Paul's Passing Thoughts

Why Born-Again Believers Should Offend God Less Than Unbelievers

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 7, 2017

ppt-jpeg4In yet another example of how Protestantism is wrong about virtually everything; its orthodoxy calls for a belief that there is no moral difference between Christians and non-Christians. This ministry has documented a vast number of citations that make this point other than the constant affirmation thereof heard on Christian radio, TV, and everyday conversations. The belief that Christians actually offend God less than unbelievers is often dubbed “moralism.”

The home fellowship gospel is stated by the practice of meeting in homes which exemplify a literal new birth into the family of God, or the “household of faith.” The household is God’s literal family. It is also a body versus an institution, and gifts versus authority; the only authority is the head of the body, Christ. The body has one head. The focus is cooperative group contribution to the knowledge of Christ, not groupthink.

Elders are apt to teach and protect the group from error as each discerns for themselves whether or not the teaching seems right according to Scripture. Hence, the elder is a contributor to the body like all the other gifts. Eldership is a gift, not a position of authority. In the body analogy, the organs and members are gifts for edifying the body.

Key to understanding all of this is the new birth and how it changes a person’s function in the real world.

The beginning point is the believer’s relationship to the one law, or the Bible. One law—two relationships: condemnation and love or under law and under grace, and also “under the power of sin.” “Under grace” does NOT mean you are no longer under a law, it is just a different relationship to the law.

What does being “under sin” mean? Sin is empowered by the law. The Bible is VERY clear on this. Sin uses the law to create particular “desires” within any given person. Those desires can include a desire to kill people, a desire to steal in order to get someone’s stuff, or a desire to have sex with animals. How these desires pan out regarding complex paradigms vary, but one major consideration is conscience and consequences (which is a dynamic that takes place in everyone) versus the intensity of the desire which is increased through practice.

Simply stated, sin’s ability to use the law to condemn is the source of its power to tempt and enslave through ignorance of love and strong desires; again, the Bible is VERY clear on this.

When condemnation is removed; sin is stripped of its power.

However, sin still resides in the mortal body. It can still use the law to tempt a believer, but not enslave a believer. Due to the weakness of mortality, sin can harass a believer, but the believer can actually say “no” to the sinful desire and use the same law that once condemned the believer to learn how to “control the body.” Not that the body in and of itself is evil, but whether or not the body is used to fulfill good desires or evil desires.

In the new birth, two primary things happen: the believer is given a new heart that loves God’s law, and is no longer under the condemnation of the law. The same law that once brought only death now brings life and life more abundantly. This gospel is the same gospel that Moses preached: “I set before you this day life and death; choose life.” It has always been the same gospel though applied differently at points of historical eschatology which will not be addressed in-depth here.

Suffice to say here, the Old covenant law was a vessel to which ALL sin IS imputed and was increased for the full expression of Christ’s love. The law was increased over time for the purpose of death and life both; and both condemnation and love.

Christ came to establish the baptism of the Spirit through His death and resurrection. This brought two things into consummation: the baptism of Jew and Gentile into one body, and the official ending of the law’s condemnation. Until Christ came, the law held the believer’s sin in captivity, hence Old Testament believers are sometimes referred to as “the captives.” However, that ministry, in a sense, remains for unbelievers in our day because “all sin is against the law.” Every sin committed by an unbeliever is still imputed to the law, and when they believe, all their sins are vanquished along with the law; they are no longer “under law,” or more specifically, no longer “under condemnation.” For this reason the Old covenant is “passing away” but is not yet ended completely.

And here is another way believers are changed: the Bible teaches that sin itself has a core desire; to control and enslave. People under condemnation condemn as a way to control others in the same way sin controls them via condemnation. This is the crux of marriage counseling; most marriage problems flow from a spouse’s desire to control the other spouse through condemnation.

So, Christ came to die and END the law of condemnation for those who believe, and was resurrected by the Spirit so that the law could be fulfilled through love by those who follow Him in death and resurrection. When Christ said He didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill the law, He wasn’t talking about the law of sin and death; He was talking about the law of the Spirit that sanctifies. This issue boils down to the Spirit’s two uses of the one law; to convict the world of sin and the judgement to come, or to sanctify. The believer dies with Christ to the old law, and is resurrected to the new law. The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death. The denial of two uses of the law is tantamount to an outright denial of the new birth. Moreover, identifying one’s self as a “sinner” is tantamount to declaring self as yet under the condemnation of the law. In every biblical case, a “sinner” is “under law.”

If one’s old self died with Christ, and the same resurrected with Christ as a new creature, good works, viz, LOVE is not also substituted; truly good works flow from the believer and are not a substitution. And ironically, unbelievers know this intuitively (probably because the works of the law are written on their hearts according to Romans 2:12-16) and expect good behavior from professing Christians.

What do unbelievers hear from “believers” instead? “There is no perfect church; We are all just sinners saved by grace; Come and join us anyway and we will have one more hypocrite.” Unbelievers know better. The primary thing that keeps them from being saved is fear of radical change. Most unbelievers have a better grasp of the gospel than any Protestant and that includes all of its various stripes such as Baptists and all of their stripes.

The belief that most people don’t accept the gospel because they want to deny their sin is false. Unbelievers know they have a sin problem. Hence, “If they see how readily we admit that we are sinners when we humble ourselves, they will be encouraged to confess their sin” is a false notion. Not so; they don’t fear staying the same and seeing their sameness in and deeper and deeper way with the help of being “edified” at church; to the contrary, they fear the radical change of the new birth. Instead of “edifying unto good works,” the edification is the ability to see the depths of our totally depraved selves. The lost world will not buy this package.

There is only one thing that will dissuade fear of real change; when they see our godly, free, and happy lives and want the same for themselves. A testimony of staying the same will neither impress or convince.

In all of this, how can one stay the same and still be “saved”? You know, “Come just as you are.” There is only one factor left in the equation: faithfulness to the authority of the institutional church where staying just as you are lest you have a “righteousness of your own” will usher you into heaven by faith alone in sanctification. The crux of that is something that the church has in common with sin itself…

…a desire to control others with its splendid temples giving testimony to the sale of salvation on an installment plan.

These pagan temples are set against the believer’s body that is the Spirit’s temple where the members are used to offer living sacrifices to God in sanctifcation. Confining worship to a temple made with hands denies the temple of the new birth; our very own bodies that are gifted to edify the family of God.

paul

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4 Responses

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  1. John said, on July 8, 2017 at 5:42 PM

    No change, no new birth; no new birth, no change

    This paragraph is paramount, Paul,”There is only one thing that will dissuade fear of real change; when they see our godly, free, and happy lives and want the same for themselves. A testimony of staying the same will neither impress or convince.”

    Why are so many fleeing these Protestant temples of doom? Because they are unbearable, evil, vile, fake, loveless, and Christless.

    Great piece, Paul.

    Like

  2. Susan said, on July 9, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    I don’t think these folks (what is passing itself off for Christianity these days) have a critical thinking skill left. Literally double speak. Contradiction. A recent comment: “I’ve been a Christian for twenty years and I am still struggling with, praying about and confessing the same sins as when I first became a Christian.” I am so not impressed. I am so not convinced. The first thing that came to mind for me was: “Well are you really a Christian then?” I confess, I was too politically correct to ask the question publicly because I did not want to create a scene in front of others. And that question would have created a scene! Again, if “Christians” are the same as “non-Christians”, then really whatever is the point? Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

    Like

    • John said, on July 9, 2017 at 4:11 PM

      Yep, Susan. So what does make them different then . . . “church membership”? After 20 years and there’s no growth? And your assessment (note: not judgment) is correct: “Well, are you a Christian then?” NO, and that person has never been a born again person; impossible. Cults are killers, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and eventually physically.

      Bet you we’re talking about a Protestant, right? Isn’t it weird that they HAVE to find something to confess (even if they go back decades to find “something.”) otherwise they are of the world or somewhere. Well, then they are simply not born again. But they can’t see it; don’t want to see it. The more “sins” they are “struggling” with, the closer to God they are, or something like that; the more God is pleased with them…I am so sick of this LOT that I can actually eat a pair of army boots. I just see the name MacArthur (for instance), his fake humility, his lies, his smug, pompous fake smile, and I want to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

      Critical thinking? Susan, of that they have nothing. Cunningness? Of that, they have plenty, as they take after their real father.

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  3. Susan said, on July 9, 2017 at 5:28 PM

    Yes, she is part of an Assembly of God (new church plant) in my community. I think the classification would be Protestant Evangelical Charismatic. Another person who attends that same church laments the number of cars that drive by on Sunday morning and the crowded Sunday breakfast crowd at the diner a couple doors down from their strip mall front church. The new AG plant “i.e., mall church” is on a heavily traveled main street.

    Why don’t they come to church? We are praying for numbers and for growth. And meanwhile I am asking myself, “Why would they come? What can they get here (at church) that they can’t get by reading the latest best-seller motivational self-help book? Or volunteering at a local non-profit organization — you know for the ‘go out into the community and create life change thingy.’ Or listening to a favorite Christian band or gospel music.”

    Meanwhile a church that I might actually consider attending — a KJV AV Independent Baptist Church down the street — is stuck in the 1950’s and the pastor thinks that covering two to four verses each week from Proverbs (i.e., that means 4.4 to 8.8 years to get through a single book of the Bible) is an awesome way to go deeper into scripture. These are good people, but this, too, is its own version of madness.

    And their doctrine, for all the protestations to the contrary (we are Baptist! not Protestant! we are Independent! not attached to any other Congregation!) seems to parrot Protestant orthodoxy. There is one home church in my neighborhood and it is an extension of a large physical church. They have figured out how to minimize costs and maximize profits by using homes as meeting locations and then funneling the collections to the main church.

    Will the Lord find faith on earth when He returns?

    Like


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