Thursday, January 19, 2012

The At-One-Ment: The Heart of the Gospel

In 1525 Englishman William Tyndale (1494-1536) began working on the first English translation of the Bible from the Hebrew and Greek scriptures. John Wycliffe (1328-1384) who lived almost two centuries prior to Tyndale, is often considered the father of the English Bible, but Wycliffe had only translated the Latin Vulgate into English. The Wycliffe Bible was highly Latinized and contained many Roman Catholic superstitions that Tyndale sought to correct. Tyndale took the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and faithfully translated the Word of God into the common English of his day, avoiding Latin and high church phraseology.

Tyndale, the consumate scholar, worked hard to precisely translate the Bible into English. Hebrew and Greek words are much more precise than their English counterparts. For example, one single Hebrew root word kippur and its Greek equivalents katallagee (katallagh) and hilasteerion (ilasthrion) have been translated in our modern English Bibles as pardon, grace, mercy, reconciliation, satisfaction, propitiation, ransom, etc.... Tyndale wished to be as precise as possible in his translation, so he coined (created) a new English word to translate kippur, katallagee and hilasteerion--the word atonement. Let me say that again: William Tyndale coined the word "atonement." If you ever hear a debate about "the doctrine of the atonement," you need to understand what is being debated; it is pardon, grace, mercy, reconciliation, satisfaction, ransom, propitiation, etc... that is being debated, because everyone of these English words translates the same Hebrew and Greek words for which Tyndale created the word "atonement."

At-one-ment. The last portion of the word, the suffix 'ment,' means "the result of a process." In Tyndale's understanding of the Bible, the result of the process of Christ's death on the cross is God and sinners  are at "at-one." Tyndale understood  that the words kippur and hilasterion pointed to God’s initiative in reconciling sinners unto Himself.  Tyndale believed deeply that holy Scripture was preeminently concerned with how a sinner becomes fully accepted by God and thus becomes one with God. Tyndale saw this atonement process as God's work alone. Tyndale believed the Scriptures to teach, rightfully so, that Christ’s death is the event God has chosen whereby sinners receive full acceptance from Him; it is the at-one-ment. Tyndale has a great deal of company in his orthodox views of the death of Christ. William Romanine puts it like this:

“There is no salvation without righteousness, and it is of the Lord’s free grace that he (the sinner) is received as righteous, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to him by faith. Christ’s righteousness can be made ours only by imputation. As our sins were actually imputed to Christ, so His righteousness is actually imputed to us. The Lord laid upon Him the iniquity of us all, and therefore He was wounded for our transgressions, and was bruised for our iniquities. As He thus took our sins upon Himself, so we by faith take His righteousness upon us, and by it are saved" (The Whole Works of the Late Reverend William Romaine A. M., London, 1837, p. 789).

In summary, the cross is God's initiative in bringing sinners into His full acceptance. There is no love of God without the cross of Christ. There is no blessing of God apart from the death of Christ. There is no gospel without the cross. It is in the death of Christ that the mercy and grace of God meet the sin and failure of man and God demonstrates that "He is just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). God makes sinners 'at-one' with Himself in full acceptance of those sinners through the 'ment' of Christ's death. In the next post I will show that Christians can and do disagree over the extent of the atonement. However, it is clear from Scripture that the sinner who denies that reconcilation with God comes through the death of Jesus Christ is spitting in the face of grace and imperiling his or her soul. You may be religious and deny the at-one-ment, but you are without God's favor if you do. Logically you may say God will love me "no matter what," but revelation declares, "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry." To the world this gospel is foolish, but for those of us who are being saved it is the power of God to deliver us from our condemned state (Romans 1:16). The cross is the heart of the gospel and the essence of Christian faith, and without it there no reconciliation with God.


Rex Ray said...

I copied this from the first page of the Living Bible.

From Wm. Tyndale’s Prologue to the first printed English New Testament published in 1525:

I have here translated, brethren and sisters most dear and tenderly beloved in Christ, the New Testament for your spiritual edifying, consolation and solace, exhortynge instantly and besechynge those that are better sene in the tongues than I, and that have higher gifts of grace to interpret the sense of Scripture, and meaning of the Spirit, than I, to consider and ponder my labor, and that with the spirit of meekness. And if they perceive in any places that I have not attained the very sense of the tongue, or meaning of the Scripture, or have not given the right English word, that they put to their hands to amend it, remembering that so is their duty to do. For we have not received the gifts of God for ourselves only, or for to hide them; but for to bestow them unto the honoring of God and Christ and edifying of the congregation, which is the body of Christ.

Steven Stark said...

I realize that we operate from different premises concerning scripture, so I don't wish at this time to discuss how correct or incorrect Scripture is or to discuss the many different Christian interpretations.

Rather I just want to question the idea of whether the concept of God presented here, a God who would create an everlasting hell for his creation, is good or not.

No person thinks that an "everyday" person, one who is imperfect but also does much good, deserves to be forever imprisoned. Look at your neighbor. Should she be imprisoned forever? Do you really think so in your conscience?

Yet we say that God demands this. Why? The most obvious reason would be to say that it is because God is evil. Yet the reasoning here suggests it is because God is so good.

But God is only good if He does good. Imprisoning people forever would be evil according to any human sense of goodness. And, very important, the human sense of goodness is the only one we have access to. All theology is based on it. We call it natural law at times.

I just ask that we judge our concepts of God according to how we judge ourselves and others. If we do not, then our judgements are meaningless.

It's one thing to believe that God casts his creation into everlasting prison. It's another thing to call it "good".

I wish all the best to the very good (no quotes) people here! Steven

Rex Ray said...

This Catholic priest, Matthew Newsome, said Tyndale was not condemned for translating the Bible into English but because of his contempt for the Catholic Church he did not write an accurate translation of Scripture.

Tyndale was first tried for heresy in 1522, three years before his translation of the New Testament. (Tyndale was burned at the stake in 1536.)

Wade, how much difference is there in Tyndale’s translation and our translations today? Did Tyndale let his ‘anger against Catholics influence his translation?

BTW, some years back your post or comments on your post said the real meaning of (Genesis 3:16 KJ) “…and thy desire shall be to thy husband…”

Was what the NLT says: “…And you will desire to control your husband…”

Pege' said...

Wade, Such a beautiful, pregnant word, ATONEMENT. It is all about Christ! Why do we allow ourselves to be distracted by myopic issues meaningless discussions. The Atonement is so important to ponder, study and understand. I believe many of the struggles 21st century Christians have would go away if they had even a small taste of this teaching and digested all they could of it.
Jesus, Jesus , Jesus, there is something about that name. Kings and kingdoms will all pass away but there is something about His name.Christ made me one with the Father and at peace with the Father. WOW.... what a gift, what a savior.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Like it mentions that the road to death is wide and the road to life is narrow. (matt. 13-14)

"It's everything You've promised
There's no greater love than this
From prophets until today
A man laying down His life for His friends
Your sacrifice has spoken,
You gave everything
And “I love you” could not be said A better way"

T. said...


That is good stuff.

:) said...


You write, "We operate from different premises concerning scripture." We do. For this reason, any answer I give you to the following question will be unsatisfactory to you because it will be based on the revelation of Scripture. While I personally believe Scripture is logical to the nth degree, I fully recognize I have friends (including you) who do not. We wind up disagreeing because of our view of revelation. I see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. I see the at-one-ment of God in the work of Jesus Christ. I see my soul's only hope of reconciliation with God in the grace displayed at Calvary. I freely admit that the gospel I declare is dependent revelation--power to me but foolish to some.

Now to your question:

"The concept of God presented here, a God who would create an everlasting hell for his creation, is it good or not?"

Answer: Yes!

Caveat: The hell that Jesus referred to as "the day of wrath" is NOT the hell you imagine or the one that Dante wrote about. The biblical "hell" (gehenna in Greek, Sheol in Hebrew) is not a place of sado-masochistic torture. Far from it. Hell is the full expression of the righteous fury of God toward sin, and that "wrath of God" is ALWAYS good, always RIGHT, always proportional to sin. Gehenna or sheol is not active torture--it is inentional abandonment.

God withdraws His presence. God withdraws His goodness. God withdraws relationships. The sinner is isolated and alone. Left to himself to contemplate how he wasted his life by hating everything God called good.

How long does this abandonment last? Obviously, Christians disagree. It is without doubt, however, that whatever sentence is given, those who receive it will be unable to accuse God of being unjust.


Hell is good because hell is of God and it is a righteous place.

Think of a world where murderers are not isolated from society. Think of a world where child rapists are free to roam among children. Think of a world where robbers and thieves break in to your home anytime they want to take from you.

Is it not good for liars, thieves, murderers, adulterers, rapists, child molesters, etc... to be isolated from the world?

Of course it is.

That's hell. And it is good.

Anonymous said...

But what about those who are good religious people but not murderers, liars, thieves, and rapists? What about them, are they in hell? said...


Ah... great question!

That's where the revelation of Scripture stupifies the logic of man.

God says, "These six things I hate, yeah seven ..."

And the first thing listed is "pride."

I think the problem we all have is we have too high an opinion of ourselves and too low an opinion of the holiness of God. Only in the cross will you see yourself as truly guilty and only in the cross will you begin to understand the incredible holiness of God.

If you skip the cross, then you answer to God for your pride, you lust, your greed, your envy, your hatred, your jealously, etc...

And if you wish to take your chance at arguing with the Judge that your sin is not as bad as He says it is, well... that's your call.

I long ago came to realize God knows much better my depravity than I do. "Search me O God and know my heart ... try me and reveal to me my ways." said...


I didn't see your question after your quote from the Living Bible (I quote I LOVE).

Tyndale's translation is different from say the New American Standard in that the language he spoke (before even King James was on the throne) was a much different language than ours. Modern translations use modern words. However, I would put Tyndale up against any person or group when it comes to accurate translations of the Scriptures (even if Tyndale was biased against Roman Catholicism).

Anonymous said...

I see that you have found the new edit features.

a fresh new look.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...


I love your new blog format!

Anonymous said...

C.S. Lewis said that the door to hell is locked - from the inside.

John Wylie said...

The problem is that we are trying to describe the incomprehensible God in human terms. The fact is that all humanity's sense of justice and right and wrong is skewed and then we make a huge error by trying to get God to comply with our view of righteousness. God is both sovereign and righteous. It is because He is righteous that we can trust His sovereignty. Not because He complies with my skewed perception of what is just. I accept what God reveals about Himself and the things I don't understand I trust Him. But in no way is God subject to my judgment, He alone is the righteous Judge.

Steven Stark said...

Hi Wade - thanks for the remarks!

“Gehenna or sheol is not active torture--it is intentional abandonment. “

I was not referring to hell as active torture here, but rather as imprisonment. But you are still saying that God’s intentional abandonment of his creation for an everlasting period is good.

“Is it not good for liars, thieves, murderers, adulterers, rapists, child molesters, etc... to be isolated from the world? “

But this isn’t the way I phrased it. I asked particularly about “everyday” people. People who are imperfect but work hard everyday to raise their kids and do their jobs. People whose decisions are overwhelmingly good ones.

Can we walk up to a neighbor, look her in the face, and tell her that she deserves to be imprisoned for an everlasting period? And that when her kids grow up, they will deserve it too? That they deserve to be given up on by God? And that this is because God is good? If not, then it is wrong from our perspective, and our perspective is the only one we have.

Words like “righteous” and “holy” don’t really have much meaning if they are separated from what we feel about what is right.

Phrases like “those who receive it will be unable to accuse God of being unjust” and “Hell is good because hell is of God and it is a righteous place” are tautological statements to me. It's like saying " Everything God does is good because everything that is good is good because God does it." This is called divine command theory, and it nullifies the meaning of the word good. The statement “God is good” becomes a complete tautology because it is really saying “God is God.”

“God withdraws His presence. God withdraws His goodness. God withdraws relationships. The sinner is isolated and alone. Left to himself to contemplate how he wasted his life by hating everything God called good.”

I don’t know any non-Christians who hate “everything God called good.”

“How long does this abandonment last? Obviously, Christians disagree”

I am curious if you are open to the idea of a universal reconciliation? Many Christian Universalists believe that this is the only way to morally justify the act of creation. Why create when everlasting damnation can be foreseen?

But if the abandonment by God is for the purpose of convicting the sinners’ heart, for showing the sinner that the source of all good things is God, then that is quite a bit different from having God abandon sinners forever. It's different from love failing them.

“And if you wish to take your chance at arguing with the Judge that your sin is not as bad as He says it is, well... that's your call.”

This is a statement about God’s power, not His goodness. Sure, God CAN damn whoever He likes, but my question is - is this good?

John Wylie,

“we make a huge error by trying to get God to comply with our view of righteousness.”

Our view of righteousness is the only one we have. If we cannot trust it, then we cannot make any statements about God’s goodness. They become meaningless.

For instance, if it stated in Scripture that God tortured children for His own amusement, could we not say that this is wrong? And Scripture does say many things close to this....

In other words, my question to you would be - Is there anything that could be attributed to God that would make him “not good” in your view? If not, then saying God is good or not is, once again, meaningless. God is God - neither good nor bad, because "good" and "bad" are both human terms.

all the best, Steven

John Wylie said...


Our disagreement is one of a fundamental nature. I believe that man being finite and fallen has reason that at best is flawed. I do not believe that good and evil are human terms, those concepts were introduced to us by God. And I think that God defining those things for us makes them meaningful not meaningless.

To answer your question, there is nothing that could be attributed to God that would convince me that God is not good. There may be things that are attributed to Him that I don't understand, and in such cases I just believe what He has revealed about Himself. Further, God's enemies have always attributed things to God that were not true, and so the fact is my concern may be based on an untruth. In any event I trust Him not my own reasoning, because it is fallen and flawed and limited.

Ramesh said...

To me the central issue is the conviction of my sin nature within myself and that I could never, ever live a righteous life on my own and that I would always fall short, due to the wickedness within my own heart ... and that without a Saviour, I have no hope in this life.

I believe the above is a gift from God. The sin consciousness within me.

Christiane said...


I think among evangelical people, it is extremely important to tell people that they need Jesus Christ, or that they are 'going to hell'. And I think also, that there is a sense of great urgency to see that the person is 'saved'. All of this is a part of the evangelical faith tradition and is strongly and sincerely felt.

But here is another way of thinking:

“It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results "

Steven, when people share Christ with the understanding that they are a part of that long tradition reaching back to Our Lord of those who were humble enough to know they might be 'making a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest',
then Our Lord is shared with an emphasis on God's eternal love for mankind,
and that love, never more profoundly shown than when Our Lord was raised up on the Cross,
that love will draw all men to Him.

Whether people choose to respond to Him, they have been given free will to 'choose life', or not.

Anonymous said...


You said, “I asked particularly about “everyday” people. People who are imperfect but work hard everyday to raise their kids and do their jobs. People whose decisions are overwhelmingly good ones.”

If you get into working hard and doing good, you take the focus off God and put it on yourself. In essence you say is by your actions, “how good you are” that you are saved instead of a gift from God. And your actions, and how morally good you are would then give one a reason to boast about how good they are. I think the Pharisees were pretty good examples at boasting about how “good” they were. They prided themselves on how good they followed the law

In fact in Luke there is a story about a Pharisee and a Tax Collector, both who went to a temple to pray.
“The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'” I am sure to many the Pharisee was probably considered morally good. But instead of putting the focus on God, it was about him. What he did, who He was, not what God did or who God was.
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'”

In Ephesians it says,”For it is by grace you have been saved through Faith—and this is NOT from yourselves, it is a gift of God—not by works, so that NO ONE CAN boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Romans says, “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." Romans 3:9-12

“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. Faith we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” Romans 3:27-28

In Isaiah it says “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6

So no matter how “morally good” we think we are, that is not enough to save us. God set the bar so high that nothing we could ever do by our own attempts or our own works could get us into Heaven.

And Paul does touch on your argument in the Bible: Romans 9:11-21:

Pastor Wade, do my eyes deceive me or is your blog actually an "orange" color?? And here I always thought you were a sooner fan. (-;


Anonymous said...

opps the story in Luke is found in Luke 18:9-14

T. said...


Good point about the orange! :) Laughing.

Wanda and Anonymous,

Thanks for the nice comments about the new blog post template.

And, Wanda, I read the EXCELLENT post today about Driscoll and Haiti, and your comment about what you call my "I Have a Dream Speech." Once again, you gals are knocking it out of the park and way too kind toward me and my family. Blessings to you both!


You once again make excellent points! I think we are probably much closer in many ways than you might imagine. We both are desiring God's honor. We both desire a sense of true justice. We both want what is right and good to prevail. I think God will ensure that happens. Whether He accomplishes this through His Son's work at Calvary may be our disagreement, but I always appreciate your thoughts!

Steven Stark said...

John Wylie,

Thanks for a concise, well-organized answer! Very cool.

Yes, I think that “good” is only meaningful if it is used to mean what we normally mean by “good”.

If we all saw a yellow flower, but Scripture called it a blue flower, then we have a decision to make - is Scripture wrong, do we stick with what we normally mean by “blue”? Or do we redefine the word “blue” to be whatever Scripture says it is?

And by the way - please understand that I am criticizing a view of God, which is quite distinct from God Himself. My faith in God is that He is good beyond my wildest dreams. But I don’t think God actually commanded rocks to be hurled at Canaanites or sends people to everlasting imprisonment, etc. Heck, I am better than that! And surely God is way better than me.

Christiane, I like the Eastern focus on healing better than the Western focus on legal structures (penal substitution, etc.). Thanks for your beautiful words.

But the preservation of free will is not violated by the idea of a universal reconciliation. All universalism requires is a God who never closes the door forever and sinners who are made with the capability of accepting what is in their own best interest - even if some people have to learn the hard way! ;)

As you stated, paraphrased from the book of John, "love will draw all men unto him."


I am a big fan of Romans 9-11 and I believe that the only coherent way to read it is that God intends for all to be saved eventually.

Thanks for the thoughts!


“Whether He accomplishes this through His Son's work at Calvary may be our disagreement,”

In the context of this blog, I am fine with saying that God creates salvation through Calvary, which is possible without the idea of penal substitution, and that He can still be deemed good in the process. I just don’t think He can be deemed good, that He can be worthy of the name and concept of “God”, if His plan does not include all His creation - eventually.

“We both are desiring God's honor. We both desire a sense of true justice. We both want what is right and good to prevail”

Amen, friend! :)

Rex Ray said...


True story: My daughter called and said her family was going rafting on a flooded creek 8 miles from us. They said they would call when they got out about 6. They parked one car by a road crossing the creek and drove a truck miles upstream to another road crossing and put their rubber raft in. At 7, my wife and I started looking. We found the truck and car. At the car, I started walking through woods following the creek. Their kids were 4 and 6. By 8, I’d lost the creek, and called 911. They would organize and send a search boat. I broke down when I called our church for prayer. An hour later my daughter called. They were home and had forgotten their cell phone. The current was so fast they decided to go a lot farther and walk a mile to their house for another car. I told her to call the police as my phone was almost dead. It died as I was telling my wife. I turned around and after a while ran into the creek. I was going the wrong way. I had been lost and didn’t know it. I had to get out of the woods as my flashlight was almost dead. Finally in open pasture, I saw a tiny light far away. I didn’t know where it was but I knew if I went there they could tell me. They told me alright—it was my wife and daughter with our car lights burning.

What I’m saying Steven, until you know you’re lost, you’ll never find God

Martin Kids said...


You say: "As our sins were actually imputed to Christ, so His righteousness is actually imputed to us."

So, why do Christians still pay the penalty for sin, i.e. biological death?

Either 1) we are not completely forgiven, 2) Christ's "atonement" is ineffective, or 3) biological death is not a part of the curse or penalty for sin.


John Wylie said...


Or 4. We still are recipients of the temporal consequences of sin.

The enemy of physical death is the last enemy that shall be defeated. Obviously Paul could not be referring to spiritual death in that passage because Jesus had already triumphed over spiritual death.

Anonymous said...

powerful powerful powerful!!!!

My prayer is that this truth would be thundered forth on this Lord's Day: however, many SBC Pastors are lost themselves and have no clue as to the depth of what this truly means to mankind.

Sola Scriptura
Sola Christus
Sola Gratia
Sola Fide
Sola Deo Gloria

By His Grace, and For His Glory


Anonymous said...

To Steven Stark:

My friend, I deserve nothing less than the very depths of hell due to my sinful disobedience to the Eternal Holy God of Heaven. My mother, my father, my children and all mankind outside of Jesus Chruist Himself deserve this same sentence. The very fact that God would allow me to even hear the Gospel of forgiveness and hope alons speaks to God's goodness, faithfulness, and love. May God save you too through the power of the Gospel.

Romans 5:1 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" said...


You ask a good question and I agree with John Wylie. There are some enemies of the believer that are not YET conquered and placed "under the feet of Christ" as a footstool. One of those enemies is death. Another is sickness. Another is poverty, etc...

This is the mistake our Charismatic friends make. They assume that all the gifts of redemption are ours prior to death, and the reality is all of us die and the real inheritance we receive is after "this mortal body puts on immortality" at the resurrection.

This is also why the RESURRECTION is the central doctrine of the apostles.

I realize that you may not be satisfied with my answer, but I cannot read passages of Scripture like I Cor. 15 and others without thinking that death is NOT yet conquered.


Anonymous said...

Hello MICAH,

When Augustine was still an unbeliever, his Christian mother, St. Monica, spoke to him in this way:

"‘Our life is just a shell . . . fragile . . . temporary

. . . but there is something that lives within us that is not fragile . . . it’s not temporary

. . . we are already living an eternal life, my son “

Martin Kids said...

@ John Wylie,

I am sorry but your #4 is not viable. It is really #1. If you are sentenced to death (penalty for sin) and I come and tell the judge that I will be your substitutionary atonement, and he agrees, and he promptly puts me to death in your place, how can you say that you still have to pay the "temporary consequences" which is the judge having you executed even after there has been payment.

My observation is that maybe we need to re-examine the Biblical definition of "the death."

Please continue by seeing my response to Wade.


Martin Kids said...


I am sorry to push this but your answers are still not consistent. One the one hand you say that we are totally forgiven of sin and that Christ is our substitute yet you continue to agree that we pay the penalty for our own sin (through physical death).

I would humbly challenge you to take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 15.

1) Paul is pulling from Hosea and Isaiah regarding Resurrection. In those passages there is only the corporate body death of Israel. There is nothing in those passages that is talking about physically dead people.

2) The greek that Paul uses in 1 Cor. 15 is in the passive active. It is present tense. "Death" was the last enemy "being" destroyed in the 1st century.

3) What if Paul is talking about corporate bodies. What if he is speaking of the mortal body of Adam (OC Israel) would be changed into the immortal body of Christ? This is exactly what is going on in the rest of the NT. Transition from the "body of death" under the law to the New Covenant "body of Christ."

Notice where Paul goes in verse 45. Genesis 2, before the Fall! Paul takes the need for resurrection back before the fall!

There are many other things in 1 Cor. 15 that should be noted but this is not the correct forum. (Notice how Paul says the "seed" is sown first and then it dies.... Please make sure I am dead before you bury me.)

Also, please do a study on the names of Hosea's children and follow Paul's seed analogy in 1 Cor. 15.
And an OT study of how the "footstool" language is used is absolutely amazing.
Psalm 99:5, 110:1

The footstool is where you want to be!

Yes, I agree that "Resurrection" is the central theme of the Apostles, especially Paul. It was the "hope of Israel" and ALL of the NT writers give clear time statements that it was happening and would be completed by the end of the age that they were living in.

However, I find it amazing that our traditions are so strong that many are not even willing to look at another definition of "the death" and "resurrection" especially when Paul is clear in verse 51 that the Resurrection and 2nd coming would happen before that generation died. "We" (the Corinthians that Paul was writing to, not Christians 2000's years later) would not all die before this resurrection and the 2nd coming would happen.

Please read verses 50-58 carefully. If that is not fulfilled then we are still under Law!


Steven Stark said...

Rex Ray,

Thanks for a fascinating story! Wow!

Let's hope that God will never give up one of his lost creation forever. Let's hope that He will always pursue the lost sheep until it is found.


I would not wish what you describe on my worst enemy.

But if we do deserve hell, it is because we have not acted in accordance with agape love, which is what God is. So how would agape love treat this sinner? By giving up on the sinner? By punishing the sinner forever without hope of reprieve and repentance? Is that how agape love works?

Thanks! Steven

Christiane said...

REX RAY's stories are the BEST!!!!

keep 'em coming, we love them :)

John Wylie said...


Actually it wouldn't go under #1 at all. You believe that God chastens His children don't you? Does that mean we are not completely forgiven of all our sins? Of course not, we are completely forgiven of all our sins but the temporal consequences are not alleviated. It is not until the eternal age that God puts away death completely Rev. 21:4. And no I don't buy into the whole preterist "Christian Age" thing, because the very idea that sin, and human suffering,and death and everything that the sin curse brought will continue forever is not very attractive to me.

Martin Kids said...


"Chastening" and the penalty for sin are two completely different ideas.

You hold that THE penalty for sin is biological death. You affirm that Christ is your substitute. He pays THAT penalty. Yet you also affirm that you still suffer THAT same penalty for your own sin when you experience biological death.

That is simply not logical, or defensible.

You are starting with your unquestioned assumptions regarding the nature of "the death" that Adam experience "in that day." (Which you deny that he died biologically that day.)

You are proving my point that you won't even question your traditions and take an honest look at an alternative view to see if it makes more sense. (Very similar to those who refuse to re-think the women issue in light of audience relevance.)

Read Acts 26:23 and explain to me how Jesus was the first to rise from dead according to your definition.

Adam was the first to die "the death", yet he was not the first to die biologically.

Christ was the first to "rise from the dead", yet he was not the first to rise from biological death.

One more thing. The Judaizer rejected Jesus because a Spiritual Kingdom was not attractive to them. I would never reject something Biblical simply because it was not attractive to me.


John Wylie said...


Jesus was the firstborn from the dead because He was the first to raise from the dead never to die again. All others up to that point ended up dying a second time, but Jesus was the first to experience a once for all resurrection.

Btw, I reject your "Christain Age" view for Biblical reasons as well as personal reasons. That same passage in Revelation 21 that I used earlier makes it plain that there is coming a day when all suffering and death will be put away permanently. In Rev. 20 death and the grave will be cast in the lake of fire. You one time asked Wade why would he want this Christian age to end, and I think that anyone would like for suffering and sin to be finally done away with. Your view holds that rape and pillage and murder continue for an eternity. It just doesn't line up with scripture, I personally prefer the eternal age.

Martin Kids said...


I am sorry but your simply re-defining resurrection. The "first to rise from the dead" says nothing about not dying in the future.

The text doesn't say that he would be the first to rise from the dead never to die again. It simply says that Christ would be the first to rise from the dead. The Bible is clear that Jesus was not the first to rise from biological death. You simply have to come up with a redefinition to fit your presupposition.

(BTW, when Paul wrote that there were most likely people that had been raised from the dead still walking around, i.e. Lazarus, (raised before Jesus). How could Paul work your definition into his theology when it wasn't even proven that Lazarus (or the others that Jesus raised from the dead) would die again.)

Added to that, if biological death is the penalty for sin and Christ is the substitute, now you have a handful of saints that paid triple for their sins. They died once, were raised from the dead, died again (double payment which is against even God's law) and also had Jesus pay their penalty!

You are simply missing my point. My definition of "the death" which would be "fellowship death" or "covenantal death" fits perfectly with every passage of Scripture. Your's doesn't.

The fact that God created a world that includes an element of danger is besides the point.

There was danger in the world before the fall. I would even make the argument that there was sin in the world before the fall. (Satan was dangerous and he certainly sinned in tempting Eve.) The idea that God created a world where nothing could go wrong is patently un-Biblical.

Redemption is about stance before God, not material substance. Also, if you think about it, if we get to a place where we no longer have the ability to "sin" then at that point we no longer need Christ! I certainly don't want to get to that point.

I won't even mention the enormous amounts of time statements in the NT directly prophesying that Jesus would return in that generation.

Please go to Hosea and Isaiah where Paul pulls from in 1 Corinthians 15 and show me biological death. It's not there. It is corporate / fellowship death of "the natural body of Adam" i.e. Israel.


John Wylie said...

Paul never said that some that Jesus had risen from the dead were still living when he wrote 1 Corinthians, he said that some of the 500 believers who had seen the resurrected Christ were still alive at that writing.

John Wylie said...

Besides the idea that what differentiated Christ's death was that He was risen never to die again is biblical. Rom 6:9 "We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him."
Rev. 1:17b-18 ""Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades."

Martin Kids said...


It is a tangential point. I said most likely. We don't know. But you would think that somewhere in Scripture the "oh by the way, when Christ rises from the dead we won't know that he is really the Christ until he 'never dies again'" would be pointed out.

You bring up a very peculiar point though. Paul points to 500 witnesses of Christ's physical resurrection.

1) Jesus specifically said that his own physical resurrection would be a "sign." A sign never signifies itself. It always signifies something greater.

2) By your own logic, Paul can't use those 500 witnesses to state his case. They could not prove that Christ didn't die again. Only the closest disciples witnessed the ascension.

See, Paul wasn't concerned about proving that Christ never died physically again as proof that he was the first to rise from the dead. He understood that the death of Adam had nothing to do with biological death, but it had to do with a wrong/right standing (standing again = resurrection) before God. He understood that the fulfilled sign of Christ rising from biological death pointed to the reality that Christ was "the first to rise from the dead" according to what Moses and the Law taught.

BTW, this has been a fascinating discussion. I appreciate your civility and brotherly respect.


John Wylie said...

No Micah,

Paul was only concerned with proving that Christ rose from the dead. Those 500 witnesses would be sufficient proof of that.

Martin Kids said...

Romans 6...

Please input biological death into that passage and see if it works.

Verse 2: Did the "we" biologically die to sin?
Verse 4: Where they biologically buried with Christ?
Where they raised biologically from death to "walk in newness of life?
Verse 5: Did they biologically die to be united to Christ in Christ's biological death? Where they biologically resurrected to be in the likeness of his Resurrection?
Verse 8: Did they biologically die with Christ?
Verse 11: Are we to reckon ourselves biologically dead to sin?

There is certainly more there that could be pointed out but I hardly think that is a strong passage to prove that biological death is the penalty for sin.

In fact, it seems that Paul is speaking about "Resurrection" in that passage. Add the concept of OC Israel dying to the law (body of Adam) so that they could be raised in the body of Christ (where death no longer reigned) and we might start getting a clear picture of what "the death" was in the Garden. Fellowship, Relationship, Right Standing....

Continue on in Romans to chapter 7:1-6 and try to keep arguing for a biological definition of death.



Martin Kids said...


You say: "Paul was only concerned with proving that Christ rose from the dead. Those 500 witnesses would be sufficient proof of that."

According to your definition though, those witnesses were worthless to prove that Christ was the "first to rise from the dead" according to what Moses and the Law taught.

I hope your seeing the problems with defining "the first to rise from the dead" as "biologically rising from the dead after others had biologically risen from the dead but not dying like they did, so that means that you were actually the first to rise from the dead.... except you weren't."

If I am the first person to rise out of my bed in the morning, does it matter who does or doesn't get back into bed later on that day? If I get back into my bed does that disqualify me from being the first to rise from the bed?

Micah said...


I no more believe Romans 6 is speaking of biological death as I do it is speaking of water baptism.


Rex Ray said...

Good gracious, Wade cannot one topic be finished without bringing up another one? :)

But maybe the subject in Romans 6 on ‘baptism of the Spirit’ or ‘water baptism’ will help clear the ‘death’ issue.

Does Paul saying: “…we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism…For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism” (Romans 6:3-4 NLT) agree with Peter saying: “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NLT)

Peter was talking about ‘baptism with water’ because he said “Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

But Peter learned in (Acts 10:44) he had the ‘cart before the horse’; that being baptized with water was NOT required to receive the Holy Spirit since Gentiles received the Holy Spirit (just as he had at Pentecost) while Peter was still preaching.

BTW, (Acts 10:44) shows that Peter’s opinion in (Acts 2:38) was NOT ‘inerrant’.

On the question of God’s penalty of ‘death’ there are three possibilities:
1. Spiritual death only.
2. Physical death only.
3. Spiritual death and physical death.

Since God, Eve, and the devil all use the word “die”, and NOT die twice or two deaths, I believe God’s penalty was one death.

The time of death also reveals what kind of death. Different translations say, “will die”, “will certainly die”, “doomed to die”, but the one I choose is King James: “…for the day that thou estest thereof thou shall surely die.”

I believe spiritual death is separation from God, which Jesus suffered at Calvary: “MY God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Adam and Eve separated themselves from God by hiding on the day they ate the forbidden fruit because they were dead spiritually.

Since ‘actions’ speak louder than ‘words’, their ‘hiding’ tells the day they died just as God said.

If physical death enter the world by man’s sin; that’s saying God couldn’t/wouldn’t have killed an animal for its skin to clothe them unless they sinned.

And the killer whale lived on sea weed before the ‘fall’.

Also, if God made man to live without dying physically, God’s ‘Tree of Life’ had no meaning at all.

Are we all victims as Caesar said: “Men willingly believe what they wish.”

Martin Kids said...


I am in complete agreement.


I would define "the death" in the Garden as "Fellowship Death."

I would also present the Garden story (and even all of Genesis) as prophetic or a microcosm of the entire Biblical narrative. (Milton Terry argued quite convincingly that the early chapters of Genesis should be read apocalyptically like the Revelation.)

So, essentially Adam is Israel. When Israel broke covenant, they lost fellowship with God. They were dead (per Hosea) and removed from "the land."

That fellowship death would be reversed through salvation, which is also resurrection. Standing again in right relationship.

The Body of Adam was dead because of sin, which got it's strength from the Law. Christ was born into that dead body (born under law, was a Jew according to the flesh) but he was the first to Resurrect from that Body. He is the raised Spiritual body. The "church" is Israel resurrected.

Adam was in a deep sleep = God made Eve from his side.

Christ (2nd Adam) was dead on the cross = God made Eve (church) from his side. (water and blood)

Add to that the fact that Paul in Ephesians 5 is emphatic that Gen. 2:24 is talking about Christ and the Church. It is prophetic! The Bride of Christ is the "New Creation."

I don't think the "tree of life" was a literal tree that gave eternal biological life. It was an apocalyptic tree that represented Christ.

I hope that helps.


Rex Ray said...

Have you switched sides? You wrote:

“So, why do Christians still pay the penalty for sin, i.e. biological death? Either1) we are not completely forgiven, 2) Christ’s atonement is ineffective, or 3) biological death is not a part of the curse or penalty for sin.”

Do you believe; 1), 2), or 3)? I thought you believed 3), and my comment was to that effect.

In your last comment you said, “He [Jesus] is the raised Spiritual body” which is what I believe.

The only death in the Garden was a ‘Spiritual death’ which is ‘separation from God’.

Adam’s separation/Spiritual death was shown by his hiding from God.

You also wrote: “I would define ‘the death’ in the Garden as ‘Fellowship Death’.

With that thought in mind, you should have said, ‘He [Jesus] is the raised Fellowship body’.

You can’t have it both ways.

You said, the ‘tree of life’ was an apocalyptic tree that represented Christ.

I believe that’s a can of worms—if God wanted man to accept his Son, why did he drive him out of the Garden?

One other thought: If God intended man to live forever, how old could the world get before each person had one foot of earth to live on?

Martin Kids said...


We may be ships passing in the night. Yes I agree with #3. I do not believe biological death has anything to do with the curse. Further, I believe that Adam lived in the same physical world as us and would have died a natural biological death unless he jumped off a cliff. (Even if he didn't fall.)

"Spiritual death" and "Fellowship death" are very close. I prefer fellowship death because I believe it more accurately describes the situation. Remember, in John 17, Jesus defines eternal "Life" in relational terms, i.e. fellowship terms.

I know "spiritual death" is popular but I just think it is too vague. It is very interesting to watch closely how Paul uses the terms "fleshly" and "spiritual." Again, look at 1 Cor. 15:42ff and notice how Adam was a "natural" man before the fall. The NEED for resurrection pre-dates the fall, according to Paul.

I believe the Adamic body (Israel) was the "natural body" that lost fellowship with God. Jesus is the new Israel. He is the "spiritual" body that restores that fellowship and actually restores it to a better place than Adam. (Adam was naked, we are no longer naked but have the robes of Christ.)

There is way too much in there to go into great detail here. I would highly recommend that you pick up a copy of "Beyond Creation Science" if you are interested in a deeper study.

As far as Christ being the tree of life, I think that makes perfect sense. Once Adam reached for life under law, Christ had to be kept from him. Think of the Judaizers in the first century. You can't put new wine into old wineskins. The Old Covenant had to run it's course. God was writing a love story, that takes time!

The story of Genesis 1 is the story of a Covenant Creation. (Land = Israel, comes up out of the Sea = Gentiles) The heavens and earth are God's peculiar people that have an intimate relationship with him, albeit through a sacrificial system. (Josephus shows how the Temple complex was a "heavens and earth."

Revelation 21 is the New Covenant Creation in Christ. But this time there is no more sea because there is no longer any distinction between "Israel" and the Gentiles. (Neither male nor female.)

I believe when people like Wade catch the power of Covenant Eschatology combined with Covenant Creation, their arguments regarding women in worship, authority, and many other issues will become even more powerful and completely obliterate the traditional man made paradigm.

However, we all have our sacred cows...


Rex Ray said...

“Ships in the night”; huh? I like that. Does that mean going in opposite directions or one going faster than the other? :)

In 1948 when I was 16, it took 17 days to cross the Atlantic on a converted hospital ship—slow oil tankers passed us.

‘Fellowship death’ may describe the situation, but I believe ‘Spiritual death’ fits Christ saying: “Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

The conclusion: unless one is dead in the Spirit (Spiritual dead) how can he be born of the Spirit?

So Jesus died for the punishment of our ‘Spiritual death’, and his physical death was only a means of transferring him to his Father which is also required of us by our physical death.

“Today, you will be with me in paradise” was NOT punishment but a joyful travel to heaven.

Of course “born of water” fits the next verse saying “Whatever is born of flesh is flesh”. This refers to physical birth and not being baptized.

Martin Kids said...


I don't think we are going in the opposite direction, that is for sure.

Here are some thoughts?

Where is it recorded that Adam was born "spiritual?" It seems that in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul makes the distinction between the "spiritual" (Christ) and the "natural" (Adam).

Adam was made a "natural" man. He was made mortal because he was sown under the law.

I don't think being "born of the flesh" has anything to do with biological birth (or biology period). Try understanding it as being born under the Old Covenant system.

I think if you take time to look at Paul's use of "flesh" and "spirit" you will see that it has nothing to do with biology. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" according to Jesus. The Kingdom was available and being established in the 1st century. Physically alive, biological people were inheriting it, just as we live in it now.

"Flesh and blood" was a life under the old system, the Adamic man. Jesus was born into that body but he was raised as the new man, a spiritual man.

I hope that helps you understand my position better.


Rex Ray said...

Nice to know we’re going the same way.

If we were going down river, we'd end at the same place as all waters lead to the ocean.

But it seems we’re going up river, and there’s a big difference as many ‘branches’ fed a river.

I believe Adam and all men including David before Calvary that trusted in God had their sins paid at Calvary and therefore were born ‘spiritually’.

John 3:3; Jesus introduced being born a physical birth: “Unless someone is born again…”

Verse 4; Nicodemus replies to this ‘physical birth’: “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

Verse 5; Again Jesus refers to ‘physical birth’: “Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit…”

Verse 6; Again Jesus refers to ‘physical birth’: “WHAT EVER IS BORN OF FLESH IS FLESH…”

Verse 7; Again Jesus refers to ‘physical birth’: “…you must be born again.”

Micah, how in the world can you say, “I don’t think being “born of the flesh” has anything to do with biological birth” when there is one verse from Nicodemus and four verses from Jesus talking about physical birth?

I believe Jesus was the Son of God spiritually before he came to earth, while he was on earth, and when he returned from earth.

He was not “raised as the new man, a spiritual man” as you claim.

Yep, I think we’re going up river. :)

Martin Kids said...


Again, I think we are passing in the night.

Yes, there are some instances where "flesh" means biology but many times, especially when it is compared to "spirit" it is not talking about biology. (Just like how the Biblical writers use "death.")

John 3 is set in the context of Israel. Notice the correct translation in verse seven. The "you" is plural. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that "you all" (Israel) had to be born again.

That which is born of flesh (OC world) wouldn't see the Kingdom of God. You had to be born of the spirit (New Covenant).

Read the whole passage. Nicodemus was blinded by his crass literalism. This was common among the Pharisees, as it is in our day. Jesus points this out later on in the text. (He also spoke in parables so that they would not understand.)

I think you are misunderstanding me when I talk about the Spiritual aspect of Jesus. I agree that he was God before he was born.

Let me try to rephrase:

Adam was a student body. (Israel) They chose to graduate based upon their own merits. (Fall) God allowed them to continue on this path so that they would realize this was impossible. He instituted the worship system as a way to bring them to Christ. No matter how good they did on the final exam, sin, empowered by the law, failed all of them. (Corporate death, no fellowship with God, only typological worship through a sacrificial system.)

The whole student body failed to graduate, even though there were some individuals that were righteous.

This is the mortal / fleshly, "body of Adam."

Christ was born into this student body. (Born according to the flesh, born under the law) He passed the test and fulfilled the law though. However, the schoolmaster, (the law) killed (sacrifice) him unjustly. He was vindicated by his resurrection and the law no longer has any authority over him. (It also lost any authority over those that would attach themselves to this new student body. )

This is the immortal body. When those in the body of Adam "died" to the law (baptism) they were released to join the new student body of Christ. They passed from death to life. They no longer lived according to the "flesh" but according to the "spirit."

Those that wanted to stay in the "fleshly" body of Adam, that old student body striving for life under law, would never enter the Kingdom of God.

Through faith in Christ, individuals become members of the New Student Body, this one has already graduated. Fellowship is restored in this student body. Graduation is becoming a "child of God." This is our reality.

This student body can never die! (But individuals can come and go.) The invitation is open to all to come join through faith!

Think corporate bodies... Covenant's... Marriages... We are too hung up on the individual aspect of Biblical things instead of understanding the Covenantal / Corporate aspect first.


Rex Ray said...

John 3:16 says it all: “God so loved the world…”

He didn’t say God so loved Israel…”

Therefore, Adam did not represent Israel, but the world.

You said, “The schoolmaster, (the Law) killed (sacrifice) him unjustly.”


“Jesus told them…the Scriptures say ‘God will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’.” (Matthew 26:31 NLT)

Jesus was ‘executed’ JUSTLY (not murdered) by his Father for the penalty of Spiritual death caused by our sins.

Hope we're still going the same way. :)

Martin Kids said...


The word for world in John 3:16 is "kosmos." If you take a look at how it is used in the NT your definition could easily be disputed. (Not that it is wrong)

I would also point out that it is a moot point. Paul preached "nothing but the hope of Israel." Resurrection is a promise made to Israel. "Salvation" came through God keeping his promises to Israel. The Gentiles were grafted in and I do believe they were the "sea" portion of the OC creation (Genesis 1) (No more "sea" in the New Heavens / Earth. No more distinction between Jew / Gentile.)

That does not preclude or eliminate your idea of John 3:16. I am in fundamental agreement that everyone one can enter into the New Covenant (or new World). The outcome is the same even if the "world" in John 3:16 means the OC world. (God resurrected the OC world as the NC world.) Because God relates to man through Covenant (Marriage).

God put Jesus to death justly, yes, but the law, that killed Israel didn't. Jesus was not in violation of Torah. That is a huge can of worms but it is easily summed up in the picture of sacrifice. The animal was innocent yet the guilt fell upon it. Same with Christ. I don't think you and I would disagree much about that. I was just pointing out the fact that since Christ was vindicated (resurrection), the Law no longer has authority over him or his body. Galatians 3.

There is a lot more that we could discuss on this issue but I would refer you to Pete Enn's on "Adam as Israel." You can find those articles on Also, again I would offer you a copy of "Beyond Creation Science." It deals with a lot of these issues in depth.

This presentation might be intriguing to you.
Part 1
Part 2

One more thing about Adam as Israel. Check out Ezekiel 16. Notice how the prophet takes Jerusalem all the way back before Sinia. All the way to a Garden. In Galatians 3 Paul says that the law was added (so the covenant existed prior) 430 later.
Also check out Jeremiah 4. Especially notice the de-creation language starting in verse 23. What is Jeremiah getting that from? Genesis 1. What is he talking about? Jerusalem. There is a reason he connects the two. (Duet. 31:2, where is Moses getting that language from? Who is the "heavens" and "earth" that he is speaking to? Israel.)

There is a lot more there than meets they eye. Jesus said that "all the righteous blood shed on earth" beginning with Able, would come upon his generation. He takes the covenant back to Adam.

Also there are two different words for man in Genesis. One (Adamah) seems to denote Adamites (those in covenant) and another "Iysh" is more generic and seems to be used to denote Gentiles. Much more study is needed in this area.

Oh yeah, I had one question for you.

Since you believe the death was spiritual death (similar to my view) what was the "life" that Adam received from God?

The answer to that question gives us more evidence that 1) Genesis 1-3 is not talking about the first human but the first covenant man, and 2) biological life and death are not in view in Genesis 1-3.


Rex Ray said...

You asked “what was the ‘life’ that Adam received from God?”

More important than physical life, Jesus asked: “Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Mark 8:37)

“What profit a man if he gain the whole world and loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

Maybe that’s why in the Garden, Jesus suffered to the point of death knowing his soul would be in hell. (“You will not leave my soul in Hades.” Acts 2:31 Holman)

Micah, maybe we should combine my ‘Spiritual death’ and your ‘Fellowship death’ into ‘Soul death’, and we’d be traveling on the same ship.

What do you think?

Martin Kids said...


That actually sounds pretty good. Especially since I believe immortality of the soul is only found in Christ!

One of these days you will have to let me send you a copy of "Beyond Creation Science." Wade's copy will be in the mail tomorrow! It's not too late for me to package one up for you.


Rex Ray said...


Hey! I haven’t gotten to ‘Creation Science’ yet, and you know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks.

Speaking of old dogs, last week I was surprised that I’d be terminated as a deacon after our next meeting as I’d be 80.

I was a charter member of this church in 1944 and moved back after retirement 11 years ago and have never heard of that.

Our bylaws state: Deacons should have the same scriptural qualifications and Christian walk as a pastor. Also: “The pastor will leave at the request of either the pastor or the church.”

It looks to me like the termination of a deacon would be the same as a pastor.

If the church wants an age limit, I think it should be in our bylaws.

Any comment? Keep those blessings coming—I need them as I feel I’m in a struggle for the congregation to have a voice.

Martin Kids said...


Well, first of all let me say that that is amazing. To be back in a church that you helped found. I also wanted to say that it is really encouraging to see someone in your age range so willing to discuss things openly. That is a rarity. I have made it one of my goals in life to never stop learning. (I am 33) I hope to have the same type of passion you have when I am half your age! You are a real encouragement.

I am sorry to hear that they think age should be an issue for a deacon. With your experience and love of Scriptures, perhaps they should move you into more of a counseling role, which I guess would be similar to a deacon.

From my point of view thoug, the world would be better off with more men and women of your age and wisdom working in that kind of capacity in a local church.

I feel for you, and I will keep you in my prayers.

Blessings in the Kingdom brother,


Larry Baker said...

The result of Christ going to the cross was atonement. 1 John 2:2 - “And He [Jesus] himself is the propitiation [i.e., atonement] concerning our sins, and not concerning our sins only but also concerning the sins of the whole world.” The key word here, propitiation, is the Greek word, hilasmos, that means “mercifully covering and paying for sins, as offenses against God, in order to turn away the consequences of how serious He must take our sins and to allow for, but not to include, forgiveness and reconciliation.” For those lost and saved Jesus paid it all. Even though He atoned for everyone’s sins, that is, all of humanity, His forgiveness only comes to us who believe in Jesus Christ. Just as the Hebrew word for “atonement” in the Hebrew Old Testament was for all the sins of all of Israel, as an “unlimited atonement” for the sins of those Jews in the Old Testament days, who were both lost and save, this word, hilosmos, in the New Testament is also an “unlimited atonement” for the sins of those saved and lost (“concerning the sins of the whole world”). In both cases, atonement specifically excludes forgiveness and reconciliation. Thus, for unbelievers, if there is no confession of sins, repentance, and faith on their part, they cannot be saved and forgiven and reconciled to God. Their sins have been fully paid for. But then the issue comes as to whether they would accept this payment for sins as effective in their lives. They may then seek and find forgiveness for their sins. Otherwise, they will “die in their sins,” as Jesus explained in John 8:24, “Therefore, I say to you that you will die in your sin; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in yours sins,” as unforgiven, though paid for. In reality, Jesus paid it all. Jesus will keep you from sins, or sins will keep you from Jesus. On the cross Jesus’ atoning death made sins a dead issue for everyone lost or saved. However, for the believer salvation comes, when after we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness with repentance. Then, reconciliation comes with this forgiveness described in 1 John 1:9.