Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Penal Atonement Falls Short of the Glory of God

If it is suggested that this [Jesus being ‘the incarnate Son of God’] gives Jesus an unfair advantage over us, we would not disagree, except with the wording of this criticism. It is not in any way our intention to reduce Jesus to our level, or to say that Jesus was exactly as we are. Rather it is our intention to say that when the Son of God became incarnate He assumed ‘fallen human nature’, in this respect becoming as we are; but we should whole-heartedly affirm that He was the divine Son of God. To say that this gives Him an unfair advantage over us is to miss the essential point. The Son of God came to be our savior in order that his victory should be ours; any ‘advantage’ which he possessed he used FOR OUR BENEFIT. —Harry Johnson, The Humanity of the Saviour (London: The Epworth Press, 1962), p. 31, all emphases added. [6/08/09]

The ransom that the Lord Jesus Christ paid was not the fulfillment of any contract or covenant or transaction with the Devil. No deal was cut. Yet Jesus was certainly a bait that Satan did take! Call it DEVIL-BAITING if you will, but the Lord was definitely—designedlysurrendered to his (and God’s) enemies so that God could display His premial justice before the whole world by overturning the Adversary’s plot…from the inside out! Satan did, predictably, take the bait, hook, line, and sinker! The Tempter gets hooked by temptation! Haha!! And what a jolly outcome followed! Now there’s a whopper of an angler’s tale. I’m not gonna lie to ya. [6/08/09; 2/15/17]

The restorative justice that both inaugurated and was inaugurated by the New Covenant in the Messiah’s blood went way over the top of anybody’s expectations until Jesus himself demonstrated its vast import. For he exhibited its power to heal the sick, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the diseased, etc., restoring them to full health! Moreover, it restored wealth to the poor and needy! It restored status to the downtrodden! It restores prosperity and fruitfulness to the famine-stricken! It restores liberty to the oppressed and imprisoned! THIS IS BIG!

All of this and more, is implied and included in the act of GOD’S RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IN MESSIAH’S RESURRECTION! [6/10/09; penned after reading Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Justice: Rights and Wrongs (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 2010).]

Jesus never sinned because, even though he had a body of flesh with its disposition of death and enmity to God, he was “not in flesh, but in [God’s] Spirit” (Romans 8:5, 7, Hebrews 9:14). For he always was “walking in accord with Spirit” or “getting led by God’s Spirit” (Romans 8:4-14, Galatians 6:16-18). Thus he remained ever obedient and faithful to God—“the Holy and Just One(Acts 3:14). This same Spirit was “the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10) by which he endured in wholesomeness and righteousness throughout his whole life, and with especial power after his immersion, for what he was to endure for our sake, but with yet more superabundant power—enough to animate a whole new body of wholesome ones!—after the supercompensating justice of God awarded his covenantal faithfulness with resurrection from the dead and soaring exaltation to God’s right side!

It is no coincidence that it is precisely Romans, Galatians, and Philippians 3, which expound God’s justice, that exclusively speak this way about the Spirit! [6/10/09]

What final good is an atonement for the “guilt” of sin (i.e., with respect to the offender) that does not atone for the damage that sin causes to its victim? I submit that only a resurrectionary atonement displays authentic potency to rectify the complete panorama of sin’s devastation. A PENAL ATONEMENT FALLS SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. [6/10/09]

The righteousness/justice of God that devolves “on faith” (Philippians 3:9, Romans 3:22) is the just award (Romans 5:16,18, 8:4) of agelong life (Romans 5:17-21, 6:23, 8:2-14) which was manifested (Romans 3:21, 1 John 1:1-2, Titus 1:2-3, 2 Timothy 1:1) in Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:9-11, Romans 1:1-4, 4:25, 8:10-11), namely, the Gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20-3:14, Romans 5:15-17, 8:1-17, Acts 2:30-39, 5:29-32, 10:39-47, etc.), for righteousness proceeds from whatever is able to make alive (ζωοποι) (Galatians 3:21). Therefore, “the righteousness of Godwhich has gotten manifestapart from [Moses’] Law(which cannot make alive!) (Romans 3:21) “through Jesus Christ’s faithfulness” (Romans 3:22, Galatians 3:22), namely, the Father’s promised Gift of the Holy Spirit (against the fruits of which “there is no Law,” Galatians 5:23) of life agelong, in His graciousness, exclusively qualifies! [6/10/09]

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The doctrinalizing of justification

The reason why the apostle Paul’s concept of justification could swell to the dimensions of an enormous “doctrine” in the minds and writings of Protestant reformers is that the underlying teaching about atonement coming from Anselm did not satisfy. So its deficiencies were made up for by—[sigh] you guessed it—overcompensation. The real, apostolic, and much more modest dimensions of justification can be seen in the elegant, slim and, of course, quite thoroughly resurrectionary volume by Markus Barth, Justification: Pauline Texts Interpreted in the Old and New Testaments (Eerdmans, 1971). That’s all there is to it. [5/29/09]

Israel’s Passover experience was the pivotal and paradigmatic episode of what was to become generally termed “protective covering” or, less accurately but more commonly in modern parlance, “atonement.” [5/29/09]

If we go no farther than A. M. Stibbs’ understanding of “blood” as “a visible token of life violently ended; it is a sign of life either given or taken in death,”* then we stop short of the Scriptures, for they proceed to assign enormously more weight to “innocentblood (much less, to “sinless”!), and add yet more significance to the blood of sacrifices. The blood of a sinless (human) soul/life sacrificed voluntarily to God at the hands of sinners in a deliberate, official, public, shameful, unjust event, ultimately forebodes … RESURRECTION from the dead by way of JUST SUPERCOMPENSATION, along with the power of the Spirit for washing and healing that made it possible! But the graciousness of that resurrection goes even a giant step further by GIVING THAT PREMIUM AWAY TO THOSE VERY SINNERS FOR FREE, provided they accept it, of course. [6/01/09]

*The Meaning of the Word ‘Blood’ in Scripture (London, 1954), p. 30. Quoted in Leon Morris, The Cross in the New Testament (Paternoster, 1965), 219.

THE PREMIUM ON KNUCKLEHEADS

The perennial wrangling between Calvinists and Arminians is parallel to the bad blood between Albrightians and “minimalists.” In both debates—the theological one focusing on soteriology and the historical one focusing on synchronism between ancient Israel and the surrounding nations, each pole of the respective controversy made the identical false assumption, but at a level too far down and too tacit for either contestant to challenge. Had they done so, subsequent events would certainly have been radically different, because the real solution in each case could have become evident far sooner and with far less grief and toxic acrimony for all parties to have to repent from and clean up. As events actually turned out, the controversies remain bitter and the battles fierce. Moreover, BOTH SIDES OF EACH CONTROVERSY WILL INSTINCTIVELY CLOSE RANKS, AS IF ON CUE, AGAINST CHAMPIONS OF ANY TRUTH THAT BOTH SIDES HAPPEN TO BE BLIND TO!

The persons who bring these facts to public attention are, as likely as not (…no, actually more likely) to be vilified by all sides for fulfilling this thankless task. Immanuel Velikovsky was. The facts were all on his side—overwhelmingly so—yet he was not spared the most dishonorable, yea vicious verbal attacks. What he discovered concerning ancient chronology, history, and archaeology (to mention no others of the numerous fields his pivotal discoveries necessarily challenged), although becoming truer every day that a spade unearths more of Near Eastern antiquity, is no less under the opprobrium of the university chair-holders than before. Will this be the fate of the new light on the Atonement? Will Calvinists and Arminians see the common error of their ways and repent, reconcile with each other, and go forth united to proclaim a radically truer account of the ‘Crossurrection’ of Jesus Christ their Lord, or will they retreat to their respective trenches and become yet more…entrenched? [6/04/09]

Penal justice is only saving in the sense that it rids the righteous of their vicious enemies. But Restorative justice is necessary to save sinful humans from their own sins. [6/04/09] This latter is what Jesus evoked from heaven by voluntarily laying down all that his own covenant faithfulness could-should have earned him as the Messiah of Israel so that through the injustice of his death by bloodshed he would win infinitely more by way of divinely just super-compensation! By allowing himself to die and be buried, He could then come forth in superabundant measure as a seed is multiplied into a mighty, multifold harvest! [11/13/07]

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“Taking sin seriously”?

The orthodox evangelical complaint against Jesus would be that he “didn’t take sin seriously enough,” for he managed to commute a capital crime of adultery (John 8); welcomed a convicted robber into intimate friendship (Luke 23:40-43); taught that we should not demand payment of debts but outright forgive them; allowed a prostitute to wash his feet with her own hair (of all the brazen acts!) and anoint them extravagantly, “wastefully”; allowed his learners to pick grain on the Sabbath day…and husk it,,,and eat it! And more. [5/19/09]

To “bear sins” is to bear or carry the load of everything they entail—guilt, punishment, consequences (also unintended), associated evils, death, etc.—in other words, all that we commonly include in “responsibility.” [5/19/09]

The evangelical rationale for “taking sin seriously” going back to John Calvin and beyond to Anselm, certainly underlay the brutal and otherwise unconscionably savage treatment of “lawbreakers” in England since the Protestant (“Anglican”) Reformation and well into the 19th century. This barbaric treatment (which is never approached even in the Old Testament Mosaic legislation, nor even under ancient Greek democratic and Roman republican practices) has been demonstrated to be linked to the rise of urban propertied classes. Clearly, petty sins were being far, far too seriously punished, in flagrant violation of the teaching of the Master Jesus Christ! Yet this hideous commonplace still appears to hit its mark with Christians even in the 21st century! And who shall “atone” for all these aggravated wrongs of our criminal system? [5/19/09]

The resurrection of Christ, understood atoningly utterly nullifies any “need” or “utility” for a “vicarious,” “substitutionary” atonement in any penal sense whatever. For, ultimately, it announces the reality and reliability of a New Creation where all harms will be super-compensated and all goods magnified. [5/22/09]

THE GRAND SACRIFICE PLAY AT THE CROSS: A BATTLE LOST, A WAR WON!

At the cross, Jesus lost forever his opportunity—his option, his privilege, his right—to becaome the king of ethnic Israel as it was then constituted, because he lost his life (psuche) as it was then constituted. However, by virtue of the magnified reparation of God’s covenanted righteousness, true to His promises, Jesus was exalted to the exclusive lordship over the entire created universe, including kingship over all nations, and not exclusively over ancient Israel.

Jesus’ defeat at the cross was not, therefore, merely illusory, but only temporary and ever only partial. The strategy of his Father, which Jesus followed to a T , was intended to win the war, although at a real cost and loss…“A SACRIFICE PLAY”! The ultimate goal was to regather all nations that had, one and all, wandered away from the true God like straying sheep. Jesus was commissioned to assemble them into one fold and, together, inherit a renewed earth. [5/28/09]

In the entirety of Israel’s history prior to the career accomplishments of the Messiah, Jesus, God was “accepting tokens” in lieu of the substantive and, finally, real achievements that he brought to light…and into currency. Animal sacrifices and other sorts of offerings, blood, incense, anointings, libations, oblations, washings, etc., were only tokens, symbolic of the luminous reality to come, but insofar as they were performed in faith, according to the commandment, were well-pleasing to God FOR MESSIAH’S SAKE. They were instructional object lessons to lead the people to Jesus whenever he should arrive. [5/28/09]

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2 Corinthians 5:21 and Galatians 3:13 are NOT PARALLEL

Those theologians (and they are legion) who place 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Galatians 3:13 on the same hermeneutical (i.e., interpretive) footing are under a strong delusion not easily dispelled. For they can only make them mutually adhere by equatingsin” and “curse.” The inadmissibility of this lies on the very surface, yet goes to the core. FOR IT IS NOT A SIN TO CURSE NOR A CURSE TO SIN. It is not a sin to curse (in the sense of covenantal curses) or God could not have issued and executed so many! Nor is sinning itself a curse or it could not coherently become liable for invoking or enacting a curse against itself! DIVINE CURSES ARE NOT SINS AND HUMAN SINS ARE NOT CURSES. God’s curses are almost (!) all covenantal sanctions against sins, whereas human sins are precisely those behaviors prohibited and proscribed with the authority of lawful curses. What confusion it is, therefore, to interpret these two passages as treating the identical matter in synonymous fashion! For even if we acquiesce in their insistent mistranslation of 2 Corinthians 5:21 as, “For the One not knowing sin He makes to be a sin for our sakes that we may be becoming God’s righteousness in Him,” still this does not equate to, “Christ reclaims us from the curse of the Law, becoming a curse for our sakes…that the blessing of Abraham may be becoming to the nations in Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 3:13-14a). A curse is a legitimate sanction to engender fear of sinning; a sin is an illegitimate practice that can unleash the fearful evils of a curse. To “become a curse,” therefore, is to experience the evil prescribed for contravening the associated deed. Jesus, by “getting hung on a timber [xul-),” triggered the curse of getting cut off from the people of God, out of the land of the living. However, getting thus hung was by no means a sin, although it brought the greatest evil that the Law of Moses could stipulate against an individual. The lack of proper Biblical distinction between sin and evil has compounded the interpretive confusion on this important issue.

In any case, we cannot agree to the common mistranslation under consideration. 2 Corinthians 5:21, in accord with the analogy of Scripture concordantly analyzed, harks back to the usages found by the score in Leviticus and Numbers. There is no need to dilate on the obvious parallel here. It is well known and but for the recalcitrant legacy of the medieval doctrine of penal substitution, these two passages would never have been forced into the same mold. Nevertheless, inasmuch as for Christ to be caused to be a sin-offering by God through surrender to crucifixion by the plotting of sinners, he did assuredly experience the Law’s curse (although not for either his sin—he had none—nor his “identification with sin”—a pure fiction—nor yet a “transference of sin” from mankind/the elect to him—another fabrication), but it was wrong, so God annulled the Law and raised Jesus from the cursed death to win the blessing of Abraham—the promise of the Spirit by which we get immersed in Christ and so become God’s righteousness. Voila! THUS GOD’S RECTIFYING RESTORATIVE JUSTICE INSTEAD OF HIS PENALIZING JUSTICE GETS ACTUALIZED IN THE PROCESS OF SALVATION. Grasping this utterly vital truth illuminates both of these marvelous passages in Paul’s writings and makes them kiss rather than clash. [5/15/09]

The comprehensive Christian ethic of the Resurrection pivots on the radical norms of graciousness and truth, mercy and peace. This ethical content soars high above the Mosaic ethic and required the advent of the Son of God to unveil its absoluteness and glory and good fruits. It took love for God and fellow humans to new heights hardly possible for the ancient world—Levitical rites and all—to imagine. [5/18/09]

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Did Jesus “sweat drops of blood” in dread of God’s wrath or of ‘mere’ crucifixion?

Orthodox evangelical* theologians tend to minimize the dread Jesus felt as he anticipated the pain and shame of his execution. They understandably wish to play down these “merely human” fears out of deference to what they allege as the “real” reason for his sweating drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane: “Forsakenness by God,” in wrath.  But this is to skew, out of penal substitutionary motives, what we should learn from Scripture concerning the true humanity of our Savior in light of the authentic justice of the Father that delays its unveiling until Christ’s mighty resurrection. Only this does true justice also to Christ’s full identification with our own truly human trepidation at such a gruesome fate, temporary as he likewise fully knew it would be! He suffered that dreaded abuse in profoundly faithful confidence of being rescued only after expiring first. [5/14/09]

*E.g., John Stott, The Cross of Christ (InterVarsity Press, 1986, 2006).

The Protestant Reformation recovered scarcely half the Gospel (to venture a ballpark guesstimate). The apostolic Proclamation centered upon the vital synapse between Christ’s cross and resurrection. These two “halves” must be kept together, as indeed history has placed them, inseparably. However, Protestantism has been predominantly death oriented, stressing the first “half” of the Proclamation. But this is in reality less than half of the whole, for a cross without a resurrection is nothing out of the ordinary—Rome somehow managed that at a ratio of at least 10,000 to One! But the second half of the Proclamation—resurrection FROM THE DEADobviously and inextricably includes the first half. THUS LET US ALWAYS “ERR” ON THE RESURRECTION SIDE! If less than half the Gospel can bring a Reformation, what might the whole bloomin’ Gospel inaugurate? [5/14/09]

Melchizedek (“king of righteousness”) is a perfect precursor of Christ’s high priestly office since the latter, as being from the tribe of Judah and house of David, was also a king, whose righteousness goes without saying and beyond measure! Not to mention that Melchizedek was king of Salem (“peace”), the primitive name of Jerusalem (“inherit-peace”). Thus the ancient Melchizedek mingled offices and attributes at that undifferentiated stage of civilization, even as the Messiah, being the pre-begotten Son of God, was to do in a perfected stage of civilization by the New Creation, and anticipated by his career during his first coming. ]5/15/09]

The divine restorative justice that raised Christ from the dead opened up GRACE SPACE for his killers to freely, voluntarily repent uncoerced. But after this lengthy, kindly reprieve, those who hardened up their hearts to this generous show of love were left to their vindictive inclinations and broke into factions that consumed one another in a terrifying exhibit of divine penal justice. Everything in good time. [5/15/09]

The Cross was yet another, and by far the greatest, demonstration of “the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:25) in all of history. Whereas He justly could have intervened to save His Own and destroy his killers, HE FOREBORE TO AVENGE the wicked official execution of His sinless Son! There, with paradigmatic clarity, God did with the due penalty of their murderous sin precisely what He did time after time with Israel’s penalties due their sins that had occurred before—HE PASSED OVER THEM! (Romans 3:25) HE WAS “NOT RECKONING THEIR OFFENSES TO THEM (2 Corinthians 5:19) in that resounding historic display of kindness, and thereby brought them  “impossibly” to repentance and conciliation.  For what is impossible with humans is possible with God.

But THE VINDICATION of that FORBEARING, HISTORIC SPAN OF SOLITARY MERCY WAS HIS VIRTUALLY INSTANTANEOUS RAISING JESUS FROM AMONG THE DEAD TO LIFE EVERMORE! [5/15/09]

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The priest LAYING HANDS ON the doomed sacrifice prophetically signified his identification those who LAID HANDS ON Christ to crucify him.

The sacrificial blood symbolizes the magnified power of Christ’s resurrected life now available for remission of sins, healing of diseases, rectification of injuries, cleansing of corruptions, hallowing of defilements, regeneration of degenerations, rejuvenation of the aging, life from the dead! [5/13/09]

The ancient ritual imposition of hands on the soon-to-be-slain sacrificial victim, far from representing “identification” with the victim in its death actually depicts identification with the victimizer(s) in their slaying of the victim, although the priest actually (though only representatively, “substitutionally”) wielded the implement of death for the sake of the sinner(s). Thereby they identify themselves as culpable for the slaughter of the unblemished soul that thus wrongfully died, yet by which, in God’s secret plan, overcompensating justice would be done by way of a reward of life immortal and distributable to any sinner who trusts this radical and incredibly surprising expedient! This identification with the murder itself is obviously a confession of sin/guilt, and that is why the life that ensues includes them, for they are “taking responsibility” for the sin-offering. [5/13/09]

The sacrifices of the daily sin-offerings and yearly Day of Atonement/Protective Covering did not aim at staving off God’s wrath but procuring His favor! There is more than a slight shift in angle of vision between the two! Nor did Jesus win God’s graciousness for us by satisfying God’s indignation against us for our sins. Far, far otherwise! He actually, astonishingly, resolutely suffered yet more, and more gratuitous, abuses from those he was commissioned by God to save—abuses that could well have triggered either his own, or at least his Father’s outburst of avenging anger at this, oh so flammable, “Last Straw” from a thankless nation! BUT NO! FROM OUT OF … NOWHERE CAME A QUANTUM LEAP OF GRACIOUSNESS THAT CAUSED THE WHOLE ANCIENT WORLD TO REEL IN ASTONISHED GRATITUDE THAT THERE WAS A REAL, TRUE, HISTORICALLY ACTING GOD OF UNEARTHLY POWER AND UNPLUMBED KINDNESS WHO HAD ACTUALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO BYPASS HUMAN EXPECTATIONS AND SHOW TOTALLY UNDESERVED FORGIVENESS TO THE CRIMINALLY INCLINED IN SUCH AN ENDEARING MANNER THAT THEY WOULD DROP THEIR FUTILELY FATAL WEAPONS AND GET CONCILIATED IN AN UNCHARACTERISTIC EXHIBIT OF INSTANT SUBMISSION AND LIFELONG FEALTY!

In stark, antithetical contrast, how could some fictive “appeasing,” “pacifying,” or “placating” of some treasured up wrath from a God justifiably ticked at human perversity and cruelty ever possibly come within a light-year of generating, much less CREDIBLY DEMONSTRATING, THE MAGNETIC MAGNITUDE OF DRAWING POWER THAT THE FORMER GUSH OF PURE GRACE DOES? THERE IS SIMPLY NO COMPARISON! [5/13/09]

A resurrectionary conception of God’s justice brings together in harmony, reconciles, and unifies the otherwise disparate and mutually repellant attributes of God’s FATHERHOOD (so mightily advanced by John McLeod Campbell and John Frederick Denison Maurice) and His juridical rectitude. ONLY RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CAN ACHIEVE THIS COALESCENCE! The solution the church—the world!—has been waiting for throughout many a grim, penal century of theological incarceration. [5/13/09]

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AN OPEN JOURNAL to NEW CITY FELLOWSHIP, Grand Rapids, MI — Retrospective #3

Sunday, February 22, 2015

On this Sunday (my third), Pastor Mika Edmondson preached on “The Parable of the Soils” in Mark 4:1-20.  He was very keen (in his sermon and his prayer) on stressing the security we can have in the confidence that the Holy Spirit has effectually called us.  He did not, however, derive this from the text he had chosen, for it is not there.  In fact, it is not anywhere in Scripture.  The pivotal issue concerns the power that generates faith — is it the Holy Spirit or the Word of the Gospel?  What does Scripture say?

After the sermon, I approached him to make some observations on the actual language of the text.  There is no indication that the Holy Spirit “prepares the soil of our hearts” to be receptive to the Gospel; that amounts to eisegesis–“reading into” the text other assumptions.  However, I well knew where his assumptions came from.  Therefore I decided to get him a copy of the following document, which I had originally prepared in the fall of the year in which I wrote my first major treatments of the Atonement (“77 Questions about the Atonement” and “95 Theses on the Atonement”), 2007.  Although it is not a document about the Atonement per se, yet its contents need to be emphasized whenever confronting the Calvinistic version of salvation in whatever aspect considered.

The New Testament documents are very consistent in teaching that God’s Explanation in the Gospel has been endued with the power and assigned the role of drawing sinners to salvation; the Holy Spirit is never said to function in this way.  The Holy Spirit inspired the persons who penned their testimonies also on this subject!  No human has any business altering or adding to this testimony, even if they were instructed in seminary to do so.  The Holy Spirit, in effect, wrote a Book, for Heaven’s sake!  So if any person blends what they hear from that Explanation with their own faith (which its testimony is credited with evoking!), then they can benefit from it in a saving way.  Every element has its divine role to play.  And woe be to those who dare tamper with those assignments.  The results, historically speaking, have been both unwarranted certainty and unwarranted uncertainty concerning salvation; both overweening cockiness and paralyzing phobia; both jaunty antinomianism and pathological legalism.

This all means that the Seed of God’s Explanation of the Gospel, although mighty to save, can be neutralized by our sovereign human response, because that sovereignty, mortal and finite as it is, derives from our being created in God’s own image and was not effaced by sin.  The parable of the soils is a powerful testimony to hard reality and should serve as a warning of the perils surrounding us.  Pastor Edmondson did not preach it with this emphasis, however.  It is for this very reason that I supplied him with a printed copy of the following compilation on the next Sunday, during the potluck.

GOSPEL PROCLAMATION / DECLARATION / EXPLANATION:

GOD’S LIVING POWER TO EVOKE FAITH UNTO SALVATION

Ronald L. Roper

“In the beginning was the Explanation….All came to be through it….In it was life, and the life was the light of mankind.” (John 1:1, 3, 4)

“For the Explanation of God is living and operative and keen above any two-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12)

Having been regenerated, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the Explanation of God, living and permanentthe Declaration of the Lord is remaining for the age.  Now this is the Declaration which is being proclaimed to you.” (I Peter, 1:23, 25)

“Receive with meekness the implanted Explanation which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21)

“For the Explanation of the cross…to us who are getting saved…is the power of God.” (I Cor. 1:18)  “We are heralding Christ…the power of God.” (I Cor. 1:23, 24)  “If Christ has not been raised, vain is your faith—you are still in your sins.” (I Cor. 15:17)

“No one can come to me if ever the Father who sends me should not be drawing him”; “and I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to myself.” (John 6:44, 12:32)

“If ever you should be confessing with your mouth the Declaration the Jesus is Lord, and should be believing in your heart that God raises him from among the dead, you shall be saved.  For with the heart it is believed unto righteousness, yet with the mouth it is confessed unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:9)

The Proclamation…is God’s power unto salvation to everyone who is believing…for a righteousness of God is being revealed in it, out of faithfulness unto faith, according as it is written:  ‘Now the just one out of faithfulness, shall be living’.” (Rom. 1:16, 17)

“Consequently, faith is out of tidings, yet the tidings through a Declaration of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17)
The sacred Scripturesare able to make you wise for salvation through faithfulness, which is in Christ Jesus.” (II Tim. 3:15)

“Now I am committing you to God and to the Explanation of His graciousness, which is able to edify and give the inheritance among all who have gotten hallowed [by that Explanation of truth they believe, John 17:17-20].” (Acts 20:32)

November 2007; revised July 30, 2009, April 3-4, 2015.

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