The Weekend Word

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134 Responses

  1. Ricky Bobby says:

    Well, if the writing on the tablets was truly God’s literal words, then he changed his mind in the New Testament and gave a “New” Commandment here:

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    “A new command I give you”….”Love”….

    And here’s the clincher…just read it in a simple and “plain meaning” manner…what is Jesus, the Son of God, God’s utterance (Logos) supposedly telling us here? Jesus has turned the “Old Testament” on its ear…he’s written a “new” Law…the Law of Love…

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    God must’ve “changed his mind” as he presents a different Narrative and “new Law” in the “New” Testament.

    Jesus says we are to ‘be perfect’ as God is perfect by unilaterally forgiving our enemies and turning the other cheek, which contradicts the Hebrew God of the Old Testament who smites his enemies, etc.

  2. Michael says:

    ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
    (Matthew 5:17 ESV)
    “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
    (Matthew 5:18 ESV)

    How do we evidence love for God?
    By keeping His commandments.

    “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
    (1 John 5:2–3 ESV)

    The first four commandments were directions on the proper love of God, the last six, how to love your fellow man.

  3. Michael says:

    Note also that in this very same sermon you are quoting Jesus threatens people with hell.

    ““You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
    (Matthew 5:21–22 ESV)

  4. Michael says:

    Jesus isn’t contradicting the law, He is adding to it and taking it to it’s intended purpose.
    He is fulfilling it and transcending it without changing it’s foundational truths.

  5. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jesus calls the Pharisees “you fool” is he liable for the hell of fire?

    All you’ve done is illustrate the paradox and contradiction in the text.

    What is the “hell of fire” anyways?

  6. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Jesus isn’t contradicting the law, He is adding to it and taking it to it’s intended purpose.
    He is fulfilling it and transcending it without changing it’s foundational truths.”

    Jesus explicitly lays down what the text calls a “new Law”

    yet the text contradicts itself elsewhere.

    Your statement is a reasoning you’ve concluded without an explicit statement of such. You have connected some of the dots that are in the text, while dismissing other dots in the text in an effort to resolve the contradiction.

  7. Ricky Bobby says:

    I simply resolve the same contradictions presented by erring toward the Love Narrative which is presented as a Hierarchy and as trumping everything else.

  8. Michael says:

    Jesus, being God, gets to make the rules.

    I’m pointing out that if this sermon is one you use to support universalism, Jesus takes that away right in the beginning.
    He takes it away many times after…

    “For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
    (Matthew 5:30 ESV)
    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
    (Matthew 10:28 ESV)
    “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”
    (Matthew 23:33 ESV)
    “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”
    (Luke 12:5 ESV)

    Those are all quotes from Jesus…red letters.

    The hell of fire is a metaphor for some sort of eternal punishment…that’s a whole ‘nother study.

  9. Michael says:

    Yes, He says he’s laying out a new law…after stating explicitly that the old one will remain and not a jot or tittle will pass until the kingdom is come in it’s fullness.

  10. I have no verification to this being truth, it is just something I have thought about after reading different opinions of salvation on the two Blogs CCA and PhxP. The particular two beliefs I am referring to are 1) the last chance to be saved is before you die. And 2) being able to be saved during the Day of Judgment.

    I used to believe that your last chance to be saved is before you die. However after considering this to be applied to Matt 20 (Which starts out with, “For the kingdom of heaven is like…”) I can see differently.

    The chapter refers to workers being hired for $20.00 which was paid to those who worked all day and to those who only worked for one hour. The employer said to those complaining, “15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? …..”, such as Jesus forgiving people.

    I now believe that this COULD be referring to those working all day as those who have been saved before death; and those only working one hour could be those who could be saved during the “Day of Judgment”. Or, perhaps it is only referring to those who are saved for 30 years and those who are saved on their death bed.

    What is your belief? Or is this off topic?

  11. Michael says:

    ADWO,

    The parable simply is noting that God is free to reward those His workers with the same reward no matter when they start work for Him.
    There is nothing in that passage that speaks at all to post mortem salvation in my opinion.

  12. Michael says:

    More Jesus…

    ““When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””
    (Matthew 25:31–46 ESV)

  13. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Yes, He says he’s laying out a new law…after stating explicitly that the old one will remain and not a jot or tittle will pass until the kingdom is come in it’s fullness.”

    Which “jot and tittle” the KJV, the ESV, the NASB? Which Canon?

    “The word is written on your hearts….”

    “Your word is truth (not necessarily the bible, truth is God’s word)”

    “The word became flesh (Jesus is the word, the Truth)”

  14. Ricky Bobby says:

    The Law is not an Absolute. The Law commanded women and children to be executed with stones. The Law commanded all sorts of things we consider wrong and bad today.

    If the Law and the text of the stone tablets were Absolutes for all of time, we’d kill women and children with stones today and we’d keep the Sabbath and we’d follow the Torah.

    We don’t.

  15. Michael says:

    RB,

    One thing at a time.
    Your thesis was that Jesus offered some sort of hope in universalism, a “love narrative”.
    The Scriptures I posted show Him directly contradicting that in His own words.
    How do you respond to those in light of your thesis?

  16. Ricky Bobby says:

    The Absolute Truth is God’s.

    The most we can gather is through his spirit speaking to our spirit and our Conscience using the “reason” he gave us (Logos means God’s utterance, God’s “reason”…and Jesus is described as the Logos of God, and God’s ‘word’ etc, not the text, not the Law. Jesus, as you’ve stated, is the fulfillment of the Law, Jesus is the Law, Jesus/Love is the Law).

    The multiple Narratives in the bible do point to Jesus and Jesus gives us a “new Law” the Law of Love and Unilateral Forgiveness and Mercy and Reconciliation etc.

    Now many statements and teachings attributed to Jesus do present contradictions and paradox to the Love Narrative, so we are still left confused. It’s why there are so many competing views of doctrine etc and why we are so splintered as a “church”.

    We are all forced to try and resolve contradictions and paradox and pick-and-choose our version of “God” from the smorgasbord the bible presents.

    I choose to pick the God of Love and Unilateral Forgiveness. I think that is the true reflection of a “Good” and Sovereign God.

  17. Michael says:

    RB,

    Can there be a God of “love” who is not interested and committed to justice and righteousness?
    You have already experienced that kind of love…and it wasn’t godly in the least.

  18. Ricky Bobby says:

    OK, we can address that stuff no problem. Again, my Position is that the bible presents Contradiction and Competing Narratives and I choose to pick the Narrative that Love trumps all (as Love is presented as the top of the Hierarchy)

    You quote Jesus here:

    “For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:30 ESV)

    This verse presents a Lordship/Holiness Salvation construct that is contradicted by the Salvation by Faith Alone and Grace Narratives elsewhere. You are “saved” according the same bible by Baptism, saved by the Sacraments, saved by “faith alone” etc and “no one can pluck you out of God’s hand” and the many verses that support a “salvation” where you still sin and you don’t need to pluck out your eye, you just need to appeal to Jesus’s work on the Cross.

    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
    (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

    This contradicts the bible here: 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”
    (Matthew 23:33 ESV)

    Jesus calls the Pharisees “you fool” here, yet we’re told that if you call someone “you fool” you’re in danger of hell-fire. What is a sentence to “hell”? It’s a punishment, it’s Wrath, it’s God’s “Vengeance”, yet we are commanded by the same Jesus to be “perfect” like God in heaven and to unilaterally forgive, turn the other cheek and love and extend mercy, so again, this is just an example of the yin and yang and contradictory Narratives presented in the bible.

    “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:5 ESV)

    Romans 8:15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

    Bible presents yet another contradiction. “Fear” vs. “Don’t Fear”

    Again, all you’ve done is illustrate my Premise that there are Competing Narratives in the bible and I choose to believe the Goodness of God over the God that smites his enemies and seeks vengeance and justice and is unforgiving and requires precondition for forgiveness etc.

  19. Andrew says:

    “I choose to pick the God of Love and Unilateral Forgiveness. I think that is the true reflection of a “Good” and Sovereign God.”

    I keep hearing the term “UNILATERAL” over and over again. I agree with UNILATERAL in that salvation is from God alone. But I don’t believe in UNIVERSALISM because not everyone is saved which the Bible makes abundantly clear. So if you mean UNIVERSALLY than say that but you are confusing people. UNILATERALLY and UNIVERSALLY are NOT identical or the same.

  20. Michael says:

    RB,

    That’s some really confused exegesis.
    The scriptures I posted where first and foremost to show that Jesus believed in and warned against eternal punishment.
    You deny there is eternal punishment, you used Jesus as your authority, and I showed that His own teachings refute your theory.

    Those warnings were given to unbelievers…they are the ones who should fear, not believers as the Scriptures you posted show.
    That is not a contradiction.

  21. Michael says:

    God’s forgiveness is not “unilateral”.
    It is based solely on the receiving by faith of the provision of the cross.

  22. Ricky Bobby says:

    “You deny there is eternal punishment, you used Jesus as your authority, and I showed that His own teachings refute your theory”

    I don’t know if there is “eternal punishment” or not. I think that if your definition of “eternal punishment” is torment forever, with no end in a fiery hell, then I think the jury is out on that premise.

    If there is a punishment, I don’t think the text (if perfect and without error) expresses “eternal” in the same meaning you ascribe to it. Aeon seems to suggest “a long time, an age” verses forever with no end ever.

  23. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Those warnings were given to unbelievers”

    Michael, the bible addresses believers over and over about “fearing God” and then says “perfect love casts out fear”

    It’s a clear contradiction, i can list a ton of verses…

  24. Andrew says:

    “God’s forgiveness is not “unilateral””.

    I believe faith is a gift from God. So therefor I do believe it is unilateral in that God initiated it. Yes, Faith is required but that is given to us by God himself. This is monergism 101. I thought this was pretty standard fair for a Calvinist and I am surprised you disagree with me.

  25. Ricky Bobby says:

    Who were these words for?

    Isa 8:12-13 (NIV) …Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.

    Isaiah is addressing “God’s people” no? They are to “dread” God?

    It’s a contradiction…

  26. Michael says:

    RB,

    According to your recent writings and your articles it appears that you are saying that God will not exercise justice, wrath or judgment…that this somehow constitutes “love” and “love wins”.
    That would preclude the righteous judgment of God on sin and any punishment at all, would it not?

  27. With that use of aeon, we also wouldn’t get “eternal” life, just a very long life.
    I have seen people address this use of that word before and demolish it.

  28. Michael says:

    It’s only a contradiction if you have a very narrow definition of fear and a small view of God.
    There is a holy awe and reverence that should accompany our faith…our God is an awesome God and beyond our comprehension in so many, many ways.
    He is thrice holy…and we are not.

    In my opinion, it’s the lack of a fear of God that is the root issue of most of our ills…

  29. Michael says:

    I have to leave for church soon.
    Debate ideas without demeaning persons.

  30. Ricky Bobby says:

    “That would preclude the righteous judgment of God on sin and any punishment at all, would it not?”

    No.

    I think if it’s all real, if God is good, if Jesus is truly the remedy and bore the penalty for the sins of mankind, then Jesus suffered the punishment for sin and paid the price for “all”.

    I think a Good and Loving and Merciful God makes things right in the next life and redeems the whole of his Creation, whether some get some sort of punishment for an age or not.

    It is very possible that sin has already been judged and that Jesus bore the brunt of that Judgment for all and conquered “death and hades” etc for all…past, present and future.

    Why would God need to kill Jesus and then torment most of humanity in a never ending eternal torment?

  31. Andrew says:

    “Why would God need to kill Jesus and then torment most of humanity in a never ending eternal torment?”

    Please don’t forget that Jesus was God and He gave up his life willingly for our sins. It cost him dearly.

  32. Michael says:

    RB,

    The atonement was for the sins of the whole world.
    That atonement is only procured by faith in the One who made the sacrifice…and the One who warned of hell for those who don’t.
    It was neither unconditional or unilateral.

  33. Andrew says:

    Michael, I thought you were a Calvinist?

  34. Michael says:

    I’m off to church.
    Having a BBQ before I teach.
    I won’t be moderating whilst I preach… 🙂
    No personal attacks will be tolerated…argue ideas without attacking people.

  35. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I am a Calvinist.

  36. Andrew says:

    Universal is not the same as unilateral. Monergism is unilateral. Synergism is bilateral.

  37. Andrew says:

    Calvinism is monergistic. It is unilateral.

  38. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I don’t have time to get into this.
    Calvinism is monergistic… but is still based on the atonement and the reception of that work by faith.
    Gotta go…

  39. Andrew says:

    Calvinism teaches a limited atonement. But you said the atonement was for the entire world. Just saying…..

  40. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Calvin taught a universal atonement with a limited application.
    The only group that doesn’t limit the application of the atonement are universalists.
    Just sayin….

  41. Andrew says:

    “Calvin taught a universal atonement with a limited application.”

    Can you please show me where Calvin taught this? I thought for sure he taught a limited atonement with a universal application that the gospel was to be preached to everyone.

  42. I think it is interesting that RB is preaching purgatory in his #30.

    I agree with this and have said it a dozen times here – “It is very possible that sin has already been judged and that Jesus bore the brunt of that Judgment for all and conquered “death and hades” etc for all…past, present and future.”

    See, sin is no longer the issue – and has not been for 2,000 years. However belief and non belief are the issue.

    Jesus said it all – I don’t know why you don’t believe him;
    “John 3:17-18 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

  43. RB,
    So you make the point that Jesus has added a law – the law of love. So what’s the big deal – now there are 614 laws instead of 613?

    You need to learn to distinguish between law and gospel statements. This law of love is exactly that – A LAW which we cannot fulfill the way God wants us to.

    Who here today loved his neighbor as he loves himself? Before you answer think – who did I bathe today, who did I cloth today, who did I feed (probably a couple of times) today?

    Oh crap – only me. We are complete failures when it comes to law commands.

    Now, the gospel promises are all the responsibility of Jesus to keep and perform – and he is with flaw.

    RB – you are on the wrong track.

  44. RB needs to go find the verses that say “eternal” life, dwelling, weight or glory and replace them with “a long time, an age” and see how that sounds.
    Yep, doesn’t fit.

  45. Xenia says:

    The Weekend Word….

    Today the Church commemorates the birth of John the Baptist. The readings, both from the Old and New Testaments, were about John and his mission, as was the homily.

    To our delight and surprise, the congregation sang “God grant you many years” (in Russian, of course) to me and my my husband because we just celebrated our 39th anniversary. We also sang for another couple and a lady who was having her 90th birthday!

    Afterwards, as usual, we had a potluck in the church hall.

  46. I am guilty myself, but it is good to at least see that Xenia used the thread as intended.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    I taught Romans 1:24-32

  48. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I’m not being rude, but you’ve probably never read Calvin.
    If you read his commentaries on the passages pertaining to the atonement it is pretty clear that he teaches that Christ died for all.
    The application of the atonement is only to the elect, but the atonement itself was universal.

  49. Michael says:

    “That, then, is how our Lord Jesus bore the sins and iniquities of many. But in fact, this word “many” is often as good as equivalent to “all“. And indeed, our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he spared not His only Son.” But yet we must notice that the Evangelist adds in this passage: “That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but obtain eternal life.” Our Lord Jesus suffered for all, and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation through him. Unbelievers who turn away from Him and who deprive themselves of him by their malice are today doubly culpable. For how will they excuse their ingratitude in not receiving the blessing in which the could share by faith?” John Calvin, Sermons on Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Death and Passion of Christ, 52:12, p., 140-1.
    commentaries

    “Which is shed for many.” By the word “many” he means not a part of the world only, but the whole human race; for he contrasts many with one; as if he had said, that he will not be the Redeemer of one man only, but will die in order to deliver many from the condemnation of the curse. It must at the same time be observed, however, that by the words for you, as related by Luke–Christ directly addresses the disciples, and exhorts every believer to apply to his own advantage the shedding of blood Therefore, when we approach to the holy table, let us not only remember in general that the world has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, but let every one consider for himself that his own sins have been expiated.” John Calvin, Mark 14:24.

    “To bear,” or, “take away sins”, is to free from guilt by his satisfaction those who have sinned. He says the sins of many, that is, of all, as in Romans 5:15. It is yet certain that not all receive benefit from the death of Christ; but this happens, because their unbelief prevents them. At the same time this question is not to be discussed here, for the Apostle is not speaking of the few or of the many to whom the death of Christ may be available; but he simply means that he died for others and not for himself; and therefore he opposes many to one.” John Calvin, Hebrews 9:28.

    ” Well, from that example we can see how one sin draws on another! However, when it says that our Lord Jesus Christ has borne the payment of our sins; that the chastisements of our peace was upon him, does it not blot out all frivolous imaginations which the devil has invented to obscure, and even destroy, the glory of God? That is why it says that our Lord Jesus Christ ‘bore our sins on the tree’ (1Pet. 2:24). And how much of our sins? Does it mean only the guilt? Not at all, for the satisfaction is also included. That is why, also, it is so often said that in the Gospel to be ‘the ransom’ (Rom. 3:24, 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14). What is a ransom if not setting a man at liberty? Suppose I owe this much money. Very well, here is the payment, and in doing this it is discharged. So, as it says in the Psalm, our Lord Jesus has paid the debts of all sinners. This is what I have mentioned from Isaiah: That all the chastisements were laid upon him (Isa. 53:4). What is the chastisements, if not satisfaction for all sins that we have committed? This truth is witnessed to over and over again in Scripture, which would not be the case if we wanted to insist on what the papists believe”. John Calvin, Sermons on 2 Samuel, 38, 12:13-14, p., 575-6.

    “We saw yesterday that the mockeries and blasphemies of the enemies of God did not hinder the death and passion of our Lord Jesus from producing and showing His power in the midst of such contempt and ingratitude of the world. For here we see all those who were in some reputation and dignity among the Jews, who openly mock the Son of God. Yet that did not hinder Him from pitying a poor robber and receiving him into eternal life. It is not necessary at all that personality obscure or diminish the glory of the Son of God. If it is argued that a poor robber is not at all to be compared with those who rule the Church, who were teachers of the law; it is not proper, when we speak of the salvation which was acquired for us through the gratuitous goodness of God, to seek any excellence in our personalities, but rather we must come back to what St. Paul says, “This is a faithful teaching, that Jesus came to save poor sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15.)
    So then, when we shall consider the fruit of the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, all men have to be humbled, and there will have to be found in them only poverty and shame, in order that God may by this means pour out upon them the treasures of His mercy, having no other consideration to provide for us, except inasmuch as He sees that we are cast into the depths in all miseries. Since then, this robber was a man disapproved of by all, and God called him so suddenly, when our Lord made effective for him His death and passion which He suffered and endured for all mankind, that ought all the more to confirm us….
    But though our Lord Jesus Christ by nature held death in horror and indeed it was a terrible thing to Him to be found before the judgment-seat of God in the name of all poor sinners (for He was there, as it were, having to sustain all our burdens), nevertheless He did not fail to humble himself to such condemnation for our sakes”… John Calvin, Sermons on the Deity of Christ, Sermon 9, Matt 27:45-54, pp., 151, and 155-156.

  50. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    I don’t mean to be rude either but I own a copy of Calvin’s Institute and have read at least some of it. I have also read lots of commentaries on Calvin and many reputable scholars have mentioned exactly what I said. Most I have come across with do not believe Calvin taught a universal atonement of which you are claiming. This appears to be a minority opinion at best of what Calvin believed and taught.

  51. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I just gave you direct quotations from Calvin himself…I could probably give you thirty or so more if you like.
    The foremost scholars on Calvin today are probably Muller, Ponter, and Daniels…and they all agree that Calvin taught a universal atonement.
    He was not the only “Calvinist” who taught that…there are many more.
    The phrase “limited atonement’ had never been coined when Calvin lived.

  52. Andrew says:

    Whence it comes about that the whole world does not belong to its Creator except that grace rescues from God’s curse and wrath and eternal death a limited number who would otherwise perish. But the world itself is left to its own destruction, to which it has been destined. Meanwhile, although Christ interposes himself as mediator, he claims for himself, in common with the Father, the right to choose. ‘I am not speaking’, he says, ‘of all; I know whom I have chosen’ (John 13: 18). If anyone ask whence he has chosen them, he replies in another passage: ‘From the world’ (John 15:19), which he excludes from his prayers when he commends his disciples to the Father (John 17:9). This we must believe: when he declares that he knows whom he has chosen, he denotes in the human genus a particular species, distinguished not by the quality of its virtues but by heavenly decree. Inst. 3:22:7, pg. 620

  53. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    That is a quote about election, not the atonement.

  54. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    I also just gave you a direct quote.

  55. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Take a deep breath and learn something.
    The atonement and election are two different theological doctrines.
    The atonement concerns what Christ did on the cross and who He did it for.
    Election concerns the application of the atonement.

  56. Ricky Bobby says:

    Wonderful, my mother-in-law who is a strict fundamentalist is commenting on my blog that I’m leading her daughter and her grandkids to hell.

    I still love her and forgive her unilaterally, but that is exactly the attitude I find not at all like Jesus in Christian Fundamentalism.

  57. Andrew says:

    Election and atonement are interlinked like a jigsaw puzzle at least in the TULIP formula which at least today is commonly understood to be Calvinism whether Calvin taught that or not.

  58. Ricky Bobby says:

    If you want to really tick people of all philosophical beliefs off, just assert that God’s greatest attribute is Love. The Fundamentalists cringe, the Atheists cringe. I think when that polar-opposite of the Spectrum cringes, it’s probably true.

  59. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    You haven’t been here long so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
    I have a huge library of Calvin’s writings and writings about Calvin.
    I also have heavily studied that second generation of reformers of whom Calvin was just one.
    By the grace of God I was able to go to Geneva and hang out with the foremost Calvin scholars in the world for a week.
    Almost all of that second generation (after Luther) believed in a universal atonement…that Christ died for all.
    The idea of a ‘limited atonement” that Christ died only for the elect, is a later development.
    Yes, Calvin believed in God’s sovereignty in election (and so do I) but I believe his view of the atonement is more biblical than later constructions.

  60. Wow, I like RB’s mother in law. She nailed him about his confusion over God’s attributes and came within a whisker of accusing him of spiritual abuse of her grandkids.

    Love it – RB, when are you going to lift my ban over there like you promised months ago … and don’t blame Maude.

  61. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Give it a rest.
    All that does is inflame those who hate me, don’t like you, and don’t like this blog.
    It serves absolutely no good purpose whatsoever.

  62. The mother in law is great! She said “Alex, I challenge you to read the Bible through. ”

    Even she knows that RB has not read the Bible, does not read the Bible.

    Go mom 🙂

  63. Michael says:

    Furthermore, it offends me that one person over there is allowed to curse my name without restraint.
    I’m not going to allow it here, no matter how much I disagree with what RB is promoting.
    The ideas are fair game…go after them and leave the personal junk out of it.

  64. Michael,
    He made it the topic on this blog – he didn’t just leave it on his blog.

  65. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Deal with the topic, not the person.

  66. I don’t get it – I identify him as a classic deconstructionist and you claim I am making a personal attack. If someone identifies me as a Lutheran or you as a Calvinist I don’t see those as personal attacks.

    I think it is important to the discussion that we discuss worldviews that develop the statements and ideas.

  67. Andrew says:

    This is not so much what Calvin believed or taught but rather what the term “Calvinism” means in today’s vernacular. Like it or not Calvinism is associated with the 5-points of Calvinism represented in TULIP of which the “L” stands for LIMITED atonement.

  68. Michael says:

    MLD,

    He is indeed a deconstructionist at this point.
    The issue here is that you also imputed a motive to him…and all that does is throw gas on fires.
    We can refute these ideas…none are new or original with him…but lets try to do so with as much grace and as few names as possible.

  69. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I’ve read the bible all the way through more times than you are old…and that’s a lot 🙂

  70. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you are free to comment. Not Alone banned you. Maude enforced it. I vote for you to be there and have your say, but I am not Moses. I got out-voted.

  71. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I really don’t care about pop theology.
    There are many Calvinists, scholars and otherwise who have different views on many things.
    You challenged whether or not I was a Calvinist and I tried to explain to you that my beliefs fall well within Calvinist orthodoxy…whether it fits any stereotype or not.

  72. Out of respect for you, I will back down.

  73. Ricky Bobby says:

    If “deconstructionist” means applying critical thinking and intellectual honesty to the paradoxical nature of the bible, then by all means, yes.

    If it means something nefarious and some sort of Agenda for anything other than truth-seeking, then no.

  74. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Thank you, sir.
    As I said, the ideas are fair game…

  75. RB,
    Go back to my #43 and give it a shot. Since love is #1 are you doing it?

  76. Andrew says:

    “You challenged whether or not I was a Calvinist and I tried to explain to you that my beliefs fall well within Calvinist orthodoxy…whether it fits any stereotype or not.”

    OK, But I am a bit puzzled when you mentioned that you found annihilation-ism biblically compelling. That really doesn’t seem very Calvinistic or Biblical for that matter.

  77. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Because I self identify as a Calvinist doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in or open to exploring other ideas and traditions.
    Have you read E. Fudge’s work on annihilationism?
    It is compelling and he makes a biblical case.
    I didn’t say I was convinced, I said it’s a case worth considering.

  78. Steve Wright says:

    I think an issue may be how one understands “an attribute.” I believe when speaking in this context they need to be thought of as qualities inherent to God. (That’s a dictionary definition too. An attribute is inherent)

    As Ryrie writes, they are not “component parts” of God. Each describes His total being. He does not possess love (or justice, mercy, holiness etc.) He IS love.

    In fact, I like how Ryrie uses the term “perfections of God” instead of attributes.

    If seen this way, then it flows that no one attribute can be independent or preeminent over any of the others.

  79. Michael says:

    Steve,

    This is one time I agree with Ryrie. 🙂

  80. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    I don’t have time to read E. Fudge’s work and have no interest in it at all. I have read the Bible and annihilationism just isn’t in there. sorry.

  81. Even I agree with Ryrie on the perfections of God.

  82. Steve Wright says:

    As to The Weekend Word – I mentioned what I taught. As to what I learned – I believe those verses should be divided into two sections, not three. 24-27 and 28-32.

    Typically there is a threefold division based on the three repeats of “God giving them over…”

    However, if you combine two of those “God giving them over” into one section in 24-27, then you see that homosexuality, while still clearly a sexual sin, is used as an example NOT a highlight of some super-duper horrible sin.

    It is chosen to highlight what is against nature, which goes directly back to worshipping the creature and not the Creator – also something not natural.

    Verse 24 is general sexual sin language in Paul’s usage – like in 1 Cor chapter 6.

    That’s part of it – actually the outline of chapter one is totally fascinating to me – and I see it i a whole different light

  83. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Was just thinking—again.

    Oftentimes, I listened and I participate in the exercise of pondering and asserting my understanding of who God is and who we are in this vast world that that have gone before us and what is to come. Presently, I am reminded of Job and his three friends. I think about all that was proposed and argued in the face of Job’s trial and afflictions. And when all was spent in the discourses that took place. Job was ultimately face with giving an answer to the Lord, in the face of God asking him who he thought he was in questioning Him. Along with this, his friends were rebuked by the Lord for pleading with Job in presenting various answers to his dilemma.

    Then I am brought to the knowledge of God being omniscience, omnipotent, and omnipresence. which in my mind, tells me that God is not limited like we are as humans in any way by time, space, or matter. He always was and always will be. Being so, how is it that we can carve up His word in so many ways that the simple meaning of what He has given us can become so convoluted that we find oursleves so far away from that which was made simple and without cause for such blatant errors. Why is it that we resort to extrabiblical resources when all that needs to be known can be known if we are in unity with Him. To be born again means to have a new heart. One that can hear His spirit speak to us through the scriptures and His creation. One can sit in front of a tree and ponder all that God is just by considering the hand that made it. God being all-knowing and all presence is perfectly capable and able to know who will and who will not accept Him and walk in obedience to Him. Jesus, said it simply:

    John, chapter 3

    11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

    12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

    13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    Jesus and Nicodemus
    John Chapter 3 : 1415 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

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

    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

    21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    After this, I considered the proposed “contradictions” that are often posed by those who have a difficult time with them. I think about how we, as humans have a propensity to make things all black and white or either, or and because of this it’s difficult to take in the fact that God is a fearsome awesome all powerful God who can if He so chooses snap any one of us in half with less than a word or a complete thought. And the only thing that holds Him back is the love that He does have towards even the least of these and to those who think too much of themselves. I think of His mercy and grace, and I think about how long-suffering He has been throughout the history of human race. And then I think again, why wouldn’t he know long before creation came about whose heart would be able to be changed and whose hearts would remain in rebellion.

    I then grieve for those who will be lost and I consider my own ways and pray that He will keep me close to His heart no matter what I must endure, not just as a Christian, but also due to my own sin and the sins of others. I give thanks that my heart was changed and I am ever humbled that except for being filled with the Holy Spirit, I would have lost hope a long, long time ago. For, believe me if it was up to me, I would have left this earth and all its wretchedness, for there is little in it except the desire to be about my Father’s work for me to do that causes me to cling to life a little longer.

    Perhaps, the biggest problem there is, is that of really understanding that love is not about getting what we want, nor what we deserve, but rather that which emulates the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in all their fullness of the godhead. Understanding that without the law, there can be no grace and grace without the law is a lie from the pit.

  84. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Since love is #1 are you doing it?”

    No, no more or less than any other human being in history. Only Jesus did it perfectly, and only God does it perfectly, which is my Premise.

    We don’t unilaterally forgive, even though Jesus tells us to love our enemies as God is perfect.

    God is the only one capable of upholding the Standard that Jesus teaches in the New Testament and as such, it is an “attribute” of God.

  85. Jim says:

    Micheal,

    I believe that Jesus fulfilled the law because someone had to, much in the same way that One had to die for the sins of many. I have a sort of NCT view of the moral law, in that Jesus expanded upon the commandments, and Hebrews sets the sabbath on it’s ear, blowing the minds of first century Jews. I am therefore not in any way bound by God’s plan or rules for Israel.

    Is this weird? I won’t argue the topic, just curious…

  86. Michael says:

    Jim,

    It’s not weird, it’s NCT.
    I havent read Reisinger in years…but again there is a compelling case there.

  87. Ricky Bobby says:

    There is no way around the fact that a major theme in the bible is unilateral forgiveness and love and mercy and love your enemy which Jesus commands us to do as God does perfectly.

    We can’t do any of the commands, let alone that one (or so the Fundamentalist will argue in another breath if pressed). We can’t do the Law perfectly, we can’t do the “New Law” of Love that Jesus established perfectly either.

    The fact remains, there is a Narrative of Love and Unilateral Forgiveness that is a God attribute in the New Testament. It contradicts the Wrath, Vengeance, Smite the Enemy, Conditional Forgiveness God presented in other passages.

  88. “No, no more or less than any other human being in history. Only Jesus did it perfectly, and only God does it perfectly, which is my Premise.”

    But why don’t you do it? Like I said, all you are doing is collecting laws – you are up to 614.

    Why should we obey Jesus? Why should we believe, repent and tell others. How do you know that ONLY God does it perfectly. You sound like one of those fundamental absolutists when you say that.

  89. “there is a Narrative of Love and Unilateral Forgiveness”

    I don’t think that you understand neither love nor forgiveness in the context of which they are spoken.

    When God takes away the kingdom from one group and gives it to another – is that not love?

  90. Ricky Bobby says:

    I don’t know for sure. Again, it is my opinion based on my Conscience, Reason and what I feel in my spirit from my readings of the same text you and others appeal to and in my life experience of being a father, husband, etc and in my ongoing dialogue with who I think God is.

    The text is not an Absolute, that is part of my premise. The texts present contradictions and competing themes and competing doctrines etc. exampled many times over and you guys do a great job strengthening that Position by presenting even more competing texts and doctrines. It doesn’t tie up in a bow. The bible is full of mixed messages and paradox and contradiction and even some verifiable errors (no one has seen god at any time, and the list of many others including numerical errors, the same woman having sons and not having sons, the voice Paul heard on the road to Damascus being “heard” but in another passage no one could hear the voice, etc etc).

    I think the texts contain some truth. We get glimpses, but the fact that there is such a divergence of opinion throughout even a singular denomination let alone the 9,000 to 30,000 denominations and Mainlines speaks to the non-Absolute and non-clear contradictory nature of the texts that make up the bible canon (of which there are different canons as well).

    If it were as clear and explicit as you present, there would be one Universally Accepted interpretation that would unite all of Christianity*, instead you have as fractured a Group as there is in human history…more so than the two political parties who argue over the meaning of the words on the page of the Constitution.

  91. Michael says:

    RB,

    Where in the Bible does God offer forgiveness without a sacrifice?
    Unilateral implies that it is forgiveness without condition…and the condition now is accepting the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf.
    Without Christ, no forgiveness is offered, only judgment.

  92. Ricky Bobby says:

    “When God takes away the kingdom from one group and gives it to another – is that not love?”

    It isn’t the “love” described by Paul in 1 Corinthians, it isn’t the unilateral unconditional love described by Jesus in much of the New Testament.

    Again, it is one of the competing and contradictory narratives presented in the texts, which is a big part of my premise.

    We are forced to choose from among Gods presented in the texts. I choose the God who unilaterally forgives, is Good, is Merciful, loves his enemies, etc etc.

    You choose to embrace other narratives presented that contradict that version of God.

  93. I need to go to bed, but let me just leave you with this.

    Read Luke 14 and the parable about the invited guests. Do you think Jesus is telling a story of everyone goes to heaven? They are all invited … but do they all end up there?

  94. Steve Wright says:

    On Jesus’ New Commandment Love one another as I have loved you.

    Here is what I believe is new.

    Jesus, is God, He loved with God’s love.

    At Pentecost the Holy Spirit (i.e. God) was given to the believers. We are not commanded to love with human love, but with divine love – the Spirit’s outworking in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is love.

    This is how we can love as Jesus loved – with the love of God. AND this is what makes it a “new” commandment, and not just a repeat from the Torah, because the Spirit did not have this same ministry in the Old Testament.

  95. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, Jesus tells us to unilaterally forgive and to love your enemies here and he says we are to be perfect in this respect (specifically) as our heavenly Father is perfect (in this regard). Jesus says in explicitly in this passage that God loves his enemies and doesn’t resist them and turns the other cheek etc. Again, it does contradict other narratives, but it is a clear narrative connected to other passages about love, mercy, unilateral forgiveness, turn the other cheek, don’t repay evil for evil, no more eye for an eye, etc.

    If God loves only those who love him, how is he different than the pagan?

    Matthew 5: 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  96. Ricky Bobby says:

    It’s an incredibly strong argument, I can’t find any way around it. There are competing narratives, it is what it is.

  97. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’m not following you completely…expand on that.

  98. Michael says:

    RB,

    You are butchering that passage…
    The very sermon you are quoting from levels the threat of hell towards people.
    Jesus directly contradicts you in the very text you are claiming for support.
    How you consider that a strong argument is beyond me.

  99. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, Much of the Upper Room is discussion about the coming of the Spirit, right?

    Jesus says a NEW commandment He gives them – to love one another. How is that new since it is commanded in the Mosaic Law?

    But He says it is new, and He adds “Love as I have loved you” – THAT’s the distinction that I think is the key to understanding why this is a “new” command.

    I believe He is talking about the love of God. Jesus’ loved with God’s love, for He is God Incarnate.

    That opportunity is about to become available for the first time – at Pentecost (again, which so much of the Upper Room discussion is all about), when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell with the believers

    The fruit of the Spirit, love, is now available through the lives of believers.

    Of course, as a dispensationalist who sees the Church begin at Pentecost, I am all over this, but I think all the rest of you should not be in conflict with this idea either.

  100. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, again, I am not asserting that even Jesus’s words don’t present contradictions, that is your misunderstanding of my position.

    Again, there are competing narratives. We are forced to pick from the menu as they can’t coexist and all be true. One has to trump the other. You can’t have Wrath and Mercy, Love and Hate, Conditional Forgiveness and Unilateral Forgiveness.

  101. Ricky Bobby says:

    The bible doesn’t contradict me, the bible contradicts itself, I am simply pointing that out and choosing an emphasis that the bible seems to assert in a hierarchy as “the greatest” of competing attributes it asserts within itself.

  102. Ricky Bobby says:

    Again, the words ascribed to Jesus say if you call someone “you fool” you’re in danger of hell-fire, then Jesus supposedly calls the Pharisees “you fools!” so I’ve already addressed the fact that words ascribed to Jesus in the imperfect texts present some contradictions, even with Jesus’s supposed words.

  103. Michael says:

    RB,
    I couldn’t disagree more…I think the Bible presents one grand narrative of God’s redemption…and though there are difficulties, it harmonizes well.

  104. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’d have to chew on that for a while.
    Certainly one cannot even begin to try to love the way Jesus commanded except by the power of the Spirit.
    I’ll also listen to your Romans study when it’s up…I’m thinking about teaching it again soon.

  105. Ricky Bobby says:

    “…it harmonizes well.”

    If you’re one of the Elect (or think you are) then I’m sure your position and theological box seems harmonious. Not so much if you are one of the vast majority of humanity who never has a chance to hear the Gospel or “correct Jesus” and is then tormented in hell for all of eternity with no end and was basically created for destruction.

    “I think the Bible presents one grand narrative of God’s redemption”

    I do as well…only “all” get redeemed, not just a chosen few, but I could be wrong.

    I hope I’m right and you’re wrong for the sake of so many many human beings throughout history past present and future.

    What a terrible end to the story if a scant few for no other reason than they were chosen special and given something get to avoid an eternity of perpetual torment…and the vast majority of others never having even a chance other than perpetual eternal no-end damnation and agony.

  106. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    “As Ryrie writes, they are not “component parts” of God. Each describes His total being. He does not possess love (or justice, mercy, holiness etc.) He IS love.

    In fact, I like how Ryrie uses the term “perfections of God” instead of attributes.

    If seen this way, then it flows that no one attribute can be independent or preeminent over any of the others.

    I like the way you brought this to our attention. God cannot be partitioned up nor is one part the sum of the whole. They are intricately woven into who He is. One attribute does not outwiegh another, but all are inherently the consumation of what Love is in the person, mind and spirit of God.

    Isn’t this also what He would have us to know about ourselves as well in light of being made in His image, therefore, to know Him, we come to know ourselves even better and what holds us back from walking with Him as He would have us to do. And in this, His word tells us to rid ourselves of any sin that would hold us back from accomplishing those works that which He has ordained before time for us to complete.

    Hebrews chapter 12:1
    Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

    Ephesians

    2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he love us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heaven places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of hisgrace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

  107. Steve Wright says:

    Certainly one cannot even begin to try to love the way Jesus commanded except by the power of the Spirit.
    ———————————————–
    Bingo. That’s what’s new IMO

    The OT used how we love ourselves as the standard for loving our neighbor. Jesus uses how He has loved as the standard.

    I’m happy with the Romans study. We are 4 weeks in, just finished chapter one. I’m happy with that pace. I think when guys take 10 years to teach through the book, even though they may be great studies, then it stops being expositional and more topical.

    We’re doing nice little chunks 🙂

  108. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, is it fair to say that I would be “unrighteous” and not holy if I were to exact Wrath and Vengeance on my enemies, rather than not extending Unilateral Forgiveness to them?

    Are the heathen “enemies” of God?

    Why would I be held to a lower Standard than God himself?

  109. Ricky Bobby says:

    If we are to be like God, why don’t we smite our enemies and why don’t we exact vengeance on them? Why don’t we punish our enemies if they don’t repent, like God supposedly does?

    If we are to be like God, doesn’t part of the bible assert he conquers, destroys, damns, wraths, vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord! his enemies?

  110. Michael says:

    RB,

    The doctrines of damnation and reprobation are difficult and daunting if we spend anytime thinking about them at all.
    All I have to go on are the Scriptures that do include those doctrines, but doesn’t really address the fate of those who never hear.
    I simply trust in God that in the end I will rejoice in his goodness and grace having information I don’t have now.

  111. Steve Wright says:

    Isn’t this also what He would have us to know about ourselves as well in light of being made in His image, therefore, to know Him, we come to know ourselves even better and what holds us back from walking with Him as He would have us to do.
    ——————————————————–
    Excellent Uriah

    Since I’m quoting Ryrie, I like what he calls his 4 prerequisites to the knowledge of God.

    1 ) God initiated His Self-Revelation
    2 ) God gave language for communication
    3 ) God created man in His image
    4 ) God gave man the Holy Spirit.

    The point of #3 is that man is a rational being with intelligence, and though human intelligence is not the same as divine intelligence, it is still a “real” intelligence. Sin means we aren’t guaranteed to have perfect understanding in our humanity, but sin does not keep us from the ability/possibility to understand the knowledge of God.

  112. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I simply trust in God that in the end I will rejoice in his goodness and grace having information I don’t have now.”

    That’s all I’m doing. I trust in God’s Goodness and his Grace and his Love and his Mercy and all the good qualities that part of the bible speaks to.

  113. Steve Wright says:

    The first chapter of Romans One tells us that the wrath of God is presently being revealed today… i.e. it is not just some future event.

    It is the flip side of the coin that the righteousness of God is also being revealed today – in the gospel.

  114. Steve Wright says:

    why don’t we smite our enemies and why don’t we exact vengeance on them?
    ————————————————–
    “We” as in society do this though. It’s called the justice system.

  115. Michael says:

    Divine wrath is righteous antagonism toward all that is unholy. It is the revulsion of God’s character to that which is a violation of God’s will. Indeed, one may speak of divine wrath as a function of divine love! For God’s wrath is His love for holiness and truth and justice. It is because God passionately loves purity and peace and perfection that He reacts angrily toward anything and anyone who defiles them.

    Packer explains: “Would a God who took as much pleasure in evil as He did in good be a good God? Would a God who did not react adversely to evil in His world be morally perfect? Surely not. But it is precisely this adverse reaction to evil, which is a necessary part of moral perfection, that the Bible has in view when it speaks of God’s wrath” (Knowing God, 136-37). –
    See more at: http://www.samstorms.com/all-articles/post/justice-and-wrath#sthash.A2oxYj9C.dpuf

  116. Michael says:

    Leon Morris:

    “Then, too, unless we give a real content to the wrath of God, unless we hold that men really deserve to have God visit upon them the painful consequences of their wrongdoing, we empty God’s forgiveness of its meaning. For if there is no ill desert, God ought to overlook sin. We can think of forgiveness as something real only when we hold that sin has betrayed us into a situation where we deserve to have God inflict upon us the most serious consequences, and that is upon such a situtation that God’s grace supervenes. When the logic of the situation demands that He should take action against the sinner, and He yet takes action for him, then and then alone can we speak of grace. But there is no room for grace if there is no suggestion of dire consequences merited by sin” (The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, 185). –
    See more at: http://www.samstorms.com/all-articles/post/justice-and-wrath#sthash.A2oxYj9C.dpuf

  117. Ricky Bobby says:

    “We” as in society do this though. It’s called the justice system.”

    Agreed, and I’ll take it a step further, pretty much everyone fails the command to “love your enemies” as “God in heaven who is perfect” does…as Jesus states in that passage in Mark.

    It’s presented as an Ideal. It’s the Love Narrative and the Be-Attitudes and the Mercy, Unilateral Forgiveness, Turn the other Cheek, Gahndi Jesus Peace theme presented as one of many competing narratives in the texts.

    I don’t argue that the bible doesn’t present other themes and other narratives where Jesus smites the enemy and conquers the enemy with a sword and exacts vengeance and wrath etc, I’m pointing out that it is factually antithetical to the Mark passage and the strong Love/Mercy/Forgiveness/Love your Enemy theme also presented in the texts.

  118. Steve Wright says:

    There’s a lot I don’t understand. But one thing that just “clicked” rather early for me some years ago is that the cross shows both perfect love AND perfect justice.

  119. Michael says:

    Steve, well said.

  120. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Divine wrath is righteous antagonism toward all that is unholy. It is the revulsion of God’s character to that which is a violation of God’s will. Indeed, one may speak of divine wrath as a function of divine love! For God’s wrath is His love for holiness and truth and justice. It is because God passionately loves purity and peace and perfection that He reacts angrily toward anything and anyone who defiles them.

    Packer explains: “Would a God who took as much pleasure in evil as He did in good be a good God? Would a God who did not react adversely to evil in His world be morally perfect? Surely not. But it is precisely this adverse reaction to evil, which is a necessary part of moral perfection, that the Bible has in view when it speaks of God’s wrath” (Knowing God, 136-37)”

    God took out his wrath on Jesus. He doesn’t need to take out his wrath on folks who know not what they do. Supposedly Jesus’s death/sacrifice satisfied the terms of the contract.

  121. Michael says:

    RB,

    Again, what Jesus accomplished is only gained through Him, by faith in Him.
    Without Him, the wrath of God still rests upon the sinner.

  122. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    Yes, yes, Yes.

    “On Jesus’ New Commandment Love one another as I have loved you.

    Here is what I believe is new.

    Jesus, is God, He loved with God’s love.

    At Pentecost the Holy Spirit (i.e. God) was given to the believers. We are not commanded to love with human love, but with divine love – the Spirit’s outworking in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is love.

    This is how we can love as Jesus loved – with the love of God. AND this is what makes it a “new” commandment, and not just a repeat from the Torah, because the Spirit did not have this same ministry in the Old Testament.

    God is love and without the Holy Spirit we cannot love others. It isn’t about doing love–it is about being love. By putting off the things of the flesh and dwelling or abiding in the Spirit, we can love as He has loved us.

    This is something the world really do not get. So, they put their own definition on love in what they know in the flesh. We can love as much as Jesus loves us—all we need to do is to die to ourselves, pick up our cross and follow after Him.

    From the “being” it then enables us in the “doing.” Not the other way around. That would just be, works of the flesh. In spite of what the world tells us, that is, fake it until you make it, or if you act like it, you will become it, this is not what God is telling us at all. He has given His son to open up the floodgates to make a way for us to be reconcile to Him and to take on the very love that He has poured upon us by His mercy and grace. To say one believes with lip service simply does not get it, any more than it does when one say they love you but in their heart it is simply an exercise in doing what is expected or worse.

  123. Michael says:

    I have to check out for the night…have a full schedule with Trey starting early and I still don’t know what things I think for the morning article. 🙂

  124. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Again, what Jesus accomplished is only gained through Him, by faith in Him.”

    Which asserts that those who never hear of Jesus have no chance at salvation and are sent to eternal damnation for no other reason than they weren’t special enough to even hear the message?

    It is antithetical to a “good” and “just” God. If we as humans were to punish someone so severely and permanently for something they didn’t know or have the chance of knowing, we’d be called “unrighteous” and evil monsters.

    You then appeal to mystery and not knowing, but in asserting that you know that God only saves those who have faith in Jesus, you are asserting certainty in the position that God picks and chooses winners and losers and you are expressing certainty that those who don’t hear the message of Jesus are going to hell.

  125. Steve Wright says:

    Again, what Jesus accomplished is only gained through Him, by faith in Him.
    Without Him, the wrath of God still rests upon the sinner.
    ————————————————————-
    Illustration: The three crosses

    1 ) Unrepentant criminal – Sin was both in him and upon him as he died.

    2 ) Jesus – No sin in Him, but sin was placed upon Him.

    3 ) Repentant criminal – Sin was still in him, but not upon him anymore.

    I’m sure there is some fine points of theology that could quibble with some of that, but I find it an easy teaching point

  126. Steve Wright says:

    From the “being” it then enables us in the “doing.” Not the other way around.
    ———————————————-
    That is well said, uriah.

    I may “steal” that from you in a future message. 🙂

  127. Steve Wright says:

    I would argue that the first chapter of Romans tells us that anyone who rejects what can clearly be known of God, namely His eternal power as Creator, and thus His deity, is without excuse in God’s sight.

    We may not know much without the Bible, without someone sharing the gospel – but anyone who rejects the Creator to worship the created thing is without excuse.

  128. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve articulates a Deist position. No Jesus, just belief in a Creator, much like many of our Founding Fathers.

    Native Americans must be in, then. They believed in a Great Spirit, but didn’t know of Jesus.

  129. Ricky Bobby says:

    …well the Native Americans heard of Jesus, after the good Christians* drove them off their lands and slaughtered them, bringing the godless heathens the Gospel of course.

  130. Michael says:

    RB,

    I really have to go after I write this one.
    What I’m asserting is that the revelation of God that I have been given says that salvation is through Christ alone.
    It would be antithetical to send all others to hell if all deserved salvation.
    What the Scripture teaches is that none of us deserve salvation and that God could righteously damn the whole lot of us.
    Instead, He gives mercy through Christ to some, the others receive justice.
    There are still huge questions I have about some of the issues you’ve raised…but I can only be dogmatic about what has been revealed.

    Good night!

  131. Steve Wright says:

    Ah but remember, if the argument is about those who never had a chance to hear about Jesus, then all the deists are eliminated rather quickly. As we say here in discussing the creeds. It is not necessarily about all that one knows – but what truths does one reject.

    And I would add, that the argument in Romans does not accommodate pantheism

    And finally, the argument in Romans I cited is about a rejection of what could be clearly known about God and how that is leading to judgment – not an argument for some bare minimum that might lead to salvation. Paul is showing the world as guilty, and has no desire to show possibility for salvation apart from hearing and believing the Gospel message.

  132. Ricky Bobby @ 100 says, “Again, there are competing narratives. We are forced to pick from the menu as they can’t coexist and all be true. One has to trump the other. You can’t have Wrath and Mercy, Love and Hate, Conditional Forgiveness and Unilateral Forgiveness.

    It is my opinion that you actually can have, “Wrath and Mercy, Love and Hate, Conditional Forgiveness and Unilateral Forgiveness” “coexist and all be true”, when they are equally balanced. Such as, the balance of hot and cold is lukewarm. You can talk to humans about one side of the pendulum or the other when addressing a particular situation in order to make a point they will understand, but God Only is able to use the proper balance of that issue. For instance, it may be necessary to tell someone to turn the other check when they are headstrong on striking back violently. Although they may not actually turn the other check, they may no longer lean towards doing evil to battle evil.

    In my personal opinion there are many types of people reading the Bible with many opposite attitudes, some need to hear one way and others need to hear the other. It is not necessarily contradictory. You need to read it all and understand that God is the balance of the two pendulums.

    Humans cannot even agree on what the definition of is, is.

  133. RB,
    I don’t see the contradiction re: fear.

    In Psalm 34, David says, “I sought the LORD and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Later, in the very same psalm, he encourages the fear of the Lord.

    Fear the Lord…yes. Fear man and what he can do to me…no.

  134. Nonnie says:

    Wise words, Capt. K.

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