Paul's Passing Thoughts

14 Basic Fundamentals of the True Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 8, 2014

HF Potters House (2)

1. Justification

Used synonymously with “righteousness.” It is the declaration and imputation of righteousness to the believer. This is the very righteousness of God. This is also the salvation of the soul. God NEVER declares anyone righteous unless He makes them righteous. This is not a position only, the person is actually made righteous.

2. The New Birth

Normally, sanctification would be discussed next, but it is important to understand how we are truly righteous—yet we still fall short of God’s standards in this life. The new birth takes place in time when we believe, and is a spiritual reality which lacks the experiential evidence we would expect, yet the Bible is explicit about what takes place. Our old spiritual self dies a literal death “with Christ,” and we are born again with an incorruptible seed. This is pictured in water baptism. We are new creatures. We do NOT have two natures, we only have one nature.

3. Flesh

It is the human body. It is not inherently evil, what God created that was good originally became weak in the fall, like creation, but is not inherently evil. This is why we are actually righteous, but fall short of God’s glory: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

4.  Sin

Sin was found in Lucifer, an angel created by God. It is described in the Bible as a master. Sin masters those who are not saved, but is hindered by the conscience God created in every being. God also wrote His character traits on the hearts of all people because we are born in His image. Unbelievers are not completely mastered by sin because they are born in God’s image. Unfortunately, unbelievers often confuse the image of God with their own righteousness.

When a believer sins, it is a violation of the Bible, but is considered to be sin against God and His family, directly or indirectly, by bringing shame on God’s name. For the unbeliever, violation of the law leads to eternal condemnation while sin for the believer can lead to chastisement and loss of reward.

5. Sanctification

It means to be set apart for God’s purposes. The gospel is really a call to kingdom living. Escape from eternal judgment is a positive by-product. See Andy Young’s TANC 2014 sessions on sanctification.

 6. Kingdom

The earth is presently ruled by Satan. It is the kingdom of darkness. God’s kingdom is NOT on earth nor is the earth being gradually transformed from one kingdom realm to another via the collective Christocentric psyche of the church. We are ambassadors of God’s heavenly kingdom. Christ will return, destroy Satan’s kingdom, and set up His own. Christians are to make as many disciples as possible until that day. The church has no task in bringing forth God’s kingdom on earth. We display the will of the kingdom, and call people to it, but have NO task in bringing it to earth.

7. Hell

Hell was not created for man, but for Satan and the demons who were never offered salvation. A loving God sends no one to hell, people merely choose what kingdom they want to belong to. The gospel is a call to escape the earthly kingdom and its slavery to sin, and be transformed into God’s kingdom of light.

8. The Bible

“Law,” “scripture,” “holy writ,” “the law and the prophets,” “the word,” “the law,” etc., are all interchangeable terms for the closed canon of  scripture. The Bible is God’s law and wisdom for life and godliness. It is also a full-orbed metaphysical treatise. It defines reality.

9. The Law of Sin and Death

It’s the Bible’s relationship to unbelievers. It describes how the unbeliever will be judged in the last day for every violation of conscience.

10. The Law of the Spirit of Life

It describes the believer’s relationship to the Bible. The transformed heart of the believer now desires to obey God, is no longer enslaved to sin, and cannot be condemned by the law. The Bible is a manual for our kingdom citizenship.

11. Judgment

There are two: one of condemnation for those who chose the kingdom of darkness, known as the Great White Throne Judgment, and a separate one for eternal rewards known as the Bema Judgment.

12. Redemption

This is the other salvation. It is the redemption of the body at resurrection. This salvation is often confused with justification, or the salvation of the soul.

 13. Justice

Justice is of paramount importance to God and He is angered when it is not practiced by people whether lost or saved. Fairness matters to God.

14. Rest

The Christian life is NOT a rest. John Calvin believed sanctification is the New Testament version of the Old Testament Sabbath rest. Because Protestantism only sees ONE application of the law, to judge/condemn, Christians must supposedly rest while Jesus fulfills the law for us.

Unwittingly, this defines Christians as “under law.” Who keeps the law is irrelevant, it can’t give life, and it can’t justify. Protestants must wrongly assert this because they reject the two applications of the law and make it strictly for condemnation only. In contrast, Christians can use the law lawfully because it can no longer condemn them. In Protestantism, the condemnation of the law is not removed for the Christian.

TANC and PPT Statement on the Authority of the Bible

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 15, 2012

1. The Bible is God’s direct revelation to mankind in written form. It is His full statement on all wisdom that mankind needs to be informed for life and godliness. That is, all life issues, and how to live life according to the character of God. The Bible informs us on how to think like God in regard to life, and to respond to life in ways that are pleasing to Him.

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

John 17:17

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

2. God used man to write the Bible as they were born along by the Holy Spirit. Despite the use of man’s many faceted personalities, and individual uniqueness and ideas, the Holy Spirit superintended the final outcome of ideas to insure men who love God propagated the truth through their writings.

2 Peter 1:20,21

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

3. The Bible contains its own hermeneutic and epistemology. In other words, the Bible informs man on how to interpret itself. All suggestions on methods of interpretation that come from outside of the Bible are suspect. For instance, the author of the book of Matthew states that the audience who heard Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount were “taught” by Him (Matthew 5:2). This assumes that they had all the necessary tools within themselves at that time to receive the information and use it for the stated purpose: to have a life that is like a house built on a rock (Matthew 7:24). Therefore, any in-depth analysis of the Sermon on Mount that yields propositions that seem to contradict the plain sense of it should be immediately suspect.   

Other examples follow (emphasis by underline added):

1 Corinthians 10:6

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.

1 Corinthians 10:11

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.

Nehemiah 13:26

Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.

Matthew 13:36

[The Parable of the Weeds Explained ] Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

Matthew 15:15

Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

Galatians 4:24

Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.

Revelation 1:20

The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 17:7

Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

Daniel 2:28

but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:

Daniel 2:45

This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. “The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

The Bible interprets itself through a variety of means.

4. God colabored with man to write the Scriptures, and He also colabores with man to preserve the intended meaning of Scripture. But the latter is assured because of God’s involvement. The preservation of meaning is superintended by God. Through built-in methods of transmitting the Bible that repeat meaning in different ways, cross referencing exposes accidental error in translation as well as ill intent.

Matthew 5:18

For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ ”[It must therefore be assumed that it is preserved].

2 Peter 3:16

He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

5. The Bible is clearly the Christian’s guide for determining all truth.

Matthew 22:29

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

Acts 17:2

As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

Romans 15:4

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

1 Corinthians 15:3

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:4

that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 4:6

Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

1 Corinthians 7:19

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

Romans 4:3

For what saith the scripture?

6. The Bible does not necessarily concern itself with facts concerning every aspect and activity in life, but does address how a Christian should think and believe with the goal of glorifying God. The Bible doesn’t teach us how to fix a car, but it does teach us how to be God’s kind of auto mechanic, husband, school teacher, construction worker, etc.

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

2 Timothy 2:15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

7. The Bible is completely sufficient for all wisdom that the Christian needs to live a life pleasing to God, and the renewing of the mind.

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

2 Timothy 3:16, 17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

8. Only biblical wisdom and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can transform and renew the mind.

Ephesians 4:23

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

Ephesians 4:17

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

9. Worldly wisdom may be descriptive, but is not prescriptive for any matter of life, and particularly godliness. Worldly wisdom or the sciences of living so-called cannot aid the Christian because they are not spiritually discerning.

1Corintians 2:14

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 1:20

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

10. Christians are to protect the Bible and contend against every thought in ourselves and others that lift themselves up against the knowledge of God. The word usually translated “observe” (tereo) in Matthew 28:20 (Christ’s mandate to the church) means to watch over or protect.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

11. The Bible calls itself “the mind of Christ.”  

1Corinthians 2:16

for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord

so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

12. In times past, and as God used man to build upon His word, other means were used to communicate His truth. But in these latter days, Scripture is the sole authority.

Hebrews 1:1, 2

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

2 Peter 1:16-21

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

13. The Bible is the paramount authority in the life of each believer.

1 Corinthians 11:1

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Galatians 1:8

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Acts 17:11

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

1 Peter 2:5

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

14. A finished superintended canon is implied by biblical warnings to not add or take away from the Bible. Additions to the Bible throughout history were always qualified by special acts of God and confirmed by biblical prophecy from prior texts. God has always warned mankind to not add or take away from whatever was complete revelation for that time.

Revelation 22:18

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.

Deuteronomy 4:2

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it.

Psalms 119:160

The entirety of Your word is truth.

Proverbs 30:6

Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

15. Trust in God and His written word are synonymous.

Proverbs 30:5,6

Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Luke 11:27,28

Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

16. Only scriptural truth sanctifies. 

John 17:17

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

17. God expects mankind, and especially Christians to colabor in understanding truth.

Matthew 7:7

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

1 Peter 1:10

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

18. Works of the law are written on the hearts of all and executed by the conscience. Christians are to use the Bible (specific revelation) to keep a clear conscience.

Romans 2:14,15

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

1 Timothy 1:5

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Timothy 1:19

holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

1 Timothy 3:9

They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

1 Timothy 4:2

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

2 Timothy 1:3

I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.

19.  The Bible contains the only truth concerning hidden things of the heart or psychology of the mind. 

For example: Do people feign mental illness to escape bad situations?

1 Samuel 21: 12-15

David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath.  So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

Another example is the fact that in the vast majority of cases where people are helped by psychology, they are simply taught to stop violating their consciences (see point #18). 

Another example would be,  how to have assurance of salvation. Worldy psychology can do nothing in regard to this subject as only one example among many: 

2 Peter 1:5-11

 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

20. God’s word is His full philosophical statement to man throughout the ages and revealed according to mans need at the time. Prior to the 6th century, the only alternative was mythology. Plato’s Academy was the first institution of supposed higher learning that created a philosophical statement for which man could attempt to live by. It has been the most formidable contention against God’s word since, and is the source for most pretensions that lift themselves up against the knowledge of God. Most psychological theory of our day can be traced back to the Sophists of ancient Greece.

21. All facts are not God’s truth.

There is a thinking crisis in our culture that is greatly compounded in the church because faith is often a license for subjectivity; an inability to think coupled with an attitude that pragmatism is the antithesis of spirituality. Especially in Reformed circles, knowing things and being solution oriented =’s “arrogance.”

Propositions are judged by how good they sound, or how logical they sound, or if the hearing thereof incites a stimulating chemical reaction in the brain that we seem to like.

All truth is God’s truth; is that true? No. However, the following is true: that truism has led many to destruction. Why? Because it assumes truth is the same as facts, and it doesn’t understand that all teaching is a process of propositions that lead to a conclusion. And, logic always yields the same results.

“Dr. John Doe has said many valid things here; I would only disagree with this point or that point.”

Facts and truth are two different things. Facts are usually passive and an elementary part of a larger schema. 2+2=4 is a fact, and a tree is a fact, but unlike truth, they are morally neutral and can rarely take you anyplace by themselves. Truth has a moral aspect, and usually has a purpose in mind. Jesus Christ is not merely a fact, though His existence is certainly factual—He is “The Truth.” He is the epitome of all that is good and gives life.

When the serpent deceived Eve in the garden, he used facts to take her to a rejection of the truth. The fact that Eve was not going to die on the spot after eating the apple was a fact. Satan presented many facts to Jesus when he tempted Him in the wilderness, but the goal wasn’t truth. Does that make the facts God’s truth? Hardly.

True facts that lead to untruth are not God’s truth, because God’s truth always equals life and has that end in mind. Sub truth, or facts, are only as true as what they yield whether life or death. When ill motives are attached to a fact, it is still fact, but it isn’t truth because the fact was used for ill intent. Truth has a moral qualification.

It is not a good idea to sit under the tutelage of Satan because he espouses facts that are undeniable—his facts never lead to truth, he is “the father of lies.”

“Satan has said many valid things here. I agree that Psalms 9:11,12 states that the angels will bear Jesus up. However, I disagree with his suggestion that Jesus should have jumped off the temple pinnacle.”

Really? That’s nice.

Secondly, each proposition that builds up to the conclusion needs to be evaluated. Sub points need to be true and they need to fit together logically to affirm the conclusion. When we have some disagreement on a point in a message or teaching, the possible application of it for another conclusion should be irrelevant. It needs to be judged according to its proposition and contribution to the conclusion at hand. Not all incorrect propositions on the way to a conclusion do irreparable damage to the conclusion, but it’s rare.

Thirdly, Philosophy forms logic which always leads to the same results. All “truth” teachers have a philosophy. All teaching seeks to lead you to a conclusion. Conclusions form logic and lead to action. Hence, “….the student will be like his teacher.”

Philosophy is metaphysics (what we believe about reality and being), epistemology (the theory of how we come to know what we know, or how we obtain knowledge), ethics (the moral application of what we know), and politics (how we use what we know to relate to others, or how we communicate it). The first two elements of philosophy always determine ethics and politics. Often, behavior reveals the philosophy: “….by their fruits you will know them.”

This is exactly why we categorize teachers and reject all that they say out of hand because once their philosophy is revealed, we know where the logic will always take us. Even if some of what they say is factual, the conclusions they want to take you to are based on the philosophy. Therefore, their factual stepping stones are only relevant to the truth or error that is the goal, and for all practical purposes, the same value is placed on the propositions leading to the conclusion. Hence, the biblical prescription for those who have errant philosophy: “AVOID THEM,” and, “Do not allow them into your home or bid them God’s speed.”

Therefore, facts that are part of a conclusion that is a lie have no moral value and are not truth, but part of a deception.

This is the folly of sitting under the teachings of people with errant philosophy, or even greeting them: even the facts that they present are intended to lead to untruthful conclusions. So no, all truth is not God’s truth. God’s truth always has a good ending. Scripture states plainly to completely avoid anyone with errant philosophy.

How you would then glean what is “good” from their teachings while “leaving what’s bad on the shelf,” or “eat the chicken and throw away the bones” is a mystery to me. God forbids that the chicken is even in our house and disallows the use of our shelves.

paul

Will The Poo Pooing Of Scripture’s Plain Sense Ever Cease?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 22, 2009

I stumbled onto a pretty good post today. It was a commentary on the Bob Newhart skit where his counsel to a young lady is to “JUST STOP IT!” The YouTube link is the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYLMTvxOaeE

I think Tim Challies had a good scriptural observation in regard to the skit:

“Some time ago I spoke to a friend about an ongoing sin in his life and tried to show him that the essence of his problem was this: he hates his sin just a little bit less than he loves it. Sure he wants to stop sinning, but even more he wants to keep sinning. And I think he came to agree. My advice was pretty well what Newhart offered the woman in this video: “Stop it!” Are you fighting sin? I’ll pray for you—really, I will. And I’ll recommend that you memorize some Scriptures, some fighter verses, that will help you battle that sin by bringing to mind the promises of God. But I’ll also challenge you to just stop it and to stop it now. You stop sinning by turning your back on it. You do not sit back and wait for God to change you while you remain in your sin. Rather, you join him in the fight, joining your will with His strength. And together you go to war.”

The post can be viewed in it’s entirety here: http://www.challies.com/archives/articles/just-stop-it.php

Let me emphasis a segment of the above quote: “You stop sinning by turning your back on it. You do not sit back and wait for God to change you while you remain in your sin. Rather, you join him in the fight, joining your will with His strength. And together you go to war.”

Truly, the sanctification process is somewhat of a mystery with it’s share of paradoxes. However, there is plenty of certainty to go around and one thing we can be certain of is sanctification is impossible without God’s power in us. With that said, neither are we merely potted plants in the process either. As a matter of fact, I find the word’s of Christ spoken to the servant who hid his talent in the ground a bit chilling, if not terrifying. Christ straight up called the servant “lazy.” That’s why I like the above quote by TC. I think it captures the biblical application to real life as stated in Scripture.

But in this day when proponents of a purely monergistic view of sanctification are launching a full court press and claiming to be new reformers, someone was bound to object in the comment section armed with the profound wisdom of the father of modern day “let go and let God” theology, David Powlison. In the comment, a link is supplied to an interview where Powlison comments on the Newhart skit and objects to the idea of biblical abstinence. Here is his comment: “Our Father never simply says ‘Stop it!’ to the Katherine Bigmans or anyone else.”

This is what drives me absolutely nuts in regard to these guy’s at CCEF. They continually contradict the plain sense of scripture and continually get a pass on it. Tim Challies is making the point that abstinence is a viable faucet in the scheme of sanctification that is often looked over  in our overly analytic, book infested, counseling infested culture. If you understand Powlisons theology, he can’t give into this one little fact without pulling the rug out from under his overly passive psychoanalytic approach to sanctification. Our Father “never” tells anybody to simply stop it? Consider the following scriptures:

“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you'” (John 5:14).

By the way, suggest to many these day’s that God would threaten punishment as an incentive to right behavior and watch the blood vessels start popping out in their necks. It’s as if these guy’s don’t think Christians even read their Bibles anymore, and perhaps that  is the case.

“You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell” (Acts 15:29).

“As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality” (Acts 21:25).

Let me make a point here with this verse:

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1Peter 2:11).

Why is “Just stop it” an important element of sanctification? It’s not rocket science. Look at the above verse. Sinful desires war against our soul. If we abstain, the desire cannot even get on the battlefield. That should be pretty evident. However, let’s stop a moment and consider another excerpt from TC’s post:

“Some time ago I spoke to a friend about an ongoing sin in his life and tried to show him that the essence of his problem was this: he hates his sin just a little bit less than he loves it. Sure he wants to stop sinning, but even more he wants to keep sinning. And I think he came to agree. “

Let me show you how profound that counsel is from Romans 12:9;

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

What would one do to stop loving his wife? IGNORE HER, then focus on all of her negative attributes. Sin has no positive attributes except temporary good feelings. One aspect of our role in sanctification is to abstain from sinful relationships and cling to Godly relationships and the affections (sincere love) will follow. It’s a matter of investment. It’s a matter of choosing what are treasure is. Is it my contention that Paul teaches the biblical prescription for sincere love in this one little verse with 13 words? Yes it is. Do I also believe that it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to effect the prescription? Yes I do.

Again, let me emphasis that this is only one aspect of what sanctification looks like on ground level. In another one of the comments in regard to this post, the following was said:

“That video IS awesome. It always reminds me of two things:
A. Al Mohler’s three step “counseling technique” that he (jokingly) talked about at Shepherd’s Conference 2006:
1. What is your problem?
2. What would God have you do about it?
3. Why are we having this conversation?”

Al Mohler makes an extreme comment to make a good point, but we all know what the real answer is to question 3: Another aspect of sanctification is the need for encouragement, accountability and discipleship by others. CCEF waxes eloquent about many other elements of sanctification while leaving out the one that the Bible talks about most, obedience. The argument that obedience is a human sucking it up while picking ourselves up by our boot straps is a pathetic straw man. Biblical obedience is depriving the enemy of our souls in regard to provisions while loving our Lord (Romans 13:14 John 14:15).

paul

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