Paul's Passing Thoughts

Law and Gospel Articles

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 20, 2021

Parts 1-5B

A Mere COVERING of Righteousness By Christ is a False Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 20, 2021
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I was again struck by a quotation from the late RC Sproul that I observed on the internet: “The only way sinners can get past the gates of heaven is by wearing the robes of somebody else’s righteousness…the righteousness of Jesus Christ.” Not only is Sproul a Protestant icon, but this is a mantra we hear often in church circles.

And the statement is a false gospel on its face because it denies a biblical new birth. When Jesus said we must be born again, He was talking about a literal rebirth that makes us literal children of God. Consequently, we are not merely declared righteous; we ARE righteous because of our new state of being.

The true gospel is not a coverup; in fact, Jesus criticized doctrines that He likened to whitewashed tombs full of dead people’s bones. We are not tombs whitewashed by the righteousness of Christ, we are the temples of God in which the fullness of the Trinity dwells. God’s righteousness is not outside of us; it is infused within us by the new birth. And please note, this is not a righteous state of being that enables us to finish our salvation; justification is a one-time and for all time finished work within the believer. So, no, we are not Catholic either; you can save that accusatory drivel. Once you are born again of God you cannot be unborn. And to Catholic and Protestant alike, salvation is NOT a process as both teach. And yes, the born again do move on from the finished work of the gospel. And yes, we build on our faith which is the foundation; we don’t make every day the sabbath and slumber on the foundation.  Faith works through love.

“So, Paul, are you saying that the whole Protestant tradition is a lie?” Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying.

“But Paul, we still sin!” Sigh, please, let’s start using our Bible words. Sinning because we are weak is not the same as sinning because we are enslaved to sin. And by the way, weakness is not sin. Christ was weaker when He was on earth as a man, but He was 100% holy. The “holy angels” are weaker than God, but also 100% righteous. If you are not enslaved to sin, you are holy as your Father in heaven is holy. When you were enslaved to sin you were a “sinner.” As an unbeliever you didn’t sin perfectly, and as a born again believer you don’t obey perfectly. Obviously, someone enslaved to righteousness “purifies himself even as he is pure.” You are pure; you are washed; you are holy; you are to be holy as your Father in heaven is holy.

You are either under grace or under law; under grace is not a covering for remaining under law. Under grace is not a “legal declaration.” How is a legal declaration a “righteousness manifested APART from the law”? As we continue to say, who keeps the law is not the issue; the issue is the law…period. We ARE righteous because we have God’s seed within us, not because someone kept the law perfectly that came 400 years after “The Promise.” If that’s the case, righteousness is of the law and not promise, and the law gives life, not God’s seed. If the law justifies and perfect law-keeping is the standard for justification there is more than one seed. This is Paul’s cardinal point in Galatians chapter 3.

And again, being under grace doesn’t mean we are not obligated to obey the law out of love for God and others. But it’s love that fulfills the law, not participation in church ritual so Jesus’ perfect law-keeping will be imputed to our lives. You cannot dichotomize good works and love; if all of your works are as filthy rags, so is your love.

Nor can you dichotomize righteousness and salvation. If you are saved you ARE righteous, and salvation is either a gift or a loan with salvation doled out on a church installment plan.

Trust me, it’s a gift.

paul

The 2021 Conference on Spiritual Tyranny and Gospel Discernment

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 20, 2021

Church and Gospel Truth are Mutually Exclusive

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 19, 2021

Few in our day, particularly church-goers, care about gospel truth. Bottom line: the vast majority of professing Christians seek a good ending of their lives through church membership. I have seen many things on social media this week that remind me of that. In addition, I am reminded that church-goers are the most illogical people walking the earth. The Bible predicts wholesale apostasy in the end times, yet, church-goers accept the premise that anointed teachers of God are everywhere to be found, particular through numerous conferences featuring 70+ speakers each. The list of celebrity pastors is innumerable, and the airwaves are supposedly saturated with mighty men and women of God bellowing out gospel truth 24/7. On this one point alone, we know that professing church-goers could give a rat’s behind about anything the Bible states. What matters is what spiritual authorities say. And by the way, they are authorities because they say they are authorities. Jesus was NEVER present at ANY church council to appoint any man as an authority or to state any apostolic succession.

So, how is this so deeply imbedded in the psyche of church-goers? Because church was created in the midst of a church state and for the express purpose of a church state. Church itself was a distortion of Christ’s ekklesia in an attempt to replace the longstanding pagan state. Hence, when the church succeeded in replacing the Roman pagan state with itself, its orthodoxy became law. Furthermore, all governments were based on collectivism, or, the total depravity of mankind who needed to be compelled to do good by government authority. Church did not get its primary orthodoxy from the Bible, but rather Platonist collectivism that was the driving force behind statecraft for centuries.

Among many other footprints of this I stumbled across this week, Dinesh D’Souza and his daughter decried a statement by the president of the SBC that the church’s goal is not to “save America.” They also discussed other anti-American sentiment expressed by the church. Their confusion stems from a fundamental misunderstanding regarding what church is really about. Some churches remain confused because of Americanism, but still function according to the collectivist ideology that drives church in general. However, more and more churches are becoming overtly Marxist, which is the like collectivism that church was founded on.

Hence, the church gospel must deny any notion that people are recreated by God through the new birth, which makes them His literal offspring, and they most certainly do. The church gospel MUST stay true to collectivist principles, and it does. Therefore, of course we are “all sinners saved by grace” and of course we have “no righteousness of our own.” The church gospel must fit the narrative that all people are totally depraved and must be compelled to do good by an authority, and it does.

The church’s false gospel, like any other false gospel, creates bad behavior resulting in people grasping for alternatives. The most annoying one is the Christian Messiah movement. It’s the same under-law still under condemnation false gospel, only clothed with Jewish idioms and traditions. A video I saw on social media espousing the teachings of “Yeshua,” was calling for a commitment to “40 days of holiness” in which participants “fight sin” in unique ways for a 40 day period. This is not unlike the Reformed “lifestyle of repentance.” As in all under-law still under condemnation with sin only being covered through church ritual and not ended, the focus is sin, sin, and more sin. So-called “Christians” are yet indebted to sin, not love. The so-called teacher in the video says that real Christians “fight sin.” So, per the usual with all under-law church gospels, the focus is fulfilling the law by not sinning rather than fulfilling the law with a focus on love. The apostle Paul made it clear what we are to focus on: whatever is honorable, good, and lovely, not sin, nor does love keep a record of sin.

And of course, social media is littered with petty theological debates about predestination and other topics argued and debated by people who don’t even know what the true gospel is.

But, the one that struck me the most was an article about doubt using the testimonials of seven church icons. The article was titled “Seven Prominent Christian Thinkers Who Wrestled With Doubt” and posted in Relevant online magazine. I only wish to use one example from the article that is the most striking. Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of preachers,” used the testimony of Protestantism’s founding father to make a point about his own doubt: “The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy … The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort … His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a great wearied child.” This also echoes the series my wife did on the Puritans who were oftentimes in terror on their deathbeds.

Again, few Christians are the least bit troubled with how these testimonies contradict the plain sense of Scripture. Why? Because an individual interpretation of Scripture with the reason God has given us is clearly not the authority, but instead, those who have installed themselves as authorities over God’s truth and salvation.

paul

Overcoming Spiritual Tyranny in the Church: Part 3

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 15, 2021