Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The wages of sin…



The wages of sin…

I was doing some thinking about the relationship of sin, death, the cross and what is the eternal punishment.

To some this may be obvious, and I agree, yet to many I believe they have a mixed up view of sin, death the Cross and the eternal life or punishment some will face. If you ask most Christians what will happen when they die, they will say, “I will go to heaven.” If you were to ask, “How long?” I guarantee that you will receive some funny looks! If you were to ask why someone will go to hell there will usually be two answers.

1. They were sinners.
2. They did not accept Jesus.

Now granted all people are sinners. Even the redeemed are “redeemed sinners”. Yet, is it because of our “sin” we go to hell? I know some who are reading are already going, “Yes! Why even ask such a stupid question!” Yet, if you really look at what the bibles states I do not believe people go to hell for their “sin”… at least not since the Cross.

First off the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Death was the result of the sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden. Death was part of the curse that came not only on mankind, but on all creation due to Adams disobedience. So the wages of sin is death.

So?

Meaning, that when we sin we will die. Wages are the payment for our sins. If you go to work at a job, then most likely you earn wages of some kind. You are getting payment for the work you do. The payment comes from the result of your work… so also death comes from the result of sin. We are paid in our debt to sin by our own life being taken by death.

So how does that effect things if you grasp what I am saying here.

From death to life not from sinful to life.

Since the death of Jesus, who had no sin and became sin for us, sin also died with Jesus on the Cross.

2 Cor 5:21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There really is no other meaning to this verse other than Jesus became sin for us and in that the balance of sin and death was set to right. So now the result is that it is not our sin that we should be worried about but that we will be dead. Forgiveness for sins came on the cross. I am amazed how many people argue this with me. They claim that forgiveness did not come on the cross as that would mean all people are then forgiven! Imagine that! How could Jesus’ death not forgive us yet also forgive us. I see this as a bit of double speak. Some like Calvin ran into this and realized (and confused), if all are forgiven then all are saved! Of course forgiveness does not equate salvation. You did not know that? The Christian life is not about us getting saved… yes that is part, but it is mostly about the resurrected Christ who now imparts His Life to us. Calvin simply confused forgiveness and salvation as the same thing… Forgiveness at the Cross justified us so that forgiveness could come and the resurrection gave us Life in Christ.

Romans 5: 9. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10. For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

First off, noticed when we were justified… by His blood! When did Jesus spill His blood? At the Cross! So we were justified by Jesus’ blood at the Cross

Romans 3:22-24 states this justification was given “freely by grace”.

22. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Yes, redemption came at the Cross, but life comes with the Resurrection! Again Romans 5: 10 . For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Again, notice that we have already been reconciled… when? At the Cross! Praise God! Yet, it clearly states we are not saved just by the death of Jesus, but we are saved through his Life!

Calvin missed this idea that the Cross was only part of salvation. When he saw that all would be forgiven at the Cross and realized this would me Universal Salvation, he created Limited Atonement. Now I would get into the difference between OT atonement and NT propitiation, though I believe this teaching has become mostly lost in churches today. But since Calvin confused forgiveness and salvation, he missed that we receive the Life of Christ through the Resurrection. Or if he realized that we received life, he missed that we needed the death of Jesus to set the scales to right… to justify or reconcile the debt of sin which lead to death by taking away sin in His own death… and we needed the Resurrection so that we could have the Life of Jesus which is eternal.

Sin and Death are no longer the enemy. They are subject to Jesus and sin was already dealt with at the Cross and soon death will be tossed into the Lake of Fire. Now it is not about “sins” but about dead men needing Life! We are given the ministry of reconciliation to bring others from death to Life! What a glorious calling…


18 comments:

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

I do like these last 2 posts.They're either flukily symbiotic with what many others are writing...or you are cribbing off other blogs...or the same Spirit lives in you and is questioning a lot of what is out there.

iggy said...

Chris,

I have preached this since 1986 when God screwed up my life with the understanding or His Grace and the proper perspective of the Cross and Resurrection.

I will state that two men have had a profound impact on me.

Maj Ian Thomas and Bob George.

Bob was the man God used to open my eyes to His Grace. Thomas was the man that organized and helped me develop my thoughts along this way.

If you read "The saving life of Christ" or "Classic Christianity" you will see much of what I am stating.

Now I also have had a lot of interaction with people who deem me a heretic over these articles when I post them. So I have had a lot of time to debate much of what I state. Really I have seen more and more people coming to understand this view when they start to understand God's grace.

I do believe there is a movement of the Spirit that is bearing the fruit of Bob George and Maj Ian Thomas and many others who preached the Gospel of Grace for many years.

iggy

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

i like the sound of those and have googled them on Amazon. I haven't come across these guys..though I think people may have mentioned them.

In the UK it was a guy called Maurice Smith who really spearheaded the recent understandings of grace.In fact I think Maurice mentions Major Thomas.Maurice was born again on the 5th of May 1955...so ofcourse his first book was called 5.5.55. Spose my blog pays a kind of homage to this book, by calling it 080808...which really was the day I conceived my own blog...as opposed to tagging along on Dan Bowen's.And in Hebrew 8 really is the number of a doorway or gate...and there are 3 of them.

Are you on Facebook? It's kind of nice to have the odd line from your friends so you know a bit about what they're up to....without going too mad.

rick said...

For what it's worth, either I'm not following your train of thought or I've completely misunderstood the doctrine of election. Oh well ...

iggy said...

Rick,

I see Calvin was close but missed certain nuances about Predestination. Though it may not be true about you, most the time I talk to Calvinists, the focus of the Ephesians passages is on the "us" yet as I read on it, I see that the focus is always on Jesus. Yes, God predestined us to be "in Christ"... yet we did not exist... Jesus did. The Eternal Plan was not about "some" or "many" being saved.. but about Jesus drawing all things into Himself. Then when we are "in Christ" we are predestined to conform to the image of Christ Jesus.

Predestination is not a doctrine about some getting saved and some not... rather that all can be saved through Christ. God foreknew His creation and knew they would fall and made the eternal plan that in Christ Jesus all would be redeemed.

Again, redemption, justification, forgiveness, does not equate salvation as "The Life is in the Son". Without the resurrection there is still only dead men who God forgave on the Cross. We need the very Life of the risen Christ so that we also may have eternal life.

I see that this view takes into it more of the historical teachings of the church as well as fits the biblical model better than Calvin's explanation.

Again, I am not out bashing anyone for being Calvinist... I simply disagree with it. I see Calvin fell short in his understanding between the difference of forgiveness and salvation.

IOW, I still like you man!

iggy

rick said...

well - i certainly like being liked :)

As an unabashed Calvinist, I know we disagree but I'm not sure we know what we disagree on. Using your last comments as an example, I think I agree with many of the statements you made. The one that stands out to me that I do not agree with is that God "made the eternal plan that in Christ Jesus all would be redeemed."

I define redeemed as regaining possession in exchange for payment. And I define all as meaning all. So if you agree with these definitions, then you surely do not really mean that God regained possession of all mankind, right?

So I'm not sure what we have disagreement about. But I'm sure that we will not figure it out via this format ... I mostly wanted to let you know I was still lurking about. I sensed your passion on the topic so I thought I'd help you out by noting that if you hope to convert any one as hard headed as me or my other Calvin brethren you'd need a bigger stick or a sharper point.

Thanks for continuing to bear with my ability to hear only what I want. Peace to you and as you say, keep the focus always on Jesus.

PS - i love the new haircut!

iggy said...

Rick,

To make one thing clear, I do not care to convert anyone... I only pray that anyone grows in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. I pray that the Holy Spirit leads and teaches you.

Though the point is minor, it does get more sharp as one grasp the nuances in light of Grace.

Calvin made predestination about getting saved as you are already Elect, I am saying it is when you come to Christ you become Elect as one responds to the Calling and THEN we are predestined to conform to the image of Christ.

iggy

KM said...

Hi Iggy,

I apologize for commenting here. I tried the contact link but my computer was having non of that. I just noticed that you are from Billings and you have a Vineyard link.

I'm originally from Billings and I'm all about the Vineyard. Glad to see some people there are still actually thinking about what they believe and why.

KM

iggy said...

KM,

No apologies needed. I would rather read a comment like yours than what I often get here... Most often I am told I am stupid or ignorant or not saved because I am part of Vineyard...

So it is refreshing to have a positive comment here!

Thanks!

iggy

KM said...

Hi Iggy,

I've been reading the conversation here and I really wanted to add a perspective from someone who's not committed to the Calvinist or Arminianist ideals entirely. What I observe from the Word is that there is quite a bit of information to support the Calvinist position. And, we are told specifically that there are some who are "chosen" (by God) and some who are not. Jesus said that the disciples did not choose Him but that He chose them.

But, at the same time one can not just take it for granted that one is "in" with God just because he/she is one of the elect and is therefore predestined to it. That is an extremely dangerous position, especially if one stops to consider that Judas was a disciple all the way up until he wasn't.

One can not take one's salvation for granted just because one is part of the elect. But, what one can do is believe that God is faithful, just like the Word says. And, one can believe that God will complete the good work He has begun in them, because the Word says He will. So, in this sense one can still have certainty without taking their salvation and God for granted.

As far as all people being saved (it seems that this is what you are saying. Sorry if I've misunderstood) this is difficult to explain to people isn't it. If you say that everyone is saved then you would have to dismiss a lot of scripture that discusses the fact that not everyone has eyes to see and ears to hear, etc. But, if you say that only some (the elect) are, then you have to wrap your head around how/why a God who loves us would just let some of us go to Hell since this doesn't seem very loving.

I've spent a great deal of time pondering this and I have found it useful to think of the human/God relationship as comparable with a sculptor/clay relationship. A sculptor is not more partial to one part of clay and less toward another. Rather, the whole chunk of clay is useful. It is his medium. But, the sculptor does not need all the clay. He only needs the part that he's molding - the part that fits. And, in order for him to create the image he has in mind some of the clay must be removed. If it weren't removed then the sculptor would not be able to create what he wants.

Since we are God's creation, technically, we are this clay. And, as difficult as it might be to accept this the sculpture has no right to question the artist about why or how he was made the way he was made.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I'm glad you take the time to talk with Calvinists and question them on their beliefs. It's good for all Christians to question those that don't necessarily share their belief system but are still Christian. This is iron sharpening iron and I think it's good for all who would receive it.

km

iggy said...

KM,


In no way am I a Universalist though as I read this I see that I left out a thought... and can see why one might think that is what I am saying. I do not equate forgiveness with salvation. Forgiveness came on the Cross, yet still one needs the Life of Christ to be saved. Meaning as I probably should have gone deeper into explaining, that on the Cross we died died to sin, that was universal, yet for eternal Life, we must be known by the Son and know Him... we need a relationship.

The tragedy is that many may not know Jesus... and have been duped into accepting forgiveness instead of the Person of Jesus... Though I do think God's grace covers more than we may realize.

I have not had much time to interact with all you said, but as soon as I have some time I will. From what I read it seems well thought out.

iggy

KM said...

Iggy,

In reference to this:
"...on the Cross we died died to sin, that was universal..."

What do you think about this scripture?

John 8:24
"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

I understand your point that Jesus died on the cross once for all sin. However, from this verse it seems to me that those who do not accept him can not be included in that.

While his death seems to make provision for every human being who had, does and will ever exist in the way of forgiveness of sin, it can only be received by those who can receive it - consider John 3:27. And since a man can only receive what's been given from above the conclusion has to be that God would have to determine whether or not one receives it and the "forgiveness" is only for the one who actually does receive it.

That said, a person can not accept forgiveness without accepting Jesus. But, one can "accept" Jesus and then never develop a relationship with him, or even know he/she should.

Is this what you're saying when you say "...duped into accepting forgiveness instead of the person of Jesus."?

This is a real problem with many churches especially in the mid-west. The charismatic movement isn't popular in some of those parts, even within churches that actually wear that label. In my experience much of the education about "personal relationship with Christ" has come from those kind of churches. Not all of it has been correct, but at least there is an openness to the idea and I'm glad to have been introduced to it.

Anyway, sorry for being so wordy. Good talking with you.

km

iggy said...

KM,

KM: “What do you think about this scripture?

John 8:24
"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."”



Iggy: It is what I am saying… one must have Jesus to have the Life that He imparts to us to have eternal life. If we reject Jesus and do not believe then there is no other sacrifice for our sins… and in the end there is only the wrath that is meant for God’s enemies. Again, it is what we do with the Person of Jesus; accept Him or reject Him. Believe on Him and Receive the Life which includes all that He is and offers and receive eternal life… reject Jesus and lose all.

KM: I understand your point that Jesus died on the cross once for all sin. However, from this verse it seems to me that those who do not accept him can not be included in that.

Iggy: Of course if one does not accept Jesus and receive His imparted life there is only the Second Death to look forward to. Yet, Forgiveness came at the Cross was offered freely to all men. Yet again I do not equate forgiveness with salvation. I can forgive someone all day that has done me harm and if they do not accept it, then there is no fulfilled reconciliation.

KM: While his death seems to make provision for every human being who had, does and will ever exist in the way of forgiveness of sin, it can only be received by those who can receive it - consider John 3:27. And since a man can only receive what's been given from above the conclusion has to be that God would have to determine whether or not one receives it and the "forgiveness" is only for the one who actually does receive it.

Iggy: “John 3:27. To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.”

Note what John is saying… that a man can only receive what is given from heaven. Now it has to already to given to be received.

If you lived in America and had a Grandfather in Italy who stated he had just signed over his entire estate to you. All the legal documents are done all you have to do is come to Italy, take possession of it and it is all yours, the estate it yours. It is there. It needs only to take possession of… yet if you do not go and get it though it is yours and offered freely, you have yet to take ownership of it. You have not fulfilled the responding part of the equation of forgiveness. So I do agree that one needs to receive it to be in full effect. Yet, forgiveness was given at the Cross one time for all people.

2 Cor 5: 18. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Note that God HAS RECONCILED (not yelling just emphasizing) it is past tense and already done THROUGH CHRIST. God already reconciled the world to himself in Christ not counting men’s sin against them So we are already reconciled… yet Paul states that one need to be reconciled. To we stand because of the cross already reconciled yet still need to come to Jesus to BE reconciled. It is taking possession of the reconciliation. Again, reconciliation is offered like the grandfather’s estate, yet one need take ownership. To be reconciled is our part of the equation of forgiveness that leads us to salvation. Salvation is not just the Cross but the Death, burial, resurrection of Jesus. In that we receive the Person and not just the actions we then receive the Life of Christ. I see a difference between professing Christ and possessing Christ.

KM: That said, a person can not accept forgiveness without accepting Jesus. But, one can "accept" Jesus and then never develop a relationship with him, or even know he/she should.

Iggy: I agree though with a caveat. One cannot be saved without accepting Jesus. Believe me I have counseled many people who have only accepted forgiveness from God, but when pressed they did not understand they were to receive the Person of Jesus and so receive His Life.

KM: Is this what you're saying when you say "...duped into accepting forgiveness instead of the person of Jesus."?

Now I will not be so bold to say that one who has accepted forgiveness only and not realized they need the Person of Jesus and also receive His life is not saved. That is up to God… but when one does not understand this it does most often impair their growth. I was a victim of this for many years and know many people who would say they were not saved until they came to this understanding as they had no power to live the Christian life. This is manifested in some that they beg for forgiveness every day and worry about their salvation. It also manifests itself in some that feel not accepted by God though they believe they are forgiven, they still worry about punishment or think God does not “like” then though they will say the think God loves them.

Many churches only preach “Come to the cross for forgiveness” and do not preach or teach that we are to receive Jesus. They are taught to only receive forgiveness. Again I have talked to many people who struggled in their faith over this half view of salvation.

KM: This is a real problem with many churches especially in the mid-west. The charismatic movement isn't popular in some of those parts, even within churches that actually wear that label. In my experience much of the education about "personal relationship with Christ" has come from those kind of churches. Not all of it has been correct, but at least there is an openness to the idea and I'm glad to have been introduced to it.

Iggy: I have had debates with some who say that the idea of relationship is wrong and unbiblical! LOL! This sort of blows my mind… Yet, sometimes people do confuse their emotions with salvation… though I consider myself “Charismatic” I have seen that some try to get a “feel” to confirm their salvation… yet, “emotions” do not save us Jesus does. This does not mean we are to be emotionless of course. Yet, the bible is clear as in that it is not that we know Jesus, but that He knows us.

John 2: 23. Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

Jesus knows the heart of a person… so I again will say that it is up to God as to if a person is saved or not. Yet, here many believed in Jesus yet Jesus knowing their hearts did not entrust Himself to them... IOW Jesus did no “believe” in them. It is a two-way street based on relationship…

KM: Anyway, sorry for being so wordy. Good talking with you.

I don’t mind it at all. I enjoy good conversation. Often I get people who will write more than you have just to tell me how awful, heretical, mean and whatever else is wrong with me in their eyes. So it is very nice to have pleasant conversation (as limited as this type of forum is) with someone.

Blessings!

iggy

KM said...

Iggy,

I'm glad you responded as thoroughly as you did (I wasn't expecting that actually). I thought you were saying something totally different, which was why I asked you about that verse in the first place.

So you and I seem to be in agreement on that whole issue. Cool.

"...just to tell me how awful, heretical, mean and whatever else is wrong with me in their eyes."

Are any of these people from the Pyro blog: (just kidding, sort of :)

Blessing!
km

rick said...

If I'm ever in Montana I will need to stop by for a long chat on what you think Calvinism is. I am not able to read your comments without concluding you are one. The only contrary point is your insistence that you are not ...

:)

KM said...

Rick,

Part of the reason I don't call myself a "calvinist" is because of some things I've come to understand about their views on spiritual gifts, prophecy in particular. I just can't say that these gifts aren't active today like some calvinists I've listened to/read. Yet, I also don't know the gifts are "active" the way I've witnessed them being practiced in some churches. So, I don't know if I've ever seen an example of being prophetic in a "proper" way, but I still believe the use and practice of the spiritual gifts is applicable today.

But, my views are considerably more on the Calvinist side than on the Arminian any day. I guess what it boils down to is this: I worship neither of these people and I'm not joining either of their groups. I study the Word and I worship God and if that happens to resemble something that either of these groups believe than good for them. Either way that's how I roll.

Also, some people at the teamPyro blog scare me. There's some great teaching there (when it's there) but there is also some intense hating. I want nothing to do with the hating. Maybe I'm skewed because of my experiences but If that's the way "calvinists" typically behave I am more comfortable staying where I am.

km

rick said...

First - AMEN. I'm with you brother ... it's all about Jesus!

The PyroGuys and others like them don't suffer from Calvinism, they suffer from Cessationism (which is not part of Calvinism), but more so, they suffer from the big brother syndrome in the Prodigal Son parable. They have so hardened their hearts that they cannot see that their effort to earn their reward is actually distancing them from the father and from their brother.

KM said...

Rick,

Thanks for your response. I guess I thought that Cessationism was a part of Calvinism so I misunderstood. I'm not really in the know about theological concepts one would go to school to learn. I know what's in the Bible and that type of language is not there so I'm often at a loss.

But, I feel kind of bad for saying anything negative about the Pyro blog. As I said, the teaching is great when it's there and I value the group's experiential knowledge and passion for teaching. But, your assessment mirrored closely what I have observed so I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in this boat.

km