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LIVE 5/5/2015 @ 7pm: Acts Lesson 52. Call in and talk with the host. Link will be posted prior to show.
Teacher Andy Young
I have rubbed shoulders recently with folks who have a phobia thing going on. In one particular case, the person presently employed by a relative of mine would not ordinarily be able to hold down a job.
This is another area where Christians show how confused they are. On the one hand, they get all glassy-eyed and proclaim the simplicity of God’s word, how we should read it as “little children.” But you mark my words: on the other hand, they will proclaim my biblical explanation for phobias here, “Too simplistic.”
The source of ALL fear, according to the Bible, is being under law as opposed to being under grace. I find it hard to believe that if the primary source of fear is gone, that the extreme expressions of it are possible.
According to the Bible, being under law, and specifically its condemnation, is the antithesis of LOVE. Throughout the Bible, fear and love are set in contrast to each other—polar opposites.
To those under law, the Bible is condemnation; to those under grace, the Bible is the discipleship of love. One is a law that continually warns of the wrath to come, the other is instruction regarding love.
This is why Paul said that the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. Ironically, many denominations keep their followers under law. This is why it is more than possible that professing Christians will suffer from these phobias which is also the case with the aforementioned acquaintance. I also find it curious that said person is of a denomination that emphasizes law. Hence, the person’s known faithful Bible reading will only make the fear worse because of a skewed view of law/gospel.
I am also convinced of this: God’s word states that you are under law regardless of who keeps it; under law is under law. The law must be ENDED for condemnation or you are still under its power. You must be put to death so you are no longer under it, and raised to life so that you may serve the law of love freely. Still being under law with the idea that someone keeps it for you is antithetical to the new birth. You must know that you can no longer be condemned. You are not merely protected from condemnation—condemnation no longer exists.
And therefore, fear can only exist if you allow it for it cannot live without condemnation.
Protestantism wasn’t born of Gnosticism; it was born of Neo-Platonism which became Gnosticism. Most Protestants would deny that they are Gnostics, but because the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, they often embrace ideology that is Gnostic. In other words, they are functioning Gnostics.
The prime example is the whole “sins of the flesh” Christian mantra. That’s not a biblical idea, and is essentially Gnostic.
A primary tenet of Gnosticism is Either/Or epistemology. If you pay attention to the words used in this Sunday’s sermon, more than likely, you will notice that everything is either/or with no middle ground. I realize that the Bible does contain sentences that refer to the “desires of the flesh” and “sins of the flesh,” but that refers to when the flesh, the bodily members, are used for sinful purposes. Please note that the Bible also states that we can use our members for holy purposes as well.
Furthermore, the Bible even states that as believers, our bodies are the temples of God. Moreover, a more careful examination reveals that the reference to “temple” in regard to our bodies actually refers to the Holy of Holies. If you think you can presently hear Calvin and Luther rolling and screaming in their graves in response to that assertion—the problem is not in your cranium set.
If you are actually free to present your body as a living sacrifice to God in the Holy of Holies, what do you need the vast Protestant industrial complex for? You don’t.
The flesh is NOT sinful, according to the Bible; it is “weak.” The idea that weakness is part and parcel with the evil material world is a Gnostic presupposition. For example, the holy angels are weaker than God, no?
Pastors, do you want revival? Stop telling your parishioners that they are “sinners saved by grace.” They are not sinners; they are literally a nation of holy priests.
“But we still sin.”
If you just said that, you are not fit for the ministry—you don’t even understand Biblical Law/Gospel 101.
Get with the program. You will never have revival with a bunch of sinners—that would seem evident. Grow up in Christ, and stop listening to men. You are like my adorable grandson, Blaine, who is 4 years old. He is a great listener and repeats everything he hears.
That’s just adorable, but when grown men who dare to call themselves pastors do the same thing—not so much.
Where there is practice of church disciple there is belief that leaders have been given authority over your salvation. The 2 go hand in hand
— Paul M. Dohse (@PaulMDohse) May 20, 2015
PPT is excited to announce a new member to the team, Sean Williams, who has accepted the significant assignment of defining and illustrating religious and political oligarchy at our new sister blog called The Oligarchy White Paper.
Sean brings to the table a different perspective and a passion for exposing the truth about the systems which create positions of power in society. He will shed light on aspects of the government that control virtually every facet of our lives to the hierarchy of religious organizations and churches who attempt to do the same. We invite readers to start the journey with us as he begins a series with an article entitled Oligarchy 101.
Welcome aboard, Sean!
Tuesday Night Bible Study – Now LIVE on Blogtalk Radio!
Lesson 53 – May 19, 2015 (click here to listen on-demand)
Tonight’s Text – Acts 20:1-12
We must remember that the Dark Ages were a European thing. And we must remember that Greco-Roman philosophy was the source and then it was turbocharged with the integration of European style religiosity. European religion has always been grounded in Plato’s disdain for humanity. Hence, one philosopher stated well that faith and force together are the destroyers of the modern world. One of the most notable historians of our time, K.R. Popper, fingered Plato specifically in regard to the logic that has wreaked havoc on Western culture through Communism, Islam, Catholicism, and Reformed theology. Augustine, one of the fathers of the Reformation, called Plato a pre-Christian Christian, and the juggernaut of faith and force was thus born.
And primarily, American religion was imported from Europe via the Puritans who were a European style religious political sect. They wanted to create a theocracy of their own in the new world. That’s the “religious freedom” they sought in America—a political one. Ironically, this importation of a European pandemic is romanticized by the Thanksgiving holiday. Somehow, deep in our evangelical American psyche, we think the Puritans could have led us to the religious utopia that we all lust for. And in fact, deep in our evangelical psyches, we think the war still rages between our Puritan foundations and the evils of Enlightenment philosophy. And if Enlightenment philosophy would surrender, all would be well and the heavenly Jerusalem would finally come down to Earth.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Enlightenment thought, even with its many abhorrent shortcomings, launched America to unprecedented greatness as a nation because of three basic principles that God agrees with: man is free; man is capable; and man is responsible for the sum and substance of his own life before God. Men “small and great” will all stand before God. Plato’s philosopher kings do not stand before God in our stead regardless of the priestly garb that the Reformers have adorned them with.
In the movie Moneyball, based on a true story, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team set all time league records with a meager budget and has-been players by breaking tradition with the ways big league teams have always been built. The player’s manager of the team was against the plan, and was a constant hindrance to its implementation. But when the Oakland A’s became the talk of the sports world because of the plan, the player’s manager got all of the credit. In the same way, the manager of American Christianity, the one of 95 Theses fame, Martin Luther, is given credit for America’s greatness. God has blessed America because of the Puritan missionary children that he spawned. Their roots are the lifeblood of America. We were “founded on their Christian principles.” This is a significant departure from reality.
Luther despised reason. He believed that reasoning was a dangerous stunt that the unenlightened masses shouldn’t try at home. And because they are not capable, they have to be protected from themselves; hence, neither are they free. To the degree that we are free the world is in a spree. Man must be saved from himself; by force if necessary, and for the good of the world. Martin Luther to the rescue. Stalin to the rescue. Muhammad to the rescue. The Moral Majority to the rescue. And on every Thanksgiving Day, deep, deep in our American psyche, a small still voice cries out: “Oh but for the Puritans! What could we be?” It’s all the same logic. You can dress it up in different doctrines, but it’s all the same. Logic comes in many doctrinal forms—both secular and religious.
The founding fathers of this country were children of the Enlightenment era. Until America popped up on the history radar screen, force and faith was the big league tradition. Our founding fathers proposed something different: government as the protector of man’s right to be free, capable, and responsible. And a government that served at the pleasure of the people to do so. It is a testimony to the power that is displayed when merely three ideas from God are implemented in our realty. Three ideas from God made America the envy of all world history. In the end, the motif that any child can perceive in the book of Revelation will fill the world with blood up to the horse’s bridles: force and faith. To what is said here, the proffers of force and faith, the Reformed of our day, answer in all of their Puritan glory, “I beg your pardon! Jesus Christ should be the envy of the world!” But which Jesus Christ? The Puritan Jesus Christ? And enlightened minds want to know: “Are we free to decide that for ourselves?” And: “Are we capable of even knowing that?” We fear that the answer to both of these questions is, “No.” And that is why giving you power in our lives at any level is a really bad idea.
Hence, To the degree that the Reformed Dark Age feigns, darkness in the American church does rein. And we are in that Dark Age. It came in essence as logic stowed away in the Mayflower’s diseased European rats bringing the same plague with it. I could drag out all of the apocalyptic data and its many faceted manifestations, but a recent televised top of the hour newscast introduction will suffice:
Here we go again, another sex scandal in the Evangelical church.
You notice they said, “Evangelical” and not “Catholic.” Anybody who knows the facts knows that sexual abuse and the subsequent cover-ups are just as prevalent in the Protestant Evangelical Church as it is in the Catholic Church. The scandals are the same, and the silence among clergy is the same, along with the same disregard for victims. Different doctrines—same logic—same results. Logic always has an endgame; there are many different doctrines that can get you there.
But the American Dark Age takes on a different appearance than the open fires of European religious wars and unspeakable terrors for it is tempered with freedom, capability, and responsibility. In the same way that God’s spies found refuge with a harlot, the American church has been saved from itself by Enlightenment thought. The result has been Reformed Light, and the carnage has been greatly limited. The European Reformers believed that children should be seen and not heard; American Reformed Light allows their children to play in a sandbox. Children are happier when they have a sandbox to play in, and they can form all kinds of ideas in what they make in the sand. But when it is time for dinner, it’s also time to put our little buckets and shovels away, run to the dinner bell, and obey mommy and daddy. They protect us from truth that can cause division because we are unable to handle truth, and they make truth a storybook that we can understand. They read it to us at night, and we are much comforted. We can pretend in the backyard, and we feel safe because mommy is watching from the kitchen window.
But the children of Reformed Light do not grow up. For certain, the American church is every bit like grown adults playing in a sandbox. The real Reformers now come forward and scoff at the pathetic sight, and say they are the answer. Yes, not playing with ideas at all must be the answer. Adults in a sandbox is not the problem, the sandbox is the problem. Sandboxes tempt people to play with truth. The Reformers to the rescue—those half breed Semi-Pelagian parents be damned.
Children in adult bodies will always rape, hate, pillage and steal. It is what it is: spiritually, they were born slaves, born incapable, and born irresponsible. Reformed theology is a bus of misfits, but all believe that it is the only bus going to heaven—the bus of faith alone in Puritan sanctification. All kinds are on the bus, but the tie that binds is womb to the tomb total depravity.
Some do not persevere in accepting their total depravity and the total depravity of others. Some do not trust God’s anointed to get the bus of misfits to heaven, so an Inquisition is needed. The European Reformers used the gallows and the burning stake (if the victim was lucky), brainwashing, and orthodoxy. The American Reformers can use brainwashing and orthodoxy, but because of the founding fathers, the American Reformers must replace the gallows and burning stake with character assassination, authority to condemn eternally, and false criminality. And all of the aforementioned paints the portrait of the present-day American Dark Age in the church. There is a little metal plate on the bottom of the spectacular painting hanging in the gallery of human history, and it reads:
Here we go again.
The Bible is written for mass consumption. All Bible books, save a few, were written to assemblies and not leadership. God has also written his word on the hearts of every person ever born into the world (Romans 2:14). We are all responsible before God, free to obey Him or not Obey Him, and obviously, must exercise our minds for understanding. We also live in the information age; so, if man was without excuse in the days of the apostolic church (Romans 2:1) we are certainly without excuse today.
Nations, particularly the USA, have used heavy bombers to drop propaganda leaflets on cities before an invasion or in an attempt to turn the population at large against the enemy leadership. Each bomb usually weighs about 250 lbs. and rains about 60,000 leaflets on a given area. During the Iraq/US war, leaflet bombings resulted in the mass surrender of Iraqi soldiers. In the same way, regardless of what’s going on in the world, God has a message of truth for every person. Invariably, it is man’s responsibility to do what God wants him to do in any given situation.
God has given the truth to all men, and only the truth will set us free. We need to pick up and read the leaflet and surrender to the Chief Shepherd. The Reformation is responsible for this present Dark Age in the American church. It is a doctrine that must be rejected with prejudice, and we must disdain anything that has touched its filthy garments.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
For some time I have heard teachings coming from Calvinists that seem to insinuate that man was fallen before the fall. A popular teaching in the Patriarchy movement is the idea that Adam sinned before Eve bought into the idea that she needed a mediator between her and God. In fact, the need for mediation between man and God before the fall is very prevalent in Calvin’s writings. Francos Wendal, in his work, Calvin: Origins and Development of His Religious Thoughts (Presses Universitaires Defrance 1950) states the following on page 216:
“Indeed, for any contact to be established between the most holy God and sinful man, it was necessary for God to come right down to man, since man would never, of his own strength, have been able to raise himself up to God. ‘The majesty of God is too high,’ said Calvin, ‘For us to say that mortal men could attain to it, seeing that they can do no more than crawl over the earth like little worms,’*
“That, of course. Is the state of man since the Fall. But Calvin had no very high opinion of humanity even before the original sin. It is not so surprising therefore, that he could write:
‘Even If man had remained in his integrity, still his condition was too base for him to attain to God. How much less could he have raised himself so far, after having been plunged by his ruin into death and hell, after staining himself with so many defilements nay, even stinking in his corruption and all overwhelmed with misery?’** [The Calvin Institutes 2.12.1: Henry Beveridge translation varies slightly]”
The more Calvin is studied, the more it is realized that he sought to upend every element of truth in the Bible. The root of this is Calvin’s Platonist underpinnings that of course would have to see a problem with man before the fall because of his material essence.
Again, in regard to the pastorate of our day, who knew what and when? And in regard to those who didn’t know, why not?
* Inst., 2.6.4. Among numerous similar passages, the Course upon Hosea, Opp. 42, 264: “Deum a nobis quaeri non posse, nisi in mediatore Ghristo. . . . Nisi Christus se medium nobis offerat qua via possemus ad Deum accedere?” Or again, the sermon on I Ephesians 1.1-3: “Without this Mediator, it is certain that we are all foreclosed [by God] and the majesty of God ought to make the hairs of our head stand on end.” Opp.9 51, 256.
I. It’s daily re-salvation by preaching the gospel to yourself every day.
II. Its progressive justification defines “Christians” as under law—the biblical definition of a lost person.
III. Forgiveness for “present sin” that “removes us from grace” can only be found through membership in a local church under the authority of elders who forgive sin on God’s behalf.
IV. John Calvin’s three categories of elect include those who are temporarily elected and therefore receive a greater damnation. Therefore, entering the “race of faith” gives one a chance that the non-elect do not have, but a double portion of eternal suffering if one is not of the “perseverance” category.
V. Any act of love performed by a “saint” is works salvation. All works must be imputed to the “believer” by faith alone. Moreover, the focus must be living by faith alone well enough in order to “stand in the judgment covered by the righteousness of Christ and not a ‘righteousness of your own.’” That must be the focus, not loving others. Calvin believed all acts of love performed by the “saints” fall short of perfection, and are therefore unacceptable to God.
Calvinists can talk about love all they want to; their soteriology excludes the possibility.
“At any rate, the very attempt by Calvinists to evangelize places them in a twofold grand quandary that requires the abandonment of rudimentary logic.” “But in contrast, if God’s choice over our choice is the crux of the gospel, that crux must be explained in order for the presentation itself to be a true gospel.”
At the 2008 T4G conference, John MacArthur Jr. officially came out of the closet as a bonafide New Calvinist. He did this because he was convinced by John Piper and others that New Calvinism is Old Calvinism. MacArthur signed up because it’s true, and he was unwilling to reject Reformation tradition. Apparently, only other-than Anglo Saxon can be deceived en masse.
MacArthur’s keynote address was titled, The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability. MacArthur was converted from his Lordship Salvation escapades of the late 80’s by the New Calvinist camp. According to a pastor I knew at the time, Michael Horton and others challenged MacArthur to rethink the controversy he had started. The result is MacArthur still affirming Lordship, but as a manifestation rather than actions of new creaturehood. I recently completed a series explaining all of the confused controversy in regard to the Lordship Salvation issue.
At any rate, the very attempt by Calvinists to evangelize places them in a twofold grand quandary that requires the abandonment of rudimentary logic.
I have written before about the Gospel of Sovereignty. Any ability at all on the part of mankind is a slight against God’s sovereignty. This is the hypothesis of MacArthur’s aforementioned messages. Hence, the “good news” is man’s “absolute” inability and God’s sovereignty. MacArthur’s primary text was John 3:1-8…
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
MacArthur stated during his messages that when the gospel is presented we must make it clear that people can only do one thing in response to the gospel: ask for salvation, and then wait to see if the wind blows or not. So, it is not a decision, often maligned in Reformed circles as “decisionism,” or a choice. Either suggests ability on the part of the individual to make a decision for God or to choose God; ability and God’s sovereignty are mutually exclusive. If man can choose, or make a decision, God ceases to be God.
This qualifies a fair challenge to all Calvinists: “Do you make it absolutely clear in your gospel presentation that people have no ability to choose God?” If they do not do this, if this is not qualified, they are presenting a false gospel by their own definition. Why? The truthfulness of their gospel must be verified by the certainty that the individual does not assume they have a choice or can make a decision.
Most Calvinists get around this by replying that people are being called on to believe only, not make a decision or a choice. However, it also stands to reason that belief itself is a choice. When we are presented with a proposition, we DECIDE to believe it or not believe it. In all fairness, according to their own definitions, Calvinists must make this distinction clear in their gospel presentation. Let’s face it; few do if they evangelize at all. In fact, when Calvinists are cornered with this question, they immediately start acting like a toddler who needs to use the bathroom. Basically, they know that the lack of this distinction in their actual gospel presentation is telling. Their presentation is supposedly purified by the absence of information.
On another wise, Calvinists are also admitting that they are asking for a mere mental assent to acknowledging that God saves people. The Bible states that part and parcel with belief is the acceptance that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Obviously, among the unbelieving, there are those who reject the existence of God altogether, and those who believe in His existence, but don’t want anything to do with Him. Is the wind only blowing halfway in those cases? Are there three different wind advisories? None, moderate, and gale force? Furthermore, if people have no ability to choose, is a decision to choose Buddha over Allah made for them? The logic seems to be that man can indeed choose, but will only choose other gods unless God intervenes—if they understand that they have no ability to choose.
If we give this whole construct merit to this point, we further find that the definition of faith must be a mere mental accent to the facts of the gospel with an intentional non-response; any response must be from the blowing wind. MacArthur stated in the same messages that we know Nicodemus was saved because “the wind blew” referring to his righteous actions.
Hence, if the Calvinist gospel is not false by their own definition, it must be presented as follows:
“God saves people, and you may be one of them and you may not be one of them, but if you are able to choose, God is not sovereign, and you are trusting in your own ability to choose.”
Unwittingly, some Calvinists say it is alright if people initially think they are able to choose, but later understand that it wasn’t their choice. So, it is alright if they initially trust in their decision in order to receive the gift of salvation from God, but later realize this was not the case at all. So at what point were they really saved? And would not sooner be better than later? Why not tell them from the get-go? This implies a cult-like procedure that misrepresents the truth, and then slowly indoctrinates the individual to a just standing. Others suggest that the evangelist should never state that it is their decision, but rather cite Scriptures that imply such—that way, apparently, it is the Holy Spirit lying instead of you. But nevertheless, what the individual believes about choice is uncertain unless clarified.
In the final analysis, everyone but the recipient of the gospel knows they have no real choice, but thinking they have a choice might be necessary to get them into the kingdom. But in contrast, if God’s choice over our choice is the crux of the gospel, that crux must be explained in order for the presentation itself to be a true gospel.
Add to this the definition of “believe” in the Bible. In the Bible, “believe” is never defined as a mere mental assent to the facts of the gospel; it also involves a commitment to kingdom living. More than not, it was the “gospel of the kingdom” that was preached by Christ and the apostles. As I explained in the Lordship series, it is impossible for the execution of the commitment to save you because justification and sanctification are completely separate. But clearly, a response to the gospel must include a decision to leave life A for life B. The follow-through doesn’t save you, the decision saves you. Because of the weakness of the flesh, love for God’s ways will vary in application, but you are not only choosing a savior; He is also Lord.
Consequently, Calvinists insist that repentance be left out of the gospel presentation for this reason—it calls on the individual to choose a different way. In the book of Acts, Christianity is referred to as “The Way” in several places. This is more information that must be excluded from the Calvinist gospel in order to make it true by their own definition. Therefore, in order for their gospel to be truthfully presented by their own definition…
“God saves people. If He saved you, you will live differently. The wind will blow, but it’s not your choice, do you believe this? And by the way, don’t change your life to prove to yourself God saved you, that’s fruit stapling. If you believe, that’s great, but now you must wait to see if the wind blows. The Christian life is a Sabbath rest.”
Anything less than this in a Calvinist gospel presentation is a false gospel by their own definition.
And let us not forget, in Calvinist post salvation status, the wind keeps on blowing, or not. It is undeniable that Calvin himself believed in three classes of people: the non-elect, the called, and those who persevere. Said another way: no wind at all, those who are temporarily enlightened (the wind stops), and the ones who get a steady wind to the end.
There is only one way Calvinism can be feasible; logic must be completely divorced from the Bible.
What this ministry lacks is a good solid overview of what Paul David Tripp believes, and what drives his biblical counseling ministry. Our stats indicate that a lot of people come to TANC ministries looking for information on Tripp, but I am not sure we offer much that is useful. Hopefully, this 2-hour addition on BlogTalk radio will supply a good synopsis of Paul David Tripp’s soteriology.
Tuesday Night Bible Study – Now LIVE on Blogtalk Radio!
Lesson 52 – May 12, 2015 (click here to listen)
Tonight’s Text – Acts 19:21 – 20:1
- Summary of remaining journey
- Intentions to visit Macedonia and Achaia
- Send ahead two “ministers”
- Timothy and Erastus
- διακονεω (dee-ahk-oh-NEH-oh) – “deacon”; one who serves
- No small stir in Ephesus
- Diana – the Roman goddess
- Demetrius – a silversmith.
– made “silver shrines”
- Paul’s teaching threatened their livelihood.
- Primary motivation – wealth
- Compare with 1 Timothy 6:2-10, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Jude 10-13
- The big business of religion
- The assembly in the theater
- Theater of Ephesus – multi-purpose venue
- Silversmiths lead riotous crowd
- Paul discouraged from entering
- By other disciples
- By other “friends”
- Paul discouraged from entering
- Examining the “assembly”
- εκκλησια (ek-lay-SEE-ah) – a body gathered for a common purpose such as a government function.
- Must be lawful
- Must be orderly
- A voice of reason
- Townclerk points out the assembly’s irrational behavior
- Keep calm
- Think clearly
- Examining the validity of the claim
- No “robbers of churches”
- ιεροσυλυος (hee-er-os-oo-lous). “temple despoilers”
- taking the glory for themselves
- Never spoke evil of Diana
- No “robbers of churches”
- Respect for the rightful use of law
- Townclerk points out the assembly’s irrational behavior
Perusing more and more forgiveness rather than holiness is a footrace to hell.
— Paul M. Dohse (@PaulMDohse) May 12, 2015
Simply stated, Calvinism is a false gospel because it denies that salvation is a onetime event in the life of the believer. In other words, when a person believes in Christ, all of their sins are not forgiven once and for all time. The sins we commit in our Christian life go against our just standing, so we must continually revisit the same gospel that saved us in order to maintain our just standing. This is a problem because we have to do something to keep our just standing. The Reformers taught that salvation as a onetime finished work is a false gospel.
In our present day which is experiencing a resurgence of the original Reformation gospel, we assume that the mantra, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves everyday” is just a popular opinion about the best way to grow spiritually in our Christian life. Not so. The revisiting every day of the same gospel that saved us is necessary to maintain our just standing before God. “The same gospel that saved us also sanctifies us” is another popular mantra that is deceptive; a re-visitation of gospel is a must for keeping ourselves saved according to the Reformation gospel.
This is why the Reformers redefined the biblical new birth. Instead of the new birth being a onetime event in the life of the believer, making us a new creature, they made the new birth a continual rebirth experience only needed to maintain our salvation. Another way this could be stated follows: a perpetual re-salvation experience. Contemporary Reformed theologians call this “mortification and vivification” in their systematic theology.
“Look, think about this; even an adolescent Sunday school student can see it: if the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law (Romans 3:21), why would Christ need to keep it for our justification? For crying out loud, what does ‘apart’ mean?”
My theses for this year’s TANC conference highlights the fact that the Reformers taught from a totally different reality than a normative reality that draws logical conclusions from the arrangement of verbs, nouns, prepositions, adjectives, conjunctions, etc. taken at face value. The Reformers created their own metaphysical premise for interpreting reality. The authentic Reformed gospel is predicated on a contra reality. This is one of four reasons that the authentic Reformed gospel experiences a social death periodically throughout church history, and then periodic resurgence movements like the one we are presently in via New Calvinism. There have been five of these resurgence movements sense Calvin’s theocracy in Geneva. They will be documented in volume two of The Truth About New Calvinism. As Christians read their Bibles, they are naturally drawn away from the authentic Reformed gospel because the human tendency is to interpret reality from the normative perspective. They become uncomfortable with the contradictions. However, as each resurgence dies a social death, Protestant traditions of men continue to be a significant part of what emerges from the ashes. A Reformed hybrid emerges that apes the anemic sanctification spawned by Reformed thought. This lays the ground work for the resurgences that follow. Protestantism, historically, oscillates between the weak sanctification of the hybrid and the despotic resurgence movements that temporarily replace the hybrid. Basically, the vicious cycle must be stopped if revival is going to be possible. God sanctifies with truth, not the traditions of men. Part and parcel is a dumbed-down Christianity saturated with the traditions of Reformed men—primarily dead ones. Men of old that are deemed geniuses are often mindless Kool-Aid drinking followers of John Calvin and his ugly stepchildren, the murdering despotic Puritans. Part of the Protestant tradition that carries on is the big “O,” ORTHODOXY. A synonym for “truth” in American churchianity, it is really the repackaging of truth interpreted by the Protestant elite for consumption by the unenlightened masses. The American church follows the tradition of Protestantism when the arrogant, elitist who’s who of evangelicalism come together and publish declarations, i.e., the confessions and creeds of traditional Reformed thought. A recent example of this is the third edition of The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration (1994, 1997, 1999) signed and/or endorsed by, for example, the following: John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, D. James Kennedy, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, Bruce Wilkinson, Ravi Zacharias, Jack Hayford, Steven Strang, John MacArthur Jr., RC Sproul, Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and JI Packer. Only problem is, the document denies the new birth and describes Christians as being under the law as opposed to being under grace. In other words, the authentic gospel of the Reformation. First, the document speaks from the perspective of the authentic Reformed gospel that only recognizes the possibility of a linear gospel, ie., the “golden chain of salvation.” Because sanctification is the links of a chain that stretches from justification to glorification, the links must stay intact by the same gospel that saved us. Hence, grace cannot be inside of the believer because that makes him/her a participant in the completion of justification. Justification is only a finished work if we live among the sanctification links in the same way we were saved—by faith alone. The Reformers only recognized this reality, and judged all other gospels from the same reality. Grace is either infused within the believer, making him/her a participant in finishing justification, or grace remains completely outside of the believer. The alternative that sanctification is completely separate, a parallel gospel, is not considered to be a possible reality. Accordingly, note the following statement in said GEC document:
We deny that we are justified by the righteousness of Christ infused into us or by any righteousness that is thought to inhere within us.
The Reformers believed that ALL grace and righteousness must remain OUTSIDE of the believer or it by default made him/her a participant in the completion of justification. They got around the mass of prepositions throughout Scripture that clearly state that grace is within us by utilizing the emphasis hermeneutic (the redemptive historical hermeneutic). This hermeneutic is a Gnostic concept derived from Plato’s theory of forms. I will delve into this in detail during my second session at this year’s TANC conference. Granted, many of the signers probably didn’t, and still don’t understand what the Reformers believed, and I believe other signers such as RC Sproul deliberately play on that confusion. Secondly, the doctrine propagates the Reformed mainstay of Christ’s perfect obedience to the law being imputed to our sanctification so that “sanctification is not the ‘ground’ of our justification.” See the chain thing going on there? Our enablement in sanctification necessarily makes sanctification the GROUND of our justification because sanctification finishes justification. It’s a “chain.” Here is what the document states:
God’s justification of those who trust in him, according to the Gospel, is a decisive transition, here and now, from a state of condemnation and wrath because of their sins to one of acceptance and favor by virtue of Jesus’ flawless obedience culminating in his voluntary sin-bearing death.
We affirm that Christ’s saving work included both his life and his death on our behalf (Gal. 3:13). We declare that faith in the perfect obedience of Christ by which he fulfilled all the demands of the Law of God on our behalf is essential to the Gospel. We deny that our salvation was achieved merely or exclusively by the death of Christ without reference to his life of perfect righteousness.
Look, think about this; even an adolescent Sunday school student can see it: if the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law (Romans 3:21), why would Christ need to keep it for our justification? For crying out loud, what does ‘apart’ mean? Worse yet is the idea that this perfect obedience is imputed to our sanctification if we live our Christian lives by faith alone because sanctification is a progressive process that finishes justification. James refuted this idea in no certain terms, which is why the Reformers questioned its rightful place in the New Testament canon. Moreover, this idea keeps Christians “under the law,” which is the biblical designation for the unregenerate. I don’t know much about the theologian William R. Newell, but with that disclaimer, I will say that I agree with his opinion in regard to this issue:
The fatal result of this terrible error is to leave The Law as claimant over those in Christ: for, “Law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth” (7.1). Unless you are able to believe in your very heart that you died with Christ, that your old man was crucified with Him, and that you were buried, and that your history before God in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary, you will never get free from the claims of Law upon your conscience (William R. Newell: Verse by Verse Commentary on Romans).
Hence, the law remains a claimant over the believer at any point where he/she stops living their life by faith alone in the same gospel that saved them rather than belief in the new birth followed by the death of the old us that died with Christ and is no longer under the law. We must now fear that our obedience in sanctification is making the law the “ground” of our justification. Likewise, Calvin stated the following: Another principal part of our reconciliation with God was that man, who had lost himself by his disobedience, should by way of remedy oppose to it obedience, satisfy the justice of God, and pay the penalty of sin. Editor’s note: For our redemption, Christ kept the Law for us and died upon the Cross. By this, Christ obtained forgiveness of sins for us (Calvin on the Mediator: Chapel Library press, 2009). This is also known as “vicarious law-keeping.” A definition of vicarious is:
Adjective Experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person: “vicarious pleasure.” Acting or done for another: “a vicarious atonement”.
Christians need to stop following men in general, and Reformed men in particular. God only sanctifies with truth, and Reformed doctrine does not save or sanctify accordingly. It calls for a salvation by law-keeping and who keeps it is not the issue. The law as a standard for justification is the issue. It also denies the different relationship of the law to believers as opposed to unbelievers: the law provokes the former to righteousness, and provokes the latter to sin. It skews the very biblical definition of the regenerate.
Here at PPT, discussing how we should moderate comments is an ongoing discussion. While being strong believers in the arena of ideas, it’s not an arena of platforms supplied to every theological ragamuffin that comes down the pike.
However, as you know, PPT/TANC also values knowledge about world philosophy because we think it lends greatly to the historical aspect of grammatical-historical interpretation of reality. So, we may very well allow comments from someone who could care less about the religious dogfight, but has something informative to add in areas that we deem to be important information.
But I have decided to drive a stake on something regarding the issue of moderation. Anybody aware of my writing style is also aware that my posts usually encompass four or five points based on research of some sort accompanied by citations. This brings me to the point.
Since the conception of this blog in 2009, I have noticed a marked pattern in how Calvinists comment. They rarely address the specific points made in the post, but instead make some sort of broad statement concerning my supposed cluelessness in regard to what Calvinism is really about. That’s always first in this construct, followed by some residual concern about a grammatical error, “name calling,” or something that points to some sort of personal flaw.
I have noticed this pattern for a long time, but have never stopped to really think about it. That is, until we received another such comment today. Regardless of the fact that the post made specific points backed up with specific data, all of that was ignored and…
“This displays an absolutely stunning ignorance concerning the actual teachings of Calvinism and a truly disgusting level of name calling, personal insults. However, all that is truly acceptable given that you know everything there is to know about everything you rail against.”
This is a Calvinist protocol that I have seen time, and time again since 2009. What’s going on? How can they just bypass the main propositions of the post all together and make these twofold blanket statements?
First of all, from now on, this Calvinist protocol will be rejected at PPT. Objections that do not address the main points made in the post will not be passed through moderation.
With that said, what do I think is behind this approach? Something is, it’s been too consistent, too many times, and for too long; some sort of logic drives it. Have you read any of my recent posts about the two contrary interpretations of reality within evangelicalism? If these people think my literal interpretation of reality disqualifies me from understanding Calvinism, wouldn’t that explain this approach? Wouldn’t they have to present a grammatical-historical argument to refute the specific points made in these posts?
Also, it’s obvious that they wouldn’t want to address my perception of reality as being the crux of my error. That’s a rabbit they want to keep in the hat.
I hate Facebook, but can’t live without it. One reason why is an article that was reposted by someone on my Facebook friends list. The article, written by a John Pavlovitz, was posted on his blog John Pavlovitz .com.
As gleaned from the article, JP sees the problems concerning “church” with stunning clarity, and is on a journey to save it from those who have “hijacked” it.
Like so many in our day, JP doesn’t understand that the church which he properly describes as “in the mud” is not in the mud because it has been hijacked—it is the mud.
Like so many in our day, he doesn’t want to “[throw]ing the baby Jesus out with the muddy bath water.” But Jesus doesn’t dwell in any muddy water. If you throw out the muddy bath water of the church, fear not, Jesus is not in there.
Much can be drawn out of JP’s article, but without a doubt the primary reason that the JPs of the world will not succeed in changing the muddy church follows: they think Christianity is a combination of Jesus and mud, the mud being us, and the only problem with church at this time is it’s too muddy. The muddy Christians are being too muddy, but Jesus still loves the muddy church. Therefore, we must save the Church of Mud by making it less muddy.
This is why Luther and Calvin never really left the Catholic Church; they shared the same essential metaphysics, epistemology, and politics (they also killed people who disagreed with them). They only disagreed on the ethics. The Reformation was not a revolution, it was a reformation. The Catholic Church had become too muddy.
This is what the JP’s of the world and all discernment bloggers to boot don’t understand: we don’t need another Reformation—we need a revolution. The problem with the muddy church is: it is made of muddy people and Jesus is not muddy, and those who follow Christ are like Him in the world. We are “washed,” not muddy.
And JP would say: “But we still have mud.” Therefore, a revolution instead of a mere reformation would be “throwing the baby Jesus out with the muddy bath water.” Here is what JP, like many others do not understand: the Church of Mud is muddy for a reason. While sharing the same ideology as the Church of Mud, their primary concern is that things become too muddy. They love the mud as much as anyone and seek to save the mud. However, there must be limits to the mud. The ideology that creates the mud cannot be allowed to create too much muddiness.
Hence, when JP and many others point out that there is too much mud, the others in the Church of Mud should not accuse him and others of, “being angry malcontents; serial complainers who have no real desire to make things better, who simply delight in publicly dragging Christianity through the mud.”
You see, the church being muddy is one thing, but dragging it through its muddiness is something else entirely. Why? Well, according to the formal doctrine of the church, it is the only place where mudders get saved, so you can’t do anything to hurt the Church of Mud. Now you are messing with the gospel of muddiness.
JP apparently means well, but his confusion can be seen in the article, i.e., “The problem is, organized Christianity is no longer truly in the hands of all the people. Like so many riches in this world, it too is being hoarded and held by a small minority who tend to speak for themselves; who are prone to leveraging power and position and platform to control those who they deem to be inferior or dangerous or deviating from the norm.”
This is the contradiction of the post: what was just cited and the whole not throwing Jesus out with the muddy water thing. He sees the problem, but clearly doesn’t understand that the ideology of church orthodoxy (the norm) will not, and cannot permit something that is “truly in the hands of all the people.” We call that a “revolution.” It’s a complete rebuild, not a renovation.
He is biblically correct on this, but fails to understand the difference between a true biblical model of “church” and Protestant orthodoxy. He is correct: God’s family is a holy nation of priests. What does that imply? It implies that there is no spiritual caste in the family of God.
The Bible states that we are a body, and with all bodies, the individual parts play very important roles and determine what the body is able to achieve. The body parts don’t wait around for permission from men to practice their function; they are guided by the one head, Christ. The body parts work together according to truth for the unity of one mind and one voice that strives to learn the mind of Christ more and more. The body parts are organized according to gifts.
But it doesn’t stop there. We are not just any run of the mill priests. The type of priest that the Bible is speaking of is the priest who entered the Holy of Holies once a year to offer an atonement for the sins of Israel. But now the veil has been torn asunder and all have free access to the Holy of Holies. We are able to enter in because we are washed—not muddy. Muddy people have never been allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and never will be.
JP recommends a revolution that will put Christianity back in the “hands of all the people,” and then prescribes a mere reformation; that won’t work. We are not muddy priests of a muddy church in charge of making sure we don’t become too muddy.
Is this perfectionism? Yes and no depending on how you define perfectionism in regard to the new birth. The church spawned by the Reformation defined perfectionism as a denial that Christians sin. It basically redefined sin in stark contrast to the biblical definition. The Bible makes a distinction between sin that condemns and sin by those who are God’s literal offspring. The Reformers made no such distinction in brazen defiance of holy writ.
As a result of this single perspective on sin, they made the law THE standard and measure of righteousness, and not the new birth. Instead of the new birth putting those under the law of condemnation to death with Christ and freeing them to obey the law for the sole purpose of love after their resurrection to new life, the Reformers kept believers in the mud and not washed by the baptism of the Spirit.
In other words, Jesus came to cover the mud, not wash it away. According to Calvin and Luther both, “saved” people must become official members of the Church of Mud through the initiation of water baptism to keep their mud covered by perpetual rewashings every time that we return to the “same gospel that saved us.” This is why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day” and “live by the gospel” according to everything in our lives being “gospel driven.”
Consequently, according to Luther, and Calvin, the believer should care less how much mud gets flung around as it is really none of our business. We are not in control of the mud, only getting it covered by behaving at church. If we are in control of the mud depth, well, we have a “righteousness of our own.” And trust me, the mud doesn’t fling far from the pigsty.
Hate to tell you JP, but the church folk that fear you are right; according to Protestantism, you really should keep your mouth shut. The muddiness is what it is; if you think there is too much mud you are self-righteous. Sound familiar?
If you go to “The Table” tab/page on JP’s blog, it is fraught with Church of Mud orthodoxy mixed in with anti-total depravity emergent-like ideology. Like so many in our day, JP needs to totally forget everything he has learned and do the job he is called to: High Priest. That is his job, not the collecting of other people’s thoughts for perhaps a well-meaning search for answers.
On the same page, you will notice that we “reflect” rather than actually do things, and our lives are a “story” like the redemptive-historical metaphysics of the Church of Mud. And then there is this:
We realize that no one has all the answers, and that faith and doubt live side by side. No one has the market cornered on Truth and we’re OK with that.
What about the one mind of Christ that we are called to be unified by? If no one can really know anything “except Christ and Him crucified,” or stated another way, Luther and Calvin’s “objective gospel experienced subjectively,” what unity does JP propose will take place? This confirms that he is out of touch with the biblical concept of body.
The page also states that everyone and their views are welcome, but I am not sure they want to hear what I have to say because I think little of a physician who wants to save cancer patients by first saving the cancer, or those trying to save the Church of Mud from too much mud.
We need a revolution, not a reformation. The problem with the Church of Mud is the mud.
“Jay Adams has often pointed out that people are clueless in regard to the fact that there are about 200 different counseling theories in Psychology. Think about that. When people go to a psychologist for help they are no doubt clueless in regard to the perspective that they will be counseled from. Nevertheless, if biblical counseling is about sanctification, and it is, there are at least as many different theories on how justification ‘runs’ with sanctification.”
The fact that our justification is a finished work is critical to the gospel. If justification is not finished, its proper maintenance by faith alone without works becomes a balancing act between works and faith in sanctification. You have an integration of two things where one calls for faith alone and the other calls for a faith that works.
Therefore, when justification and sanctification are fused together, the Christian life will be marked by confusion, fear, introspection, and a paralyzed, stagnant Christian life. Sound familiar? A radical dichotomy between justification and sanctification frees the believer to aggressively love without fear that anything they do in sanctification will affect their justification. There is no fear in our justified position.
A false gospel cannot help people. All in all, the contemporary biblical counseling movement is saturated with the idea that justification is progressive. Point in case; biblical counseling superstar Lou Priolo believes that justification, “runs in the background.” In a guest post written for Jay Adams’ Institute for Nouthetic Studies, Priolo stated the following:
To my way of thinking, the place of the doctrine of justification in the believer’s life is much like the operating system on a computer. I’m a PC guy. My personal computer operates under a Windows operating system. Windows is always up and running, but most of the time, it runs in the background. I don’t see it. I can go for days without looking at it (although I know it is functioning as long as the other programs are operating properly). Occasionally, I have to go to the control panel to troubleshoot a problem, make some minor adjustments, or defrag my hard drive, but I don’t give it another thought because I have faith that it is doing what it is supposed to do. So it is with my justification. It is always up and running. Though I am not always consciously thinking about it, everything I do flows from it.
If one carefully examines this statement by Priolo, many disturbing anti-gospel ideas could be pointed out, and oddly, Jay Adams himself has written against these very ideas. Particularly, the idea that “everything” we do is powered by, or “flows” from justification. This is no whit different from what Tullian Tchividjian, John Piper, or even Joseph Prince believes.
Justification cannot be both finished and “running.” If justification runs in sanctification, what do we have to do to keep it running properly? That’s a huge problem by virtue of the very question itself. If the race we run as Christians, the one Paul talked about, is powered by justification, and we can be disqualified from that race; well, the ramifications in this issue speak for themselves.
No wonder that confusion, chaos, controversy, and a civil war between “first generation” biblical counseling and “second generation” biblical counseling are the order of the day in those circles.
Jay Adams has often pointed out that people are clueless in regard to the fact that there are about 200 different counseling theories in Psychology. Think about that. When people go to a psychologist for help they are no doubt clueless in regard to the perspective that they will be counseled from. Nevertheless, if biblical counseling is about sanctification, and it is, there are at least as many different theories on how justification “runs” with sanctification.
Who will finally stand up and say, “Enough of this madness!”? Who will finally stand up and say one is finished and one is progressive. Come now, are we saying that one runs in a race that is finished? Indeed, I stood dumbfounded when Voddie Buacham’s answer to that question from me was, “yes.” Is this nonsense the very reason that the world does not take us seriously? We are unable to clarify the gospel we proclaim. Call the world totally depraved if you will, but they are not stupid.
“Do you understand justification as a legal term in the believer is ‘declared righteous’ in the eyes of God because of the imputed righteousness of Christ that takes place at conversion when the person exercises faith in Christ as their Savior?”
I understand the Reformed tradition states that, and I understand what the Reformed tradition means by it, and that’s why I reject it for the false gospel that it is. FACT is, Luther and Calvin propagated a false view of justification and the theological math is very simple. It’s a religious empire built on a big fat lie. Luther and Calvin belong in the infamous Hall of False Gospels, not Christian folklore.
Why is this? Justification is not a legal covering that God “sees.” It is not a legal declaration of covering, it is a legal declaration of fact concerning the true being of the individual who is now a family member. He now deals with us as sons. When God looks at the new family member, He sees a righteousness that is like Christ’s because Christ is the brother, but it is also the righteousness of the individual. When God “sees” one of His children, He sees the righteousness of one born of Him. “A righteousness of our own” argument is intellectually dishonest; it attempts to make us the originators of righteousness because we received it as a gift.
“But Christians still sin.”
This very contention is a false gospel smoking gun. This simple four-word contention (one of Calvin and Luther’s primary arguments for progressive justification) is all one needs to completely discredit the Reformation from the plain sense of Scripture. This perspective obviously sees Christians as still under the law and needing a COVERING to satisfy the law.
But here is the good news of the true gospel: sin is not merely covered, it is ended, and where there is no law, there is no sin.
But that doesn’t mean “under grace” equals not being under any law. It’s just a different use of the law: for love, NOT condemnation. Authentic Protestantism clearly keeps Christians under the law of condemnation, and therefore needing a covering of righteousness not their own. Supposedly, Christ came to not only die for our sins, but to obey the law perfectly so that His perfect obedience can be imputed to our Christian life by faith alone.
There are many problems with this view of justification known as “double imputation.”
First, it makes the law of condemnation a co-life-giver. That’s Paul’s whole point in Galatians chapter 3. Also, the law now sits on a third throne with God the Father and Christ. In fact, Reformed tradition often pontificates about “An offering given to satisfy the law from the empty hands of faith which only bring the righteousness of Christ as an offering.”
Secondly, it denies that the old person died with Christ via the baptism of the Spirit. Why in the world would believers need a covering to protect them from a law that they are no longer under? A dead person cannot be found guilty under the law—they are dead. This is Paul’s whole point in Romans chapter 7.
Thirdly, because of the Reformation’s single use of the law, that of condemnation only, the ability of the Christian to love is circumvented. The Christian is not free to “serve another.” The law of sin and death, the ministry of death, is made the same as the law of liberty, the law of Christ, and the law of the Spirit of life that He uses to sanctify us (John 17:17).
Fourthly, because the believer is still under the law of sin and death confirmed by the fact that he/she still needs a covering of righteousness that is not their own imputed by the new birth, he/she is still enslaved to sin.
Fifthly, the principles of GIFT and REWARD in the Bible now have to be the same. Therefore, salvation is the reward for living by faith alone in the same gospel that saved us. This, according to Calvin, “keeps us in the family of God.”
Hence, salvation is a reward for living by faith alone rather than a gift. This problem speaks for itself and is the crux of “already not yet.”
Is it any wonder that the Protestant church is a train wreck? It’s that way because of its false gospel.
Christ died to end the law and you cannot be condemned. You are free; go forth and love.
— Paul M. Dohse (@PaulMDohse) May 7, 2015
So anyway, at least in my case (I can’t speak for other members there), when I joined LA Fitness, I paid for the first month and the last month upfront. At some point in the month that is paid for, they automatically withdraw money from my account for the next month. Roughly a week before the end of the month, the payment didn’t go through.
That’s when the phone calls started; daily, and at least two phone calls per day. Regardless of the fact that they were informed that the problem with the account would be reconciled in a few days, the calls continued. Remember, this is during a time period when the present month is paid for, and the following month as well. Moreover, the callers talked like Valley Girls in regard to pitch and speed. Remember them? They were made famous by the 1982 Frank Zappa song that he recorded with his 14 year old daughter, “Moon.” Some of the callers talked so fast I couldn’t understand what they were saying.
The final straw for me was a phone call at 8:45 am on Sunday. Play that song, and then imagine stumbling around on a Sunday morning grappling for the coffee pot after a week from hell, seeing the call on your cell phone, answering, and well, play the YouTube vid.
They (LA Fitness: remember that this young lady was only doing her job) kept me on hold until the card cleared, and then finally proclaiming my salvation, informed me that I would be taken off of the harassment list. She called it the “[call] list.”
My friends, this is harassment and abuse. Plain and simple.
So, now I have a choice: will I stay in this abusive relationship because of the excellent facilities? No I will not.
But Paul, it wouldn’t have happened if the money was in the account.
Sound familiar? That’s what we call “victim blaming.” Because the victim started it, or was to blame on some wise, the abuse is excused. See, I could say: “I love the facilities, and after all, if I had made sure the money was in there, I wouldn’t have been abused. I will therefore stay in the relationship.”
Yes, I could say that, but I will not tell myself that, nor will I do that. Why? Because if I do, I become a participant in evil according to the end result. My reasoning is neither here nor there, the final outcome is the real issue; bad behavior is not held accountable.
Sure, sure, LA Fitness will hardly go broke because of my departure, but that’s not one of the primary points. Ineffective revenge is not one of the primary points; the primary points are principle and boundaries that prevent self-destruction. Now, of course, I am not saying that keeping my membership at LA Fitness would be self-destructive—it’s merely an analogy. Or is it? The significance of principles is that they can be applied unwittingly from the mundane to the dramatic.
We are dealing with three points here: inadvertently condoning bad behavior through lack of accountability, living by principles, and gain, boundaries that prevent self-destruction.
Women and men both partake in the fallacy of weak boundaries, but the title focuses on women because our culture is more sensitive to the issue of abuse in regard to women.
No women should stay in any relationship with anybody or anyone in any place where boundaries are refused and ignored. It doesn’t mean they lack love, it means they have standards. It means they live by the principle of mutual respect. Neither does it mean there isn’t a process that lays the ground rules when needed, but it does mean that the line can be crossed in the process even when it is fully understood. Think, “temporary separation” to clarify boundaries.
We don’t stay in a relationship with a spouse regardless of anything because of the spouse’s facilities. Our children are not exempt from boundaries because we love them. Unaccountability is not love. Facilitating disrespect for others is not love. Trust me, if a child does not respect the parents, they will hardly respect anyone. And in all of this, we should all have boundaries in regard to helping those who will not hold others accountable.
This is a shot out of nowhere, but I want to interject it: do you support a church that will not hold its denomination accountable? Is the only boundary that of, “Our particular congregation didn’t do it”? Do you still support the denomination because of its facilities?
If you want to believe you have no value, if you want to believe your tolerance is a show of the same grace and mercy you received, if you think a boundary-less life is a humble life, let me remind you, the world already has a savior, so don’t try to be one. Stop making yourself God under the guise of humility, and trading your dignity for a bowl of soup.
Likewise, LA Fitness crossed the line. I will now pay more for lesser facilities—but I retain my self-respect which is predicated on my principles.
Your facilities are not enough when you cross the line.
Do you need John Piper et al to be with Jesus, or has the Spirit promised to lead you in all truth? It's a rhetorical question. Acts 4:13
— Paul M. Dohse (@PaulMDohse) May 3, 2015
You don't need an education in orthodoxy; you need to be with Jesus: Acts 4:13.
— Paul M. Dohse (@PaulMDohse) May 3, 2015
In vogue among evangelicals is the idea that we have no righteousness of our own. If we lay claim to a good work that pleases God, we must sanctify it with, “It wasn’t I who did it—it was Jesus working through the Spirit.”
To take credit for a good work is to steal the glory from God, and lay claim to a “righteousness of our own.” This idea is rooted in Martin Luther’s alien righteousness. It is the belief that all righteousness remains outside of the believer.
The result is a confused endeavor to do Christianity without doing anything; after all, “The just shall live by faith.” Therefore, Protestantism still struggles in the clarification of how we do Christianity without doing anything; after all, “It’s not about our doing, it’s about what He has done.” Protestantism is fraught with these doing it without doing it truisms.
Actually, Luther and Calvin articulated how the Christian life is done without doing, but Protestantism wouldn’t be any more popular than the Branch Davidians if Protestants knew the true tenets of Protestantism.
But here is the primary problem: Protestantism is a slick works salvation gospel. Basically, it turns doing nothing into a work; you do nothing to keep yourself saved. People assume that doing nothing with intentionality to obtain an objective is not doing anything. In reality, doing nothing is still doing something; it’s a “choice,” and deciding to do something or not do something is doing something in both cases.
The linchpin is Protestantism’s redefinition of the new birth which is redefined as an ability to better see what we can’t do, rather than a new creature who does things because of who we are.
Hence, if we have no righteousness of our own, we are condemned. If you are the least bit familiar with the New Testament, you know of the interpretive duo of “gift” and “reward.” Once you receive a gift, you own it, right? Salvation and the righteousness that comes with it is a GIFT. Rewards come in this life and the life to come as a result of how we put the gift that we now own into use. Primarily, the Bible calls that “love.”
But now think with me for a moment. If something is not a gift, what is it? Right, it’s a loan, and what do we know about loans? Right, you have to pay them back. And frankly, that’s exactly what Protestantism teaches: that righteousness is on loan from Jesus. We have no righteousness of our own; we only have the righteousness of Jesus. The gift of righteousness is really righteousness on loan from Jesus, and we receive the benefits by antinomian faith alone payments (doing nothing).
Let’s clarify the Protestant payments a little more. Because of this construct, Protestants have to categorize works into two categories: works of self-righteousness, and faith alone works. Faith alone works usually consist of praying, faithfulness to church attendance, tithing, and behaving well at church. Works of self-righteousness are pretty much everything else, but particularly thinking that you know something well enough to debate the pastor.
Because Protestantism denies that we own the gift of righteousness, they must now define REWARD as final salvation, and they most certainly do in no uncertain terms. Think about that: the final equation of Luther’s alien righteousness is salvation as reward for living by faith alone. That’s a huge problem.
One of the keys to understanding all of this is Hebrews 6:10,
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”
Why would it be “unjust” for God to “overlook” YOUR “work”? Because you have earned it. This isn’t complicated: salvation/righteousness is a gift that you can’t earn, but nevertheless this righteousness is part and parcel with your new being, and you are rewarded for how you put it to use for love’s sake.
The conclusion of the matter is simple: Protestantism is a false gospel that circumvents love because we supposedly have no righteousness of our own. It makes ownership synonymous with being the originators of righteousness which also defies the reality of a “gift” as well.
The emergence of the New Calvinist movement is closely related to the history of the biblical counseling movement and the book, “How People Change” by Paul David Tripp. In fact, the movement almost died out as a flash in the pan early on, but found new life in the biblical counseling movement.
Join us tonight at this link: http://tobtr.com/s/7555149 @ 7pm.
There isn’t a bigger elephant in the Sunday school room or the sanctuary than the issue of Bible interpretation. The reason for this follows: the method of interpretation that comes natural to us is assumed.
What is that method? This gets into an area of study called hermeneutics (the theory of interpretation), and the two primary theories thereof are exegesis and eisegesis. These are big theological words that the average Protestant is not supposed to know. This is because the Protestant interpretation of the Scriptures is based on authority.
We will get to exegesis and eisegesis, but the crux of the issue is authority. The Reformers came from Romanism and clearly, their interpretive construct was based on authority; i.e., the average parishioner was not free to interpret the Bible and follow it according to one’s own conscience:
Rightfully and nobly did the Protestant Reformers claim religious liberty for themselves; but they resolutely refused to concede it to others. 
The very foundation of Protestant interpretation is based on authority; that is, the leaders dictate meaning. Therefore, traditionally, the need for Protestants in general to understand interpretive principles would be unnecessary, and as a result, Protestantism functions that way till this very day. In the early days of the Reformation, private interpretation was outlawed ; in our day, education regarding the tools needed to interpret the Bible are merely excluded.
This fact brings us to an interesting word, “orthodoxy.” Traditionally, this word is associated with “truth” as a synonym. This is not the case at all. Orthodoxy is the authority of truth based on counsels of any given sect.  The opinions of these counsels regarding the meaning of “truth” are known as “creeds” and “confessions.” These are “truths” (actually, opinions concerning the meaning of any given subject) repackaged for those who have limited understanding, and usually recited and learned through catechisms .
Authority Versus Individual Interpretation
Hence, Protestant interpretation is based on authority and not individual interpretation. The structure of this interpretive process is orthodoxy formed through counsels, distributed by creeds/confessions, and practiced through catechisms. In Europe and early Colonial America, it was a matter of civil law, in our day the process is tempered by the freedom to choose your own orthodoxy, but it is still orthodoxy. Once a typical American parishioner chooses who they want to believe, they will follow that leader as an authority. A like tendency caused the Apostle Paul to confront the believers at Corinth (1COR 3:1-9).
Of course, the authoritative method of interpretation is at the root of every cult. Traditionally, when people seek to find God, they begin by finding an authority that they are comfortable with. This is why many people prefer authoritative interpretation in a free society: it allows them to choose their own general truth while leaving the hard task of thinking to others. The Apostle Paul said this would be particularly problematic in the last days (2TIM 4:3-5).
The visible authority structure within the church is known as “church polity” or church government.  Again, the whole construct is based on authority. If authority is the interpretive prism, roles in the church are going to be seen as positions of authority rather than gifts. When Christ ministered here on earth, disciples were free to follow Him or not follow Him under their own free volition (JN 6:66-69). Christ made it clear to the disciples that their roles in the kingdom were not that of authority (Matthew 20:20-28).
The word “office” inserted in the English translations when associated with “bishop” or “deacon” were added in to the translations and do not appear in the Greek manuscripts while in other places these roles are spoken of as gifts (EPH 4:11-16). We have been given authority to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom on earth, but that is a vertical authority and not horizontal. Those who protest the gift idea versus the authority idea often cite the following text:
Hebrews 13:17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
The word for “obey” in this verse is πείθω (peithō) which means to persuade by argument. The word “submit” is ὑπείκω (hypeikō) which means “to surrender.” Here is the best rendering according to a heavy paraphrase:
Be persuaded by your leaders’ arguments from Scripture and don’t be stubborn in regard to the truth for this is no advantage to your own spiritual wellbeing. Besides, they have to give an account for how they led you, and let that account be a joyful recital to the Lord rather than a sorrowful report.
Why is this important? Because every person is personally culpable before God for following the truth, not men. Paul was an apostle, yet the Bereans verified what he taught according to their own understanding of Scripture (Acts 17:11). Paul told the Corinthians that he should only be followed as he followed Christ (1COR 11:1). Every individual will stand before God to give an account of the sum and substance of their own lives, not who they followed among mortals.
The Exegesis and Eisegesis of Hermeneutics
The theological word for the science of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics. The first consideration of hermeneutics must be exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis draws conclusions from written text depending on the grammatical meaning and arrangement of words. Eisegesis approaches the text with an interpretive prism. One who uses the exegetical approach will even approach the text to learn how the text itself should be interpreted. Eisegesis assumes one must approach the text with a proper presupposition in order to properly understand it.
Therefore, this takes us right back to the basic question of authority versus the freedom of individual interpretation. Eisegesis will approach the text with a prescribed method of interpretation while exegesis will look for the best way to interpret the text from the text itself. The interpretive prism for eisegesis comes from an authority. The common contention from those of the authority camp is that everybody approaches the Bible with presuppositions, and this is unavoidable; so, it is important to use the right interpretive prism. Since we are supposedly incapable of approaching the Bible objectively, we should bow to their authority in regard to the proper interpretive prism.
Historical-Grammatical Versus Historical Redemptive: The Elephant in the Room
Eisegesis and exegesis really boils down to authority versus individualism, and so does the two major methods of interpretation in the church: historical-grammatical method and the historical-redemptive method. This is where we get into discussion about the elephant in the room. These two devices of interpretation yield completely different results. When we sit under any given teacher, he/she will be using one of these hermeneutics. The two different approaches will sound the same because each uses all of the familiar terms, “gospel,” “justification,” etc., but the terms mean different things in each construct. This is the elephant in the sanctuary and the Sunday school room that no one is talking about.
As suggested by the terms themselves, one interprets the Bible grammatically, and the other interprets the Bible through a Redemptive prism. The latter seems perfectly reasonable: “Isn’t the Bible primarily about Redemption?” The former would judge that assertion by a grammatical evaluation of the text. In other words, conclusions are drawn by the arrangement of words, their meaning, and what those words meant to people in that historical context. This is exegesis.
The redemptive method presupposes that the Bible is a gospel narrative about the works and personhood of Christ. It presupposes that this is the dominate theme of the Bible and everything else in the Bible is secondary and points back to Christ. For example, biblical commands aren’t really meant for us to obey, but rather illustrate the works that Christ has accomplished for us and illustrative of what we are unable to do. This bypasses the normal grammatical interpretation of an imperative expectation, and interprets it as a finished work that God in fact does not want us to do. This is assumed because of the redemptive presupposition. As Neo-Calvinist Paul David Tripp has said, biblical commands must be seen in their “gospel context.” 
The Gospel Transformation Study Bible and the Redemptive-Historical Gospel
Dr. Kathleen Nielson, in a promotional video for the Gospel Transformation study Bible, stated that the historical-redemptive theme is not imposed on the text, “it’s actually in there!” This, we by no means deny, but are the works of Christ and His personhood something that every verse in the Bible points to? Nielson, like many from the redemptive-historical camp, use the grammatical approach to determine that something is in the text, and then make that an authoritative interpretive prism.
I have talked face to face with pastors who use this hermeneutic. As one stated to me, “You might have to cover multiple chapters in one sermon in order to see the Christocentric theme God is showing you at the time.” Others are even more direct:
At this time, resist the temptation to utilize subsequent passages to validate the meaning or to move out from the immediate context. Remembering that all exegesis must finally be a Christocentric exegesis.
Look for Christ even if He isn’t there directly. It is better to see Christ in a text even if He isn’t, than to miss Him where He is. 
Again, we see that a “Christocentric exegesis,” something that is in the text grammatically, becomes the authoritative eisegesis. And this elephant is a big one, because interpreting the Bible this way is intrinsically tied to the gospel that comes part and parcel with the redemptive method. The historical-redemptive method is a tool for enabling the believer to live by faith alone in their Christian walk. The historical-redemptive method is actually a gospel in and of itself. To interpret the Bible grammatically is to conclude that God actually wants us to exert our own will in response to commands in the Bible. To proponents of the redemptive-historical method, this is works salvation because Christ is not obeying for us in our Christian life. This is what the Reformation motto, “Christ for us” means. The Neo-Calvinist John Piper has stated it this way, “[Christ] 100% for us.”  Piper has also said that “necessary sanctification” comes from faith alone in the Christian life (Ibid).
Therefore, according to proponents of the redemptive model, a historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture necessarily leads to works salvation and making what we do in the Christian life “the ground of our justification” (Ibid). For all practical purposes, Paul David Tripp has stated such:
….and the Bible does call us to change the way we think about things. But this approach again omits the person and work of Christ as Savior. Instead, it reduces our relationship to Christ to “think his thoughts” and “act the way Jesus would act.” 
Here, Tripp concedes that the Bible can be interpreted grammatically, “and the Bible does call us to change the way we think about things.” Grammatically, one assumes the commandments are to us and that we are called to do them. Again, Tripp clearly recognizes this fact. But what does he say the results are?
But this approach again omits the person and work of Christ as Savior.
What happens if we “omit” Christ as “Savior”? Clearly, Tripp is stating that if we interpret the Bible literally and obey it, we are circumventing Christ’s salvific work. Much more than mere semantics are at stake here. The elephant in the room is absolutely huge! This is about the gospel.
The historical-redemptive method of interpretation is all the rage in contemporary Christianity. Projects and programs that promote this method of interpretation and target all age groups abound. Almost all Christian publishers are on board with the historical-redemptive hermeneutic. The latest project that has been unveiled towards this endeavor is Crossway Publishers’ The Gospel Transformation Bible. It will be available 10/19/13.
The subtitle is, “Christ in all of Scripture, Grace for all of Life.” This is typical of those who promote this method of interpretation and its gospel. Christians will assume that the title only pertains to justification by faith alone, but it doesn’t. “Transformation” or change has to do with the Christian life, and in the subtitle, “Grace” replaces “gospel” to veil the real crux of this doctrine. Basically, it teaches that Christians are transformed by continually revisiting the same gospel that saved them. Not only that, we keep ourselves saved by doing such. This is what is behind the Neo-Calvinist mantra, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” John Piper has said that the question is not only how one gets saved, but how one must use the same gospel that saved him/her to keep themselves saved.  Piper has also said that we must “see” the same gospel that saved us over and over again as a requirement to enter heaven. 
Note: This is what’s so critical about the Reformed historical-redemptive interpretative model according to many Calvinists, it enables us to fulfill what is “required of us” to enter heaven (Ibid). In essence, once saved, how we read our Bible determines whether we keep our salvation or not. So therefore, those who promote The Gospel Transformation Bible actually see it as a resource for maintaining one’s salvation.
The “Gospel-Driven” Life
The question that is invariably raised is, “How do proponents of the historical-redemptive model explain obedience and the Christian life?” Primarily, they say Christians must “experience” obedience, but must not be the ones who perform it in the Christian life. By revisiting the gospel afresh, the works of Christ are “manifested” in our lives. When this happens, the obedience is experienced by a willing, joyful spirit. As we use the historical-redemptive model to see how sinful we are (a deeper realization of our sin, the realization that originally saved us), and thereby gaining a greater appreciation for what Jesus did for us, we experience “vivification.” This is some sort of joyful rebirth. Proponents of this hermeneutic, primarily those of Reformed theology, refer to this as “mortification and vivification.” A “daily dying and rising,” a “living out of our baptism.”  
The Origin of the Historical-Redemptive Hermeneutic
Where did this hermeneutic originate? Even though Martin Luther’s 95 Theses launched the Reformation, the framework of the Reformation’s doctrine and gospel was articulated by Martin Luther six months later. Essentially, Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation to the Augustinian Order in 1518 is the heart and soul of the Reformation. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is a greatly expanded treatise of Luther’s framework. However, every fundamental element of Reformation doctrine can be found in Luther’s Disputation, and this by no means excludes the historical-redemptive hermeneutic. 
The primary theme of Luther’s Disputation is known as The Theology of the Cross. It was comprised of the glory story and the cross story. Luther believed that salvation must be maintained by an incessant emptying of self. One’s focus must be OUTWARD only. Any semblance of an inward look was the “glory story.” The outward focus on Christ and His works, and nothing about us whatsoever is the “cross story.” A beginning focus on the cross saves us, and a continued focus on the cross story keeps us saved the same way we were originally saved: by faith alone. Sola Fide also pertains to the Christian walk/life. The historical-redemptive model came from Luther’s Theology of the Cross.
Luther believed the outward focus and utter eradication of self leads to a subjective power displayed by the Holy Spirit that we experience. However, we are not to be concerned with it because there is no way for us to distinguish between our own efforts and those of the Spirit.  Mortification and vivification can be ascertained in Theses’ 16 and 17 of the Disputation.
Never have Christians been so oblivious to such a critical issue. What we believe about the gospel and how we convey it to the world is at stake. Every Sunday in America, historical-grammatical parents deliver their children to historical-redemptive teachers while clueless in regard to the ramifications. This reality actually creates mixed families and marriages via two different gospels. One spouse buys into sanctification by faith alone while the other one doesn’t. Eventually, you have a mixed marriage.
The issue with these two hermeneutics is not a matter of semantics and preference—these are two different gospels. This issue is the elephant in the sanctuary and the Sunday school room.
1. Nabu Public Domain Reprints: The Principles of the Westminster Standards Persecuting; William Marshall, D.D., Coupar – Angus. Edinburgh, William Oliphant & Co. 1873, p. 13.
2. Ibid., pp. 19-22, 28.
3. Bruce Overton: MacMillan’s Modern Dictionary; The Macmillan Co. New York 1943.
5. Ibid. designated as synonymous with “politic” : the science of government.
6. Paul David Tripp: How People Change; Punch press 2006, p. 26.
7. The Biblical Theological Study Center: A Christo-Presuppositional Approach to the Entire Scriptures; Max Strange. Online source: http://goo.gl/5sGjP).
8. John Piper: Desiring God .org blog: Video, If you had 2 minutes with the Pope, what would you say?
9. Paul David Tripp: How People Change; Punch press 2006, p. 27.
10. John Piper: Desiring God .org blog; How Does The Gospel Save Believers? Part 2. August 23, 1998 Bethlehem Baptist Church.
11. Ibid, Part 3.
12. Michael Horton: The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way; Zondervan 2011, p. 661.
13. Paul Washer: The Gospel Call and True Conversion; Part 1, Chapter 1, heading – The Essential Characteristics Of Genuine Repentance, subheading – Continuing and Deepening Work of Repentance.
14. In its fundamental elements. It was not referred to as the historical-redemptive hermeneutic for many years afterward.
15. Heidelberg Disputation: Theses 24.
The biblical way of living life is pretty straightforward in the Scriptures. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross saved us, and then we move on to the “living sacrifice.” Calvinism propagates a perpetual return to the onetime sacrifice of Christ for all sin and insists that this onetime act must be continually reapplied to our lives by “faith alone” in order to keep ourselves saved. This is what “preaching the gospel to ourselves every day” is all about. It’s a contemporary term, but it is grounded in the doctrinal foundations of the Protestant Reformation.
This is also what is behind the sacred sola fide (faith alone) of the five solas of the Protestant Reformation. But, “faith alone” means literally faith alone in both salvation and sanctification (Christian living). James railed against sanctification by faith alone in no uncertain terms, and thus, his epistle wasn’t exactly Luther’s favorite. In the same way that we assume total depravity of the five points of Calvinism only applies to the unregenerate, ignorant Protestants assume much and think little. When they read or listen to orthodoxy, their minds are programmed to receive only. In Protestant churches everywhere, the five solas are proudly displayed at the front of the church while in reality this clarion cry of Protestantism is a biblical abomination. Hence, from heaven’s viewpoint, this worldwide collective mockery on Sunday morning must be a beholding of unimaginable proportions.
Why is this? Well, because “Christians” “still sin.” And hey, if we still sin, we must need forgiveness every day. And hey, if we still need forgiveness, we can only get it from the original source—the cross. So, the Christian life becomes an endeavor to keep our new sins covered by a continual return to the same gospel that saved us.
This is a result of an egregiously flawed view of the law that has eternal consequences. Christ died on the cross to end the law, and the law NEVER had any connection to justification. Christ died on the cross to reveal the righteousness of God APART from the law. Calvinism makes the law to be justification’s standard, and it NEVER was. Calvinism makes the law something that must be fulfilled in order to maintain and define righteousness (justification). Therefore, Christians remain under law which is the very biblical definition of a lost person. One is either under law, or under grace. Lost, or saved. Calvin and Luther defined “Christians” as under law.
According to their doctrine, Christ ended the law by fulfilling it while he lived on earth and obeying the law perfectly. This is an “ending” defined by an ending to us keeping it, not Christ. This makes the law the definition and standard of God’s righteousness. That’s a huge problem. Christians are then still under law, and must return to the cross so that the law continues to be satisfied by reapplying the death and life of Christ by faith alone (sola fide).
This is nothing new, and is the same Galatian error that Paul stood against. What was his argument? He argued that if a perfect fulfillment of the law defined righteousness (justification), there is life in the law, and the promise was by two seeds, and not just one…that is, Christ. However, Paul made the point that there is only one seed, and therefore NO life in the law…for righteousness. That’s the key, “for righteousness.”
Christ ended the law for righteousness, and our sins are not merely COVERED by a supposed need to return to the cross—our sins are ENDED.
Calvinism’s anti-gospel view of the law is not only a false gospel, but sucks all of the life out of sanctification. Why? It places sanctification under the precarious auspices of the law for justification making justification a process rather than a finished work. Protestants do not know what it means to be under grace. “Under grace” means that Christ fulfills the demands of the law in our stead—that’s a false gospel.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul begins 12:1 with, “I appeal to you therefore….” This appeal was based on everything he had written in the first eleven chapters. The Reformed assert that this is Paul’s call to fulfill the imperatives that follow by returning to the first eleven chapters daily; in essence, a return to the sacrifice of Christ and the cross. Not so, this is an appeal by Paul to move from Christ’s sacrifice to our sacrifice…
…to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Paul then proceeds with instruction on how to do that. Key to understanding this is knowing that the body, or members, are NOT inherently evil. We sin because the body is “weak,” and mortal, not inherently evil. Notice from the citation above that the body can be used for holy purposes. Also note that we are the presenters to God, and this presentation is “spiritual worship.” Worship is using our minds and bodies to love God and others according to Scripture 24/7:
Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Notice in Galatians 5:6 that faith works. This speaks against the anti-gospel lie of sola fide of which all of the five solas stand in the same way that all five points of Calvinism stand or fall on total depravity. Faith is not alone in sanctification in the same way that faith is alone in justification. When that view is proffered, it is telling that such also proffers a gospel that keeps people under law and thus makes justification progressive instead of a finished work. This was James’ very contention against a faith without works in sanctification; in essence, it reveals what you believe about justification.
Moreover, a faith alone that does not work completely circumvents the primary purpose of the living saint: love. In the same way that being under law violates every point of the law when one point is violated (James 2:10), the one under grace fulfills the whole law with one act of love:
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Is this meant to be literal? Perhaps not, BUT for certain, it demonstrates that the Christian cannot sin against the finished work of justification in anyway because where there is no law, there is no sin (Romans 5:13). Christ’s death on the cross ended the law FOR justification—while we fulfill the law by acts of love and…
Romans 6:12 – Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
It is now our choice to allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies because the ending of the law strips sin of condemnation. Sin’s ability to condemn through the law has been ended, and therefore, sin has no power over us:
1Corithians 15:56 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have victory over sin because Christ ended the law and stripped sin of its ability to condemn—Christians do not sin in regard to justification and never needed Christ to fulfill the law of sin and death in our stead; in the present, or the past. He died to end the law. We are now free to fulfill the law of the Spirit of life through love which are actions done by us and described by Paul in Romans chapters 12-16. We can only sin against love, not justification, and Christ never came to fulfill the law of sin and death, but to enable us to fulfill the law of the Spirit of life through faith working in love (See Romans 8:1-17).
There can be no confusion here or questioning of motives, when Christians obey the law, it is for love, not justification: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
The supposed necessity of Christ to fulfill the law for us while we live the Christian life by “faith alone” is the essence of antinomianism ([anti-law]“anomia”). And consequently, someone else obeying the law for us, or more accurately, loving God and others in our place; i.e., Christ, will , and always does lead to cold heartedness:
Matthew 24:12 – And because lawlessness [anomia] will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Psalm 119:70 – their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.
There is no place where you will hear “I love you” more than a Reformed church, yet, it is a lie and indicative of cultic love-bombing. The often-seen five banners of each sola displayed prominently at the front of many churches are banners of heresy over that “church.”
They are banners representing those still under law while falsely proclaiming that they are under grace. These banners mock the cross over raised hands praising to the sounds of contemporary rock music. Deception and damnation never had a happier face.
Tuesday Night Bible Study – Now LIVE on Blogtalk Radio!
Lesson 51 – April 28, 2015 (Click here to listen)
Tonight’s Text – Acts 19:11-20
- Miracles by Paul’s hand
- From his body
- The purpose
- A new aspect to the ministry
- To contrast reprobate works from authentic ones
- Compare with 2 Timothy 3:5-9
- Pharaoh’s magicians
- The works of false teachers
- “Vagabond” Jews
- Sons of a chief priest
- Known for their works
- successful at it
- Why invoke Jesus’ name?
- Compare with Matthew 7:15-23
- “Vagabond” Jews
- Result of Paul’s works
- People believe
- Confession and repentance
- A change in behavior
- Out of obedience
- Out of love
- People believe