Top 5 Controversial Bible Verses With Commentary

by Jack Wellman on October 8, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

The Bible contains many controversial verses in it.  This does not mean that they are not the truth.  Let’s examine the context of five controversial Bible verses in order to see what is actually being said, either metaphorically, allegorically or literally.

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

Does Jesus really mean that we should hate our parents, our siblings, and our children?  What is He saying?  Jesus was speaking to the crowd about discipleship.  He was stressing the importance of putting God first above everyone, including family.  Humans have a tendency to idolize their family and so He was saying that anyone that would become Jesus’ disciple must count the cost and it is supremely high (Luke 14:27) and if a believer is to trust in Christ, they should renounce everyone and everything for His sake, even family (Luke 14:27).  When Jesus was speaking to the crowd one man told him that his mother and brothers wanted to see Him but Jesus said “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matt 12:48-50).  The point Jesus was making about hating our own family was that in comparison to Him, we must love Him above all everyone, and if need be, renounce them for His sake.  What Jesus is using in Luke 14:26 is hyperbole or an extreme exaggeration to make His point that we must seek Him first and foremost and the kingdom above all things and all people (Matt 6:33). Instead of thinking that we are to hate our family, see this is a very strong contrast as “love less, by comparison.”

 

Does Jesus really mean that we should literally pluck out our eyes if we have problems with say, pornography?  Here again Jesus is using an extreme example to make a point and get people’s attention about the seriousness of sin.

Does Jesus really mean that we should literally pluck out our eyes if we have problems with say, pornography? Here again Jesus is using an extreme example to make a point and get people’s attention about the seriousness of sin.

Matthew 18:9 “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.”

Does Jesus really mean that we should literally pluck out our eyes if we have problems with say, pornography?  Here again Jesus is using an extreme example to make a point and get people’s attention about the seriousness of sin.  If a person has an addiction to pornography, would it not be better to get rid of the Internet if that is the primary source of this sin?  They might even have to give away their DVD player and destroy all their porn videos.  A believer must rid themselves of any things that cause us to sin…old friends, old places, and those things which could cause us to stumble or cause sexual immorality of the heart to occur.  This means that we might have to take drastic measures if necessary.  He isn’t saying to pluck out our eyes if necessary for we need them to work, to drive, and to live life.  Even if a person did pluck out their eyes, lust is an issue of the heart and Jesus has said that even lusting after someone in our heart is the same as sexual immorality.  He sees this as being so serious that a person must try to rid themselves of it by all means necessary.

Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”

Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword? Didn’t He say earlier “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (John 14:27)? What does Jesus mean by saying He came with a sword and has set a son against his father and a daughter against her mother and that those in their own household will become their enemies?  Jesus mentions the sword because it will divide families.  Some will be hostile to those family members who become Christians.  Jesus said that sometimes they will hate us and persecute us for believing in Him and even our family will turn against us and not spare us from being hated and persecuted…maybe even disowned or disinherited.  You might think that they hate us but it’s really Jesus or God that they hate.  When a person is born again our family and friends will be so convicted by our behavior and profession of Christ that they will scorn us and ridicule us for our faith.  That is actually a good thing for they did the same to Christ and in fact, went even further; they murdered Him.

John 14:26 ”Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Aren’t we supposed to love ourselves as our neighbor (Mark 12:31)?  How can we hate this life?  And if we love this life, we’ll lose it?  What Jesus is saying, when we read the entire chapter 14 of John, is that if we want to follow Him we will have to live our life for God and not for self.  This was in the final week that Jesus said this.  He was facing death on the cross.  He was going to lose His life for us.  If we are to serve Jesus we must follow Him wherever He goes (John 14:26).  This doesn’t mean that we follow Him to Calvary for our own lives are insufficient payment to the Father for our own sins.  What it does mean is that Jesus “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28).  When we are told to hate our own lives, Jesus is giving us a sharp contrast to loving our own life and serving our own self and our self-interests rather than giving our lives as a servant of others.  Jesus is telling His followers to use our life not for our own interests but to serve others and in a sense, to give our own life in doing so.  We “give” our own life by sacrificing our time, talents, and treasure for the benefit of others.

Matthew 5:21-22 “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.”

This saying hit me hard and I am sure it hits everyone equally hard.  Who hasn’t hated someone at one time or another?  Most people do not see hate as murder but hate is the motive behind most murders.  No one would murder someone they loved or really liked except in the passion or heat of the moment.  Jesus does not say that all who hate their brothers or sisters (anyone) will certainly go to hell but he says that whoever hates “will be liable to judgment” and “liable to the hell of fire.”  If you are sued in court, you may be found liable and have to pay for damages. This word means that unless you have someone who is willing to pay your fine or settlement, you will be liable.  Jesus is the Advocate and has already paid our fine so we won’t have to be liable to hell fire.  By the way, the word used for angry in the Greek is like hatred and not simply angry.  The word means much more than just being angry at someone because there is actually a right time and a place for righteous indignation (or anger).  For example you might become angry at someone who is hurting a young, defenseless child and that is justified, but hating someone to the extent that you wished they were dead is seen as murder in Jesus’ eyes.

Conclusion

You may have different controversial Bible verses than I have given here.  If so, please add them in our comment section.  Jesus said that if we even hate someone we are committing murder in our heart and no murderers will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  This means that we are liable for the fires of hell, however if we have repented of our sins, confessed them to God, placed ourselves at His mercy and asked for His forgiveness, and finally, put our trust in Christ, He will be our Advocate.  We are then exonerated (or pardoned) for our crimes against God…our crimes of sin…because our Advocate has actually paid the fine with His own blood.  This is not a hard thing to do. If you trust in Christ today, you are no longer liable for the sins you have committed.  Trust in Him today and you will have the best Representative you could possibly have when you face God for your final judgment (Rev 20:11-15).  The amazing fact that this Lawyer (which is what Advocate means) died for His client is the most controversial case ever.  It is a supremely radical love.  More radical than any trial that has ever been held because by His work, you will be declared “Not guilty.”  Literally, we can thank God for that.

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Check out this other related article:  Controversial Political Issues and the Christian



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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek Hill October 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Nice job on this one, brother. I learned much from you on this one and I am so thankful for your friendship! God bless you, Jack!

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Jack Wellman October 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Derek. As usual, you are more kind to me than I deserve. I also apologize for not commenting more but as you know, there are so many irons in the fire. I thank God for you Derek.

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RICHARD MUSEMBI October 9, 2013 at 4:07 am

Thanks for your inspiring words as the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed the all world before he returns with his heavenly Glory AMEN!!

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Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thank you Mr. Musembi. What a precious and encouraging comment sir. I thank God for you sir that there are still believers out there that provide words of grace.

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Linda October 9, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thank you Jack, I re-read these verses many times and struggled with them. You cleared up all my questions concerning them as always, thanks you so much, god bless you Jack.

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Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thank you Linda. I covet such godly women of faith like you and so wished that I had the privilege of having Christians like you in the church that I undershepherd for the Great Shepherd. All glory to God and to Him alone.

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Jan October 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm

It is true that Jesus paid the blood-guilt price to God for all of our sins so that no more animal blood sacrifices had to ever be offered, but we still have to personally make reparation/restitution to God for the harm/damage our sins have caused to others BEFORE we can be accepted as worthy to inherit/enter eternal life. (Luke 20:35, 2 Thessalonians 1:5, Revelation 3:4)

“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7 (RSV)

For example: God forgave David and Bathsheba for their adultery, but the child conceived by their adultery still died as punishment (in reparation) for their sin against Bathsheba’s husband. (David had Bathsheba’s husband murdered to cover up his own sin of adultery and conception of his child with Bathsheba.) 2 Samuel 12
David composes Psalm 51 as a work worthy of his reparation/repentance for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba.

And this necessity for reparation/restitution is why Jesus stated: “Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:25-27 (RSV)

This is why John the Baptist stated: “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,” Matthew 3:8

And, this is why Paul stated: “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Acts 26:20. (NKJV) See also James 2:24.

Also, lust or “adultery in the heart” is not nearly the same nor is it nearly as sinful as the act of adultery with another person. What Jesus is saying is that if you choose to think about committing adultery, you will be much more likely to commit adultery; so the sin of adultery usually begins firstly with thinking about it, and secondly desiring it, and then thirdly making plans for it to happen. These three steps usually happen before the actual sin of adultery is ever committed. In other words, adultery is usually a premeditated sin.

Sins are actually measured/judged according to severity and so greater sins deserve greater punishment and therefore require greater restitution/reparation than do lesser sins.

That is what Jesus was explaining in Matthew 5:22: “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” (NKJV)

All “anger” is judged. Even every “idle” word we speak will be judged. See Matthew 12:36.

“Raca” or “exasperated irritation” with another person is also judged and so personal reparation must be made for this “sin not leading to death.” This type of sin is also called venial sin. (Matthew 5:26)

1 John 5:16-17 (NKJV) “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.”

The RSV explains this passage much better:
1 John 5:16-17 (RSV) “If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.”

Sin which is not mortal sin is called venial sin. Mortal sin separates us from fellowship with God, but venial sin does not. Mortal sin on a person’s soul at the time of death prevents us from inheriting eternal life, but venial sin on a person’s soul at the time of death does not.

Now, back to Matthew 5:22: So, “contemptuously” calling another person “fool” is a sin that is judged as heinous to God and so it deserves punishment in hell unless this particular “sin leading to death” or “mortal sin” is confessed, repented, and forgiven by God before death. All persons should always be treated in a dignified manner because all are made in the image and likeness of God.

Unrepented mortal sins, such as adultery and fornication, prevent persons including Christians from inheriting eternal life after physical death.

Paul warns all Christians in Galatians 5:19-21 (RSV): “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“Jesus answered, ‘You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the GREATER sin.’” John 19:11 (NKJV)

The reason the rich man in hell (Rich Man and Lazarus parable) wanted someone to go to his brothers and warn them is because if his brothers end up in hell because they followed the bad example of the rich man and therefore sinned accordingly; they would also end up in hell. The rich man would have to suffer the consequences of their following his bad example and thereby sinning against God through their lack of charity towards their neighbors. (Matthew 19:23) The rich man actually had no compassion for his brothers’ future fate just as he had no compassion for the beggar Lazarus who was seen starving near the rich man’s gate. The rich man was only thinking of himself and the punishments he would have to endure for his part in his brothers’ sins.

Greater sins have corresponding consequences:
“The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is GREATER than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown in a moment, With no hand to help her!” Lamentations 4:6 (NKJV) See also Hebrews 10:26-30.

Not every person who has previously at one time called on the Lord and became saved will actually inherit eternal life after he dies.

Matthew 7:20-24 (RSV) “Thus you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ 24 Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;”

Therefore, it is best for us to do until death as Paul commands: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; Philippians 2:12 (NKJV)

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Bj October 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Jack,
Waiting to see your reply to Jan’s comments… Praying for both of you.

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

BJ, I am sorry it took me so long. Thanks for your prayers. I am a bi-vocational pastor trying to work and finish seminary so I truly covet your prayers. Do you also see concerns about Jan’s comment as I did? It seems there are some very unbiblical comments he or she made. Do you also think so?

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Jan, I am trying to understand what you have written. Are you saying that adultery of the heart is not sin because Jesus said that looking at a woman with lust is the same as adultery. You mentioned sins, some venial. What does this mean? What Bible verses mention “venial.” Mortal sin separates us from God but not venial sin? I can’t find that in the Bible. Any sin separates us from God but if we have trusted in Christ after repentance, then we are seen as having Christ’s righteousness, right (2 Cor 5:21) and once we confess sins, aren’t they gone (1 JOhn 1:9)? If adultery is unpardonable as you so insinuated then isn’t the woman caught in the act and king David doomed? Is this Roman Catholicism? Just trying to see where you are coming from.

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DocReits October 13, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hey Jan,

You state:
“Sin which is not mortal sin is called venial sin. Mortal sin separates us from fellowship with God, but venial sin does not.”

The Roman Catholic Church confuses the idea of what sin “is” with its punishment. There are different degrees of punishment for sin in hell:

“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12: 47-48)

Sin (any breach of God’s Law…the 10 commandments) separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 says “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you”

Further:

Any and all all sin separates us from God whether it be venial or mortal. The Bible says:
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10) This is pretty damning to your argument about God’s view of any sin.

Salvific requirements are very straight forward:

1) All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Rom 3:23)
2) The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)
3) But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name( John 1:12)
4) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
5) That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.(Rom 10:9,10)

You state:
“but we still have to personally make reparation/restitution to God for the harm/damage our sins have caused to others BEFORE we can be accepted as worthy to inherit/enter eternal life”

The Bible says:
“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.(Ephesians 2:8,9) Our works do not merit salvation.

Here is the crux of the matter. Are we saved as the Bible says through Grace alone or do we have to do these works of “reparation” you mention in order to be saved? The Scripture says faith alone. Salvation is accomplished by the “work” of Christ on the cross. That “work” was done by Christ alone to satisfy the penalty for our sin which was the Father’s wrath upon us as Law breakers.

All of these works of reparation are as filthy rags because we can “Do” no good. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags(Isa 64:6). “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10)
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone” (Luke 18:19).

We are made righteous in Christ alone without any of our works because our works are a stink in God’s eyes, because all or our righteousness is as filthy rags. How then do we become righteous in God’s eyes?
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21) This speaks for itself. Christ alone is our righteousness.

You present “another Gospel” (Gal 1:8)with your beliefs. It sounds like you are a thinking person but trained in another Gospel, as I was, being raised as a Roman Catholic.

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”(Rom 3:28). The Catholic reply is: “Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18)

James simply tells us that we show our works after salvation to show that we have faith. It is still the grace of God which saves us through faith in His Son.

I understand that this debate is not over with my brief reply. It has waged even before Martin Luther confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. One of his(Luther’s) main complaints were that you could not obtain salvation through paying money ( for indulgences) as was the practice at the time of the Roman Catholic church. Jan’s points are just the continuation of a “works” based salvation after almost 500 years from that time.

The famous passage from St. Augustine’s Confessions (Lib 1,1-2,2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5) in which Saint Augustine states “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you” applies here. I wish you well Jan as you seek rest from your works in Christ alone.

Blessings,

DocReits

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Jan October 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hi Doc,

I will answer one question at a time. This is the first question you asked me: “Are we saved as the Bible says through Grace alone?”

Reply: I believe we are saved by “Grace alone.”

Since we both agree that we are saved by grace alone, here is my question for you: In your opinion, how exactly does this “grace alone” save/justify you?

I do have my own opinion on this “grace alone” topic which I will share later if you are interested.

You also state that you are saved by faith alone and not by works. So, in your opinion, how are you saved both by grace alone AND by faith alone?

I see no Scripture which states that we are saved/justified by faith alone. I do see one that states that we are justified/saved by works and not by faith alone.

James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (ESV)

Blessings,
Jan

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Jack Wellman October 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Let me ask you and Doc can speak for himself, most assuredly likely better than I can but let Paul speak for me in Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” Romans 11 again Paul speaking ” And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” It is NO MORE WORK! How clear is that? Further Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” Remember that Paul said “if it be of works, then is it no more grace” for if it is works then it is NOT grace because grace is unmerited pardon that none can earn, otherwise we would ( and I guess you do) boast. When anyone, like you are doing, declares that we need works too, we say to Jesus Who died on the cross, “Sorry, Jesus, I know your blood covers most of my sins and my salvation but I hate to tell you that this is not enough…I must do something too by works….sad my friend. Apparently Jesus’s sacrifice was not enough for you. How many sins did Jesus die for, for those who repent and place their trust in Him? ALL of them but since you think it’s not enough, we must declare that our works have completed our salvation even thou Jesus said “It is FINISHED!” in the Greek, “Pain in FULL!”

James is saying in 2:24 that we are “justified and, not by faith only–that is, by “faith without (separated from: severed from) works,” and that is the proper Greek construction of the sentence that any simple exegesis of the text shows but you do what they teach in seminary is isogesis which forces meaning into text…and so we are “justified and, not by faith only–that is, by “faith without (separated from: severed from) works,” The proper fruits of Faith to justify must, from the first, include obedience in germ (to be developed subsequently), though the former alone is the ground of justification. The scion must be grafted on the stock that it may live; it must bring forth fruit to prove that it does live. We are saved for works but not by works. A faith that works but not a works for faith. I am sorry you don’t get this critical component of the essential doctrine.

There is no contradiction. All you need to do is look at the context. James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us not to show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law. Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works. You only take ONE text and make it a pretext and a false one at that! Also, notice that James actually quotes the same verse that Paul quotes in Rom. 4:3 amongst a host of verses dealing with justification by faith. James 2:23 says, “and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’” If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example. Therefore, we can see that justification is by faith alone and that James was talking about false faith, not real faith when he said we are not justified by faith alone.

From what I have read of your beliefs, you are in danger of adding works to your grace and it is no more grace, I hate to tell you but I do tell you in love.

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Jan October 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm

RE: Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

REPLY: Yes, I was saved (reconciled to God) by grace alone through faith. In other words, neither I nor any other mere human being could possibly do enough good works or sacrifice enough animals to atone to God for Adam’s sin against God and thereby make it possible for any one of us to inherit eternal life.

Adam’s sin caused the loss of eternal life in heaven with God for Adam and also for all his descendants. (Romans 5:12-14) We all inherited the consequences of Adam’s sin just as if each one of us had sinned Adam’s sin ourselves. (Romans 3:22-24) Jesus Christ, who is both God and Man came to earth and died on the cross so that I and all other persons could be reconciled with God, and I was reconciled to God many years ago. But, this reconciliation between God and me which was given to me as a gift from Jesus Christ did not guarantee that I will inherit eternal life when I die. His gift does indeed give me hope (the possibility) that I will inherit eternal life after I die. (Titus 3:7)

Salvation is a process; it is not a one-time event.

1. We are saved first by this gift of grace from God.

2. We must continue to be saved until physical death in order to be approved to inherit eternal life.

3. To continue to be saved/reconciled with God/justified, we must continually prove our faith by our continued good works/good fruits until we physically die in order to become approved by Jesus Christ to inherit eternal life after we die.

Romans 11:22 “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” (NKJV)

Matthew 24:12-14 “12 There will be so much more evil in the world that the love of most believers will grow cold. 13 But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News I have shared about God’s kingdom will be told throughout the world. It will be spread to every nation. Then the end will come.” (ERV)

Jesus stated that not all persons who call “Lord, Lord” will inherit eternal life and this is because evildoers will definitely not inherit eternal life unless they become reconciled again with God before they die and then remain reconciled until death. (Matthew 7:21-23)

Matthew 19:17 “17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (NRSV)

Ephesians 2:10 must be quoted in context along with Ephesians 2:8-9 in order to understand the life-long salvation process:

“10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

This is a command, not a suggestion; and we must do the good works that God wills for us to do in order to prove that our faith is genuine…. or else we will be placed on the goat side instead of the sheep side on Judgment Day. (Matthew 25:31-50)

It is up to each individual to remain in right relationship with God until his physical death in order to be approved worthy by Jesus Christ to inherit eternal life.
Revelation 3:4 “4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” (RSV)

Revelation 2:10 “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Jesus saved each person for God’s own purpose and so each person must fulfill that purpose (to do good works/produce good fruit until death) or else he will not inherit eternal life even though He was first saved/reconciled to God by gift/grace.

Jack Wellman October 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm

So according to you Jan, Jesus was wrong about the thief on the cross being with Him in paradise for the thief never came down off the cross to do any works, not attended any masses nor took any communion…not ONE work yet he is with Christ, right? How so, according to your belief.

Again, you failed to answer me….about the woman caught in the act of adultery who Jesus said was forgive and now go and sin no more is presently in hell. How many sins did Jesus die for? The venial or only the mortal ones? Kind David committed adultery and murder thru conspiracy to commit murder has been prophesied to reign in the coming Kingdom but he is presently in hell too because he committed adultery. According to your belief, not the Bible, they should both be in hell, right?

Neither did you respond to nor didn’t know how to answer about the question as to if you ever looked at a woman or man with lust in your heart? Even once? (I say man or woman for I don’t know if by your name Jan, you are male or female.) I am thankful at least that you won’t sit to judge the world….that would be tragic indeed. Again I ask, have you ever look at someone with lust in your heart? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever been angry at someone (Jesus equaled this to murdering them in your heart), have you ever envied a person even once? I would caution you my friend, in love, because Jesus said that by the same measure you judge others, so also will you be judged and if you have broken any of these commandments, then you are headed also for the lake of fire.

Again, I am so thankful that it is He Who is without sin who will judge those who are with sin but have been cleansed (2 Cor 5:21) after they confess them (1 John 1:9) although I hate to confuse you with Bible Scriptures.

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Deacon James Stagg October 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

The TOP Five? How silly.

“This IS My Body”

“This IS My Blood”

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Derek Hill October 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Deacon,

This article isn’t silly. Jack is trying to convey truth on Biblical verses that are hard to understand. “This IS My Body” and “This IS My Blood” are very easy to understand. I wonder why you think this is silly. If you truly are putting God before everything else, you wouldn’t be making fun of a your brother in Christ Jesus this way. Honestly, we are supposed to be encouraging one another as brothers and sisters.

Derek

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Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thanks Derek. You are such a blessing to me and to so many. As I told Linda I should have changed the article’s title to Give Controversial Bible Verses with Commentary but you know as well as I do that many Christians are harsher than many unbelievers are and so perhaps we can say at least we don’t have to be under the leadership of a certain deacon’s church for I feel sorry for them if that is his nature, as it appears that it is. History proves that most stones are cast by other Christians when they ought to be either dropped or as I say, if I have a stone to cast, I am the first target!

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Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

How silly? Oh well, you are free to have your own opinion but at least you are not my deacon for which I am thankful for. The deacon at the church that I am under-shepherd of has never said a cross word to anyone in our entire church or to another Christian in all the years I have known him and perhaps this should make me more thankful to God for him.

Maybe we should offer the “Top 5 Most Needed Bible Verses” like 1 Cor 13:1 because so many Christians are quick to judge over non-essentials, fast at the verbatim attack of the use of an adjective against others.

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Linda October 10, 2013 at 7:32 am

I agree with you Derek, this has been the best site that I could find and has helped me a lot as its my only access besides my bible. Jack didn’t write about the top five controversial verses, he picked 5 out of many. Thanks for the great work WCWTK, bless you all, peace.
Linda

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Jack Wellman October 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Thank you Linda. I appreciate your kindness as I do Derek’s also. I suppose that I should have changed the article’s title to Give Controversial Bible Verses with Commentary but you know as well as I do that many Christians are harsher than many unbelievers are and so perhaps we can say at least we don’t have to be under the leadership of a certain deacon’s church for I feel sorry for them if that is his nature, as it appears that it is. History proves that most stones are cast by other Christians when they ought to be either dropped or as I say, if I have a stone to cast, I am the first target!

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Jan October 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Hi Jack,

I am happy to answer all your questions, but with your permission, I will discuss each question with you and then we can move on to the next question/topic if you’d like to continue our discussion.

Your question to me: “Are you saying that adultery of the heart is not sin because Jesus said that looking at a woman with lust is the same as adultery?”

Reply: Jack, are you saying to me that you believe that every sin that is committed is equal to every other sin that is committed? If this is what you do believe, I do not agree with your interpretation of this Scripture passage.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (NKJV)

It seems to me that Jesus did not state that lust was the same as adultery. Jesus said that if a person looks upon a woman in a lustful manner, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

To me this means that Jesus is warning me to carefully guard my mind/heart/thoughts because many sins originate in the heart (mind) of a person because of his/her own selfish desire for illicit pleasures/gratifications.

These illicit, sinful thoughts will later manifest into the actual commission of the sin(s) UNLESS the person’s desire for the sin(s) is immediately and vehemently resisted from its onset (James 4:7). He must immediately fill his mind with something good/holy to think about instead of continuing his previous evil thoughts if he is to win this battle against Satan. (Philippians 4:8)

Matthew 12:35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (NKJV)

Mark 7:20-22 “20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.”

Usually people do not sin the sin of adultery unless they first think and plan for committing adultery ahead of time. Therefore, lusting/illicitly desiring in the heart/mind/thoughts for a sexual union with another person is the very slippery slope to the actual commission of adultery with another person.

Jesus was not stating that the sin of lust was the same sin as the sin of adultery. He was telling us that lusting in the heart (desiring an illicit relationship) is the first step leading to the commission of the sin of adultery.

That is why Jesus warns: “29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

In other words Jesus is saying, “Immediately stop all your evil, lustful thoughts when they first enter your mind. If you do not, your continued evil thoughts may convince you to physically commit the sin of adultery. The punishment for committing the act of adultery is hellfire.”

Paul warns ALL BELIEVERS: “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)

Paul is telling ALL BELIEVERS that if they commit adultery, they will not inherit the kingdom of God (inherit eternal life).

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Jack Wellman October 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

So then the woman caught in the act of adultery who Jesus said was forgive and now go and sin no more is presently in hell. How many sins did Jesus die for? The venial or only the mortal ones? Kind David committed adultery and murder thru conspiracy to commit murder has been prophesied to reign in the coming Kingdom but he is presently in hell too because he committed adultery. It takes only one tiniest of all tiny sins to condemn one to hell. One sin is enough for it is said that all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Do you believe then by what you said that ALL adulterous affairs, even looking at a woman or man with lust is the same as adultery (of the heart) as Jesus said, are all doomed to hell. I believe you have created a God in your own image and in your own mind’s likeness and have made the blood of Christ of no effect for those who have committed adultery.

Have you ever looked at a woman or man with lust in your heart? Even once? (I say man or woman for I don’t know if by your name Jan, you are male or female.) I am thankful at least that you won’t sit to judge the world….that would be tragic indeed. Again I ask, have you ever look at someone with lust in your heart? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever been angry at someone (Jesus equaled this to murdering them in your heart), have you ever envied a person even once? I would caution you my friend, in love, because Jesus said that by the same measure you judge others, so also will you be judged and if you have broken any of these commandments, then you are headed also for the lake of fire.

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DocReits October 14, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Wow Jack and Jan…you two have been having quite the discussion in my absence. I love it. I was looking for a site when I found this one for just such a spirited(sorry…;-) discussion where we can hammer some of these things out in a civil manner.

I love apologetics and I spend much of my time in discussion with atheists and agnostics. I love listening to the great defenders of the Christian faith like William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Ravi Zaccharias, Greg Koukl and others as they slug it out with the likes of atheists Richard Dawkins, Peter Atkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. Great stuff!

Here we have Jan’s Roman Catholicism(modified) bumping up against Jack’s fundamental evangelicalism. I say “modified” Jan, because I have not heard you mention the necessity of the Sacraments (Holy Eucharist and Baptism) as fundamental requirements for salvation. Am I reading you correctly here as having had a formal Roman Catholic background?

Anyways that was the preamble for my following two cents. I am not a theologian, so no authority on that front. For a further disclaimer I am even more flawed than my wife thinks…and she knows me very well…;-) Thanks to the both of you also for keeping the conversation cordial as the names I am normally called by my atheist friends have not been evidenced by anyone on this site…congrats. I have to admit that being called an idiot every other sentence by those folks does bring a smile to my face so if anyone is tempted…go for it!

Believe it or not Jan, I agree with you on a lot of your points and differ fundamentally with you on just one main issue. That main point I feel, centers around Jesus’s meeting with Nicodemus in John 3. Here was a religious leader, a member of the Sanhedrin, held to the highest religious moral code of the day within Judaism(works based salvation), and yet Jesus said immediately upon their meeting, ““Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus was dumbfounded! He incredulously asked ““How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus basically reproved him for not already knowing this. Nicodemus was still groping for the reality of Jesus’s statement as he said, ““How can these things be?”

Finally Jesus got the grass down to where this bovine fellow could eat it for He plainly states, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”.

Jan, what I hear leaking through your thoughts is that salvation here, as Jesus describes it, does not mean eternal life. Am I right?

Regardless, here is what I believe. What happens at this salvation or “born again” time is the death of the old nature as I place it on the cross at Calvary(in Repentance for my sin). By the Father’s grace , as I place my faith in Jesus’s work upon the cross, the presence of His Holy Spirit takes up residence within my physical body as His nature replaces mine. That is a one time experienced event. Yes we work out our salvation (Phil 2:12-16) over our lifetimes but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a singular event. Let me explain further:

This is the Great Exchange. My life for His. I have been born again. If I died at that moment I would go straight into His presence with no detour to Purgatory. No works needed, no green stamps or trading cards, no 1500 e-Bay star accounts (even with all of those A+++ reco’s). The Father does not see my wretchedness, nor want my good works, for my faith in His Son’s blood covers me. This is what I refer to as the “Broad Umbrella” of God’s salvation. His Holy Spirit indwells me and I am blood bought by Jesus. I have been grafted into the Vine which is Christ. Yes the branch can be cut off and thrown into the fire (Jn 15:6).

Now, while getting under that umbrella is pretty easy (Repentance and Faith in Jesus) getting out from under it, is very hard. Key here, and the main difference between Jan and Jack’s discussion (as I see it), is that we need to recognize our total depravity. Don’t read that too quickly. I am going to type slower here so we will get this point…;-) “”We are totally corrupt and depraved””.

The sad thing is that we don’t even know the beginning of it. The Holy Spirit will reveal this more and more as we ask Him to do so, but I think the shock would kill us if we really knew how wicked we are. I shuddered as I typed that knowing just the little that the Holy Spirit has shown me about my own wickedness.

Now, getting out from under the “Broad Umbrella” of salvation is difficult. It involves, IMO, a life of practiced sin. A life where we embrace sin as a lifestyle. Where we flaunt sin in the knowledge that it is contrary to God’s Laws and yet we couldn’t care less. We never feel the need to repent all the way to our last breath. It is the elevation of ourselves as our own God for we have created our own rules in place of God’s rules. We have broken the second commandment and have made an idol to worship….ourselves.

We humans have committed sins of commission and sins of omission which we are not even aware of. Again there is no way we are even aware of all of our sins. That is why the Roman Catholic Church thought a place called Purgatory was necessary to purge these sins from the sinner’s soul after death, before they were deemed “worthy” to enter the Father’s presence. The deal is Jan, we will never be worthy ourselves, whether while here on earth or in Purgatory slugging it out until we would one day be called “worthy”….

There is only one who will ever be worthy, ” And I wept much, because no man was found worthy…. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof….And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;… Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing(Rev 5: 4a-5,11-12)

You cannot dismiss the fact that if you are a guy you have committed adultery as Jesus defines it. I know you tried to make a “work-around” for yourself in your post to Jack stating that lust in your heart was not the same type of sin in God’s eyes, as adultery in the flesh.

Think on this. Jesus says, “… those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (Mt 15:18). It is what comes from the “heart” where defilement is attributed. Jan, it is not the commission of those deeds that are evil. It is the heart which is evil. Jesus was showing us “our state” not our actions here. Go back earlier in Mathew 5 where on the sermon on the mount Jesus was showing us the nature of the heart.

Then read from Jesus earlier in the same book, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”(Mt 5:27-28)

How about that lustful heart? Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Mt 5:8). Hmmm, will we see God with a lustful heart? Again it gets back to my earlier conversation with you in that whether venial or mortal it makes no difference what you die with on your heart for, “…whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”.(Jm 2:10). Do you hear that? If you get angry with your wife (sin) you are guilty of all… (Blasphemy, Murder, Adultery, Thievery, Idolatry, etc.).

It is tough for us men but we have all committed adultery. Jesus was simply showing us that we are all most wretched and sinner’s in the sight of a Holy God. We have all gone astray and will continue to be pulled astray by the remnants of the old nature. How do we overcome? By daily crucifying the old nature to the cross and repenting for those things we have done and have failed to do and follow Christ anew every day, every moment, appropriating the strength of the Holy Spirit to help in turning from sin and towards God.

Our “bent” is what is important, not our performance. That is the realization Luther finally came to after continually beating himself (flagellation with a whip) to drive his sinful nature into submission. He finally understood that by the flesh shall no one be justified. He finally understood it was by faith we are justified. It was a matter of the heart in humble contrition bending toward the Savior and away from sin that was pleasing to God. It was there that he found rest for his soul. It is in this “state” of repentance where the Holy Spirit helps us walk more closely to the Savior realizing again that we are extremely wicked in ourselves in comparison to the standards of a Holy God.

Hey when I was in Roman Catholic school, one hundred years ago, did you know that it was a mortal sin for us Catholics to go into a non-Catholic church? Did you know that it was also a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday without a valid excuse(like sickness). In your calculus if I played hooky from Church on Sunday or sneaked a peek by entering a non-Catholic church and was killed in the cross-walk returning home would I really go to hell?

Interesting discussion and I thank you guys for making me think!

Blessings,

DocReits

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Nnadozie October 15, 2013 at 3:03 am

If we needed to be saved by works,Jesus wouldn’t have come,we should have been killing goats and offering burnt offering but Jesus did come and died for all sins,so our sins have been washed away and if we believe we are a new creation and we are saved by our faith! Jack and doc have reiterated this over and over. I ask myself if we are to be saved by works, what are we working for?what is the job to be done? And I repeat again Jesus has done the work,his blood shed on Calvary is the work that has been done so our own WORK should be that of faith and believe in Jesus Christ. Jack I thank you for this article unfortunately you’ve mentioned the controversial verse id have love to mention lol,I pray God bless you,jan I pray God blesses you too and leads you to the right path and doc your last comment was superb! God bless you too. I’ll pray for all of us that we may be one in Christ. Thank you

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Michael Kampff October 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Very thought provoking material on this page. I saw a lot of back and forth discussion, and frankly was confused by some of it, and it prompted me to break down my own understanding of grace, faith, and works. I absolutely welcome correction.

1 God exists
2 God desires relationship
3 God creates mankind
4 God loves His creation
5 Mankind rebels against God
6 God implements plan to redeem mankind (a demonstration of pure GRACE) back into relationship with Him
7 Each individual decides whether to accept His grace (through their sincere FAITH in Christ; being born again)
8 Individual with sincere faith experiences relationship / communion with God, thereby growing in faith and love in their Creator and Savior, and growing more holy as God works within the person (sanctification). If sincere faith is not present, go back to #7.
9 The fruit of sincere faith and growing communion with God is a change in behavior and actions (WORKS; allowing Christ to work through you; therefore faith without works is dead (not sincere) – go back to #7).
10 #8-9 result in the existence and demonstration (outward expression) of the fruit of the Spirit and true communion with God, (fulfilling #2).

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Jack Wellman October 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Spot on Michael and well done indeed. I cannot find much that I would correct at all…it seems to be seamless with Scripture. Thank you for this excellent contribution.

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DocReits October 25, 2013 at 3:23 am

Hey Michael,

I like your list!

Just two additional thoughts. It appears you have created a timeline of events(1-10) whereas God was not taken unawares by Adam’s sin nor did the devil break up any of God’s plans of a perfect world. IOW, #6, IMO, does not come after #5. It belongs on the same line as #1.

The Scriptures say that God shed Jesus’s blood before the creation of the world. (Rev 13:8, 1 Pet 1:18-20) thus by the mystery of His Wisdom, planning for our redemption before He even created us ( 1 Cor 2:7,8).

This should give us great hope and respect for the Father as the blood of His Son was woven through every book in the Bible(the Scarlet Thread) to provide our every need. There is nothing that takes the Father by surprise. He knew our need before we fell. He knew we would need a Savior before we ever were made. He in every way has the Christian’s back!

Re. number 7. Being Born Again is not just a simple acceptance of God’s grace, like I would go down to the post office and accept a package left there for pickup. That is modern American evangelism unfortunately. God through His Holy Spirit must reveal to the sinner what their plight truly is. It is only as we see our destination(hell) that we then see our “need” of a Savior. No “need”, no savior. How can we see our need, if we do not know our standing with the Father. How do we know our standing with the Father unless we know His Rules (which we have broken)? (Rom 10:14,15) See Robert’s recent post on “What are Christians Saved From?”

The Ten Commandments are God’s Laws or Rule Book. It is this Law that we all have broken, which is sin(Rom 3:23). The punishment is God’s judgment upon those who have broken this Law which is spiritual death or hell(Rom 6:23). We must turn from our sin(repent), and turn toward Jesus, by yes, accepting through faith(Eph 2:8,9) that Jesus died for us and rose bodily from the grave.

Christ’s Holy Spirit will then come into our bodies taking up residence within us, confirming that we are His sons and daughters(Rom 8:16). This is the Great Mystery of God spoken of by Paul:

“To (Christians) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). Here is the mystery…God in Christ and Christ in us…this is being Born Again.

Blessings,

DocReits

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Michael Kampff October 25, 2013 at 10:25 am

Hi Doc,

Thanks for the comments – I appreciate the insight!

I don’t disagree with anything you said, I think my list was just pared down for simplicity. For example, “accepting grace” in #7 inherently included understanding that grace, but I can see how it could have been clearer: “#7 Each individual understands their need for a Savior and decides whether to accept His grace (through their sincere FAITH in Christ; being born again)”.

With regard to the Scarlet Thread concept and #6 occurring WITH #1, I think it’s likely a matter of perspective. The list was meant to represent mankind’s perspective. This was necessary to illustrate my understanding of grace, faith, and works.

Obviously, God’s perspective is much different than ours. He is outside our time domain (sees the end from the beginning), and therefore knew man would need redemption before man rebelled. So, from God’s perspective of our timeline, everything happens at once. If that’s the case, then I’d argue that #3-10 happens simultaneously from God’s perspective.

What do you think?

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DocReits October 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Hi Michael,

I agree. I also mistook your “implements” for “initiates”. You are correct in that the plan was from eternity(Redemption) but that God carried out or implemented that plan with the birth of Jesus in our temporal setting.

For discussion’s sake I also have a difficult time with #2′s idea of ” God desires relationship”. I know I will raise a few eyebrows here, but Scripture is pretty silent about this idea of God “desiring” anything.

The only references I can think of are His desire for truth(Ps 51:6); His desire that we show mercy(Hos 6:6); and Jesus’s desire to eat the Passover before His Crucifixion(Lk 22:15). I am using the KJV for this word “desire”.

God does demand obedience, “Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed.”(Deut 11:26-28); “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15); “And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” (Gen 22:18);”Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me” (Ex 19:5)

We could go on for hundreds of similar verses on “obedience” but none on this idea of God desiring relationship. That is a contrived notion stemming from man’s pride IMO. Jesus came to seek and save those who were lost. He is the Good Shepherd (Jn 10). So , the question here is whether the Father sent Jesus because God desired relationship or is it that God wanted to first, save us from His righteous judgment(Hell for all eternity).

Then, having restored us, we are able to carry out His purpose for which He first made us, which was to reflect His Glory. Disobedience(sin), by Adam, was so abhorrent in God’s eyes that we became tarnished and could no longer bring and give Glory to God as His untarnished creation. We became tainted through sin and unacceptable. Hence the order of bull and goat sacrifice to sprinkle the un-holy so that they could approach but NEVER enter the Holy of Holys.

This theme is “typed” throughout the whole OT and NT. Look at the elaborate cleansing required in the temple. You could not come tainted before the outer court, let alone into the Holy of Holys. See what Isaiah said when He came into God’s presence. “Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”(Is 6:5)

We needed to be cleansed, made clean, washed. All of these themes steep the New and Old testament. Jesus is the ONLY one who could accomplish this because He was “sinless”, clean, untainted, washed, blameless, un-spotted, and Holy. Try that one on Mohamed, Joseph Smith, or Buddha. Now as we reckon our old selves dead(Rom 6:11), we “put on” Christ through faith in Him and become clean “IN HIM”. Very important distinction here. We do not become righteous ourselves. Oh wake up church and understand. HE is righteous and only as we are IN HIM are we able to come into God’s presence. Jesus death tore down the curtain into the Holy of Holys. He is who is able to approach, not us!! We, in Christ, approach.

Isaiah understood this as did Moses. They knew they could not see God and live, because they were not Holy. Neither are we. Jesus is Holy!! Therefore the pressing need to run to Jesus and only in Him do we get to approach the Holy of Holys.

Few in the church “get this”. That is why we sing songs like how beautiful “we are”. A thousand times NO!! We are not beautiful…HE is beautiful!! We do NOT become beautiful. Oh the backs are rising. Pride says , Yes we are!! No we are not!!! A subtle deception has crept into Western Churches making us believe how empowered””WE”” can become in Christ. How strong “”WE”” now are. No. It is through Christ, through Christ, through Christ we are made strong. It is Christ IN us, the Hope…(Col 1:27). The strength is His. HE is strong inside of us. We are weak, He is strong. He is the source of power and strength in our lives. No power source…no strength.

I love the way Paul says it here. This verse says it all. We are captives (SLAVES of Jesus) as we travel in His Triumph. Listen, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us AS CAPTIVES in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Cor 2:14, emphasis mine). Don’t you love and treasure that verse? I want to spread His aroma, not because I am beautiful or in my strength, but always and only through Him. Where is boasting then, “… declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then?” (Rom 3:26,27a)

So does God desire relationship? Yes, but the relationship is one of our obedience as followers of Christ reflecting Jesus as we Glorify the Father through Christ.

Wow, that was long. Sorry Jack and Michael. I was going to go on about how we should now act, and behave as we carry the very presence of God with us after conversion in our bodies. Another discussion…;-)

Your thoughts?

DocReits

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Michael Kampff October 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Love it Doc, and agree.

Again, I think what you eloquently and powerfully argue is inherent in what I meant by relationship, again left out for the sake of simplicity.

I tend to value simplicity, and I believe God wants His church to have clarity. I love evolving this with you in simple ways to be closer to His truth. Keep in mind, this was intended to simplify the GRACE, FAITH, WORKS discussion.

How’s this new list? (I included the prior edit to #7 also). I would love to nail this down with you, if possible, and am thinking about turning this into an infographic. Do you think that would be valuable to the church?

1 God exists
2 God desires an expression of His glory
3 God creates mankind
4 God loves His creation
5 Mankind rebels against God
6 God implements plan to redeem mankind (a demonstration of pure GRACE) back into communion with Him, not because of our worthiness, but only for His glory.
7 Each individual understands their need for a Savior and decides whether to accept His grace (through their sincere FAITH in Christ; being born again)”
8 Individual with sincere faith experiences relationship / communion with God, thereby growing in faith and love in their Creator and Savior, and growing more holy as God works within the person (sanctification). If sincere faith is not present, go back to #7.
9 The fruit of sincere faith and growing communion with God is a change in behavior and actions (WORKS; allowing Christ to work through you; therefore faith without works is dead (not sincere) – go back to #7).
10 #8-9 result in the existence and demonstration (outward expression) of the fruit of the Spirit and true communion with God, (fulfilling #2).

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DocReits October 26, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Wonderful Michael. I think it is so important that there is simplicity as you say.

I would suggest that in number 7 you expand on the reason man recognizes his need of the Savior. That is, separation and judgement subsequent to breaking God’s Laws(the Ten Commandments). These are written on man’s heart (conscience) after the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the earth at Pentecost.

We must repent…(turn from sin and turn towards Christ) as a necessary step in salvation. Pastor Jack has a good page found at the top of this site’s home page, “Jesus, do you know Him?” which lists this plus many of your ideas.

Here is an astounding exposition by Spurgeon on this very theme:

http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/2506.htm

Here is a taste:

“A man with whom God the Holy Spirit deals is one who does not have to go to the 20th of Exodus to know what the law is; he does not need to stop and ask concerning most things, “Is this right?” or, “Is this wrong?” but he carries within him a balance and a scale, a standard and test by which he can try these things for himself. He has the law of his God written upon his heart”

Thanks for the discussion!

Blessings,

DocReits

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