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The NATURAL MAN receives not the things of the Spirit of God? – 1 Cor. 2:14

flesh

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14) 

It is a choice to be a ”natural man” as no one is born a sinner. It is rather an adopted nature just as the context indicates. An alcoholic might suggest that he has inherited genes that makes him an alcoholic out of necessity just like his parents, but even though genetics can partly explain certain similar weaknesses/attitudes/traits we still cannot blame our actions – like repeatedly pouring liquor into a glass and drink – on our parents. ”Natural” in 1 Cor. 2:14 is a translation from the Greek adjective psychikos (Strong’s 5591) and can be translated as natural or sensual. The word is used 6 times in the New Testament. In 1 Cor. 15 we have a slightly different perspective of the word, because the passage talks about the resurrection when we will get rid of our fleshly bodies to get new spiritual bodies prior to entering the kingdom of God:

1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.—44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

James makes it clear that we should not mix righteous deeds with unrighteous deeds. Just like Paul he urges his readers to stop sinning:

Ja. 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?—14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

We can see that those who are ”natural” are those who choose to walk after their own lusts instead of having an interest to be led by the Spirit. It usually concerns those who have no desire to seek God (as per Rom. 1:18-32) and who are therefore atheists/agnostics, but it could also apply to anyone (also Christians) who chooses to walk after his/her own lusts. They separate themselves from God by following their ungodly lusts:

Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

A natural man is again someone who chooses to live after the flesh and not after the Spirit. The context below shows that Paul speaks highly of the power of the holy Spirit which is given to Christians (after repentance), and through this magnificent power it is certainly easier to come closer to God and know all the details of his will. We are able to be victorious over sin if we choose to be led by the Spirit, but it takes a will of our own. Also agnostics are able to avoid sin, but if they decide to repent and start living with Jesus Christ they will get a new power thanks to the new Helper – the holy Spirit. The holy Spirit does not force a person to obey him:

1 Cor. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

The promise given to us in Gal. 5 is that if we decide to walk in the Spirit, we are automatically not fulfilling the lust of the flesh because of our righteous lives. If we instead live after the flesh, we automatically do not walk in the Spirit since the flesh is contrary to the Spirit. It is one or the other. The Spirit would never lead us unto the road of destruction. Paul assures us that if we do live after the flesh (and he gives examples of what that means) we can forget about inheriting the kingdom of God. He does not say that Christians are exempted from this danger. He also says ”If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”, showing that this is nothing that happens automatically without our participation. It is the responsibility of each individual to live a holy life, and we cannot blame God for preventing us from obeying his commandments:

Gal. 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.

Below we can more clearly see what happens to someone who God gives up to a reprobate mind due to the individual’s decision to walk after his own lusts (and become a natural man). Such a person is without excuse because he could have reached out to God and live according to his will, but chose not to. THAT is the reason for deserving a spot in hell. Not because God chose someone to be a wicked non-elect before he was even born, but because the person had all the chances in the world to seek and believe in God (the very purpose for God to create us in the first place as per Acts 17:26-30) but instead turned his back on him and lived a rebellious life.

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 FOR THIS CAUSE God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not convenient;29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

If we live according to the flesh, we CANNOT please Godglorified

It is not a good idea to be a natural man with a carnal mind, because then we simply cannot please God. A person who has his mind set on maintaining his sins cannot at the same time live according to God’s commandments.

Rom. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

We can learn from Paul who those are who ”are after the flesh”. They are the ones who walk not after the Spirit but after the flesh. This means that their wicked actions cause them to be carnally minded/natural men. Fortunately there is a solution provided by Paul in that same chapter, and that is to walk after the Spirit which is a much better choice.

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.

Paul explains this also in Rom. 6, where he assures us that we can successfully start living according to the Spirit instead of obeying sin. Note that we are slaves to the one we choose to obey, so if we choose to obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free. Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome, so Christians are clearly not freed from the risk of landing in spiritual death – which would happen to anyone who decides to obey sin and who does not repent:

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.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.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.

Paul refers to a passage in Isaiah 29 when it talks about hidden wisdom. The reason for people living in darkness is due to their decision to remove their hearts from him:

1 Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.*) 

*) Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

God loves us and wishes that we all would come to the knowledge of the truth:

1 Tim. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

You can read about Eph. 2 here, where you will see that it is a choice to be ”children of wrath” (individuals who are subject to God’s wrath due to their sins) and that the chapter nowhere suggests that anyone is born that way. It is rather, yet again, about people who choose to walk after their own lusts.

Annonser

Jesus is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, but was not CREATED but pre-existing

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”Only begotten” does not mean ”created”

John 3:15 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.

”Only begotten” is a translation from the Greek word monogenés (Strong’s 3439) and can hold the meaning of being single of its kind, only one and unique. From 3411/misthōtós ”one-and-only” and 1085/génos ”offspring, stock”one-and-only; ”one of a kind” – literally ”one” (monos), of its ”kind” (genos). Jesus is totally unique and the only one of its kind. The KJV translates the word: only begotten (6x), only (2x), only child (1x). (There is also another Greek word that is translated begotten – ”gennaō” Strong’s 1080 – see further down below).

Below are the verses where the word monogenés is used (apart from John 3:15-18 above):

Luk 7:12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

Luk 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

Luk 9:38 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

Jhn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.—18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

1Jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son

The last verse is particularly interesting considering the fact that Isaac was NOT Abraham’s only son! Ishmael is the most well-known brothers of Isaac (and actually the very first son and thus literally ”first-born”), but Abraham also had six other sons together with his second wife Keturah (Gen. 25:2): Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Still, Isaac was considered his ”only begotten son”.

Septuaginta has translated Ps. 25:16 by using the Greek word monogenés with the meaning ”alone”:

Ps. 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. NASB.

Ps. 25:16 Turn Thee unto me, and be gracious unto me; for I am yachid (alone, lonely) and afflicted. Orthodox Jewish Bible

What does it mean to be BORN by God, and that Jesus is BEGOTTEN?

begotten3 Below we can read God the Father saying to his son ”thou art my beloved son”, and we can read Paul referencing to this episode in Acts. 13. ”Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”, is a reference from Ps. 2:7. Naturally Jesus was not ”born” (or created) when he was over 30 years old and baptized by John. It’s rather about a divine acknowledgement about Jesus having reached the moment in his life (in his mission on earth) where the Holy Ghost could be seen descending upon him, and where the public in a very tangible way could see that Jesus is the promised Messiah that the scriptures talk about. John the Baptist is also referred to in the scriptures, and he emphasized that Jesus was the promised light.

Luke 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Acts 13:23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.—33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten (1033) thee.

Ps. 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE.8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Hebr. 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten (1080) thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten (prōtotokos Strong’s 4416) into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Hebr. 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten (1080) thee.

The word ”begotten” in the verses above is a translation from the Greek word gennaō (Strong’s 1080), and is sometimes translated ”born”. KJV translates is: begat (49x), be born (39x), bear (2x),gender (2x), bring forth (1x), be delivered (1x), misc (3x). Examples:

Matt. 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born (from tiktō Strong’s 5088) King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.—4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born  (1080). (+ Luke 1:31)

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born (1080) of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.—18 We know that whosoever is born (1080) of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten (1080) of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

”Son” can hold a symbolic meaning, like in Mark 3:17, Luke 3:38 and Gal 3:26, and Jesus was not literally the son of Joseph (Mary’s husband) but rather the son of God (the seed came from God). ”God” can refer to either the whole trinity, or one of the persons in the trinity.  Naturally Jesus can be both God and the son of God, and naturally one pile of sand can become three piles of sand. A man can not literally give birth to a son, but a father has at least contributed with his seed and most often the upbringing of the son. Below the word ”begat” is a translation from the Hebrew word yalad (Strong’s 3205), and it can hold the meaning to bring up, bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail, be born, etc:

Prov. 23:22 Hearken unto thy father that BEGAT thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

worshipProverbs 8:24 is using poetic language

Below we can read a proverb, and proverbs often contain poetic expressions. ”The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way” is a good picture of the strong connection between the Father and Jesus Christ in the trinity. Jesus was ”brought forth” (something that took place before the creation according to this poetic text), but it doesn’t say that he was created. We read further that the son was present during the creation, despite the information in Isaiah where we can read that God was alone when he made the heavens and the earth (which naturally is solved by the trinity). The author seems to write from the perspective of the son, and if you find the son you will also find life and will get mercy from the Lord. He continues to say that if someone sins against him (the son) that person risks his soul. If Jesus wouldn’t be God, it would be confusing to read about the son putting so much focus on himself, and about two separate beings who have power over life and death.

Proverbs 8:22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.24 When there were no depths, I was BROUGHT FORTH; when there were no fountains abounding with water.25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

First-born” does not necessarily mean being the first-born out of all siblings, or the first created being

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN (4416) of every creature:16 For BY HIM were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created BY HIM, and for him:17 And he is BEFORE all things, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn (4416) from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Col. 1:15-17 mentions ”the first-born of every creature”, but note that it does not say first-created“First-born” is from the Greek word prōtotokos (Strong’s 4416). Apart from ”firstborn” it could mean an heir, a begotten one, first in rank or preeminence, and this means that Christ is first in rank above all creation and heir of all things. He is prior to all creation and superior over it because he is the Lord of Lords. Also King David was ”first-born” (despite being the youngest son of his father Jesse), just like Ephraim – despite that he had an older brother (Manasse).

Rev. 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Moreover, the book of Romans suggests that we must all be first-born in order to be conformed to the image of the son

Rom. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Jer 31:They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Ps. 89:Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.—11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.—20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.—26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.27 Also I will make him MY FIRSTBORN (bĕkowr Strong’s 1060), higher than the kings of the earth.28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

Jesus is the ”beginning” of God’s creation according to Rev. 3:14?tillbedjan 4

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE the world was.

Revelation 3:14 reveals that the Greek word arché (Strong’s 746) is translated “beginning” and could also mean “the source/origin of God’s creation”.   This goes together well with the information we have from Colossians 1:16 and John 1:3, where we are told that all things were made by or had their origin in Jesus Christ. Jesus is then the START and CAUSE of all things (the alpha and omega), and only in that sense is he the beginning of God’s creation.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God Col. 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (4416) of every creature:—18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn (4416) from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

If John meant to emphasize that ”beginning” means ”first created” through the word Arche, then he would also be saying that God the Father has a beginning as per below verses, which of course would not make sense.

Rev. 21:And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, THE BEGINNING and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Rev. 1:And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which PIERCED him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.8 I am Alpha and Omega, the BEGINNING and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.—12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.—.17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.13 I am Alpha and Omega, the BEGINNING and the end, the first and the last.14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Is. 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

How can he be clean that is born of a woman?- Job 25:4 + Job 15:14

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Job 25 (Bildad says…) 4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Job 15 (Eliphaz says…)14 What is man, that he should be CLEAN? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did not always have good advice to give Job. On the contrary, God criticized them for their folly and for not having described him (God) in a correct way. God particularly turns to Eliphaz, but also his friends are included in the criticism. Job, however, is viewed by God as a perfect and upright man who speaks what is right about him, and thanks to Job’s prayers concerning his friends God shows them mercy despite their many trespasses. (It’s important to pray about people because our prayers have great impact!). Fortunately, Job’s friends took the chance to be cleansed and they obeyed God and collected some animals to offer up to him with the aim to be cleansed from their sins. Wherever there is true repentance, there is a chance to be forgiven.

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.—8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

When we read the Bible, it’s important to pay attention to who says what to whom, why and in what circumstances. The questions in the beginning are addressed to Job by his friends, in response to Job’s conviction that he has not been guilty of any trespasses of God’s law. So we can read the views of Job’s friends in our Bible, but their views are of course not the same as God’s views . Also comments from Satan can be read in the Bible, so it’s risky to just take a verse out of context and assume it’s the view of God. We already know that there are several righteous people described in the Bible (Abraham, Lot, Enoch, Noah, Simon, Paul, etc), so Job is certainly not alone.

The great concern among Job’s friends seems to be to convince him of his guilt before God, and that man in general is naturally unrighteous. This is the same story as we often hear today – the claim that we can never be righteous before God, unless he looks at us through Jesus as a filter, and that we can never successfully avoid sins. Below we can read that Job clothed himself with righteousness by helping the poor, the fatherless, the helpless and the widows. He was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame and father to the poor, and he sorted out problems to people he didn’t even know. Job was perfect, upright and righteous because he showed his faith in God by doing good deeds and avoiding sin. He loved his neighbor as himself! No one else was righteous for Job or instead of him, but he himself acted in a righteous way. God would never consider us righteous unless we also lived holy and righteous lives.

Job. 29:12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

Job was perhaps not always right in his ponderings about the big questions in life (he repented when he realized that he had strayed in his thoughts and when it dawned on him how mighty God really is, and the magnitude of his wisdom), but it’s not a sin to ask God questions, nor to be sad, puzzled, bewildered and to honestly confess before God that things seem unfair – at least from our own perspective. However, it would be a sin to blame God for the evil things that happen in this world, and for wrongdoings and unrighteousness within man. If there are things we don’t understand and if we feel that we’re in despair, it’s not a sin to express our feelings before God, and neither is it wrong to ask him for advice why things are as they are. It’s good to ask for advice, as long as we don’t blame God for something he is innocent of. Sometimes it’s beneficial for us to face obstacles, because they can often make us seek God more deeply, and there is a lot of truth in the saying ”whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth”.

In the book of Job, God is mostly having a dialogue with Job himself, but God’s criticism concerns man in general. When God explains his magnificent creation, Job is learning and his questions are being answered. He can see things more clearly and he finally understands the big picture and God’s mighty ways. Job says ”I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth thee”. It started with much suffering and pain, but Job ended up having a much greater contact with his Lord. Job also received much blessings and continued to live multiple years on earth, but the most important goal in life is to live a life which is pleasing to God, love others as yourself and make sure your soul is saved.

Job 40:1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

If none would be born ”clean”, that would apply also to Jesus since he too was born by a woman.

Job 14:4 ”Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.”

The whole sense of what Job is saying is that no one can bring other than frail and dying offspring from frail and dying parents. If this text teaches that a sinner invariably produces another sinner, then Mary, the mother of our Lord, was also born a sinner. So if Job 14:4 really does teach that a sinner must produce another sinner, there could be no way of escaping the blasphemous conclusion that Jesus also was born a sinner. Also note that not everything you read in Job can be taken literally, since many poetic expressions are used:

Job 1:21 Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither

Do read also this article Rom. 3:10, concerning the righteous man Paul who quotes a few psalms which suggest there is no one righteous…

We are wonderfully made by God who fashioned us – so not born sinful

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We are WONDERFULLY MADE!

It certainly looks like the idea that we are born with a sinful nature is a hoax, and you can read more about it here and here.  IF we were born with an original sin, then we would have great excuses for our trespasses before the Lord, but the Bible says that we will have none.

Sinning is something we DO and nothing that we can INHERIT, so babies are totally innocent since they are not aware of the law and unable to break it.

Zecharia 12:1 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and FORMETH THE SPIRIT OF MAN WITHIN HIM. 

Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, NEITHER HAVING DONE ANY GOOD OR EVIL, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God AS A LITTLE CHILD, he shall not enter therein.

Isaiah 7:16 For BEFORE THE CHILD SHALL KNOW TO REFUSE THE EVIL, AND CHOOSE THE GOOD, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that FORMED THEE FROM THE WOMB, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself

Isaiah 42:Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and SPIRIT to them that walk therein

Job. 31:14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?15 Did not HE THAT MADE ME IN THE WOMB make him? and DID NOT ONE FASHION US IN THE WOMB?

Ps. 100:Know ye that the Lord he is God: IT IS HE THAT HATH MADE US, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Ps. 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Ps. 119:73 Thy hands have made me and FASHIONED ME: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

1 Cor. 11:For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Ja. 3:Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, WHICH ARE MADE AFTER THE SIMILTUDE OF GOD.  

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that GOD HATH MADE MAN UPRIGHT; but THEY they have sought out many inventions.

Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

Rom. 2:12 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😉16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

SIN is what you DO, and not what you ARE!

We are NOT born with a sinful nature, and we are not born depraved and unable to do good

We don’t have to sin

We are guilty because we could obey God but chose not to

There is no such thing as ”once righteous always righteous”

We are NOT saved by faith alone

We must repent and DO righteousness

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

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Mike Desario makes an excellent explanation how christians are watering down the gospel by teaching that no one can ever stop sinning, and that we must sin until we die. Being tempted is not a sin.

The wicked are estranged from the womb Psalm 58:3 – no support for a sinful nature

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, SPEAKING LIES (Psalm 58:3) 

This verse is sometimes used as some kind of support for that babies are born sinful because we have all inherited Adam’s sin. However, this is a PSALM and psalms can be read either literally or figuratively depending on context. Some people also take Psalm 51:5 as support for the sinful nature, but then they believe babies are sinful upon CONCEPTION (it says David was conceived in sin, and you can read about this psalm too on my Blog). So which one is it? Do we get the mysterious ”sinful gene” when we are conceived or when we are born? I suggest NEITHER. Check the context:

Ps 58:1 Do ye indeed SPEAK righteousness, O congregation? do ye JUDGE uprightly, O ye sons of MEN2Yea, in heart ye WORK wickedness; ye WEIGH the violence of your hands in the earth. 3The wicked are estranged from the womb: they GO ASTRAY as soon as they be born, SPEAKING LIES4Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear5Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. 6Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. 7Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

We can see that the psalmist starts out addressing a ”congregation” and apparently they are old enough to SPEAK since they are asked if they speak righteousness. They are also old enough to JUDGE (albeit not necessarily uprightly), they are able to WORK WICKEDNESS in their hearts and WEIGH the violence of their hands. Babies are unable to do any of that, and it’s the WICKED that ”are estrange”. Notice the words ”go astray as soon as they are born”.  If someone goes astray it means it must have started from a position where it was not ”astray”. How many babies do we know who speak LIES Who can speak at all when they are newly born? Can we really say that innocent little newborn babies have poison like serpents? How could newborn babies choose to ”stop their ears” and not hearken? How many babies do we know who have TEETH in their mouths when they are born? Is God seeking to break the teeth of little infants? And cut them in pieces?

No this is about God taking vengeance on the WICKED who have done nothing but engaged themselves in violence and bloodshed, and they must be ADULTS in order to do that. They must be old enough to be able to make decisions, or else it wouldn’t make sense that God would punish the for something they haven’t chosen to do themselves. Psalm 58 is not a about our nature at the time of  birth. The rest of Psalm 58:

8As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. 9Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. 10The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked11So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

In verse 10 and 11 we can read about righteous people who do NOT go astray, so this shows that all are not wicked since only the wicked go astray.

It’s never a good idea to take poetic verses out of context (such as those is Psalms, Proverbs and Job) and make doctrines out of them, in combination with ignoring loads of other clear verses in the Bible which tell us another story. Nowhere in the Bible will you see the teaching that man is born with a sinful nature, and/or that we have inherited Adam’s sin. Sinning is a choice which can’t be inherited.