Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Crux of the Church False Gospel; Its Defintion of Sin

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 16, 2019

By Paul M. Dohse: Contributing Author and Editor for Paul’s Passing Thoughts .com and TANC Ministries.

Church, whether Protestant or Catholic, is the false gospel that the apostle Paul spent his whole ministry refuting. This article will make the case, and also take opportunity to explain the only difference between the two churches. The video posted at the bottom of this article was brought to my attention this week and supplies a unique opportunity to clarify this issue. Don’t be distracted by the fact that the pastor in the video is a Lutheran; while you may be a Baptist, you are still a Protestant and Luther was the first “protest-ant.” Fact is, the Lutheran pastor in the video articulates the church gospel perfectly, and it is no more or less the EXACT same gospel proclaimed by the who’s who of contemporary evangelicalism. What we are about to discuss has always been the church gospel, and while waxing eloquent about Paul, church is the exact gospel that Paul preached against. And don’t worry, understanding the error will not require deep theology as the error is elementary.

The crux, or shall we say deception, is the church’s definition of sin. The definition follows: sin is a violation of the law that condemns, and the law remains until the visible second coming of Christ. The church’s definition of sin denies the biblical new birth which makes it necessary to define sin differently. The new birth ends the law for the believer, and its condemnation, once and for all of eternity. Born again Christians cannot sin against the law because Christ came to end the law. If the law isn’t ended, condemnation remains. Now, this doesn’t mean Christians don’t fail to use God’s word properly to love, and it doesn’t mean there are not consequences for such, but the key is the ending of the law’s ability to condemn eternally, a condemnation that separates us from God.

Before we begin to make observations from the video transcript, I will lay some groundwork. In this discussion, it is important to understand exactly what the new birth is, and how it saves us. Again, church orthodoxy is the antitheses of Paul’s gospel. Let’s begin by looking at some things Paul wrote:

For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:15 ESV). 

This is true of the new birth, but NOT with church orthodoxy. This is a good beginning distinction. Under wrath versus NOT under wrath. Now, church scholars will vehemently deny that church orthodoxy keeps the so-called “Christian” under wrath, but this is a wholly disingenuous denial. With the biblical new birth, the true Christian is not under wrath by virtue of who we are, and the existence of wrath or the possibility of wrath is permanently revoked. It is metaphysically impossible for wrath to touch the born again Christian, and it is impossible for wrath to touch the true believer ever and for eternity. Wrath is ended for the born again believer. With church orthodoxy, the “believer” remains under wrath, but the church supplies a covering for wrath. It is very much like sanctuary cities in the United States. Illegal aliens are guilty and under the violation of immigration laws, but if they remain in a sanctuary city, they are protected from the consequences of the law. In the same way, the church person under the church gospel remains under wrath, but is protected by the church. Church supplies a protective covering for sin, but the individual remains “a sinner,” really, “under wrath.” IF the church was honest, they would say, “We are all just sinners covered from the wrath of God by the church.” The only real difference between an unbeliever and a believer, according to church orthodoxy, is the church.

Now, from a new birth perspective, what is the difference? The believer is NOT under wrath, and never will be. The sin of the believer is not merely covered, but ENDED. The born again believer is sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). Fact is, in regard to salvation, “It is finished,” and the true believer needs NOTHING to retain his or hers salvation. Someone who is born again, cannot be unborn. In regard to salvation, the believer doesn’t need anyone, not even God, to maintain salvation. When a baby is born, the baby needs others to maintain its life, but not its salvation. If the baby dies, it goes to heaven because the baby is not under law. Now, when the individual develops a conscience and knows right from wrong, the individual is now under law and subject to the wrath of God. This is the crux of the new birth and why we must be born AGAIN; so we are not under law.

But this is not merely some kind of heavenly legal loophole. Along with the ending of the law when the person dies with Christ, comes a new person who is resurrected with Christ. The old person avoided God’s law because of its indictments, and was for the most part indifferent to God’s laws and ways. The new person resurrected with Christ now loves God’s truth and law. The law is now life nourishment and not death. A well cannot produce both fresh water and poisonous water, it’s either one or the other. As with the old you, the law was only death, but with the new you, the law is only life. A tree cannot produce both bad fruit and good fruit. It’s one or the other. In fact, in regard to the old person, any exposure to the law could only produce death.

I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died (Rom 7:9 ESV).

I like the baby analogy. In regard to reality, there are two laws; the law of God (any form of truth that comes from God) and the law of God written on the heart of every person born into the world (Rom 2:12-16). So, a baby is not yet indicted by either because the conscience is not yet developed. For those born again, God’s law is ended because someone who has died is no longer under the law (Rom 7:1-6), and their consciences have also been washed from the condemnation of the law written on the heart.

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:22).

Herein is another key distinction between the biblical gospel and the church gospel. In the gospel of the new birth, this double washing only happens ONCE and is for ALL time. It is undisputable that church orthodoxy calls for a perpetual washing that isn’t really a washing or ending of sin and its wrath, but only a covering of sin with Christ’s cloak of righteousness. In other words, no real new birth takes place and a person’s relationship to the law, and the law’s purpose remains the same. That’s why church is needed as a sanctuary city. Church supplies a mere covering for sin IF you practice church sacraments, and the so-called new birth is a perpetual temporary covering for sin, and not an ending of sin. One is still under law and its wrath. One dies with Christ when they return to the cross for more forgiveness from violation of the law, and are resurrected AGAIN when they gain reassurance from doing so while there is no change in state of being. All true righteousness remains outside of the “believer” (Luther’s “alien righteousness”), and therefore, a covering is needed for all present and future sin. All church folk readily proclaim forgiveness for all sin, but the devil is in the details; it’s not a onetime permanent forgiveness. Furthermore, the church deliberately deceives people by insinuating a permanent forgiveness while posturing church as “God’s family.” But like the Olive Garden commercial, you are only family when you are there partaking in church sacraments. The true biblical gospel is NOT a sacramental atonement, but a transport into a totally different state of being.

In further laying the foundation before we investigate the aforementioned video, let’s examine 1John 5:18.

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him (ESV). 

This is a key verse deliberately distorted by church scholars to propagate church’s sacramental atonement gospel. We must remember a very scary thing: the vast majority of Bible versions and translations came out of the Protestant Reformation which clearly propagated a salvation/justification by the law with a cute little twist; “No, no, we are not justified by the law, but faith alone in Christ!” Well, again, the devil is in the details of the bumper sticker. Through adherence to sacraments, Christ continues to do two things: forgive us of condemning sin (presently and in the future), and impute His perfect law-keeping to the believer. This is double error; viz, works justification, plus justification isn’t based on the law to begin with. Some highly respected church scholars such as RC Sproul have even stated that Christ earned His righteousness through perfect law-keeping so that He could impute it to us as we partake in church sacraments. This is obviously in-your-face justification by the law. Who keeps the law to begin with is neither here nor there; the law cannot give life for justification (Gal 3:21). It can give life in sanctification apart from condemnation, but more on that later. There is yet another cute little Protestant twist: “But of course Christ only died once for our sins!” The insinuation is that we only believe in Christ once for a permanent salvation and the church gospel doesn’t re-crucify Christ and put Him to open shame again as the Hebrew writers warned against. Instead, the one sacrifice is perpetually reapplied as if that is not the same thing that the Hebrew writers warned against.

So, in many versus like 1John 5:18, the Scriptures are altered to insinuate that our salvation is kept by Christ through sacraments. And therefore, the following must be added: the Bible is written in a way that circumvents manipulations. There are many elements to this, but the primary one follows: the Bible has a certain framework that would require massive sentence manipulation in order to acquire a continuity of error. Based on the overall justification continuity in the Bible, when we see a verse that is contradictory to the principles of the framework according to a certain version, we need to investigate. Remember, if Jesus warned against the adding to or taking away from God’s word, and He did, we may assume that it happens. Though the verse seems to say that the one born of God does not continue to sin, when this is seen through church presuppositions (we are all still sinners saved [continually] by grace), it must be concluded that we are continually saved (protected) from condemning sin by Christ’s perpetual atonement through the “ordinary means of grace” (church sacraments). This is where multiple versions of the Bible are a VERY good thing, especially in regard to different types of versions. Usually, checking the more literal versions as opposed to paraphrased versions clarifies the matter.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not (KJV). 

We have known that every one who hath been begotten of God doth not sin, but he who was begotten of God doth keep himself, and the evil one doth not touch him (YLT).   

Another thing to look at is simple sentence construction. In the ESV version there is subject discontinuity: is the subject everyone or a single person? By adding Christ into this verse as the protector, subject disagreement between the collective plural noun “everyone” and the singular noun “him” results. As you can see, through many different means, the Bible is written in such a way that it can fact-check itself with a little bit of study. NEVER go outside of the Bible for a hermeneutic; the Bible has its own built-in hermeneutic. Another example is Hebrews 12:2.

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (ESV). 

Again, this is another verse that insinuates that our very faith is outside of our control and begun by Christ, and finished by Christ, apart from anything we do or can do. But, as reflected by the YLT Bible, and many others, the manuscripts (made up of fragments) do not include the word “our.” The verse is merely saying that Christ is the author and perfecter of faith as our great High Priest. The problem with the church’s definition of sin follows: for the so-called believer, it is still condemning sin requiring perpetual re-salvation/justification. All so-called gospels that oppose the Bible possess this element: remaining sin that condemns. The Bible rarely refers to the Christian’s failure to love according to the word of God as “sin.” When it does, it is referring to family sin that can bring God’s loving correction (Heb 12:6, Prov 3:12).

The fact that parishioners are still “under law” (a biblical designation for the unregenerate) is reflected in the church’s soteriology as well. Primarily, it’s the idea that all people who have ever lived will stand at one, final judgement. Those who trusted in the church will be covered by the righteousness of Christ (atonement), and those not covered will be eternally condemned. This refers to the great white throne judgment. And it’s true, all standing there will be judged by the law…because they are under law (Rom 6:4). The righteous stand in an altogether different judgment to receive reward, not salvation. This is the difference between the true biblical gospel and the church gospel; one is a race for a full reward (2John 1:8, Hebrews 6:10), the other is a race for salvation. Of course, the church refers to this race as the “race of faith” because the “race of salvation” would be too overt. It is important for true believers to know they will not stand in any judgement where they will be judged by the law, nor will they partake in that particular resurrection, but rather, “and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14). Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement (John 5:24). 

We don’t need church because we don’t sin—sin has to do with judgment. If we fail to love, we will lose reward; if we fail to love, we may be chastised by our Father. Furthermore, being under grace doesn’t mean we are under no law, but the law is used to aggressively love God and others with no fear of condemnation. If we are not fully justified apart from the law (Rom 3:21), there is no way we can be sure of why we are obeying the law; to justify ourselves, or for purposes of true love? If we are justified apart from the law, all that is left is love. We can therefore be confident of our motives. So then, what justifies us?

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 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 (1John 3:4-9 KJV). 

The new birth justifies us, and note that our sins are taken away, not just covered. We can now observe the video that is the focus of this article.

The reason, then, we gather together on a regular basis to hear the teaching of God’s Word isn’t so that we can get some nugget we didn’t pick up before, but it is so we can be saved again, you know, so we can be justified again.

No ambiguity here; this statement pretty much stands on its own.

Justification is not a process. You don’t become more justified as you live the Christian life. This is where we disagree with the Roman Catholic Church. You don’t get closer to being righteous.
You were declared righteous in the sight of God, and you never become more righteous in the sight of God than you were the moment you were baptized, but you receive justification many times because to be justified is to be declared righteous, so anytime you are declared righteous; well, guess what, you were just justified.

This is a helpful and interesting distinction between Protestantism and Catholicism which are both sacramental atonement religions. This issue is what really sparked the Protestant Reformation; it is the issue of infused grace. The Protestant gospel states that ALL righteousness remains OUTSIDE of the believer. This was Martin Luther’s “alien righteousness.” Obviously, this totally flies in the face of 1John 3:4-9. Now, we may be wondering, “But how can saving faith be outside of us?” That’s a very good question. To understand the answer, you have to know how Protestantism defines, “faith.” According to Protestant orthodoxy, faith is illumination only, or only an ability to perceive apart from any action. When Protestant scholars speak of “Christ in us” etc., they are only speaking of an ability to know, or see, but any notion that any human can do a work that satisfies the “righteous demands of the law” is rejected out of hand. ALL doing must be performed by Christ and imputed to the “believer’s” account. In an article written by Dr. RC Sproul, he begins by saying there is no shortcut to Christian living (sanctification), but what does he say the role of the Christin is in sanctification?

We’re saved by grace alone and justified by faith alone, but having been saved, we don’t just wait around to die. Christianity is about spiritual growth as well, and spiritual growth involves effort—the hard work of sanctification. We manifestly don’t work for our regeneration or our justification. Both acts are monergistic, accomplished by God alone. Only the Holy Spirit can change our hearts. Only the righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of the Son of God secured by His perfect obedience to the Father, can secure our right standing before God. Sanctification, however, includes our efforts. We say it is synergistic because both God and we are doing something. Yet, we aren’t equal partners. God wills and works in us according to His good pleasure so that we progress in holiness (Phil. 2:12–13). But as God works in us, we work as well, pursuing Him in prayer, relying on the means of grace—the preached Word and the sacraments—seeking to be reconciled to those we have offended. There’s no shortcut for sanctification. It’s a process, and one that all too often seems overly plodding, with progress taking years to discern (There Are No Shortcuts to Growth FROM R.C. Sproul Feb 16, 2018 

Yes, according to Sproul, the Christian’s life takes effort and work…“pursuing Him in prayer, relying on the means of grace—the preached Word and the sacraments.” Hence, each time the churchgoer is justified, he or she is FULLY justified unlike those pesky Catholics who believe salvation is a process. Catholics believe in infused grace which enables the “believer” to utilize the sacraments for a progressive, or gradual justification. Both require the sacraments to work towards final justification, but one camp thinks this happens gradually while the other believes the sacraments supply a fulness of salvation (grace) each time you receive it.

They say, “Oh, I was justified by a man; I was justified by God once and for all, and that’s all that needs to be done. That’s not all that needs to be done. It’s true once and for all, but he didn’t stop sinning when he was justified. You were baptized, you were washed from sin, you were told that you were forgiven all your sin and God considers you to be righteous for the sake of Jesus Christ and has promised you heaven instead of hell. Christ’s reward instead of your punishment. But then you went out and sinned some more and you haven’t stopped sinning since and the sins that you commit might not be the sins of [inaudible] before the hardened sinner turned and had his dramatic conversion experience but they are more serious for you now, in that, you continue to return to the vomit even after you have been shown such grace.

So, churchgoers are not only sinners saved by grace, they are worse sinners than they were before! Of course, again, this turns the Bible completely on its head. The new birth exchanges slave masters; one dies with Christ as one under law that is enslaved to sin (enslaved to condemnation which is the only wage he or she can receive from the sin master), and is resurrected with Christ as one enslaved to righteousness (Rom 6:18).

You need to be assured of your forgiveness again and again so that the devil and the world cannot mislead you into thinking that you are beyond the grace of God or that you don’t need the grace of God and that is what church is for and that is why we consider the preaching of the word to be the foundation of all the sacraments when we talk about the ways God communicates His grace to people. The means of grace, that is how we summarize it by saying word and sacrament. The word is preached, spoken, read, the Word of God comes, and it convicts you of your sin and then it tells you the remedy that Christ died for you and you hear that and you believe it and your salvation is confirmed. You are saved again, you are justified all over again, you get the chance to believe it again so that you don’t lose the faith like some people do. And if you say I can hold on to the faith myself, I don’t need to hear the things proclaimed to me that I already believe again and again. I don’t need to have some man tell me my sins are forgiven. I don’t need to receive the sacrament on a regular basis. I can keep it up here you know. I’m not gonna forget it. I’m competent.

I am not sure what needs to be added here as this points to our observations thus far.

You are essentially saying that you are saved, that you are going to maintain your own salvation, that you are going to save yourself and this is the most worrisome thing about it. The prerequisite for saving faith is that you understand that you are in fact a sinner, that you are powerless before a god that you have not just sinned once or twice so that if he forgave some things in your past you would get it from now on then you are in fact a sinner in thought word and deed and you’re going to continue to be until you have die and been raised again in the likeness of Christ and so for anyone to say don’t worry I’ve got this I’m not going to drop the ball I can stay in my own house and continue to believe the gospel for the rest of my life is to begin to undermine the very foundation of saving faith in the first place as if I’m not competent to save myself but I am competent to hold on to the gospel thank you very much.

You can see where this part totally misses the point of the new birth. It’s not anything we do to hold on to our salvation; there is no need to hold on to anything because we are new creatures in Christ and God’s literal offspring. There is nothing to hold on to because we are new creations enslaved to righteousness. We did not birth ourselves into new creatures, nor can we un-birth ourselves any more than a baby can bring itself into the world or return to its mother’s womb. Protestantism is an abject full-court-press denial of the new birth.

Lastly, the new birth baptizes the sinner into Christ’s death, and like anyone who dies, they are no longer under the jurisdiction of the law:

Or do you not know, brothers —for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code (Romans 7:1-6).

When you are resurrected with Christ in the new birth, you now belong to Christ and use the law to bear fruit for God. Formally, the law could only condemn you, now it is your wisdom for loving God and others. And, your very body is now the temple of God in which the Spirit dwells permanently and you are the High Priest of that temple.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1Cor 6:19, 20).

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1,2). 

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:12-14).

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1Peter 2:9). 

You are no longer under condemnation and free to love God and others aggressively according to the law with no need to question motives. All that’s left is love. We do not ask, “Did you sin today?” We ask, “Did you love today?” Besides, you can’t sin while you are loving anyway. The old you is dead; even if you were exhumed and dragged into a court, the judge has no law. Your sins are not merely covered, they are ended. You are not merely declared righteous…

…you are righteous.

Paul M. Dohse

TANC Ministries


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