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Thread: Different Views..

  1. #141
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    Re: Different Views..

    Hey tomas and carol ya'all are killin me here!
    Sorry for the double team I just couldn’t resist

    Job was saved the same way you are saved. I am sure we would agree on that
    I’m not talking about salvation I’m talking about sanctification. How was he sanctified?

    Folks the moral law of God hasn't gone anywhere. The moral Law of God isn't something that should be thrown away. The Heart change we have been granted and the LAW yes folks the LAW has been written upon our hearts. Come now tomas ... does the Holy Spirit indwell us to discount or no longer strive to live the law?

    I agree, but where in scripture do you find that the “moral law” is equivalent to the Ten Commandments? I think that’s what this whole fuss is about. I believe the ten commandments are part of the covenant that was given to Moses the same way that the dietary laws were. If you can find me one scripture that says that they were part of another higher set of laws called “moral” that would not pass away I would be grateful to you. It seems to me that BK also has a hard time with this it seems he believes that laws you would call civil he would call moral and vice versa.

    What can it possibly mean to be "conformed to the likeness of Christ" when Christ is in fact PERFECT righteousness.

    Christian ethics have a subject, goal and motivation ... what are yours?


    Phil 3:7However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. 3:8Yes most assuredly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ 3:9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 3:10that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; 3:11if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 3:12Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
    3:13Brothers, I don't regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 3:14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 3:15Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you. 3:16Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind. 3:17Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example. 3:18For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ, 3:19whose end is destruction, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who think about earthly things. 3:20For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 3:21who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.
    4:1Therefore, my brothers, beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

    what exactly is the "law of Christ" that supercedes the law of moses?

    You find it all through the New Testament but especially in the teachings of Jesus.

    Christ expanded the Law of Moses he didn't REWRITE IT.

    Sorry but well have to agree to disagree here.
    Peace

  2. #142
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Since the law of Christ is directed to the internal state of man it cannot be legislated by congress (how do you legislate love?) the thing that human government can do is to strive to foster an external environment in which the church can flourish.
    Tomas, no theonomist is making the claim that love should be legislated by Congress. We only insist that the OT laws pertaining to the judicial and penal aspects are the best models that a society could adopt in terms of its legal and social policy (Deut. 4:6-8). Again, these laws were not given to justify a sinner before God or to create in him a righteous heart or reverent spirit; they are needed to ensure that evil is restrained, that evil men don't destroy society, and to preserve righteousness and a sense of order in a society. Secondly, you're simply mistaken in your assessment that God didn't require heartfeld obedience and inward love on the part of OT saints. I've demonstrated this in a previous post already. The difference between now and then is that in those days, redemption and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit hadn't been accomplished yet; the OT saints, therefore, had only a provisional giving of the Holy Spirit, not the fullness of it like NT saints have. In both cases, however, the standard of inward heartfelt love, obedience, and reverence for the Lord is the same.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    Isa 49:23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

    So a politician should ask how can I allow the church to be salt and light. For example although not required by the old law the following would be good
    I think this Isaiah 49:23 is a good postmillennial passage about the eventual state of affairs in the new covenant kingdom, but I also think it's simply irrelevant when it comes to questions of ethics. I think the passage is more of a descriptive passage illustrating how even political rulers in those days will submit to the Lordship of Christ. But the passage is DESCRIPTIVE, not PRESCRIPTIVE.

    Although I don't disagree with many of your conclusions, let me illustrate how your comments regarding political matters don't follow from this Isaiah passage.

    Tomas: 1. Freedom of religion allows the church to be vocal in it’s prophetic calling to society

    What do you mean by "freedom of religion"? Does it mean that religions prescribing free homosexual love, or sex with children, or sacrifices of animals or humans should be tolerated? Or should such practices be prohibited? If so, why? Again, the Isaiah 49 passage simply doesn't address anything having to do with "freedom of religion" questions. You're simply reading your own view into the text.

    Tomas: 2. Private property rights allow for the possibility of Christians voluntary caring for the poor

    Let me play devils advocate here. Why couldn't one cite the Isaiah 49 passage as support for the government providing care for the poor in the form of a statist welfare state? I'm not at all advocating such a horrible practice, but one could just as easily apply the Isaiah 49 passage in the way I just said rather than in your way.

    Tomas: 3. School Choice allows the world to see the quality of an Christian education compared to a atheistic one.

    I agree with your conclusion and I'm all for school choice. In fact, I think all education should be privatized and left up to parents. I don't believe the bible authorizes the government to educate people's children, and I think there is sufficient biblical teaching to support this conclusion. But I think the method by which you reach your conclusion is to be found wanting and is unreliable. Using the Isaiah 49 passage in the way that you are, why couldn't one argue that the government SHOULD education peoples' kids, since they will be the nursing fathers and mothers? You might not like it, but there's actually nothing in the passage that would preclude this conclusion. The reason your approach fails is because you're trying to use a descriptive passage in a prescriptive kind of way. But if you want prescriptions, you need the law of God, or something that illustrates a specific moral point.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    In a democracy Christians are free to convince the majority of the foolishness of certain evil acts slavery or abortion for example. These things are not necessarily prohibited in the Old Testament but the church with the power of the Holy Spirit has determined them to be evil. In this way it’s the church and not the state that truly rules. The more influence the true Church has the more noble a society becomes.
    Well, yeah, but the problem is, some people won't listen to reason. Some people are so perverse that you could talk to them until the cows come home and they'll continue on in their evil ways. That's why you need laws to restrain such people. Then the question is, what laws should we adopt? You need some thing objective and universal and that has concrete application and content.

    Also, how do you determine whether what the church (who claims to be speaking by power of the Holy Spirit) says is true? Remember the days prior to the Protestant Reformation? Here we had the Roman Catholic church with all its ungodly practices claiming infallibility in such. As a Protestant I can respond to that type of nonsense because I hold to Sola Scriptura. But if any group of behaviors or ethical practices, be they personal, ecclesiastical, or political, are not ultimately judged by "what is written" then how can one ever argue against any practice? Thanks for stirring up my passion, T. Love you, man. More on some other things later.

    ...out

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  3. #143
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    To talk about Theonomy with out talking about ethics is like talking about the Democratic Party with out talking about politics.
    Well, yes and no. When I talk about theonomy I'm talking about questions pertaining more to metaethics than ethics. Ethics deals with answering questions from within a particular ethical system, whereas metaethics deals with questions about the ethical systems themselves. Metaethics might ask some of the following questions:

    1. What are the standards that should be used to make ethical decisions and evaluations?
    2. How are ethical systems justified?
    3. What are the conditions for having a workable ethical system?

    I have actually tried to resist answering specific ethical questions because I felt it would sidetrack us from getting a clear view of the big picture that address some of these questions. My goal is to justify the theonomic ethic as the biblically correct Christian ethical system. But as far as the application of it, I've already granted that theonomists sometimes differ in their interpretation and application of God's law.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    Virtue ethics is not Situation ethics I hope you know this and are just trying to stir me up.
    I wish I could admit to trying to stir you up, but I can't... hehehe... But, actually, Joseph Fletcher would disagree with you here. He would have said that situation ethics IS virtue ethics, since love is the greatest virture. He would say, though, that it's actions done out of love, divorced from all ethical norms and prescriptions, that should be our sole guide in making ethical choices.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    Virtue ethics is the second oldest ethical system dating back to at least the time of Abel. Gen. 4:6. Here is a introduction from a secular viewpoint http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/ . Here is a quote
    Virtue ethics' founding fathers are Plato and, more particularly Aristotle (its roots in Chinese philosophy are even more ancient) and it persisted as the dominant approach in Western moral philosophy until at least the Enlightenment.
    Well, ok, let me make a clarification, since I'm afraid I've been misunderstood. For the record I am NOT against virtue ethics. I think you can pursue Christian ethics from a personalistic perspective. In fact, Greg Bahnsen taught an entire course on personalistic ethics. So, my problem is not with virtue ethics, per se, but in divorcing virtue from anything that gives concrete and specific definition to what virtue is. Your reference to 1 John 4:9 and John 5:12 are fine. But on those passages, notice that you have specific content of what it means to love. But even here, if this were your only norm in knowing how to be ethical, then the church would dwindle because then you might have Christians everywhere seeking to do nothing else but die for someone. More on this later, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    We know what it means to love is by studying the atonement.
    Yeah, but when did I ever deny that? This is indeed very powerful and personal and dear to each of us, and I don't want to minimize it. The biblical principle of altruistic self-sacrifice, as we see in the life and death of Jesus, is clear and should be followed by all of us. See, I never said that NCT doesn't have ANY ethical norms. Obviously it does. I'm only saying that someone who denies the universality of God's law, including the OT moral and justice defining laws, will be equipped for SOME good works but will not be perfectly equipped for ALL and EVERY good work (2 Tim. 3:16,17). You need the fullness of God's revelation to man, as found in both the OT and NT to be perfectly equipped for every good work.

    ...out

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  4. #144
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    Re: Different Views..

    BK
    Man your good! thanks for the responses you really know how to make a guy think.

    First about the Isaiah passage, to me this is a good one because it tells what the roll of government will be. You’re right that it does not explain what is exactly to be done by each ruler in every situation. I think this is the Spirit’s job. The president of the USA would need to do different things to support the church in his country than a sultan in Arabia a nursing father or a nursing mother looks to do whatever a child needs some children are hungry some are sleepy some need a diaper changed and not all kids are alike.

    Using the Isaiah 49 passage in the way that you are, why couldn't one argue that the government SHOULD education peoples' kids, since they will be the nursing fathers and mothers? You might not like it, but there's actually nothing in the passage that would preclude this conclusion.

    Government will be the Church’s nursing fathers and mothers not society in general. Besides in a mostly illiterate society like Arabia it might be helpful to the Church for a Christian ruler to educate the children for a wile

    Well, yeah, but the problem is, some people won't listen to reason. Some people are so perverse that you could talk to them until the cows come home and they'll continue on in their evil ways. That's why you need laws to restrain such people. Then the question is, what laws should we adopt?

    I think the job of the government in this case is to do it’s best to keep those folks from harming innocents and let the folly of fools become obvious to every one else.

    Also, how do you determine whether what the church (who claims to be speaking by power of the Holy Spirit) says is true? Remember the days prior to the Protestant Reformation? Here we had the Roman Catholic church with all its ungodly practices claiming infallibility in such. As a Protestant I can respond to that type of nonsense because I hold to Sola Scriptura. But if any group of behaviors or ethical practices, be they personal, ecclesiastical, or political, are not ultimately judged by "what is written" then how can one ever argue against any practice?

    I agree we should judge a church by “what is written” however in the New Covenant we put the most weight to what the Apostles say (1st John 4:6) not what Moses said. Please under stand that I am not saying that we should not listen to Moses at all, just that the new trumps the old

    I have actually tried to resist answering specific ethical questions because I felt it would sidetrack us from getting a clear view of the big picture that address some of these questions.


    OK that makes sense

    So, my problem is not with virtue ethics, per se, but in divorcing virtue from anything that gives concrete and specific definition to what virtue is.
    This is a valid point that is why I believe you must combine virtue ethics with the law of Christ. Sort of “what would Jesus do” combined with the Sermon on the Mount.

    Good stuff BK
    Peace

  5. #145
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    Re: Different Views..

    What do you mean by "freedom of religion"? Does it mean that religions prescribing free homosexual love, or sex with children, or sacrifices of animals or humans should be tolerated? Or should such practices be prohibited?

    "freedom of religion" means you can believe what ever you want and worship as you see fit as long as that belief doesn’t harm someone else.

    Since I belong to a group that has often been persecuted and since me and a few others here have been labeled antinomian. This brings up a very important question in light of In light of the Old Testament command to punish heresy (2nd kings 20:28) will I need to be worried in the future?

  6. #146
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolK
    Those are good verses and I must say that I, too love the law of God and want to keep it. I don't know, perhaps we are saying the same thing. Kind of sounds like it. I just don't like the terminology 'rule of life.' And to me the bible is not a book that says 'Do, do, do,' but a book that says "Done, done, done.' I find such comfort in that. And looking at it that way causes me to love Christ so much and focus on what he did for me instead of what I can do for him. BUT at the same time, it makes me want to do as he tells me to.



    Carol ... well I guess if it is merely you don't like the terminology "rule for life" then I can live with that. I believe it goes much deeper than that though. I guess I don't get how one can say they "LOVE" the law of God and in the next breath tell me that the law of God is not important now. Jesus of course did what we could never do in living the law to perfection. The wonder of redemption is that His righteousness and perfect "LIVING" of God's commandments is actually imputed and given to me. With me doing NOTHING to deserve such a wonderful and marvelous gift. So I guess the next question becomes for the Christian is this ... what do I do with this new life that God has granted to me? What standard do we use as our rule for life? We can't just simply say we don't have any standard can we?


    Quote Originally Posted by carolK
    I agree with part of this statement, that dead sinners by nature hate God, but not that dead sinners hate his rules and run from them. I know of many professed christians that try really hard to keep God's laws.


    I think you lost me here.

    Quote Originally Posted by carolK
    Anyway... as far as progressive sanctification. I believe that a person is made positionally holy by the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us.


    I believe you are trying to mix justification and santification into the same defination. What you stated above is what being justified means. Our position before God occurs when God declares the sinner justified. Some in this forum believe that is an eternal thing while others believe it occurs at regenernation. But setting that aside our position before God really doens't have anything to do with santification in my humble opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by carolK
    I do not believe that we become progressively holier as we go along. I do believe we grow in grace and knowledge, but not grow in holiness by works which we do. We are completely holy in our 'person' as believers, but not in our 'character and conduct' and will not be in our character and conduct until we go to be with the Lord in heaven. I do not believe there are degrees of holiness, depending on our works or our faith or repentance or whatever. As I said we are justified and sanctified by the imputation of Christ's righteousness.
    I guess it would be a good idea for me to lay out my defination of santification and why I believe it to be something that is "worked" on by God throughout the believers life. For this I go to a much smarter group of men then myself and I accept what they have laid out as a working defination of santification.

    Q. 75. What is sanctification?
    A. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.
    WCF Larger Catechism. (Emphasis mine)

    Let's look to see where the standards got this statement from in scripture ...

    Ezekiel 36:25-27. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    Romans 6:4, 6, 12-14. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.... Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.... Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    2 Corinthians 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    1 Peter 2:24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

    So "progressive santification" doesn't mean a person becomes holier and holier or more righteous. We are declared holy and righteous by Christ. What it means is that you put away your sinful habits, your sinful lifestyle and allow God to lead your life. So your life is "God's way" and no longer "my way". I hope you realize the difference. This takes a lifetime and is actually never fully achieved until eternity. On this we both agree .

    Here is the crutch of the argument I think and the big $64,000 question ... From what standard do I determine what sin is and from what standard do I try to conform my life to?

    Well I must be off for the daily grind .... hope to carry on again shortly ... Jan
    It is what it is

  7. #147
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    [In regards to the Isaiah 49:23 passage]

    Government will be the Church’s nursing fathers and mothers not society in general. Besides in a mostly illiterate society like Arabia it might be helpful to the Church for a Christian ruler to educate the children for a wile...
    Ok, but even granting that, why couldn't this simply be referring to the fact that in those latter days the state will govern in terms of God's law in upholding Godly justice and punishment against evildoers, thereby restraining evil and thus allowing the church to carry out its specific God-ordained function of extending mercy and good news, proclaiming the whole counsel of God, Christian nurture and discipleship, and all the rest? In that sense the state would indeed be the nursing parents of the church; you'd have a true symbiotic relationship but without the church and state usurping God-ordained authority from one another. I do not believe the Isaiah 49 passage teaches that the state should become a welfare state. The bible specifically ordains the state to be an agent of justice and punishment, not an agent of mercy and welfare. Tomas, please note that I'm not necessarily trying to refute or disagree with your conclusions. That's a separate issue. I'm only saying that the Isaiah 49 passage doesn't provide any actual premises with which to make logical connections with your conclusions. It's certainly possible that you might have good biblical warrant for some of your conclusions elsewhere in the bible, in which case you'd have to import that other material into the discussion to reach your conclusion. But, again, I think we need to be careful to stick with Paul's admonition to not think beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6) when it comes to a certain text.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    I think the job of the government in this case is to do it’s best to keep those folks from harming innocents...
    Ok, but HOW? And by what absolute, universal, and unchanging standard?


    ...more in a few...I had lost an entire post, so I think I'll do this in installments.

    ...out

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  8. #148
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    ...in the New Covenant we put the most weight to what the Apostles say (1 John 4:6) not what Moses said. Please under stand that I am not saying that we should not listen to Moses at all, just that the new trumps the old
    Ok, I need to clarify something about this statement, but first let me summarize a few things. I still think some of my points are either being missed by some or de-emphasized. I had shown earlier that the law of God is a reflection of God's character. If need be, I can develop this point further, but I demonstrated in an earlier post that God's character is described in the bible as being holy, pure, just, good, righteous, true, unchanging, etc. and that this is exactly how the law of God itself is described (Ps. 19:7-9; Rom. 7:12, etc.). In fact, we should expect such since the law emanates from God's own nature and moral being. He didn't look outside of Himself to some other standard to determine what righteousness and justice are. To emphasize a certain aspect of this point, consider the relationship between God's unchanging character and and the law's unchanging character.

    James 1:17 - ... Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning

    Mal. 3:6 - For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

    Ps. 89:34 - My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.

    Psalm 111:7,8 - The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness.

    Psalm 119:160 - The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.


    I also showed that God's moral standards were the same for all peoples of the OT, not just Israel. Although countless other examples could be used, I illustrated this point using the examples of God's judgement of Sodom and Gemorrah, God's pending judgement of Nineveh, and God's expulsion of the inhabitants of the promised land due to their defilement of it.

    I also showed in the NT that Jesus and the apostles continually upheld the ongoing validity of the OT law of God, both by explicit statement (Matt. 4:4; 5:17-20 [see my previous post #78 for a brief exposition of this passage]; Matt. 23:23; Rom. 3:31), and by illustration or application (1 Tim. 5:17 (vs. Deut .25:4); 2 Cor. 6:14 (vs. Deut. 22:10); Rom. 10:6-8 (vs. Deut. 30:11-13); Acts 23:1-5 (vs. Ex. 22:28; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 25:2), etc.).

    Based on the above evidence, along with a lot of other evidence that could be cited, I don't believe there is any reasonable biblical warrant for detracting or annulling the OT law of God. The law of God is to be our guide in all moral matters (personal, ecclesiastical, political), not as means of justification, but in the area of sanctification and showing our love for the Lord.

    Ok, so in spite of the summary I gave above, the adherer of new covenant theology will still insist that the OT law has been superceded, or "trumped" to use Tomas' language here. Well, I have a lot of difficulty with some of this terminology, but let me reiterate a certain point here before I go on. Theonomic ethics INSISTS that OT revelation must be undestood in light of NT teaching, as I've already said. And where there have been changes brought on by the New Testament, we adopt the changes. Because only the law-giver, God Himself, may tell us where a change is warranted, and if he says that something has changed, we obey and don't question. But I would also maintain, given all of what I've said here and in previous posts, that the OT law hasn't been trumped, but supplemented with additional applications and examples for clarification.

    So, (and here's the point I want to emphasize) if you say that the OT law has been amended or clarified by NT teaching, then I have absolutely no problem with that. In fact, this is simply a corollary of what I just said in the preceding paragraph. But when an adhererer of NCT says that the entire moral code in the OT has been rescended and is therefore not applicable unless the NT repeats it, then I have a GREAT DEAL of trouble with that. That violates the clear teaching of all that I've said earlier in this post and previous posts, describing the universality and unchanging character of God's being and God's law.

    Tomas had cited the Sermon on the Mount in Matt. 5:21ff, as an illustration of how the new covenant system supercedes the old. But I've already shown that God in the OT was preeminently concerned with "virtue ethics" for his people, to use Tomas' terminology. God was concerned with their inward heart state and their love of the lord and fellow man. Obedience for OT saints was not limited only to external acts, as I've shown. The teaching by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount simply gave exposition to what all this entails. He simply gave more detailed or perhaps clearer exposition of the ten commandments; but he didn't give new commandments. But even if He had, it wouldn't be a violation of what I've said, because Jesus, the divine lawgiver, and He alone, has the authority to amend what preceded.

    Anyway, forgive me for saying this, everybody, but I become uncomfortable when people talk about the law of God as though it were a bad or useless thing. I even get a bit uncomfortable when people talk about the law of God as an unneccessary thing. Yes, it's unnecessary when it comes to the basis of our right standing before God. What I find ironic in all this is that people see someone like me, who is a theonomist, as a legalist, when in fact, I'm probably one of the most ardent defenders of salvation by the grace of God alone through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Yes, if one tries to use the law as a means of gaining right standing before God then he's in big trouble, because God requires absolute perfection (Gal. 3:10), and no one can measure up. In that case, we see descriptions of the law as condemnatory, or as the letter that kills, or as a ministry of death to borrow a few biblical terms. That would certainly be an innappropriate use of the law. However, the law is GOOD if we use it as a model of righteousness in all areas of life. In fact, it's necessary for the Christian becasue it gives us specific guidance in how to live a life well-pleasing to God in all areas of life. So in contrast to the rampant antinomianism that I think has been a cancer to the modern church, maybe we should adopt David's attitude toward the law instead (again, not as a means of justification, but rather, sanctification):


    Ps. 119:47 - And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love

    Ps. 119:48 - My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, And I will meditate on Your statutes.

    Ps. 119:97 - Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

    Ps. 119:46 - I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, And will not be ashamed

    Ps. 119:5 - Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes!


    More to follow.. time for coffee break.

    ...out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    BK ... Thanks for stating so clearly and concisely my concerns and feelings. I wholeheartedly agree with this last post. As well as a few others you have written.

    It is extremely difficult for me to understand how a person can say they love something (ie the Law of God) when they believe it is done away with or no longer applicable to their life. I say to that one ... hog wash.

    Out for now .... Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Different Views..

    It is extremely difficult for me to understand how a person can say they love something (ie the Law of God) when they believe it is done away with or no longer applicable to their life. I say to that one ... hog wash.

    Wait a minute you say you love the law yet you believe the majority of it has been done away with and is no longer applicable to your life. At least you agree that Christ did away with the ceremonial and dietary parts. If you told a Pharisee you loved the law yet did not obey most of it he would freak.
    I would hope you love those parts of the law because they remind you of Christ. I simply feel that way about all of Old Covenant Law.

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    Re: Different Views..

    In an act of what must be the result of providence I ran across a quote from C.S. Lewis that I think will shed some light on this discussion. He was writing to folks who believed that God would not perform miracles because that would violate his own laws i.e. the laws of nature.
    This is long and might seem to be irrelevant at first but please bear with me I think it will all become clear when I’m done.

    …..young people who have just learned to write English rhymes verse, may be shocked at finding “bad” rhymes (i.e. half-rhymes) in the great poets. Even in carpentry or car-driving or surgery there are, I expect, “licenses- abnormal ways of doing things” which the master will use himself both safely and judiciously but which he would think it unwise to teach his pupils.
    Now one often finds the beginner, who has just mastered the strict formal rules, is over-punctilious and pedantic about them. And the mere critic, who is never going to begin himself, may be more pedantic still. The classical critics were shocked at the “irregularity or licenses” of Shakespeare. A stupid schoolboy might think that the abnormal hexameters in Virgil, or the half-rhymes in English poets, were due to incompetence. In reality, of course, every one of them is there for a purpose and breaks the superficial regularity of the metre in obedience to a higher and subtler law: just as the irregularities in The Winter’s Tale do not impair, but embody and perfect, the inward unity of it’s spirit.
    In other words, there are rules behind the rules, and a unity, which is deeper than uniformity. A supreme workman will never break by one note or one syllable or one stroke of the brush the living and inward law of the work he is producing. But he will break without scruple any number of those superficial regularities and orthodoxies which little, unimaginative critics mistake for its laws.


    I think the law of Christ represents the Higher Law behind the temporary law that Moses gave to the nation of Israel. And with the Holy Spirit we can uphold the real law not some shadow of it.

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    Re: Different Views..

    Hi Jan,

    Here is the crutch of the argument I think and the big $64,000 question ... From what standard do I determine what sin is and from what standard do I try to conform my life to?

    Well Jan,for me, yes, the bible teaches me what is right and wrong, BUT I do not spend my time focusing on that or on the rules, constantly thinking of them, trying to keep them, checking my progress, and such. I try to spend my time focusing on Christ and what he did for me, and doing this causes me to be so thankful and feel such love for him, that I just begin follow the rules --because that's what I want to do, not what I have to do. I don't have to worry whether I'm doing the right things or not, I just need to rest in Christ, look to him. There is such freedom in that. You would think that would cause licentiousness, but it doesnt. It causes obedience out of love, --not out of duty.

    That's what helps me so much. I don't know about others.

    Hope that's not too confusing. It IS hard to explain.

    Carol
    Run John Run! The Law commands,
    But gives me neither feet, nor hands,
    Far grander news the gospel brings,
    It bids me fly, and gives me wings.
    ----John Bunyan

    http://members.cox.net/ckizzz/index

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    Re: Different Views..

    tomas ... I was a bit strong in my last post ... I retract it . BK would be very disappointed in my silly statement because I didn't give anything to back it up. I was really joking around but I see that it would be difficult to realize that in just reading what I wrote.

    The sacrificial laws and ceremonial laws again are a foreshadow to Christ himself. So I think it is irrelevant to keep bringing them into the mix. But again I am not the best writer or do I have a very good way of expressing my thoughts. hahaha as has been very well demonstrated.

    carolk ... I guess we are having a very difficult time communicating. I want you to know that because I am posting in this forum and on this particular thread doesnt mean that it is (the Law of God) the ONLY thing I think about.

    I do though consider what it means to be obedient to God on a daily if not hourly basis. This is probably due to the fact that I am such a wretch and I need to remind myself . It keeps me in prayer and extremely humble.

    Carol .. I am still curious about from what you determine what is obedient "in God's sight"?

    Well I guess it is time for me fly away home .... Hope to read some more of BK and tomas. It has indeed been a learning experience.
    It is what it is

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    Re: Different Views..

    The discussion of the position of the believer with regard to the law of God seems to keep coming up from time to time. Each time it does it is interesting to see how it provokes such strong feelings. This is an issue which I have discussed before so I don’t intend to go over the same ground again here, but for those who are interested you may like to read a thread I participated in several months ago on a discussion board called “The Highway”. That thread ran to many pages and is probably one of the most viewed discussions on that board which highlights the interest there is in this matter. However, as you’ll probably also notice it certainly stirs up strong feelings on all sides (in fact you’ll notice that I was eventually thrown off the board – being viewed as heretical for holding that the law is NOT the believer’s rule of life - hence my name is now listed as a ‘Guest’…). Anyway I thought the thread might be of interest as most of the common objections were raised and many of the usual scriptural passages which come up in such a discussion were considered. The thread began with a number of questions posed by the 19th century Baptist preacher William Gadsby. Those questions were never actually answered, one by one, throughout the thread. The link is:-

    http://www.the-highway.com/forum/showthreaded.php?Cat=0&Number=33347&page=5&view=co llapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1


    As that thread covered a lot of ground I won’t go over the matter in any detail here, other than to post a few relevant scriptures…

    "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:19-21

    But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” Galatians 3:11-12

    “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
    For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18

    For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
    What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:14-15

    “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
    For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
    But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:4-6

    …and to recommend the reading of some of William Huntington’s works on this matter. One called “The Believer’s Rule of Life” can be read at:

    http://grace-for-today.com/431.htm

    And
    Huntington's full works can be browsed here:-

    http://grace-for-today.com/hunt.htm

    Volume VI includes “A Rule and a Riddle” and “The Law established by the Faith of Christ”. I recommend them highly.

    In Grace,
    Ian

    P.S. Hello again Carol! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on here. Galatians 5.1.
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

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    Re: Different Views..

    Ian, tomas and carolk:

    Do you realize that a "theonomist" doesn't believe he/she is justified by the Law? The verses you posted don't really address the issue of how we are to conduct our lives as Christians.

    I am curious ... and I realize you said you didn't want to participate so perhaps you can merely do a cut and paste because I really don't like reading long threads ... I simply have limited time so I like to participate in something that is ongoing.

    (2 Cor 3:6-8 KJV) Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

    It seems pretty clear to me that Paul is stating the Law that was engraven was glorious. The law that is now written on the believers heart which is actually the enabling of the believer to live it is what is glorious about the New Covenant. We see it again in Romans 8 ...

    (Rom 8:2-8 KJV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    … the Law could not enable men to do what was required. Now the Spirit lives in the hearts of men. The ordinance of the law is fulfullied and you are enabled to do so because of the Holy Spirit. The difference being the Spirit, not the erasing of the law. Why … so the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in you. It is still the Law that God requires men to live but with the New Covenant God has given to men the ability to do so.

    The Old Covenant we couldn’t keep and it killed men. The letter of the law killed. Because it proclaimed the will of God that men couldn’t keep. Paul then says don’t denigrate or de-emphasize or put away the law. Because that law came in glory. The Spirit causes us to be alive so we can walk according to the law. Alive to live our own lives as we see fit? No … that is the trouble to begin with .. God says you have departed from my paths of righteousness therefore my wrath abides on you. It’s not so we can continue to walk on wayward paths but we might be forgiven so that we might be put on the correct path and that we might now follow his law. This is what glorifies God and what is GLORIFING about his Law.

    If you look at the context of the verses you are using to argue against theonomy you are forced to interchange justification with santification. At least that is what I am seeing being stated and posted by tomas and carolk.

    Then I also see that in order to argue against the theonomist you must interject into the argument that if we are to truly be lawful we have to go back to sacrificing animals and the dietary and the temple laws or "rules" as well. This is clearly a "red herring" because there is very explicit scripture in the NT that teaches and tells us that those ordinances were in fact a forshadowing of Christ. We now are in the New Covenant and no longer need to go back to old ceremonies or sacraments that merely looked forward to Christ. A theonomist does NOT only use the OT but he uses ALL of scripture. You have failed to show me tomas that you use all of scripture in your system of belief.

    Well .... I have a brain cramp now hahaha .... hope to hear from you all ....

    GRACE and peace for now .... Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1

    Wait a minute you say you love the law yet you believe the majority of it has been done away with and is no longer applicable to your life. At least you agree that Christ did away with the ceremonial and dietary parts. If you told a Pharisee you loved the law yet did not obey most of it he would freak.
    I would hope you love those parts of the law because they remind you of Christ. I simply feel that way about all of Old Covenant Law.
    Let me clarify something here. When it comes to the ceremonial or dietary aspects of the law we do NOT believe they have been done away with. Let me explain what I mean by this. While it's certainly true that progressive revelation in the NT specifically tells us that the way these laws were observed in their external and outward form in the OT is no longer binding, we do not say that the LAW itself has been done away with. It's the MODE of application of these laws that has changed. God ALWAYS has and ALWAYS will require substitionary blood atonement on behalf of a sinner if he is to be in God's presence and be seen by God as fully righteous. Guilt has to be imputed to the acceptable substitute and righteousness has to be imputed to the sinner. In the OT this principle was administered by the sacrificial system, among other things which served as pedagogical elements to point people to Christ, who was the object of what those things foreshadowed. In the NT, however, the substance of what those things pointed to has come and, therefore, we no longer need the foreshadows. However, as I've said before, it's on the authority of Scripture alone that I make this determination. Nonetheless, the PRINCIPLE of God requiring substitionary blood atonement is UNIVERSAL and UNALTERABLE.

    Moreover, an examination of even the NT will show that God still requires sacrifices today. No, I'm not talking about the killing of animals. In the OT the giving of sacrifices required a contrite heart that went along with the actual outward act of giving the sacrifice. Today we still give sacrifice from the heart but in a different way. Today the sacrifice finds its fulfillment in personal piety to the Lord, and acts of mercy and Christian charity. I think you'll get the point with the following verses:

    Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

    Philippians 2:17 - Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

    Philippians 4:18 - Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

    Hebrews 13:15,16 - Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

    1 Peter 2:5 - you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.


    Similarly, the PRINCIPLE illustrated by the dietary laws remains binding also, even though the way in which they are observed in the new covenant age has changed. The dietary laws and cleanliness provisions were set in place in order to illustrate to the Jews (in an outward sense) that they are to be consecrated before the Lord. They were to be set apart as God's own people. This principle was observed in the OT by the Jew/Gentile distinction, but in the NT we see that this distinction of Jew/Gentile is no more. Nonetheless, the principle that God requires his people to be consecrated and set apart to Him has not changed. According to the NT, it's observed today not in the shadowy Jew/Gentile distinction but in the church/world distinction. We are to disciple the nations and exert Christian influence wherever possible and wherever God places us; but we don't engage in the actual pagan practices of our unbelieving culture. So, again, in none of these instances has the PRINCIPLE that is illustrated by the laws CHANGED. The principles behind what God requires is always right and just even if the mode of administration changes. Again, let me post a couple relevant verses in order to hopefully drive this point home:

    Ps. 89:34 - My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.

    Psalm 111:7,8 - The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness.

    Psalm 119:160 - The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.


    Out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    Statements given chronologically. My final reply in purple

    LoverOfLiberty: Oh yeah, one more thing, T [regarding the slavery question]. Whatever new testament principles(s) you would apply in answering this question, I would apply it (them) also.

    Tomas1: Of course you could but you didn’t. I think this says something about Theonomy as a system

    LoverOfLiberty: No, actually it doesn't. If it says anything at all it's that I didn't apply all the principles properly. But as I said already, my focus is not on answering specific ethical questions at this point, but to look at the systems themselves. Yes, the theonomic principle requires that we look at all of Scripture, OT and NT.
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace
    Ian, tomas and carolk:
    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace

    Do you realize that a "theonomist" doesn't believe he/she is justified by the Law? The verses you posted don't really address the issue of how we are to conduct our lives as Christians.

    Well, this is what I was constantly charged with in the thread I posted in – that I was quoting from passages which only applied to justification, not sanctification (or the believer’s walk). But the fact is that those passages DO apply to the believer’s walk, they don’t simply refer to justification. I realise that a “Theonomist” believes that he is not justified by the law, but the problem is that those who hold to the law being the believer’s rule of life refuse to accept that the passages I have quoted also apply to the believer’s walk, not just justification.

    How can Romans 6:14-15 not be considered to apply to the believer’s walk? Of course it does. Likewise chapter 7 shows how we have died to the law and been delivered from it – not merely in justification, but as an actual past event which leads to our present state of being delivered from the law. We are NOT under the law, now, in our walk. Likewise Galatians 5 refers to the walk of the believer – how can any one deny that? After all it refers to the fruits of the Spirit which are brought forth in our lives, in our walk. In THAT very passage we are told that if we are led by the Spirit we are not under the law. NOT simply as you go on to say that “It is still the Law that God requires men to live but with the New Covenant God has given to men the ability to do so” - No, If we are led by the Spirit – in our walk – then we are not under the law. We HAVE to be delivered from the law in order to live unto God. As Galatians 2:19 says “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God”, and as Romans 7:4 says "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”


    You can’t bring forth fruit unto God whilst under the law – because the ‘risen’ life of the believer, in the Spirit, is the other side of death, the other side of being crucified with Christ, and therefore out of the reach of the law. We are dead to it, delivered from it.


    I am curious ... and I realize you said you didn't want to participate so perhaps you can merely do a cut and paste because I really don't like reading long threads ... I simply have limited time so I like to participate in something that is ongoing.

    That’s fine Jan. I’ll cut and paste some quotes from that thread below which answer some of your points, and leave it there. For more of my thoughts, and the context in which these replies were made, I’d refer you to the thread I linked to.

    In Grace,
    Ian


    I have already replied and shown that faith establishes the law – it doesn’t destroy it.

    With respect to your analogy of when the law was given, I will remind you that it was given to
    Israel, through Moses, in the wilderness. The children of Israel travelled through the wilderness for 40 years and because of disobedience many of them never entered into the land of Canaan – Moses included. Who did take them in? Joshua did.

    The figurative teaching of that is that the work of Moses led up to Joshua. Moses’ law brought condemnation, and Moses himself never entered the promised land (on earth). However, Joshua (Hebrew version of Jesus), figurative of the Lord Jesus Christ, took the people through the river
    Jordan into the promised land.

    That is a pictorial illustration of what Moses represented (law) being replaced by what Joshua/Jesus represented (Grace in the Gospel). It was Joshua who took the people into the promised land.

    That’s the analogy. Now of course we can stretch things with analogies.
    Israel crossed the Red sea as well as the Jordan. The law (all aspects of it) continued to be observed of course until the coming of Christ. But nevertheless the truth taught of Christ following Moses is important. Moses never entered the promised land with Joshua – they didn’t mix, law and grace don’t mix. Once faith has come we are no longer under the schoolmaster.

    When the Lord tells us to live a holy life he is calling us to walk by faith, fulfilling the law of faith, the law of Christ and the law of liberty, freed from the bondage of Moses’ law, but walking in faith and love to God, and love to our brethren. The Gospel of Christ fulfils all the law’s demands, but it doesn’t put us back under the law’s legal rule as a rule of life. We walk in the spirit, and if we are led of the spirit then we are not under the law. We walk in a 'new and living way' as indwelt by the Holy Ghost. Read Hebrews 8 and 2 Corinthians 3.

    I have expanded on much of that in previous posts so I won’t repeat myself here.

    As to your comment “We are saved by grace through faith alone and we are saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit in order that we may keep God's moral law”. That is utterly rejected by scripture.

    We are saved by grace through faith alone and we are saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit in order that we might walk in righteousness by faith - Yes.

    But "in order that we might keep the moral law" (by which you mean the Ten Commandments)? No. Because that law is part of the Mosaic law which is one whole, including ceremonial and judicial laws and which retains its curse and sanctions. Put yourself under it and you are a debtor to keep all of it. But the 'righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us' through Christ, by faith in Him, by walking in the Spirit, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, freed from the yoke of bondage - the law.

    As I said early on in this thread there is a difference between law and righteousness. God's grace produces righteousness in the believer, it causes him to walk in a Godly manner. But that isn't done by means of the law. The law certainly delineates certain aspects of righteousness, but it doesn't produce it. The Gospel does. We fulfil what the law demands, not by using the law as a rule, but by walking in the Spirit, by faith, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith. It is all of God, all of grace, so that all the praise and glory might be unto God, for Salvation is of the Lord!







    Pilgrim said:
    You consistently fail to rightly distinguish the difference in the writings of the inspired biblical writers in regard to the law as it relates to "justification" and "sanctification". In nearly every case, you perform your surgical procedure of eisogesis upon those passages where the subject is justification and implant your preconceived view of sanctification, aka: "Antinomianism".

    Pilgrim,

    I am well aware of the passages which deal with justification. But the fact remains that many of these passages ALSO deal with sanctification. Although the Judaisers at Galatia sought to put believers back under law for justification Paul’s response in ‘Galatians’ isn’t simply to say ‘You are justified by faith alone, don’t look to your keeping of the law for justification’. No, he says that we aren’t under the law at all! Not only are we not justified by the law but we aren’t under it as believers. Not only were these Judaisers wrong to add law works to faith for justification, but they were wrong to bind the law upon believers at all. “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Gal 3:3. We walk by the Spirit – we stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free - we must not be entangled again in the yoke of bondage Gal 5:1.

    So you are right to say that Galatians deals with justification, but it does not only deal with justification – it deals with sanctification too. Just read chapters 5 and 6 – they address the believer’s walk, of how he is led of the Spirit and is not under law, of what the fruit of the Spirit is, and so on.

    Also, Romans 6, 7 and 8 are addressing the believer’s relationship to law in his walk, not simply for justification. “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace” is about the ongoing walk of the believer, not his justification.

    Again, that is so clear from what the passages say, and their context, that I really shouldn’t have to be stressing it. But your insistence in trying to dismiss the obvious application of such passages to the ongoing walk of the believer (“sanctification”) forces me to point them out. “Not under law” is the position of the believer as a result of his justification, as a result of his flesh being crucified with Christ at the cross and having risen again in Christ, the other side of death, out of the reach of the law having fully satisfied all the law’s demands in Christ his Saviour.







    Quote:






    Stucco said:
    Paul who speaks so often of justification by faith alone, completely apart from the works of the law, always maintains that the Gospel doesn't nullify the law but upholds it!

    When Paul say's that the unGodly man cannot subject himself to the law of God (
    Rom. 8:7)--what are we to infer about the Godly man? Christ has redeemed us, to enable us to obey the moral requirements of the law. That moral law of God which we are to obey, is revealed in the Scriptures, especially (but not exclusively) in the Decalogue.

    In Romans 13, Paul speaks on ethics. Then in verses 9-10, he quotes most of the second half of the ten commandments. Doesn't his appeal to the Decalogue as that which the law of love fulfills demonstrate the abiding relevance of the law? Doesn't his appeal to the love obligation also intertwine his standard for Christian ethics with that of Jesus, who gave His summarization of the ten commandments also as "Love your neighbor as yourself." Clearly, according to Scriptures, the Decalogue is to be the ethical norm for the Christian's covenant way of life.

    Mr. Potts, the statements you have made throughout this thread indicate that you have a flawed concept of sanctification. The only way that your view can be consistent, is to take Paul's teachings and hold them in direct contradiction to themselves. You have placed the flow and continuity of the Bible as a whole on a dispensationalist chopping block and butchered it to pieces. Love finds its parameters within the law of God. Your view leaves the Christian with nothing more to look to as a guide along his pilgrimage to glory, than vague, undefined "feelings." If one is truly in Christ, then he wil truly appreciate the precepts God has provided for him in His Holy Scriptures, so that he can live out his life to the glory of Christ, his Redeemer and King.






    Stucco,

    With respect Sir, you are wrong, being confused in your understanding of scripture. It is not I that takes “Paul's teachings and hold(s) them in direct contradiction to themselves” but yourself.

    How do you do that? By doing something along the following lines. You read this:-



    Quote:







    “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
    What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
    Romans 6:14-15

    “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
    For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
    But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
    Romans 7:4-6






    And then you go on to read this:-


    Quote:







    “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
    Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”
    Romans 7:12-13

    “If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good”
    Romans 7:16

    “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
    Romans 7:22-25

    “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
    Romans 8:7

    “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
    Romans 13:8-10






    And you reach the false conclusion that although Paul says we are not under law, that we are dead to it, and that we are delivered from it, that actually he can’t really mean that in the way it sounds because of what he says about the law later on! So in effect you make those earlier statements of little worth. You “qualify” them in whatever way is necessary in order to ensure, that practically, as a rule of life, the believer is, contrary to what Paul teaches, actually still under the law, still alive to it, still in bondage to it.

    But Paul’s later comments IN NO WAY contradict his earlier statements and are in no way an insistence that the believer is under law. He isn’t, he is under grace.

    What Paul is showing is HOW the love which is given by grace in the Gospel fulfils the law’s demands. Not that the believer is under the law, bound by the law, or ruled by the law, but that being under grace, living by faith, led by the Spirit, the believer does not “sin that grace may abound” but actually walks in ways of righteousness which fulfil all the law’s demands. Not by law, but by grace. Not under law, but under grace. Not by the letter, but by the Spirit. Not in bondage, but in liberty. Not by the work of the flesh, but by the work of the Spirit of God within us, by the outworking of that fruit of the Spirit as we walk, by faith, looking unto Jesus.

    The Gospel produces righteous conduct in the believer, fulfilling the law’s demands, but not by being under the law, or ruled by the law. And that is what you can’t understand isn’t it? “How!?”, you ask, “It’s all too vague, too mystical, all about feelings…”.

    You say the following:

    “Love finds its parameters within the law of God.”
    “Your view leaves the Christian with nothing more to look to as a guide along his pilgrimage to glory, than vague, undefined "feelings." “

    No Sir. Allow me to explain.

    The Spirit of God guides us using the whole word of God, not just the “moral law”. The just shall live by faith. Faith worketh by love. And love finds its parameters in THE Gospel, not simply the law, as the Gospel reveals the righteousness of God in its fullest extent, in Christ, and the Gospel fulfils all the law’s requirements. Faith is centred upon Christ, love is set upon Him, in loving response to the love which He first showed us, in that while we were yet sinners He died for us. And such love, such fruit of the Spirit flows forth not merely towards God, but towards our brethren also.

    The Spirit inspired the whole word of God Stucco. And the Spirit ‘leads’ us by using the whole word of God. Our “rule of life” is not simply the “moral law”. It is to live by faith, walk in the Spirit, as the Spirit instructs us through all of God’s word. You see, we don’t ‘discard’ the law, we recognise the truth of it, the worth of it, the goodness of God in it, the holiness of God in it, the justice of God in it, we love the law of God, we delight in it after the inward man, just as Paul does in Romans 7. But we also recognise that as long as we live in this world with the flesh as well as the Spirit, that to put ourselves under the rule of law will simply flare up the sin within our flesh. To walk in the Spirit and produce conduct in keeping with the law’s demands we need to be lawfully delivered from the law, to cease to be under it. Whenever the flesh is put under the law the result is not righteousness but sin. That is the same for the believer's flesh as well as the unbeliever's.

    I think this is where you go wrong in your understanding - you fail to recognise properly that the law isn't made for the new man of grace, the spirit, because that is born of God, and that which is born of God does not commit sin (see 1 John), but it is directed at the flesh to expose the sin therein, it flares up sin in the flesh and it condemns it. That is the purpose of the law, and it is the reason why the believer must be delivered from under it, so that he can walk in the Spirit, not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. That is what Paul teaches in Romans 6 – 8 and we recognise it and believe it.

    And we also recognise the worth of all God’s word, all the words of Christ in the Gospels, all the words of the Apostles in the epistles, all the word of God as inspired by the Holy Spirit. We walk in a way of righteousness, by faith, in the Spirit, conformable to God’s will as revealed in scripture by the Spirit.

    But we follow all of God’s instruction, and we do not misuse it Stucco. We rightly divide it. We learn to see the difference between Old Covenant and New. Between the First Adam and the Last Adam. Between Flesh and Spirit. Between Works and Faith. Between Law and Grace.

    When God by the Spirit says ““For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God” (Gal 2:19) and tells us to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal 5:1) we meekly, submissively, willingly do as God instructs us. We do not put ourselves back under law which we are dead to, because then we could not live unto God. We do not entangle ourselves again with the yoke of bondage, because then we would not be free in Christ, in the liberty wherewith He hath made us free. What God has put asunder, we do not seek to join together.

    By faith, in the Spirit, we keep God’s commandments. All that Christ commands us through the Gospel we willingly keep, as enabled by grace, as led by the Spirit.

    Now, as to this walk Stucco, of course it isn’t easy. Walking in the Spirit isn’t automatic. Of course we are involved and we strive, we push forwards, we seek to overcome sin, we mortify the deeds of the flesh. What causes the trouble is that we still have the flesh, and the flesh warreth against the Spirit. But that is why we walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. The law was given to show up sin in the flesh – it provides no power to restrain it, it only fuels it. To put yourself under law is not to walk in the Spirit but to seek to perfect the flesh by use of law, which never happens. In fact if under law sin has dominion over you. The only way to fulfil the law, to avoid sin, to walk in the Spirit, is not to be under the law. As it is written:

    For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
    What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
    Romans 6:14-15



    In Galatians 5 we read the following:



    Quote:







    “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

    For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
    For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
    And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”






    Consider this passage carefully. Faith worketh by love and love is the fulfilling of the law. Faith and love however are fruits of the Spirit, not the law, and to have the fruits of the Spirit, we walk in the Spirit. If we are led of the Spirit we are not under the law.

    No, we walk in the Spirit, not under the law. He produces fruit in our lives – Faith and love included. Faith worketh by love, and love fulfils all the law’s demands. So although we are not under the law, we don’t break the law, because we are led of the Spirit who gives us faith and love which fulfils the law. The Spirit certainly instructs us through ALL the scriptures, but He never puts us back under law, in bondage to it, or to be ruled by it. No, we walk in liberty in Christ. We are ‘just’ in Christ and…

    “The just shall live by faith”.

    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

  19. #159
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    Re: Different Views..

    I hope everyone will stay with me through this post. It's kinda long, and I write this post with great trepidation, due to the nature of the material. However, I do think some of you will find it interesting. The relevance of the post to law ethics will hopefully become clear as I go. I pray you will be patient with me and read this post.


    Quote Originally Posted by bauerpauer

    If i may ask what is the whole presuppositional in apologetics idea?

    As I stated in a previous post, the presuppositional approach to defending the Christian faith works itself out at the worldview level. The two-fold approach is summarized in Prov. 26:4,5:

    Prov. 26:4 - Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.

    Prov. 26:5 - Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

    The approach requires that we answer the unbelieving worldview according to its own presuppositions so as to demonstrate its futility. Secondly, we then show that if we begin with Christian presuppositions, where we begin by acknowledging the truth of God's word, the difficulties can be answered. Since we're on the discussion of theonomy and questions pertaining to law ethics, let me illustrate how this might play out with a few examples.


    Example #1 - A "good act" is that which brings the greatest good to the greatest number.

    This is a secular consequential ethical approach put forth by John Stuart Mill, known as utilitarianism. Since it denies that there are any prescriptions or specifical ethical norms, it might be susceptible to an internal critique. A couple of questions/criticisms on this approach.

    (1) How does one "quantify" goodess?
    (2) And if goodness could be quantified, would it be better to do act X which provides, say, 5 "goodness" points to 4 people, or 4 "goodness" points to 5 people? why should one be preferred over the other?
    (3) How could one know all possible contingencies so as to know what produces the greatest good to the greatest number? How could one possibly know that a certain act done today wouldn't have horribly undesirable consequences against many people 10 years from now.
    (4) Given its premises, utilitarianism would logically justify punishing innocent people in order to gain a "greater good". In this ethical system one would be justified in taking an innocent person and using him for experimenation purposes so that in the future "the greatest good" would come to the "greatest number". It could also be used to justify killing someone who has a certain gene that might be linked to potential undesirable behavior. The killing of that person would be justified because his elimination would produce greater good to a greater number of people than by allowing him to live and allowing him to potentially wreak havoc on society...anyway, I hope this example illustrates the approach.


    Example #2 - A "good act" is that which is the most loving thing to do.

    This is something like Joseph Fletcher's situation ethics. Similar to utilitarianism, Fletcher tried to reduce all ethical acts to a consequential ethic, but one which was free from any norms or laws or prescriptions. A possible line of criticism on this approach might start by recognizing that there is nothing that defines what love is. We could use the illustration from "Example #1" and show that this ethic justifies killing innocent people. Since there are no norms, we could argue that human experimentation is the most loving thing to do, since it would have the best interest of all of mankind in mind. One could also argue that the most loving thing to do is to separate people into their races in order to eliminate all the racial strife. This ethic could also be used to justify euthenasia, abortion, and literally anything you wanted, so long as the motivation was that it was done out of "love".



    Example #3 - A "good act" is that which one intuits or recollects from a previous life where his soul dwelled among some ideal called "goodness".

    This was Plato's ethic. Plato's motivation was to battle the Sophists of his day, who maintained that there were no absolute and universal truths, much less absolute and universal moral standards. According to them, it was all person relative and, therefore, it could never be about who was "right" but about who could be most persuasive with their rhetorical skills. Sort of like our modern day lawyers, you could say.

    To escape the person-relative approach by the Sophists, Plato theorized that there must something that is absolutely good but which is, necessarily, "apart from" man. According to Plato, there must be something like "goodness" which one might think of as an ideal or universal good, and which exists in a totally separate realm of experience altogether. Plato maintained that when we die, our souls go into this other realm of ideals where "goodness" exists. Then when we are born a soul gets taken from this other realm and gets imprisoned in the body. One comes to know "goodness" by intuiting it or being reminded of it, if you will, from the soul's previous life, as acts of goodness in this life are experienced.

    Some difficulty with this approach is that there was nothing that gave any concrete content as to what "goodness" is. Plato's ideal of "goodness" was an empty impersonal shell of an ideal (as opposed to the Christian's view that goodness derives from the personal nature of God's own being and character). As such, this approach reduces to telling someone to "play fair" but without telling them the rules of the game, or even what game was being played. So you had a universal "good" but no content that made it usable. Also, Plato simply assumed as a given that man's mind was self-sufficient and unaffected by any "fallen nature". One would also need to ask how one would know if "goodness" were being intuited properly. Since there were no norms there was no basis to make such a comparison.


    To summarize, we see in "Example #3" that Plato's ethic can't provide any meaningful content as to what good is, in which case, the ethical system can't be applied and is, therefore, useless. In examples #1 and #2, you'd have to be omniscient, because you'd have to know ALL possible contingencies in order to know what single act would produde the greatest good, or what would be the most loving thing to do. But since humans are not omniscient, the system can't provide the necessary foundations or preconditions for ethical reasoning. In all three cases, though, there is no objective standard or benchmark with which to measure or determine what is good or what the most loving thing to do is.

    But now to apply Prov. 26:4, the Christian has an answer to these dilemmas. We have both a non person-relative ethic, because God Himself is the basis for ethics, not the "many-ness" of human autonomous thinking. The Christian also has an ethic that can be actually be applied since, unlike Plato, God's law gives us specific principles and concrete application that are universally binding for all ages. The Christian doesn't fall prey to the utilitarian or situation ethics trap, because the most loving thing to do is known by special revelation from one who IS omniscient and knows all contingencies and who will always do the most loving thing when everything is factored in.

    So after all this, please consider this next part:

    Now, to turn my attention to some of the posts in this forum. When people disregard the law of God, which does give specific ethical content and application, how is this any different than Plato's ethic? Even if one applies the moral teachings in the NT, how would one avoid Plato's problem in areas where there is no specific direction in the NT on specific ethical matters? Well, one could answer by saying that the Holy Spirit will guide them. And to that all I have to say is that this is exactly the answer of the Roman Catholic church with all its excesses, even with their supposed infallible papal authority. It seems that the noetic effects of sin are so often overlooked by sinful mankind, including Christians.

    Or if our ethic simply reduces to doing the most virtuous or loving thing, but apart from any laws or prescriptions that define those things, how is that any better than Fletcher's ethic or utilitarianism?

    Or if someone says that they are guided by the Holy Spirit and, therefore, need no rules or laws, why can't someone simply say that the Holy Spirit told them to do anything at all or whatever they wanted? If there are no rules, no laws, why can't someone say that the Holy Spirit told him to kill someone. Of course, someone could answer by saying that the Holy Spirit would never cause someone to violate his word. But then that gets us right back to "law" or "norms" in ethics again, doesn't it? And if you think this is a joke, try looking into the murders by the followers of Charles Manson in the 1970's. It's no joke. This has actually been applied.

    And on a more personal note, a friend that goes to my church was divorced from his wife about four years or so ago. My friend, who was actually an unbeliever at the time, wanted to work things out. His wife, however, had different ideas. As she was in counseling, her pastor convinced her that God simply wants His people, including her, to be happy in life. As such, the "pastor" convinced her that divorce was perfectly ok. Remember, no norms, no rules, no laws, no prescriptions, just the Holy Spirit telling her what to do. These are serious issues, friends, situations that result because of the aversion to the law of God in the church today. I myself find this totally unnacceptable and contrary to God's word. God HAS given us specific direction in how to please him in all areas of life. The law of God, while not to be used as the basis for attaining right-standing before God, is and always will be the moral guide for the Christian in all areas of life. God's standards of what is right and just do not change.

    To those who had the patience to wade through this long and off-the-wall post, I appreciate your patience. From here on out I'll try to limit my discussion more directly to the bible. If nothing else, I hope this post is an illustration of how a denial or reduction of the law of God can lead to dire consequences. Not that it WILL for any particular person, but the door will certainly be left open for it...

    ...peace out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  20. #160
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by LoverOfLiberty
    Or if someone says that they are guided by the Holy Spirit and, therefore, need no rules or laws, why can't someone simply say that the Holy Spirit told them to do anything at all or whatever they wanted? If there are no rules, no laws, why can't someone say that the Holy Spirit told him to kill someone. Of course, someone could answer by saying that the Holy Spirit would never cause someone to violate his word. But then that gets us right back to "law" or "norms" in ethics again, doesn't it? And if you think this is a joke, try looking into the murders by the followers of Charles Manson in the 1970's. It's no joke. This has actually been applied.
    Just a quick response to this. No one is denying that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just and good" Romans 7:12.

    Romans 3:20 tells us "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin".

    The law does indeed tell us things that are sinful. If someone claims to be guided by the Spirit but lives a life which causes them to break the law in the kind of manner in which you have described then we can seriously question what 'spirit' is leading them - for the Spirit does not lead us to sin, but to walk righteously. "Shall we sin that grace may abound? God forbid."

    No, we don't 'disregard' the law or tear it out of the scriptures. It is still there, what it says is true, it was given to prove man to be a sinner and to shut him up to salvation through Jesus Christ. By the law is the knowledge of sin. A schoolmaster unto Christ - Galatians 3.

    So the law is certainly still of use when it comes to discerning whether someone's claim to be led by the Spirit is true or not. But nevertheless it is still true that if one IS led by the Spirit then he is not under the law - Galatians 5:18.

    In order to actually fulfil the righteousness of the law, in order to be led by the Spirit, in order to live unto God and bring forth fruit unto God one must be lawfully delivered from the law, dead to the law, no longer under the law, but under grace (see Galatians 2, 5 and Romans 6-8). For the law is not simply a description of 'righteousness' - it is a LAW, a set of commands with penal sanctions attached which still apply whenever someone puts themselves under those commands or strives to keep them. You are a debtor to do the whole law, continuously, without fail, otherwise you come under its curse. Christ delivered us from that curse not by severing the law in half and removing its curse but by actually delivering us from under the law as a whole.

    If we walk in the Spirit we shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Our conduct will be seen to be in accordance with God's righteous standards (although obviously not all the time because the flesh wars against the Spirit), as we are led by the Spirit. But if we are led by the Spirit then we are not under the law (Galatians 5:18). Galatians 5 gives us a good description of the works of the flesh in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit. This Gospel teaching helps us to discern those who claim to be led by the Spirit but who are really liars because their fruit is otherwise. But those who ARE led by the Spirit are neverthless STILL not under the law. Those who ARE led by the Spirit will bring forth fruit as described in Galatians 5:22-23 - "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance". And that is how we can tell them apart from those who are not led by the Spirit. By their fruits ye shall know them. And such fruit of the Spirit respects the inward thoughts and motives of the heart - such fruit brings forth those aspects of character which lead to Godly outward conduct. This is seen in those who are 'new creatures' in Christ, being born again of the Spirit, and who are led by the Spirit.

    The Pharisees were very good at using the law to govern their outward conduct and appear very righteous and good on the outside, but as Christ rebukes them, inwardly they were full of hypocrisy and sin. The law can't produce righteousness in the heart - but the Spirit does for the Spirit brings forth fruit inwardly, which leads to righteous conduct outwardly. And the Spirit does this when we are lawfully delivered from the law. For if ye are led by the Spirit ye are not under the law.

    In Grace,
    Ian

    "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
    And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."
    Galatians 6:15-16
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

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