Syndade Kung David när han åt av skådebrödet? Mark. 2:23-28 Jesus som livets BRÖD

skådebrödJesus är sabbatens Herre

Skådebrödet skulle kunna vara en gammatestamentlig bild av Jesus, hans framtida offer och det kommande levande brödet. Lev. 24:7 beskrivning om ren rökelse samt ett påminnelseoffer skulle kunna tyda på det, i kombination med att det skulle ätas av prästen Aron och hans söner på helig plats. Jesus beskrivs ofta som det levande brödet som vi ska äta av för att få liv.

3 Mos. 24:5 Du skall ta fint mjöl, och av det skall du baka tolv kakor. Varje kaka skall innehålla två tiondels efa. 6 Du skall lägga upp dem i två rader, sex i var rad, på det förgyllda bordet inför Herrens ansikte. 7 På varje rad skall du lägga ren rökelse, och den skall vara på bröden som ett påminnelseoffer, ett eldsoffer åt Herren. Sabbatsdag efter sabbatsdag skall man ständigt lägga upp dem inför Herrens ansikte, en gåva av Israels barn till ett evigt förbund. De skall tillhöra Aron och hans söner, som skall äta dem på helig plats, ty de är högheliga och är hans del av Herrens eldsoffer. Detta är en evig stadga.

Joh. 6:50 Men det bröd som kommer ner från himlen är sådant att den som äter av det inte skall dö. 51 Jag är det bröd som ger liv, det bröd som har kommit ner från himlen. Den som äter av det brödet skall leva i evighet. Och brödet jag ger är mitt kött, för att världen skall leva.”

Jesus försvarade lärljungarnas axryckande (som skulle kunna betraktas som ”skördande” enligt judarna) på sabbatsdagen genom att återberätta historien om Kung David och skådebrödet. En av poängerna med att återberätta den historien var förmodligen att visa kritikerna på den skeva bilden att fortfarande högakta Kung David trots att han åt av skådebrödet under sabbaten, medan man inte är lika välvilligt inställda till att Jesus lärljungar gjorde något liknande på sabbaten. Borde man inte döma alla enligt samma lag? Men det fanns ytterligare en poäng med berättelsen – att också påvisa att Jesus och hans lärljungar hade rätten på sin sida. Rent principiellt var sabbaten gjord för människan, och inte människan för sabbaten. Sabbaten ä menad som en hjälp för människan, men samtidigt finns andra lagar och en verklighet som gör att man ibland har rätten att frångå sabbatsprincipen. Exempelvis måste vi alltid vara beredda att rädda medmänniskor (och även husdjur) från överhängande faror eller skador av akut art, och det argumentet gäller oavsett vilken dag det är. Annars har vi inte behandlat vår nästa som vi själva vill bli behandlade, vilket är det viktigaste budet utöver att älska Gud (3 Mos. 19:18, Mark 12:30-33).

Mark. 2:23 En sabbat gick Jesus genom ett sädesfält, och hans lärjungar började rycka av ax där de gick. 24 Då sade fariseerna till honom: ”Varför gör de sådant på sabbaten som inte är tillåtet?” 25 Han svarade: ”Har ni aldrig läst vad David gjorde, när han och hans följeslagare var hungriga och inte hade något att äta: 26 hur han gick in i Guds hus, då Abjatar var överstepräst, och åt skådebröden, som endast prästerna fick äta, och hur han även gav till dem som var med honom?27 Och Jesus sade till dem: ”Sabbaten blev gjord för människan och inte människan för sabbaten. 28 Så är Människosonen Herre också över sabbaten.”

Här nedan är versionen enligt Mattheus. Notera att Jesus säger att prästerna visserligen bryter mot sabbaten (om de äter skådebröd på sabbaten) men ändå är utan skuld. Präster står alltså över sabbatskraven pga andra gudomliga krav som kommer i första hand. Jesus nämner också det som är större än templet. Templet är stort och helig, men Gud som är fokuset i templet är så mycket större! Människosonen är Herre över sabbaten, och han har därför tillåtelse att erbjuda lärljungarna att bryta av ax för att äta på sabbaten.

Matt. 12:1 Vid den tiden gick Jesus genom ett sädesfält på sabbaten. Hans lärjungar var hungriga och började rycka av ax och äta. 2 När fariseerna såg det, sade de till honom: ”Se, dina lärjungar gör det som inte är tillåtet på sabbaten.” 3 Han svarade dem: ”Har ni inte läst vad David gjorde, när han och hans följeslagare var hungriga 4 hur han gick in i Guds hus och åt skådebröden, som varken han eller de som var med honom fick äta, utan endast prästerna? 5 Eller har ni inte läst i lagen att prästerna i templet på sabbaten bryter mot sabbaten och ändå är utan skuld? 6 Jag säger er: Här ser ni det som är större än templet. 7 Om ni hade förstått vad detta betyder: Jag vill se barmhärtighet och inte offer, så skulle ni inte ha dömt de oskyldiga. 8 Ty Människosonen är sabbatens Herre.”

Sabbatsdagen och vilodagen har alltid varit till för människornas fysiska och psykiska välbefinnande, även om traditionerna kring denna dag har sett lite olika ut under historiens gång. Om det bodde främlingar ibland israelerna så var även de tvungna att ta efter denna sed. Sabbaten var ett av många signum för judarna som folk, och det var av många skäl viktigt att hålla sig till alla Guds bud för att kunna vara det mönsterfolk som Gud ville. Med en allmän vilodag i veckan så förhindrade man dessutom ägare till tjänstefolk att låta tjänstefolket arbeta alla dagar i veckan, med mindre än att de går emot lagen. Det gick alltså inte under ett teokratiskt styre (som det var frågan om på Mose tid) att se mellan fingrarna på buden som om de gudomliga buden egentligen inte var särskilt viktiga.

2 Mos. 20:8 Tänk på sabbatsdagen så att du helgar den. 9 Sex dagar skall du arbeta och uträtta alla dina sysslor. 10 Men den sjunde dagen är Herrens, din Guds, sabbat. Då skall du inte utföra något arbete, inte heller din son eller din dotter, din tjänare eller tjänarinna eller din boskap, och inte heller främlingen som bor hos dig inom dina portar.11 Ty på sex dagar gjorde Herren himlen och jorden och havet och allt som är i dem, men på sjunde dagen vilade han. Därför har Herren välsignat sabbatsdagen och helgat den.

2 Mos. 34:21 Sex dagar skall du arbeta, men på sjunde dagen skall du vila. Också under plöjningstiden och skördetiden skall du ha vilodag.

Jer. 17:21 Så säger Herren: Se för era själars skull till att ni på sabbatsdagen inte bär eller för in någon börda genom Jerusalems portar.22 För inte ut någon börda ur era hus på sabbatsdagen och gör inte heller något annat arbete, utan håll sabbatsdagen helig så som jag har befallt era fäder.—-Men om ni inte hör mitt bud att hålla sabbaten helig och att inte bära någon börda in genom Jerusalems portar på sabbatsdagen, då skall jag tända en eld i dess portar och den elden skall förtära Jerusalems palats. Den elden kan inte släckas.

2 Mos. 31:15 Sex dagar skall man arbeta, men den sjunde dagen är en sabbat för vila, helgad åt Herren. Var och en som utför något arbete på sabbatsdagen skall straffas med döden.

Vem skulle inte välja att försvara sig mot hot även under sabbaten? Vem skulle inte välja att rädda en människa eller husdjur i nöd även under sabbaten? Sabbaten gavs inte till människan som ett hinder föratt sträcka ut en hjälpande hand till människor och djur i nöd. Om vi väljer att inte hjälpa en människa i nöd för att det är sabbat så har vi visserligen hållit sabbaten, men brutit det viktigare budet att älska och behandla sin nästa som sig själv. Jesus Kristus säger själv att det ÄR tillåtet att göra gott även på sabbaten. Mattheus fortsätter i kapitel 12:

Matt. 12:9 Sedan begav han sig därifrån och gick in i deras synagoga. 10 Där fanns en man som hade en förtvinad hand. De frågade Jesus: ”Är det tillåtet att bota på sabbaten?” De ville nämligen ha något att anklaga honom för. 11 Han svarade dem: ”Vem av er skulle inte gripa tag i sitt får och dra upp det om det faller i en grop, och det också på sabbaten? 12 Hur mycket mer är inte en människa värd än ett får! Alltså är det tillåtet att göra gott på sabbaten.” 13 Sedan sade han till mannen: ”Räck ut din hand.” Han räckte ut den, och den var nu lika frisk som den andra. 14 Fariseerna gick då ut och överlade om att döda honom. 15 När Jesus fick veta det, drog han sig undan.

Här är händelsen som Jesus syftade på vad gäller kung David:

1 Sam. 21:21 David kom till prästen Ahimelek i Nob. Men Ahimelek blev förskräckt när han fick se David och frågade honom: ”Varför kommer du ensam och har ingen med dig?” 2 David svarade prästen Ahimelek: ”Kungen har gett mig ett uppdrag, och han sade till mig: Ingen får veta något om det ärende som jag sänder dig i och som jag har gett dig befallning om. Mina män har jag visat till det och det stället. 3 Ge mig nu vad du har till hands, fem bröd eller vad som kan finnas.” 4 ”Vanligt bröd har jag inte ”, svarade prästen. ”Endast heligt bröd finns – om bara dina män har avhållit sig från kvinnor.” 5 David svarade prästen: ”Jag försäkrar dig att kvinnor har varit skilda från oss sedan i förrgår. När jag drog ut, var mina mäns tillhörigheter heliga fastän ärendet är av vanligt slag. Hur mycket renare skall de då inte vara i dag? Då gav prästen honom det heliga, ty det fanns inte något annat bröd än skådebröden. De hade legat inför Herrens ansikte, men man hade burit undan dem för att lägga fram nybakat bröd samma dag som det gamla togs bort.

Jesus som överstepräst – Jesus var också PRÄST!bröd

I Malaki kan vi läsa om en budbärare som ska komma till sitt tempel, och Jesus själv liknar sig som både tempel och byggmästare till templet. För judarna fanns det ingenting större än Guds tempel, förutom Gud själv som är den som tillbes i templet. Jesus Kristus är både Gud i kött och Guds son som både är instiftare till Guds hus samt betrodd av sin Fader att råda över huset. Eftersom Jesus är både alltings ursprung (ihop med sin Fader i treenigheten) samt levde som en översteprästlig människa på jorden, så hade han även auktoritet att råda över sabbaten och ge tillstånd även till andra att sätta sabbaten i rätt perspektiv i jämförelse med andra bud.

Mal. 3:1 Se, jag skall sända min budbärare och han skall bereda vägen för mig. Och den Herre som ni söker skall plötsligt komma till sitt tempel, förbundets ängel som ni längtar efter. Se, han kommer, säger Herren Sebaot.

Hebr. 3:1 Därför, heliga bröder, ni som har fått del av en himmelsk kallelse, se på Jesus, den apostel och överstepräst som vi bekänner oss till.2 Han var betrodd av den som hade insatt honom, liksom Mose var betrodd i hela Guds hus. 3 Men Jesus är värd mycket större ära än Mose, liksom byggmästaren är värd större heder än själva huset.4 Varje hus är byggt av någon, men Gud är den som har byggt allt.5 Mose var betrodd som tjänare i hela Guds hus för att vittna om det som senare skulle förkunnas. 6 Men Kristus är betrodd som Son att råda över Guds hus, och hans hus är vi, när vi håller fast vid vår frimodighet och vårt hopp som vi berömmer oss av.

Hebr. 5:1 En överstepräst utses alltid bland människor och blir insatt till att för människors räkning göra tjänst inför Gud och bära fram gåvor och offer för synder. 2 Han kan behandla dem rätt som är okunniga och far vilse, eftersom han själv är svag 3 och därför måste bära fram syndoffer både för folket och för sig själv. Ingen tar sig denna värdighet, utan till den blir man kallad av Gud, liksom Aron blev det.Och på samma sätt var det med Kristus. Han tog sig inte värdigheten som överstepräst, utan fick den av honom som sade: Du är min Son, jag har i dag fött dig.[a] 6 Han säger också på ett annat ställe: Du är präst för evigt, på samma sätt som Melkisedek. 9 Och när han hade fullkomnats, blev han upphovet till evig frälsning för alla som lyder honom, 10 och han blev av Gud kallad överstepräst, en sådan präst som Melkisedek.

Hebr. 9:11 Men nu har Kristus kommit som överstepräst för det goda som vi äger. Genom det större och fullkomligare tabernakel som inte är gjort med händer, det vill säga som inte tillhör den här skapelsen

Läs även om Jesus som präst i Hebr. 2:17, 4:14-15, 6:20, 7:26-28, 8:1-3, 9:7-11,

Författaren till Hebreerbrevet jämför Jesus rättigheter med Arons. Båda har fått sin rätt att råda som präst av Gud själv: Ingen tar sig denna värdighet, utan till den blir man kallad av Gud, liksom Aron blev det.5 Och på samma sätt var det med Kristus. Han tog sig inte värdigheten som överstepräst, utan fick den av honom som sade: Du är min Son—”. Jesus syndade alltså inte när han godkände att hans lärljungar åt av ax under sabbaten. Men Jesus verkar även mena att även kung David var oskyldig trots att han åt av skådebrödet. Kan man i så fall även kalla kung David präst, förutom att han var smord kung och profet (såsom Jesus)?

Kung David offrade som en präst iklädd prästliga linnekläder (2 Samuel 6:12-14). Han var inte en levit (det prästliga judiska släktet) men det var inte heller Jesus eller Melkisedek. De mannar som var med kung David när han åt av skådebrödet tilläts också att äta av det – av kung David som fick godkännande av tempelprästen. Prästen kände givetvis till att skådebrödet endast var till för präster att ätas vid vissa tidpunkter på ett visst sätt, och ändå ansåg han att kung David kvalificerade sig för att äta. Denna brödsbrytelse låter som en symbolisk bild av Jesus, och att vi kan få evigt liv om vi äter av hans bröd, liksom att vi är hans hus (tempel) när vi håller fast vid vår frimodighet och vårt hopp i honom.

Jesus var kung, profet och präst fastän han egentligen inte arbetade som präst i egentlig mening. Det verkar som även kung David skulle kunna betraktas på dessa tre sätt. Utöver Jesus och David finns inga andra som dessa tre egenskaper passar in på.

Prästen gav kung David att äta av skådebrödet, och han i sin tur gav tillstånd till sina mannar. På liknande sätt har Jesus fått tillstånd att råda över sabbaten och att ge tillstånd till sina lärljungar att skörda/äta på sabbaten.

Prästen som gav David brödet var Ahimelek som var Abiatars far (1 Sam. 21:2-3, 1 Sam. 22:20). Det var alltså ”sonen” som gav David rätt att äta av brödet och inte ”Fadern”. Man skulle kunna göra en jämförelse med att det var sonen Jesus som gav sina lärljungar rätten att äta på sabbatsdagen och inte Fadern – även om både Fadern och sonen är ett och har samma mål (Joh. 5:19).

I 1 Sam. 21:2 kan vi läsa ”Kungen har gett mig ett uppdrag, och han sade till mig: Ingen får veta något om det ärende som jag sänder dig i och som jag har gett dig befallning om. Mina män har jag visat till det och det stället”. Även detta låter som en bild av Jesus som inte heller inledningsvis ville avslöja sitt ärende på jorden, och även att hans lärljungar hade större kunskap om honom än andra.

Matt. 16:20 Sedan förbjöd han lärjungarna att tala om för någon att han var Messias.

Mark. 4:10 När han blev ensam med de tolv och de andra som var med honom, frågade de honom om liknelserna. 11 Då sade han till dem: ”Ni har fått del i Guds rikes hemlighet. Men de som står utanför får allt i liknelser

Här kan du läsa mer om Kung David om hans år i synd, innan han omvände sig.

Can you be born again AGAIN? – John 3:3,7

born again

Being born again, or ”born from above”

When a sinner for the first time comes to Jesus, confesses his sins, repents, becomes forgiven/cleansed/regenerated and decides to leave his old sinful life style behind him to live a new life with Jesus Christ, this can be expressed with being ”born again”. He has put off the old man and put on the new. If a person has gone from spiritual death to spiritual life, being born again is truly a good description and expression – because the person has been given his life back and can start a brand new life together with the holy Spirit given to those who first repent (Acts 2:38). He has been given the key to the kingdom of God.

Sometimes you will hear the question ”Can you be born again AGAIN?” from particularly reformed believers who are convinced that it is only possible to make the transfer from spiritual death to spiritual life one time only (without ever reverting back to spiritual death) and that a person who is born again WILL endure to the end and inherit the kingdom of God as a certainty. They believe that if a person does seem to revert back to deep sin and spiritual death, then he was not saved to begin with. This is commonly believed by the ”once saved always saved” camp as well as the ”perseverance of the saints” camp. The question, however, should be rephrased in order to avoid misunderstandings. There is a risk that the person asking the question might interpret the expression in one way, and the person answering might understand it in a different way. ”Born again” might be only two words but the expression has a deep meaning.

We can agree that a sinner can only once be ”totally converted for the first time” (when he repents, becomes forgiven, gets baptized and becomes a completely new cleansed person and a child of God). However, it is possible for the same sinner to go back to one or more of his old sins because he does not lose his free will in the process. Even Jesus Christ had the ability to sin (something he never did), so naturally we too could still make this choice. The serious part is that an unrepentant sinner is always lost, and people who were previously born again are not excepted from this danger. The devil is always on the hunt to tempt Christians with the hope to ensnare them in sin, and sometimes he succeeds when Christians give in for temptations. Some Christians repent at once, some do not repent until after months or years, and some Christians never repent but have truly reverted back to their own vomit and remain there. People can go from life, to death to life again:

The prodigal son: Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive AGAIN; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.-32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive AGAIN; and was lost, and is found.

The debt which was cancelled by the Lord, and later reinstated again: Matt. 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and FORGAVE HIM THE DEBT.32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.d

2 Pet. 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are AGAIN entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them accor—ding to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit AGAIN; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

So the question should rather be if a born again child of God can still choose to sin, and yes he can. Even King David, a man of God’s own heart, chose to sin quite severely – through murder, adultery and lies – and did not repent until after about a year. What does the Bible say about a righteous man who sins like King David?

Ez. 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.—26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

Ever since the time of Adam, the truth remains that the wages of sin is death and that Satan lied when he taught the opposite. Sins still separate us from God.

Being born again (1 Pet. 1:23)

Being born again is a translation from the Greek verb anagennaō (Strong’s 313). According to the Blueletter Bible, it could mean (apart from being born again) to be born anew, to produce again or to have one’s mind changed so that he lives a new life conformed to God’s will (so unlike before). From Strong’s 303 and 1080; to beget or (by extension) bear (again):—beget, (bear) × (again). We can read about being born again (313) in 1 Pet. 1:3 (twice) and in. v. 23.

1 Pet. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,—13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:—22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever

Ye must be born again”, says Jesus (John 3:3,7)

”Be born” is here a translation of the verb gennaō (Strong’s 1080) and is a variation of genós (Strong’s 1085). In the KJV it is translated: begat, be born, bear, gender, bring forth, be delivered. ”Again” is a translation of the adverb anōthen (Strong’s 509) and can be translated again, anew, from above, from a higher place, top, from the first and from the beginning.

We are all born physically from water (in our mother’s womb), but we also need to be spiritually reborn in order to become heirs to God’s kingdom, and that is when we are forgiven and cleansed from our past sins. No wonder Jesus taught ”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”! 

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

From the below text we learn that Jesus seemed surprised about Nicodemus’ failure to understand him, indicating that Jesus was no Calvinist (Calvinists believe God is the one who enables and prevents people to believe). Jesus also compares himself with the serpent in the wilderness during the time of Moses, and people had to walk up to this serpent to behold it in order to be cleansed from their wounds. They had to make their own choice to do it, and similarly we need to make our own choice to approach Jesus in order to be cleansed from our ”spiritual wounds” (our sins). Whosoever believes in Jesus will get eternal life, showing that it is a universal offer for everyone. God loved the WORLD, and sent his son not to condemn THE WORLD but to save it. Parts of the world will still be condemned,  but this does not change the fact that Jesus was sent to enable salvation to the world. We can see in v. 18-20, that the reason why people are still being condemned is because they do not believe in Jesus and do not come to the light due to their evil ways (they love darkness rather than light). If you do evil deeds you hate the light and do not come to the light. In v. 36 we can see that a person risks the wrath of God if he does not believe (and obey) the son of God (Jesus, God in flesh). God has no reason to be angry at someone who acts according to his will, which means that he is only angry at those who do NOT do his will but walk their own ways.

John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God —31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The new man who is born againjohn piper

Do not trust reformed Mr Piper (see picture right), but trust in the Bible which says that Jesus did not come to condemn the world but was sent so that the world through him (the condition) could be saved. We must therefore remain in the vine (Jesus) so that we will not be cut off (John 15). Below we can see various descriptions about how a new person in Christ is expected to live his life. We can read about THE OLD MAN being put off:

Colossians 3:Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have PUT OFF THE OLD MAN WITH HIS DEEDS;10 AND HAVE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

2 Cor. 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.—17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; behold, all things are become new.

Rom. 6:6 Knowing this, that OUR OLD MAN is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.–-16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Eph. 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;  2 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, THE OLD MAN which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you PUT ON THE NEW MAN which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and DO NOT SIN”:do not let the sun go down on your wrath,27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (NKJV)

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

1 John 1:If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

1 Cor. 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Debate with Jesse Morell and Matt Slick – winner is Jesse Morell by a mile

Matt Slick (1)

Jesse Morell demolished Matt Slick due to a more Biblical theology view as well as superior debate ethics 

The entire debate can be found here, together with an outline of Jesse’s presentation in case you missed it.

I do not believe there will ever be a debate with a Calvinist who does not charge the other for misunderstanding or misrepresenting Calvinism. My views are as follows.

Best theology (regardless of presentation) – Winner is Jesse, but he had an easy task before him since it is definitely not hard to find scriptures which contradict Calvinism and support free will. The teaching of free will (as in the logical and traditional understanding of the word – as in being able to make contrary choices) is taught throughout the Bible, and the Bible is actually a book describing people who constantly act against the will of God (all of his multiple wills, if you will). Man’s free will is so obvious that the only way to get around it is to change the meaning of the word as well as twisting a lot of verses, and that is a common skill among Calvinists. (Those who have attended reformed Bible schools are particularly gifted in this area.) The only other option to free will is that God has created most of us to believe we have free will even though we do not.

So it looks like people who ”falsely” believe in free will still act according to God’s will since nothing happens against his will. Calvinism is contradictory to its core, and the amount of Calvinists who are able to be consistent with their own doctrines is zero. Matt Slick did not change this number. Most Calvinists constantly express themselves as though we have free will (a libertarian free will), and they often criticize others and urge them to repent – as though the unrepentant could make this decision of his own and as though a mere person could influence someone to repent even though God has already made his decrees. Matt repeatedly warned Jesse to correct his ways and views as though Jesse has made the wrong theological choices contrary to God’s desires. Apparently God’s irresistible decrees do not always come about, if people believe in heresy against his will? How hard it is for Calvinists do be consistent with their semi-gnostic philosophy. Also the old church fathers before Augustine (who brought so many heresies into church) believed in man’s (libertarian) free will, and none believed in a depraved/ruined nature as can be seen here.

Best presentation and ability to stay on topic – Winner is Jesse who demolished Matt Slick. Jesse showed way more confidence and calmness in his speech despite that Matt sat beside him repeatedly flipping though his papers, adjusting his computer, rearranging stuff on his desk, making shoulder gymnastics, etc. While both naturally provided lots of scriptures and showed great Biblical knowledge, Jesse managed to squeeze in more scriptures without being boring, and selected clear verses which stood as great examples for man’s free will, synergism, and that God’s will does not always happen. Most importantly, he broke apart the verses that Matt provided for his case and when including the entire context the verses in no way confirm the Calvinistic stance but the exact opposite. Jesse spoke with authority without insulting the other person’s character, but rather explained why the teachings of Gnosticism and Calvinism are unbiblical heresies which also the early church fathers fought against. Jesse was way more organized also in his appearance, and unlike Slick he did not desperately search through his notes, folders or a computer. Jesse did not even bring a computer (he had his phone if needed) but trusted solely on his written material as well his book. He seemed to know his material as well as Bible verses by heart and acted as a real pro.

The fact that Matt Slick brought up the topic of open theism shows his desperation, because the topic was rather free will vs election (of human beings). Discussing open theism takes a lot of time and deserves a debate of its own. If Jesse would have spent time responding to Matt’s attempt to go down that rabbit hole, then it is a good guess that Matt would respond back and the debate would set off in a direction which was not intended. A skilled and polite debater knows how to stay on topic rather than getting off the track. It is common that debaters bring up other topics when they cannot refute the current ones on the table.

Most humble attitude and ability to present criticism without insults – Winner is Jesse who was far from being arrogant. ”You shall know them by their fruit”, and it is quite obvious who showed good fruit and who has more to learn. Matt revealed a lot about himself when he made so many faces during his opponent’s speech. I prefer to believe he was nervous rather than purposely trying to disturb his opponent, but it definitely looked disrespectful. The more time that passed, the more faces Matt made and I even saw him forming words with his mouth during Jesse’s later talks (hopefully not saying the words out loud). Maybe Matt reacted in this way because he is so used to his own Calvinistic environment where he does not get a lot of opposition like he did now.

Matt said something about seeing himself as the worst of sinners (listen to the debate to hear his exact phrase), and some people in the audience reacted on that during the Q & A section. Matt sighed about their questions and asked if they would like to know what he meant by that statement. It appears that he disapproved of people who took him by his words, rather than understanding there might be an underlying meaning. It is true that false accusations and misrepresentations should best be avoided, but Matt is pretty good at it himself (and I have listened to his radio shows so I know what I am talking about). When he later asked a girl if she was perfect and she said yes, then he replied something like ”Oh, so you’re divine!”, which she of course never claimed to be. Naturally Matt did not believe it either, but would he like to know what she meant by her affirmation? Could there be an underlying meaning? The fact is that it is possible to be perfect without being divine, so Matt did not need to make this accusation. She did not even claim to never having sinned. Jesus told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, which means that we can. The question is rather what it MEANS, and it is quite clear that Matt feels that he has the right definition.

Some people in the audience could have sounded friendlier, focusing on formulating the question rather than ”telling” the debaters things, but then it is important to criticize the individuals it concerns rather than judging the entire audience as a group. In Matt’s case he should of course take it up with God if he believes that nothing comes to pass against his will. A consistent Calvinist should know that criticism about anything or anyone is criticism against God himself.

OUR good works will glorify God

If good works will glorify God, then it is hard to understand why God would force people to be wicked non-elect from the foundation of the world and send them to hell because of it (as though they could have made another option contrary to his decrees). Matt would likely protest against this description about forcing, but that is exactly what his doctrines about total depravity and predestination suggest and what Calvin and Calvinistic scholars have admitted (Jesse quoted some of them, but there are plenty more).

The idea that Jesus can transfer HIS righteousness into us is not a Biblical idea. We can of course read about ”imputed righteousness”, and it means to be regarded/reckoned as righteous because we ARE. We are, because we have been totally cleansed in the blood of Jesus and left our old sinful man behind.

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see YOUR GOOD WORKS, and GLORIFY your Father which is in heaven.1—19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, AND SHALL TEACH MEN SO, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That EXCEPT YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Who would Matt Slick side with in Matt 5:16-20? The one who does the commandments (obeys them) and teach others that it is possible to do so? That is not the impression I got from the debate. He rather warned Jesse about the teaching that it is possible to refrain from all sin and that we are the ones who must live holy lives rather than leaning on someone else’s righteousness and continue sinning. Jesse is apparently in deep trouble for teaching the importance of being victorious over sin and being able to be completely faithful to Jesus by the way we are living (rather than relying on someone else’s righteousness being transferred into us). Is God particularly mad at those who live holy lives and teach others to do the same? If this is not what Matt meant, then maybe he should not have complained about Jesse’s holiness-teaching but rather supported him. Righteous people will go to heaven and sinners will go to hell. Not the other way around! The Bible provides a warning about teachers who tell others that it is not possible to be totally faithful to God, and that it is not a big deal for Christians since we are unconditionally and eternally saved anyway:

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS is righteous, even as he is righteous.

If Calvinism is right, people who have obeyed God to 100% will end up in hell, and Jesus death on the cross is a complete puzzle. Did something go wrong which necessitated Jesus death on the cross? Exactly what went wrong, and could not God have predestined people to live holy lives without the need for Jesus atonement? I cannot think of a religion/philosophy which maligns the character of God the way Calvinism does. Not even mormonism, JW or Catholicism. Many freewillers do what they can to protect God from all attacks by Calvinists, and we must continue to pray for people like Jesse who defends God’s pure character which is far from darkness and sin – and naturally for Matt Slick!

For Calvinists Calvinism is important. Their doctrines require that they blame God for all sin either directly or indirectly, but they must wrap this message in a lot of sweet words so that they can trick more people into falling for Calvinism.

Jesus used some harsh and rude comments, so we can do this as well?

prov 15

Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul FROM DEATH and will cover a multitude of sins. (Ja. 5:20)

In the Bible, we can see that Jesus on rare occasions used some harsh words for people opposing him, but just about always in relation to Pharisees – religious leaders who viewed themselves as authoritative teachers who set the rules for salvation, and who generally opposed Jesus greatly up to the point of wanting to kill him. Such dangerous self-professed teachers (and hypocritical sinners) probably deserved to be rebuked by Jesus Christ who is God in flesh. Jesus said about them:

Matt. 23:13 For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (NKJV)

Dangerous indeed! No wonder why Jesus during a dinner (or two dinners) with Pharisees present, took the chance to explain why they were in deep error and even rebuked them. He made sure to explain why he was against their teachings, by giving examples. If people do not understand why they are being rebuked and given a chance to know exactly how to improve, then a rebuke would be a waste of time. If we truly love people and want them to let go of false teachings, we should also explain where exactly they are in error – just like Jesus.

There are Christians who use such rare occasions (when Jesus used called the Pharisees names) as evidence for that they too can call people derogatory names left and right, as soon as people do not agree with them. The problem is that Christians do not always choose the right occasions the way Jesus did. Just because Jesus a few times described the Pharisees with derogatory names, it is still no free ticket for us to insult people left and right even if they are mistaken about certain doctrines. If the idea is to persuade others about our position, demeaning insults will only push people away, and what will that accomplish?

Jesus did not use derogatory names when he spoke sinners such as the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:9), the woman about to get stoned (John 8:11), the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:37-38), etc. They were all sinners, but it is possible to make people understand the danger of their sin through conversations without calling them names. Sometimes Christians who are given the advice to avoid spreading insults, patronizing remarks and derogatory names, misunderstand the advice to mean ”Do not expose false teachings, but rather try to make people feel comfortable in their sin”. That is hardly the same thing. Again, it is possible to expose false teachings and get the message across without spreading insults (which only risk the other person to leave). If the idea is to make people stay and listen, often a more pleasant attitude is more helpful. Once in a while we might meet people who deserve a tougher treatment due to their aggressive ways, but it would be preferable if we made sure to not go down to their level.

Sometimes even sarcasm has a proper place in a conversation, but this too depends on the situation.

1 Kings 18:27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (NKJV)

Which were Jesus rude remarks?

  • About Herod: ”Go ye, and tell that fox” (Luke 13:32)
  • To Pharisees: ”O generation of vipers” (Matt. 12:34)
  • To Pharisees: ”Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:44)
  • To the scribes and the Pharisees – Matthew’s version: ”—woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!—Ye fools and blind—ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness—within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity—Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers” (Matt. 23:13-33)
  •  To the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers – Luke’s version: ”Ye fools—hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not” (Luke 11:40-46).
  • To Peter (or actually Satan): ”Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matt. 16:23, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8)

John the Baptiste:

  • To Pharisees and Sadducees: ”O generation of vipers” (Matt 3:7 and Luke 3:7)

Stephen:

  • To Pharisees: ”Ye stiffnecked” (Acts 7:51)

Paul

  • A general agreement about the Cretans: One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true”

If insulting names are used when spoken about large groups of people (like an entire generation or a ”people”), the remarks tend to not appear as strong. Within large groups of people there might be exceptions, but the general remark is still true. Jesus naturally expressed strong words about false prophets and sinners without naming anyone.

  • To all faithless: ”O faithless and perverse generation” (Matt. 17:17).
  • To his disciples: ”O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25).

In another conversation with a Pharisee named Simon, Jesus did no say ”woe to you pharisee” but gently explained   what was wrong with Simon’s views. He corrected him in love without using name callings, but also without compromising with the truth. (Luke 36-47).

Paul on Mars Hill in Athensmars hill

On March Hill, Paul could have rebuked all those people who believed in false gods, but he used a smarter approach. He managed to get their attention without humiliating them, but still explained to them why they were off the mark and what they should do to be right with God. In this way he did not stir up anger and resentment but made people stay and listen. This approach does not mean that Paul compromised with the truth, nor was he watering down the gospel.

Paul did not start out screaming to the idolaters in front of him ”Listen up you filthy sinners! You’re all heretics going to hell, you morons! DO you REALLY believe you will get eternal life when you’re nothing but WICKED, WICKED, WICKED?! LOL LOL LOL! No, you’re going to HELL, do you hear me? You all deserve it!!”, etc. None of that would necessarily be false information, but the point is of course that there are smarter ways to provide the information. Paul started out saying:

Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

What a clever way to steer the speech straight to the gospel of God by making a comparison with those inscriptions! Paul also said ”Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious! From then on he laid out his message with the hope that as many as possible would stay and listen. If he would derogatory terms, I suspect people would get angry, stop listening and shout names back at him. That would be a total waste of time, and they would be busy fighting with each other and with Paul rather than letting him share the gospel. Who would this benefit?

GENTLENESS and MEEK CORRECTIONS IN LOVE

Examples from the Bible.

Matthew 18:15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

2 Tim 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,25IN MEEKNESS instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Thess. 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.15 YET COUNT HIM NOT AS AN ENEMY, but admonish him AS A BROTHER.

Colossians 3:12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.—16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Paul’s patiently discussed with people and persuaded them to believe the true gospel

It is seldom enough to persuade people to give up their false theological views by just 10 minutes worth of conversations. Not even a conversation of one or two hours might be enough, but their resistance might not be due to a rebellion from their part but rather due to having been exposed with twisted ideas for a very long time. They likely feel that they are the ones defending the true gospel from being attacked by someone like you. Instead of losing patience and dishing out insults at this point, it is better to reason with them and provide scripture for the truth.

In other situations it might be better to shake off the dust from our feet and walk away – if the person we are talking with clearly does not want to listen, constantly interrupts, attacks you, etc. We are not supposed to throw pearls to swine if there are other people who are more open for the gospel.

Paul patiently reasoned with people, even if they did not get persuaded after 10 minutes. He could be reasoning for days, as long as he at least had some attention regarding what he was saying.

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 17:16Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.  17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 19:8And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts. 20:.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Acts. 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Säger Bibeln att man får stena och döda olydiga barn / en uppstudsig son?

teenage drunk5 Mos. 21:20-21 är en lag i det Gamla Testamentet

Ok, så lagen ingår i Mose lag och de 613 Mosaiska lagarna gäller inte längre eftersom vi lever under den Nya Testamentet (Jesus har uppfyllt lagen men den moraliska lagen gäller fortsatt), men betyder inte det att en sådan lag ändå en gång i tiden gällde i vår historia med uppmuntran från Gud själv?

Javisst gällde lagen i vårt förflutna för Gamla Testamentets Israel och för alla som valde att ansluta sig till den judiska gemenskapen. Men lagen är inte så galen som en del kritiker vill göra gällande.

5 Mos. 21:18 Om någon har en uppstudsig och trotsig son, som inte lyder sin far eller mor och inte lyssnar på dem trots att de tuktar honom, 19 så skall hans föräldrar ta honom och föra honom till de äldste i staden vid stadens port. 20 Och de skall säga till de äldste i staden: ”Den här, vår son, är uppstudsig och trotsig och vill inte lyda oss utan är en frossare och drinkare.” 21 Då skall alla män i staden stena honom till döds. Du skall skaffa bort det onda ifrån dig. Hela Israel skall höra detta och känna fruktan.

Till att börja med kan vi se att det inte handlar om små barn utan en individ som är gammal nog för att vara en frossare och drinkare. Att vara frossare och drinkare tyder på ett invant mönster och ett beteende som pågått under en längre tid. Det innebär att lagen inte ger föräldrar rätt att dra iväg en son till domare för en eller flera enstaka förseelser. Vidare kan vi se att det också krävs tuktan från föräldrarnas sida innan de får gå vidare i fallet, och även det innebär en process som pågått under en längre tid. Lagen ger alltså inte föräldrar rätt att gå vidare i fallet förrän ett stadium nåtts där sonen måste betraktas som en oåterkallelig frossare och drinkare, och där en längre tids tuktan och varningar inte hjälpt.

Lagen ger ingen tvärsäker bild om exakt när detta stadium uppnåtts, vilket förstås ger föräldrarna utrymme att fortsätta att varna och hoppas på att deras alkoholistson till slut ska omvända sig. På det sättet kräver inte lagen att föräldrarna måste agera ens vid upprepade förseelser (om det inte handlar om ett permanent mönster) och vi kan förmodligen vara överens om att det krävs ganska mycket för att föräldrar slutgiltigt ska ge upp sin kamp om sin son. Eftersom föräldrar vanligtvis älskar sina barn så kan man förmoda att de inte skulle åberopa denna lag i första hand, utan göra allt vad de kan för att förmå sonen att lämna frosseri och ondska bakom sig. Det var allså föräldrarna som avgjorde när de varnat sin son tillräckligt och när de ansåg att de måste ge upp sina försök och i stället anmäla sin onda son till de äldste för stening.

Även om det inte är vanligt så kan det förekomma att en son växer upp och lever på ett destruktivt sätt både för sin egen del och för andra i sin omgivning. Han själv kan komma till skada och andra kan komma till skada pga hans fylleri som ofta är kopplat till aggressivitet och våldsbenägenhet. För Israels del var det otrolig viktigt att folket levde moraliskt rätt eftersom de var Guds utvalda folk och eftersom det var tänkt att de skulle vara goda föredömen för andra folk. Att se genom fingrarna vad gäller ondska och destruktivitet skulle därför leda andra på fall, och dessa lagar gällde under en speciellt tid i vår historia tid då det var en direkt teokratisk ledning. Det var alltså Gud själv som styrde, och ett sådant styre har vi inte idag. Med tanke på konsekvenserna så var det alltså bättre med allvarliga lagar än att tillåta allehanda ondska som skulle kunna orsaka förfall och förlorade själar. Om Israels folk skulle vara precis likadana syndare som alla andra, så skulle ingen heller söka sig till just Israels Gud. Av det skälet var det viktigt att ha tydliga restriktioner.

Vad gäller lagarna givna under Exodus så används de i stort också för att drunkbegränsa och/eller förhindra människors eventuella iver att döma och bestraffa alldeles för hårt! Genom att beskriva i lag vad som krävs innan straff kan bli aktuellt, så förhindras därmed människor från att straffa för hårt, eller att ta lagen i egna händer. Vidare hade israelerna ingen rätt att börja applicera sina lagar på människor som inte ens tillhörde deras folk.

Det är inte ens känt om några föräldrar under Mose lag ens åberopade denna lag, så kanske lagen i sig självt var tillräcklig för att förmå söner att undvika frosseri och för föräldrar att uppfostra sina söner så att de aldrig skulle komma in på den banan.

Gamla Testamentets ej längre aktuella lagar kan inte jämföras med Koranens alltjämt gällande våldsbejakande lagar

Slutligen kan vi se att ovan lag i 5 Mosebok inte kan jämföras med Islams lagar som fortfarande är precis lika aktuella idag som de alltid varit, och som alla muslimer förväntas lyda utan prut IDAG. Koranen uppmuntrar till våld mot alla otrogna och dessa tydliga suror går inte att komma runt. Av den anledningen är det tyvärr befogat att vara avvaktande vad gäller muslimer, för vi vet ju att deras egna religiösa skrift uppmuntrar till våld mot alla icke-muslimer. Lyckligtvis känner inte alla muslimer till lagarna, och även om de skulle göra det kanske majoriteten föredrar att omtolka dem och/eller helt enkelt vägra lyda dem. De kanske väljer att inte tänka på att Muhammed är ämnad att vara deras ideal och ett mönster att försöka efterlikna. Deras sanna inställning känner vi inte alltid till och därför kan det vara klokt att vara försiktiga. Vi kan bara vara tacksamma över att de flesta muslimer inte är trogna sin religiösa skrift.

”Bekämpa dem som inte tror på Allah eller den sista dagen, eller som inte respekterar det som är förbjudet enligt Allah och hans profet, eller som inte accepterar Sanningens religion ibland Bokens folk (judar och kristna), tills de under frivillig underkastelse betalar jizyah och erkänner sig besegrade” (S. 9:29). + ”Döda dem var du än finner dem”.

Muhammad: ”Jag har blivit beordrat av Allah att kämpa mot människorna ända till de vittnar om att ingen har rätt att dyrkas förutom Allah och att Muhammad är Allahs budbärare, genomför bönerna med perfektionism och ger den obligatoriska allmosan. (Sahih Bukhari bok 9 1,24.)

Say: can you expect for us (and fate) other than one of two glorious things (martyrdom or victory)? But we can expect for you either that Allah will send his punishment (for not believing in Allah) from Himself, or by our hands. So wait (expectant); we too will wait with you 9:52

Senare suror ”abrogerar” (ersätter) tidigare suror om fred och fördrag med andras religioner. Kravet att begära pengar för beskydd enligt Jizyah (liknande maffia-beskydd) har varit mycket vanligt förekommande i de flesta muslimska länder. Vilket alltså är helt naturligt eftersom detta är vad Koranen påbjuder.

How did Noah get the approx. 16000 animals on board the Ark?

ArkenThe animals on board the Ark

According to John Woodmorappe’s ”Noah’s Ark: A feasibility study”, not a whole lot of animals were required to be on board the Ark in order to get to the animal position where we are today. According to his calculations, there would be enough with about 16,000 animals on the Ark and those animals would be the ancestors to the myriads of animals that we see around us today. We must remember that wolves, dogs, coyotes, dingoes, etc, all belong to the same ”animal family” and could have been included in the Biblical ”kind”.

The Bible, the book of Enoch, the book of Jasher and the book of Jubilees (to mention a few) all mention the time of the flood and both the antediluvian and postdiluvian periods. As Christians, it is the Bible that we view as the inspired word of God, but it is possible that the book of Enoch and the book of Jasher (both mentioned in the Bible) also contain much truth or even close to the whole truth since they confirm the Bible albeit with some more details. Therefore it is not totally illogical to use such books when speculating on what might have happened on earth about 4,600 years ago.

After the flood on Ararat:

Gen. 9:17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

The reason for the global flood

According to many historical sources (including the Jewish historian Josephusgiants were actually born through the marriages between angels and human females. Wickedness escalated to enormous proportions during this time, and eventually every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. The flesh was corrupt, and that probably did not mean only thoughts and actions but the flesh itself was actually – as the word implies – corrupt. The book of Enoch explains, not only the ungodly mixture of angels and human beings which produced giants, but also the unlawful mixture and experiments between animal groups (and between human beings and animals). You can read the details in the book of Enoch, but here comes the Biblical version:

Gen. 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.—11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Construction of the Arkgrace 5

There is information about the construction of the Ark also in the previously mentioned books, but I settle with the Bible.

Gen. 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

What animals to bring

It is quite possible for God to have given Noah general instructions to start with, and God could have provided Noah with more detailed instructions when it was actually time to gather the animals and eventually get on board the Ark. It is also possible that it is rather the author who first makes a general description (and ends with the information that Noah is always obedient), and proceeds to make a more detailed description when the general outline had been sufficiently covered. (The same goes for the creation story in Gen 1 and 2.) My point is that the none of the instructions are contradictory but rather supplementary.

Gen. 6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Gen. 7: 1 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.5 And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

After the flood on Ararat:

Gen. 9:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

The book of Jubilees about Ark:

Ch. 5 And Noah made the ark in all respects as He commanded him, in the twenty-seventh jubilee of years, in the fifth week in the fifth year (on the new moon of the first month). And he entered in the sixth (year) thereof, in the second month, on the new moon of the second month, till the sixteenth; and he entered, and all that we brought to him, into the ark, and the Lord closed it from without on the seventeenth evening. And the Lord opened seven flood-gates of heaven, And the mouths of the fountains of the great deep, seven mouths in number. And the flood-gates began to pour down water from the heaven forty days and forty nights, And the fountains of the deep also sent up waters, until the whole world was full of water. And the waters increased upon the earth: Fifteen cubits did the waters rise above all the high mountains, And the ark was lift up above the earth, And it moved upon the face of the waters.And the water prevailed on the face of the earth five months -one hundred and fifty days. And the ark went and rested on the top of Lubar, one of the mountains of Ararat. 

katt 2Boarding of the animals – and the nature of the animals before and after the flood

Gen. 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Based on the Bible, it appears as though the animals’ nature slightly changed after the flood (Gen. 9:2) since they started to fear man. This newly acquired nature became rather useful considering that human beings from this point onward were allowed to kill and eat animals. (At least some people killed and ate animals also before the flood, but not according to God’s commandments.) Based on the book of Jasher, animals also adapted a slightly new nature shortly before great flood commenced! According to this book, the animals were somehow attracted to the Ark (maybe God miraculously arranged so that the Ark had a certain odor attached to it) and they sought to come near it. Some of them behaved in a peculiar way before Noah, and their crouching before him was a signal for him to bring those particular animals on board the Ark. The book of Jasher does not promise that all animals under the sun were around the Ark, but perhaps only those animals that lived relatively close and were able to make it in time. We must also remember that the earth’s landscape could have looked entirely different before the flood, and it is possible that all land masses were connected. 

Gen. 10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

Book of Jasher Ch.10:19 These are the generations of Shem; Shem begat Arpachshad and Arpachshad begat Shelach, and Shelach begat Eber and to Eber were born two children, the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the sons of men were divided, and in the latter days, the earth was divided.

Here is what the book of Jasher says about the boarding of the Ark and the behavior of the animals shortly before the flood:

Ch. 6:1 At that time, after the death of Methuselah, the Lord said to Noah, Go thou with thy household into the ark; behold I will gather to thee all the animals of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and they shall all come and surround the ark.2 And thou shalt go and seat thyself by the doors of the ark, and all the beasts, the animals, and the fowls, shall assemble and place themselves before thee, and such of them as shall come and crouch before thee, shalt thou take and deliver into the hands of thy sons, who shall bring them to the ark, and all that will stand before thee thou shalt leave.3 And the Lord brought this about on the next day, and animals, beasts and fowls came in great multitudes and surrounded the ark.4 And Noah went and seated himself by the door of the ark, and of all flesh that crouched before him, he brought into the ark, and all that stood before him he left upon earth.

Some of the animals seemed adamant about getting on board the Ark, and they acted according to their new instinct:

Ch. 6:5 And a lioness came, with her two whelps, male and female, and the three crouched before Noah, and the two whelps rose up against the lioness and smote her, and made her flee from her place, and she went away, and they returned to their places, and crouched upon the earth before Noah.6 And the lioness ran away, and stood in the place of the lions.7 And Noah saw this, and wondered greatly, and he rose and took the two whelps, and brought them into the ark.8 And Noah brought into the ark from all living creatures that were upon earth, so that there was none left but which Noah brought into the ark.9 Two and two came to Noah into the ark, but from the clean animals, and clean fowls, he brought seven couples, as God had commanded him.10 And all the animals, and beasts, and fowls, were still there, and they surrounded the ark at every place, and the rain had not descended till seven days after.

Sometimes terrifying things can cause people to reevaluate their bad habits and seek God, but when it comes to the people in the antediluvian world they did not cease to do evil but continued to mock God. Just like the situation in many secular societies today, people before the flood questioned God’s existence! If they did acknowledge his existence, they were angry at him.

Ch. 6:11 And on that day, the Lord caused the whole earth to shake, and the sun darkened, and the foundations of the world raged, and the whole earth was moved violently, and the lightning flashed, and the thunder roared, and all the fountains in the earth were broken up, such as was not known to the inhabitants before; and God did this mighty act, in order to terrify the sons of men, that there might be no more evil upon earth.12 And still the sons of men would not return from their evil ways, and they increased the anger of the Lord at that time, and did not even direct their hearts to all this.13 And at the end of seven days, in the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, the waters of the flood were upon the earth.14 And all the fountains of the deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.15 And Noah and his household, and all the living creatures that were with him, came into the ark on account of the waters of the flood, and the Lord shut him in.

It was not until it was too late – when God had already closed the door of the Ark – when people started to approach the Ark wanting to get on board due to the never-ceasing rain. The large amount of desperate people could not come close enough to the Ark due to the animals still surrounding it! Why did so many animals still surround the Ark? Possibly because they still had their animal children on board, and their instinct told them to protect the Ark from intruders who might harm their children. In this way, the animals prevented the crowds from breaking into the Ark because they viewed them as a threat. According to the book of Jasher, it was around 700.000 desperate people who eventually assembled to be close to the only source of salvation that was available – the Ark. Unfortunately they acted too late, and despite their great number they still did not manage to find a way to break into the Ark. The aggressive animals were in the way, the weather condition was chaotic and they might even have lacked proper tools.

Ch. 6:16 And all the sons of men that were left upon the earth, became exhausted through evil on account of the rain, for the waters were coming more violently upon the earth, and the animals and beasts were still surrounding the ark.17 And the sons of men assembled together, about seven hundred thousand men and women, and they came unto Noah to the ark.18 And they called to Noah, saying, Open for us that we may come to thee in the ark–and wherefore shall we die?19 And Noah, with a loud voice, answered them from the ark, saying, Have you not all rebelled against the Lord, and said that he does not exist? and therefore the Lord brought upon you this evil, to destroy and cut you off from the face of the earth.20 Is not this the thing that I spoke to you of one hundred and twenty years back, and you would not hearken to the voice of the Lord, and now do you desire to live upon earth?21 And they said to Noah, We are ready to return to the Lord; only open for us that we may live and not die.22 And Noah answered them, saying, Behold now that you see the trouble of your souls, you wish to return to the Lord; why did you not return during these hundred and twenty years, which the Lord granted you as the determined period?23 But now you come and tell me this on account of the troubles of your souls, now also the Lord will not listen to you, neither will he give ear to you on this day, so that you will not now succeed in your wishes.24 And the sons of men approached in order to break into the ark, to come in on account of the rain, for they could not bear the rain upon them.25 And the Lord sent all the beasts and animals that stood round the ark. And the beasts overpowered them and drove them from that place, and every man went his way and they again scattered themselves upon the face of the earth.26 And the rain was still descending upon the earth, and it descended forty days and forty nights, and the waters prevailed greatly upon the earth; and all flesh that was upon the earth or in the waters died, whether men, animals, beasts, creeping things or birds of the air, and there only remained Noah and those that were with him in the ark.

The purpose of the LAW, and our ability to obey God according to the Bible

sin 4The temporary Mosaic Law does not cancel or detract from the eternal MORAL law of God, which applied/applies both before and after the time of the Mosaic Law

Unlike what is commonly claimed, God appears to believe it has not only been possible for us to obey his commandments throughout history, but it is even required for us to always be faithful to him based on the commandments given. This does not mean that he only provides one single chance for us to do so, but serving two masters nevertheless leads to spiritual death. It is not logical to believe that God would give us laws he knew all along we could never obey. It would be equally illogical to view people as guilty transgressors of his laws, if the same people were incapable of obeying him in the first place. Did God really create mankind too weak to obey him? If we instead prefer to blame Adam because we have inherited his sins, would this really be our fault or something we could do anything about? (Read more about the false doctrine of original sin on my Blog.) If we on the other hand have always been capable of obeying our Lord but chosen not to, then we cannot put the blame on anyone else but ourselves. We are guilty transgressors precisely because we could have obeyed God but chosen not to. One sin is enough to be a sinner and in need to be cleansed and forgiven by someone with proper authority.

It is still possible to say that the Law was never intended to justify, and also that it ”cannot” save. Not because God gave us commandments too grievous for us to obey, but rather because he knew that man would eventually choose at least one sin (most of us many more and repeatedly) which would make him in need of God’s mercy rather than being saved for having obeyed the Mosaic Law perfectly. Moreover, babies cannot sin since they are not able to transgress the law, and sinning is transgression of the law.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The purpose of the law of Moses

A great deal of flexibility is found in the use of the term “law” in the New Testament. Sometimes it refers not only to the five first book in the Torah but to the entire Old Testament, including Psalms and Isaiah (compare for instance John 10:34 and 1 Cor. 14:21). It could also mean the ten commandments as compared with Ex. 20:3-17. The Law could also be a principle or influence for a holy life style (Rom. 7:21-25). In the New Testament we find Paul quite often talking about circumcision (a ceremonial law included in the Mosaic Law) which confused many Jews who had come to Christ. For this reason Paul had a great focus on uplifting the law of Christ rather than the former Mosaic Law. See how Paul is differentiating between the two laws while still not claiming that ALL laws are done away with:

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, BUT KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

It is clear that Paul was not of the view that we are no longer bound by ANY law just because we are not bound by the law of Moses. We are not living in lawlessness and there are still divine commandments to follow. We are slaves to the one we obey, so if we obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free. Sin continues to cause spiritual death just like it always has.

Paul does not believe that being faithful to the Lord – by avoiding murder, theft, lies, adultery, etc –  is called ”bondage”. When Paul is talking about ”turning back”, and ”bondage” in Galatians, he has the Mosaic Law in mind and particularly the ceremonial laws such as circumcision. There is no way Paul would be upset with the Galatians if they ”turned back” to ”silly old laws” such as ”Do not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery”, etc. Those type of activities are still sins in the ever existing moral law of God, and they will never be outdated.

Gal. 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

One reason for the implementation of the Mosaic law was to keep the Jews as a distinct people:

Lev. 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations

It was also given due to our transgressions, to keep us in place by detailed rules. The law was the Jews’ schoolmaster to bring them to Christ, and when Christ came this schoolmaster was no longer needed. Now our guide is rather the holy Spirit.

Gal. 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.—23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Rom. 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not knownsin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

The law is not made for the righteous man (who comes to the light and acts righteously out of a pure heart), but to the ungodly disobedient man. Paul explains that it is possible to live with a good conscience, but also that it is possible to shipwreck our faith if we for instance blaspheme God.

1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a PURE HEART, and of a GOOD CONSCIENCE, and of faith unfeigned:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Rom. 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God;26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Ja. 2:If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

The Old Testament and our ability to obey Godgrace 5

Prior to the time of Moses there were no stone plates with any commandments written on them, but there were nevertheless commandments to obey . other than not eating of the forbidden tree. From the very beginning it has always been considered a sin to murder, steal, lie, commit adultery, etc. God says early on that we should rule over sin. If we do not well, sin lieth at the door…

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, SIN lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and THOU SHALT RULE OVER HIM.

Gen. 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

God required from the Israelites that they must keep his commandments, and as well as emphasizing that they shall live in them and by them. God even gives a curse on those who do not obey the words of his covenant. He makes clear that ”THE WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and IN THY HEART, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT”, showing that he does not find it impossible for us to obey him at all. He repeatedly says ”I COMMAND THEE this day to love the Lord thy God, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes and his judgments.”

Deut. 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.9 And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou TURN UNTO THE LORD thy God WITH ALL THINE HEART, and with all thy soul.11 For THIS COMMANDMENT which I COMMAND thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, NEITHER IS IT FAR OFF.14 But THE WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and IN THY HEART, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;16 In that I COMMAND THEE this day to love the Lord thy God, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Lev. 18:Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.

You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai. (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ez. 20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.—19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;—21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

Neh. 9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

Deut. 15:4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:Only IF THOU CAREFULLY HEARKEN UNTO THE VOICE OF THE LORD THY GOD, TO OBSERVE TO DO ALL THESE COMMANDMENTS which I COMMAND thee this day.

Deut. 27:1 And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day.— 10 Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.—26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Jer. 11:2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;3 And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and DO THEM, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:6 Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.

Deut. 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:—13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:—45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:—-58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

Deut. 5:12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.—32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

1 Pet.Those are righteous who DO righteousness – in both the Old and the New testament

We cannot hide behind another person’s righteousness (like Jesus), but we are responsible to live righteous lives. Only the righteous will be saved.

Ez. 18:18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Living righteously = LIFE, living in sin = DEATH. Here is the Old Testament verification for that, and Ezekiel explains it best:

Ez. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: THE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, saith the Lord God.13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Ez. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. —-8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

The New Testament and our capacity to obey  false sheep

Jesus repeats the most important commandment in the Old Testament: to love God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, as well as Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. He does not seem to believe it is impossible to obey these commandments, nor that they are no longer valid. These commandments sum up the major part of the ten commandments.

Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

Jesus says about the commandments ”whosoever shall do and teach them…”, indicating that there are people who indeed practice obedience to the commandments, or else he would not have phrased himself quite like that:

Matt. 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

  • Who will be great in heaven? – Those who DO the commandments and teach others to do the same.
  • Who will be least in heaven? – Those who break one of the least commandments and teach others to do the same.

Note that there is also a risk that some believers will not even make it into the kingdom of God due to their behavior! It is possible that it is particularly breaking of the greater commandments which prevents a person from entering the kingdom of heaven, unless he/she repents of course. Then again one sin – big or small – makes a person a sinner and in need of cleansing and forgiveness. It is best to take interest in walking with God and be led by the Spirit. We should avoid criticizing those who claim we can be successfully faithful to Jesus here and now (Titus 2:11-12) and who live holy lives. After all, Jesus says they are the ones who will be great in heaven (if they ”walk the talk” that is). Naturally we have a right to criticize them if they are hypocrites like the pharisees – which means they are not being obedient after all.

We are supposed to be sanctified of the holy Spirit unto obedience, which means we have been given the power to successfully obey. If we are being led by the Spirit we will walk on the road to obedience. If we fail we cannot blame God but ourselves:

1 Pet. 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Peter says that we have purified our souls by being obedient, and also suggests that there will be righteous people who will be  ”scarcely saved” (perhaps due to scarce good fruit in the person’s life). It is the ungodly sinner who is in deep trouble:

1 Pet. 1: 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

1 Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?18 And if the righteous man is scarcely saved, the ungodly and sinner — where shall he appear?19 so that also those suffering according to the will of god, as to a stedfast Creator, let them commit their own souls in good doing.

matt. 12Compare with these verses about a pure heart:

1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1 Tim. 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Tim. 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Acts 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Hebr. 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Matt. 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

John seems to be saying that we can obey the truth and that is why we come to the light – because we have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Some translations say that ”he that obeys not the son shall not see life…”. 

John 3:20 For every one that DOETH evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.—36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Luke says that the holy Spirit is given to those who obey him.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Below in Romans follows Paul’s clarification that we will get eternal life by well-doing and that those who do not obey the truth will be affected by the wrath of God. It is possible to ”by nature” do the law because the law can be written in our hearts. We will be judged accordingly and depending on our thoughts and our conscience. Paul explains that a true Jew is actually one who has a circumcised heart rather than circumcised flesh. Paul spends a lot of time in the book of Romans to get the christian Jews to understand their new position in Jesus Christ – in whom the Mosaic Law is fulfilled – and that followers are saved by faith rather than being a Jew under the former law.

Rom. 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) — 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Paul tells us that ”henceforth we should not serve sin”, indicating that we have the ability to do so. He also explains what this means when he says that we should not obey the lust of our mortal body (using our body to sin with), and we are reminded that we are servants to the one we obey – sin unto DEATH or obedience unto righteousness and life. The NKJV explains it with an easier language 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you—”. If we obey sin, we die and if we obey the holy Spirit (towards righteousness) we will live. Satan is still wrong with his claim that sinning will not cause death. We have an awesome power to overcome sin thanks to the holy Spirit!

Rom. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, THAT YE SHOULD OBEY IT IN THE LUSTS THEREOF.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of SIN UNTO DEATH, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for THE END OF THOSE THINGS IS DEATH. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end EVERLASTING LIFE 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Read this article about Paul’s expressions in Rom. 7 where he is not talking about his new christian life even though he uses present tense. Below Paul continues to assure us that there is no condemnation for those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit He offers no such assurances for those who do NOT walk after the Spirit, and Christians are not exempted from any risks. To be carnally minded is death, according to Paul, so if he would have lived in sin – as some Christians claim he did as per Rom. 7) then Paul would be spiritually dead when he wrote all those letters to us in the New Testament! He would also have been the biggest hypocrite in the New Testament. ”If you live after the flesh, you shall die”, is his serious message, but the wonderful promise is that if we are led by the Spirit we are the sons of God and we have tickets to an eternal life in God’s kingdom!

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but AFTER THE SPIRIT.4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of RIGHTEOUSNESS.12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: but IF YE THROUGH THE SPIRIT DO MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YE SHALL LIVE. 14 For as many as are LED BY THE SPIRIT of God, they are the sons of God. 

It is possible to obey Christ out of a pure heart.  memory

Eph. 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM

Rev. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

As I stated above, Paul is not criticizing the Galatians because they reverted back to laws such as ”Do not murder, steal, lie or commit adultery”. There would not be any reason at all for Paul to be mightily upset with the Galatians if they were convinced they needed to avoid such sins for salvation’s sake in order to show their true love for God. It was rather the topic of circumcision that Paul was talking about. The Galatians were in liberty from the ceremonial laws, but none of us are in liberty to sin against God. Again, we are slaves to the one we obey, so if we obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free. The ”yoke of bondage” that Paul is talking about is not concerning the eternal moral law but the 613 Mosaic laws. If the Galatians wanted to stick with circumcision as requirement for salvation, then picking and choosing among the Mosaic laws would not be satisfactory. If they wanted to stick with circumcision requirement, they had to obey the rest of the laws as well, and Christ would have died for them in vain.

Paul compares their stance with the new testament where we are rather saved by faith (apart from the Mosaic law). Being saved by faith does not mean that we are now able to sin without consequences, because we are never free if we are slaves to sin. ”Faith which works by love”, means that we are expected to love God out of a pure heart when we are led by the holy Spirit, rather than multiple written instructions. The Spirit leads us away from a life of sin. Paul does ask the Galatians who hinders them to obey the truth, meaning they are still required to obey, and ”A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (one sin is enough). Paul says ”all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. We are expected to continue loving God with all of our of our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Paul promises us ”Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”, and ”if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law”. We are not on the right track unless we are being led by the Spirit. Paul continues by giving examples of the works of the flesh, and assures the christian Galatians that they will not inherit the kingdom of God if they do such things.

Gal. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.—13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

”If you love me, keep my commandments”. That is a rather clear command. Jesus died for all of us due to his love for the whole world (and wanting no one to perish), but in a way God’s love is also conditional. ”IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him”. If we truly love our spouse we stay faithful to him/her, and it is the same thing with our love for God.

John 14:15 IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.23 Jesus answered and said unto him, IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not KEEPETH NOT my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

God’s commandments are not grievous. The solution to the sin problem is to repent from our sins and start being led by the Spirit in holiness. The solution is not to hide behind Jesus and pretend that God doesn’t see our sins. He does. How do we know that we love God? If we keep his commandments. All unrighteousness is a sin, and sin continues to separate us from God. We can overcome sin thanks to our Helper!

1 John 5:By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For THIS IS THE LOVE OF GOD, THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: AND HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Some Christians use this verse as support for the idea that we are free to sin without serious consequences:

Rom. 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Acts 15However, Paul is still focusing on circumcision and the many ceremonial laws in the Mosaic Law, which is clear if we read the verses before and after. We must never forget Paul’s reason for this emphasis when he tried to reason with some of the christian Jews:

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, EXCEPT YE BE CIRCUMCISED AFTER THE MANNER OF MOSES; YE CANNOT BE SAVED. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

It was never about a disputation about Jews claiming it is still necessary to be faithful to God and avoid murder, theft, lies and adultery, but about the Mosaic Law. It is still not a sin for a Jew to circumcise his flesh, but it is wrong to teach that this is required for salvation – since it is an unnecessary yoke for Jewish believers.