Are You Trembling Yet?

Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch reminds us that God is not a cute and cuddly teddy bear.  According to Muehlenberg we need only read Revelation 19:11-16 to understand that.  Here’s what verse 15 says about the Lord Jesus:

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”

Whoa.  Sounds more like a grizzly bear to me.

Today we rarely hear the Jesus of Rev. 19 preached.  What we hear instead is that Jesus loves us, Jesus is our friend, He’s tolerant of our sins, He doesn’t judge and even though He created hell for unrepentant sinners, He’d never send anyone there except, of course, Satan and his demons.  So is this the same God we find in the pages of Scripture?  Let’s hear what Bill has to say….

We should all be trembling, and if we are not, we should be asking “Why not?” But trembling at what? And why? Let me tell you: trembling before the God who is there – the God who made us and who we are all called to give an account to. And I refer to the one true and living God, not an idol made in our own image.

The God of the Bible is certainly a loving and gracious God, but he is no pushover. He is not some compliant errand boy. He is not a celestial hippy. He is not a slightly bewildered grandfather figure. He is not a cosmic bell boy. He is not some sickly sweet wish-granter. Nor is he a jolly Santa Claus just waiting to give us goodies.

Instead, “our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). Because of this, “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). There are of course plenty of passages found in both Testaments describing the God with whom we have to do, and he is nothing like the one envisaged by so many today.

Far too many believers have simply stopped reading their Bibles and instead have drunk deep from the foolish nostrums of our age. Thus they have a defective view of God, a lousy view of humanity, and a dopey idea of what life is all about.

They have bought all the foolishness about tolerance, offending nobody, victimhood, and safe spaces. They think we should really only worry about one thing; never upsetting anyone or hurting anyone’s feelings. I get this foolishness from Christians all the time sadly.

For example, one person recently said something really quite odd on a social media site: “If you do a thematic study of distress and safety in the bible, you will find that God is deeply concerned with any feelings of distress or unsafety that are related to judgement or fear of judgement.”

Oh really? So hundreds of passages, including the two from Hebrews I cite above, do not belong in the Bible? Presumably so much of what Jesus said should not be there either. After all, he talked more about hell and judgment to come than anyone else.

He sure was not worried about hurting people’s feelings or intent on keeping the masses happy. He spoke tough words and made tough demands on all those who might follow him. Simply consider how he approached the rich young ruler. Jesus laid it on the line for this guy, and did not worry if he felt distressed or upset.

He made really rough demands on him, and did not seek to make him feel comfortable about himself. Indeed, we read that when “the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Matthew 19:22). I wrote this up further here: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/05/25/discipleship-making-things-difficult/

And here: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/10/08/its-time-to-get-serious/

No, God is not all that concerned if we feel offended or upset or distressed. No, he does not want to set up little “safe spaces” for us to feel comfortable in. No, he does not sugar-coat the gospel message so that no one is offended or feels bad. No, he does not offer “trigger warnings” first before he speaks. No, he is not into letting us off the hook by making us feel good.

He wants us to repent of our sin and turn from our repugnant rebellion or face his just judgment. And he wants us to approach him on his terms, not ours. Getting back to the opening lines of this piece, the God we serve is a God that we should tremble at.

He is that sort of God. I recently went through the Bible and recorded the many times this one word is used: “tremble”. It is found quite often, so let me just offer some instances of it here. They make it clear what sort of God exists, and what he expects as he calls us into relationship with himself.  Continue reading

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56 Responses to Are You Trembling Yet?

  1. Carl J. Fielstra December 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    Images of an angry God, impossible to please, caused me to flee rather than follow. As a little child I recall fear and terror after our Pastor screamed out the pain and everlasting sorrow of hell. Sadly, his descriptions of heaven, i.e., streets of gold, pearl gates, no sin -and thus, “no fen”- constant singing, no sleeping, and eternal feasting sounded boring.

    I recall praying that Jesus’ return would be long delayed and that God would just leave me alone until I was old (30-years old, in my mind) so I could have guilt-free fun and then take me back so I wouldn’t end up in hell, even though I wasn’t keen on heaven either.

    My point is simply this: when teaching about God’s intolerance of sin and unrighteousness also teach about His unmatched grace, benevolence, kindness, and mercy upon those who are His children.

    It was not until I came to considering God’s love for me did I begin to desire fellowship with him.

    • Edwitness December 17, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

      There is good reason for that Carl. The Bible says it is the GOODNESS of God that leads a man to repentance.
      Rom.2:4,
      “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

      This does not mean God winks at sin. Just that the knowledge of sin is not what draws us to God. As you said, it made you want to avoid God. Like when you owe someone money and you don’t want to pay it back. The last thing you want to see is them coming down the sidewalk toward you.

      But, God’s love lets you know that He does not hold it against you. The reason you are condemned is your choice.
      John3:18,
      “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

      That in fact, even when you were dead and doing everything you could to make sure that you would go to hell. He conquered death for you so that you could have life through Him.
      Col.2:13,
      “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened (made alive) together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

      That is the grace of God. His love in action. And all you need to do to receive this love is to trust in, cling to, and rely upon Him.

      Blessings:-}

  2. Manny1962 December 17, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Thats called Jesus Christ and His Gospel. We can’t please The Father without the Son, the fact that The Son reconciled us to His perfect Father, does not change the Holiness of God. God nor His word ever change………….He is The Judge of the universe. Fire and brimstone preaching has been largely replaced by “feel-good-warm and fuzzy-none judgemental” blather coming from false teachers telling swaths of congregations that it is OK to live as one pleases because one has read a prayer, walked down an aisle. Judgement has to be tempered with love, but not at the expense of biblical truth.

  3. Sola Scriptura December 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    One of the things I come across all of the time when I discuss who Jesus Christ truly is with megachurch Christians, is their misunderstanding of God’s totality. He is indeed love, mercy and grace – to the point where he suffered a humiliating and brutal death to save us from the eternal hell we all deserve – but he is also unmitigated vengeance. It is so critical that we understand and communicate everything God is, so that people understand what exactly will happen to them and all those they love lest they repent. Jesus spoke of the eternal fires of hell more than he spoke about heaven. Why? Because he wanted us all to understand the reality of ignoring him or following a false, hippie-fied version of him. I am so thankful for the mercy Jesus Christ offered me by washing me clean from my wretchedness…and I am so grateful that when the passage quoted below takes place, and it will, that I will be behind him, and not in front of him…because this is how it’s all going to go down in the end:

    “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LORDS.”
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:11-16‬ ‭KJV‬‬
    http://bible.com/1/rev.19.11-16.kjv

    • Manny1962 December 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

      Amen and amen brother, a correct view of God, merciful, but holy and beyond reproach, without His Son there is no approaching Him……… People want God to be their notion of what God “should” be, not as He revelead Himself to us in scripture, it is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of The Living God, thanks be to The Father for The Son! Amen!

  4. JM December 18, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    The “whole counsel of God”. Very good!

  5. Manny1962 December 18, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    Safe spaces, triggers, no offense, censored speech……….. I hate to put it so crassly, but we have a generation of dimwits coming out of universities. These young people will not be ready for the world, and what makes it so heartbreaking is this movement had already infiltrated the “church.”

    Under the guise of being accepting and tolerant, the church compromises with the world, their faulty logic is ridiculous, you have to be appealing to the culture, be relevant so they will hear the “message.” The problem is “the message” is nothing more than a watered down version of the Gospels, it doesn’t save, it doesn’t lead to repentance, it’s feel-good psycho-babble…………….. How can you repent and be forgiven if in your self absorbed mind you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong?

    • Maggie December 18, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      I think this very short WWUTT video is relevant:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf-4Zx44DSQ

      • Edwitness December 18, 2016 at 11:59 am #

        Hey Maggie and all commenting here,
        Fun video and very instructive. And some interesting comments from others too.
        But, I have a question regarding how to witness to a Gentile. Which by virtue of being most of the people in the world, is the person we are more likely to meet than an Israelite.

        Why would I ever tell a Gentile that he is guilty of breaking a law that he was never required by God to keep?

        The law was given to the nation Israel, not the whole world. So what sin is the Gentile accountable to God for committing?
        Please don’t say Adam’s because Ezekiel makes it clear that “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20
        The “federal head” thing is an invention of an Augustinian perversion of the scriptures.

        And as a side note, the scripture says that GOD IS LOVE. It never says God IS vengeance. He DOES vengeance, but He IS love.

        Blessings:-} brothers and sisters

        • A.L. December 19, 2016 at 8:28 am #

          Good Morning Edwitness,

          Prayfylly and humbly read the book of Romans and you will clearly understand why.

          • Edwitness December 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

            A.L. ,
            Thank you:-)
            Blessings:-}

        • Q December 27, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

          Hi Edwitness,

          Your question – “The law was given to the nation Israel, not the whole world. So what sin is the Gentile accountable to God for committing?” is a good one.

          I think you are asking – what sin were people guilty of before the Mosaic law (in which only the Jews were under) and what sin was the gentile guilty of before Christ rose from the dead?

          I think the following is a partial answer.

          We know from Romans 5:13 sin was in the world before the law and we know that God was dealing with men as sinners (death reigned) even though they did not transgress the same way Adam did. Adam’s sin had consequences for all mankind.

          At the time of Noah it was said “…the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” and we know that Noah was a preacher of righteousness and that he did not spare the ancient world. And in Romans 1 there is a list of what men became because they did not honor God or give him thanks and they knew what they were doing deserved death. It also says evidence of creation and their conscience (is a law to themselves) is something they will be judged for. So can we conclude that men knew something of God’s will and the punishment. I think so.

          Jew’s were under the Mosaic law from when it was instituted until Christ rose from the dead. The giving of the law to the Jews wasn’t done in a vacuum Many (probably the whole world) knew that the God of the Jews had delivered them out of Egypt and gave them a law and probably many new some of that law – like the 10 commandments. The Ethiopian eunuch went to Jerusalem looking for something that he apparently didn’t find and was still looking? so God sent Phillip. The making of a covenant with Israel and not the rest of the world would tell the gentile he was separated from his creator…the thoughtful gentile would have to ask himself “why am I separated from the God of the Jews and is there a greater God………?”

          God did not leave himself without witness.

          Since Jesus rose from the dead people are guilty of sin because they do not believe in Christ Jesus and sin is clearly defined. Today no one is under the Mosaic law but the law of Christ.

          I guess you could say gentiles and Jews of all times were guilty of rebellion and unbelief.

          • Edwitness December 28, 2016 at 1:07 am #

            Amen to that Q. Thank you. Not every jot and tiddle, at least the way I see it, but you got the gist of it:-)
            Here is how God has shown this to me.

            As Adam was made a natural being (Gen:2:7) and we have inherited that from Adam (1Cor.15:45-48), man is not equipped to “know” a spiritual God on a spiritual level. John4:24.
            This is why man generally chooses to relate to what is natural. Because this is all he is equipped to relate to from birth. And is also why Jesus came so that man could be born of the Spirit (John3:5,6) and becoming spiritual he could then relate to God who is a spirit. John4:24
            When he relates to the created thing instead of the Creator he is in unbelief. Idolatry. Rom.1. This unbelief is “the sin of the world” the Holy Spirit was sent into the world to convict men of. John16:8-11.
            And is what “concludes all men under sin” since Christ came. Gal.3:22.
            The fact that man is natural and not spiritual (1Cor.15:45,46) is the result of the way God originally made Adam (Gen.2:7) and this was passed to his descendants. Not a “sin nature” that supposedly was a result of Adam’s transgression.
            The nature of man is that he is natural just like God made Adam to be. The only difference between the way God made Adam and the way we are now is that “death reigns” because man has no access to the tree of life. This happened as a result of Adam’s transgression. God did not want man to live forever now that he had the knowledge of good and evil. Gen.3:22
            The sin that was in the world before the law was this unbelief. Idolatry. As Jesus said, it is “the sin of the world”. John16:8,9. Other sins were not held to their account because there was no law against it until Moses. Rom.4:15 and 5:13
            But, for the Gentile their accountable sin was only unbelief. Idolatry. James4:17. Because they have never been under the law. Rom.2:14. Which means they are not responsible for keeping it.
            And now since Christ came and abolished the law all are held accountable for the same sin. The sin of unbelief. That is why Jesus is the only way to eternal life. John14:6.
            And this is why once we are saved we are always saved. Works, good or bad, have no more to do with whether we stay saved or not, than they did with how we were saved in the first place. Only knowing Him saves us and keeps us saved. John17:3

            Blessings:-} brother

          • Q December 28, 2016 at 1:28 am #

            Edwitness,

            Can you point to anyone who interprets scripture as you do? Particularly the non-sin nature but death thing?

            Or are you the only one who understands it the way you do?

          • Edwitness December 28, 2016 at 2:51 am #

            Hey Q,
            Yes. A professor at Melodyland Bible college in California that I sat under for years for one. Ray Shelton wrote a book that used to be online at a website called deathtolife. I have a copy of it. The book is called The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation. I copied it off of my computer, with his permission of course, because I don’t think he ever got it printed.
            He was a graduate of Wheaton College. He had a list of names that believed and taught as he did from the early church. And it is my understanding that the apostle Paul taught this. Because that’s where I got it in the first place. Though Ray’s teaching did do some fine-tuning for me.
            The alternative is the legalism passed down from Augustine that most adhere to in today’s church. It is a lie satan has foisted upon the church to keep them in bondage to the law of sin and death described by Paul in Rom.7.
            While people who believe Augustinian doctrine can be saved, they are nevertheless in bondage to the law to one degree or another. The very thing Paul tried so hard to break people free from in his epistles.
            Did you ever wonder why Paul asked the question as if from his listeners about sinning that grace might abound? Rom.6:1,2. The funny thing is that the question they answered Paul with is the same question I get from those with whom I share about what I believe God has shown me about grace.
            It’s because they (Jews) had as difficult a time understanding sin apart from the law as most of the church does today. So their question was based on the idea that if there is no law to be accountable to, that must mean they can do whatever they want without any consequences. Just like the church thinks today. So they keep themselves under the law, which in turn gives sin power over them.
            But, this is in opposition to Paul’s teaching. Paul’s answer is that they should avoid sin, not because the law says to. But, because having been made free from it, why would they go back into bondage to it by serving it. Rom.6:16-
            “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

            So, yes Q, I do know others that believe as I do. And I have met many Christians who have trouble believing the sin nature doctrine, but can’t quite put their finger on how to fix it. So I share the truth with as many as will hear it. I put into practice what we are told about being like the Bereans.
            If you will go through the context of each place you think the scripture is saying sin nature you will see it isn’t there unless you read it INTO the passage. You would not have to do this if it were the truth.
            The only reference I have found to what man’s nature is, where it actually uses the word, is found in 1Cor.15:45-48. Any others that many churches claim to be man’s nature are just behaviors. Gal.5 etc. That kind of thinking is the Greek philosophical thinking that Paul rejected, but that Augustine built his doctrine upon.

            Blessings:-}

    • Edwitness December 18, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

      Hey Manny,
      Repentance is turning around in your mind, right? Changing your mind from something to something.
      In the case of Christianity, repentance means to turn from the worshipping of the false god to the worship of the true God. To stop trusting in the false god and start trusting in the true God.
      The question you asked was “How can you repent and be forgiven if in your self absorbed mind you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong?” Which is a good question for the Israelite. Because they were given the law to keep. But, Gentiles were not.
      Rom.2:14. “For when the Gentiles, WHICH HAVE NOT THE LAW, do BY NATURE the things contained in the law, these, HAVING NOT THE LAW, are a law unto themselves:”
      (In this passage we see two things that tell us the Gentile’s responsibility toward God is different from Israel’s.
      1. That the Gentile never had the law and
      2. That his nature (the one most Christians say is utterly sinful) is what gave him the ability to keep the things written in the law.
      Both of these are rejected in popular teaching today even though, as you can see here, they are Biblically sound.)

      This is why Israel considered others dogs. In Mt.15:26 Jesus said to the Canaanite woman, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.”
      So when Paul tells us “Because the law worketh wrath: FOR WHERE NO LAW IS, THERE IS NO TRANSGRESSION.” We can see that the Gentiles are not under any obligation to keep it. So even though they might break them, they are therefore not held accountable to the consequences of not keeping them either. Only Israel was. That is, until Jesus came and abolished them. Eph.2:15

      Blessings:-}

  6. Stephen James Schneider December 21, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    This is my 1st post of the 7 posts maximum that I am allowed to post today, December 21, 2016:

    Hi Sola Scriptura:

    When you wrote the following:

    “One of the things I come across all of the time when I discuss who Jesus Christ truly is with megachurch Christians, is their misunderstanding of God’s totality. He is indeed love, mercy and grace – to the point where he suffered a humiliating and brutal death to save us from the eternal hell we all deserve – but he is also unmitigated vengeance. It is so critical that we understand and communicate everything God is, . . . ”

    I’m not sure, but I think you may have the wrong picture of who and what God is in His totality. Consider Exodus 20:5-6 in which God describes Himself:

    “5 You shall not bow down to them [false gods] or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

    What this verse teaches us is that God Himself is stating that His perfect love (and, by extension, mercy) is FLAT OUT MINIMUM 250 times His perfect and terrible wrath!

    • Sola Scriptura December 21, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

      One of the passages that has encouraged me to do street ministry, and to evangelize pretty much everywhere I go…is this:

      2 Corinthians 5:
      10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
      11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

      ***Knowing therefore the TERROR of the Lord…we persuade men. Paul also talks about perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and that God is a consuming Fire. Peter and Paul speak of the fear of God constantly, as does David in the Psalms. It is a huge part of the picture of who God is, and if you know the scriptures, you can’t miss it…yet so many do because, well, it just doesn’t seem right to them, and it isn’t what they think God should be, especially that nice ole Jesus who is my best pal !!
      God is full of deep, wonderful, tender love and mercy…but, through the scriptures, I also know the terror of the Lord, as did Paul. It is the terror of his final judgement, which Jesus spoke of more than heaven. Few, especially in the west, are honest enough to confront people with the eternal, infernal consequences of rejecting the great love and mercy of our God. His judgement is real, and it is forever. If we don’t repent, we will drink it’s bitter and fiery gall…forever.
      I don’t want people to have a false picture of God,and I will not allow it. I do not want people to assume that every little thing gonna be alright….if they are nice to people and pray to a fake Jesus they heard at Ignite/Mosaic/Extreme, etc. church.

      This is a great summary of what God wants…fear him and serve him not with words, but with all of our hearts. Deuteronomy 10:12
      And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
      I

      • Edwitness December 21, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

        Amen Sola Scriptura:-)
        Blessings:-}

  7. lyn December 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

    Three Greek words are used in the New Testament which present different phases of repentance. First, metanoeo, which means a change of mind (Matt. 3:2; Mark 1:15, etc.). Second, metanolomai which means a change of heart (Matt. 21:29, 32; Heb. 7:21, etc.). Third, metanoia, which means a change of course or life (Matt. 3:8; 9:13; Acts 20:21). The three must go together for a genuine repentance. Many experience a change of mind: they are instructed, and know better, but they continue to defy God. Some are even exercised in heart or conscience, yet they continue in sin. Some amend their ways, yet not from love to God and hatred of sin. Some are informed in mind and uneasy in heart, who never reform their lives. The three must go together.- A.W. Pink from https://www.the-highway.com/repent4_Pink.html

    • berlorac December 22, 2016 at 11:41 am #

      Thanks for that, lyn. Just to add to it, I would remind all that these acts of repentance are the work the Holy Spirit. You and I know this, but there are those here who believe man is “neutral” in the eyes of God, not a sinner, and that man, therefore, has “free will” to repent.

      It is tiring to keep hearing the harping of the Gnostic, man-centered false teaching that is so rampant. It’s good to see you here again with this timely post.

      One note of caution: Remember that in the Acts 20:21 reference, Paul is speaking to the Ephesian elders, so that this type of repentance (a change of life) is applicable to believers, and we don’t always walk in repentance. We often sin and fail to yield to the Spirit. But we don’t expect unbelievers to lead such a life of repentance before God; indeed, they cannot.

      • Edwitness December 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

        Berlorac,
        You said “We often sin and fail to yield to the Spirit.”
        But, John says;
        1John3:6-9
        “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
        Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
        He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
        Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

        So who’s right? You or John?

        • berlorac December 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

          Edwitness, I know you have your own theology down pat, but for what it’s worth, those verses don’t mean what you think they mean.

          Study the Greek and you will see that “hamartanei” in 1 John 3:8b means that the devil has been sinning since the beginning; the “hamartanein” of 1 John 3:9b is also present active infinitive and it means that the believer cannot continue on sinning, or making a life of sin. Why? Because he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit Who cannot sin; this is why we are to yield to the Spirit.

          Paul asks, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2). The Christian can, and does, sin. Should we sin the more so that grace will abound the more? God forbid.

          “Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under grace? God forbid” (Romans 6:15). We know that where there is no law there is no TRANSGRESSION, but this doesn’t mean there’s no sin. Transgression is a particular type of sin, one that is against law. In Romans 6:14-15, where he’s talking about life without the Law (and, therefore, no transgression), he acknowledges that we are still able to sin, but we are warned not to.

          Paul writes Romans less than a year after he writes 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians were dealing with all kinds of sin. They were not under the Law; therefore they were not transgressing the Law. Yet, they were committing acts of sin for which they needed reproof and rebuke and exhortation.

          • Edwitness December 23, 2016 at 12:20 am #

            Very good.? Berlorac,
            And don’t forget, that sin you love to focus on so much…… “(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin IS NOT IMPUTED when there is no law.” Rom.5:13

            That’s why I focus on not missing Jesus (the mark) instead of trying so hard not to be naughty:-)

            Blessings:-}

          • berlorac December 23, 2016 at 11:01 am #

            Edwitness, there would be less need to “focus on sin” on this blog if you would stop saying that man doesn’t sin, that man is “neutral” in God’s eyes rather than someone who is dead in sins.

            I’d much rather focus on grace and justification and the work of the Holy Spirit, but you jump on every post with your philosophy of man. You refuse you read Romans 1-3 because it puts an end to your philosophy. Should Paul have not written those chapters? You always start at chapter 5 and I will continue to stress the importance of those first chapters as part and parcel of Paul’s theology.

            Trying “not to be naughty” is your smug retort, but you have no idea. Trying not to “sin” is not what my life looks like, so don’t make assumptions.

          • Edwitness December 24, 2016 at 12:50 am #

            Berlorac,
            Ok, here’s one from Rom.1-3.
            2:14- “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, DO BY NATURE the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:…”

            This passage, among other things, explains absolutely that man’s nature is not the problem with why he sins. It says that it is his nature that makes it possible for him to “DO THE THINGS CONTAINED IN THE LAW”.

            There is not one part of Rom.1-3 or anywhere else in the scriptures that says otherwise.

            Does man sin? Of course. But, where we differ is why man sins and just what that sin is in the New Testament.
            Rom.5:12 and John16:9. It was Jesus’ becoming the final sacrifice that made knowing or not knowing Him the criteria for sin. Not the law. This is why Paul said “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Gal.3:22 This promise only comes through faith in Him. Rom.4:5- “But to him that worketh not, but BELIEVETH ON HIM that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
            It has nothing to do with the law one way or the other.
            This means that since Jesus came unbelief in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, is the sin of the world that the Holy Spirit was sent to convict the world of. John16

            Get your eyes on Jesus and off of trying so hard to not be naughty and you will come out from under the law and be released from sin’s power. Because, “The sting of death is sin; and THE STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW.”
            1Cor.15:56

            Blessings:-}

            PS Grace is not defined Biblically as unmerited favor. That’s man’s wisdom. Not God’s.

          • berlorac December 24, 2016 at 11:40 am #

            Yes, Edwitness, they are a law unto themselves, which means their conscience either accuses or excuses. The man who is not born from above still has a conscience, unless it be seared. You’re making your pet verses say things they do not mean.

            [Does man sin? Of course.] Well, that’s the first time I’ve seen you admit it.

            And there you go again accusing me of legalism. I’m not sure why you think resorting to insults will help your case. No, it’s not legalism, just more precise doctrine concerning the plight of man apart from Christ. The remedy for man is believing in the finished work of Christ – that Christ died for sins, was buried, was raised on the third day, and was seen in the flesh before ascending back to heaven.

          • Edwitness December 24, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

            Berlorac:-)
            You said “The remedy for man is believing in the finished work of Christ – that Christ died for sins, was buried, was raised on the third day, and was seen in the flesh before ascending back to heaven.”
            AMEN!
            PS Legalism is when the law is applied in any way to express what it is that God did to save mankind.

          • berlorac December 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

            Edwitness, Paul says that his argument “establishes the Law” (Romans 3:31). How? Because he shows that the Law makes sin exceedingly sinful. If the Jew, who had the covenants and the oracles of God and the Law and everything that they needed as the peculiar people of God, could not see that he was helpless to keep the Law, but was guilty of violating it, then no one can keep the Law. The Law makes it plain that everyone falls short of the glory of God. This is the argument Paul makes in Romans 3:19. All the world, Jew and Gentile, is brought under the judgment of God. Paul’s argument establishes the Law.

            In other words, Israel was taken out as a sample. God used that sample to prove to the world that all the world is condemned. If the highly privileged sample cannot be obedient, cannot help but walk in the flesh, then no one can.

            Paul is not, nor am I, saying that anyone — Jew or Gentile — should try to keep the Law. Not at all. But the Law is holy and good because it concludes all — Jew and Gentile — under sin (Romans 3:9; Galatians 3:21-22). Why is this good? So that God can be both just and the Justifier by His propitiatory sacrifice for both Jew and Gentile, not the Jew only. God has concluded all under sin that He may have mercy upon all, both Jew and Gentile (Romans 11:32).

          • Edwitness December 24, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

            Berlorac,
            First, you misunderstand what Paul is saying when he says the law is established by faith. You are not thinking it through. But, only applying your sin nature thinking to the passage.
            When he says “…God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” you should ask the question “what is established about the law because of faith?” Because Paul makes it clear that the law has nothing to do with faith, right? Doesn’t he in fact say that the works of the law make faith void? Rom.4:14-16. OK.
            Then how is the law “established” because of faith? Because it showed that it was never able to nor was it ever intended for the purpose of saving anyone. Gal.3:21- “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: FOR IF THERE HAD BEEN A LAW GIVEN WHICH COULD HAVE GIVEN LIFE, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”
            It is for this reason Paul says he considered the righteousness he had from keeping the law blameless to be “loss” and “dung”.
            And it is for this reason that righteousness comes through faith. And it is also for this reason that the law was abolished. Because it can not give life. It was never intended to.

            This is what faith has established about the law.

            And the law only ever being given to Israel to keep was for the purpose of keeping Israel alive long enough to bring the Messiah into the world. Gal.3:25- “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

            Your referrence to Rom3:23 is almost blasphemous. You make the law God when you say that “The Law makes it plain that everyone falls short of the glory of God.” Because it is not the law that shows anyone that. It is the lack of a relationship with God that shows that.
            Because when we “come short” it is a lack of something that we are in need of. Not an inability to measure up to the law. (The scripture says the Jews could keep the law blameless. Luke1:6; Phil.3:6; and Job1:1,8.) And what we lack is God’s glory. You say His glory is the law. But the relationship says His glory is His very presence in our lives. Which is why Jesus said “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John17:3
            The interpretation you gave of Rom.3:23 shows how legalistic your understanding is. The law is not God. Nor is it the character of God. God IS love. It was only an instrument God used to preserve Israel as a nation until faith came.
            It puts into legal terms behaviors that do not make the person obeying them the sacrificially loving person God desires. This is why the law can not save. It can make you behave. But, it can not make you love. Only a personal relationship with God can do that. Because then the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. Rom.5
            This is why the law had to be done away with. Not because it didn’t do it’s job. It did. That’s why faith establishes the law. It shows that the time for the law has passed because it’s job is done.
            The Gentile never had the law. Rom.2:14. So, when Paul is saying the Gentile was able to do what was written in the law, it was that he chose to love. But, not because the law said to. The law never said that. He loves because he wants to. He has God’s love in him and shares that love with others.

            To whatever degree you allow the law to be a part of your life in Christ. It is to that degree that you are that “wretched man” Paul describes in Rom.7.
            Don’t be that man berlorac. Jesus died so you would be free from sin’s power. 1Cor.15:56
            “The sting of death is sin; and THE STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW.” Bring yourself out from under the law so you can experience the kind of freedom that caused Paul to say;
            “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1Cor.10:23
            In this he says that he was free to continue sinning and would still be a Christian, but that he would not allow himself to be under it’s power or for himself to be a stumbling block. He wanted only God to have power in his life. That’s what the love of God does and what the law could never do.

            Blessings:-}

          • berlorac December 26, 2016 at 11:44 am #

            Edwitness, I never said the Law was established by faith. I never said God’s glory was the Law. Re-read what I wrote and stop twisting my words.

            You say, [It was only an instrument God used to preserve Israel as a nation until faith came.] No, it was to make sin exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13).

            You say, [So, when Paul is saying the Gentile was able to do what was written in the law, it was that he chose to love. But, not because the law said to. The law never said that.] Ed, the Law is summed up in these two things: That you shall LOVE God and LOVE your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). When the Gentile, who was never under the Law, “chooses to love,” he shows the work of the law. But this does not make him righteous.

            And there you go again, accusing me of being a legalist. All you do is twist my words. My statement above only points out God’s unfathomable wisdom to use Israel and the Law AS A SAMPLE to conclude all under sin SO THAT HE MAY HAVE MERCY UPON ALL. EVEN UPON THE GENTILES WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN, NOR EVER WILL BE, UNDER THE LAW!

            I rejoice that I am free from the Law. But I am not so blind that I cannot see and admit that I often fail to yield to the Spirit. Judging myself in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 11:31-32) is not Law.

            Goodbye, Ed. Type away if you will…

          • Edwitness December 27, 2016 at 3:04 am #

            Berlorac,
            This is the question you never answer.
            When you said “My statement above only points out God’s unfathomable wisdom to use Israel and the Law AS A SAMPLE to conclude all under sin SO THAT HE MAY HAVE MERCY UPON ALL. EVEN UPON THE GENTILES WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN, NOR EVER WILL BE, UNDER THE LAW!”
            How is it possible for the Gentiles to be concluded under sin according to the law if they were never under it?

            “You say, [It was only an instrument God used to preserve Israel as a nation until faith came.] No, it was to make sin exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13).”
            The point of making sin exceedingly sinful was to effect consequences for breaking it. Because putting them under it made them responsible to keep them. Those consequences are partly what kept Israelites from breaking them. Which in turn is what preserved them until faith came which allowed the law then to be abolished.

            And it is the scripture that says the law is established by faith. I thought you were agreeing with it. Sorry. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Rom.3:31
            In this context Paul is saying the law is not voided by faith, but it is established by faith. Faith proves there was never a law given that could give life. By this faith establishes the true purpose of the law. Israel’s preservation until faith came. Gal.3:21-25

            Blessings:-}

          • berlorac December 26, 2016 at 11:47 am #

            Correction: I never said the Law was established by faith IN THE WAY THAT YOU HAVE INTERPRETED MY WORDS.

          • Q December 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

            berlorac and Edwitness,

            The Purpose of the Law – http://www.arielm.org/dcs/pdf/mbs021m.pdf

            Page 21

          • Edwitness December 27, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

            Hey Q,
            There are two covenants in the Bible between God and man. Two.
            Thanks:-)

            Blessings:-}

          • Q December 27, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

            Hey Edwitness,

            You’re usually more verbose. Care to explain.

            Would the rainbow be a sign of a covenant God made with man?

            Let see, with your number of only two, the other one would be the one he made with David about building him a house?

          • Edwitness December 28, 2016 at 1:22 am #

            I’m sorry Q,
            I will try to be more “verbose” this time. Just kidding:-)
            The two covenants are these.
            1. Hebrews9:1- “Then verily the FIRST COVENANT had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.”
            The Bible calls the covenant made with Israel through Moses the “first covenant”.

            2. Hebrews9:15-18- “And for this cause he is the mediator of the NEW TESTAMENT(covenant), that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the FIRST TESTAMENT, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
            FOR WHERE A TESTAMENT IS, THERE MUST ALSO OF NECESSITY BE THE DEATH OF THE TESTATOR.
            For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
            Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.”

            If the Bible doesn’t call it a testament, why would you? Promises are not covenants.

            Blessings:-}

          • Edwitness December 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

            Hey Q,
            There is a website for reading more on this at http://phulax.tripod.com/death2life.html.
            What this website does is to give a synopsis of the book. And an attempt to show the real problems that Christians encounter when reading into the scriptures the legalism of Augustinianism.
            You will notice that what I have written to you here in our discussions does not agree with all aspects of what Ray has taught in his book. But, on the whole we do agree and his premise is sound.
            And that is that legalism is orthodoxy for most of the church today. And it is a ball and chain around the church’s theological feet as the apostle Paul describes in Rom.7.

            Blessings:-}

          • Q December 28, 2016 at 2:11 am #

            Edwitness,

            A covenant is a promise and sometimes included a blood sacrifice, like the one made to Abraham, some didn’t like the rainbow. Check your verses above in the original.

            Hebrews is contrasting the Mosaic law which cannot save with a sacrifice that can. It is not including all covenants. Do a word search on how the word covenant is used in the bible.

            Does anyone interpret the bible like you do?

          • Edwitness December 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

            Also Q,
            There is a very good website that gives an explanation in favor of the rejection of the sin nature doctrine and it’s legalistic tentacles. It is at http://www.gospeltruth.net/menbornsinners/mbs03.htm
            Blessings:-]

      • lyn December 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

        Berlorac

        I have been banned from posting here because I made mention of John MacArthur’s unscriptural support of taking the mark. The only reason my comment posted was because I used my computer from work {on my break of course}. You can get in touch with me through my blog – iamhis-lyn.blogspot.com.

        • Manny1962 December 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

          Hi Lyn! Good to hear from you!

          • lyn December 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

            Hi Manny,

            It’s good to see you standing firm. God’s blessings to you and all His elect.

          • Manny1962 December 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

            Amen sister! I’m a little overwhelmed with all that’s been happening in the world of late! It’s happening so fast! Russia (king of the north) Persia, China and her new cohorts (kings of the east), the raid de kind of America, the restructuring of Europe! Even Turkey now under Russia’s sphere of influence! India going cashless, Australia following suit! WOW! OH, PLUS THE WHOLESALE DEFECTION OF CHURCHIANITY! Merry Christmas Lyn! God bless you sister, the best for you and yours! Maranatha!

        • berlorac December 22, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

          Well, lyn, maybe if you behave yourself, you can stick around. 🙂

          • lyn December 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

            Hey brother,

            Bless you for pointing out the errors on this thread. May God give you strength to continue doing so. I know from previous experience on these boards there is much error in his theology.

            In any case Berlorac, may God bless you this coming new year, and Manny as well. May God bless His elect and strengthen us; the false teaching of so many is rampant and is coming at us from all sides. Only the coming of Christ can bring to an end all this false teaching and heresy.

            As for ‘behaving myself’, lol. I won’t be welcome here again because I will not bow the knee to JM. So be it :^)

  8. Manny1962 December 21, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    I have never seen the wholesale rejection of scripture as it is happening today, from outright denying every aspect of the word of God to the new “Gospel Of Man” being implemented and readily bought by the masses. I’ve read what those that do “drive-by” postings here write when their favorite idol is negatively spoken of, or their unbiblical theology questioned. They cannot fathom a just and righteous God, a God Who is holy and beyond reproach, their god is a god who is “supposed” to accept sinful lives without repentance, without consequences, a god who is to be at our beck and call…………. Truly the last days are upon us. The blind leading the blind.

    • berlorac December 22, 2016 at 11:48 am #

      Amen, Manny. I’m not so concerned about the obvious pastor-idols that are sometimes defended here as I am with the more subtle false doctrines that seem to go unnoticed. May we be so thoroughly grounded in the Scriptures that we recognize these “philosophies” that are perhaps more damaging. Remember the subtle lie of the serpent. A lot of truth mixed in with the lie along with a pleasing and generous personality.

      We are indeed in the last days. Maranatha!

  9. Manny1962 December 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    Amen B! Amen brother! There are so many twisting and denying scripture to fit their sins and still call themselves Christians that its beyond apalling! I think many would rather discard the moniker Christian, but are superstitiously afraid! Like knocking on wood for “good luck!”

    By the way, merry Christmas if we don’t talk till after! May our good and gracious God bless you and yours!

    • berlorac December 22, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

      Yes, let us be thankful and awestruck by the wisdom of God in sending the Son to be born of a virgin and fulfill His Word.

      May God bless you richly, Manny, you and all your house!

  10. Manny1962 December 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    I didn’t know where to post this, so here goes:

    Amy, Marsha, Ed, Berlorac and every other Christian sister and brother I have interacted with, along with all those that love our precious God and His Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, may He bless each and one of you, may He keep His eyes upon us and allow us to fulfill the great commission to His glory, may He keep us from the coming judgement and wickedness that so rapidly is engulfing this world, may He open the eyes of so many that come here and may this site be a lamp for those groping for knowledge, may He keep us in the straight and narrow path, always seeking His will and may He protect us against the wicked one. May His will be our will and may we be found faithful. Merry Christmas and God bless everyone! Maranatha!

    • Edwitness December 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

      Same to you Manny and all you mentioned.
      May God bless you all greatly as we await His return for His bride.
      Merry CHRISTmas!
      Maranatha!!
      Blessings:-}

  11. Maggie December 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    There are a lot of people in pain during the holidays who need to hear the Good News. I pray the Holy Spirit leads us to share with those who are waiting to hear.

    This website and my brothers and sisters in Christ are a blessing to me. Merry Christmas.

    • berlorac December 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

      And you have been a blessing to me, Maggie. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Manny1962 December 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      Merry Christmas Maggie, may our great and wonderful Lord bless you richly!

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