Are we preaching a diluted Gospel?

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A brother wrote to me out of great concern and had said that we might be preaching a diluted gospel. I thought this is a pertinent question that every grace believer will be confronted with. I thought it good that I reproduce his concerns and my answers to him. 
 
“What are your thoughts in this statement below? This was an fb status of a friend and it quite bothered me, i need some help, Because this person claims that the Gospel also includes repentance from sin and the Lordship of Christ, what do you think?

“A DILUTED GOSPEL – One of the biggest problem of evangelical Christianity today is that there is that the gospel presentation is being diluted. There’s little or no presentation of repentance of sin and surrendering your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A lot of those who present the Gospel ask people to make Jesus their Savior, but do not emphasize that when becoming a Christian is a complete and total surrender of their lives to Jesus Christ. Hence we see a lot of alleged conversion when the truth of the matter is a lot of people never really understand that being a Christian is a life commitment for Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said this that if anybody wants to become his disciple he is to deny himself, take up his cross and follow him. He asked the rich young ruler who was asking him how to obtain eternal life to acknowledge his sinfulness and follow him. Everywhere you read in the Gospels, Jesus preached a Gospel of commitment, a Gospel of complete surrender to his will. This is the Gospel Jesus preached, this is the Gospel the Apostles preached. Sadly this is not being emphasized at all as we only ask people for Jesus to be their Savior but never ask a commitment from them if they are willing to submit to his Lordship. Jesus himself said that there will be only few who will enter the narrow gate which leads to a narrow way and one of the reasons why is because the narrow way is a way of commitment a way of suffering for the cause of Christ and people do not want that.

Hence it will be no surprise that in judgement day as Jesus in the sermon on the mount that many will think that they are saved because they thought that one day they prayed a “sinner’s prayer” or they walked down the aisle, or they signed the card or raised their hands but there was never any fruits or that any chance that can be seen in their life, to these people Jesus said that he will then say “I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity.” It is therefore incumbent upon us those preaching the Gospel to make sure that we are presenting the Gospel that Jesus, the Apostles and the early church fathers preached and not some form of diluted, easy-believism Gospel with no commitment for the cause of Jesus Christ.

And if it will help correct a misconception and an error we should not count into our statistics the thousands or millions that supposedly raised their hands or prayed the sinner’s prayer as “saved” or count the number of “souls saved” but rather label them as “professions of faith” as only God knows if they have been regenerated within their hearts and only time will tell after they have allegedly made their profession of faith if it can be seen in the change in their lives and if they produce fruits in their lives can we truly say that at the time they made the sinner’s prayer that they had truly been saved.The Gospel is as Jesus says it is. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” Mathew 16:24. When the rich young ruler asked how to inherit eternal life, Jesus gave the same consistent answer.

It is not what theologians or would be theologians describe what it is. Jesus requires complete and total surrender to Him period. Its not works, it complete surrender and without His grace and mercy we would not even have the capacity to surrender to his will, so its still not our works lest we should boast about it. It’s still through faith by grace.”

Firstly … there is a difference between what happened before the cross and after the cross. When Jesus was saying that we have to take up the cross, it is the way of salvation before he died. Paul speaks about the same thing in Galatians 2:20 wherein we have been already crucified with him. You now live as him. https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/are-we-dead-yet/

2ndly. You have to understand what it means when Jesus said “I never knew you”. You must read the passage of scripture in matthew 7. The issue here is this: the people who were condemned were actually serving but they were not doing the Father’s will. The Father’s will is defined for us in John 6. That is to believe in Him. The people Jesus was referring to are unbelievers trying to go into the kingdom by works: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/when-jesus-says-i-never-knew-you-and-when-jesus-says-i-will-never-cast-you-out/

3rdly if you look at Romans 10 Paul draws a difference between the kind of righteousness which your friend preaches about (ie by doing) and the one given by God. The tense behind the word “confess” is in the aorist tense which means when you do it once it is good forever. It does not mean keep on confessing “Jesus is Lord”. Also note the emphasis of the word “mouth”. It is with your mouth and your heart. Not your commitment. See also Romans 5 you are saved by Christ’s obedience not yours.
 
Lastly what is wrong in believing in the fact that God wants it easy for us to be saved? Why did Jesus suffer and die? So that we can suffer and die in the same manner? Romans 10 is the best chapter to refer to. Paul says righteousness by faith is by way of speaking but righteousness by law is about doing. Paul in chapter 10 says “don’t climb up to the mountain” or “go down into the sea” to look for Christ but he is near your mouth. It is God who made it easy because Jesus suffered hard for it. The kind of Gospel your friend is preaching is not the Gospel at all. It is a modernize form of Judaism which speaks about you following hard after God. Real Christianity is not about you following God.  It is God putting in Christ. You being united in his death his burial and his resurrection. Do you even know where you are? You are seated in the heaven realms with Christ next to the Father. See Ephesians 1. You are already holy. blameless and without fault. See Colossians 1.  
 
I personally the diluted gospel is one which we preach that devoid the power of the cross and makes it conditional on my obedience or my commitment to Christ. It is the focus on what I can do rather than what has been done for me. Read this: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/preaching-christ-less-messages-michael-horton/
 
This is what he says

“When the emphasis becomes human-centered rather than God-centered. In more conservative contexts, you hear it as exhortation: “These are God’s commandments. The culture is slipping away from us. We have to recover it, and you play a role. Is your life matching up to what God calls us to?” Of course there is a place for that, but it seems to be the dominant emphasis.

Then there is the therapeutic approach: “You can be happier if you follow God’s principles.” All of this is said with a smile, but it’s still imperative. It’s still about techniques and principles for you to follow in order to have your best life now.

In both cases, it’s law rather than gospel. I don’t even know when I walk into a church that says it’s Bible-believing that I’m actually going to hear an exposition of Scripture with Christ at the center, or whether I’m going to hear about how I should “dare to be a Daniel.” The question is not whether we have imperatives in Scripture. The question is whether the imperatives are all we are getting, because people assume we already know the gospel—and we don’t.”

Why do people think this is the Gospel? 

“It’s our default setting. No one has to be taught to trust in themselves. No one has to be taught that what you experience inside yourself is more authoritative than what comes to you externally, even if it comes from God. Since the Fall, it has been part of our character to look within ourselves.”

For Michael this is the Gospel

“The gospel has nothing to do with what I do. The gospel is entirely a message about what someone else has done not only for me but also for the renewal of the whole creation…. Paul calls the gospel “the power of God unto salvation,” and I don’t think he meant the power of God just unto conversion. The gospel remains the power of God unto salvation until we are glorified. Calvin once said we need the gospel preached to us every week, and the Lord’s Supper to ratify that promise, because we are partly unbelievers until we die.”

On the point of having to do this and that, Michael says this:

The gospel is not even my conversion experience. If somebody asks me what the gospel is, I’m not going to talk about me; I’m going to talk about Christ. All of the testimonies we find from the apostles’ lips are not testimonies about what happened in their hearts. They are testimonies about what happened in history when God saved his people from their sins. That’s the gospel. Although the gospel makes all sorts of things happen inside of me and gives me the fruit of the Spirit, the gospel itself is always an external word that comes to me announcing that someone else in history has accomplished my salvation for me.

Someone comes with instructions and says, “Here’s what your life could be like if you do x, y, or z.” Good news is, “Let me tell you what has happened!” The gospel is not good instructions, not a good idea, and not good advice. The gospel is an announcement of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.”

The phrase “making Jesus Lord and Savior” does not appear anywhere in Scripture (any more than does “personal relationship”). It assumes we are the ones who make God something. It is hard to imagine a Jew saying he made God his liberator and Lord in the Exodus. No. God made the Israelites the recipients of his saving and lordly work. So we don’t make God anything; it is he who makes us his people. The Good News is not that Jesus has made it possible for you to make him Lord and Savior. The Good News is that he has actually saved and liberated you, and that he is your Savior!

So be at rest! You are saved!

22 Comments

  1. What about Matthew 25:31-46? The “accursed” were calling Jesus “Lord” (v 44). And when Jesus explained why they were accursed, he didn’t say “because you didn’t believe,” but instead, enumerated the WORKS they did not do (v 41-43).

    Here are the other verses speaking about the importance of works:
    cf Philippians 2:12-14 “So then, my beloved, OBEDIENT as you have always been…WORK out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and TO WORK. DO every thing without grumbling or questioning…”

    James 1:22 “Be DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

    James 2:14,17, 24 “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has not works? Can his faith save him? . . . So faith by itself, if it has no works is dead. See how a person is justified by WORKS and NOT BY FAITH ALONE.”

    And if it doesn’t matter if Christians sin, why does Paul warn the Christians of Galatians that evildoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? (Gal 5:19-21) In fact, it is possible for Christians to “fall from grace” or become “disqualified.”(1 COr 9:27, Gal 5:1,4)

    Indeed, we are saved by faith and God’s grace. But this is not to the exclusion of works. Because as Phil 2:12-14 said, God is the one who works in us, meaning, it is also through his grace that we are able to do good works. But remember that as free beings, we are capable of rejecting God’s grace, hence, explaining why we often fail to do good things. SOmetimes, we even fall into grave sin and thus fall away from grace. That’s why we must struggle to “work out” our salvation with “fear and trembling.” We should pray to God for the grace to become more faithful to him and the pray always for forgiveness, as Christ taught us in the Lord’s Prayer. Indeed, if ever we fail, God’s grace and mercy is always there to lift us up again as we repent of our sins and restore us in his grace. As a Catholic, God assures me of forgiveness of sins (even grave sins) through the Sacrament of Penance, in which Christ gave the Apostles and their successors the power to forgive sins (John 21:22-23)

  2. Dear Vince,

    Thank you for your reply. I can see you are sincere in your questions. Sometimes things are not as they seem. I have written much about what you have to ask. So let me answer you with my notes. I hope that is fair.

    Sheep and the Goats

    The parable of the goats and sheep is probably the most misunderstood. It does not refer to the kindness of the sheep or its good works. It is about the differing nature of the sheep and the goats. The sheep do good works without knowing it. The goats, on the other hand, base their existence, on not missing out on good works. They delight in it so much that they forget, what really matters. In Israel the sheep and the goats are in a single sheep fold. The shepherd separates them by their nature.

    If you have a nature that trust in your good works you are a goat. If you possess a nature that produces good works you are a sheep. This is because the Holy Spirit is in you. He is the one that fills your heart with the nature of God. As such the emphasis is not about your works but the change in nature when you believe in Jesus. He is the one that works within you. Its about His works in you and not the ones you produce.

    Phillipians 2

    Here is an article to help you: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/working-out-your-salvation-d-l-moody/

    You must again understand that “fear and trembling” in a phrase Paul uses. In 1st Corinthians he says “I come to you not with eloquence but by the power of the Spirit, I come to you with much fear and trembling”. As such Paul is saying that work out your salvation with the power of the Spirit. Look at Phillipians 1, Paul says he who begins a good work in you shall complete it in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. Also Paul contrasts works and faith in Chapter 3. And he says I consider my works via the law dung, that I may know a righteousness by faith. So he could not have been talking about working out your salvation by works.

    Galatians 5: Falling from Grace.

    If you read very carefully the term falling from grace does not mean sinning. It means you started believing you are saved by grace then you revert to law or mixture to save yourself. Also if you read carefully, the evildoers who will not inherit the kingdom do not refer to believers. They refer to unbelievers. Paul in 1st Corinthians stated that was who they WERE despite the fact they were still doing all those sins mentioned. What he was saying is this, despite the fact that they were still sinning they are still the new creation in Christ. Paul’s rebuke was not because that they will lose their identity by sinning BUT that they may recognize who they ARE and NOT WERE that they may stop sinning.
    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/how-do-we-actually-run-the-good-race/

    James

    Let’s look at James.

    what does it mean to be a doer of the word?

    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/how-do-we-become-doers-of-the-word-mark-boyce-4/

    What about faith without works. Now this takes some biblical history:

    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/doesnt-james-214-18-make-it-plain-that-good-works-are-required-for-salvation-3/

    Being disqualified

    You must again read things in its context. Here’s a note
    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/disqualified-from-the-prize/

    As regards to the issue of forgiveness you have been totally forgiven. See: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/why-i-dont-believe-1-john-19-is-written-to-believers-2/

    Dear Vince,

    I hope you will read everything that I share with you. You would also note for many years I was like you under the impression that I have to “work” to keep my favour with the Lord until Pastor Joseph Prince opened my eyes. I restudied my bible this time in context. I realized I had misunderstood its message. I took 2 years and re read all the passages which you have quoted in its context and realized it totally means something else. I know its not easy and it will take time. But the conclusion is this, Jesus did everything when He says “it is finished”. It really is. We are not saved by our obedience but His. See romans 5 … be blessed!

  3. first. this post is really heart pinching.. 🙂

    Everyday, I am in the process of divorcing from old adam.

    the old adam is addicted to good works unto justification
    I have to overcome the though that
    1. “faith performs”
    2. “the saved performs, thus saved not by faith alone”
    3. “baptism saves”
    4. “witnessing to others is a sign of faith”
    and the likes.

    If we have reach the point where we truly believe we are justified by faith alone before God, that even if we screw up, that even if we sin, we sill believe we are justififed by faith, then we are indeed God justifies us because we believe by faith.

    only the self righteouss will refute that justification is not by faith alone but rather faith plus works.

    only the confused will say, “I must get right first with God” then only I will start believing that I am justified by faith, for God to justify me.

    by all means no!
    we are Justified by faith alone.

    I really wish to post some verse. but then I choose to push back to the scripture.

    meditate on the entire Galatians.
    and we will understand what is justification by faith alone meant.

    – grace and peace

  4. Hi Simon! Thanks for the reply. These are a lot of articles, so please allow me to focus only on some of them.

    It seems that there are many things we hold in common. To facilitate efficiency of discussion, let me first state what I believe in so we won’t have to further argue on what we already agree in.

    I’m a Catholic, so I believe in what the Catholic Church teaches, holding that it is to this Church whom Christ entrusted to safeguard his teachings. Here’s a link to the official Catholic teaching on justification, grace, merit, and Christian holiness:

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6Y.HTM

    So you see, here’s what we hold in common: it’s God grace that saves the Christian, not his works. Even the good works a Christian is able to do or the evil he is able to avoid owes it to God as a work of grace.

    But this seems where we disagree: you hold that the 10 commandments does not have a hold on Christian salvation. You seem to suggest that a person can willfully violate these commandments (ex. murder or rape someone) and still not lose the salvation Christ earned for him, even without his repenting of his sins. (please correct me if I misunderstood). I hold that it is possible to “fall away from grace” by willfully committing a grave evil in full knowledge and full consent (for Catholics, this is called ‘mortal sin’). But if someone falls from grace and sincerely repents and goes to the Sacrament of Penance, Christ’s grace restores him in justification.

    You hold that a Christian must not strive or struggle to uproot his sinful deeds. That whatever good we do or the sin we avoid are merely the added bonus of the grace that takes effect in us. (again, please correct me if I misunderstood) I hold that a Christian must struggle to avoid evil (observe the commandments and love his neighbor) cooperating with the grace of God. Indeed it is still God’s grace that makes the Christian capable of doing good works. However, a Christian remains to have free will: he is able to reject grace. Since we have a weakened nature and an inclination to evil, sometimes we are tempted to freely commit sin, that is why it entails effort for man to freely cooperate with God’s grace. Indeed, there is a need to “persevere in temptation” (James 1:12) I’ll await your reply to confirm your true stance.

    1. Hi Vince,

      Thank you for reading some of my notes. Let’s reply to some of your thoughts.

      you hold that the 10 commandments does not have a hold on Christian salvation. You seem to suggest that a person can willfully violate these commandments (ex. murder or rape someone) and still not lose the salvation Christ earned for him, even without his repenting of his sins. (please correct me if I misunderstood). I hold that it is possible to “fall away from grace” by willfully committing a grave evil in full knowledge and full consent (for Catholics, this is called ‘mortal sin’). But if someone falls from grace and sincerely repents and goes to the Sacrament of Penance, Christ’s grace restores him in justification.

      There are many things which you have stated which are “logically sound”. I am trying to share with you from the authority from God’s word. My first question to you is what does Paul teach in Romans 5? You are saved not by your obedience but Jesus’. Also see what Paul says, when you receive the Spirit when you believe in Jesus you are a new creation. When that happens, you are no longer a sinner but a saint. You receive a righteousness which is not from the Law but from grace. Also read Romans 6:14 “sin has no dominion over you because you are under grace not law”. What give power to sin? See 1 Corinthians 15 (at the very end). The power of sin is the law. So when the law is removed from your life, sin loses its power. The mechanics of how sin works is is that it derives the power from the law. Paul says in Romans 7 when the commandment was introduce sin sprang to life.

      Your understanding of “fallen from grace” is again logical but not scriptural. I am not insulting you but merely to point you where this phrase actually comes from. It comes from galatians 5 and must be quoted in its context. It means going back to the law to get righteous with God. That is how you fall from grace. You do not repent from sin. You repent from trying to be righteous by obeying the law. It leads to self righteousness.

      I don’t believe you can lose your salvation. You cannot do anything to earn your salvation. Hence you cannot do anything to lose your salvation. A person who understands that he is saved by grace will not murder or rape someone. He is fused with the nature of God and is infilled with the SPIRIT of God. I think He rather trust in the power of His Spirit to keep us rather than us keeping the Law. Note in Galatians 5 after mentioning the fruit of the Spirit Paul says “against these things there is no law”. So the Spirit produce in us “Love, kindness, goodness…” The Spirit produces such things NOT THE LAW!

      You hold that a Christian must not strive or struggle to uproot his sinful deeds. That whatever good we do or the sin we avoid are merely the added bonus of the grace that takes effect in us. (again, please correct me if I misunderstood) I hold that a Christian must struggle to avoid evil (observe the commandments and love his neighbor) cooperating with the grace of God. Indeed it is still God’s grace that makes the Christian capable of doing good works. However, a Christian remains to have free will: he is able to reject grace. Since we have a weakened nature and an inclination to evil, sometimes we are tempted to freely commit sin, that is why it entails effort for man to freely cooperate with God’s grace.

      Dear Vince,

      I did not say that a Christian does not strive or struggle to uproot his sinful deeds. If he does not hate sin, he is not a Christian. Where I differ from you is that I say Paul tells is in Colossians 2 that your sinful nature has already been put away. What I am saying is NOT that we do not struggle not to sin BUT there is a difference between sin (noun) and sin (verb). Sin is not just what we do but a sickness we have. I am saying what Paul says that sin (noun) is dealt with while we still sin (verb). But because sin (noun) is taken care of sin (verb) will eventually disappear from us. BUT your sinful nature is dealt with. You are no longer in a ‘weakened nature and have an inclination towards evil (by the way that is in the Old Testament n Genesis 6)”. You are a new creation and a partaker of the divine nature as Peter says it in 1st Peter. I hope that clarifies things.

      1. Hello Simon,

        Thanks for your time.

        [i]”My first question to you is what does Paul teach in Romans 5? You are saved not by your obedience but Jesus.”[/i]
        – Yes, this is true. It’s consistent with Catholic teaching. It is because of Christ that we are saved. That’s why no matter how numerous or grave our sins in the past were, we are still justified through Him. In this way, the law has no power over us because God’s grace acquits us.

        But how do we receive this grace? Does God impose this salvation to anyone? Obviously, no. It’s God’s will that all be saved (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). If God only followed his will, all would be in heaven. But some people will be condemned to hell (Mt 18:8; 25:41; 2 Thes 1:9). Therefore, it’s clear that God doesn’t just impose our salvation – he cooperates with our human freedom to save us. It’s not that it is because of US that we are saved – that’s self-righteousness. But rather, we cooperated by allowing God’s grace to work salvation in us. This also implies the possibility of rejecting God’s grace.

        How do we cooperate? John 3:18 says “Whoever BELIEVES in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned…” Therefore, it is by the free ACT of faith that we receive this grace. “For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God” Eph 2:8

        Now, this quote says “this is not from you.” Doesn’t this mean that this involves no human cooperation at all? Not at all. It’s the grace that does not come from us, and we cannot boast of it, because it was an unmerited gift. Much like a child cannot boast of the iPad he got as a Christmas present from his father, saying that it came from him – to say this is a lie. But this doesn’t mean that he didn’t freely cooperate to have that gift. He obtained it because he did not refuse the gift – he cooperated with the father’s desire to give him that gift.

      2. Biblical support that God’s works on us: Eph 2:10

        On sinful nature: Where in Colossians 2 does it say that after the forgiveness of sins, our tendency to commit evil has been completely taken away? I believe this is contrary to both human experience and the scriptures. James 1:12-15 shows that a Christian is still tempted by base desires. We sin (verb), at times because we are tempted by sin (noun). In fact, it’s also clear that the other effects of sin remains (suffering, pain, death).

        But what is the difference? How are we a new creation? It’s because we have been cleansed of the guilt of our past sins and are justified. At the same time, God’s grace assists us not to yield to temptation (1 Cor 10:13). So we see that the pull of evil remains (temptation), but as a new creation, we encounter another force: the more powerful pull of God’s grace. That’s why there’s still the need to struggle and persevere: Christians are caught in the warfare of these forces. But If we freely cooperate with the pull of God’s grace, we are able to live lives proper to God’s children. Thanks be to God, whose power is greater than the power of sin.

    2. Hi vince,

      I hope you dont mind me chiming a bit 🙂

      Let me declare this.

      Pauls message to the Galatians came directly from Jesus.
      It did not came from Peter, nor James, nor John.
      Nor was the message the product of Pauls being a Pharisee

      ……………………………………..
      Galatians 1:11

      “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached
      is not something that man made up.

      I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it;

      rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
      ……………………………………..

      @”But this seems where we disagree: you hold that the 10 commandments
      does not have a hold on Christian salvation.
      ——————————————————

      The ten commandments were given to the Jews.

      Gentiles have a form of Law (as Paul describe in romans)

      but neither Laws can justify man before God much more save man.

      ……………………………………..
      Galatians 3:11

      “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because,
      “The righteous will live by faith.”

      Galatians 5:4

      “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated
      from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
      ……………………………………..

      @”You seem to suggest that a person can willfully violate these commandments
      (ex. murder or rape someone) and still not lose the salvation Christ earned for him,
      even without his repenting of his sins. (please correct me if I misunderstood).

      ——————————————————

      I would like to put emphasis to Jesus definition of sin

      ” lust of the flesh is adultery” as against to our idea of adultery
      ” hatred to a brother is murder” as against to our idea of murder

      So even If we didn’t physically shoot someone with a gun in the forehead,
      by merely hating them is already a murder.

      same goes with T.V. ads with fleshly flesh exposed. lust in the eye? its called
      adultery

      the real question is this.

      “will a genuine believer, intently kill (physically) someone?”
      “will a genuine believer, intently rape (phyiscall) someone?”

      we genuine believers HATE sin.

      If we claim to be Christians, but deep inside us we love to sin?
      put a question mark ???? and ask God

      a Genuine Believer Will never lose salvation not because
      He is not sinning or because he is a genuine believer.
      no, a genuine believer does not lose salvation, because
      salvation is a gift given to him. he did not earned the gift
      nor can he maintained the gift.

      romans says our gift is unlike the tresspass

      ……………………………………..
      Romans 5:15

      But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by
      the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and
      the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ,
      overflow to the many!
      ……………………………………..

      It means, Adams sin causes everyone to be sinners, be it they have done
      good works or bad works they are sinners, simply by virtue of birth
      they became sinners. thats how adam made all sinners.

      but then, the Gift is not liek the trespass. means when you receive the gift
      you cannot be transformed back to sinner hood, because the gift is far
      more powerful that the trespass, what Jesus did is much more powerful than adam did.

      so a genuine believer cannot lose salvation. the salvation cannot be undone.

      @”I hold that it is possible to “fall away from grace” by willfully committing a
      grave evil in full knowledge and full consent (for Catholics, this is called
      ‘mortal sin’).
      ——————————————————

      ……………………………………..
      Galatians 5:4

      “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated
      from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
      ……………………………………..

      The bible describes “fallen from grace” this way

      When you’ve heard of salvation is by Grace through faith and not by works (eph 2:8)
      then you go back to the Law, that is trying to merit your justification,
      then you have fallen from grace.

      so yes, in a way you are right in saying
      @”by willfully committing a grave evil
      in full knowledge and full consent”

      It is indeed evil to reject what Jesus has done at the cross.
      It is an insult to the blood of Jesus to reject Him and
      try to justify yourself before God.

      @”But if someone falls from grace and sincerely repents and goes to the Sacrament of
      Penance, Christ’s grace restores him in justification.”
      ——————————————————

      hmm. the only mediator between God and Man is Jesus.
      Faith in Jesus is enough to justify us before God

      Justification is by faith in Christ.

      “the righteous/just shall live by faith”

      but contextually, Genuine believers do not lose
      1. righteousness before God
      2. justification before God
      3. salvation before God

      so genuine believers dont repent of sins, neither do they confess of it to God
      All their sins, I mean ALL (past, present, future) has been punished.

      when Genuine believers, who are in the light sins? the blood of Jesus
      cleanses them from all sins.

      1 John 1:7 “…Cleanses” is in continuous tense…
      Thank you vince for telling your thoughts

      – grace and peace

      1. Hi. I don’t mind. Some of the issues here are dealt with in my responses to Simon. I don’t hold that it is works that justify us – it’s by grace that we are saved. But works reflect the condition of our faith as James 2 reasonably illustrates. The good works we do means that we allow God to work in us through faith – these works are fruit of God’s grace. On the other hand, our grave evil works show that we have broken faith with Christ.

        Here are some questions though: where in the Bible does it say that God already forgives our future sins now? How can you forgive a sin that has not yet happened? What if that sin entails breaking faith with Jesus as your savior, will that make you fall from grace?

        See the contradiction? If God forgives all future sins, he will forgive even the sin of breaking faith in Christ’s salvation. But Gal 5:4 clearly shows that one can fall from grace – therefore, he has not forgiven this future sin, for otherwise he will remain in grace and not fall from it even in an instant.

      2. Dear Vince,

        Wow. Thank you for taking your time to write so voluminously. I had been busy as I could not reply you. Further they were so many issues which were raised by differing persons in my comments box.

        As such I hope you don’t mind if I address the issue of future sins first. Please note my comments are not to criticize but to enlighten. I hope we can take it in that light.

        The Scriptures do speak about the forgiveness of future sins. In any event when Jesus died, you were not born yet. If what you are saying is true only people who existed before Jesus died would have their sins forgiven.

        In fact the book of Hebrews tells us our sins has been taken away once and for all. See Hebrews 10: “11 (onwards) Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process”.

        This is how it is worded in TNIV “11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God”.

        Notice 2 things. No. 1. Your sins are not ONLY forgiven. Your sins are not ONLY covered. They are taken away. How many times? The answer is once. Why? No. 2 Because He sat down. If the sacrifice worked, you need only do it once!

        Notice Jesus sat down not because He was God’s son. He sat down because Jesus earned his place before the Father. He is the only person who merited his way to heaven. See Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

        He sat down because God said “he earned it!” He sat down because God was pleased with his obedience (Romans 5). He sat down because he provided purification for sins. The question is this “who did he purify?”

        See the Amplified Bible: “When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,” Ours. This means God honoured Jesus for his work in cleansing us of our sins and get rid of guilt. Did he do a complete job? Well he surely did. Sitting at the right hand of God is a very honoured place.

        Many people are not aware where we really are. May of us still think we are on earth. No! The minute you believe in Jesus you are in Christ and you are in the heavenly realms. See Ephesians 2:

        5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

        Ephesians 1 tells us that: 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

        Ephesians tells us that we are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ. We are told Christ is seated at the right hand of the father. There is a teaching that says “as our Father, God actually withdraws His presence from us if we do not continually ask for forgiveness.” Here’s a thought, we are seated in Christ in the heavenly realms at His right hand, Agree?

        If that is so (and I believe the Bible for having said so), and if the Father has to withdraw His presence from us when we don’t confess our sins or repent from our sins ….., it would really mean, He has to abdicate His throne in the universe does it? Dear friends, you can never be separated from His presence, you are seated in Christ because you are already forgiven once and for all. Christ is seated because He has purged you of all sins. As surely as, God cannot be abdicated from His throne, you cannot never be dethroned from Jesus.

        In fact, we are called to repent from dead works and not sins. Why? Because the Christian is already set free from sin. See Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.You cannot repent from what you have been set free from. What is this “repentance from dead works” then?

        See Hebrews 6:1-3 – Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.

        Note dead works is in contrast to “faith toward God”. “Dead works” is trying to be righteous by having confidence in achieving righteousness through the law of Moses. Paul speaks about this in Philippians 3.

        Paul begins by stating his stupidity when boasting about his creditworthiness under the law of Moses: “You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.” This is dead works to Paul.

        Then he says this is rubbish compare to the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ. See: “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.”

        See also Paul’s comments in Galatians 2: 15-16We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over “non-Jewish sinners.” We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good.

        Repentance from sin is the ministry of John (the Baptist). Repentance from dead works and trusting in the works of the Law is the ministry of Paul. We, Gentiles are called to the latter not the former.

        Let me end with this thought. Many know when Jesus died the curtain was torn from top to bottom. Do you know why? It is not that, we can enter the earthly Holy of Holies. It is done, so the earthly Tabernacle is rendered completely useless. See Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.

        The reason the curtain was torn was because the Holy Spirit wanted to do away with the old tabernacle so that you can focus on the HEAVENLY TABERNACLE not made by humans hands. You see while Jesus died on the cross, something happened in heaven. See Hebrews 9:
        11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

        12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

        13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

        14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

        Note the following:

        a) Jesus’s blood was offered in a tabernacle not made by human hands;

        b) It was offered in an eternal tabernacle;

        c) It was offered thru the eternal Spirit. (Ever wondered why it is the Holy Spirit who is the one in the Trinity, who testify that, God does not remember your sins anymore? This is because the blood was offered through him when Jesus said “into Your hands, I commit my Spirit.” That was His work on the Cross)

        d) It is done once and for all in eternity. Is the future, eternal?

        e) The answer is obviously yes! Hence the writer now tells you that you now have ETERNAL REDEMPTION. Yes even your sins committed in your future is forgiven in eternity.

        Lastly do you know since the veil was torn in the earthly tabernacle, there is a renovation in the Eternal Tabernacle? See this:

        Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.

        The Message puts it this way “ 19-21So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.”

        Hold on… I thought God tore down the veil because He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him… why then put a new curtain up? Relax. Remember what Paul says.

        Romans 4:26 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

        Dear friends, God carried out renovation works when Jesus died. He tore down the old veil. The old veil had cherubs (angels of judgment) on them. It was built to keep you out from the Holy of Holies. He replaced it with a new veil. The new veil is the body of Jesus. The perfect man. Our representative, our perfect High Priest, where we are hidden.

        You see we became sinners because of one man’s disobedience. But we were made righteous because of one man’s obedience. (Romans 5:15) It was based on a MAN’s obedience. This man STILL in His body now sits in heaven as your testimony and mine. He sits there as my righteousness, my High Priest and me. This is because I am crucified with Him and I am in Him. Paul tells us we are hidden in Him. See Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

        Paul tells us that this Man is his body was raised for our justification. When God sees this man he sees our justification (as we are hidden in Him). As such while the old veil was to keep out of from the Most Holy Place, this new curtain is to keep us IN the Most Holy Place. When God sees Jesus as our High Priest, He sees our justification. He sees me. I love this new piece of renovation work! It keeps me IN!

        Now regarding the issue of “fallen from grace”.

        The phrase is actually found in Galatians 5:4. Let me produce the whole thing in its context:

        Galatians 5
        Freedom in Christ
        1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
        2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.
        3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.
        4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
        5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
        6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
        7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?
        8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.
        9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!
        10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

        Its precursor is found in verse 3 and 4. Falling from is not sinning. Falling from grace is explained in verse 3 and verse 4.

        If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ!

        You fall from grace when you try to be righteous by observing the law of Moses.

        Hence to understand the above referred verse in Galatians 5, we have to understand the context in which the words were stated. After Paul had appointed elders and left Galatia, some people came and began teaching that belief in Jesus was not enough. These likely were some converted Jews from Jerusalem who had received Jesus as Lord and Savior, but who felt that they had to hang on to the law and Judaism. Four thousand years of Jewish traditions were hard for some to give up. They thought that Christianity ought to be an updated version of Judaism and couldn’t accept that Gentiles could be included into the Church, much less allowed to remain as Gentiles.

        These teachers came to the Galatians and said something like, “Listen, we’re here to follow up and improve on Paul’s ministry to you. He was absolutely right in saying that you need to have faith in Jesus—that’s how you get started in the Christian life. What he failed to tell you, and what he would have told you if he had time, is that in addition to Jesus you need to follow certain religious laws and rules.”

        The religious formula these teachers were using was … “Jesus plus something.” Paul was livid about this because he knew and was convinced that the true equation isJesus plus nothing equals salvation. He also recognized that any time someone teaches “Jesus plus something,” even if it is just a little something, they are not improving on the Gospel, or even distracting from the Gospel. Teaching Jesus plus something is the utter destruction of the Gospel.

        I hope that helps. Peace, Vince.

      3. good day vince,

        @”where in the Bible does it say that God
        already forgives our future sins now? ”
        ——————————————–

        Applying logic, I see its impossible for sins
        to be forgiven in the future, because Christ
        died in the past.

        using the same logic, then only those who
        were alive during Christ death were forgiven.
        now we are doomed because we are future,
        and so all (past,present & future) our sins.
        would you agree?

        ………………………………..
        Hebrews 9:26

        for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly
        since the foundation of the world. But as it is,
        he has appeared once for all at the end of the
        ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
        ………………………………..

        ………………………………..
        Luke 7:47

        Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been
        forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has
        been forgiven little loves little.
        ………………………………..

        the way I understood Hebrews 9:26 is like this

        God bended space and travelled to the end of time
        then Jesus offered his blood on that time so that
        all sins of humanity are past.

        I honestly believe, God invented time. God is not
        bound by time, if God is bound by time then time
        is greater than God. would you agree?

        @How can you forgive a sin that has not yet happened?
        ——————————————–

        same logic. How can Jesus forgive sins that has happen?

        we know that there is no forgiveness of sins without
        shedding of blood

        ………………………………..
        Hebrews 9:22

        without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
        ………………………………..

        does it mean that Jesus dies everyday? or once and for all?

        if everyday, then Jesus would have to die every day
        for the forgiveness of sins. would you agree?

        ………………………………..
        Hebrews 7:27

        who does not need daily, like those high priests,
        to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins
        and then for the sins of the people, because this
        He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
        ………………………………..

        @What if that sin entails breaking faith with Jesus as
        your savior, will that make you fall from grace?
        ——————————————–
        falling from grace is anything justification apart from faith

        ………………………………..
        Galatians 5:4

        You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified
        by the law; you have fallen away from grace
        ………………………………..

        therefore it is imperative to start in faith and end in faith.
        and not start in faith and end in works

        ………………………………..
        Romans 1:17

        For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from

        faith for faith,

        as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
        ………………………………..

      4. Dear Vince,

        Wow. Thank you for taking your time to write so voluminously. I had been busy as I could not reply you. Further they were so many issues which were raised by differing persons in my comments box.

        As such I hope you don’t mind if I address the issue of future sins first. Please note my comments are not to criticize but to enlighten. I hope we can take it in that light.

        The Scriptures do speak about the forgiveness of future sins. In any event when Jesus died, you were not born yet. If what you are saying is true only people who existed before Jesus died would have their sins forgiven.

        In fact the book of Hebrews tells us our sins has been taken away once and for all. See Hebrews 10: “11 (onwards) Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process”.

        This is how it is worded in TNIV “11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God”.

        Notice 2 things. No. 1. Your sins are not ONLY forgiven. Your sins are not ONLY covered. They are taken away. How many times? The answer is once. Why? No. 2 Because He sat down. If the sacrifice worked, you need only do it once!

        Notice Jesus sat down not because He was God’s son. He sat down because Jesus earned his place before the Father. He is the only person who merited his way to heaven. See Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

        He sat down because God said “he earned it!” He sat down because God was pleased with his obedience (Romans 5). He sat down because he provided purification for sins. The question is this “who did he purify?”

        See the Amplified Bible: “When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,” Ours. This means God honoured Jesus for his work in cleansing us of our sins and get rid of guilt. Did he do a complete job? Well he surely did. Sitting at the right hand of God is a very honoured place.

        Many people are not aware where we really are. May of us still think we are on earth. No! The minute you believe in Jesus you are in Christ and you are in the heavenly realms. See Ephesians 2:

        5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

        Ephesians 1 tells us that: 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

        Ephesians tells us that we are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ. We are told Christ is seated at the right hand of the father. There is a teaching that says “as our Father, God actually withdraws His presence from us if we do not continually ask for forgiveness.” Here’s a thought, we are seated in Christ in the heavenly realms at His right hand, Agree?

        If that is so (and I believe the Bible for having said so), and if the Father has to withdraw His presence from us when we don’t confess our sins or repent from our sins ….., it would really mean, He has to abdicate His throne in the universe does it? Dear friends, you can never be separated from His presence, you are seated in Christ because you are already forgiven once and for all. Christ is seated because He has purged you of all sins. As surely as, God cannot be abdicated from His throne, you cannot never be dethroned from Jesus.

        In fact, we are called to repent from dead works and not sins. Why? Because the Christian is already set free from sin. See Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.You cannot repent from what you have been set free from. What is this “repentance from dead works” then?

        See Hebrews 6:1-3 – Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.

        Note dead works is in contrast to “faith toward God”. “Dead works” is trying to be righteous by having confidence in achieving righteousness through the law of Moses. Paul speaks about this in Philippians 3.

        Paul begins by stating his stupidity when boasting about his creditworthiness under the law of Moses: “You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.” This is dead works to Paul.

        Then he says this is rubbish compare to the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ. See: “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.”

        See also Paul’s comments in Galatians 2: 15-16We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over “non-Jewish sinners.” We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good.

        Repentance from sin is the ministry of John (the Baptist). Repentance from dead works and trusting in the works of the Law is the ministry of Paul. We, Gentiles are called to the latter not the former.

        Let me end with this thought. Many know when Jesus died the curtain was torn from top to bottom. Do you know why? It is not that, we can enter the earthly Holy of Holies. It is done, so the earthly Tabernacle is rendered completely useless. See Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.

        The reason the curtain was torn was because the Holy Spirit wanted to do away with the old tabernacle so that you can focus on the HEAVENLY TABERNACLE not made by humans hands. You see while Jesus died on the cross, something happened in heaven. See Hebrews 9:
        11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

        12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

        13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

        14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

        Note the following:

        a) Jesus’s blood was offered in a tabernacle not made by human hands;

        b) It was offered in an eternal tabernacle;

        c) It was offered thru the eternal Spirit. (Ever wondered why it is the Holy Spirit who is the one in the Trinity, who testify that, God does not remember your sins anymore? This is because the blood was offered through him when Jesus said “into Your hands, I commit my Spirit.” That was His work on the Cross)

        d) It is done once and for all in eternity. Is the future, eternal?

        e) The answer is obviously yes! Hence the writer now tells you that you now have ETERNAL REDEMPTION. Yes even your sins committed in your future is forgiven in eternity.

        Lastly do you know since the veil was torn in the earthly tabernacle, there is a renovation in the Eternal Tabernacle? See this:

        Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.

        The Message puts it this way “ 19-21So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.”

        Hold on… I thought God tore down the veil because He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him… why then put a new curtain up? Relax. Remember what Paul says.

        Romans 4:26 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

        Dear friends, God carried out renovation works when Jesus died. He tore down the old veil. The old veil had cherubs (angels of judgment) on them. It was built to keep you out from the Holy of Holies. He replaced it with a new veil. The new veil is the body of Jesus. The perfect man. Our representative, our perfect High Priest, where we are hidden.

        You see we became sinners because of one man’s disobedience. But we were made righteous because of one man’s obedience. (Romans 5:15) It was based on a MAN’s obedience. This man STILL in His body now sits in heaven as your testimony and mine. He sits there as my righteousness, my High Priest and me. This is because I am crucified with Him and I am in Him. Paul tells us we are hidden in Him. See Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

        Paul tells us that this Man is his body was raised for our justification. When God sees this man he sees our justification (as we are hidden in Him). As such while the old veil was to keep out of from the Most Holy Place, this new curtain is to keep us IN the Most Holy Place. When God sees Jesus as our High Priest, He sees our justification. He sees me. I love this new piece of renovation work! It keeps me IN!

        Now regarding the issue of “fallen from grace”.

        The phrase is actually found in Galatians 5:4. Let me produce the whole thing in its context:

        Galatians 5
        Freedom in Christ
        1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
        2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.
        3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.
        4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
        5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
        6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
        7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?
        8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.
        9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!
        10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

        Its precursor is found in verse 3 and 4. Falling from is not sinning. Falling from grace is explained in verse 3 and verse 4.

        If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ!

        You fall from grace when you try to be righteous by observing the law of Moses.

        Hence to understand the above referred verse in Galatians 5, we have to understand the context in which the words were stated. After Paul had appointed elders and left Galatia, some people came and began teaching that belief in Jesus was not enough. These likely were some converted Jews from Jerusalem who had received Jesus as Lord and Savior, but who felt that they had to hang on to the law and Judaism. Four thousand years of Jewish traditions were hard for some to give up. They thought that Christianity ought to be an updated version of Judaism and couldn’t accept that Gentiles could be included into the Church, much less allowed to remain as Gentiles.

        These teachers came to the Galatians and said something like, “Listen, we’re here to follow up and improve on Paul’s ministry to you. He was absolutely right in saying that you need to have faith in Jesus—that’s how you get started in the Christian life. What he failed to tell you, and what he would have told you if he had time, is that in addition to Jesus you need to follow certain religious laws and rules.”

        The religious formula these teachers were using was … “Jesus plus something.” Paul was livid about this because he knew and was convinced that the true equation isJesus plus nothing equals salvation. He also recognized that any time someone teaches “Jesus plus something,” even if it is just a little something, they are not improving on the Gospel, or even distracting from the Gospel. Teaching Jesus plus something is the utter destruction of the Gospel.

        I hope that helps. Peace, Vince.

  5. As for some of the other verses:

    Parable of sheep and goat: I tried to re-read the passage. For me, it is clear that Christ is referring to the contrast of their works. Christ did not say “Inherit the kingdom FOR you were unassuming when you do good works,” but he literally said “FOR I was hungry and you GAVE me food…” He was clearly referring to their actions as the reason for their reward. It means that they are truly “Blessed” because by freely cooperating with God’s grace, this grace bore fruit in them in these good works.

    True, we should be unassuming when we do good works (Let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing), but this is not the subject matter in this parable. It tells us that we are also judged by the works God has accomplished in us through his grace. The elect merely wondered because they can’t remember doing any of this to Christ. Then, Jesus clarifies that it’s because “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” He didn’t say “Yes. That is the right attitude. Amen, you are saved only because you were unassuming in good works.” In fact, the “accursed” were also bewildered later in the verses. If this bewilderment meant being unassuming, shouldn’t the goat also be saved?

    1. Dear Vince,

      You must understand first that the parable is also not directed to the Gentiles. It is addressed to the Jews. So it does not speak about works salvation. You must understand that in Israel the sheep and the goats live together under 1 Shepherd. I don’t recall anything in regards of unassuming to do good works. I said the parable was about nature. When a person believes Jesus there is a change of his nature. As I said Jesus was speaking to Jews. Every Jew follow the 10 commandments. They are pre-occupied with the law. Hence they obeyed because it brings them a superior righteousness (so they think) Jesus is saying that is the nature of the goat. The sheep on the otherhand has a nature of giving and loving. See how the love of the Father is now shred abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost See romans 5:5. So there is a change of nature. The sheep does not recognise its goodness. It is part and parcel of him.

      I can’t really help you see things I see. I just pray that the Spirit open your eyes. BUT! If we teach that good works matter to God for salvation and his blessing you, my question is this? How much is enough? Mind you I am not teaching a life of sin BUT holiness. The difference between our views is that you have to do it because of the Laws placed upon you. As for me, it is base of what Jesus did for me. I dont obey to be righteous. I am already righteous because of what Jesus did for me. That is why I obey. I obey because I am already made righteous.

      1. Jesus preached the Gospel to the Jews first (Mk 1:15), but then to all people, including the Gentiles. (Acts 13:44-47; Rom 11:11-12). We may say then that this parable initially spoken to the Jews, are now also intended to the Gentiles. But I agree that Jewish setting may also influence the context of the parable.

        I thought your reply was about being “unassuming” because of the phrase “trusting their good works.” I somehow understand the emphasis of your reply now. I agree – Christ will separate the saved from the condemned according to their nature. The saved – those who have put on Christ, from the condemned – those who have rejected Christ. This is consistent with Catholic doctrine. Those who will go to heaven are those “in the state of grace” (souls in which the sanctifying grace of God rests) Those who will go to hell are those “in the state of mortal sin” (souls who have rejected grace through sin) This is one valid aspect of the parable.

        But this draws us to another important aspect of the parable: who belongs to one nature or the other? It’s then that we consider the works they do, in the same way Christ enumerated their actions as the evidence (so to speak) for their “inheriting the kingdom” or “departure into the eternal fire.” Works, then, although not the very source of one’s salvation, is not completely immaterial or irrelevant to salvation. They reveal who belongs to the sheep and who belongs to the goat. This is how works are also important in salvation. One who belongs to the sheep is the one who strives to cooperate with God’s grace to produce these good fruits. On the other hand, a person immersed in bad works has probably fallen from grace. It stirs us to examine our conscience and our works to realign our lives to that life God’s grace seeks to conform it to.

        I hope Protestants see that Catholics don’t believe that it is works that save them, but rather, that works indeed show whether one has allowed grace to save him or not.

    2. @” it is clear that Christ is referring to the contrast of their works.”

      Vince, try to read the parable in a different reading lens.

      try to read it using the lens of “grace” and you’ll see beyond the common.

      —————————
      In the Parable of the sheep and Goats,

      The sheep were called at the right side of the king.
      In Jewish terms, the right side is the place of “Justification”

      the sheeps were not aware of any Law, less they obey the Law.
      see they ask.
      …………………………………….
      Matthew 25:31-46
      “‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or
      thirsty and give you something to drink?
      38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or
      needing clothes and clothe you?
      39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’”
      …………………………………….

      the goats were aware of the Law and they were fully obedient to it.
      they even exclaim
      …………………………………….
      Matthew 25:31-46
      ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, AND DID NOT HELP YOU?’
      …………………………………….

      The Justified before God, will do Justified work.
      The Justified who is righteous before God will do righteous work,
      they will do righteous work, they are not even aware of.

      see my point when you read it using “grace lens”?

      try to read “Abraham offering Isaac” using “grace lens”

      I guarantee you, you will see God sending Jesus to die for our sins.

      but If you read it using “works lens” you’ll only be led to “I must do this, I must do that”

      thank you again for reading up to this end.

      – grace and peace

    3. parables have to do with mysteries, not the gospel, if you dont see the difference you will be so confused. Matt 25 not even a parable, it is a future event and the nations are in view, not individuals.

  6. Hey Guys, I just would like you to know that even very few people take part in this discussion, I’m sure many many reads it and learns from it. These thoughts are really helpful for me – and I believe for many as well – to go to a deeper understanding into the beautiful work of Jesus Christ!
    Greetings from Hungary! : )
    Zsolt

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