Salvation By Grace Through Faith Cannot Be Lost or Given Back to Jesus
by gonzodave coulon
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The author would like those who are kind enough to read this article to please leave a comment or PM (private message) concerning any interest in the "finished manuscript" that is proposed here.
How well do you understand why there are two different salvations? After saving faith, one system is dependent upon Jesus + nothing for final salvation. And, the other system is dependent upon Jesus Christ + you for final salvation.
Would further reading and a detailed exposition of this theme be helpful in your understanding of salvation? Has the author made the theme of the work clear to you? Your answers and comments will help with the Ebook publication. The author appreciates any and all of your comments. Thank you in advance.
The following is excerpted from my unfinished, "non-professional," 1200 page, 500,00 word, and first-time journalistic effort, titled: God Save Me From Your Followers, or the gonzo journalism of grace. It is a trilogy that contains many citations from well recognized writers associated with Dallas Theological Seminary, who have contributed much to the understanding of God's graceful salvation accomplished wholly through the subsitutional and vicarious penal death of His Son, Christ Jesus.
In these heavily footnoted volumes many Bible verses and notes from a new translation, the NET Bible (www.bible.org), are included. Numerous familiar photographs are used to accent the different themes of God's grace. The titles are: The Paradox of Law and Grace, Glorious Grace!, and The Tribunal.
The first of these volumes will soon be available as an E-Book in the FaithWriters.com Bookstore. Soli Deo Gloria and God willing.
Proposal: Why Was This Book Written?
Proposal: Why Was This Book Written?
Why is Christianity confusing? What lies behind and below a “parolee” or “works” for merit salvation? Will a particular conception of divine forgiveness dictate the details of salvation? Would not the gospel message (good news of salvation) then, by necessity, need to conform to this conception of forgiveness? Forgiveness may either be divine or human. I strongly claim that one’s idea of forgiveness will distort or confirm the gospel of God’s grace as it is given in Scripture.
The words grace and gospel appear to be interchangeable (Gal 1:6; Acts 20:24). In Romans 1:16 grace, the power of God, and the gospel become interchangeable. In Galatians 5:7 and 1 Peter 1:22 the truth includes the gospel, but also, the entire body of Christian revelation that encompasses the teachings for daily living and the future of God’s church. In Romans 1:1 the term for the plan of redemption is called “the gospel of God.” Accordingly, the gospel is not just anything about the Bible or something that is claimed to be true. It is confined and limited to the “almost unbelievable good news” about the truth of God’s power of grace for salvation. The Apostle Paul states that “my gospel” was received by him as a revelation from God. Paul did not create a gospel. God used Paul to spread the truth of the power of God’s grace as the gospel (unbelievably good news) to save men’s souls through the “obedience of faith” in the Truth.
A gospel is preached by many with sincere get-up-and-go; but first and foremost, the gospel to be shared is of vital importance. The energy and conviction of the “messenger” is not the measure of powerful truth contained in the “message.” Judging by the comments contained in the inspired writings of the Apostle Paul, bluster contains very little truth.
Six Sigma quality assurance programs, used by many corporations, prove the human predisposition to adapt to a culture (i.e. family, corporate, religious, etc.) and then continue that culture. In like manner, Christian error is maintained generation after generation.
God’s “message of salvation” is designed for divine grace through belief in the truth of what He says. The imperative criteria is “what He says.” The gift of forgiveness, the gift of eternal life, and the gift of the righteousness of God can be found many times over in the New Testament. These gifts are received at the moment of saving belief.
For the reasons above, this writer has produced a demonstration of the above claims as the common scope of a three volume set. These volumes have been written from a different “point of view” and depth of detail. Book One – The Paradox of Law and Grace is an introduction to the principles discussed in this effort. Book Two – Glorious Grace is addressed to the individual in an exposition of the gospel of saving grace that is opposed by a populist “another gospel.” Book Three – The Tribunal is a court room scenario where the reader, as the unique jurist, receives testimony presented by the defendant of “another gospel,” and also, by a prosecuting attorney. This attorney-spokesman represents the offended and rightful owner of the gospel of the grace of God. In Book Three, the prosecution provides expert witnesses to support a list of indictments against “another gospel.”
No prior understanding of Christianity is needed. Common, every day assumptions and opinions are abundant background for the interested reader. The truth of the Bible (in its original autograph) is assumed throughout this work. This truth is used as the foundation of all arguments against a Christianity that teaches a peculiar forgiveness.
Only God’s Word Can Cure Spiritual Simplemindedness
In the opening verse of Romans, Paul claims he has been “separated unto the gospel of God.” His single-minded devotion was to the broadest possible description of the gospel. It would encompass all the truth of God’s redemption plan. Because of this Epistle, a believer today may become “wise [“well versed and wise” AMP] unto that which is good, and simple [#185 and #2676= unmixed, innocent. “innocent and guileless” AMP] concerning evil.” Thereby, one may begin to perceive what was in the mind of the Apostle Paul when he closed this grand Letter to the Church in Rome with a warning about “certain men.” What was the content of their deception? I believe this important consideration is obscured by a second doxology that is an early mention of the “mystery” of the NT church in Christ – the second Pauline revelation. This doxology is considered authentic, but quite possibly misplaced at 16:25-27.
The “men” under consideration lived in the capital city of the mightiest empire on earth which was centered in the pagan worship of a Super-Man (the Caesar). These unregenerate “false brothers” considered themselves members and leaders of the Roman church. This letter was written before Peter came to Rome, but after John Mark went to teach the Pauline revelations of Christian doctrines. This church was probably began by Christian Jews who returned from Pentecost after the death of Christ. The Jews (ref. Priscilla and Aquila, Acts 18:2, 26), not Gentile Christians, had been banished from Rome (49 A.D., Claudius) about seven years before this letter. A form of anti-Semitism and Gentile supremacy had possibly taken hold. Finally, it is probable that this church had a large number of influential members which would have made it a political “plum” for the ambitious. In short, it was not a persecuted church.
I think it imprudent to assume these unsaved “certain men” were not highly educated, well-to-do, or motivated by ambition. They were “deceiving the hearts of the simple.” Paul knew of these men by way of his numerous friends listed at the end of this letter. The reports of the inside details of distant churches by his “fellow laborers in Christ” were the impetus for many of his letters. Paul was detained from going to Rome in person. And, as a side note, Paul was considered more eloquent and forceful in his letters than he was in person. He states that the members had already learned the “doctrines” of Christianity. Paul predicts that when the Roman church members become “wise to good and simple to evil” that the God of Peace will soon “bruise Satan under their feet,” or drive out false teaching. For the reasons above, I suggest these “men” were a consideration for the Apostle to introduce himself to the Roman church with this great systematic “Manifesto of Christianity.” Paul’s Spirit inspired magnum opus was intended to counter the “good words and fair speeches” that capture “the hearts of the simple” throughout all of Christian history.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly: and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple [#172 and #2556=akakos, not wicked, unsuspecting. “unsuspecting and simpleminded” AMP]. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with. you Amen" (Rom 16: 17-20 KJV).
1 Rev 2:7 NET
2 1 John 3:23 NET
3 1 John 5:4-5 NET
4 Revelation 2:11ff NET
5 1 Corinthians 15:22 NET (cf. 1 Cor 15:51-58; Col 1:26)
6 Ephesians 5:11 NET
7 John 3:36 NET
8 Rom 5:18-21 NET (verse omission mine)
9 Luke 15:10 NET
10 Ibid., Vol 2, pp 176-84, cited in Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 3, pp 147-153
11 Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 2, p 362
12 1 Cor 15:47-50 NET (verse omission mine)
13 International Standard Bible, I, 321, 1915 edition. Cited in Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 7, p 27
14 Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 7, pp 26-27
15 Old Scofield Study System, Dr. C. I. Scofield, pp 1325, 1297
16 Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 7, p 194
Copyright 2007 by David Coulon. Use with credit.
Statement of the Author’s Purpose
"The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by His Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible."
Charles H. Spurgeon
This extended polemical discussion has been written because the distortion of the gospel message is such a wide-ranging theme. Also, this is not a sterilized account of the gospel that can be read by the average ten year-old and sent out by nationwide subscription to indolent pastors. Pastors, who are shepherds that prefer to avoid controversy by feeding the minds and hearts of the faithful with the pabulum of obedience to the “social gospel.” Which is the only gospel that can fit into the distorted boundaries claimed by a limited system of “parolee salvation.”
This paper would be considered gonzo journalism compared to what is distributed, preached, and discussed in most church gatherings. Despite the tremendous amount of Bible verses and expert commentary that is offered for consideration, some of the more reactionary types at these gatherings would promptly respond: It’s a lie from hell! and; It’s straight out of the devil’s mouth! Or worse yet, many would simply cast it off as an “opinion.”
God did not create and maintain His Word of Truth through the vagaries of thirty-five centuries to offer men a medium for the forming of opinions; rather, in the NT He desired to convey His message to three distinct ages. Ages in which three individual groups of mankind are offered different, but complete, blessings. The Old and New Testament together is a record of God’s many covenants with men from the past, the present age, and one future age. We live in the unpredicted, not-to-be-repeated “mystery” (Matthew chapter 13) age of grace. An age where the only divinely recognized distinction between the unsaved and the saved is trust in what God says about Jesus Christ. An age where men are “justified by faith” (Gal 3:24) not law (Rom 10:4; 2 Cor 3:11-14; Gal 3:19, 25). An age where nothing other than faith enters into God’s decision to save some and not others. Therefore, the critical and essential importance of an accurate understanding and defense of the gospel of saving grace against all forms of distortion cannot be overstated.
There are no new statements in these pages. I had the freedom to investigate and report, what, possibly, others are not motivated to observe because of their training or associations. Spiritual blindness is maintained by a force independent of men (2 Cor 4:4); yet man remains responsible for his own actions. More than half of religious professionals have never once read completely through the Bible. A similar number actually believe what they have read. Men do not become spontaneously dishonest until they become thoroughly deluded. This happens as they seek to mimic popular religion and/or politics.
In the New Testament (NT), excepting the recorded arguments of Jesus against the self-concerned Pharisees, there is little in the Epistles of the NT beyond condemnation and warnings about “certain men” and “false brothers” that would afford a comprehensive understanding of what false teaching included, added, or excluded from “the gospel.” Only a detailed study of 1 John will identify the false beliefs that prompted the denominational split in that 1st century church.
God raises His children to be messengers. Messengers, who, should they accept, are given the ability and then a task that Christ assigns to them. The person who ministered to the early churches, not the few appointed church offices of elders and deacons, was never decided by ballot nor considerations based on secular credentials. The accurate knowledge of the gospel should be the unifying common ground of all believers who share, and those who have been assigned to share, God’s message of divine grace with those who will believe. Many true believers know they are saved, just not exactly why or how. Neither do they know exactly why or how the other gospels they hear are false. Sadly, through no fault of God – but certainly known before the foundation of the world - self-appointed “juggling imposters” are preaching many gospels. This is the single and greatest “ancient” contributor to an unappealing Christian dishonesty witnessed by the unsaved.
The notable German author and patriotic martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, called for a reinterpretation of Christianity to attract an unconcerned secular world in the stormy days before the cataclysm of WW II. God has given man the richly laden Epistles to the Galatians, the Romans, the Ephesians, and the Hebrews. These are the interpretation of His timeless message and offer of saving grace to a modern secular world. The willing servant need only learn why and how “the message” applies to him before sharing this understanding with others who may be drawn to the truth of the powerful and living Word of God.
What Is Another Gospel?
This is a gospel without faith. It is a gospel of doubt. “Another gospel” is easily identified by its creed. Individual “professions of faith” will be grounded in pragmatism. A humble-pie is filled with the non-belief of the following statement: I continue to hope I will go to heaven; but I’ll believe it when I see it! Be it understood, the theory of Save Thyself is a demonstration of disbelief in the presence of the Cross. Such disbelief “cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Statement of Method
"Ignorance, intolerance, unteachableness, and slavish devotion to human leaders are the roots of doctrinal confusion with the attending evils which that confusion engenders. The names Calvinism and Arminianism may well be dismissed if only a clear understanding of the word of God may be gained. However, these appellations do represent, in the main, two conflicting schools of theological thought."
Lewis Sperry Chafer
The opposite of protest is to conform. This writer does not claim Calvinism to be the name of the truth contained in the Bible. That name must remain with Jesus Christ in the form of biblical Christianity. However, Arminianism is a proper term for a system of conformed theology (both intra and extra-biblical) that is in opposition to a Protestant reformed theology. However, historic reformed theology, though holding to an effectively saving view of how one is saved, is itself incomplete, namely:
A. THE FIRST PAULINE REVELATION AND THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER’S SALVATION: (1) “justification by faith” is only one of two vital Pauline revelations reclaimed by the original reformers in the 16th century, (2) The 17th century Protestant Arminian salvation doctrine disputes and distorts this vital assurance of God’s eternal sufficiency and care. Accordingly, Arminianism preaches a false, distorted gospel to the unsaved. A gospel so distorted and lacking in grace that it has no “power” to save anyone. A system of performance may only call upon the resources of self - “elbow grace” will clean dishes, not souls.
B. THE SECOND PAULINE REVELATION THAT DISCLOSES THE RULE OF LIFE FOR THE BELIEVER AND THE PURPOSES OF GOD: (1) A vital union of all believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ as part of the New Creation in Christ is the second and magnificent Pauline revelation. This grace teaching concerns the provisions made for the daily, and future life of the believer. (2) The Arminian rule for daily life, blind to the grace teachings of the NT, has attached itself to the future kingdom laws for Jews (to be enacted after the return of Christ) revealed in the Synoptic Gospels. Accordingly, the entire message regarding the rule for daily life is misplaced in the drudgery of a law that is yet future. While this certainly remains a “fine moral platform,” it has no power to fundamentally change the individual.
Only grace can overcome the power of sin. God’s Law, like any law, has not been designed with the power to stop sin and crime. Remedy and deterrent have widely different meanings. If punishment is the remedy for sin why did Christ need to die? And, why is perdition eternal? Should not the correct application of remedial punishment restore every soul to a state of grace? Law may only expose the hopeless condition of the sinful flesh and inflame and frustrate contrary desires.
Even if by the off chance that an individual has been introduced to and/or pieced together enough of the gospel of God’s grace to possess the inner witness - to have exhibited saving faith - that in turn was recognized by God, that person’s efforts will never lead to effective service, the personal joy of communion with God, or spiritual maturity while they are blinded to the Bible’s truth about the grace of God and separated from Holy Spirit taught true believers in whom they could share the love of God. However, that person would be just as saved eternally as any true believer. They would be “undercover” Christians, even to themselves. Vacillating between faithless doubt and the inner witness of an assured salvation by the Spirit of Christ.
The primary focus of this work in Book One – The Paradox of Law and Grace will be to defend the first Pauline revelation, “justification by faith.” This editorial work and commentary has been created by comparing biblical truth to the preaching and practice of traditional fiction in order to give evidence and clearly explain why “the gospel” about God’s offer of salvation cannot coexist in “two conflicting schools.” This presentation is a running argument to contrast the “gospel of the grace of God” against “another gospel.” Detailed studies of God’s grace in Scripture are introduced. Followed by the historical development of the ungracious principles of “another gospel” which are then given amplification. In particular, by the use of this method, it is anticipated that the exposition of the spiritual and factual error contained in “another gospel” will be effectively conveyed and completed to the satisfaction of those who read this work.
The second volume, Glorious Grace, is a personal appeal in which the reader is introduced to the reasons why God’s grace is needed and the promises He makes to all who will believe on His Son for salvation. Both Book 2 and Book 3 rely heavily on the many direct editorial citations of a select few, highly regarded authorities on the grace of God.
The third volume, The Tribunal, is presented in the form of a public indictment of the almost unheard of, yet predominant Protestant adherence to the Arminian Rectoral or Governmental theory i of atonement. This theory allows the over-development of Arminian concepts of free will and a graceless self-determination at the expense of the truth of the value in the death of Christ.
Finally, the third volume is dedicated to the biblical proofs and arguments against the error of the disgraceful Arminian arguments for a salvation not secured in the sovereign grace of God. The Governmental theory is the core rationale behind the graceless gospel of a required performance salvation that is peculiar to the blood shed by the Jesus Christ of “another gospel.”
The assertion that Arminianism corrects the errors of Calvinism is simply not true. Both systems of theology have problems; but, sadly and irreversibly the former has left the bible to establish an anomalous (Gk. uneven ii) theory of Christian salvation. More importantly it must remain accurate and true that the gospel of saving grace is the only theology approved by God’s Word. Men are saved by grace through faith; but how many professing believers can correctly define God’s grace in their own lives? Accordingly, the personal possession of an understanding of grace is the all-determining factor in an intelligent “free will” decision to trust in Jesus for salvation.
As with many proofs of faith, it is an argument sorely lacking in credible personal knowledge that would attempt to judge someone else’s experience and insist that salvation is determined by free will or God’s will. An all-important distinction is lost in this “mind-blinding” deconstructive argument. A false, man-centered philosophical perspective is revealed by the plain fact that it matters not - to the subject under discussion - what occurs in the realm of “free will” or God’s will on the front-end. From a God-centered reference, from a theological as opposed to a philosophical view, the back-end of salvation determines saving faith. Only God can recognize saving faith. Human speculative rationalism has no vote.
Personally accepted trust in the divine knowledge of the object of belief, Jesus Christ, saves a soul, not the indeterminable metaphysics of a hurly burly, mumbo jumbo - willful desire. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31) was the response given by the Apostle Paul to the Philippian jailer’s question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) before the Apostle witnessed “the word of the Lord iii ” to the jailer and “all that were in his house” (Acts 16:32). Then and only then, did the jailer wash his prisoner’s wounds and was himself, “he and all his,” “baptized” by the Apostle Paul (Acts 16:33). After which, the jailer “rejoiced, believing in God (having believed God) with all his house” (Acts 16:34.
Supported by its Governmental theory of atonement, post-Reformation Arminianism has ingratiated itself to human vanity through an extreme, false similitude, or shared characteristic, in the substitution of unlimited free will (a hypothetically uncaused cause without a repeatable effect (viz., Jonathan Edwards, "Free of the Will"), for faith in Christ. It is false because God made the truth of the gospel possible. Therefore, man’s free will, and – God’s grace - has been limited to and is constrained to, namely: faith and total trust in the full value of “all things” that are available and given to each believer through the death of Christ. Contrary to an Arminian single-minded focus on a limited forgiveness from the penalty of sin for salvation, forgiveness itself is only a single negative consideration and cannot be compared to the riches of grace bestowed freely upon those who truly depend on Jesus as their Savior. One cannot see the kingdom of God by short-changing Jesus Christ with an admission ticket countersigned by Arminian free will, which is, namely: a free will that denies the supranatural works of grace; a free will that is centered in the material world; and, a free will which is considered powerful enough to reject God’s salvation after the many divine changes wrought by God’s grace upon a believer.
The true gospel of justification by faith is limited to and contained in sola fide – faith alone. Sadly, and in contradiction, Arminianism has established a “mind-numbing” diversion by substitution. On the one hand, by slight of hand, (semi-Pelagian) Arminian salvation theory has removed complete reliance in the imputed penalty and substitutionary blood of Christ from the requirements of saving faith. On the other hand, the false claim of “parolee” salvation is prioritized above the primary consideration of sola fide for complete justification and focuses instead on the assumption of man’s unlimited free will. In this imaginary scenario of salvation based on unlimited free will and the power to choose to undo divine salvation by grace, I would ask: Can one choose not to be unsaved after they willfully commit some “high” sin; or, after they willfully do not confess many “low” sins? Can one choose not to have their disobedient “free will” scourged into submission by God, once and for all time - after regeneration and a new birth from above? Can one choose not to be taken from this world, “that they should not be condemned with the world,” because of their poor Christian witness? An absurdity is revealed as impossible and untrue. Thus the sovereignty of God remains and any "open theology" notions of a more recent invention remain as unfounded as the historical psuedo-Christianity that they are built upon.
Free will is the corrupted condition, not the inalienable right of men. The Arminian notion of a “common grace” in contradiction to "total depravity" is extra-biblical to anything written by Paul in the Letter to the Roman Christians. A letter which defines the spiritual and moral condition of man: "Death came through one man."
But most importantly, as stated above, free will is not faith. Free will may only be perfected by the acceptance and surrender to divine knowledge. Free will may not be used by men to pipe a tune that a changeable God should dance to. The sovereignty of God is all in all. Unlimited free will may not be claimed as a privilege, or “an inalienable right” by men. Furthermore, as so many inverted and misleading rationalized arguments are remedied by re-inversion, or setting back aright, so too, the argument for unlimited free will in salvation. God requires from man not only that he exercise his free will; but that he also place His God-created free will entirely and completely on faith - by trusting “in Christ” for the gift of salvation. Salvation in Christ is for faith, not merely free will.
Arminianism and the Separation of Church and State
There exists an artificial legal precept in American law that is mirrored by Arminian salvation theory. Both of these man-made constructions contain the religious-political idea of an obligation to a city discussed in a previous section. One could not create, nor wish for, a more demonstrative parallel in that “another gospel” is identical to the oft repeated fiction that “separation of church and state” was included in the establishment clause of the United States Constitution. It is true that the tax supported Supreme Court is supposed to interpret the Constitution (a document much more systematic and shorter than the Bible) and tithe supported religious leaders are supposed to interpret the Bible. So what? Interpretation becomes innovation when a document is assumed, as the theory of Constitutional law is taught, to be elastic and conformable to contemporary needs. The Supreme Court overstepped their authority sixty years ago, and has over-zealously quoted the “separation of church and state” iv decision thousands of times and the Constitution itself, only a fraction of this number. Exceedingly vigorous diligence is proof of motive not necessity.
In a similar manner, Arminianism has been relying, for its very existence, on the novelty of a distinguishing theory detailing the value in the death of Christ for more than 350 years. Together, both the accumulated body of Constitutional law relating to the “separation of church and state” and the Arminian “theory of atonement” exist on the weight of a lie. Only the existence of a myth is reinforced by the preaching and practice of fiction.
The vital truth is: God, the Almighty Judge of the Universe, has decreed the separation of salvation and performance. Nevertheless, countless people are misled by the appeal of an easily grasped opinion that “salvation by grace through faith” may be lost or forfeited. They insist, by reason alone, that salvation must be decided by personal performance. This is an artificial union, a conflation, a conformation v of salvation to performance. There is no Scriptural support for teaching this view. Much less, for the unsaved, or, the truly saved to believe in it for continued salvation. Thus, a gospel has been derived from a philosophical, man-centric theory of atonement vi to create a conformed theology of “justification by faith” that has been combined with un-justification by sin that stands in stark opposition to the Protestant Reformation theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin.
Reformed theology contains the same gospel message that has been shared by uncounted millions of believers and martyrs of the faith since the earliest days of Christianity. The Apostle Peter first gave this message to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost - when the Holy Spirit first descended upon believers – the day the true church was born. Despite unconvincing arguments to the contrary, a church born of God, which is the new Body of Christ, may not be unborn.
The Arminian message cannot be God’s true gospel of grace because the foundation is a theory of benign sentimentalism that is missing from God’s revelation of Himself. Despite populist emotionalism that would suggest otherwise, Jesus Christ was no bearded lady. By definition there is only one original truth among many imitations. The genuine may be known by the startling revelation that God’s glorious grace is self-assertive and aggressive - not benign and complacent. The glory of the gospel exceeds that of the Mosaic Law because of the proactive work of the Spirit of God (cf. 2 Cor 3:18).
A Living Letter
2 Cor 3:1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? We don’t need letters of recommendation to you or from you as some other people do, do we? 3:2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone, 3:3 revealing that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.
3:4 Now we have such confidence in God through Christ. 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as if it were coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 3:6 who made us adequate to be servants of a new covenant not based on the letter but on the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The Greater Glory of the Spirit’s Ministry
3:7 But if the ministry that produced death—carved in letters on stone tablets—came with glory, so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory which was made ineffective), 3:8 how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be? 3:9 For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness excel in glory! 3:10 For indeed, what had been glorious now has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it. 3:11 For if what was made ineffective came with glory, how much more has what remains come in glory! 3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, 3:13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the result of the glory that was made ineffective. 3:14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. 3:15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds, 3:16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 3:18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit. NET
Closing Comments by the Author
The shifting of writing sequence and short pieces of fiction are used on occasion in this journalistic effort. The inclusion of a long citation is intended as preparation for a discussion that follows. Also, citations are included in the Appendix of a volume for reference. In keeping with the requirements of the subject matter, this author is pleased to have included the many short quotations and the extended citation of highly qualified and distinguished writers. These authorities on the unbounded grace contained in the gospel of divine grace have made immeasurable contributions over the last century that will continue until marana tha (Our Lord come).
This paper is a comprehensive report on the message of God’s abundant grace. Perhaps, some, who, because of astonishment, will not stagger [Strong’s #1252 = withdraw, oppose, hesitate :) discriminate, contend, doubt, waver, etc.] “at the promise of God through unbelief.”
Abide in Me as I Abide in You
God would say to the children of His grace,
To those who possess the power of faith:
Trim your sails and loose your rudder.
Let the breath of my Spirit carry you home.
And the rainbow water flying from your bow,
Is a stream of life in the river of now.
“At that day you shall know
that I’m in my Father,
and you in me,
and I in you.
Because I live,
you will too” 1
Rom 4:20 - 5:2 He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory [glory is a place for believers, heaven is home] of God.
i The Rectoral or Governmental Theory of the value of Christ’s death was originated by Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) of Leyden, Holland. This theory … has held a strong influence over men of liberal minds, and has been, since its introduction, about the only notable competitor against the time honored doctrine of satisfaction, which doctrine, though formulated by Anselm, has been the accepted view of the believers who form the church in all her generations. (Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 3, p 139)
ii 2. unusual: strange and difficult to identify or classify
"Individuals would occasionally give rise to new species having anomalous habits." (Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species 1859) Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iii “As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said” NET – study note (Acts 16:32).
iv Extracted from a letter by Jefferson to a Baptist congregation who had supported his recent election campaign. A letter written many years after the Constitution was framed. The Danbury Baptist initiated a request that Jefferson not include any new laws about separation. So, you have Jefferson responding in a personal letter of confirmation and assurance: “The Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state.” Jefferson’s point was because “separation” was not included in the Constitution, the government had no right to make any laws in regard to religion. Laws neither inclusive nor prohibitive. Because no express right had been granted, religion was Constitutionally a taboo, out-of-bounds object of any Federal laws. And thus, in context, separation in the source letter means the reverse of its “unconstitutional” application by a Supreme Court Judge. Hence, a great example and parallel of a dangerous lie, that once started, continues to be self-supporting by the repetition of fiction. The most honorable highest court of the most free and democratic example in the world, the USA, has limited religious expression through the pragmatic means of conforming the Constitution to an outside, invalid, and post-dated source. Go figure! Better yet, consider what interpretation of law is so secure that only a fetus may ever lose their US citizenship and become de facto private property.
v conformation - 4. creation of conformity: bringing the process of one thing into accord with another. Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
vi Theories which conceive the work of Christ as terminating on both man and God, but on man primarily and on God only secondarily … the so-called “rectoral or governmental theory of atonement” is the primary theory.
1 John 14:19ff, 20ff
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