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].

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Look At Romans 2:17-24

by Wayne http://sweetjazzycat.blogspot.com/

Romans 2:17-24 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God (18) and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; (19) and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, (20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—(21) you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? (22) You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (23) You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. (24) For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Paul, in this passage was speaking to the Jews who were relying on the law and boasting in God through their possession of the law. While they had a knowledge of the law and thought themselves righteous because they taught others the precepts of the law, they failed to confront the fact that they themselves broke the law. They were attempting to justify themselves before God, through the law, and considered themselves righteous before God by affirming and teaching the law. The fact that they didn’t obey the law perfectly was either not realized or deemed unimportant in their own eyes.

In this passage, Paul is objecting and pointing out the error of their thinking. They had failed to be sanctified through law keeping for the purpose of justification, and Paul is giving them the bad news of their blaspheming God before Gentiles for dishonoring God by breaking the law.

Sanctification through law keeping for the motive of justification is guaranteed to be a 100% failing proposition. Yet, many people today think that law keeping for the purpose of sanctification is the proper way for a Christian to pursue sanctification. In this view, the law points a sinner to Christ to be saved by faith and Christ sends the regenerated Christian back to the law to be sanctified. Paul acknowledges the law is right and good later in Romans, but he goes on to assert that sanctification is through the Spirit of Christ and not the written code. Praise God that grace upon grace saves and also sanctifies sinners. Grace points sinners to Christ for salvation, and grace points Christians to Christ for sanctification.
Posted by jazzycat at 3:23 PM

mark pierson said...
Yes, Paul makes it clear that the law was to point people to Christ, period. Any Christian who thinks themselves not holy enough to claim salvation as their own has no concept of the grace that came through Christ. On the other hand any Christian who is satisfied with how they measure up to the law (which would require them to do some serious watering down of the severity of its demands) has taken their eyes off of Christ and their need for HIS righteousness in their lives. The Bottom line is that our eyes belong on Christ and only on Christ.
April 03, 2009 10:02 AM

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Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Glad you'r back, bro!

April 04, 2009 2:12 AM

Blogger Maalie said...

Of course I am well-acquainted with what is expressed in this post. We have been engaged in a considerable discussion over at Halfmom about the fate of those who are born into cultures who know not of Christ. The discussion focussed, as an example, on the isolated tribes of aborigines in Australia but there are many similar populations elsewhere.

The discussion has been following the lines that if God is truly omniscient, he would have predetermined that these peoples are born into cultures that know not of the bible and of Jesus Christ. Is it possible that they too can reach Heaven, if the only way to God is only through Jesus?

Is western culture simply "lucky" to know the bible and Christ, or is this part of God's plan, do you think? This paradox is causing some genuine soul-searching.

April 04, 2009 3:20 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

I hope your recovery is still going well.

God is omniscient. The only way to heaven is through Christ. Everything is part of God's plan, which includes the free agency of man. The only paradox is self induced by man.

Everything I have stated is taught in Scripture.........

April 04, 2009 9:54 AM

Blogger Maalie said...

>The only way to heaven is through Christ.

Jazzycat, I accept that as part of your doctrine, I think you misunderstand me. Why then, in His omniscience, did God prescribe a world in which the vast majority of Mankind would be born as babies into cultures that will have no knowledge of Christ? Has he not condemned them before birth?

I am seeking an interpretation here, nothing more.

April 04, 2009 10:35 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

You are right, the only way to Heaven is through Christ. Man is condemned because of his rebellion against God, his love of sin, and his sins. The Fall in Adam is where you and I first sinned against God. What resulted from that fall is that we loved sin and hated God, hense our nature is to sin, and to hate His ways.

It is true that most evangelism prior to the 18th and 19th century was mostly Western in its aim. Also, for reasons unstated in scripture, in Acts 16, there were places Paul was forbidden to preach, at least for a time; meaning that the people in those places did not hear the saving message.

So, yes, you are right, some societies have gone there entire existence outside of hearing about Christ, the only way to the Father, and have gone on to pay for their sins. God is sovereign, and the West is fortunate.

April 04, 2009 11:12 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

It is clear in scripture; some are chosen to experience God's mercy and grace while others are left to experience His justice. He is sovereign.

April 04, 2009 12:00 PM

Blogger Maalie said...

Mark, thank you, you have confirmed what I understood to be the case.

What puzzles me is why should a merciful heavenly father (I have heard Him referred to as such) ordain a world in which some cultures (societies, as you say) are condemned in this way. I agree that it would be the prerogative of a sovereign God, but can it then be claimed that it is loving and merciful to deny some societies the means by which they can find heaven?

I know that I am not among the elect myself, by I am intensely curious about this matter.

April 04, 2009 12:19 PM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Mark: you say 'man's love of sin'. That is a bit harsh. I know I am a sinner but I hate my sinning. I certainly don't love my sins. I know that I am weak and keep doing the same thing over and over. Even the great Paul struggled with this.

The little babies from cultures that don't know the Bible and Christ are innocent little children. How can they be otherwise? Someone from Halfmom once described a baby as 'a bundle of sin'.

April 04, 2009 2:51 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

You said……….
I agree that it would be the prerogative of a sovereign God, but can it then be claimed that it is loving and merciful to deny some societies the means by which they can find heaven?

All salvation is through the mercy of God. Those who do not receive mercy get justice. Therefore, he is loving and merciful to everyone who receives his mercy and he is just to give justice to the rest. Paul says it this way in Romans 9:14-18 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. The other societies that you mention receive God’s justice and God is not unfair to dispense this justice.

April 04, 2009 3:09 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

You said…….
The little babies from cultures that don't know the Bible and Christ are innocent little children. How can they be otherwise?

You can rest assured that all the innocent babies in other cultures that grow up sinless and become sinless and righteous mature people will be in heaven with all the sinners who have, through faith in Christ, been washed clean of their sin by his perfect sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. Unfortunately the Bible tells us that there is none righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). The Bible also tells us in Romans 1:18-23 that man is without excuse in his unrighteousness. You may not like it, but that is clear report of the Bible on this subject.

On a side note: I am amazed that you have expressed admiration for the current president of the USA who has upheld and increased the practice of partial birth abortion on the very innocent little children that you speak about here. He has also endorsed the practice of infanticide on the babies who survive an abortion and are born alive. I find it very pathetic that so many people in Europe went wild when he claimed that America does not torture (a slam at George Bush), when the practice of partial birth abortion murder is about as cruel a torture as you can devise.

So please forgive me if I am not buying your unfairness argument against God.

April 04, 2009 3:32 PM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Jazzy, I do understand what you say about Mr Obama. It is my personal opinion that abortion is wrong.

Mr Obama believes, like most Americans, that the choice should be left to the woman.

George Bush said he was against abortion but did nothing to change the laws because he was outnumbered by a democratically elected government.

As for the torture in Guantanamo Bay, there seems absolutely no doubt that torture took place and the British conived with it. I am a member of Amnesty Internation and there is undisputed proof that this was the case.

At the very least, men were kept for years without being charged with a recognizable criminal offence which is in itself contrary to the Geneva Convention.

April 04, 2009 3:55 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Jim, He is "loving and merciful" even if He shows but one reble His grace and mercy found only in Christ. The rest suffer His justice for having rebelled while in the loins of Adam, and for their resultant love of sin, and the doing of the same. God is under NO obligation to save anybody; but He IS obligated to judge sin. The fact that a thrice Holy God would show mercy to anyone should boggle the mind.

April 04, 2009 4:45 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Jill, babies are sinners waiting for the opportunity to sin. Do you have to train a baby to be selfish, or to lie? Do you have to train them to have temper tantrums?

April 04, 2009 4:47 PM

Blogger Maalie said...

Mark, thank you for the clarification. No hope for me then. Do you ever wonder why God predetermined that Adam should sin in the first place? I think that many people would wonder why they should spend their lives repenting for something they are not responsible for.

Jazzycat: I doubt that any political party would all their policies that would suit everybody. At least it is a huge relief that Obama's administration has put global warming high on the agenda.

April 04, 2009 5:07 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

You tell Mark that it is a bit harsh for him to say that man has a love for sin and then affirm that Obama and most Americans approve of the legal torture and murder of innocent babies.

If you and Maalie are going to charge God with unfairness because of his justice to what you consider basically good human beings, I suggest that you take a serious look at the current condition of the human heart. If you do you will conclude that Paul in Romans 1 and Mark in this thread have that condition summed up pretty well.

Were it not for the intervention of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit in Christians, it would be even worse.

April 04, 2009 5:32 PM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Why did God predetermine that Adam should sin in the first place.

Well that depends on whether you believe in the literal story (or stories) in Genesis about the creation or whether you believe that it is a parable to show that man tends to mess up everything good that he has.

I really cannot go along with the bit about rebelling while still in Adam's loins! What a horrible thought.

I agree babies will be 'selfish' but that is just their inate survival instinct, and when they grow old enough to feel confident that their parents are not going to abondon them or starve them, they tend not to be quite so 'selfish' or at least that's been my experience. I don't really think this instinctive survival behaviour is sin, is it?

April 04, 2009 5:37 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

"I think that many people would wonder why they should spend their lives repenting for something they are not responsible for."
Ah, but Jim, they ARE responsible, for people love to sin daily. When exposed to God's Holy demands on their lives they are repulsed and recoil. When Christ demands denying ourselves to follow Him what is the NATURAL response from the human race? They shall pay for that response if they have not fled to Him for salvation from the coming wrath of God.

April 04, 2009 10:52 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Jill asks, " I don't really think this instinctive survival behaviour is sin, is it?"
When compared to Christ's demands of self-denial it truely IS sin in comparison. Outside of one being in Christ the whole world will be judged by such standards, shall fail, and shall spend eternity paying for that.

April 04, 2009 10:58 PM

Blogger Maalie said...

I guess it's the lake of fire for me then. Seems I would have been better off being born a pygmy rather than being educated as a scientist.

April 05, 2009 5:23 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Since Adam is mentioned in the genealogical line of Jesus, it is a huge problem to interpret him as a parable. Adam is mentioned along with other real historical people many times in Scripture and the only real way to discount him as a real person is through unbelief. I am aware that many, including so-called clergy, have done this.

IOW, it does not work to place Adam in the parable box. The only way to get around Adam is to not believe Scripture......

April 05, 2009 9:08 AM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

As I understand it Jazzy, and I could be wrong, Adam was an ancestor of David who was in turn an ancestor of Joseph.

Christ's earthly parent was Mary and not Joseph, so unless Mary was also a descendent, Jesus was not of the blood line of Adam.

Anyway, I wish you all a happy and peaceful Palm Sunday.

April 05, 2009 10:17 AM

Blogger Maalie said...

Good point Lorenzo. Actually, is is genetically impossible for human diversity as we know it today to have evolved from just two people. Absolutely impossible. Modern Man is derived from a population of hominid precursors in Africa some three million years (or so ) ago. Forget about the talking snake.

If you accept the genetics of medicine and crime investigation, you must accept it for population biology too. The Old Testament (and a great deal of the New) is purely mythology and an invention of Man's fertile imagination.

April 05, 2009 10:29 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Jill and Jim,
I'm so very sorry...

April 05, 2009 4:52 PM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Mark, does this have to be one point scoring off another. Jim will never change his views and neither will you. And why should you.

Jim and I were brought up identically with a rather cynical father and a bolshie mother as far as religion went, though they did 'their duty' and took us to Mass until we were about 13 or 14.
Jim and I have radically different views about most things in life, so it couldn't be 'brainwashing' as children that we became as we are now.

I believe that faith is a spiritual journey that is unique to each person. We each have our own life experiences that have shaped how we think and feel now.

You and I have very different feelings about the validity of some of the facts in the Bible. That's doesn't really matter if we take the package of Christ on, as a whole. Maalie just doesn't understand about sin. To him sin is just about robbery, murder, fraud, etc. etc. But that doesn't matter either.

I am not an evangalist, like a lot of Christians are and a lot of athiests are. I am too busy struggling with my own beliefs and doubts. I take great heart from one of the giants of faith, St. Ignatious with his prayer 'Lord I believe. Help my disbelief'.

April 06, 2009 4:06 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Here is the bottom line in your thinking....
You said,
I believe that faith is a spiritual journey that is unique to each person.

Since this is not from the Holy Bible, what is your source for this belief? This a fair question!

April 06, 2009 9:33 AM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

It's just my belief Jazzy. As I said one has insights from all sorts of things, sometimes people, sometimes books, sometimes life situations.

The thing is, I've never said I am right about anything. I don't have any certainties. I am just an ordinary woman stumbling my way through life, trying not to do too much harm. I am not a theologian and I am no way as far advanced as you all are in your Christian path.

But on a path I am. I may not be able to quote chapter and verse of the Bible, I may not think every word of it is relevant, but I am groping around with my beliefs.

I have no argument with any of you. I am just trying to understand a very different outlook of theology than I have been taught.

April 06, 2009 10:05 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Thanks, that is what I thought. The difference between us is not about how far I am down my path or you are down yours. The difference is in our foundation. It is in our very foundation that we use for discerning truth. My foundation is Christ and the truth that is revealed in Scriptures. You, by your own admission are using many different sources for your foundation and rejecting some of Scripture’s teachings. You have then admitted that it has left you groping around with your beliefs. Loren, I am not groping and it is not because I am more advanced on my path. It is because I accept the entire revelation of Scripture and it is my foundation of absolute truth. When people reject absolute truth in favor of pluralistic religious thinking, they are left with contradictions that may make them feel tolerant, inclusive, and champions of diversity; but they are left groping to reconcile the nonsense that remains. That seems to be your very position at this time.

For an example in comparing Islam and Christianity there are but three possibilities:
1. Christianity is the true religion and Islam is a false religion.
2. Islam is the true religion and Christianity is a false religion.
3. Maalie’s view which is they are both false.

All three of those are logically possible, but it is not possible that Christianity and Islam can both be true religions since Islam denies the deity of Christ. This is a foundational truth of Christianity that Islam denies. For anyone to claim that both religions worship the same God is NONSENSE. Yet, this is what much of the world would have us believe. One does not even have to be a Christian to logically deduce this truth. This is only one example of what is being called the tolerant diverse thinking that we should all affirm. Well I am sorry because I am not going to check my brain at the door and go along with this irrational concept of truth.

April 06, 2009 12:03 PM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I do understand and agree with what you are saying. I don't have any argument with it really.

God knows how I struggle but if I can't accept the literal truth of Genesis version of the creation, then pretending that I do, will make me a liar. I can tell myself that I do believe in Jonah surviving in a fish for three days, but deep down I don't believe it. This is just how it is and just saying 'yes I believe' won't make it otherwise.

I guess I haven't been blessed with the same amount of grace that you have.

April 06, 2009 12:11 PM

Blogger Maalie said...

>it is not possible that Christianity and Islam can both be true religions

This is one of the main precepts which has made me atheist. Muslims hold their beliefs just as strongly as Christian do. They believe with their whole hearts and lives that you are wrong and that they are worshipping the one true God, Allah. Which faith you espouse is almost entirely which culture you chanced to be born in, which brings me back to my opening question.

It is in principle possible that you are backing the wrong horse by the chance of your birth. If it is not the case, then God, in his almighty omniscience, has made sure that Muslims are born into the wrong faith.

April 06, 2009 1:31 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

Muslims Have been evangelized by Christians since their beginnings in AD 680. They are still evangelized even today. The elect among them have responded and shall continue to do so until the day of judgement. Now how about you? Will you respond before it is too late?

April 06, 2009 1:37 PM

Blogger Maalie said...

>Have been evangelized by Christians since their beginnings in AD 680.

Mark, of course I do not challenge your knowledge of the subject which is clearly very complete. But if this is the case, why are Muslims trying to blow us all up in the name of their God? My point (in response to Jazzycat) is that they believe in their God as much as Christians do in theirs. Axiomatically, both can't be right. Each side considers that the other is backing the wrong horse. This is a worrying paradox for me and, as I said, one that led me to believe there is probably no God at all. In addition to all the scientific evidence that suggests that most of the bible is mythology, written in good faith but only with the incomplete knowledge and understanding of the world that was available at the time that is was written.

But that does not stop me from personally wishing well for you and your family.

April 07, 2009 2:49 AM

Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Have you considered that the God the Muslims worship, the Christians worship, the Hindus worship etc. could well be the same God, but just given a different name?

April 07, 2009 4:48 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

thanks for the gracious dialogue.

What do we do with Jesus' claim that HE is THE way THE truth, and THE life, and that nobody can come to the Father but by Him?

April 07, 2009 8:43 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Axiomatically, both can't be right. Each side considers that the other is backing the wrong horse. This is a worrying paradox for me and, as I said, one that led me to believe there is probably no God at all.

I do not understand your logic in this statement. As a scientist, I am sure you could relate to three competing and conflicting theories for the explanation of an event. Would you conclude by default that all three were wrong? Each scientist may be convinced his is right, but later and more advanced information could prove that one was correct.

April 07, 2009 9:19 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Have you considered that the God the Muslims worship, the Christians worship, the Hindus worship etc. could well be the same God, but just given a different name?

If the only difference was the name this would be possible. But the attributes and characteristics of each of these Gods are completely different. The Christian Bible warns over and over again that many false gods and false religions exist and that believers of the one true God cannot blend portions of these other religions with the triune God of the Bible. No where does the Bible even hint at people being able to construct a god of their imagination, and in fact it warns against doing so. If you reject this Biblical teaching, you might as well reject the whole Bible as there is very little left.

Loren, if you are going to worship and believe in the true and living God, you need to abandon religious syncretism and the pluralism that is plaguing the world today. It is simply logically impossible for these religions to be worshipping the same God, and when an individual believes otherwise, that person is rejecting through unbelief the triune God of the Bible.

It is your choice. You can be liked by the world and considered an open-minded, tolerant, and diverse, peace-loving, basically good person or you can through faith in Christ affirm that he is the only spiritual savior available to mankind. The latter person with faith is a saved person and the other is not......

April 07, 2009 9:45 AM


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