Thursday, March 15, 2007

Obedience of Faith… (Lordship Salvation?)

Obedience of Faith…

In the Book of Daniel (Chapter 9) we are told that the Mashiach which is transliterated into Greek as Christ, will come... both of these mean "Anointed One". If one even reads a superficial reading of the OT they will find the one's that are anointed were kings... Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords... He is God incarnate, the Creator and Living Word of God...

To demand one must accept Him as "Lord" of their life lowers Who He actually is! We have no life to give Jesus, that is a misnomer. It misses the very point we are DEAD in our sins... and a dead person is not regenerated until they receive LIFE... and that is the Life of Christ or the Holy Spirit... John is teaching that one must receive the Holy Spirit before they can receive the Holy Spirit... which is nonsense.

The washing of regeneration happens when one receives Jesus... not before... Titus 3:5

A simple reading of Titus shows this out...

Titus 3: 4-7

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Notice "He saved us" it is repeated twice... It is by His mercy we are saved... BY the washing of regeneration... regeneration is not before... but at the time of salvation... why? We are renewed by the Holy Spirit...

John MacArthur and many Calvinists teach that regeneration comes before the Holy Spirit is received and that is impossible as one must have the Holy Spirit to be regenerated! One must receive Life and be raised from our own death into the Life of Christ to be saved! Then we are regenerated by the very life of Christ... or by the Spirit Who is Life... One must be dead, buried and resurrected “in Christ” to be regenerated by Christ.

This summed up clearly by verse 7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We are first justified by His Grace then made heirs as we have the hope now of eternal life. As we turn in Faith which is a gift of God, we express this by our hope that we are justified and now have eternal Life...

To turn this around make no sense... and demands that a person must be saved to get saved... and that is nonsensical... and that negates the Blood of Jesus.

Now here is the major flaw in the Lordship debate. Faith and obedience are connected… yet not in the way John MacArthur is stating… in fact the way John and many other understand obedience turns obedience into “works righteousness”.

We all agree with the Apostles and Peter and that “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) Yet many as I said do not understand what that obedience is… We are called to the “obedience of Christ” and in that way take all thoughts captive. (2 Cor 10:5) Yet, few notice it is “of Christ” from where the obedience comes… if it being “of Christ” then it is not “of us”… or from our own works…

Romans 5:19 really hit me one day. “

“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.” (I added Jesus for clarity as in the context it is understood.)

Because Adam sinned, we died, for we were inside Adam’s loins as we are all descendents of Adam.

This is a bit hard for some to grasp, yet it is what the writer of Hebrews uses to explain about why the Priesthood of Melchizedek was greater than the Priesthood of Levi, for Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek which was giving honor, and Levi was still in the loins of Abraham. (One must think a bit like a Rabbi here to understand the logic - Hebrews 7)

We who are in Christ are born of the man of heaven. 1 Cor 15: 45 – 49 states:

“So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”

In Christ we are born of the Spirit… in that we are made righteous by the One man’s (Jesus) obedience… we walk in His obedience and not our own…

God had kept this all a mystery. Yet, now God has opened to all nations the obedience of faith through Jesus Christ. (Romans 16:25-27)

Faith is a gift… (Ephesians 2:8) It is also trusting that God is faithful to His Word and will do as He promised. We walk in “faith” and not by sight. Many think that walking in faith is doing good works… but there are no good works aside from the works God has prepared for us to do… to think we can do works whether to “prove our salvation”, earn “brownie points” with God, or even become more “sanctified” misses the point completely. We are saved by Grace through faith and sustained by Grace through faith… nothing is of us, all is of God. In the book of Galatians 3:3 Paul asks a question. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” We would be wise to consider the answer… if we say yes, then we are saying we “sanctify ourselves” if we say no, they we say it is God who sanctifies us. It is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us… as 1 Peter states “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” The “works” are God’s by His Spirit… and it is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us. (1 Thessalonians 5: 23) for we are told in 2 Thessalonians 2: 13, “because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

God sustains us. Some might think this is a Armenian versus Calvinist argument… to me it is not… it is a Calvinist vs. the Bible debate. Now saying that I will add that I am not a “Calvinist hater” I am not saying a Calvinist is not saved (confused maybe on some important issues) but I would never say we must separate over differences in our doctrine. Man is a flawed and finite creature. We easily can fall sway to “man’s” teachings… be it “free grace”, “Lordship salvation”, “Works righteousness”. I am also not saying at all I have all the answers, yet I will say I am sharing out of years of bondage under “works” and have lived years “under grace”. No one has ever been “free”. We have “free will” yet when we were not in Christ, we were slaves to sin, and if now one is in Christ we are a slave to righteousness… I pray whatever tradition you have chosen that you will chose to walk in the faith God has given you. (Rom 6)

We are to walk as Jesus walked… and in that as 2 John 1 states:

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

If we are “in Jesus” as He is in the Father, we are immersed in Love… for “God is Love”. (1 john 4:8)

One can accept Jesus as Lord, yet the real issue is that is not even enough... for one who has come to a relationship with Jesus must at some time realize that Jesus is one's very LIFE. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (1 Philippians 1:21)

For it is by His Grace we even come to eternal Life.


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