"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Resurgence of God's Kind of Love Among Us

Yesterday at Emmanuel we began a twenty-two week study on I Corinthians 13 which will take us from August 30 to January 30, 2010. I have read expositions of this chapter from John Gill, John Owen, and Jonathan Edwards; but the text itself carries a simplicity and profundity that is impossible to surpass. Below you will find the text of the first eight verses of I Corinthians 13, a blend of the New American Standard and the Contemporary English versions. There are fifteen descriptive phrases for love--as God defines love--with a summary promise-- love never fails. I sometimes wonder how what we as Christians write, what we say, what we think and what we do would change if we allowed love to define our lives. For those who consider this question trivial or meaningless, I am reminded of the words of our Lord, "It is by love that people will know that you are really my disciples" (John 13:36), and of what the Apostle John wrote, "The one who abides in God abides in love" (I John 4:16). I Corinthians 13 begins ...

(1) What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) What if I could prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? Without love I would be nothing. (3) What if I gave away all that I owned to feed the poor? What if I surrendered my body to be burned alive as a martry? Without love I would gain nothing.

(4) Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, or proud. (5) Love is not rude, selfish, or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. (6) Love rejoices over good things, but never in evil. (7) Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.

(8) Love never fails.

In His Grace,

Wade

85 comments:

Thy Peace said...

This Sunday's sermon by Pastor Wade is 1. THE Mark of Real Christianity, of Series on Love Never Fails (I Corinthians 13) .

If you watch the video, it's titled "THE Mark of Real Christianity", 1 Cor 13, Part 1 of series, Aug 30, 09.

Jeff said...

Wade, I would be interested how you arrived at 22 sermons from this series. Have you written out the sermons already? Rough outline?

Wade Burleson said...

Just have the titles and texts broken out for the next 22 weeks, Jeff--not yet the full outlines.

Wade

willohroots said...

Most churches preaching thru 1 and 2 Cor. concentrate on problems. Praise God you can preach on Love!

Gary Snowden said...

I encourage and applaud your decision to preach on love for the next 22 weeks from 1 Cor. 13. I suspect some of your detractors will seize the opportunity to accuse you of preaching a sentimental, syrupy gospel rather than attacking and denouncing sin, but Jesus' words clearly indicate that the way in which others will know that we're His followers is by the quality of our love for one another.

I think the Spirit inspired Paul to pen one of the most beautiful and profound descriptions of love ever written, so I'm not surprised that you've opted to take so many weeks to plumb the depths of his focus on love. Blessings.

Joe Blackmon said...

I suspect some of your detractors will seize the opportunity to accuse you of preaching a sentimental, syrupy gospel rather than attacking and denouncing sin

Now who on earth would assume that is how Wade is going to preach this text? Come on, Gary.

Christiane said...

'ATTACKING SIN'

From the Judaic tradition comes a story of a rebbe (rabbi) who lived in Europe hundreds of years ago.

It was his custom to receive travelers of his faith and bring them into his home for the Sabbath, so that they, too, could have a chance to honor the Holy One on the Day of Rest.

The rebbe received a man who was carrying a stick with the bundle of his possessions with him on the Sabbath Day:
this was strange because a strongly forbidden act it was, to carry such a burden, on the ordained 'day of rest'.

But the rebbe received the man without commenting about his breaking of the Sabbath.
In his kindness, the rebbe treated the man as one of his family and, in his own humility, never did he that, which would have humiliated his guest.

The legend continues that the stranger, on leaving, turned to the rebbe and revealed that he, the stranger, had been sent by God to test the rebbe's humility before the Lord.

The stranger told him that he, the rebbe, had shown compassion and kindness, in his caring for the stranger's need without humiliating him in the process.

The stranger told him that the Holy One would send the rebbe a son who would teach many wise things to his people.

A son was born to the rebbe who became a great leader, known among his people, as the tzaddik, the Bal Shem Tov, who taught them about the love of God, which can grow in the hearts of those whose are humble before Him, and who can share that great love with others, in a way that does not humiliate them in their need.

An old Judaic legend. Often told to the very young by the very old.

Love, L's

ezekiel said...

L's,

And praise God that Jesus is who he says He is and did what He said He came to do.

Rom 3:20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

Rom 3:28 For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.]

Rom 4:2 For if Abraham was justified (established as just by acquittal from guilt) by good works [that he did, then] he has grounds for boasting. But not before God!

Gal 2:16 Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God). [Ps. 143:2.]

The God I know doesn't need to send somebody around to see if I am humble. He already knows. That, I think is why he keeps giving me all these thorns. So that I can recognize that I have no power to save myself, that I can't be justified or reconciled to Him by any other means than the Cross. And that was/is a finished work.

Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

I would think He might well prefer that we glory in His works rather than our own. If your rebbe doesn't believe in Christ, he is hell bound no matter how humble he is.

linda said...

Indeed they will know us by our love.

I see no reason Pastor Wade will give a syrupy sentimental version of the gospel. He mentors and counsels on a regular basis as a pastor, I would assume. Because of that, I seriously doubt he will mistake a co-dependent type of emotional response with love.

If you are reaching out to an alcoholic, love doesn't cover over the sin, look the other way, say nothing, or pretend it doesn't exist. The same goes if you are dealing with an abuser, a drug addict, a generally nasty person, or anyone bound in slavery by any sin. To say nothing, do nothing, see nothing is to fail to help them escape to freedom. (Would we really consider it love to sit quietly by and watch someone burn their own house down around themself? That isn't love, it is cowardice at best and passive aggression at worst.)

Sadly, we seem to have extremes in Christianity today. There are those convinced that if we truly love we can never disagree with another person, or name a sin as a sin as per scripture, or hold the people we deal with accountable for their own behavior. At the other extreme, there are those that can never see the beam in their own eye but are expert mote pickers.

I believe we are called to a middle ground. On that middle ground, we don't pretend all is well when reality is all is hell. And we don't go around looking for faults and sins to pounce on.

God help us learn to be gently, but firmly, honest.

Christiane said...

Dear Ezekiel,

I see you are troubled by the old legend.
I am sorry for that.
Thanks for responding.

Love, L's

ezekiel said...

L's,

Not troubled by the old legend at all. Troubled though that you would want to encourage anyone to build their faith around works, humility and the practice of good deeds.

Of am I misreading you?

Love, Ezekeil

Christiane said...

Yes, you are.

Love, L's

ezekiel said...

L's,

You are then, willing to affirm that salvation is based on faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ?

And you affirm Romans 3:28 and Galatians 2:16. Right?

Christiane said...

Dear Ezekiel,

I belong to a very different religion than you do.

In my religion, Salvation is of Christ the Lord, the Living Word. It is the Merciful Lord Who saves us and not we ourselves.

I know my religion is very different from yours because we do not assume that anyone is cursed to hell. Instead we are called to prayerfully entrust them to the Mercy of Our Lord, Whose wisdom is far beyond our knowing.


Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...

I know my religion is very different from yours because we do not assume that anyone is cursed to hell.

Clarify, if you wouldn't mind, because this could be taken one of two ways.

Are you saying, oh let's make up a false religion here, that you wouldn't say someone who worshipped the guy who played Mr. Belvedere was going to hell because God may yet reveal Himself to that person and they turn to faith in Christ before they die? Or are you saying you can't say this Mr. Belvedere worshipper is going to hell because "Oh, I couldn't make that call. That's too far above my pay grade" and that only God can say if the man is going to hell even if he dies without Christ? Or perhaps are you saying that in worshippping Mr. Belevedere he may in fact be worshpping Christ without realizing it?

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage everyone to listen the above sermon of Pastor Wade. Below are the sermon notes.
-------------------------------------
This morning we begin a new 22 week series on just one chapter of the Bible -- I Corinthians 12. There are good reasons why we're spending the next six months studying this Bible text.

1. Love is the mark of genuine Christianity.
Jesus said by our love "all people will know" that we are His disciples (John 13:36). "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (I John 4:16).

2. Love is the most misused word in the English language.
It is misused because love has come to mean something other than God's definition. Have you used a word in conversation that means something else to other people? By the time we finish our study, we will understand what real love looks like in us.

3. Love is something that is both caught and taught.
When you see it, you know it. Love overflows our hearts when love fills our hearts. In other words, there will be times when you may get frustrated with the text (or this study), because you see how shallowly you have treated the people you say you love. It is my prayer that this study will help you see the kind of love God has for you.

Having spoken about why it is we need this study, this first lesson will simply be a look at the chapter as a whole, with our expositional study of each verse beginning next week.

I. Life is filled with problems for which the only solution is love.
Christians will sometimes say they wish we could go back to the early church days. Corinth had a society that was sexually immoral. The Temple of Aphrodite was in the city. Prostitutes filled the streets. Society as a whole was pagan and immoral. But the church also had problems. There were divisions, cliques and even lawsuits. There seemed to be real difficulty among families and in the lives of individuals. Paul writes, I will show you a still more excellent way" to live (I Corinthians 12:31).

II. Love carries a promise that is worth your unconditional trust.
After God inspires Paul to define and describe love, there is an inspired promise (v.8). "Love never fails." Three words that I hope you never ever forget. "Love never fails."

A. Love will never fail you . . .
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you wonder how to respond, when you choose to live and give love's attributes, you will not fail in life.

B. Love will never fail others . . .
There are so many things we do in our relationships that are opposite of real love. We are selfish and controlling -- we protect ourselves from hurt -- and we seek to manipulate to order our environment -- and we fool ourselves into thinking that we love others. But when we really love - - the Corinthians way -- it won't fail.

C. Love will never fail God . . .
We so often wonder how we can please God. No longer do we need to worry.


III. Living a life defined by love is having a life devoted to God.
In the coming weeks I will show you that without love, you do nothing, are nothing, and have nothing. The question we face is simply, Are we serious about our love?

-----------------------------------

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Excellent post by Paul Burleson:

VTMBottomLine > REFLECTIONS.
I'm sitting here at the key board reflecting which is nothing but a continuation of the last hour or so sitting outside doing the same. I decided to put down my dis-jointed and somewhat illogical thoughts as a post because I have little or nothing else to share at the moment. The title says it all for me and where I am right now personally.

Christiane said...

Dear THY PEACE,

Thank you for the notes. I saw the archived sermon and it was very moving. I intend to watch them all, as 1 Cor. 13 is one of those chapters that helps us to understand other parts of Scripture. It teaches us of the 'Chesed of the Lord'.


Dear JOE,

People of my religion are not supposed to 'assume' how Christ will judge anyone, including ourselves. We seek His Mercy on all of us together. I may pray for another, but I may not curse him. That is forbidden.

BTW, that comment you made a few posts ago about what you pictured L's looking like.
I don't really look anything like that cartoon character you described. (I forgive you.)

I look more like a combo of that lady elephant care-taker in the film about Tarra and Bella; and the actress Liv Ullmann (my husband says this);
and a bit like Caroline Kennedy (my daughter says this).
A real mix. Picture that! :)))))


I asked my son Joel who he thought I looked like. I loved what he said.
He said, 'You look like 'MOM'.'

He's right. I look 'LIKE MOM' :)

Love you dearly, L's

Joe Blackmon said...

I've never seen that movie actually. What's the name of it? And in that comment I said "The Impossibles" but of course you knew it was "The Incredibles" or as my daughter called it when she was 3 years old "Hee Yah". We watched that movie over and over and over again for about a month after we got it. Edna was the coolest supporting character on that film. Haa

Christiane said...

Edna was cool, you say.
This is getting better and better.
Love, L's

ezekiel said...

L's,
"I belong to a very different religion than you do."

I think that is what is really bothering me. Your religion seems to be based on works or religious rituals or good deeds.

Gal 3:10 And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them. [Deut. 27:26.]

"I know my religion is very different from yours because we do not assume that anyone is cursed to hell. Instead we are called to prayerfully entrust them to the Mercy of Our Lord, Whose wisdom is far beyond our knowing."

Why does everything have to be so unknown when He states the truth in the WORD? It would appear that the method or the knowledge of salvation has been made more than clear.

1Co 1:30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].

I think we have enough that has been made perfectly clear. The plan of salvation doesn't include your works nor mine. What you appear to be adhering to is a different Gospel. That isn't good in any sense of the word.(Gal 1:6-9)

Christiane said...

Dear EZEKIEL,

In my religion, we do not take the Bible and use it to judge our neighbor's sin.
I don't believe that is the purpose of the Holy Scriptures.

I have heard all the arguments about 'telling people they are going to hell unless . . . ' and I can't relate to those arguments at all.
I hear it said that people feel they are being 'truthful' and are doing what Christ commands, and I have tried to understand this;
but for me, the Gospel Message is not one of fear and condemnation. I could never see it that way. Not ever. It doesn't fit in with what I know of Christ.

Like I said, different religions.

Love, L's



Dear Everyone,

Here is a quote from R.Lamm that focuses on the topic:

""Charity is sparked by the demands of compassion. One cannot bear to see a person in pain or starving, so his sense of sympathy compels him to help that person.

If there were no pitiful situation, would be no compassion necessary and no charity given.

But kindness requires a broader, more sensitive heart that entails developing a 'chesed' persona -- integrating it into one's personality. In such an event, chesed (kindness like that of our God) will not be a value forthcoming only in response to sadness, but an ever-present quality which will anticipate needs, construct wholesome situations, and initiate acts of benevolence for needs undetected by others.

Thus, charity is generally judged by the recipient -- the magnitude of the pain suffered will determine the degree of assistance to relieve that pain.

Kindness, on the other hand, is to be judged by the giver --
the kind of caring that person is capable of will determine the nature and degree of the remedy."

The quote is a little bit difficult to understand, but I think it says much of value.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Joe and Ez,

I along with my good friend L's, am part of the holy catholic church.


Lovin' and waitin',

K

Chris Ryan said...

Ezekial,

A faith that values the formation of the virtue of Christ in the believer is not a false religion or a different gospel. It is simply one that takes discipleship more seriously than does the typical Southern Baptist church. It is also one which understands that discipleship encompasses far more than an intellectual assent to a set of pre-determined docrines, but that it instead encompasses all of human life and interaction.

That is not salvation by works. That is "have ye the same mind also...(Phillipians 2:5)" and "So I say live by the spirit... (Galatians 5:16, for this is as sociological as it is spiritual). It is, perhaps, even "Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice... (Matthew 9:13)"

For all of our salvation by faith, we too often lose sight that our faith has such important sociological implications. And too often, in trying to avoid the excesses of the Social Gospel-ers, we reject those implications altogether.

ezekiel said...

L's,

"I have heard all the arguments about 'telling people they are going to hell unless . . . ' and I can't relate to those arguments at all."


Joh 3:18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]

"Like I said, different religions."


Yes, and like I said, a different Gospel....

Love, Ezekiel

Tom Kelley said...

Oh no! The pod people have taken over KMC!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Is that kinda like the Obama people have taken over GMC?





Seriously? Who are the pod people? I need to know where to start sending my tithe.

ezekiel said...

Dear L's,

""I have heard all the arguments about 'telling people they are going to hell unless . . . ' and I can't relate to those arguments at all."

(ESV)Jud 1:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

(AMP)Jud 1:5 Now I want to remind you, though you were fully informed once for all, that though the Lord [at one time] delivered a people out of the land of Egypt, He subsequently destroyed those [of them] who did not believe [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him].

Heb 3:16 For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
Heb 3:17 And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?
Heb 3:18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?
Heb 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out]. [Num. 14:1-35.]

Heb 4:1 THEREFORE, WHILE the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [to distrust it], lest any of you should think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it.
Heb 4:2 For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).
Heb 4:3 For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world. [Ps. 95:11.]

I am still wondering why, if you believe in Christ as you say you do, you have such a hard time affirming basic core doctrines of our faith.

"You are then, willing to affirm that salvation is based on faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ?

And you affirm Romans 3:28 and Galatians 2:16. Right?"

ezekiel said...

Kevin, you don't seem to understand. You don't have to pay them, they pay you....

ezekiel said...

All you have to do to get the payments coming is to trust in, rely on and adhere to the United States Government and its ability to make everyone happy. Don't worry about where they get it, they can print it if they run out of it.

Christiane said...

THE AVENUE OF THE RIGHTEOUS

In the Holy Land, in the city of Jerusalem, is a place called the Avenue of the Righteous.

And here, trees are planted in memory of those who risked their own safety to save Jewish people from the Nazis. Many Christian people are honored here. If someone asks what is it that gave these Christians the heart to care for another at the risk of self?
We answer: "Christ"



St. Francis of Assisi left this written testimony of how the Lord called to him:

"The Lord granted me, Brother Francis, to begin to do penance in this way:
While I was in sin, it seemed very bitter to me to see lepers.
And the Lord, Himself, led me among them and I had mercy upon them.
And when I left them, that which seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body;
and afterward I lingered a little and left the world. "


This speaks to me of Lottie Moon, who did, at the end of her life, give up the 'things of this world', so that more of her beloved Chinese could live.

In doing this, she is a testimony of the 'Chesed' of God: that 'Loving-Kindness' that overflows all earthly boundaries in its abundance.

She gave, in a time of deadly famine, her own food to the Chinese people that she loved,
and so, after experiencing the effects of pro-longed starvation herself, this blessed Saint
'lingered a while, and left the world'
and went to be with her Lord.

Somewhere in China, there are people who descend from those Lottie fed, to keep them alive, while she went without.

Why did she give away her own food? Because she loved, with a love 'like that of our God , overflowing all earthly boundaries in its abundance.'

I hope somewhere in China, there is an Avenue of the Righteous, with a tree planted in her memory that provides shade for children and old people.
She would like that.

Pax Christi,
Love, L's

linda said...

I think some are forgetting a few things:

1. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. However, real salvation includes regeneration. Certainly a truly regenerate person will behave differently than an unregenerate person. So one can stand on faith alone without that excusing us from good works, which do not save.

2. There is a huge difference between proclaiming the truth and condemning a person to hell. Our job is to proclaim the truth that the person may avoid hell. For example, my pastor was bold Sunday in proclaiming the sins of the tongue. Now, he did NOT walk up and down the aisle, point to any individuals, and name their sins. But I know at least one listener (me) came under conviction of what needed changing. If anyone there was unsaved and guilty of those sins, I suppose they would have felt judged because Pastor showed us from scripture that those that do those sins are deserving of hell. He also clearly told us the remedy for the guilt of those and all sins.

3. It is possible to be both extremely kind and loving at the same time one is being bold. At one point in my life I was dealing with an alcoholic extended family member. The counsellor told me that most people react one of two ways--either they lose it and yell and scream and fuss at the alcoholic or they look the other way, pretend nothing is wrong, and caretake (pad the pigpen.) Neither approach shows true love. We were told that if P came home drunk, passed out by the front door in her own pool of vomit, to just step around her and go on with life. We should not call her boss and make excuses for her absence. We should not clean her up and pour her into bed. We should not clean up her mess. We should not cry and scream and fuss and condemn her. What we could do was continue to love her, set some reasonable boundaries, and hold her to them. That was her only hope of beginning to make different choices.

The same goes with Christian love. We are not to go around condemning people to hell. But we are to go around proclaiming the truth: that God says in His Word exactly what will condemn a person to hell, and exactly how to avoid that hell.

To do less under the pretense that we are just being loving and trusting Jesus IS to condemn people to hell.

I'd rather BE loving than FEEL loving anyday.

ezekiel said...

Dan Phillips is at it again. All religions lead to God

child of grace said...

Zeke:

Same religion; different understanding and application of some scriptures.

Blessings,

Gracie

Christiane said...

Hi LINDA,

When I read what you wrote here:

"But we are to go around proclaiming the truth: that God says in His Word exactly what will condemn a person to hell, and exactly how to avoid that hell."

this came to mind immediately:

From the Gospel of St. Matthew:

31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,

33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?”

40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”

41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

44 Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?”

45 Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

Linda, you are right.
He tells us.

Love, L's

ezekiel said...

Well then, that settles is. All these guys must be saved then. Right?

Redeem yourself here</a

ezekiel said...

child of grace,

Php 3:15 So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

The rest of Phillipians 3 is a good applicable read today as well.

Blessing and peace to you!

Chris Ryan said...

Ezekial,

Notice that it is a different *attitude* of mind. Not that they think different things but that they think after a different fashion.

Mind of Christ v mind of the world. Not this doctrine v that doctrine.

ezekiel said...

clild of grace,

"Same religion; different understanding and application of some scriptures."

I take it you are baptist right? Some around here have a different religion than we do.

Christiane said...

Dear EZEKIEL,

Chris belongs to the Body of Christ as I do. We are united in Christ, with Christ, and through Christ.
The 'different religion' I refer to is the 'fundamentalist' religion, which includes many faiths. I do not belong to the 'fundamentalist' religion.
Maybe there is a better way to say it. I'm truly sorry for any confusion. Love, L's

ezekiel said...

Chris Ryan,

"Notice that it is a different *attitude* of mind. Not that they think different things but that they think after a different fashion."

I don't know how you can say that considering we have folks around here that refuse to affirm the very basis of our reconciliation and justification to God.

Rom 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God). [Gen. 15:6.]
Rom 4:4 Now to a laborer, his wages are not counted as a favor or a gift, but as an obligation (something owed to him).
Rom 4:5 But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God).
Rom 4:6 Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does:

Matthew Henry's commentary on Jude was an interesting read this morning. Take a look at if if you have the chance.

linda said...

Christiane--I'm glad you brought up those verses. Who were they originally spoken to? To people trusting that their own righteous deeds were racking up brownie points with God. Those verses should make anyone depending on their own works realize they have no good deeds to depend upon.

God's Word also says, in James 5:19-20

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

So no, we should not go around like the so called Rev. Phelps being obnoxious with people, but neither should we be afraid to speak the truth in love.

Of course, it feels more pious to focus on how good I am rather than to just teach the whole counsel of scripture.

But then, that is exactly what Jesus addressed in your verses.

ezekiel said...

L's,

If you and Chris belong to the Body it would seem that you wouldn't have any disagreement with me as to how you got there.

Romans 4:3-6

Christiane said...

from PSALM 72

"All kings shall fall down before him :
and all nations do him service.
He will deliver the needy when they cry :
and the poor man that has no helper.
He will pity the helpless and the needy :
and save the lives of the poor.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence :
and their blood shall be precious in his sight."


The OT (First Testament) is filled with examples of God's Kind of Love

Jeff said...

Great blog by Dan Phillips!!!!

Jeff said...

Kevin, There you are playing with words. Did anyone bite?

The only people who are in Christ are those who have been saved by Christ. There is only one way to be saved by Christ Jesus.

Salvation is eternal and does not require works on our part.

What does Geneva have in common with Rome? Nothing!

ezekiel said...

1Ki 17:14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: The jar of meal shall not waste away or the bottle of oil fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.

You don't suppose Elijah had it all hid in his pocket do you?

Or did it happen because he said it would?

Was she still poor from a material standpoint? Did she need anything other than what the Lord provided? Or was she blessed and content?

linda said...

Christiane--yes, that is one example of God's kind of love.

But where does that say it is wrong to preach the truth?

Perhaps I misunderstand you. Are you saying that it is wrong to teach a child that lying is sin? Are you saying it is wrong for the pastor to preach through an entire book of the Bible if that book contains lists of sins or sinners, and says they will go to hell?

Are you saying that those that express God's kind of love are saved without repentance for sin and faith in Jesus Christ?

My Old Testament tells us that ALL--that means every single one--of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. My Old Testament and my New Testament both tell me that all are altogether undone in sin, that ALL are sinners and there IS NO ONE RIGHTEOUS.

So yes, you can quote lots of scripture of what a righteous person would look like and do. None of us here disagree with you on that. But we love you enough to tell you that IF you believe you are doing those thing and IF you believe you are therefore righteous and IF you believe that saves you, you believe a lie.

For God's word clearly tells us you are not doing all those things, or not righteous. You are not alone. None of us are. No one but Jesus was ever righteous.

So we continue to read those tough passages in the Bible, and to read them aloud. We continue to preach to the world that God's word says abc and xyz are sins. We continue to preach and teach that those sins make us deserving of hell. We continue to teach that our only hope of salvation is not OUR righteousness, but His, given on the cross for us.

We do this not in judgemental condemnation of others, but as breaking through the root of all sin--pride or hubris--that ALL may recognize their sinful state and turn to Him.

And while we do it, we feed the hungry, visit the sick and in prison, clothe those without clothes, provide free medical care, take care of the homeless and the orphan, etc.

But we do it out of forgiven hearts overflowing with love for Jesus. We do it simply to be obedient.

But we never ever think that makes Him somehow owe us heaven.

For at the end of the day, all we are are slaves that have done as commanded (or tried to!) There is nothing of merit there.

Please understand we do not argue that one should not be doing those good deeds in those passages that you quote. Certainly we should strive to do them!

But we should never get it in our heads that doing those deeds would be ALL that is required to be His follower.

I'm glad to know that if I were hungry you would strive to feed me. But that wouldn't matter in eternity if you fed me earthly food but did not share the Bread of Life with me.

Salvation requires repentance and faith. I cannot repent of sin if I am ignorant of it.

So plain and simple, doing good to our fellow man means BOTH doing the ones that feel good (feeding, caring for, clothing) AND the ones that hurt (exhorting, preaching, even rebuking.)

greg.w.h said...

Wade:

If you and your readers haven't seen this op-ed by Cal Thomas, I think you'll appreciate the point he's making (and also believe it is very relevant to the topic of your post.) It's called Judgment vs. Judgmentalism.

Greg Harvey

Lydia said...

Linda,

Beautiful comments!

Thanks for glorifying Him and His work. Not ours.

Christiane said...

SHARING

From the Orthodox Pre-Lenten Preparation comes insight into how the Orthodox see the relationship between God's love and ourselves and one another:


"On the past two Sundays of this pre-Lenten period, the focus was placed on God’s patience and limitless compassion, of His readiness to accept every sinner who returns to Him. On this third Sunday, we are powerfully reminded of a complementary truth: no one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. The God of love is also a God of righteousness, and when Christ comes again in glory, He will come as our Judge. Such is the message of Lent to each of us: turn back while there is still time, repent before the End comes.

This Sunday sets before us the eschatological dimension of Lent: the Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior, for the eternal Passover in the Age to Come, a theme that is also the focus of the first three days of Holy Week. But the judgment is not only in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts toward others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, we are already passing judgment on ourselves.

Another theme of this Sunday is that of love. When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? The parable of the Last Judgment answers: love—not a mere humanitarian concern for abstract justice and the anonymous “poor,” but concrete and personal love for the human person—the specific persons that we encounter each day in our lives.

Christian love is the “possible impossibility” to see Christ in another person, whoever he or she is, and whom God, in His eternal and mysterious plan, has decided to introduce into my life, be it only for a few moments, not as an occasion for a “good deed” or an exercise in philanthropy, but as the beginning of an eternal companionship in God Himself.

The parable of the Last Judgment is about Christian love. Not all of us are called to work for “humanity,” yet each one of us has received the gift and the grace of Christ’s love. We know that all persons ultimately need this personal love—the recognition in them of their unique soul in which the beauty of the whole creation is reflected in a unique way. We also know that people are in prison and are sick and thirsty and hungry because that personal love has been denied them. And, finally, we know that however narrow and limited the framework of our personal existence, each one of us has been made responsible for a tiny part of the Kingdom of God, made responsible by that very gift of Christ’s love. Thus, on whether or not we have accepted this responsibility, on whether we have loved or refused to love, shall we be judged."

child of grace said...

Zeke:

Although I currently serve and worship in an SBC church I claim allegiance only to Christ.

As far as I can tell so does everyone else in this comment stream. -If there's a "different religion" here I am not seeing it.

-Gracie

Chris Ryan said...

Jeff,
There are a lot of us who would say Geneva has a great deal in common with Rome. Murdered people who disagreed with established dogma. Highly authoritarian with one person (Calvin or the Pope) at the top. Both are really fond of the baby baptism thing. Calvin was actually still very sacramental in his understandings of the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Not saying whether any of that is good or bad, just that it is different even than typical Baptist understandings of the same issues.

Your question is misguided because you ask us to compare the best of Reformed tradition (ignoring its flaws) with the worst of Roman Catholic tradition (ignoring its successes). That is entirely unbalanced and unfair to both sides of the equation.

If you want to compare the best of both traditions, an entirely different picture will emerge.


Ezekial,
I can agree with you that I am right by God through Christ. L's has articulated that more than once. But then everybody gets stuck on the fact that she takes just as seriously the obligations of the cross as she does the salvation it offers. That, it seems to me, is your real problem with Roman Catholicism.

ezekiel said...

Chris Ryan,

My problem with Roman Catholicism is the one that I have been stating over and over most of the day. Refusal to openly affirm Romans 4:3-6

If you track that and many other scriptures back to Gen 15 where righteousness was imputed to Abraham because of his belief/faith,

Gen 15:6 And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God). [Rom. 4:3, 18-22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23.]

Then take that into Romans 5 and look at the righteousness we have,

Rom 5:1 THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Rom 5:2 Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

Then look at the reinforcement in,

Rom 5:9 Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ's blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.
Rom 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin's dominion) through His [resurrection] life.
Rom 5:11 Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation. [Jer. 9:24.]

Then look at how it happened. No one here probably has a problem understanding original sin from Adam, but what we have now is so much greater that it can't even be compared.

Rom 5:15 But God's free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man's falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God's grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.
Rom 5:16 Nor is the free gift at all to be compared to the effect of that one [man's] sin. For the sentence [following the trespass] of one [man] brought condemnation, whereas the free gift [following] many transgressions brings justification (an act of righteousness).
Rom 5:17 For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Rom 5:18 Well then, as one man's trespass [one man's false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man's act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.


This simply has to be the bedrock of our faith. Christ, The Cornerstone. We can build on that in whatever way the Spirit leads us but if we don't start with the foundation, our works are dead works and meaningless.

ezekiel said...

Now having said all that, here is what I see. Compare L's religion to the Gospel, the good news. You can even go so far as add a good many of us bible thumping Baptist to the list as well. She/we appear to stumble at the very thing that Israel did and still does.

Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles who did not follow after righteousness [who did not seek salvation by right relationship to God] have attained it by faith [a righteousness imputed by God, based on and produced by faith],
Rom 9:31 Whereas Israel, though ever in pursuit of a law [for the securing] of righteousness (right standing with God), actually did not succeed in fulfilling the Law. [Isa. 51:1.]
Rom 9:32 For what reason? Because [they pursued it] not through faith, relying [instead] on the merit of their works [they did not depend on faith but on what they could do]. They have stumbled over the Stumbling Stone. [Isa. 8:14; 28:16.]

Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone that will make men stumble, a Rock that will make them fall; but he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall not be put to shame nor be disappointed in his expectations. [Isa. 28:16.]

L's, as evidenced by her quotings appears to be convinced that she does her works so that she can avoid judgement.

"Thus, on whether or not we have accepted this responsibility, on whether we have loved or refused to love, shall we be judged."

"This Sunday sets before us the eschatological dimension of Lent: the Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior, for the eternal Passover in the Age to Come, a theme that is also the focus of the first three days of Holy Week. But the judgment is not only in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts toward others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, we are already passing judgment on ourselves."

Have you stepped back, read that and then tried to reconcile it with Romans 8:1-10?

Rom 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.]

How do you make that fit with John 3:18?

Joh 3:18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]

ezekiel said...

So I will close with this. Israel couldn't work their way into heaven in the past and they can't do it today either. No matter how good a person is, how much they love, how much they help the poor or fulfill whatever list of moral obligations that they wish to follow it still doesn't save them.

That is a work done only by Christ and it is a completed work. It was completed on the Cross and when He rose from the grave.

Rom 8:30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

See also

Moreover: Rom_8:28, Rom_1:6, Rom_9:23-24; Isa_41:9; 1Co_1:2, 1Co_1:9; Eph_4:4; Heb_9:15; 1Pe_2:9; 2Pe_1:10; Rev_17:14, Rev_19:9
he called: Rom_3:22-26; 1Co_6:11; Tit_3:4-7
he justified: Rom_8:1, Rom_8:17-18, Rom_8:33-35, Rom_5:8-10; Joh_5:24, Joh_6:39-40, Joh_17:22, Joh_17:24; 2Co_4:17; Eph_2:6; Col_3:4; 1Th_2:12; 2Th_1:10-12, 2Th_2:13-14; 2Ti_2:11; Heb_9:15; 1Pe_3:9, 1Pe_4:13-14, 1Pe_5:10

Isn't it clear that it is by the Blood of Christ we are aquitted and saved from His indignation and wrath? Not our works?

Rom 5:9 Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ's blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

ezekiel said...

Chris Ryan,

One other thing though, can you give me some scriptural back ground for "obligations of the cross"?

Christiane said...

" IF I HAVE ALL FAITH, BUT DO NOT HAVE LOVE, I AM NOTHING"


Come Holy Spirit and enlighten the hearts of your faithful,
and enkindle in them
the fire of Divine Love


1 Corinthians 13:1-13
The Gift of Love

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.

For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."


Pax Christi,
L's

ezekiel said...

child of grace,

"As far as I can tell so does everyone else in this comment stream. -If there's a "different religion" here I am not seeing it."

Can you see it now?

Chris Ryan said...

Ezekial,

Can't you see how some of you brackets actually make you misread the text? Let me start with what was most obvious to me.

You write:
Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles who did not follow after righteousness [who did not seek salvation by right relationship to God] have attained it by faith [a righteousness imputed by God, based on and produced by faith],
Rom 9:31 Whereas Israel, though ever in pursuit of a law [for the securing] of righteousness (right standing with God), actually did not succeed in fulfilling the Law. [Isa. 51:1.]


Your first bracket, as best I can tell, is your restatement of Paul. Your second bracket assumes a Reformed reading of the text which NT Wright has effectively brought into question, but it remains a historical reading even if I don't think a valid one.

Your third bracket is eisegesis of the worst sort. "A law [for the attaining of] righteousness."!!! The text clearly says a law of righteousness. They sought Torah. They sought zealously to faith-fully follow the words of *God* revealed to them. They were not seeking to attain righteousness by law, but to follow the righteous law, God's Word! The irony for Paul is that they followed a righteous law and thereby missed righteousness.

The difference is subtle, but so important. In one, yours, we arrive at a position which absolves faith from any process of seeking and even of obedience. In mine, it is clear that the law is rightous but how it was carried out was not. The key to a proper interpretation of the law was Christ. The stumbling block. Absent from Christ, the law was impossible to decipher correctly. Paul is building irony, not condemnation with this passage. Thus the beginning to chapter 10: zealous for God, but knowledge is absent.

Most Jews of the first century (because saying "all" would be an absolute and absolutes are bad) wouldn't have said they were saved by obedience. They would have fully acknowledged that they were saved by grace: they had a sacrifice system like ours. God had covenanted with their community (the Biblical meaning of election) , just like with the church. The difference was one thing only: Christ as the means of grace. At the time of Christ, Judaism was not an ethic as it is often thought of today. That transition didn't happen until after the fall of the temple in 70 CE and the rise of rabbinic Judaism in the 150-200's CE. You are reading a later Jewish context into Paul's writing and that is hindering a solid exegesis. That's okay, you're in good company: Calvin and Luther did too.

But you are also reading into this text lots of little "Reformed" additions. And by so doing you are not allowing the text to simply say what it says. I picked on the most obvious, but there are others.

Chris Ryan said...

As to the point of "obligations of the cross," I realize that the phrase itself is not Biblical. I speak only of the sociological implications that the cross makes upon us once we are hidden in its shadows. I can appeal to the activity of the early church in Acts for support that these disciples understood that life had to be done differently because Jesus was Lord. The hermeneutic I have found most helpful in understanding the Sermon on the Mount is that of "God reigns" and thus life looks different because of that fact, even to the point that the unblessable are blessed. Repeatedly Paul affirms churches for taking care of the poor, visiting the sick and imprisoned, etc. all of which are incredibly counter-cultural (and in the case of visiting prisoners, polically subversive and dangerous). Those activities sound so pastoral to us because we do not realize the 1st century social and theological assumptions such activity blatently defied.

I can appeal to the book of James (Luther's "epistle of straw"). Even to Revelations 2:46 where Jesus calls the church in Ephesus to love as it did at first. Or how about that uncomfortable saying in Revelation 2:23 where Jesus tells the church in Thyatira, "Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." Certainly that last one makes it clear that if our hearts and minds are right, our deeds will reveal it so that Christ can judge us even by those deeds.

Sorry for the essay, but you gave me a lot of material to work with.

ezekiel said...

Chris Ryan,

Well, to start with, those aren't my brackets. You can find the text in the amplified bible. If you have problems with the brackets then you apparently have problems with the amplified bible. I sort of like it.

"Your third bracket is eisegesis of the worst sort. "A law [for the attaining of] righteousness."!!! The text clearly says a law of righteousness. They sought Torah. They sought zealously to faith-fully follow the words of *God* revealed to them. They were not seeking to attain righteousness by law, but to follow the righteous law, God's Word! The irony for Paul is that they followed a righteous law and thereby missed righteousness."

The goal for any Jew including Paul was right standing with God. Righteousness. You have an entire OT where no one in the whole thing was ever made righteous by following the righteous law. Until Christ fulfilled it. Today, churches are full of folks desiring the same righteousness, the same right standing and trying to get it by performing the works of the law. We can't do it any better than Israel did in the OT.

That is what makes Paul's teachings so difficult to understand. Today, L's and apparently you have the same argument that the Judaizers had with Paul and they dogged him throughout his ministry. Some things never change. I, like Paul have never said that the law wasn't righteous and that we are not to uphold the law. But a ministry that focuses on the works of the law is a ministry of death.

Paul ministry was one of reconciliation and that to God through the blood of the Cross.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
2Co 5:18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
2Co 5:19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
2Co 5:20 So we are Christ's ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ's personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

I have to stop there, short on time this morning. Thanks for your reply. Keep studying, he will show it to you.(Php 3:15)

ezekiel said...

Chris Ryan,

Ok, just one more shot here then busy the rest of the day. James always comes up in these discussion as it should. If you go back and read all the comments, I don't think you will find anywhere stated that I don't see any need for works or that I don't have any respect for works or anything remotely close to that.

However, I have certainly defended the atoning work of our Savior from any tool marks made by man. I will continue to do so. Salvation is all a work of Jesus and only a work of Jesus. A completed work.

Here is what Spurgeon has to say about it. Keep your tools off my Savior's work.

July 14

Morning
“If thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.”
- Exo_20:25
God’s altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace of human skill or labour might be seen upon it. Human wisdom delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved tastes of fallen nature; instead, however, of improving the gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not the truth of God at all. All alterations and amendments of the Lord’s own Word are defilements and pollutions. The proud heart of man is very anxious to have a hand in the justification of the soul before God; preparations for Christ are dreamed of, humblings and repentings are trusted in, good works are cried up, natural ability is much vaunted, and by all means the attempt is made to lift up human tools upon the divine altar. It were well if sinners would remember that so far from perfecting the Saviour’s work, their carnal confidences only pollute and dishonour it. The Lord alone must be exalted in the work of atonement, and not a single mark of man’s chisel or hammer will be endured. There is an inherent blasphemy in seeking to add to what Christ Jesus in His dying moments declared to be finished, or to improve that in which the Lord Jehovah finds perfect satisfaction. Trembling sinner, away with thy tools, and fall upon thy knees in humble supplication; and accept the Lord Jesus to be the altar of thine atonement, and rest in him alone.
Many professors may take warning from this morning’s text as to the doctrines which they believe. There is among Christians far too much inclination to square and reconcile the truths of revelation; this is a form of irreverence and unbelief, let us strive against it, and receive truth as we find it; rejoicing that the doctrines of the Word are unhewn stones, and so are all the more fit to build an altar for the Lord.

Chris Ryan said...

Ezekial,

I guess my problem is with the Amplified Bible and any other Bible prone to eisegesis. I've got no problem with more dynamic translations, but when they are constantly adding in to support one particular theological perspective (making those who use it unfamiliar with any reasons the other side would have a foot to stand on), I have a beef with that. All translation requires interpretation. All translation does not require such a blatent agenda.

And you are still not getting NT era Judaism so you are creating a strawman for Jesus and Paul to fight against. You wrote, "The goal for any Jew including Paul was right standing with God. Righteousness." But that is incorrect (in nearly every case). Righteousness was not a *goal* but it was assumed a reality by virtue of God's covenanted election and sacrificial grace. The same understanding of righteousness as Christians: except for Christ as its mediator. That is a huge difference, but that is Paul's major concern not some legalism that we are so fond of accusing NT Jews of having. That legalism does not arrise (en masse) until well after the time of Christ. I'm not saying that I agree with the Jewish perspective, but you and the entire Reformed tradition are fighting a phantom Judaism. When you realize what Jews of Jesus' day actually thought you read the texts entirely different.

Nobody is arguing that righteousness comes by obeying the law or by good works. Only that the "Make them see their sinners and that only Christ can save them (which is entirely the opposite of the way Christ evangelized)," stuff only goes halfway. There are implications of salvation and righteousness. Hebrews 11 makes that clear: by *faith* they *did*... Say that you are defending Christ all you want. Personally, I think that when you add to His word your perspective (ie Amplified Bible) and decry as heretics ("another religion") those who preach the whole biblical message and not just the part that demands nothing of us then you are doing more harm than good for Christ. Some of us just want to faith-fully follow the whole Biblical picture.

ezekiel said...

Chris,

"But that is incorrect (in nearly every case). Righteousness was not a *goal* but it was assumed a reality by virtue of God's covenanted election and sacrificial grace."

I don't know where you are coming up with this stuff but if you are reading it in books of other men's doctrine or getting it from professors teaching their doctrine then I would suggest you put them down, get out of the class and simply spend a couple of years reading the bible, any translation you like from cover to cover, over and over again. Save yourself. Flee from them.

You have given me a load of stuff here and I don't have the time to expose all the error so please be satisfied with this one and apply it to all the rest of the junk.

Josiah isn't BTW the only account or the only king that this particular revelation happend to. It happened every time Israel turned back to God from their apostacy.

Josiah wasn't assuming any righteousness here. Based on any covenant or election. In fact, just the opposite, he more than likely had just read Deuteronomy 28. He knew that they were about as far from righteous as they could get. That is why he tore his clothes. His reaction should tell you what you need to know. He set about immediately trying to restore his kingdoms righteousness (right standing with God) by observing every work of the law.

2Ki 22:11 And when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he rent his clothes.
2Ki 22:12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah servant of the king,
2Ki 22:13 Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us because our fathers have not listened and obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.

We can continue this if you wish. But so far, from what you write, you have a serious lack of knowledge regarding the OT and the law. You can fix that by reading and rereading it until you really understand it. When you get a better grip on that, you will begin to understand the NT better and what adctually happened on the Cross and what it means to us today.

As to the various translations, Greek and Hebrew languages...if you will seek, you will find. He will show it to you. In whatever translation you are reading at the time.

When you can tell me that you have read through the bible in NASB, ESV, King James and Amplified, lets get back together and discuss your qualifications for properly exegeting the errors out of the Amplified.

If you want to keep this going, please provide scriptural references. I don't put any faith in a lot of the stuff floating around out there today, starting with Grudem. Show me what you are saying by backing it with scripture. Thanks

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

In reading the NT, I often think about the phrase in Romans that calls for 'obedience of faith' and also in Timothy, I read that conscience must be followed unless we make a 'shipwreck' of our faith.

Seems to me, that an informed conscience, with respect to the teachings and examples of Our Lord, and with respect to the present situation we are in, and under the sought Guidance of the Holy Spirit, MUST be obeyed,
and may not be interfered with by others who would deny the person the right to obey that conscience.

I would imagine that those who are not trained in the formation of their Christian 'conscience' as a guide to obedience to the Will of Christ in their lives,
must find it more difficult to look at the world around them and see the people in it with compassion.
I find this very sad.
I think it leads to behaviors towards others that are guided by the darker forces of our nature.

So it is that sometimes we see in another that which we do not see in ourselves. The "other" becomes an object of contempt and is sometimes treated poorly, rudely, without respect, and with open intent to abuse. The more we see ourselves as 'justified' in doing this, the more abusive will be our behavior towards the 'other'.
Only Christ can change this pattern. Only He can quiet the waters of the rage inside the one who is condemning and abusive, and lead him into the peaceful Ways of the Lord, where they can no longer make a 'shipwreck' of their faith.
Love, L's

ezekiel said...

L's,

Thanks for the warning.

Here are all the scriptural references to go with the verse that so concerns you. It should.

1Ti 1:19 -
Holding: 1Ti_1:5, 1Ti_3:9; Tit_1:9; Heb_3:14; 1Pe_3:15-16; Rev_3:3, Rev_3:8, Rev_3:10
which: Phi_3:18-19; 2Ti_3:1-6; 2Pe_2:1-3, 2Pe_2:12-22; Jud_1:10-13
concerning: 1Ti_4:1-2; 1Co_11:19; Gal_1:6-8, Gal_5:4; 2Ti_4:4; Heb_6:4-6; 1Jo_2:19
made: 1Ti_6:9; Mat_6:27

Of particular interest shoud be "minds set on earthly things" Phil 3:18-19 and

Gal 5:4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God's gracious favor and unmerited blessing).

And:

Gal 1:6 I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel.
Gal 1:7 Not that there is [or could be] any other [genuine Gospel], but there are [obviously] some who are troubling and disturbing and bewildering you [with a different kind of teaching which they offer as a gospel] and want to pervert and distort the Gospel of Christ (the Messiah) [into something which it absolutely is not].
Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!

Now what I have been preaching is justification apart from works of the law. Atonement for sin by the blood of Jesus and no other sacrifice.

So if I am wrong, then I am sure that God has the power to work in my conscience to bring about my repentance. It worked for Paul, I am sure it will work for me.

Can we agree though, that if it is not I that err then the same power can work in you?

When you look at what you said in your last comment, it like most of the rest of what you say has elements of truth and error. I guess that can be said for a lot of us. However, I believe the bible and what it says. You on the other hand refuse to acknowledge pretty good chuncks of it.
I can affirm James but you can't affirm Paul. Ever wonder why?

Are you willing to affirm Romans 4:3-6 today?

ezekiel said...

L's,

I would also add that when we discuss conscience and the ability of the Spirit to work on it, we have to recognize that there are seducing spirits working in the world as well.

When in doubt as to what we are hearing, we find confirmation in the Word. It clearly says justification and reconciliation is seperate from works.

It also says that all things are legal, just not profitable.

1Co 6:12 Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.

If you are a slave of your works, then repentence would seem to be in order.

You are doing a great job taking your faith to the by ways and highways, even here. Don't condemn me for taking my faith to the same places.

Like I said, your last comment had elements that I can agree with.

Love, Ezekiel

Christiane said...

Dear Ezekiel,

The people of my faith affirm the Eternal Word. I am a woman of my faith. I see no problem with the whole of Scripture which, when taken as a whole, affirms the Living Word, the Lord Christ, and this is true of my Church also.
I think it was one of our councils that incorporated the Book containing Scriptures you quote into the Canon of the New Testament. Have you ever studied the history of the Christian people prior to the Reformation?
If you had, then you would be familiar with the Councils and the formation of the Canon.

I hope this helps: You might want to give thought to how Christ the Lord commanded people to care for one another. In my faith, we are obligated to obey the Commands of Christ, if we believe in Him. I think He asked those of us who love Him to keep His Commandments.

Be peaceful,

Love, L's

Christiane said...

Dear Ezekiel,

I think we posted at the same time, so I didn't read your last comment.

I would never want you to not speak for Christ and 'take His Message to the highways and by-ways', but on your journey, remember how compassionate HE was towards the Doubting Thomas and towards the one who said, "Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief."

Use HIM as an example for how you relate to others, and do not condemn them to hell. Like the verse in 1 Cor. 13, 'love never fails.' Condemnation always fails.

Love you dearly, L's

ezekiel said...

L's,

Ok, I take your last comment as being an affirmation of Romans 4:3-6 and Galatians. That is great!

And I can understand how you might still be smarting after the whole Martin Luther thing. I will give your faith a little credit for putting it together if you will give my faith a little for being able to read it. :)

Sorry about that, just feeling my vittles there a little. Contemplating some of our discussion over corn bread, beans, cabbage, fried okra and sliced tomatoes (no meat lest I offend a weaker brother) leaves me with this observation.

"So it is that sometimes we see in another that which we do not see in ourselves. The "other" becomes an object of contempt and is sometimes treated poorly, rudely, without respect, and with open intent to abuse."

Is it me or do you as well get offended when someone else tells me/you what we have to believe? I would think that we can see where this applies in our religion and faith, can you see how it then becomes so offensive when a political party is used to legislate their religion and belief system. I guess that is the reason we have seperation of church and state, huh?

That, I think is what is so offensive about the hue and cry for social programs and welfare. Polls show we are pretty well evenly divided today. One legislating works and the other freedom. I can't have my freedom if I have to pay for your works. So you force me to pay for them in the voting booth.

I can't see that working out too well in the future. Unity it would seem, will be even more elusive there than it is here.

ezekiel said...

L's,

By the way, what ever does this mean and what scripture does it come from?

"do not condemn them to hell"

The last time I read it, anyone not believing in Christ as Lord and Savior was condemned already. After that any believing in Christ is saved and then "who will condemn"? (Romans 8:34)

Please do tell your church that I really appreciate the book of Romans. I have spen the last couple of months there in several translations and they all are just fantastic!

PS...the watermellon and the peanut brittle were great to! (For Lunch)

Love, Ezekiel

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Dear EZEKIEL,

That quote about seeing in others what we do not see in ourselves, applies to me, too.
I am as guilty as the next one and in as much need of Christ's loving care as anyone.

But He can help. He has and He does. I know this to be true.

I have been reading over that post that was about Health Care. I realize now that I thought I was 'listening' to what others were saying, and I honestly tried to do that, but some of my remarks were NOT considerate of the feelings of others. I am ashamed of that. Maybe it happened because I wanted so badly to fight for those who don't have help, and I couldn't understand why others didn't 'see it my way'. So, yes, I too, am very vulnerable and need the Lord's healing so that I may not be unkind to others, as I am capable of being.

In your kindness, Ezekiel, please pray for me.
Love, L's

P.S. I am worried too, about the divisions in our country. But I know our people have good hearts and I know we will find a way to help the ones who suffer.
I know this.

Wed Sep 02, 05:03:00 PM 2009


PPS. Your last comment concerns aomething very important.
Since we are all sinners, none of us has the ability to see clearly as we will someday, in the Presence of the Lord, as we have been promised. We cannot see into the hearts of others or understand their pain, or what brought them to where they are. Only the Lord can do this. Only He can understand what we cannot know. Sometimes, we hear those who 'speak in love' but all we hear is the condemnation. We need to hear the love. That tells the other person that they are more important to us and to the Lord than anything else. Christ would want them to know that, I think.

Love, L's

Chris Ryan said...

Will you settle for having read it in NIV, NASV, TEV, and KJV (and some of the NT in Greek)?

But good job with the anti-intellectualism so prevelant in SBC life. If it's in a book, then it must be wrong, right? Unless that book is by Calvin... and then we can put his words right into the Bible itself (ie. The Amplified Bible).

Furthermore, simply reading the OT over and over can only take you so far. Inevitably, you begin to read the OT as though those who wrote it and those who first read it thought just like you! You don't know the social customs or worldview which shaped the originals, so the meanings and significance of several texts is lost. You don't know the historical background which the book may or may not implicitely be interacting with. Above all, there is so little Exilic and Post-Exilic work in the OT, that to really know how Jews thoughts about their faith and themselves developed between the OT and the NT is absolutely impossible. There are hundreds of years between the two testaments, yet you ask me to read them as though the last prophet died the day Jesus was born! That is foolishness.

You can get a lot, you can get enough for salvation to be a reality that you understand as well as participate in, from just reading the Bible. But if you want to truly understand it, there are whole worlds of scholarship out there you have to engage yourself with. No truly great preacher, that I am aware of, ever existed whose study time consisted only of an open Bible in front of him or her. It consisted primarly of an open Bible, but other sources were consulted to ensure the preacher was not going too far off with their interpretation and application.

You can quote the OT, and reading the OT is very useful for understanding and practicing our faith (especially the prophetic tradition). But the FACT of the matter is that the NT Judaism which Jesus and Paul were responding to is an entirely different monster than the way it was done in the OT before and the way it would be done in Rabbinic traditions after. If you want to understand Paul's and Jesus's interactions with their contemporaries you read them not in light of the OT but in light of their contemporaries and how each are appropriating the OT differently. In fact, Jesus in Matthew is often calling people back to the law! But the way that law is practiced is done differently (more after the fashion of the prophets) because its key is Christ.

You may think that I am woefully ignorant of the OT. In truth, I probably am even despite two years where my study and quite times were devoted exclusively to the OT. But I think that you are quite misled on how to read the new. And that is me talking, not my professors. You are right not to automatically trust, but that does not mean you should not read and engage both ancient and current scholarship.

But it is good to know you disapprove of Grudem. That is always good to hear.

ezekiel said...

Well Chris, if I am reading it wrong, I have some pretty impressive company.....


here

here

here

here

here

ezekiel said...

Chris Ryan,

One of the links provided was monergism.com

I haven't previously read anything there but I now intend to make it regular reading. You may want to as well.

I run a cross a absolute treasure chest full of information concerning justification this morning and just want to share it with all. Hope you can spend some time there and absorb some of the teaching.

Justification

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