24. The world will be caught by surprise, just as in the days of Noah they were eating and drinking life was going on as usual. Paul said they will be saying “peace and safety.” The paraousia, the beginning of His coming happens without a SIGN, there is NO warning. He comes as a theif in the night. But at the end of His coming there is a SIGN, which is Jesus Himself (Matt 24:30). In fact in Matthew 24 where He is giving the Olivet Discourse is the very place where He will come down to earth and the Mount of Olives will split (Zech 14:3,4). At the time life is not going on as usual, but if those days were not shortened ALL flesh would be destroyed (Matt 24:22).

I hope your not caught by surprise!

alvin

January 03, 2009 2:30 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Mark/Wayne:

* Re: the inward matter of the law. The OT required that we love the Lord our God with all our heart etc., (Deuteronomy 6:5-6) – something which David claimed that he was able to supply: “Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” (Psalm 111:1)

* The context of Galatians 3:10 is obviously justificationas the next verse makes clear: But that no man is justified in the sight of the law etc.,

* The argument re: looking back or going back to the OT for sanctification is flawed on a number of points. [i] It presupposes that the looker/returner (in this case, me) fails to recognise the unity of the entire Bible [ii] that he has rejected the NT precepts and [iii] that there is nothing of Christ and grace etc., in the OT. Yet the 2nd Commandment freely speaks of abundant mercy, which (as we all know) can only come to us through Christ. There is an attempt to create an either/or scenario here which is artificial or unnecessary and therefore unhelpful. It is certainly not my argument and therefore I am not obliged to refute it.

* It is not necessary for the argument to proceed that Matthew 7:12 is ”quoted”. All that is necessary is to show where it is taught and this is easy to do: We are to love our neighbours as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18) and to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Micah 6:8) I only diminish the argument (to which, obviously, you give more credit) in that I do not understand why you should elevate the Sermon on the Mount over any other part of Scripture. Having read Christ’s claim that He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, (Matthew 5:19) it does not naturally suggest itself to me that I should then begin to look for their demise from His ministry – either directly by disparagement or indirectly by ignoring them.

* The point made re: what the OT says about adultery. If I were arguing that there was no need for further revelation, then this point might have some force. Again, this is not my argument. What did the average antediluvian know about Christ from the events recorded in Genesis 1-5? They worked on what they did know.

* I interpret Galatians 5:1 to mean freedom from the damning curse of the law. Although I am not to sin (denoting responsibility) yet when I do sin, I must not forget that I have an advocate with the Father i.e. Christ, who (according to Galatians 3:13) was made to be a curse for me. The problem with the Galatians was (to put 5:1 into context again) that they were being seduced and troubled by certain Jewish legalists into thinking that they could be justified by the law – there in 5:4 Paul tackles this very problem.

* I do think it possible for an unsaved man to think that he delights in the law inwardly. Furthermore, even the unsaved can receive the word with joy (Luke 8:13) – whether Romans 7:22 is another matter.

Sorry this post was so long, but there are no less than 7 points answered in this posting.

Regards,

January 03, 2009 7:19 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
I see you came here to preach and not to interact. When I offer up eshatological views that are different than your classic dispensational views you offer very little interaction; but, instead you question my salvation. Interesting the way you do that.
Some may see you as a hero for these kinds of actions. I do not. Instead I view you as an person who is all too quick to question the salvation of others. Isn't that in stark contrast of what Free Grace Theology is all about?

Interesting. According to FGT someone who once professes Christ can go on to become hostile to Christ, and we are not to question whether they were saved or not. While another who professes Christ can go on to question classic dispensational eschatology and their salvation can be questioned.

Alvin I call on you to answer for this!

January 03, 2009 11:12 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
In considering Galatians 5:1 - your insistance that you obey the law of God because you are a Christian, and want to - that is good stuff. However, does not your thinking stem from the idea that the OT law can be broken up 3 portions; two of those portions were for OT Israel; while the third, that being the decalog - of which Lev. 19:18 is not a part - is also for us today? Christ made us free from the OT law - all of it. If you wish to follow any one part of God's OT law you must go through with the whole thing. The divisions in His OT law that are perceived by you are only manmade. It is clearly an all or nothing situation. I know that you do not seek to be justified by law; but neither should you seek to obey it in your service to Christ when He Himself has presented you with HIS law. To meditate on the Old Testament is a must, yes, please don't misconstrue what I am attempting to say. But Christ alone is to be our gaze. I don't understand your insistance on reflecting on the OT law. That law was for leading people to Christ only, Galatians 3:24. It is from ALL of that law that Christ has set us free.

Question: how do you determine which of those 613 laws are applicable for us today?

January 03, 2009 11:49 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Thanks for your comment and very good points. I would like to again make it clear that I am not refuting the truth and validity of the ethical and moral standards of the Old Covenant Law as I point out in this post. Nor am I making an argument for the carnal Christian view. My argument is that I believe the New Covenant has made the Old Covenant obsolete (Heb. 8:13) and Paul is arguing in Galatians that law keeping is improper not only for justification, but also for sanctification. Why? By definition, law keeping for justification would require a life long process of obedience to the law. It would, in effect, make sanctification the grounds for justification. Therefore, I believe you would agree that Paul is saying this is works instead of grace and is wrong.

You and the WCF are basically agreeing with Paul that sanctification through law keeping for the purpose of justification is wrong, but that sanctification through law keeping for the different purpose of sanctification itself is correct and proper. The problem with that is the law was given as conditional covenant based on obedience (many verses point to blessings based on obedience and curses based on non-obedience). I think that is why Paul refers to the curse of the law in Galatians and elsewhere. I believe the use Old Covenant law, that promises curses for failure to completely obey, violates New Covenant teaching that says the Old Covenant is obsolete and we are to serve in the new way of the Spirit. Christ has set us free and the law is a yoke of slavery regardless of the purpose for using it. We are not under law, but under grace.

January 03, 2009 12:05 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi lads,

I’m enjoying these discussion s with you both. Unfortunately I’ll be away for a few days from Monday onwards (DV)

The NT itself makes clear that certain parts of the OT law have already seen fulfilment. Hence we do not have blood sacrifices offered by sacrificing priests. Christ is our great high priest – He is the Lamb of God and our Passover sacrificed for us – we do not need to go to Jerusalem 3 times a year in that we can worship God anywhere as long as we do in spirit and in truth etc., Our sacrifices now are spiritual i.e. the fruit of our lips etc.,

But, as seen, there are other parts of the OT laws still being quoted and applied by the NT writers and that leads us to conclude that they are still in vogue. In all this, I am not going beyond the writings and practice of the NT writers. Thus when a young Christian would want to obey his father and mother in the Lord, I can open to him the 10 Commandments and give him every encouragement to do so. In this, I am completely at one with Paul. Again, if I would be holy as God is holy, then Peter encourages me to be so by bringing me to Leviticus 11:15. It seems that you want to put a new cover on a very old book – a fresh packaging but the same contents.

Where spiritual use of the law is made, then it can hardly be said to be slavery (at least not in all bad sense of the word: Paul considered himself a slave of Jesus Christ and yet the Son sets us free indeed. In which case, it is glorious slavery.) But how did David, one born in the very heart of the OT era regard his time spent under the law? He said: And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. (Psalms 119:45)

Here’s an interesting exercise with an concordance – preferably electronic but still do-able with the hard copy. Run all the sanctification words through in relation to Galatians and see how many come up. And then try it again with the justification words. This will show where Paul is coming from in this epistle.

Regards,

January 03, 2009 2:35 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
You said... In all this, I am not going beyond the writings and practice of the NT writers. Thus when a young Christian would want to obey his father and mother in the Lord, I can open to him the 10 Commandments and give him every encouragement to do so. In this, I am completely at one with Paul. Again, if I would be holy as God is holy, then Peter encourages me to be so by bringing me to Leviticus 11:15.

I certainly agree with you here, especially the part in bold. Don't you think the WCF does what you say you won't do? I believe section 19 does. The following are some quotes from section 19: (it directs and binds),(examining themselves thereby), (duty towards God), (our duty to man), (The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof).

Following the precepts of the law through Spirit led obedience is one thing, but the language of section 19 looks like legalism and a bondage to law keeping to me!

wayne

January 03, 2009 3:39 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi Jazzycat,

Are we duty bound to obey the dictates of the Spirit of God?

Regards,

January 03, 2009 3:47 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
you say "The NT itself makes clear that certain parts of the OT law have already seen fulfilment."

"Certain parts"?

It is written in THAT law:

Gen.49:10 - The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Deut.18:15-19 - 15The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

What I am saying is that the New Testament, the law of Christ, is the Christian's rule for life. Those quotes from the OT Mosiac Law are brought over to incorporate them into the Law of Christ.

I fear that many a brethren are denying Christ "His Crown Rights", says Tom Wells. I couldn't have said it better, myself. I look to my Master for His orders.

We are in the New Covenant. It is separate and distinct from the Old Covenant. It has its own laws as did the Old Covenant. Many of those laws that are in common with the Old Mosaic Covenant were brought over into the New Covenant's system, the Law of Christ, by the inspired writers of the New Testament. Those are the laws that the Christian is to observe.

Christ is my Master. I, the slave, the one under the New Covenant, look to Him for my orders.

January 03, 2009 5:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
I would not call it a duty so much as willing response to the indwelling Spirit, which the Old Covenant believers did not have. Regenerated believers are in Christ and led by the Spirit, which means they follow. This is not out of duty, but flows from the work of the Holy Spirit. Duty means an obligation that is required. Led by the Spirit means a willing response.

Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

January 03, 2009 7:02 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

Mark, to question your readiness for Jesus return is not questioning your salvation but your expectation at any moment to meet your Lord! Concerning salvation, FG believes that whether the believer sleeps (not ready) or is awake (expecting) has NO bearing on his or her eternal salvation which is a FREE GIFT but has to do with their persevering until the end. (1 Thess 5:4-10) compare the Greek word for sleep there with the Greek word “sleep in Jesus” for the believer: (Katheudo vrs. Koimaomai)

We may already be moving toward a treaty arrangement of the type prophesied in Daniel 9:27. The terrorist group Hamas, which now controls the Palestinian parliament, has been reported to be open to a truce with Israel for a specified period of time. Perhaps the seven-year covenant of Daniel 9:27 will be called a "“truce"!
This is hardly the time to be forgetting about prophetic truth, even though many evangelical Christians are doing just that. It is hardly the time either to be making a theological case for the error of the unfaithful servant who said, “My master is delaying his coming” (24:48). In effect, that is precisely what some theologians are doing when they argue that Jesus cannot come immediately because the Great Tribulation must come first. Such doctrine is not only wrong, it is spiritually dangerous.
As we have seen, the judgments begin when His coming begins. The doctrine that they must preceede it is a grave error. Such a doctrine encourages us not to expect that our Lord might come at any time. It makes people think that He will “delay” His coming until after the events of the Tribulation.
Simply put, it is an unwitting theological articulation of the error of the unfaithful servant!
Now is the time to listen carefully to the words of Jesus, God’s Prophet. Our Lord will take the Christian Church “along with” Him some day. And He will then turn His attention fully to Israel and to its role in this world. It doesn’t really matter how many people don’t think so. Reality is not determined by popular opinion. It is determined by the purposes of God.
Our Savior’s words will be fulfilled! Perhaps that will happen very soon indeed. (Zane Hodges p.66,67 Jesus, God’s Prophet).

alvin

January 03, 2009 10:54 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi lads,

Let me reword my thoughts on the part The NT itself makes clear that certain parts of the OT law have already seen fulfilment." Certain parts of the law in the OT had a typical role to play. The various external washings etc., along with the temple and the blood sacrifices all pointed to the Great Anti-type Himself i.e. Christ. He is our Passover sacrificed for us etc., These are the parts of the law which have played out their role. They are the scaffolding of the building that can now come down.

However, other parts of the Law had no typical aspect to them. For example: Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20) Having no anti-type they are still in force today. It should be pointed out that the laws which were articulated at Sinai had been around a long, long time beforehand. After Cain murdered Abel, it was generally known that God did not approve of murder. Even from Eden, the law was “one man for one woman” etc., Certainly they must have been universal law in light of the fact of the universal punishment (i.e. the Flood) that followed their transgression in Genesis 6-8.

When Mark is looking to the Master for his orders, he is doing no more or less than those of us who (as you profess to do) incorporate the 10 Commandments into the law of Christ. Although in practical terms, there is no difference here – we both abstain from certain actions and enjoin others – yet in theological terms, I do not drive a wedge between what God said in one era and what His Son states in another, especially when they are saying the exact same thing.

I accept that the word duty can often carry a cold ring about it. However, it is a necessary word. Am I obliged to obey the dictates of the Holy Spirit or is no sin incurred if I decline? I can also willingly, with all my heart (as required in Deuteronomy 6:5) obey the Commandments of God given at Sinai.

I do not agree with the thought that the OT saints did not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within them. If none of them have not the Spirit of Christ, then they are none of His (Romans 8:9) This leads us into the mire of Dispensationalism which, I’m sure, we are all anxious to avoid.

Regards,

January 04, 2009 5:02 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
God the Holy Spirit, the author of the whole Bible, used the same word for sleep in 1 Thess. 5:10 that He used in Mark 5:39 and Luke 8:32 to describe the state of the young girl.

Now look at 1 Thess.5:3, the words "they", "them", and "they" again.

But notice in verse 4,"you, brethren", and "you" again - comparing these two verses one group is taken by surprise (verse 3), and one is not (verse 4).

Verse 5 - You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night (like those in verse 3)

Verse 6 - Therefore let us not sleep, as others do (those mentioned in verse 3), but let us (those mentioned in verses 4 and 5)watch and be sober.

verse 7 - For those who sleep (those mentioned in verse 3),sleep at night, and those who get drunk (those mentioned in verse 3), are drunk at night.

Verse 8 - But let us who are of the day (those mentioned in verses 4 and 5)be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation...

So in verse 10, if we pay attention to context here, is saying none other than whether we wake (like those in verses 4 and 5), or sleep (like the young girl in Mark 5:39 and Luke 8:52) we should live together with Him. Your system would have us believe that whether we live and serve Christ or get drunk and live like that group mentioned in verse 3 we shall live together with Him. That is not so!

You provide a word study, but as is always the case with FGT, never pay attention to context.

January 04, 2009 9:29 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin: I'm off to church now. See you later, the Lord willing.

January 04, 2009 9:33 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
While we certainly do not want to edge into dispensationalism, There is some distinct differences in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. I believe Romans 8:9 is referring to New Covenant believers only. John states in John 7:39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Certainly the Spirit was active in the Old Covenant as in shown in Luke 2:25-26, but I believe the indwelling Spirit is a New Covenant only principle.

January 04, 2009 1:54 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
Paul said in Ephesians 5 that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.

John said in 1 John 3 that God commands us to believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and that we should love one another...

Can we find these things in the decalogue? If not should we add these things onto our obedience to the Old Testament Law?

Or

Should we acknowledge a whole new law - the law of Christ?

January 04, 2009 2:22 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hi lads,

This will have to be our last exchange on these issues here as I fly out early in the morning and will be away until the end of the week.

Mark: Although there may not be any specific command as Ephesians 5:25 in the OT, yet who can doubt that such love existed between man and wife even in the OT? Certainly the love which Jacob showed towards Rachel must come pretty close to it. Again – was there no requirement in the OT for us to love one another? I think that all you have done is point to where fuller revelation has come in and (with John 7:39) more power from the outpoured Spirit of God to live these commandments out. This is a long way from insisting on a whole new law that (in your view) takes away that which has been from the very beginning, which served the OT saints well and which the NT writers drew upon when teaching the NT saints how to live for Christ…as in Ephesians 6:1-2/1 Peter 1:15-16 and James as well.

Jazzycat: I do not share your view that the Spirit of God was not “in” the OT saints. I cannot see how you can insist upon it without offering any proof other than “I believe…” (with all due respect given to your faith).

I really must leave it there. It has been a pleasure debating these things with you. Enjoy the rest of your Lord’s Day..

Regards,

January 04, 2009 3:16 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Have a nice and safe trip! I have also enjoyed the exchange.

My statement did offer more than, (I believe......)

I believe Romans 8:9 is referring to New Covenant believers only. John states in John 7:39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Unless you can show, when you get back, that John 7:39 means something else; I have offered a passage that would indicate Romans 8:9 is referring to New Covenant believers only.

January 04, 2009 6:02 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Colin,
May the Lord bless you and keep you safe!

I do not see where exegetically the Old Covenant law can be broken up into 3 portions - sacrificial, ceremonial or moral. It was all one "package" and meant only for the Nation of Israel.

The New Covenant is for all nations, and it has its own Law, The Law Of Christ.

The Old Covenant law was meant to point its people to Christ and the New Covenant ratified in His Blood. The New Covenant's Law Of Christ teaches us how we are to serve our ruler, our King.

January 04, 2009 8:51 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

The weakness of your argument shows by the fact that you must go outside of the context to find the meaning. When correct Scripture interpretation always starts with the direct context, then goes from there to the broader context of the book. Then and ONLY then do we go outside to other Books to bring more understanding to a word. What you are doing reminds me of the ones who when asked to explain what the gospel is in Galatians have to take people to other books (I Cor 15:1-4) to explain what Paul said to the Galatians . . . Ha!Ha!

This dispensation of grace (Eph 1:10;3:2John 1:17) will end with the rapture of the Chruch. Then God will be dealing again with the Nation Israel who will be practicing the OT law during the Tribulation (Matt 24:15,20). Then in the Millinial Kingdom Jesus will rule with a rod of iron! (Rev 19:15

I can see this has been just a waste of your time and mine, so this will be my last post here.

alvin

January 04, 2009 10:23 PM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Mark

I take back that last statement. Anytime it gets you into the word of God it’s profitable.

Just studying through Galatians brought back memories of when I got into a debate with a Jewish man. He had written quite a few books, and was thinking on writing one on the book of Galatians. He believed that the faith spoken of in Galatians meant faithfulness not faith. And I was arguing for the meaning simply being faith. Anyway I got tore up pretty bad because of my lack of knowledge of the Greek. So I left, and later told a close friend of mine what had happened. He wanted to go hear him the next night, but I told him there’s no way I’m going back there and get beat up again. Well my friend talked me into going back, and as soon as I walked into the room the Jewish man said, “so you’re back for more uh?” Ha!Ha! But it just so happened there was a man there that night that understood the Greek very well. In fact his mother had come the night before, and then went and told her son “there’s only one man there standing up for the truth, and he could use some help . . .Ha!Ha! Anyway the young man showed from the Greek that the word faith in Galatians could simply mean faith. Looking back now though I see that Galatians has not only justification truth but sanctification truth, the just shall walk by faith.
I believe the gospel (good news) spoken of in Galatians is that the good news is that it’s by faith and not by the works of the law.

This will be my last post, thanks for your hospitality!
alvin

January 05, 2009 4:01 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
1 Thess. was written to a church that was a thriving church. It was a church that was noted by Paul for their work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, verse 1:3.

The Gospel had came to them in power, verse 1:5.

They had become followers of Paul and the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, verse 1:6

they had gone on to be examples to other churches, verse 7

Their faith towards God had gone out so much so that Paul hardly had to say anything about it in the surrounding areas, verse 1:8.

Their repentance to serve the living and true God was known to all other churches, verse 1:9.

The Word of God was received by them and it effectually worked in them, verse 2:13.

They were imitators of other churches that suffered, verse 2:14.

They were taught by God to love one another, verse 4:9.

Yet with all this evident life and power Paul exhorts them all to go on even deeper into the love of God.

And along comes your group, Alvin, saying that Paul's message to them was, "if you, a thriving, vibrant, power-filled church, go on to ignore our exhortation to go deeper into the love of God, and to be sober, to put on love and faith, that is OK - go ahead, you shall live together with Him too. You'll be there along with those who exhibit the power of the indwelling Spirit."

Alvin, that would be a complete turn around in Paul's logic and does violence to Paul's logic in 1 Thess. 5:1-10. Again the Whole letter was written to a thriving, vibrant, powerful church, exhorting them on to an even deeper walk. The day of the Lord was not going to take them by surprise BECAUSE they were sons of light and sons of the day.

You talk of context. Well, there is the context.

January 05, 2009 7:31 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

And Alvin, You'll note that at my previous response to you that I said that God the Holy Spirit was the Author of the ENTIRE bible. One portion of scripture does not, can not, will not contradict other portions. Scripture interprets scripture. Your way of doing theology segments the Word instead of treating it as a whole.

January 05, 2009 7:48 AM

 
Blogger alvin said...

Mark,

The Therssalonians could have taken it two different ways. Being they were spiritual I would say they would take it the first way:
We are ALL unprofitable servants, and even if we are unfaithful God is faithful. None of us deserve to be raptured!
or,
Like the spirit of the prodigal sons older brother...."Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time" (Luke
15:29a)
also the spirit of the one who had worked all day who got payed the same as the one who was just hired.
Mark, if the Thessalonians had the right spirit they would know, no one is worthy to be part of Christ body. And Christ is faithful to His body even if they are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

I would think your theology would bring forth the spirit you are showing.

alvin

January 05, 2009 5:25 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Alvin,
Nowhere did I suggest that the Thessalonians had whereof to boast. In this comment of yours you provided yet more evidence that you have absolutely no idea what it is that I believe and an all around ignorance of L/S theology. Save some face and take time to learn what it is that L/S actually teaches before you make yourself look silly again, please.

Now on to your mishandling of 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

You must remember that the Kingdom of God in this world today is made up of both genuine believers as well as false professors, even worse, sons of the wicked one. See Matthew 13:24-50. Since the Kingdom is comprised of both good and bad Paul was led to say these things to Timothy in 2 Timothy.

If we died with Him, (all true believers), we shall also live with Him.

If we endure (all believers will and do, see how Paul did that in 2 Timothy 1:12, God is the one who preserves all his saints), We shall also reign with Him.

If we (and this is where the false professors among the genuine believers must take notice)deny Him, He will also deny us. (this, Alvin, is an echo of Matthew 10:32-33).

Notice the first two thoughts are positive in nature - if we died, we shall live...If we endure, we shall reign - these two are addressed to believers

Notice there are yet two more thoughts; and they are linked to eachother just as the previous ones are linked to themselves. They say if we (false professors, sons of the wicked one who are allowed to live side by side with true believers in the present state of the kingdom in the world)deny Him, He will deny us - this could mean none other than being sent to eternal punishment.

It goes on - if we are faithless, He remains faithful (meaning whether we are faithful or not His character is unaffected; a similar thought to where Paul told the Romans "let God be true, and every man a liar".

Alvin, without faith it is impossible to please Him. That is His Character. Do you really think that the faithless will one day stand among the redeemed? NO! It is not so. That is the reason why God has given every saint a measure of faith, a faith that endures. Our faith is His work in us.

January 06, 2009 8:47 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

With sadness I enter this post. I have friends in the Free Grace movement whom I love and respect; but that does not mean I keep my mouth shut about this system.

I have watched how the proponents of this system present their views, how they make man-made divisions into the word. It seems to me that they are working from a false paradigm which supplies them with a false premise from which to build their case. Their system fails to provide Biblical information to the lost, spiritually dead, rebellious, sin-loving God-hater, who is walking according to the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, that slave to sin who is by nature a child of wrath, who walks according to the weather vane of this world.

Consider this: the gospel of John begins in chapter 1 to present Christ as God, the Perfect Representative of the Father; the One Who unfolds the Father as a scroll to a world that has not retained God in its knowledge. Romans one through three is clear on this. The world has cast aside all knowledge of its Maker and has fully rejected His rightful rule. As a result mankind is completely under the devil's sway. To ignore what is before us in chapter one of John as we preach Christ is to ignore a major portion of Christ's mission to this earth. I repeat, He came to show us the Father as His only perfect representative.

We are saved by being in Christ the Person. Coming to Christ means taking His yoke upon us and learning of Him. Their system dichotomizes where the Bible does not authorize them. They have split faith and repentance which clearly belong together. In the Great Commission faith, (Mk.16:16) and repentance, (Lk.24:47) are to be preached together. If I believed the building I was standing in was on fire I would seek the fast escape. So it is with those who are told that they are in rebellion against their Creator and His Christ. That person is commanded by scripture to repent and believe the gospel - IOW, turn from following the spirit of this age, and take Christ's yoke upon him and so learn of Him.

That system, in all practicality, treats men as if there were no issue of original sin, no love of sin and hatred of God, no rebellion against the Creator. Calvinists and nonCalvinists alike agree that repentance flows from the genuine believer.

A couple of points:

1)No where in scripture does justifying faith happen without repentance also being evident. IOW, repentance always shows in the life of the believer. So, I say, nowhere in scripture do we see an unrepentant believer.

2) Let's look at Christ's accomplishments and their effects on the believer - Because of Christ's cross-work Paul was entrusted with a message that would "open eyes,turn people from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins... " Acts 26:18-20. The Father has "conveyed us into His Son's kingdom" where there is redemption (being bought back from Satan's dark rule)and forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:12-14. Also Romans 6 teaches that we were once slaves of sin, but now, because of Christ's accomplishments on the cross, we are slaves of righteousness and of God.

Because of Christ's cross-work, His telling people to repent, through those servants of His who preach His word accurately, is like His having commanded that man to stretch forth his crippled hand, and when he has done so it is whole. And so it is when one is commanded to repent. His life will straighten out because of the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ as a result of His cross-work.

Justification is not the whole of the picture. Conformity to Christ is. This conformity, though not automatic, is inevitable, and begins at the moment of regeneration; hence the need to preach repentance to the unsaved. Christ is the One to be looked at for salvation. The world has rejected its Maker and His Christ. The world has thrown off God's rule in their lives. See the second Psalm. Faith and repentance result in the believer being brought into the Kingdom of God, and away from the rule of Satan.

January 06, 2009 11:24 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
It is sad that our "justification only" free grace friends have no faith in the power of God unto sanctification. Paul very clearly taught this power.....

1 Cor. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

January 06, 2009 4:53 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Wayne,
You have posted on this matter before: that the Corinthian church actually DID experience some repentance after Paul's call to do so. Strangely this church is looked at by those of the Hodges system as an example of a Christian who can grow totally cold and unresponsive to the leadings of God the Holy Spirit in their life. Clearly, when the whole of both 1 and 2 Corinthians is considered, as you've so clearly pointed out, that notion does not bear out. Again, the Church there actually DID experience repentance; hence that whole notion of an spiritually unresponsive Christian goes up in smoke.

Incidently, that whole "carnal Christian" thingy is the result of word-studies without consideration of context; in this case the whole content of Paul's letters to the Corinthians is not considered - just the fact that he called them "carnal". Context is ignored here.

Now, once one's system needs to leave the door opened to the possibility that there is such a thing as a "carnal Christian", that possibility alone serves as a theological chain around their neck that necessarily puts them on a trajectory whereby the biblical concept of "regeneration" is dealt a death blow; yea, it is thoroughly gutted.

January 07, 2009 7:35 AM

 

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