Etikettarkiv | sins

The IMPUTED righteousness of CHRIST – is not Biblical

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was IMPUTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS: and he was called the Friend of God. James. 2:23 

hypocriteThe word ”imputed” comes from the Greek word ”logizomai” (Strong’s 3049) which could be translated as ”reckon, count, charge with; reason, decide, conclude; think or suppose”. Notice that it doesn’t mean ”transfer”, but rather ”reckoned” or ”counted as”.

The word is found 41 times in the New Testament, and 4 of those times the word is translated as ”impute” in the KJV.  Rom 4:6-11 and  22-24 have the same Greek word (logizomai) as in James 2:23, and it doesn’t mean ”transfer” there either. These verses use the same word even if they are translated differently:

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was counted unto him for righteousness. Rom. 4:3

Even as Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was accounted to him for righteousness. Gal. 3:6

And therefore it [faith] was imputed to him for righteousness. Rom. 4:22

CountedRom 2:26, Rom 4:3, Rom 4:5, Rom 9:8, Reckoned = Luk 22:37, Rom 4:4, Rom 4:9-10 and Rom 6:11, Rom 8:18, Accounted = Rom 8:36, Gal 3:6

We are asked to be righteous just like Jesus is righteous  

This doesn’t mean that the only means to get saved is to have lived a life free of sins just like Jesus did, but neither is the promise”If you only believe in Jesus, he will confirm you as righteous even if you’re not”. First we must be cleansed in the blood of Jesus – upon repentance – and then the idea is to be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh, which no one else will do for us. We are not able to go piggybacking on Jesus.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS.8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.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.

God’s wrath is still upon us if we sin, and if we are under God’s wrath we are not saved.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (NASB)

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 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;

Jesus righteousness cannot be transferred/injected into us and we are not righteous unless we LIVE righteously

Our righteousness does not depend on being injected another person’s righteousness, but our righteousness depends on how we live our lives.  

Jesus lived a perfect life (always being obedient to God the Father) and died on the cross for us, and in THAT WAY he is our righteousness. Had Jesus not lived an obedient life for us, he could not have been our righteousness, because the atonement wouldn’t have been perfect. He is NOT our righteousness because he has transferred his righteousness into us (and neither did he literally take our sins on himself as in some kind of an exchange) to make us righteous in position despite that we still live in sin. It’s important to understand that Jesus did NOT obey our moral obligations for us and instead of us!  The Bible talks about imputed righteousness but NEVER the imputed righteousness ”of Christ.  We can read about the righteousness of GOD throughout the Bible (and that Jesus is righteous), but the idea that God looks upon us and sees the righteousness of Christ in us (or the blood of Jesus) instead of our sin, will result in a license to sin. When God looked at the churches in Revelation, he DID notice their sins and asked them to repent.

We are not justified by the works of the law but by God’s grace, so to say that we need perfect obedience to the Torah to be credited to our account in order to be justified is justification by works instead of justification by grace/mercy. God cannot declare the guilty to be innocent – like in a forensic justification – as that would be a lie, but God can PARDON the guilty and he does so if the guilty person repents from his sins.

Abraham is given as an example when it comes to being righteous/justified through faith, because he was counted as righteous BEFORE the law of Moses started to apply. Not all who have Abraham as a forefather are the children of Abraham and saved, but only those who are spiritually circumcised (in their hearts) and BELIEVE the way he did – and he showed his faith with some amazing deeds (work). Those who WALK as he did and obey God as he did (which is something we DO) are circumcised in heart and the true children of Abraham. We do not deserve salvation by anything we do (or believe) but faith without deeds is dead.  We can read ”blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”, which shows that all people apparently don’t have sin – namely those whom the Lord do not impute sin. Who are they? They are the ones who have confessed their sins, repented and who walk with Jesus. So when we read ”God imputeth righteousness without works”, it means the works of the law (the Torah and the 613 laws in it), and naturally God wouldn’t impute righteousness to Abraham if he only sat under a tree and ”believed” without showing his faith by OBEDIENCE. Not obedience to the law of Moses (which didn’t exist at the time) but obedience to GOD.

When it comes to Rom. 4:6, it doesn’t say that a person is especially appreciated and blessed if he doesn’t have any works to show up at all and that he only has ”faith alone”. If that were true, it would mean that the less works we have, the more blessed we are and the better it is. No, Paul’s point is to get the jews to understand that they are not saved due to being born Jews and/or for obeying the Torah (613 laws), but a person is blessed/saved if he repents from his sins, believes in Jesus and through this procedure becomes cleansed from his sins. Those are blessed whose trespasses are FORGIVEN, because then God will not impute sin to them. Does this wonderful promise only apply to the Jews? No, Paul wants them to understand that also the uncircumcised (the gentiles) have his promise which is by faith and not by law. Notice how many times we can read about ”circumcision”, so this is what is in focus (the ceremonial law) because the Jews were so concerned about it.

Rom. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.—20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

James doesn’t contradict what Paul is saying. James says that Abraham was justified BY WORKS, and not faith alone. Are we perhaps teaching salvation by works if we choose to quote James?

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 

Paul is not disappointed with the Galatians for their suggestion that it’s still necessary to obey the ten commandments faith alone 3

In the letter to the Galatians, the reason for Paul’s objection to Galatians’s attitude is NOT because they wanted to return to silly old laws such as the ten commandments – just like ”Do not kill, steal, lie or commit adultery”. Why would he be disappointed or upset about that? Those commandments have been in use ever since the days of Adam, and they never cease to apply. No, Paul was disappointed with their teaching that circumcision – which is a ceremonial law in the Torah – was still necessary for salvation. The ceremonial laws are not necessary for salvation, but the law of love certainly is (and the ten commandments provide details of how the law of love works). Paul makes a different between the works of the law (Torah), and the obedience of the holy Spirit.  The Torah was our  schoolmaster to keep us in order  until the arrival of Jesus – after Jesus death the holy Spirit took over as our guide – and we’re supposed to have the law of love in our hearts. We will never be ”free” from the requirement to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and as long we are slaves to sin (obey sin) we are definitely not free.

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.

Gal. 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.— 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.—22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.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.

Paul makes it clear that sinning = spiritual death (also for christians).

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.

The significance of having our faith ”imputed” as righteousness, is that God forgives us our transgressions and treats us as though we have never sinned. This means that our sins disappears (without taking a detour in the body of Jesus) and God doesn’t have to LIE to declare us not guilty.  We are 100% cleansed when we are forgiven and free from our sins, but it doesn’t say ”once cleansed always cleansed”. If we become dirty once again, we’re back at square one.

2 Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.filthy pig

2 Pet. 2: 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.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 according 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.

Annonser

Make yourself a new heart, for why will ye die? (Ez. 18:31)

love3God can clean us up and give us a new heart, but in order for him to do this we must choose to repent, come to him and place him as No 1 in our lives. WE are actually asked to cleanse, purify and circumcise our own hearts (which we can if we cast away our sins). 

Ezekiel 18:31 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?

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

Ezekiel 24:13 In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.

Deutoronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Matt. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

2 Timothy 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.

To be regenerated is to be cleansed. We are not clean before we come to Jesus and repent for our sins, and we can’t get the Holy Spirit unless we are born again and have purged hearts. We must choose to come to Jesus to be born again and leave our old man behind. John the Baptist preached about repentance for the remission of sins, and Jesus picked up after him and did the same – by preaching about repentance and faith in him as the promised Messiah and son of God. Jesus work was to call sinners to repentance so that they could get life and he taught his disciples – and all of us – to continue preaching this gospel throughout the whole world. The path that you should walk is 1) come to Jesus and believe in him and his work on the cross 2) confess your sins and repent 3) you’re now cleansed, purged, regenerated and born again 4) you’re given the Holy Spirit as a Helper. A person can never be considered clean as long as his sins are not washed away, and the Bible doesn’t teach ”once cleansed, always cleansed”. We must endure to the end to be saved.

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

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.

Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 And ye are witnesses of these things.49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Thanks to Jesse Morell for the below concerning regeneration after faithheart3

Regeneration requires consent and cooperation. A man’s free will must be synergistically involved in his regeneration. God cannot change a man’s character without the cooperation of the man himself. That is why God said, “I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged” (Eze. 24:13). This is because unless a man is willing to have his moral character changed, it will and cannot be changed. It is impossible for Omnipotence to change a man’s moral character without the consent of his will because this would involve an intrinsic contradiction. Therefore, God and man both have an active role in regeneration. This is why the Bible says that God gives us a new heart (Eze. 11:19; 36:26), while also saying that men should make for themselves a new heart (Eze. 18:31). When a sinner’s will is changed from being disobedient to obedient, both God and the sinner have an active role in bringing about that change. God’s role is His gracious influence upon our will. Man’s role is the yielding of and obedience of his will.

Jesus said, “Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matt. 23:26). For Jesus to tell men to clean themselves on the inside (change their intention), takes for granted that it is their choice and that they can do this. Jesus was actually filled “with anger, being grieved, for the hardness of their hearts” (Mk. 3:5). This indicates that the state of man’s heart is man’s own fault, that the state of his heart is something which he causes and which he has control over.

The Bible even commands men to make unto themselves a new heart. God said, “make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die…” (Ezekiel 18:31). “Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved” (Jeremiah 4:14). “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).

What does it mean to change your heart? To change your heart is to change your intention. It is to change the motives for all your actions. It means that you are no longer living for yourself or have a selfish motive but are now living for God and the well-being of His universe, thus having benevolent motives.

Men are even commanded to circumcise their own hearts (Deut. 10:16; Jer. 4:4). Since they are commanded to do so, this means that it is their own responsibility and choice. To circumcise your heart means to repent or put off your sins (Col. 2:11). Therefore, to circumcise your heart means to repent of your sins but to have an uncircumcised heart is to have an impenitent heart.

When Stephen was open air preaching, he said to the crowd “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51). Stephen was rebuking them for disobeying a specific commandment, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deut. 10:16).

Why would Stephen rebuke them for being uncircumcised in their heart unless they were capable of circumcising their hearts? Why rebuke them for breaking a commandment unless they were capable of obeying the commandment? Why rebuke them for having uncircumcised hearts unless having such hearts was their own free choice? Why would he rebuke them for resisting the Holy Spirit unless they were capable of yielding to the Holy Spirit? Unless they were capable of doing these things, why rebuke them for not doing these things?

Stephen seemed to take for granted or assume the ability of his audience. He blamed them for their impenitent which must mean that their impenitent was their own free choice. You cannot rebuke a man for something which is not his choice. A man cannot be blamed for that which is beyond his control or for what he cannot help.

Jesus did not PAY a DEBT and was not PUNISHED on the cross (penal satisfaction)

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The error of the Penal Satisfaction theory

/Thanks to my friend Lyndon Conn for the below

Jesus suffered greatly, taking many stripes, was bruised and beaten, etc. He did all of this FOR us, but those things were not Atonement themselves. It was His death (shedding of blood and Life for a life – innocent for the guilty) that made atonement. Animals were never beaten or punished BEFORE they were finally killed for atonement.

The Penal Satisfaction atonement teaches that Jesus was punished in our place as He was beaten and bruised by God. This is not true at all! He was mistreated by MEN as a form of punishment for something He did not do. He could not be truly punished by God for any reason whatsoever since He was without sin. God not only NEVER punished a sacrifice (but only accepted the acceptable sacrifice), but sin was never literally on either the animals or on Jesus – since sin is not a substance that can be moved or transferred. When the Bible speaks of ”Taking away” sins, it is talking about the born again experience and the transformation that takes place when a person confesses their sins. Sins are then ”taken away” but the person being made into a new creation – as old things pass away and all things become new. Jesus made provision for all men so that all they need to do is confess Him as the acceptable sacrifice, and in turn also offer themselves a living sacrifice. These are likened unto the day of atonement in the 2 goats for the entire nation (as Christ represents both, the acceptable sacrifice in goat 1, and the scapegoat in goat 2 by taking away the sins of the world). And our repentance is likened unto the offering of the bull for personal sins.

Sin is not punished in Christ and they are not ”paid for”! These are both lies passed down through the RCC and not biblical at all. We have had bad theology so heavily imparted into our thinking that we think many things are fact that are not at all. We have never questioned them, and hear it all the time, preach it all the time, and never think otherwise, but I will challenge this thinking. Not to teach a different doctrine, but to show a different understanding of the same doctrine. The end is the same, but the path that takes us there is flawed.

Nowhere does the Bible literally teach the following: Jesus PAID FOR sins; He was PUNISHED by God;  He ”took our place”; He ”paid our debt”, and other financial terms that should only be understood figuratively. The literal is that He ”provided” for forgiveness; He did for us what we could not do for ourselves; and so on. Incorrect terms lead to many false doctrines like Limited Atonement and Universalism, and many are very inconsistent by not believing one or the other. Incorrect terminology can lead in 2 directions – one towards truth and the other towards error. With payment for sins – we might be able to draw a proper understanding from it (as I did for many years as well) – understanding that Jesus died for our sins and making the way of salvation for us – but the problem with the terminology is that it’s misused and could lead to error.

If Jesus ”paid for” our sins on the cross, then something that is paid for is completely finished and nothing else needs to be done at all. If Jesus ”paid for” the sins of the whole world, then all men are saved and do not even need to repent because their sins are already paid for. It is all done for them. This is why Calvinism has to create their doctrine of Limited Atonement – teaching that Jesus only died for the elect – in order to prevent Universalism. So then, Jesus ”paid for” the sins of the elect only, and did not die for the sins of the non-elect. As wrong as this is, it is actually more consistent with the teaching of ”payment for sins”.

The fact that WE are ”bought with a price” does not teach a payment for SINS. ”We” and our ”sins” are 2 different things. The wages of sin is and always will be death! Men still go to hell for their sins. Our only hope is to confess our sins to Jesus, the scapegoat of God, so He can ”take them away”. This is figurative! Sin is not a substance that can be put on another or literally taken anywhere. Sin is an attitude of the heart. It is a mindset that leads to actions that displease God. Man’s only hope is to have this part of him changed (transformed). It all starts with being Born Again. Old things are PASSED AWAY, and all things are become new. Sins are never punished IN man in this life (except by chastisement for the Christians if they sin and need to learn something). Sin itself is not punished at all. Man is punished and will be punished in eternity. So our only hope is to have sins ”taken away”.

Atonement terminology is mostly all figurative, but the figurative ALWAYS points to the literal! So we have to seek understanding of the literal, and be careful not to take the figurative itself too literally. This WILL lead to error. You cannot have ”actual and factual” without literal.  We just need to understand what it actually and factually is! It is NOT a payment, but a provision! It is not punishment of Christ by God, but abuse of Christ by men – which He endured FOR us – but not literally in our place. No man could ever die for his own sins, therefore it could never be our place, but only HIS place to die as atonement. Men will still die for their own sins. There is no ”debt” that we owe, but only ”wages” to be paid. A debt is something to be paid to another, while wages are what we have earned and have coming to US. We do not owe God anything, but repentance and our lives. There is nothing at all that we could possible ”pay” to God to ”buy” our souls back. These are all financial terms, including ransom and redeem, which both refer to the work of Christ on our behalf. The financial terms are all used to help give us understanding by using terms we can understand , but they are all figurative and not to be taken too literally. We must look to the literal they point to.cross7

The Bible says that He is the ”propitiation” for our sins – which literally means, ”He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins”. Propitiation is a term used in pagan rituals of offering their children to their gods as a sacrifice to appease their anger. It can give a picture of Jesus removing the anger of God against us, but should not be taken to the extreme to teach that He was an object of God’s wrath – with our sins literally on Him! Truth can be drawn and understood from this word; yet error can be as well if taken too far. There is no forgiveness of sins at all without repentance. There is provision for forgiveness that has to be received, but there is no actual forgiveness until then. The idea of a payment gives a false idea here, and it leads to false doctrines – making it easy for those who teach them to draw others into their errors. And Calvinism is growing stronger every day. I just heard a story yesterday about how so many Churches are turning Calvinist, and this has a great deal to do with it!

If you believe atonement is a literal payment,  then who was paid? The devil? The Father? And if paid, then a payment cannot be unpaid, right? A provision is something that is done FOR us that we could not do for ourselves; while we must RECEIVE it through faith – or reject it. Sins are not ”carried away” until we receive Him and confess our sins to Him so He can take our sins away – and then, where there are no sins and there is no guilt. But if sins are ”paid for”, you cannot have them paid for one a person is ”justified”, or have payment applied only at that time. This can work in the figurative, but not in the literal.

If we go back to Leviticus, sins were never ”paid for”. The only difference is that Jesus was without sin and He could be the one-time sacrifice for all time. But the idea of atoning for sins was the same. There had to be an ACCEPTABLE sacrifice and a scapegoat for the yearly offering. This was provision for the nation as a whole, but individuals still had to bring their own personal sacrifices of a bull for their owns sins – which is likened unto our repentance and offering of ourselves unto God as a living sacrifice. Neither were any form of a payment! Such an idea is added by men, starting with the RCC in the 12th century under Anselm.

We are figuratively covered in His blood, in that because of the shedding of His blood and out acceptance of Him as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, as the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled, we receive Him and all that He did for us as we confess our sins before Him. Our acceptance of Him as the one-time sacrifice that was without sin allows us to confess our sins and be forgiven of our sins. Our act of true repentance and accepting Jesus is accepted as if His blood were literally sprinkled on us, but no person has ever had His blood literally on them. Let’s get real here. This is what the RCC would have us believe. In communion they teach that the literal body and blood of Jesus is transferred to the bread and wine. So then we are cannibals and guilty of drinking blood – which is forbidden in the law of God.

True atonement is very simple and not half as complex as men have made it. God provided a Lamb in Jesus. We can accept His provision and confess our sins over Him and have them taken away, or we can choose to go our own way. God did not die for only some. He did not choose some and reject others. His atonement was for ALL men – the WHOLE WORLD as a provision for whosoever will call upon His name. Now it is up to men to offer themselves (their bull) to God in the confession of sins and acceptance of His provision. Very simple. Very biblical. And with no need of the additions of men. God’s wrath does not need to be appeased! If sins are ”taken away” by changing the man, then there is nothing for wrath to be against. However, if sins return, and repentance does not, wrath will be against such a man – as it is against the world. Very simple and completely scriptural.

Can sins be inherited?sheep 2

Sin is not a substance that can be passed down from one to another, but men inherit a condition that is passed down, and this condition is one that could lead us to sin. Romans 5:12 says that death is passed down. Men are born innocent, and therefore a baby is without sin and saved in its innocence. Sin is a choice – NOT something we inherit. Can the murderer blame their crime on their Father, or on Adam? No. Each man is responsible for his own choices and will be judged for them justly. Blame can never be passed to another, and neither can sin. Sin is defined in scripture as knowing to do right and not doing it, in which the opposite is just as true, in knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway. Sin is therefore a willful rebellion against a known law of God. For those who do not have His laws, Romans 2 says that their conscience becomes a law unto them. So whether we go against God’s law or our conscience, these are what define sin.

Every man and women are faced with choices between right and wrong. And each have the ability to choose what is right. Otherwise they could not be rightly judged for their choices, but because of spiritual death (separation from God), mankind will turn to his own lusts, having no guidance in life. They cannot choose what they do not know.

John 3:19 – ”And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

Men are sinners because they sin – which is contrary to popular belief. It is the majority of the Church today that has been infected with false teachings and cannot see it. They are not the worst errors out there but they do lead to them. If we want to rid the Church of error and keep Christians from confusion, then we need to get rid of the little errors that serve as stepping stools for the true heresies. The ”Sinning Religions” of our day, the OSAS teachings (once saved always saved), and Calvinism all gain strength from these erroneous atonement ideas and false understandings of sin and death.

Tertullian – On Repentance, chapter 6 ”For repentance is the price at which the Lord has determined to award pardon: He proposes the redemption of release from penalty at this compensating exchange of repentance. If, then, sellers first examine the coin with which they make their bargains, to see whether it be cut, or scraped, or adulterated, we believe likewise that the Lord, when about to make us the grant of so costly merchandise, even of eternal life, first institutes a probation of our repentance.”Chapter 9 – ”but inasmuch as by confession satisfaction is settled, of confession repentance is born; by repentance God is appeased.”

Evil people and unbelievers can do GOOD and BELIEVE

Also atheists can do much good, and many of them feel terrible when they realize they have behaved inappropriately and hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe we can even relate to ourselves and to the time before we were born again. We didn’t live in constant sins, and we did lots of good to others whether we knew them or not. Each time we refrained from hurting others, or from lying and stealing, we surely did something good. We all have a conscience, and it’s our own decision whether to listen to our conscience or not. There are even atheists who have given up their lives and died for others. Their good deeds and their decisions to live morally upright of course won’t save them in the end, but there should be no arguments about whether non believers and/or bad people can do good because they CAN. Each time they decide to not sin, it’s a GOOD thing before the Lord, and each time they decide to give comforting words to a stranger in distress, it’s GOOD. It’s just that it’s not good enough for salvation because in order to be saved they need to repent and believe in Jesus and his offer or else they are not cleansed. Here are a few examples of that unbelievers can seek and find the Lord, and that even EVIL people can make good moral decisions.

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being EVIL, know how to give GOOD gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 

Acts 28:And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.And the BARBAROUS PEOPLE shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

1 Cor. 14:24 But if an UNBELIEVER or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “GOD IS REALLY AMONG YOU!”

James 4:17 Therefore to him that KNOWETH to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Rom. 2:14For 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: 15Whichshew 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)

Luke 15:17 (The prodigal son) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.—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.

Job 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? Job 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Acts. 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A DEVOUT man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway—And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a  DEVOUT soldier of them that waited on him continually;—19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.—28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or UNCLEAN.—45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the GENTILES also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

God created man in such a way that they should SEEK Him and FIND Him. That was the idea and it shows how merciful our Lord is to all of us. We all have a chance to be saved and God is not far away from any of us. When we choose to come to Him we must have the right approach and we must BELIEVE that He is, and that He will listen and reward those who diligently seek Him.  If we renew our minds and change our hearts, then we will learn what the perfect will of God is:

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 THAT THEY SHOULD SEEK THE LORD, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.

Jeremiah 4:14 Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved

Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God expects us to repent from our sins and change our own hearts for His sake and in order to get LIFE. We can read that He has NO PLEASURE in the death of him that dies, and He sincerely wants us all to turn to Him to get eternal life. His desire is that we eventually enter his Kingdom but He will not force us. If we won’t let go of our sins, and if we refuse to change our hearts, then we are separated from God and unable to enter. If also unrepentant sinners could enter Heaven, it’s wouldn’t really be a Heaven. It’s important to realize that we are not saved because Jesus was righteous FOR us or INSTEAD of us. It’s true that we as christians are cleansed in His righteous blood, but we must continue to keep ourselves clean! If we show good fruit we can actually talk about OUR righteousness and not JESUS righteousness. Jesus will not produce good fruit for us. That’s our job. Nothing we propose to do can ever merit salvation, but on judgment day it will still be those who DO GOOD who will be saved if the foundation that we build on is JESUS. We are not saved unconditionally:

Ezekiel 18:—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.

2 Cor. 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of YOUR righteousness 

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS, is accepted with him.

Rom. 2:6Who will render to every man according to HIS DEEDS: 7To them who by patient continuance in WELL DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, ETERNAL LIFE

There are three factors provided for us that enables us to realize there is a Creator who has opinions about the way we lead our lives – even if we would be born in the jungle:

1) Creation itself proves that there is a Creator and we can SEE it with our own eyes (and/or hear and feel if we are born blind)

Rom. 1:19 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

2) God has placed a knowledge in our hearts so that we can UNDERSTAND that the beauty of the world is from our Creator

Eccl. 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

(Eccl. 3:11 The whole He hath made beautiful in its season; also, that knowledge He hath put in their heart without which man findeth not out the work that God hath done from the beginning even unto the end. Young’s Literal)

3) We have been given a conscience

Rom. 2:14For 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: 15Whichshew 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)

This means there are no excuses for us to reject God

God does not have a secret will

Is God the author of sin? (Thanks to Britt Williams)

Some may be surprised to learn that Calvinism, by implication, actually makes God the Author of sin. Calvinism (also known as Reformed theology) advocates, among other things, an unscriptural and perverted view of the sovereignty of God, election, and the atonement. It asserts God, as sovereign Ruler of the Universe, either directly or indirectly causes all events, including sin?

”Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly DECREED.” 
John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, XVI)

”the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has DESTINED.” 
John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, XVI)

”God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors”
Jonathan Edwards

”God controls not only natural events, but he also controls all human affairs and decisions”
Vincent Cheung (The Problem of Evil)

Calvinists also attribute the fall of Adam to God’s decree, teaching that God not only foreknew Adam would sin, but orchestrated it as well. John Calvin affirms this belief in the Institutes of Christian Religion

”God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure ARRANGED it.” 
John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, XXIII)

Some Calvinists teach that God is the originating cause of sin but not the proximate cause of sin. However, if Calvinists consistently follow their theology to its logical end, especially the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and predestination, they must attribute to God every act of sin, including murder, rape, sodomy, incest, child molestation, etc. Calvinists affirm the exhaustive foreknowledge of God, but hold to a determinist view of the future. They believe if the future is known then the future must be determined, thereby denying the possibility of libertarian free will and causing all moral choices, including sin.

”Thieves and murderers, and other evildoers, are instruments of divine providence, being employed by the Lord himself to execute judgments which he has resolved to inflict.” 
John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, XVII)

”Whatever things are done wrongly and unjustly by man, these very things are the right and just works of God” 
John Calvin (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.169)

”But where it is a matter of men’s counsels, wills, endeavours, and exertions, there is greater difficulty in seeing how the providence of God rules here too, so that nothing happens but by His assent and that men can deliberately do nothing unless He inspire it” 
John Calvin (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, pp.171-172)

”Does God work in the hearts of men, directing their plans and moving their wills this way and that, so that they do nothing but what He has ordained?” 
John Calvin (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.174)

”For the man who honestly and soberly reflects on these things, there can be no doubt that the will of God is the chief and principal cause of ALL THINGS” 
John Calvin (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.177)

”Everything is controlled by God?s secret purpose, and nothing can happen except by his knowledge and will” 
John Calvin (The Institutes of Christian Religion, Bk. 1, Ch. 16, Sect. 3)

”Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man” 
Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, Sovereign Grace Publishers, p. 87)

Calvinist theologian James White, in a debate with Hank Hannegraaf and George Bryson, was asked,”When a child is raped, is God responsible and did He decree that rape?” To which Mr. White replied…

”Yes, because if not then it’s meaningless and purposeless and though God knew it was going to happen he created without a purpose and God is responsible for the creation of despair. If [God] didn’t [decree child rape] then that rape is an (sic) element of meaningless evil that has no purpose”
James White.

Hence, since ultimately, all moral choices, past, present, and future, are subject to God’s sovereign dictate, all sin can be traced to God Himself. Some Calvinists, usually referred to as ”hard determinists” or ”hyper-Calvinists”, will readily admit this, while others often deny it or use theological and philosophical gymnastics (i.e., compatibilism) in an attempt to cloak the implications of their theology. As Vincent Cheung, a popular Calvinist apologist boldly declares?

”God controls everything that is and everything that happens. There is not one thing that happens that he has not actively decreed – not even a single thought in the mind of man. Since this is true, it follows that God has decreed the existence of evil, he has not merely permitted it, as if anything can originate and happen apart from his will and power”
Vincent Cheung (The Problem of Evil)

Ironically, Calvinists tend to theoretically believe concepts they deny in practice. If a child molester boldly proclaimed God caused him to molest little children, Calvinists would rightfully conclude he was a deluded liar and demon possessed. However, when the theologian essentially declares the same concept, they applaud him as orthodox. Such reasoning is not only inconsistent but absurd. According to Calvinists, God commands men to abstain from what He has decreed that they do, causes them to do, yea, in what they have absolutely no choice but to do, and then He utterly condemns them for doing it. This is not the God of the Scriptures.

Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers Job 8:20

James 1:13-17 clearly challenges the Calvinist concept of God as the Author of sin

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:13-17

If God, being holy, is above tempting men to do evil, who can dare believe He would cause them to do evil? And yet some Calvinists insist James 1:13 is misapplied when used metaphysically.

”James is pointing out what the Christian should consider and address in his struggles as a Christian; he is not dealing with metaphysics”
Vincent Cheung (The Author Of Sin)

Mr. Cheung, of course, is merely offering his biased opinion. We must realize that metaphysics can be very subjective, especially when applied through the presuppositions of our theological bents. In my estimation, James 1:13-17 holds significant and profound metaphysical relevance: ”God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man”, offers me two ethical absolutes that undermine the doctrine of determinism as taught by Calvinists.

Indeed, God can, through His providence, turn what men meant for evil for good (Gen 50:20). Likewise, He can use the worst of situations to sovereignly chastise, teach, and conform His people to His Son, Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28), but God never initiates, causes, or otherwise induces sin or evil. God is not the Author of sin. Yet, Calvinists teach that God, in His sovereign plan, introduced evil for His glory and did so ultimately to bring about ”good”. However, the Scriptures teach such a concept, for God or man, has never been part of true, Apostolic theology. In fact, such carnal reasoning is condemned as dangerous indeed. The Apostle Paul, inspired by God’s Spirit, declared…

And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. Romans 3:8

DID GOD CREATE EVIL?

Some Calvinists even assert God created evil. Calvinists often cite Isaiah 45:7 as a proof text for this false and blasphemous doctrine. Notice how the verse reads?

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

The evil spoken of in this verse is obviously not moral evil, but natural evil. The Hebrew word literally means ”calamity”, which is physical evil. Notice, the text in Isaiah 45:7 does not read, ”I make righteousness and create evil”. No, the evil spoken of here is contrasted with peace because the evil referred to is calamity. Likewise, there are other Scriptural references pointing to God bringing natural evil or calamity on a nation, city, or people as judgment for sin (Neh. 13:18; Jer. 21:10; 25:29; Amos 3:6). God hates evil (Prov 6:16-19; Isa 61:8; Jer 44:4; Am 5:21; 6:8; Heb 1:9; Rev 2:6, 15), therefore, it is illogical to suggest God is the Author of sin.

True, God created everything in the physical or material world. However, God did not create moral evil. Evil is not material, but volitional. It is a moral disposition of free moral agents and involves, by nature, choice. Thus, evil is merely the absence of conformity to God’s law in moral agents.

”…(even) Augustine maintained that evil was only ‘privatio boni’, or an absence of good, much like darkness is an absence of light. An evil thing can only be referred to as a negative form of a good thing, such as discord, injustice, and loss of life or of liberty.”
Wikipedia (Theodicy)

We cannot deny that God created the potential for evil by creating free-moral agents endowed with a free-will who have the ability to resist God and violate His law. Nevertheless, God did not create moral evil or disobedience. Thus, man, as a free moral agent choosing to reject God and disobey His law, is the source of moral evil (Mark 7:21-23).

CAN THE AUTHOR OF SIN BE EXEMPT FROM MORAL RESPONSIBILITY?

Calvinism, with its skewed view of the sovereignty of God, philosophically funnels everything back to God, even sin itself. Hence, ”God is the Author of sin” is an inescapable deduction of Reformed theology. However, the next logical step creates increased philosophical and moral tension: if God causes men to sin is He not then responsible and morally culpable? Not surprisingly, with conscience and reason raging, most Calvinists are uncomfortable making God a ”sinner”. Waxing irrational, some Calvinists cling to God as Author of sin while unashamedly attempting to blame man?

”Man is a responsible moral agent, though he is also divinely controlled; man is divinely controlled, though he is also a responsible moral agent.”
J.I. Packer

Mr. Packer’s statement is a glaring theological contradiction. How can God justly hold men accountable for sin He has, either directly or indirectly, decreed they commit?

Others employ theological and philosophical smoke and mirrors seeking to obscure, cloak, and explain away the obvious ethical problems such a hypothesis presents. Mr. Cheung, in his article ”The Author of Sin”, bluntly states?

”…if God directly causes you to sin, it does make him the ”author”of sin (at least in the sense that people usually use the expression), but the ”sinner” or ”wrong-doer” is still you. Since sin is the transgression of divine law, for God to be a sinner or wrong-doer in this case, he must decree a moral law that forbids himself to be the Author of sin, and then when he acts as the author of sin anyway, he becomes a sinner or wrong-doer.”
Vincent Cheung (The Author Of Sin)

It is absurd to suggest that God can be cosmically behind all sin and yet be expunged from all moral responsibility for sin. Can the turn-coat FBI agent who masterminds a spy ring actually expose, apprehend, indict, testify against, and help convict spies he facilitated without implicating himself? I think not. Neither can the Calvinist God, who unquestionably governs all the affairs of men, hold men who are predestined to reprobation accountable for their sins without making Himself culpable.

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Genesis 18:25

Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? Job 8:3

Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. Job 34:12

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.Psalms 9:8

God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? Romans 3:6

Moreover, how can men be responsible for actions they do not have the will to perform or ultimately the freedom to resist? If the Scriptures teach that law and the knowledge of the law are both prerequisites for culpability, which it does (Lev 4:13-14; Deut 1:39; Rom 3:20, 4:15), how much more the will and ability to obey the command? Granted, though the Bible teaches men can resist specific acts of sin, no man can fully obey God apart from divine grace (Rom 7:18; Phil 2:13; Heb 13:21). However, from a Calvinistic perspective, men have no real choice in the matter. God governs and controls all. Can we, based on Scripture, logically establish moral ”responsibility” apart from ”respond-ability”? The answer is a resounding ”no”. This is a Scriptural and philosophical absolute. Hence, if God is the author of sin, God is accountable for sin.

Calvinists say those who question God do so because His ways violate their carnal concept of justice. All agree that fallen humanity can have unusual ideas about justice, but God reveals Himself as just and defines His justice via the Scriptures. Calvinists often say that if we understood divine justice, it would no longer be divine, or some similar tautology. What strange reasoning. If we can understand God’s Word will it cease to be God’s Word? Surely, God’s people, filled, led, and taught by God’s Spirit, can comprehend, at least to some degree, God’s justice? Without the revelation of true justice, (which is displayed by God and His Word) men could not walk righteously or fulfill God’s plan in the earth.

Furthermore, for the Calvinist, a theological contradiction arises when God shows indignation toward those who, by living in sin, are only fulfilling their divine destiny inaccordance with God’s predetermined decree?

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6

It is amazing that Calvinists vehemently deny that God works at cross purposes with Himself. If reprobates disobey God, harden themselves in sin, and ultimately shun the gospel because God sovereignly predetermined they do so in His secret will, why then does God not agree with what He decreed?

IS GOD CONSISTENT WITH HIS OWN LAW?

for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalms 138:2

Amazingly, many Calvinists believe God, as Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, cannot be expected to honor the standard of His own law. Is this true? Calvinist apologist, Vincent Cheung, in his blog article entitled ”The Author of Sin”, boldly stated?

”Whether or not God is the author of sin, there is no Biblical or rational problem with Him being the author of sin”

Really, Mr. Cheung? If God is responsible for every act of evil then He has broken His own law. Such an assertion, according to the Word of God, is impossible, not because God is above His own law, but because such behavior is contrary to His holy nature.

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant? Deuteronomy 7:9

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4

Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever? Psalms 146:6

I propose that God could never violate His own law nor compel others to do so. I base this absolute on several Biblical principles, namely:

1. God is holy. Holiness, as defined by Scripture, is to be conformed to God’s moral law. Granted, there are some areas where God’s moral law applies only to man, nevertheless, to cause men, in any way, to violate His law is against God’s nature (James 1:13).

2. God and His Word are synonymous. If God cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13) how could He breach His own character by violating His Word or causing men to do so?

3. God the Father and Jesus Christ, both being part of the triune Godhead, are the same in essence (Col 2:9). Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, never broke the law of God but fulfilled the law. This being true, it is reasonable to assume God cannot break His own law.

4. God’s Spirit inspires holiness and conformity to moral law (Rom 8:4; Gal 5:16, 22-23). Would the same Spirit who effectually restrains sin in redeemed man in time inspire sin in our holy God in eternity? Again, I think not.

5. God is love (1 Jn 4:8). Love is conformity to moral law (Rom 13:10). Moreover, God’s character is immutable; He cannot change. Therefore, how could God violate His law and be consistent with His revealed nature?

6. God is not the Author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Nothing is more disorderly and confusing than sin. Thus, God cannot be the cause of sin.

Therefore, we conclude that God cannot be the Author of sin and remain true to His revealed nature throughout the Scriptures.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Foreknowledge does not constitute predestination. Case in point:

FIRST: David was being pursued by Saul. So, David asked the Lord that, if he goes down to Keilah, will Saul also come down there, and will they deliver David into Saul’s hand? The Lord answered yes.

So, what did David do? ”Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go..” (1 Sam. 23:13).

So what we find here is that God knew WHAT WOULD happen IF David went to Keilah – he would meet Saul there, for God foreknew that Saul would be there, and that those in Keilah would hand him over to Saul. BUT THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. David left the area of Keilah. God knew WHAT WOULD happen, even that which DID NOT happen. God foreknows future contingencies, and is not directing every event by a strict necessity or predetermined decree.

SECOND: God left a matter in David’s own hands. ”And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, ‘Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee….'” (1 Sam. 24:4).

So, what did David do? He spared Paul’s life. But God PERMITTED David to do whatever he wanted to do. David had more than one option before him. God did not tell David what to do, as though it was already predetermined by decree, but allowed David to choose.

Repentance is a condition for salvation

EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH (Luke 13:3)

”Repent” is a translation from the Greek word metanoeó (Strong’s 3340) and means to repent, to change one’s mind or to change the inner man. From metá and noiéo.

Repenting doesn’t mean just saying ”I’m sorry” or ”I’m sorry that I got caught”, or something that we do on a daily basis. Repenting means to raise a white flag and making a decision to make the utmost to not repeat the sins again. It doesn’t mean we need to sign a legal document where we take an oath to never sin ever again as long as we live, but the aim should be to avoid sinning. If we sin, repent, sin, repent, sin, repent, it shows that we have not truly repented in the first place.

Repentance is a CONDITION for being cleansed from our sins and thus saved, so it’s important that the churches preach repentance and not only ”God loves you as you are”, or else they have missed to inform the hearers about something that is essential for our salvation . We really deserve to be punished for transgressing the law, but God is willing to pardon us, albeit not unconditionally. In order to be cleansed from our sins we must first confess our sins and repent. Not until then can we be cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and that is through the grace of God and through his mercy towards us. God would never lie and suggest that we are cleansed and forgiven if we still live in sin. Sins make us filthy and always separate us from God who is holy. Repentance always comes before cleansing and forgiveness, and not the other way around. John says that IF we sin (not WHEN we sin) we have an advocate with the Father:

John 2:1My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT. And IF any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous 

Both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ started out preaching about REPENTANCE

Matthew 31In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.— 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say ”Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Repentance means that our PAST sins are forgiven, and obviously not our present and/or future sins

2 Pet 1:9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been CLEANSED FROM HIS PAST SINS. 

Romans 3:24, 25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 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.

2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance LEADING TO salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

1 John 1:9 IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

Mat 6:14,15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

2 Chron. 15:2 The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Luke 9:23-26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels

Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.–Mat 26:69-75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Mat 18:32-35 Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. —This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. 

Other verses about repentance

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not. 21 Woe unto thee Chorazin woe unto thee Bethsaida for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (+ Luke 10:13)

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonas and behold a greater than Jonas is here (+ Luke 11:32)

Mark 1:15 And saying The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand repent ye and believe the gospel

Mark 6:12 And they went out and preached that men should repent

Luke 13:3 + 5 I tell you Nay but EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH

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”—10 Likewise I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth

Luke 16:30 And he said Nay father Abraham but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves If thy brother trespass against thee rebuke him and if he repent forgive him 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying I repent thou shalt forgive him

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore and be converted THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at but now COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus and at Jerusalem and throughout all the coasts of Judaea and then to the Gentiles that they should REPENT AND TURN TO GOD AND DO WORKS meet for repentance

2 Cor. 12:21 And lest when I come again my God will humble me among you and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed

Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first WORKS or else I will come unto thee quickly and will REMOVE thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent

Rev. 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not. 22 Behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their DEEDS

Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and REPENT. If therefore thou shalt not watch I will come on thee as a thief and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee

Rev 3:19 As many as __ I love I rebuke and chasten be zealous therefore and repent

Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet REPENTED NOT of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols of gold and silverand brass and stone and of wood which neither can see nor hear nor walk. 21 Neither REPENTED THEY of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their fornication nor of their thefts

Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 10And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their DEEDS.

Rev. 2:16 REPENT or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Here are verses from one of the early church fathers:

1 Clement 7:4 Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ and understand how precious it is unto His Father, because being shed for our salvation it won for the whole world the grace of repentance.

1 Clement 7:5 Let us review all the generations in turn, and learn how from generation to generation the Master hath given a place for repentance unto them that desire to turn to Him.

Chapter 28 ”For He fore-knows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative.” Justin Martyr

If God no longer draws/calls people due to their choice to harden their hearts and turn their backs on him, then they will not be granted repentance.

Repentance is granted and commanded by God to ALL men everywhere. Telling God that we feel bad about what we have done is not good enough if we make no plans to stop. Also many atheists might feel extremely bad about  sins they have committed. Repentance is to cast out all filth IN ORDER to make our temples clean for the reception of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:43-45; Lk. 11:24-26; Acts 5:32). Repentance is a change of mind, inclinations and desires, which translates into a total change in conduct. It’s initiated by God through a crisis of conviction leading to a godly sorrow for sin and it means to  forsake our wickedness, purge our hearts of evil and to seek the mercy of God.  The passions and desires of the flesh are crucified (Ro. 6:6; Gal. 5:24) and this happens in repentance and not successively afterwards.  Old things pass away and all things become new. If a husband is cheating on his wife, the wife would expect the husband to stop sleeping with another woman. What would she think if he said, ”I really love you, honey, and I am *willing* to stop sleeping with the other woman, but it may take some time.” We would not accept such excuse from our partner. Why do people expect that of God?

Jesus paid a high price as a sin offering for us, but he did not PAY for our SINS

In the parable in Matthew 18:23–35, we can see that the servant who had a debt (sin) to the King was LOOSED and FORGIVEN for it. The debt was REMOVED. TAKEN AWAY. No one offered to pay the debt for this servant but it was simply ERASED due to his pleadings. However, when the same servant later refused to forgive another person, then the same debt was back on the table yet again! Had the debt been paid for originally, then the King couldn’t request for yet another payment of a debt which is already paid and settled, regardless of any bad  behavior of the guilty servant. But we know that when we ask for forgiveness and repent, it’s our PAST sins that are forgiven and removed. Not our FUTURE sins. If Jesus had PAID for all our sins on the cross, then we would be BORN forgiven and saved. If we would sin, we could always suggest that we’re still safe since Jesus has already PAID for our transgressions, and this means we don’t have to. We could also suggest that we can actually serve two masters and still be saved, because our sins are already forgiven. We would actually be off the hook and free from punishment no matter what we did. Clearly this is not the true scenario. This is the parable:

Matt 18:23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and LOOSED him, and FORGAVE him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then 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: 33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

When it comes to the animal sacrifice system in the OT, there are no verses which say anything close to ”sins were transferred to the animal”. Was the animal sacrificed OR punished? The animal certainly suffered and died as a result of the sin of man, but never did the animal become posessed by sin and die for those sins. This would imply guilt and that the animal was being punished for sins it did not commit. In the same way Jesus suffered and died because of man’s sin. He did not die because sin was transferred to Him, otherwise it would not be an adequate sacrifice. Rather than being an offering for sin and suffering an unjust death, he would have been punished for our sin which we know was not the case since He was without sin.

2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin

Hebrews 10:8 — saying above, Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou wouldst not, neither hadst pleasure therein.

It is not uncommon to the Scriptures to use the word ”sin” to refer to a ”sin offering” as the word ”sin” is translated ”sin offering” in numerous places throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Ezekiel, because the context of such passages is clearly referring to a sin offering and not an act of sin. In Leviticus alone, it is rightly translated as sin-offering over 50 times! The same is true in Hebrews 10:6-8 which is a quotation from Psalm 40:6. In the Psalm, the Septuagint also does not have the word ”sacrifice” in the text. Albert Barnes said To be sin – The words ”to be” are not in the original. Literally, it is, ”he has made him sin, or a sin-offering”Even a footnote in the ASV gives sin-sacrifice as the meaning, as do other translations. This view of the atonement, that Christ suffered our penalty and took our punishment, has inevitably lead to the errors of universalism, limited atonement, unconditional salvation, and once saved always saved. These conclusions cannot be logically denied if the premise is accepted that Jesus Christ took our punishment or suffered the penalty for our sins.

Gal. 3:13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree

What is the curse of the law? Did the law of God ever demand for sinners to be crucified? No. In the civil government of Israel, the severest punishment of the law was stoning. Crucifixion was sanctioned by Roman law, but it was not sanctioned by Jewish law. Under the moral government of God, the severe punishment of the law is eternal hell. That is why the text says that Jesus suffer ”a curse” not sufferedthe curse of the law”. The curse of the law is what we are saved FROM; a curse is what he ENDURED. The curse of the law was SUBSTITUTED with a curse.”

Jesus Christ shed his blood ”for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28), but the Bible says that even after the atonement that sinners must still repent ”for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38)

Jesus died to reconcile God and man (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21) but after the atonement we have the ”ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18) and after the atonement we are to tell men ”be ye reconciled unto God”(2 Cor. 5:20)

If Christ bore the sinner’s punishment as a Substitute, then the sinner is unconditionally free from it, for both the sinner and the Substitute cannot be justly punished for the same offence. The theory, therefore, leads necessarily to either universalism on the one hand, or unconditional election on the other. The truth is though that Jesus died on my behalf but did not take MY place on the cross.

The animal for a sin-offering had to be absolutely pure, without a blemish, all of which Jesus was. For Him to have become ”sin” in the sense of disobedience to God, He would have become a blemished sacrifice. The priests making an offering under the Law also had to be as spotless as the sacrifice they offered. Just so, Jesus as High Priest was ”holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heaven … when he offered up himself,” Hebrews 7:26-27. Leviticus 16:22 says the scapegoat will ”bear … unto a land” the sins of the people. This was figurative, meaning to ”take away” sins, remove sins as is the likely definition of ”azazel.” The scapegoat symbolized the removal of sins. This is exactly the meaning to be attached to Jesus’ ”bearing our sins”.

Isaiah 53:4, 11-12.Surely he hath borne (nasa) our griefs, and carried (sabal) our sorrows … for he shall bear (sabal) their iniquities … and he bare (nasa) the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Notice that the two words are used interchangeably.

Matthew 8:16-17And when even was come, they brought unto him many possessed with demons: and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.

What Jesus performed in healing the physical diseases was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4, specifically that He bore (nasa) our griefs and carried (sabal) our sorrows. But, their diseases were not transferred to Jesus so that he then became a leper, demon possessed, blind, etc. Yet, he ”bore” their diseases in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4 and he took away their diseases! The Greek word for ”bare” in Matthew 8:17 is bastazo, which is the inspired translation of nasa. Bastazo may mean to take up, to transport, to carry, to take away or to remove. In this figurative use, the emphasis is on the taking away, removal. The word for ”took” in this passage is lambano. It’s obvious in Matthew 8:17 that bastazo and lambano are synonyms and mean to remove.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear (bastazo).

Seeing that the Holy Spirit gives us the meaning of nasa and sabal in Isaiah 53:4, why should we understand these words to mean any differently in Isaiah 53:11-12 when it says He ”bare their iniquities” or ”bare the sins of many?” This only tells us that He ”took away” the sins and iniquities, not that the sins and iniquities were transferred to him or imputed to him.

 Hebrews 9:26 …else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself … so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation,” , 28.

Verse 28 repeats the subject of verse 26 with a slight change of words. ”Put away” in verse 26 becomes ”bear” in verse 28. ”Sacrifice” in verse 26, becomes ”offered” in verse 28. Jesus bore our sins in that He took them away.

I Peter 2:24″—who his own self bare (anaphero) our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.

In this passage, the ”cross” replaces the altar as the place of sacrifice. The body of Jesus was offered up on an altar, an offering to God. The last sentein the Septuagint by anaphero. He ”shall bear (sabal/anaphero) their iniquities” and ”he bare (nasa/anaphero) the sin of many”. We have seen the meaning of nasa and sabal to be to take away. The same is true in an offering up of a sacrifice.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on (paga) him the iniquity of us all

Paga is found in Isaiah 53:12 ”made intercession for the transgressors”. So, even in the context of verse 6, the same verb is used to mean ”intercession.” The Hebrew scholars who translated Isaiah 53:6 into Greek ”and the Lord gave him up for our sins”. The verb paredoken, from paradidomi, means to deliver up or intercede. Paradidomi is in the following two N.T. passages,

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?

John 1:29 On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world! 

 I Peter 2:24…who his own self bare (removed) our own sins in his body upon the tree

The fact that Jesus ”bore” our sins and iniquities does not mean our sins, guilt and punishment were transferred (imputed) to him. His death actually occurred but the terms used to describe what it accomplished are used figuratively.

1 Cor. 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Jesus indeed paid a high price for us because he gave up his LIFE for us! The price he bought us with was his life. It doesn’t say we are purchased unconditionally though. In the same breath Paul tells us to NOT be servants of men. What would happen if we disobeyed him and became servants of men (as in living for people instead of God)?

Partly from Jesse Morell and Mike DeSario