Paul's Passing Thoughts

Wait, Believers Fulfill the Law?

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on June 14, 2016

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” ~ Matthew 5:17

So then the question is, how did Christ fulfill the law?

The entire protestant gospel is rooted in the idea that since man is unable to keep the law perfectly, then Jesus must keep the law for us. This makes perfect law-keeping the standard for righteousness.  This is the protestant interpretation of “Jesus fulfills the law”, for the purpose of justification.

BUT…

The Bible says that righteousness is APART FROM THE LAW! If righteousness is by the law, then there would have been no need for Christ to die (Galatians 2:21, 3:21)

Also, how do you reconcile Matthew 5:17 with Romans 8:4?
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in US…”

Here is the true Biblical gospel:

Jesus didn’t die to keep the law perfectly on our behalf. He died to END THE LAW! He died so that all of our PAST sins could be TAKEN AWAY (not “covered”). Because of the New Birth, the believer becomes the righteous offspring of God the Father (not just “declared” righteous, but righteous as a state of being!) He is no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1) because the law was ended for him. He is no longer under its jurisdiction. And where there is no law, there is no sin (Romans 5:13)

Therefore, the believer is now FREE to aggressively pursue obedience as an expression of LOVE to God and to others, without FEAR of condemnation!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” ~ 1 John 4:18

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” ~ John 14:15

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” ~ Romans 13:8

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” ~ Romans 13:10

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” ~ Galatians 5:14

“If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:” ~ James 2:8

So how did Christ fulfill the law? He fulfills the law through US, believers!  NOT for the purpose of justification, for the believer is already righteous.  But by making it possible for us to be the righteous offspring of the Father, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us as we strive to obey for the purpose of showing LOVE!

Andy

 

 

 

Good News for Good Friday

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on March 25, 2016

Go out and fulfill the law today!

 

Good Friday Good News

It Takes an Atheist to Ask the Right Question: What is the Spirit’s Two Uses of the Law?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 8, 2015

ppt-jpeg4This post was prompted by a challenge I received from Facebook dialogue. I can’t say for sure that the person is actually an atheist, but he seems to be at least anti-Christian. At any rate, his question, though a question in the form of a challenge, is the kind of questions that I wish Christians would ask.

One of the biggest problems we have in Christianity today is the assumption that the Reformers did us all a big favor by organizing the Bible into chapters and verses. It is stunning to realize that Christians read the Scriptures without such divisions until the 14th century. Unfortunately, such indexing enables people to skip context entirely and lay claim to orthodoxy based on a pile of single verses. Church historian John Immel has coined this “Scripture stacking.”

Often, the challenge of contesting chapter/verse indexing is daunting. While one verse can seem to plainly state an orthodox principle, it may take an immense exegesis to properly explain a given verse in context. This is why many isolated verses in the Bible seem to clearly contradict other isolated verses; chapter/verse indexing eliminated an emphasis on context. Without verse indexing, context is the emphasis by default, not isolated verses.

But what is most disturbing follows: Christians never ask leaders to reconcile these contradictions which are in fact contradictions when considered as isolated verses only. While the apparent contradictions demand an explanation, very few Christians, including pastors, are asking.  But it is a good thing that atheists are, and I insist that this is why atheism is on the rise; Christians can’t answer the questions.  In fact, they don’t even know what the right questions are.

If one does not understand the Holy Spirit’s two uses of the law, the Bible will appear to be fraught with contradictions. As a longtime Christian who was always respected as a Bible teacher wherever I showed up, the Bible was mostly confusing to me. Deep down, I knew I understood little about the Bible. That all changed in 2011 when I did an independent pondering of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. That’s when I learned from the Bible what the key is to understanding most of it: the Spirit’s two uses of the law, and by law, I mean the Bible.

In context of the Spirit’s two uses of the law, words like judgment, condemnation, law, love, fear, sin, forgiveness, salvation, redemption, grace, sanctification, to name a few, must be qualified by context. In particular, the word “salvation” does not always mean salvation; it may be referring to redemption which is not the same thing depending on the context.

The Spirit’s two uses of the law is where home fellowships part with the institutional church. At issue is a proper assessment of the true gospel. The same Bible that saved us is not the same Bible that sanctifies us, but it is the same Bible. In context, that is NOT a contradiction; pastors and Christians have to get this. I have told many pastors this to their faces (and will continue to do so), until you understand the Spirit’s two uses of the law, get out of the ministry because you are wholly unfit and are leading your people in bondage under the law. Why is the church a train wreck? Simple: a single perspective on law. Moreover, single verse indexing makes the selling of this single perspective possible.

But let us now get to the question/challenge:

“Love me.” -God.

“Fear me.” -God.
“There is no fear in love.” -God.

Paradoxical contradiction.

Right, those are all verses in the Bible, and when isolated as verses, plain contradictions. Even if Christians where thoughtful enough to ask their pastors to clarify this contradiction, they either wouldn’t know, or the answer would make you grimace. So, here is the biblical answer according to context.

When God commands us to love him, He is speaking in regard to one of the Spirit’s two uses of the law—in regard to sanctification. The Spirit uses the Bible to sanctify the believer (John 17:17). This use of the law only pertains to believers; they are under grace, and IN a loving relationship with God. To love God as a Christian, you learn the Bible and obey it. This also gives more and more life to the believer (Ephesians 6:1-3 among many examples).

This brings us to a linchpin in the conversation: the Bible calls on unbelievers to fear, and Christians to fear, but these are two totally different fears. Let’s speak of the unbeliever’s fear first: this is fear of eternal condemnation. Now we can also include the fact that “sin” in the Bible doesn’t always speak of the same sin. For the unbeliever, sin is entirely different than sin committed by believers. The unbeliever sins against God’s law of sin and death, and this leads to eternal condemnation. The law of sin and death is the other use of the law by the Spirit; he uses it to condemn the world and warn it of the judgment to come (John 16:8). This is the law of sin and death.

This is why Christ died on the cross: to END the law of sin and death FOR those who believe (Romans 10:4). Hence, unbelievers are under law and not under grace (Romans 6:14). But, under grace does not mean that Christians are under no law, they are under the Spirit’s law of life (Romans 7:6 and 8:2). This means believers can use the Bible to please God and love Him and others. Aside from the fact that unbelievers are indifferent to the Bible, all it can do is condemn them. However, for the believer, there is NO fear (that is, fear of condemnation) in love because fear has to do with judgment (1John 4:16-19). Christians are marked by a love for the Bible, but before conversion they were indifferent to it or outright hostile (2Thess 2:10, Psalm 119).

So why should Christians fear? Because their sin is family sin against the Father, and God chastises those He loves (Hebrews 12:6ff., Proverbs 3:12, Revelation 3:19). God takes family sin seriously, therefore, judgment (here meaning chastisement) begins in the household of God (1Peter 4:17). Christians can get a little flippant about love because they are not under law and its condemnation, and God can correct that attitude in ways that gets people’s attention (Acts 5:1-11 1Thess 4:1-6).

A single perspective on these matters denies the new birth. When a believer is born again, the old person who was under the law of sin and death dies with Christ, and is no longer under the law’s condemnation. That person is no longer under that use of the law by the Spirit: to condemn. The same person is also resurrected with Christ by the Spirit and is now under grace and the Spirit’s law of life. There is now NO condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). In fact, where there is no law, there is no sin (Romans 3:19, 4:15, 5:13, 7:8). The Christian can now aggressively love without fear of condemnation.

Christian misunderstanding of all of this manifests itself when one protests the idea that Christians are yet “sinners saved by grace.” When you protest, they ask what they think is a rhetorical question: “Did you sin today?” Note the single perspective on law and sin which the Bible would define as, under law; the very definition of a lost person. Furthermore, those who understand the Spirit’s two uses of the law are accused of “perfectionism” as I was by a group of pastors recently. It is indicative of steroidal Bible illiteracy. Nevertheless,

“Love me.” -God…as your Father and under the Spirit’s law of life.

“Fear me.” -God…in regard to eternal condemnation as an unbeliever, or chastisement in regard to being my child.
“There is no fear in love.” -God…for those in my Son who ended the law’s condemnation.

Paradoxical contradiction…nope…not at all.

In the final analysis, the challenge posed by the anti-Christian is commendable relative to the dumbed-down Christianity of our day. If only Christians were thoughtful towards the Scriptures to the degree where these kinds of questions would be manifest. Many should take this question posed by said person to their pastor for analysis.

Good luck with that.

paul

Hey Bristol, It’s Not About the Law—It’s About Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 26, 2015

Bristol_PalinThe present 20-40-something generation indoctrinated by the Protestant institutional church keeps on doin’ its thing. Yes, this is the “sinners saved by grace” generation. These are sinners that love on their own terms.

What brought all this up? My present midlife blogger crisis. In 2009 when I started blogging, a Protestant scandal only came along once a year or something like that. What made that blog worthy is that Protestants are supposed to be one-up on the Catholics as far as righteousness goes. Everybody knows Catholics do anything they want to and then go to confession afterwards. Protestants have always been deemed as above such religious wantonness.

Now blogging has become like children who get chocolate too often. It’s no longer a treat; it’s a common occurrence, and the chocolate just doesn’t melt in one’s mouth like it used to. I have watched trending Protestant scandals increase to bi-monthly, monthly, weekly, and now approaching daily. Yawn, we sit at the dinner table and ask the complaining rhetorical question to momma blogger: “Chocolate again?”

It’s hard medicine, but the only thing to blog about now is the why? The what has run its course. However, what most of us do not realize is that there is a new and exciting trail to blaze in our present day: the art of godly living. But first, we must examine why that is possible in the face of this impossible dream.

It’s possible because Protestant tradition has always made Christian living all about our original salvation. Jesus died on the cross to save us from this horrible world that can be fun at times; Jesus will get us through it, so eat and drink for tomorrow we die. After all, we are all just sinners saved by grace. So, eat, drink, and be merry, and when you get caught, or a bad choice actually yields cause and effect, merely pull out your Woe is me a lowly sinner membership card. Jesus is president of the club.

So what’s the why? The why is because Protestantism with all of its pulpit pounding about justification by faith alone is really about keeping people under the law. We remain under law, and keep it when the opportunity matches our desires or when it is convenient, but all in all, it’s impossible to keep the law perfectly so Jesus came to live on earth to fulfill it for us. When we keep the law, we didn’t do it, Jesus did it “through us.” When we get caught, or a bad a choice yields bad fruit, that’s “disappointing,” but thank goodness that’s why Jesus came to LIVE and DIE.

And that is a lie from the pit of hell. Christ came to end the law, not keep it for us. When we believe on Christ, our past sins are forgiven because Christ ended the law that we sinned against, and in regard to the future, there is no law to condemn us. The law of condemnation has been ended.

How? Because Christ died so that you can follow Him in death, and a dead person is no longer under the law of condemnation. Then, Christ was resurrected so that you can follow Him in resurrection as well. More accurately, when you follow Christ in death, the Spirit comes and resurrects you as He did Christ. That’s the new birth. Now you are free from the law in regard to condemnation, for the old you died and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the law’s condemnation. But…your resurrection to new life frees you to love according to the law of love, not condemnation. Same law—different use. Same law, different state of being.

Oops, I almost forgot, the new scandal. “Which one?” This one: Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s daughter, is once again pregnant out of wedlock. The family, members of the New Calvinist Wasilla Bible Church, survived the publicity of the first “disappointing” choice, but obviously nothing was learned from the first incident, the blessings of a child being brought into the world notwithstanding.

I am not going to bore you with what she said on her blog about the news; it is the same old Protestant song and dance. In essence, and for all practical purposes: Oops; me, a lowly sinner, once again has sinned. Per the usual, we all fall short of keeping the law perfectly, but praise God for Jesus—it’s not about what we do, but what he has done.  

That misses the whole point. Jesus didn’t come to keep the law for us; He came to end the law, and set us free to love. Like all Protestants, Palin confuses law and love. Here is the huge problem: if Christ kept/keeps the law for us, He also loves for us. Like most Protestants, Palin dichotomizes law and love in Christian living because she remains under the law of condemnation and is not free to follow the law as love.

Hence, as she pontificated on her blog, she can dishonor her family while still loving them. As far as dishonoring her family and bringing shame upon them, Jesus died for that, but of course she still loves her family.

Listen, whenever love is something different than obedience to God’s law, whenever a failure to truly love is not called out for what it is, that means one thing and one thing only: that person is still under the condemnation of the law that Jesus supposedly keeps for us.

Listen “sister,” it’s not about the law, it’s about love. Google the following and find out who said it… “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  One cannot change until the real problem is diagnosed. Palin failed to love God and her family.

Christ did not come to keep the law for us anymore than He came to love for us—we either love or we don’t love. If we truly understand salvation, “We love Him because He first loved us.” That means He loved us first by dying on the cross to end the law so that we are free to love him through obedience apart from being justified by the law. And as much as we love Him, we love others as well.

It’s not about the law—it’s about love. And that is the new frontier for recovering Protestants.

paul

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