I wish and pray that more would be able to see the dividing of scripture, at least in these two Gospels. Everyone wants to put all that is in the bible in one perspective when it comes to salvation. They commingle law and grace, the kingdom on earth with the kingdom in heavenly places and most of all make what God intended for Israel and The Church the same thing. All of Gods word is good and true and the means by which we learn who God is and what He has done and is doing. We must be able to see that 4/5th of the bible is for Israel and strictly Jewish. One fifth of the bible is for the body of Christ His Church and Is Christian, it must be clearly preached that salvation is of God, both old and new testament, but clearly old is by the Law and commandments and the new is by The Faith of Jesus Christ brought forth in the new believer in Christ, that He is The Son of God. Just one perspective, when was the Son of God revealed?
John 1:10-11 He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.
In fact, killed Him.
When did this being sent to His own change?
Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
Who is the salvation of God and See what Paul means when he said "will hear it".
Colossians 1:25-28 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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:
Let us rightly divide the word of God and see the Christ in us the Hope of Glory.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2006/8/21 22:38||Profile|
I'm glad to see you bring out the right-division issue. Right division is necessary for us to have a sound understanding of Church doctrine. Church, that is, the ecclesia committed to the apostle Paul. Many neglect Paul's command in
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, [b]rightly dividing the word of truth[/b].
Consequently, scriptures are read into confusion. Mixing Pauline doctrine of grace into James' or Peter's doctrine of law.
This does call for an extensive study with some of the finer dispensationalistic theologians. I definitely dare not tackle this sloppily in detail here for sure, lest I create more confusion.
However, we must also remember:
2 Timothy 3:16 [b]All scripture[/b] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
As EW Bullinger (Hebrew/greek scholar,a contemporary of John Nelson Darby) said, " all Scriptures are written for us, but not all are directed to us " For example, words for Israel carry divine and moral precepts and/or spiritual application for the Church, but may not be directed to the Church. The synoptic gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke) were directed to Israel( yes, I can hear protests already, but please research in Acts ) with the Kingdom Gospel,ie before Crucifixion when Jesus Christ was still on earth as the King, and so on..various implication vs literal application, to different groups of saints at different time periods in history.
Paul set out first to preach to Israel and Gentiles until Acts 28:28, when Israel rejected the gospel,
"Be it known therefore unto you, [b]that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.[/b]"
Pauline epistles are directed to the Gentile Church (ecclesia), therefore we were instructed to follow Paul as He follows Christ, ( Grace vs Christ complete fulfillment of Law),
"How to enjoy the Bible" is an excellent read on this whole topic, written by EW Bullinger. This book's title is sort of a misnomer, for it teaches right- division more so than enjoyment.
When the Bible is studied with right division, one will not find "contradictions" or confusions, as some 'higher' textual critical scholars led us to believe.
Well, I'm not a theologian, only a student of the bible, in which I think all Christians probably are.
much to learn still,
| 2006/8/21 23:23||Profile|
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
As Peter said, "2 Peter 3:15-18 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2006/8/22 3:27||Profile|
My prior post was really not too clear, those who'd like to learn more about right-division, in my mind, instead of learning from man, perhaps it best to study Acts with a time line and with the aid of the Holy Spirit with prayers.
A simple analogy would be, most parents' agenda in parenting are similar, but the specificities of directions or demands are different for different kids, and at different phases of their growth. Throughout history, similarly has God conducted His ways via His words.
'Controversial" subjects such as water baptism, spiritual gifts, commissions, works by faith, works by law, circumcision, grace, law, are not controversial when studied with these in mind:
1. when was it written
2. to whom was it written
3. do we learn spiritual implication
4. do we act with literal application
and so on and so forth...
Centrality of faith, however,had and has always been the The Word ( Christ the written/living Word) of the Triune God.
Please toss all this out if it confuses you. My words are never important, proving scriptures with scriptures is the key.
still learning, mamaluk
| 2006/8/22 9:39||Profile|
| Re: Two similar but different Kingdoms|
Here's a super condensed way of right-division:
[b]Gospel of Kingdom[/b], where Kingdom was at hand.
[b]Kingdom of Heaven[/b]: King was present
Messengers: The 12 + those under the great commission
Followers : Jews convert to their national Messiah, the Savior and King.
Salvation method: by works
Evidence of faith:
[i] Repentance to prove Faith
Works to prove Faith[/i]
[b]Gospel of Grace[/b], where Kingdom is in Spirit
[b]Kingdom of God[/b] : Lord ascended
Messengers: Paul and his followers
Follower : Gentile Christians following the Lord and Savior
Salvation method: by grace
Evidence of faith:
[i] Faith produces repentance
Faith produces works [/i]
[b]BOTH require faith AND obedience !![/b]
One gets into spiritual difficulties when a Christian tries to live a life of law under the first Kingdom. For example, feeling guilt, feeling insecure, "am I saved, am I not saved, do I lose my salvation. I'm saved on Monday, but not on Friday, and saved again next week"....for every little sin we commit, only because we leap out of grace.
To mourn over our sins is righteous, but to praise the Lord for His forgiving Blood is more so righteous.
So do we keep on sinning? God forbid. That will be grace abuse.
Greg or Mike, please feel free to delete this if the above deemed erroneous.
| 2006/8/26 21:48||Profile|
| Re: Why should we follow Paul.|
The fundamental problem of this doctrine is that it was created on the heretical idea that Grace and Obedience are somehow contrary. In reality, Paul says the opposite. Grace and obedience are inseperable. This is the same message that James, Peter, and most importantly, Jesus preached. Jesus preached faith and obedience as being intimately tied together and entirely inseparable. In the same breath He speaks of believing on the son of God and walking in the light.
James preached this inseperability. Peter preached this as well. This is the message of the gospels, this is the message in acts, this is the message of Paul. Yes, we are saved by faith. Trusting in Jesus. You cannot trust someone and continue to rebel against them. This is an impossibility.
Paul tells us that the real grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness. Anything else is not the grace of God. This does not mean Paul is telling us that our obedience somehow makes us worthy of salvation (just as James, Peter, and Jesus are clearly not teaching this), but rather, showing the bond between Faith, Grace and Obedience to the Lord.
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14
With this he is not putting people under law, but under Grace which brings obedience and is necesary. Grace without obedience is no grace. This is not the law, this is the nature of what the bible says Grace is.
This doctrine has led many astray into an intellectual understanding of the gospel, but a denial of its power. Under the false idea of "faith" as being an intellectual assertion, that does not involve a radical change of heart toward God, many have been led into believing that God is content with their lives. While they may read their bibles and be interested in "Christian" things, in reality they are distracted by a high minded, heady, intellectual issues yet have never submitted their heart to the lord.
You will know them by their fruit.
| 2006/8/26 22:51||Profile|
Excellent! Thanks for reminding us of obedience. And no worries, there was no heretical doctrine if you were referring to my prior post.
That was just a little table that used to help me to see things a bit clearer.
However, when you said "Grace without obedience is no grace", does this sound right? Obedience is 'works', or not?? Please refer to the entire Book of Romans,and Ephesians. Read them over and over again if you have time.
Grace is either grace or not grace, if grace requires works, is mere works, not grace??
In my mind, the Book of James is almost as a precursor of Pauline teachings, absolutely, no overlapping, no confusion, no contradiction, no conflict, the prior obedience to works, the latter obedience to faith, even though many find them difficult.
The prior oversimplication picture in my post of the 2 kingdoms, if you were referring to that, is not at all a different doctrine, it's definitely not my own doctrine, it's sort of a little observation of mine, attempting to bring out the transition of the Books.
Obedience, from Adam to the present, has always been the evidence of faith, period, regardless when or where. My reason of bringing out this little division scheme over and over again, is that, many Christians become (myself included in the past) very discouraged and fearful when they are confronted with doctrines such as in the Sermon on the Mount, and from the Book of James, thereby, consistently living in fear of losing their salvation every time they sinned or failed, forgetting Paul's teaching of grace, and oh, a big yes to obedience for sure.
2 Timothy 3:16
[b]All[/b] scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The prior post is not at all to refute any biblical doctrines whatsoever, only a little something to consider when it comes to the issue of whether faith comes first, or works come first, at different dispensations.
I was hoping that would make one see a little better in order not to mix them up.
It's good to have a discerning brother like you around.
You put it together very concisely, I really appreciate it.
| 2006/8/26 23:00||Profile|
Lets put it this way. Obedience without Grace is not obedience at all, then it becomes Law, and the law Kills. Christ in the believer is the Grace that makes obedience possible and not a works of the flesh. Christ in the believe is the only Grace God imparts, by this Grace, that is Christ in you the Hope of Glory, obedience is possible and God is pleased with His Son in the believer, not the believers obedience without the Grace of Christ.
Who ever said that obedience without Grace is possible? Not James, Peter, or John and certainly not Paul. Grace starts with God and ends with man. Grace starts with man and ends in obedience.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Most people forget :10, "It is His workmanship created in Christ Jesus" unto good works, this is obedience "which God has before ordained that we walk in them?" Walk in Christ and by His good works and faith we will obey, not by ourselves or my good works or faith, but by the Christ that is in us. It is His Faith and His Works by whom we walk in Grace.
1 Corinthians 1:28-31 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of Him (God) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Who is our righteousness, wisdom, sanctification and redemption? It is Christ in us, let us Glory in Him, and Obedience is assured by Grace that no man can boast.
Who are the base things of the world that are despised? Every believer before they were birthed into Christ and Christ born again in them. We were not and now with Christ in us we bring to naught the Things that are. That is, are of Christ, which is Grace and Truth unto Obedience.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2006/8/27 19:18||Profile|