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Comments

Walker

You ask a great question at the beginning of your post.

Paul says..."Awake to righteousness, and do not sin (how could he tell us not to sin if it were not possible?)...for some have not the knowledge of God (I believe he means...within, His nature, His life within, or else why would he say...do not sin?)...I speak this to your shame". Paul's words not mine.

John, I have been exactly where you are with this last statement. I was a full on believer in entire sanctification on this side of the resurrection. Like you, I believed that Jesus would never tell us to do something that we were incapable of doing.

However an examination of scripture shows that God does command things we are incapable of.

Jeremiah 29:13 states “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

However Romans 3:11 says “THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;”

This tension is all over scripture. God establishes a covenant with Israel having full knowledge they will be unable to keep it. Jesus tells his disciples in John 15 to “remain in Him,” “abide in His love” and “love one another” just hours before they are running away from him, cutting off people’s ears, and denying that they have even met Jesus!

In fact it is this very tension that God uses to reveal His gospel. Paul recognizes the disparity between God’s commands and our ability to meet them. In Romans 3 he reveals the primary purpose of God’s law.

19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

God’s law shows us our sin, it shows where we fall short, it shows our need for Christ. This is why Paul immediately follows with the following:

21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

This message needs to be repeated constantly, looking back at 1 Corinthians 15:31 Paul says that he “dies daily.” On this side of the resurrection our sinful nature is constantly creeping back on us. That is why as Christians we are constantly looking to the cross, allowing God to daily kill the old Adam.

Ok, I’ll admit, that was a whole lot to basically say, yes, God tells us to do things that we cannot do. This forces us to rely on Him.

As to some of your other thoughts… Also thanks for hanging in there on this long post, I appreciate your willingness to engage in dialogue. I have to point out that for someone who began all this by saying theological discussion is useless, you seem very willing to do it!:)

You said:

“Verse 49 reads...and as we have borne the image of the man of dust (man of the earth, natural, fleshy), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. As I once did, I imagine you view this from a future perspective right?”

Yes, I do. The verse is written in the future tense. It was written after the first resurrection of Christ and after Pentecost. Paul had the same access to the Holy Spirit that we now have, and he still wrote it in the future tense. Unless I missed a major event in redemptive history between then and now, this verse should still be read in future tense.

Also the very next verse begins the passage I quoted in my last post, which we both agree is obviously about the second coming of Christ and our FUTURE resurrection, so to look at this as referring to the present rather than the future is to read that into the text rather than draw from the text.

Now then, you go back to a lot of talk about Christ in us. Please understand, I’m not in total disagreement here. I too believe that Christ lives in me. I think the main point we have been arguing is whether or not Christ is all that lives in me. On this side of the resurrection the old Adam is still there too. You see this admission as a form of “settling,” and action whereby we sell ourselves short. I see this as an admission of reality. Christ does not tell us to ignore this reality, but to face it, admit it, and allow Christ to kill it. Jesus doesn’t just get us started He is the author AND PERFECTOR of our faith. This is why in John 1 we are told that if we say we do not sin we deceive ourselves.

In conclusion, I looked at John 14, and stumbled on this rather quickly:

2"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
3"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Christ is at the right hand of the Father, preparing our place. Yes, this would fall into “we down here Him up there.” The Holy Spirit is in us, so yes we can say that Christ is working in us, but that work does not drive us deeper into the depths of our soul, but pulls us out of ourselves that we might see Christ and the work He has done on our behalf.

Admit the reality you live in, let the Holy Spirit do His work.

John C

Walker...

Thank you sir for your good thoughts, I am grateful for the love you have in your heart for Him, who is the truth and honored to know you in this limited way.

Blessings,

John C

Robert

This is stated multiple times in scripture: there is only one method by which man is brought into heaven and that is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The infant murdered in the womb, the Apostle Paul, the child of God to whom the gospel shall not reach in this life (sadly) - all brought in the same way, The Way, Jesus Christ. The problem with eternal salvation depending upon any act of man (works, a decision, a prayer, baptism, the preaching of the gospel, repentance, etc) is that there is always at least one group left out. Sometimes it's the infants, sometimes the poor person that didn't get to hear the gospel. Then man goes about creating ways to solve this problem.
A few quick things. We aren't to make images of God. Jesus is God. Therefore, common sense says not to make likenesses of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we really don't know what He looked like. Many picture Him with long hair. I've always had a hard time reconciling that with the fact that Paul told the corinthians that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. Also, many picture Him as being very caucasian like when He was clearly a Jew. Furthermore, and this will be my last point, why make a picture of Jesus Christ? To what purpose is it? We aren't to worship idols so that can't be why. Jesus doesn't dwell in that statue or picture. Honestly, what purpose does it serve. Whether we are talking about a crucifix, a statue, a picture, or a movie cover it's all the same thing and it really has no purpose.

John C

Robert...

Its time we lose the image in our minds of the physical, historical Jesus, its like this "Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 2 Cor 5:16.

Christ is now resurrected in our mortal bodies, Christ in us being what Paul calls the "mystery of the ages". Col 1:27

"Until we all attain to the full measure of the stature of Christ" Eph 4:13

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