Thursday, May 21, 2015

The New Covenant and Divine Law

For several decades now, there has been an antinomian attitude present in the teachings and sermons of evangelical Christians. The antinomian mindset has reached so alarming levels that Christians are routinely told and routinely think and believe that Christians have no relationship whatsoever to divine law. The Christian, through grace, is completely free in Christ. The idea of law in many Christian circles has been mocked, vilified, characterized as legalism, and ridiculed by most pastors within evangelicalism. The results have been more than a little devastating. It is the purpose of this post to set the relationship of the Christian and Divine law as it relates to the New Covenant in its proper biblical frame.
The first area to be investigated is the relationship between divine law and the New Covenant. We have a new arrangement today that finds its ground in the sacrifice and person of Jesus Christ. Jeremiah prophesied about this new arrangement several hundred years prior to the Christ event. It is in the words of Jeremiah then that we begin to understand how the New Covenant relates to divine law. Upon investigating this relationship it is my hope that our understanding of the unique relationship between divine law and the New Covenant will bear more fruit so that we may have a better understanding of what our mindset ought to be regarding the Christian, the gospel, and the law of God.
The explicit promise of the New Covenant is located in Jeremiah 31:31-34. The components of the covenant are as follows: 1) it will be a completely new covenant and entirely different from the one God made at Sinai; 2) It will be with the house of Israel and Judah; 3) God Himself will put His law within them and on their hearts He will write it and they will be His people; 4) they will no longer need an intermediary teacher; 5) each one will know the Lord directly; 6) sins and iniquities will be forgiven, never again to be remembered. This is the covenant that Jesus Christ came to enact some 2,000 years ago. Since the purpose of this post is to trace the relationship between the New Covenant and divine law, I will avoid chasing the distinctive characteristics of the New Covenant and focus my attention on just one of those distinctions: the law that God Himself writes on the heart.
The very first point here that should not go unnoticed is the place of prominence given to the law of God in the New Covenant. For so long now, certain antinomian theological schemes have prevailed in popular evangelicalism that have resulted in not just a misunderstanding of the place of divine law in the New Covenant, but in addition, an outright hostility toward God’s law on the part of people who are supposed to love God’s law. The situation is not just disturbing; it is extremely alarming.
The New Testament Church is governed by the New Covenant arrangement instituted by God in the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Luke 22:20, “This cup which is poured out for you is the kaine diatheke, new covenant in my blood.” Outside of the New Covenant arrangement, men cannot relate to God in any way other than by way of hostilities. Peace with God comes through the blood of Christ, which was spilled to establish the New Covenant. Jesus was extremely clear that what Jeremiah had prophesied, He was here to fulfill. Paul informs us that He has made us servants of a new covenant. (2 Cor. 3:6) According to the writer of Hebrews, Christ has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which is enacted on better promises. (Heb. 8:6) New Testament Christians are members in the new covenant community. And this new covenant is the arrangement that governs the new covenant believer’s relationship with the Triune God of Scripture. The question then is what about divine law and its relation to the new covenant and to the believer under the new covenant arrangement. What does the Scripture actually say?
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus tells us that He did not come to abolish the Law of the Prophets but to fulfill them. In v. 18 He informs us that the Law will have an abiding presence in the kingdom of God. In Matthew 7:12 Jesus tells us to treat people the way we want to be treated for this is the Law and the Prophets. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandments are to love the Lord your with all your being and to love your neighbor as yourself. The Law hangs on these two commandments. Paul says that the Law is good, and the commandment is holy and good. (Rom. 7:12)
The question that comes to mind is which law does Scripture mean when it speaks about the law? At the Jerusalem Conference recorded in Acts 15, this very same question came up. There was a sect of Pharisees who believed and who were also teaching that Gentiles had to be circumcised and that they should keep the Law of Moses. The apostles arrived at the decision that everyone, both Jew and Gentile were saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus. Hence, it would seem here that Christians are not obligated to keep the Law of Moses. In 1 Corinthians 9:20-21, Paul made some very fascinating remarks regarding the Law of Moses and the Law of God. Paul clearly tells the Corinthian Church that he is not under the Law of Moses in v. 20. He could not be clearer in his statement. Paul then says that he is not without the law of God but under the law of Christ in v. 21. We have to conclude then that Christians are clearly under the Law, but they are not under the Law of Moses. We are clearly under what is termed in the NT, the Law of God or the Law of Christ. It is this Law that we must conclude is written on the heart.
In order to understand the Law of Christ, one must take the New Testament in its entirety. The commandments found there are the commandments that make up the Law of Christ which is itself an expression of the Law of God. We see components then of the Law of God expressed in the Old Testament covenants and especially at Sinai, but we see an even greater, clearer, and more precise expression of the Law of God in the New Testament revelation, within the New Covenant arrangement, in the Law of Christ written on the human heart through regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit by the washing of water by the Word. We see true Christians are those who have the Law of Christ, God’s law, now written on the heart. That is the difference. Christianity is not a religion whose essence consists of external religious ceremony. It is not a religion whose essence consists in the mystical experience of the idolatrous human heart. Christianity is the pure religion, the only pure religion whose essence exists in a person. The essence of Christianity exists in the essence of the person of Jesus Christ, God incarnate.
This essence of the Christian religion, expressed in the person of Jesus Christ, is carried into the life of the believer as we are in Christ and Christ’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit who makes his abode in us. This is what Christianity refers to as the Spirit-filled life. This is why the John says that Children of God and the Children of the Devil are obvious, easy to see, evident, clearly distinguishable.
In Matthew 18, Jesus issues instructions to the Christian community related to how we must deal with individuals in the Christian community that engage in lawless behavior. The steps are very candid. They begin with a private discussion, progress into a group confrontation, and then finally and public rebuke, ending in excommunication. It is incredibly peculiar that modern versions of Jesus complete ignore this aspect of the Christ they claim to love. In Acts 5, a couple named Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit by lying to the Church leaders. God executed both of them for this egregious violation against His Law. Once again, the modern versions of Jesus and of Christianity are radically different from this story. In 1 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul reacts to a couple in the Corinthian Church that had married under forbidden circumstances. It is not permitted for a man to marry his father’s previous wife. That type of relationship is regarded as incest. The Law of God strictly forbids Incest. The couple ignored God’s Law under the guise of grace and Christian liberty. Paul’s reaction was to have them excommunicated from the community immediately. The concern that Paul displayed regarding lawless behavior in the Christian community was both swift and severe. Paul’s attitude was that lawlessness is like leaven, or a cancer, that if left unaddressed will spread through the body eventually extinguishing any and all life that it infects. In Galatians 6:1 Paul commands the community to take action when anyone is overcome by sin or lawless behavior. The Church is never to ignore the lawless attitude of those in her community. Action is not an option. Inaction is not a viable course.
There are 1221 active imperative verbs in the GNT appearing in 952 verses. Clearly, the NT writers had a very specific ethic that they issued from the start of the Christian community. That a certain ethical and theological standard were imposed on the Christian community is beyond controversy. Christians were expected to adopt a certain set of beliefs and embrace a very specific ethical standard. Refusal to do either one would not be tolerated.
John tells us that anyone that claims to love God but that does not keep His commandments is a liar. Jesus said that every branch that abides in Him bears much fruit. In other words, just as lawlessness cannot abide in Christ, neither can a lawless person abide in Christ. Lawless people must be identified, instructed, corrected, rebuked, and they prove obstinate, they must be removed. There is no place in the New Covenant for lawlessness. There is no such thing as a New Covenant believer who has adopted a lawless lifestyle.
Contrary to some radical versions of Christianity, the biblical form of Christianity, the Christianity of the New Covenant is a Christianity, the core of which includes God’s Law. Apart from the Law of Christ, there is no salvation. To despise divine law is to despise God. Biblical Christianity teaches that men are regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit on their heart, their whole person as it were. It is here that the Holy Spirit writes the Law of God, the Law of Christ. The believer grows in their love for, appreciation of, and obedience to the Law of God contrary to modern American Christianity, which seems to have cultivated an attitude of disdain for that which they are supposed to love. In short, modern American Christianity has produced record numbers of false converts and false teachers who deny the essence of the New Covenant arrangement. Spiritually speaking, these cavils are like wild dogs, trolling the spiritual dumps, feasting on rotting and decaying matter of every sort. Their stench rises to the nostrils of God whose wrath boils over against the vile blasphemy hurled at his righteous name daily by these pompous vipers, who in the midst of their vile and corrupt lives, smile on Sunday mornings claiming to love Jesus and to know Him. They are the children of hell sent into the community to deceive and to destroy and it is time the Church stop playing games with them and show Christ the respect He is due by obeying His commands to put these obstinate pigs out of the parlor. 





34 comments:

  1. Ed, I'm not sure of the point of:
    "There are 1221 active imperative verbs in the GNT appearing in 952 verses. Clearly, the NT writers had a very specific ethic that they issued from the start of the Christian community." How does the use of imperatives clearly relate to "a very specific ethic"?
    Peace

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    1. The specific ethic is simply this: Christians are duty bound to order their lives according to the teachings handed down from the apostles and this duty is not an option. The Greek imperative is the most common expression of command in the Greek language of the NT. Modern versions of Christianity that have disregarded the existence of law, duty, and standards within Christianity prove themselves to be false.

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  2. Were those imperatives designed specifically for the people to whom they were given or for all followers in all times? Says who/on what basis do we know this?

    Dan

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    1. Based on whose authority are you asking Dan? Justify the authority that you have to call into question the authority of Scripture. That is, BY WHAT STANDARD do you measure these claims?

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    2. I am not questioning the authority of Scripture, Ed. I'm questioning on whose authority one might make the claim that all these imperatives were for all followers for all times.

      By what standard to I measure what claims? I have made no claims, I asked two questions.

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    3. But to directly answer your question...

      Based on whose authority are you asking Dan?

      1. Based on the authority and responsibility that we ALL have to follow God as best we understand it, for we are "a holy priesthood..." with the responsibility to seek God ourselves.

      2. Based on the same authority as Peter, when he said, "We must obey God rather than human beings!"

      You are not God, you a human being. I'm asking a reasonable question to YOU, Human Ed. Not God. And why do I ask YOU that question, Ed? Because I want to obey God, not Ed.

      3. Based on the authority, as Peter says, that you should "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone..."

      4. Based on the rational authority of our God-given reason, that we ought not blindly follow people who claim to speak for God, but we should "test the spirits..."

      On whose authority or for what reason would you not be willing to answer reasonable questions?

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  3. On a related note - related to the notion of "on whose authority" question raised here and in previous posts - is it possible that some things are SO obvious to you that you just think that they ARE... that there is no need to say "it seems to me..." that it just IS? But if pressed on it, that you could think it through and say, "Okay, I guess what it comes down to is this: I, ED DINGESS, think this is is clearly true... it seems this way to me and that it almost can't be anything else..." ?

    Could it be that your certainty is making it difficult to see that others might have different opinions from you and do so in good faith?

    May I give an example? As noted previously, I am in the anabaptist tradition (Amish, Mennonite, etc). We, as a group, think it is abundantly clear that Jesus taught his followers to be peacemakers, and NOT to participate in war. There is probably literally NOTHING in the Bible that is more clear to us than this, it's an inescapable reality: Jesus is a pacifist and taught his followers to be pacifists.

    And I used to be content with that. It just IS the case. Period. Not "it seems to me..." but "IT IS!"

    But then I was forced to contend with the reality of the many of my fellow believers who sincerely disagreed with me on the topic. To them, it does NOT seem that this is the case.

    I eventually had to learn that they were not being insincere, not being false about it. They honestly disagreed with what we think is one of the basic fundamentals of Jesus' teachings and did so in good faith.

    So, I have learned to say, "It seems to ME that this is the case" about things that people can disagree about, even when I think it is abundantly clear. Is it possible this is what is happening in some of our discussions, Ed? That it's difficult to make the distinction between "It IS!" vs "It seems to me..." and when someone disagrees with you about "it IS" you tend to think they are being false or twisting, when in reality, it's just a good faith disagreement?

    Something to consider.

    Dan

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    1. It isn't ED DINGESS alone that subscribes to these beliefs. They have their roots all the way back to very beginning of God speaking. God speaking audibly. God speaking through oral tradition. God speaking through written word. God speaking in Christ. God speaking through the prophets and apostles. God speaking is always authoritative and beyond question as it relates to his authoritative word. When those who opposed apostolic tradition in the early Church came along, they were marked and excluded from the community. One could never reject Paul and find acceptance in the community, or Peter, or any of the apostolic teaching preserved and handed down.

      Genuine faith sees these truths, understands these truths, embraces, endorses, and proclaims these truths. If you do not, I would admonish you to beg God to open your eyes and give you the faith to see and understand His truth. Apart from genuine faith, these things cannot be known and understood. This is a true test of true faith. Failure to receive the authority of THE FAITH handed down by the apostles is an indication that true faith is absent or we are dealing with a new convert who must be instructed. But even in the latter case, the new convert will NOT reject these things as they are taught them for when they hear them they will be like hearing 2+2 = 4. To think otherwise immediately becomes impossible. You do not understand genuine faith.

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    2. If you are not careful Dan, I am going to delete every comment you make. Unbelief can always find a reason NOT to believe, not to take God at his word regardless of how unreasonable it is and without consideration for the consequences. This is your last warning.

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    3. Let's say you encounter someone who rejects God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, and your claims about Christianity. To what do you appeal to convince this person that they are wrong? And does it even matter?

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    4. I have no need to convince a person they are mistaken. I am content to say, "This is what I believe and I disagree with your opinion."

      For instance, I believe that it is a sign of intellectual cowardice to delete comments for no good reason, that is my opinion. I don't need to speak for God to tell you that GOD does not want you to delete my comments. I do not speak for God, nor do you, Ed.

      Now, if/when I am speaking about what I think Jesus was speaking about or some other biblical topic, I will cite the passage in question, perhaps provide some background and then explain why I hold my position.

      But my goal is not to convince them they are wrong so much as it is only to explain what I believe. Now, when they make a factual misstatement, I may point to the data to show where they are factually mistaken, but that's just talking about reality. For instance, if someone says that Jesus never told his followers to sell their belongings, I might point to where Jesus did, in fact, say that. But from there, if the person wants to argue, "Well, I don't think that MEANS that Jesus wants US to sell our belongings..." I'm fine with them holding whatever interpretations they deem best.

      I am not God's police to try to enforce people to believe what I believe is the best understanding about an unprovable topic. I just ask people to accept reality and, along with me, note that we do not speak authoritatively for God on topics we can't prove one way or the other.

      Thus, I am content to let my words stand or fall based on their rationality and their morality.

      What is your criteria for deleting comments, Ed? I have done it sometimes, but it is always for one of two reasons: Spam or Abusive language (towards others, mostly, I don't care if people speak abusively towards me, other than it makes me concerned for them). Also, if someone is insisting on ignoring my questions and posting off topic red herrings... I'll often let red herrings go and usually do, but not when I'm politely asking a specific question and they just keep ignoring it. Then I have been known to delete a comment, but it is very rare.

      In your case, I have no idea why you are deleting my comments, so I have no way of avoiding being deleted. Would it not be more rational and less whimsical if you gave some ground rules as to what comments you will delete?

      I'll have to tell you, Ed, I'm not inclined to continue a conversation very long when someone is dodging questions and deleting comments.

      Dan

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  7. One could never reject Paul and find acceptance in the community, or Peter

    As a point of fact, in Acts, we see many people rejecting Paul and Peter at different points, including Paul disputing Peter and vice versa.

    "When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong..." [Paul speaking]

    For the record...

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    1. No Dan. Peter's writings, being Scripture, have nothing to do with the fact that Peter was still a sinner, the same as Paul. Let's keep the apples separated from the oranges.

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  8. What you said...

    One could never reject Paul and find acceptance in the community, or Peter

    I'm simply pointing to the reality that Paul DID reject Peter's words on a topic as wrong, and other disputes factually are recorded in the biblical books. I'm not sure what apples you're wanting to keep separate from what oranges.

    The reality is that the early church had disputes. People were wrong. And that did not always result in rejection from the church.

    In the Bible, the ONLY times people were actively rejected from the church were when they were deliberate liars, deliberately making false claims, usually in an effort to gain power or money. THOSE were the people who were called "false teachers" and rejected.

    But in the case of simple, sincere disagreements of How to Best Follow God, we have no record of God endorsing that, and why would we? How is it rational to divide over every good faith disagreement?

    Would you mind answering some of my questions, Ed?

    Do you think it is rational to divide over every good faith disagreement? I bet you don't.

    Is it rational to divide over SOME good faith disagreements? It appears you do think this is true.

    If so, on what basis/what criteria do you hold to consistently know when it is okay to divide and when not? Is it acceptable to divide over someone who takes Genesis as literal history, but does not believe in a Young Earth? How about if someone sincerely thinks that much of Genesis is poetic, mythic or otherwise figurative?

    On what basis do you think this is rational? Does the Bible somewhere teach us to divide over genre assignments of text? If so, where? Of course, it doesn't, so on what basis would you do so?

    Dan

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    1. No he did not Dan. Christian orthodoxy claims that the writings of these men were inspired, not that the men were beyond sin themselves. This is the kind of stuff that will get you blocked because I think you already know this and you know what I mean.

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    2. Ed, I don't know what in the world you're talking about. Do you recognize that you tend to talk in oblique and vague terms, not being clear about what it is you're speaking? I never said that Peter or Paul were beyond sin. Nor have I said they weren't inspired. So I frankly don't know what it is you're speaking of.

      How rational is it to delete comments where the person doesn't even know why you're deleting? Why not simply explain yourself or ask questions if you're not clear on what I'm saying?

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  9. Unbelief can always find a reason NOT to believe, not to take God at his word regardless of how unreasonable it is and without consideration for the consequences. This is your last warning.

    ? This is my last warning FOR WHAT? I don't know what you're upset about unless you tell me. Be reasonable, Ed, how can I know unless you tell me.

    For unbelief? What unbelief? I BELIEVE in God the Creator, I believe in Jesus, the risen son of God. I believe in God's grace and embracing the teachings of Jesus.

    Do I disagree with you about the interpretation of Genesis? Yes, at least in part, and you disagree with me. But disagreement is not unbelief, don't you agree?

    I really have no idea what upsets you so, Ed. Communicate, my brother!

    Dan

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    1. Disagreement isn't ipso fact unbelief, but unbelief can serve as the basis for disagreement. For example, you simply cannot believe in a literal 6 day creation or that men lived 900 years. That is unbelief.

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    2. ? I CAN believe that, Ed. I used to believe it. God is God and can do anything, include make people live to be 900 years old magically.

      I ultimately, however, decided that is not the most rational biblical explanation, in my opinion.

      It's NOT, therefore, from a lack of belief in God, but in a simple lack of agreement with a literal interpretation as being the most likely explanation.

      It's just the same, exactly, as the oft-ignored example of the "four corners" line. It COULD be that God made a flat rectangular planet and then changed it at some point so now it's spherical... and thus, the line should be taken literally. It's possible, but I don't think and YOU don't think that's the most rational or biblical explanation.

      Am I mistaken?

      Do you see the difference?

      Dan

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  10. Some other questions on your comments/claims...

    There is no such thing as a New Covenant believer who has adopted a lawless lifestyle.

    Do you believe that there is such a thing as a Christian who is sincerely mistaken on some behaviors and their sin status and who, therefore, continue in sin, but in sincere error, not realizing it as sin?

    For instance, IF it turns out that the Anabaptists (and those who agree with them) are correct and God really does not want Christians to engage in war, are all the soldiers throughout the years who have THOUGHT they were following God but were sincerely mistaken on this point, had they adopted a "lawless lifestyle..." Or were they just sincerely mistaken and sinned in error?

    What of the Christians who believe that drinking alcohol is not a sin... if it turns out that it IS a sin and all those years, they were engaged in sinful activity, but in sincere error, had they adopted a "lawless lifestyle" or were they just sincerely mistaken?

    In short, does God's grace cover our sincere mistakes or must we be correct on every point in order to not be involved in a "lawless lifestyle" and thus, be "truly" saved?

    Or do you think that Christians are incapable of being sincerely mistaken on any points?

    Thanks for any answers you may provide.

    In Christ,

    Dan

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    3. Sin is not an area of ambiguity. Sin is one of those things that is clear in Scripture. That men impose their legalism on the text says nothing about the clarity of Scripture. Rather, it demonstrates that some folks are pretty biased in their self-righteous ideas.

      Jesus never told soldiers to stop being soldiers did He. There is NOTHING in Scripture that prohibits the drinking alcohol. But to murder or to get drunk are clear sins.

      True Christians are led by the Holy Spirit Dan. God cares for His own and promises to do so.

      What we dealing with? We are dealing with a man, you, who has abandoned the faith for a newer, more rational, more scientific version so called. Why? Because you just couldn't believe the stories. You could not believe in a literal six days. You could not believe men could live 900 years. You could not believe God would order the killing of the heathen nations. You could not believe that God could would condemn a 16 year old to eternal damnation. And so, you set out to come up with a scheme or system that would allow you to keep Christ, supposedly, while getting rid of all the things you refused to believe. That is where you are Dan. You have come up with one rescuing device after another, after another.

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  11. Ed, it really would help if you'd directly answer questions, you know. Are you just not going to do that? If not, I guess there's no point in having conversations if you're not willing to answer reasonable questions. It almost seems as if you just want to be divisive and factious as opposed to trying to explain yourself or your positions.

    Sin is one of those things that is clear in Scripture.

    So, are you saying, then, that NO CHRISTIAN EVER can possibly be mistaken about what is and isn't a sin?

    Is it a sin to drive 27 MPH in a school zone? Says who? On what basis?

    Is it a sin to drop a nuclear bomb on a city of men, women and children? No? If not, says who? On what basis is it NOT a sin?

    Is it a sin to own slaves? Says who?

    Is it a sin to marry more than one wife? Says who? The Bible NEVER condemns it, so how do you know it's a sin?

    I think it is abundantly clear that we do NOT know perfectly all sin behavior (and all NOT-sin behavior), do you disagree?

    Ed...

    Jesus never told soldiers to stop being soldiers did He.

    It wasn't about the example, Ed, it was about the point: It's possible to be mistaken sincerely about sin.

    How about this, though: Jesus CLEARLY and unambiguously had a great deal to say about money and its trappings - more than he did about sexual behaviors. Jesus gave an imperative CLEARLY and unambiguously, "DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURES HERE ON EARTH."

    Ed, do you have a bank account with savings? Do you hold investments? Are you not clearly contradicting this command from Jesus?

    Again, my point is not the example, it's the notion that people CAN be sincerely mistaken about a behavior's sinfulness. Do you think that all Christians in all of history have agreed about every sin?

    If so, on what do you base this, because clearly, it isn't a factual claim.

    Dan

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  12. The Bible speaks of "sin unaware" or "secret sin" - clearly these authors recognized the reality that people can and do sin in error, without even knowing it. Reality backs this up. There's no way we all know perfectly each and every potential sin.

    It would be a gross arrogance for someone to claim, "I am entirely without error when it comes to knowing sin... I can NOT be mistaken on even one point!" Who would say that? No rational human being, not the authors of the Bible.

    Consider Psalm 19...

    Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

    About which, the Matthew Henry commentary says...

    "For mercy to pardon. Finding himself unable to specify all the particulars of his transgressions, he cries out, Lord, cleanse me from my secret faults; not secret to God, so none are, nor only such as were secret to the world, but such as were hidden from his own observation of himself. The best of men have reason to suspect themselves guilty of many secret faults, and to pray to God to cleanse them from that guilt and not to lay it to their charge..."

    Clearly, the psalmist recognized the reality of his own imperfect knowledge of sin. Clearly Henry recognizes this reality.

    John Wesley's commentary says...

    Secret - From the guilt of such sins as were secret either, from others; such as none knows but God and my own conscience: or, from myself; such as I never observed, or did not discern the evil of. Pardon my unknown sins, of which I never repented particularly, as I should have done.

    Clearly, many great believers and theologians recognized the reality of "sin unaware..." Do you suspect that they are mistaken? Do you suspect that you have obtained a state of perfect knowledge about all sin? Really?

    Surely not, but it's hard to tell, since you don't answer questions directly. Communication would go more smoothly if you would, brother Ed.

    Dan

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    1. Sin as a condition, or ontologically speaking is quite distinct from the subject before us Dan and if you continue to engage in this deceptive and dishonest practice I will have no choice but to block ALL your posts. You know full well what the subject is.

      John says no one who practices sin knows God. No one! Yet, due to my sin nature, there are things in the depths of that nature unknown to all of us. That is not the issue.

      No more warnings pal. There are those who muddy the waters on purpose so that they can pretend their paradigm is not too far off the mark and that everyone really is in the same skeptical boat. No more warnings.

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  13. ?

    Ed, warnings about WHAT? What am I doing wrong? Do you recognize how weird this is for me or anyone else reading this?

    I do not know what it is you are unhappy about. As a point of fact, I don't know. You have not told me what to STOP doing so I can stop. I'm NOT "muddying waters on purpose," I'm asking a reasonable question on the topic YOU wrote about, on the words YOU wrote.

    YOUR subject is The New Covenant and the Divine Law, am I understanding that correctly? (it's your title, so I think I am right, but at this point, I'm so confused by your reactions, I'm not sure what to think).

    On THAT topic, you wrote the following words:

    There is no such thing as a New Covenant believer who has adopted a lawless lifestyle.

    I'm simply asking a related question, to clarify what you mean by this statement. I'm asking, do you think it is possible to sin in ignorance? To hold a position about a behavior that, as it turns out, is mistaken. Your goal is to serve God and avoid sin, but on this behavior, you are sincerely mistaken.

    Do you think this is possible?

    The orthodox Church holds that it is possible and that, in those cases, we are covered by God's Grace, because it is NOT our perfect knowledge that saves us, but God's grace.

    Do you disagree that this is the orthodox Christian teaching?

    Ed, a "warning" is when you say, "IF YOU DO THIS, then THAT will happen." You have to tell me what THIS is, if you want to warn me.

    ...is this a spoof blog? Something you're doing just as a put-on, to see how long you can mess with people? Are you for real? Or just a troll who set this up to embarrass conservative Christians by being a parody of them?

    I just don't know any more, this is making very little sense.

    Dan

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    1. I really think I have had enough. It occurs to me that you only goal here is to serve as a major distraction and irritant. Nice Job. You will be blocked from the site.

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  14. 1 John 3:6 No one who resides in Christ sins; no one who sins has seen or known Him.

    1 John 3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil
    1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin
    1 John 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious.

    The notion that grace = lawless living is possible in Christ is false. The person who has adopted lawless living, say a gay man engaging in sex with someone of the same gender, is not in Christ, does not know Christ, and is a child of the devil.

    Christians do sin. But sin does not define their customary practice. You know this if you grew up as you say you did Dan.

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  15. For those following the conversation, I have dropped Dan from the comments section. Dan continues to find the flimsiest excuse he can to reject Biblical Christianity and he does so without acknowledging that he is rejecting historic Christian orthodoxy. The conversation is quickly turning into an endless debate and useless distraction. All I can hope for is that Dan will continue to read the blog and that God will grant him repentance.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dan's comments will be moderated. If he makes a point that is not mundane and deliberately ignorant of the traditional argument, I will allow it to post. But if he continues his usual tactics, his post will not be visible.

    ReplyDelete

Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism, Pelagianism

Critical Distinctions     I have recently been invited to debate the question, “Is Arminianism Heresy?” In speaking with others abou...