Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Does God Love the Unrepentant Sinner?

by Charles Finney, "The Guilt of Sin"
(I do not endorse anything by Charles Finney! You are best to avoid all his work altogether, as the man was a heretic! Trying to find anything remotely good like this post is like trying to find a gold nugget in a manure pile. Unless you're a mature, wise, discerning Christian, do not go near his work! It is frequently and largely heretical.)

"God is angry with the wicked every day!" Psalm 7:11

God is not angry merely against the sin abstracted from the sinner, but against the sinner himself! Some people have labored hard to set up this ridiculous and absurd generalization, and would attempt to make it appear . . .
  • that God is angry at sin—yet not at the sinner;
  • that He hates the theft—but loves the thief;
  • that He abhors adultery—but is pleased with the adulterer.
Now this is supreme nonsense! The sin has no moral character apart from the sinner. The act of sin is nothing, apart from the sinful actor. What God hates and disapproves is not the mere event, the thing done, in distinction from the doerbut He hates the doer himself! It grieves and displeases Him that a rational and moral agent, under His government, should array himself against his own Creator, against all that is right and just in the universe. This is what offends God. The sinner himself is the direct and the only object of His anger!

So the Bible shows that God is angry with the wicked—and not with the abstract sin. If the wicked do no repent, God will whet His sword—He has bent His bow and made it ready—not to shoot at the sin, but the sinner—the wicked man who has done the abominable thing. This is the only doctrine of both the Bible, and of common sense on this subject.

"The wicked and those who love violence, His soul hates!" Psalm 11:5

"The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished!" Proverbs 16:5

"The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on His foes and maintains His wrath against His enemies!" Nahum 1:2

"Whoever whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." John 3:36

"You are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed." Romans 2:5

"But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil—there will be wrath and anger!" Romans 2:8

"What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath—prepared for destruction?" Romans 9:22

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient." Ephesians 5:6

Friday, June 14, 2013

Romans 11:17-24

Read Romans 11:17-24 carefully and pay attention to what Paul is saying. Compare what he is saying here to what he writes in Romans 2:25-29 and Romans 9:6-8. Who are the branches that were broken off? Unbelieving Israel. Why were they broken off? Because of their unbelief. Who are the branches that remain? Believing Israel. Why do they remain? Because of their faith. Who are the wild branches? Gentiles. Into what are the wild branches grafted? Believing Israel. Why were they grafted in? Because of their faith. Into what will the natural branches that were broken off be grafted? Believing Israel.

According to Romans 2:25-29, the branches that were broken off are not true Jews: “He is not a Jew who is one outwardly.” Therefore, logically, the remaining branches are true Jews: “He is a Jew who is one inwardly.” In Philippians 3:3, Paul said that we—Christians—are the real circumcision. Why? Because we have been circumcised of the heart, just as Moses commanded them to be (Deut. 10:16). According to Romans 9:6-8, the branches that were broken off do not belong to Israel: “They are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.” Therefore, logically, the remaining branches belong to Israel. In Galatians 6:16, Paul called the church “the Israel of God.

Although Dispensationalists want to deny this, Paul’s words are as clear as day. Paul has just divided national Israel in two—believing Israel and unbelieving Israel, of which he says they are not true Jews nor do they belong to Israel. He states in Romans 11:5 that at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. He states in verse 7 that the elect of Israel obtained what Israel sought but the rest were hardened. He says that if the broken off branches do not continue in their unbelief they will be grafted back in. Into what? Into believing Israel, which will make them true Jews belonging to true Israel.

Galatians 4:28 says, “And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.” All Christians—Jew or Gentile—are children of the promise. Romans 4:13-16 says, “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” All those who believe—Jew or Gentile—are Abraham’s offspring.

John the Baptist said, “Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 3:9-10). Likewise, John records, “They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.’ They said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. … You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.’” (John 8:39-42, 44).

These words attest to what Paul was saying in Romans chapters 2 and 9. Just because you are an ethnical Jew does not make you a true Jew, Paul said in chapter 2. Just because you are physically descended from Abraham and Israel does not make you part of true Israel, Paul said in chapter 9.

In Romans 4:13, 9:8, and Galatians 4:28, Paul speaks in regard to the “promise.” What promise? Well, Galatians 3:16, 27-29 say: “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ. … For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.” This passage teaches us:
  1. Abrahamic promises were made to Abraham and his seed (v.16).
  2. His seed is Christ (v.16).
  3. And his seed is all who belong to Christ (v.29).
  4. Therefore, the promises belong to Christ and to all who are His (v.29). 
Ergo, this is not "Replacement Theology," it is "Expansion Theology." The Old Testament prophesied of the Gentile inclusion in several passages (Gen. 10; 12:1-3; Isa. 19:16-25; 42:6; 60:10-14; Hos. 1:10; Amos 9:11-12, cf. Rom. 9:26; Zech. 14:16), predicting God’s work of taking from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. So if the Old Testament prophesied about the Gentile inclusion, and Romans 11:17-24 describes that inclusion, then we must logically conclude that the true Israel is the true church and the true church is the true Israel. For God has only one people that make up one body who were baptized by one Spirit. The church does not replace Israel; the church has always been true Israel, and true Israel has always been the church. “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek” (Rom. 10:12). There is no longer Jew or Gentile because God has broken down the dividing wall and made of the two one new person (Eph. 2:11-19). There are not two plans of redemption and two ways of receiving salvation. You are either in Christ Jesus or you are not. There is salvation by no other means and in no other name. Anything beyond this is heresy!

See In This Way All Israel Will Be Saved for a dealing with Romans 11:25-27.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Adam Was Not Deceived

Eve was the one who was deceived into committing sin—not Adam (1 Tim. 2:14). Regarding her temptation, Thiessen writes:
"It made [man] desire to have what God had forbidden; to know what God had not revealed; and to be what God had not intended [man] to be."
Henry Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 254.
Eve then came unto Adam. I do not believe that she persuaded him to eat of the fruit because it was to him that God gave the command and he knew the complete consequences regarding it. Rather, I believe that he ate of it willingly. I believe that he saw the wrong that Eve had committed and was then struck with a mortal choice. Because Eve was created to be his helpmeet, I believe Adam feared being alone and so he ate of the fruit with full knowledge of what he was doing. That I am not alone in this understanding from Scripture that I gleaned back in 2006, observe:
"There is no need to say with interpreters, that he was not deceived first; and that he was not deceived immediately by the serpent, but by Eve; and that he is never said in Scripture to be deceived, as Melchizedek is never said to have a father or mother. The apostle's positive assertion is to be taken without any such limitations or qualifications; Adam never was deceived at all; neither by the serpent, with whom he never conversed; nor by his wife, he knew what he did, when he took the fruit of her, and ate; he ate it not under any deception, or vain imagination, that they should not die, but should be as gods, knowing good and evil. He took and ate out of love to his wife, from a fond affection to her, to bear her company, and that she might not die alone; he knew what he did, and he knew what would be the consequence of it, the death of them both; and inasmuch as he sinned wilfully, and against light and knowledge, without any deception, his sin was the greater: and hereby death came in, and passed on all men, who sinned in him:"
John Gill's Expositor,
1 Timothy 2:14
Had Adam chosen not to eat of the fruit, God may have been able to restore Eve. All of this, of course, is only speculation because the Scriptures are silent in this regard. What we do know is that Eve was the one deceived (1 Tim. 2:14), their eyes were not opened until Adam ate (Gen. 3:7), and the first act of sin is attributed to him because he is our Natural Head (Rom. 5:12, 19) and it was to him that God gave the command not to eat (Gen. 2:17). Because Adam chose to willingly sin, as John Gill has said, "his sin was the greater: and hereby death came in, and passed on all men."