Paul's Passing Thoughts

Bible Continuity; Is Dispensationalism Valid?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 24, 2019

3 Responses

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  1. Glenn said, on January 27, 2019 at 8:11 AM

    Hi Paul,

    I finally had a chance to watch the video yesterday and I’ve also read your book The Church Lie (a very good book!) and I have one question for you. I was always taught that per 1 John 1:9 all Christians are to confess their sins to God on a regular basis. How does that fit in with your studies? If we are no longer able to sin because we aren’t under the Law then how does that passage make sense? You have alluded to the fact that we believers still don’t love perfectly and still do things that are forbidden under the Law. Do we still need to confess our sins regularly to maintain a right relationship with God?

    Thank you.

    Glenn

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 27, 2019 at 9:13 AM

      Glenn,
      Glad you enjoyed the video. You ask an excellent question and bring up a valid point. I’ll let Paul chime in when he gets a chance, but let me make a few observations that may help answer your question.

      First, I think we have to acknowledge that if we take 1 John 1:9 alone without any supporting context we have an immediate problem because we have a glaring contradiction with 1 John 3:9

      If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
      “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9

      The way church orthodoxy handles this contradiction is to re-interpret 1:John 3:9 and inserting the word “practice” which is not the word used in the manuscript.

      “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9 (ESV)

      Notice that the ESV interpretation holds out the possibility for believers to keep sinning and thus the need for continual forgiveness of present sin as referenced in 1 John 1:9. I have written a comprehensive article on this subject here.

      Now, whenever we are evaluating passages of scripture we must take into consideration the immediate context of the passage, the overall historical context during which time the passage was written, to whom it was written, and grammatical structure. While John is writing to believers he is addressing a larger issue, specifically, a sect of gnosticism that had made its way into the assemblies by some false teachers. This particular brand of gnosticism divided man into spirit and flesh and that any time man “sinned” he only did so in his flesh, but his spirit was unaffected. 1 John 1:9 is only part of a larger argument John is making to refute this idea. He is actually presenting a series of rhetorical arguments against this brand of gnosticsm. A close inspection of the grammatical structure of verses 6 through 10 reveal the hypothetical nature of his arguments. So in this case, verses 6 through 10 deal with true biblical JUSTIFICATION set against the gnostic idea of justification. Paul addressed this historical context in this article here.

      Now this passage no longer contradicts 1 John 3:9. Having presented the need for justification and how it compares to gnostic doctrine, John goes on to make the case that believers are justified because they have been born again. John understood that because the new creature is God’s offspring, righteousness is not a matter of sinning or not (ie. Law). Believers don’t “sin” because they are no longer under the law’s condemnation. Where there is no law there is no sin.

      I hope this helps to answer your question.

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  2. Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on January 27, 2019 at 7:19 PM

    Glenn, Andy addressed the 1John 1:9 part of your question, but I would like to address the other part. NO, we do NOT have to ask our Father for forgiveness to maintain our fellowship with Him when we fail to love. Like all love, we don’t have to, but we do. The forward look of the Christian life focuses on love, not sin against the law. The consequences are loss of reward, not condemnation. CLEARLY, church orthodoxy keeps professing believers under the law. This truly biblical mindset is hard for us to adapt after being programmed by orthodoxy all of these years, but our focus is NOT law-breaking prevention and confession to keep ourselves saved by going back to the gospel for new forgiveness and re-justification, but a positive focus on loving. By the way, you can’t do the former while doing the latter anyway which is going to reduce sin to begin with. Also, if our focus is a “lifestyle of repentance,” what about a lifestyle of love? If the focus is on repentance, as it clearly is, all you have is sin. Our focus is love which fulfills the law, and we could say that where the law is fulfilled there is no sin in the same way stated more plainly, “where there is no law there is no sin.” Also, Peter said that love covers a multitude of sins. I believe this is referring to family sin that fails to love. I think Christians feel bad when they don’t live up to who we are; I think we feel bad when we disappoint the Father, and I think our Father is pleased when we acknowledge our sorrow for that. But we don’t seek forgiveness because we are under condemnation. Asking God for forgiveness as Christians is not law, but love. For certain, if we are focused on a lifestyle of love, our snafus here and there are covered by love. God is interested in our love direction, not our law perfection because we are not under the law.

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