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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

I would like to launch from Ron's point to make an important observation. Notice Paul's estimate of his life before He was 'in Christ':

And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (Galatians 1:14)

Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Phil. 3:6)

He was more zealous of the traditions than his fathers and touching the law was said to be blameless. Yet he was holding the garments of Stephen when he gave this revelation:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. (Acts 7:51)

This is staggering! Here is a man who was a Hebrew of Hebrews and yet fit this description of Stephen perfectly! How do we know?

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:5 KJV)*

Paul was kicking against the goads (pricks) surely a metaphor for resisting the Holy Ghost and God's dealings. Here is a man that was in step with the Law, even 'blameless' and more zealous than the rest. Yet God's estimate of him is that he was RESISTING the Holy Spirit. And this is a critical point to get, I think. How can a person be in rebellion and in step with the Law at the same time? Answer:

For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 IT IS NOT IN HEAVEN, that you should say, “Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ (Deut 30:11ff NKJV emphasis added)

The unbelieving Jews used this passage to suggest that God has left the Rabbi's in authority to interpret the law as they wish. They can overrule God! Seem shocking? Not at all. This is the behavior I believe God was consistently challenging. Some were willing to take the Law, but they did not want God.

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: (II Cor. 3:13)

The children of Israel did not want God near. They agreed to the covenant but did not want the glory. The purpose of the covenant was that God could draw near to the people. It was the terms of agreement for God showing up and leading them, etc. But they did not want God near. That is as plain as anything. They could not even handle the residual glory on Moses' face. How could they handle Jesus Christ that was the express image of His person?

Some do want the Law- but they don't want God to REALLY be present. They want a lip-service- but "IT IS NOT IN HEAVEN" is their view. God desires to be living inside of men- leading and guiding in a very real sense. That is what the masses reject. They want a religion in the absence of God.




_____________________________________________________
* Footnote

I think it is significant that the Alexandrian text form omits the 'kicking against the pricks' part of the verse. Hence is is not in the NIV or NASB.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/7/30 15:56Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13)

Ephesians 2:1ff tells us that in times past we walked according to the course of this world. Yet the New Covenant through genuine regeneration changes a person inwardly so that their natural tendency is to do Romans 6:13... yield yourselves unto God. God has dealt with old Adam that those in him by nature resisted the Holy Spirit and were the child of wrath. For a true believer to resist the Holy Spirit is as unnatural as a fish out-of-water.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/7/30 16:09Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

philologos wrote:

Quote:
In each era God's grace was available for a man to please him but the New Covenant is radically different in that it changes a man from the inside and puts God's laws there.



We have established quite clearly that no one can please God by keeping the law. So what hope did the generations that lived under the Covenant of Mount Sinai have? I mean it was impossible to please God in the power of the flesh....

Is this true?


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Jeff Marshalek

 2010/7/30 18:19Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

Robert quoted:

Quote:
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Phil. 3:6)



Paul then says that this kind righteousness is self righteousness, if you continue on further in this section of Scripture.

.........................................................................................................................
Phl 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
........................................................................................................................

And we know that the book of Job declares that God is not pleased by self righteousness.

So I ask you as I asked Ron, what hope of pleasing God does one have if he lived in the era that was under the Covenant of Mount Sinai?

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2010/7/30 18:28Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3706
Ca.

 Re:

Quote: """"In each era God's grace was available for a man to please him but the New Covenant is radically different in that it changes a man from the inside and puts God's laws there.""""

How do we keep the Law? By God's Son that is in us. He is the fulfillment of the Law and by Him and only Him can any Law be kept to the excelliency of the Holiness of God.

May I change your quote? In each era God's grace was available for a man to please him but the New Covenant is radically different in that it changes a man from the inside and puts God's (Son) there.

Colossians 1:27-29 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.

He is our perfection, by His working, which workfare in us, His work and His work alone, is what changes the Believer. This is our labour of Love, striving according to His work in us. The are our only true works that James is talking about, I will show you the faith of Christ in me, by my works.

In Christ: Phillip










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Phillip

 2010/7/30 20:51Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
So I ask you as I asked Ron, what hope of pleasing God does one have if he lived in the era that was under the Covenant of Mount Sinai?



The easy answer is faith (Heb. 11:6)


But that is not the issue I am driving at. Saul of Tarsus was resisting the Holy Spirit just like everyone else. Not only that, but he was going to great lengths to do it. There was a hardness' in Saul. Our word is σκληρός, and it sometimes designates one on whom no impression is made, who will not yield (K&D) or stubbornness (NET note). It also means 'difficult.' (Renn) Could mean it is 'dangerous' (Thayer) And yet this was what Saul of Tarsus was doing.

An OX goed was used to steer livestock that were plowing a field to maintain a straight line. OX goes left and then a man pricks the OX with a sharp stick to get him to go the other way. To 'kick against the goad' is to rebel against the direction of the master and often at a very painful price. God was dealing and dealing with Saul and yet Saul kept on resisting no matter how 'unpleasant' God's dealings were.

Stephen reprimanded the unbelieving Jews and put his finger right on the spot. He quotes Isaiah 66 to tell the men that God does not dwell in temples made with hands. This by inference suggests that they wanted God to be kept in a temple. How convenient? "We'll take God as we want Him and leave Him when we want" was their attitude. But God was watching them:

Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. (Ezekiel 8:12)

This passage is part of a series of revelations dealing with the LORD departing from the people. God told the prophet that He was rolling out. The people would have known what was happening and yet they did not repent so that God would remain.

Understand that the Temple of God was Jesus Christ when He walked the earth. He pointed to Himself and said... "Destroy this Temple and I will restore it in 3 days." When He ascended into Heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to live in men and women making up a much larger 'Body' or 'Temple' on the earth. This is what God wanted. He did not want a gold temple. He wanted a HUMAN temple(s). This is what the New Covenant provides. It provides that folk can become the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Yet one cannot RESIST the Holy Spirit and RECEIVE the Holy Spirit at the same time. This is very elementary, but people stumble over it all the time. God desires to reign on earth as in heaven. But where? In the church house? In the golden temple? On the temple mount? In a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem? No, he wanted to reign in man. But this means that Christ is living IN us through the Holy Spirit. The pharisees and religious leaders were right on the edge of this impasse. They either had to agree with God, receive Christ and leave off resisting His Holy Spirit or they could keep on hoping for a rebuilt temple pipe dream that is not nor will ever be God's true design. That temple was only ever a pattern of what God wanted. Now the true has come. There is no turning back now. The days of the old Covenant and earthly temple system is over. God dwells in men, He's not about to return to an inanimate building.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/7/30 23:49Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

robert wrote;

Quote:
The easy answer is faith



Yes that is the easy part of the answer...

Quote:
But that is not the issue I am driving at. Saul of Tarsus was resisting the Holy Spirit just like everyone else.



So are you saying that God's Holy Spirit worked to create faith in those who lived in the generations under the Covenant of Mount Sinai?

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2010/7/31 0:10Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
So are you saying that God's Holy Spirit worked to create faith in those who lived in the generations under the Covenant of Mount Sinai?



I don't understand faith in the Reformed sense. God's role in faith is to reveal to us His will. Our role in faith is to respond rightly. Therefor as God reveals and we respond rightly it is faith. Paul characterized his own past sinful actions as those done in ignorance and unbelief. (I Tim. 1:13) Yet, God's Word contains within itself the ability to do what it says. So the problem was NEVER on God's end. This is why Paul called it, "The Word of His Grace" in Acts 20:32. No rhema from God is void of power. (Luke 1:37) We also have this account:

But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. Long time therefore abode they (Paul and Barnabas) speaking boldly IN THE LORD, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace... (Acts 14:2ff emphasis added)

These men are not just preaching. They are speaking boldly 'in the Lord' and not 'in their own strength'. These men are as the very Oracle of God. God is speaking through these men enabling faith to come. This is important. This is why Way of the Master falls short. It desires to do with Law what can only be done as Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14:2. Ministers have to be moving 'in the Lord' as they speak or faith will not come. My words don't contain grace- God's words do.

It is God's grace that He is delivering by the mouth of the disciples words that carry within themselves the ability to accomplish God's purposes. What God speaks we can and we must. Faith came to the people by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Not Paul and Barnabas moving in their own strength- but being led of the Spirit and quickened by the Spirit to speak to the people right where they are in this life. We cannot over emphasize the importance of genuine God-speak.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Hab. 2:3,4)

Abraham is our example of faith. He was right in this situation in Hab.2:3,4. The vision came and he was forced to wait. When he got impatient he listened to Sarah and moved out of faith for the moment and moved into the flesh. He side-slipped for a moment. But the word used for Abraham hearkening to Sarah is a word that means a one-off event. When God described Abraham's overall faith it is a word denoting a continuous action. Abraham believed God and as a consequence responded rightly to God (in believing what God said). He believed the promise God made and was willing to WAIT on God for that promise to be fulfilled. Though God tarried Abraham waited.

Another example is Nineveh. The people believed God and repented. Their response to revelation should be characterized as 'faith'. Many other examples in Hebrews 11. The just live by faith. They hang on to what God has said until it comes to pass. Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; This is genuine faith. This is what pleases God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/7/31 0:43Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

rookie on 2010/7/30 20:19:09 writes:
"I mean it was impossible to please God in the power of the flesh...."

It still is and always will be. However I think we need to be careful how we express things here. People did 'please God by keeping the law' but they did not acquire righteousness by so doing. If God says 'do this' and you do it you will please God but I must not base my life on my ability to gain acceptance with God by my obedience to him.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/7/31 2:17Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

rookie on 2010/7/30 20:28:32 wries:
"So I ask you as I asked Ron, what hope of pleasing God does one have if he lived in the era that was under the Covenant of Mount Sinai?"

OK let's try again...

"And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised." Rom 4:11–12 NKJV

Do you see that those under the Sinai Covenant were required to keep the law AND walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

That faith was the faith of Gen 15:6 which is pre-circumcision. That kind of Abraham-faith is the bottom line right through the scriptures at every point whether or not the person is under the Law or not. The people of the Sinai Covenant were required, as a nation, to keep the law and, as individuals, to have their own personal trust in God.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/7/31 2:24Profile





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