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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Jesus

Is Jesus Really God? Part Six

is jesus god

Part 6 of this older series.

We have been studying in some detail this very critical central doctrine of the Christian faith, and are working our way towards a conclusion. Before we dive into the meat of the post, I want to establish the parameters of how this is being approached to cut off, before they begin, certain arguments which might be made.

The objective here is to teach what the Bible teaches about the deity of Jesus Christ. We are going to look at things Jesus said, and we will look at things He did. We will look at what others had to say, including Jesus’ enemies and other writers of the Bible. By the time we finish this series we will clearly understand that those who teach counter to to the true Biblical position on the Deity of Jesus, and claim to base their position on the Bible, are simply wrong and have no case to make. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Stay with this study for the duration, and that point will be made quite clear.

The objective is NOT to debate the accuracy of The Bible. If that interests you, move on along, because that is not the discussion here. We are here to teach what the Bible teaches, with a big dose of presupposition that is is correct and accurate.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

So, did Jesus claim to be God? Well, as we have discussed, He never said the words “I am God.” He did, however make some claims that clearly seem to indicate He was making just that claim. Let’s look at some of those.

In John 10:30, Jesus claimed He and His father were one

In John 14:1, he said those who believe in God also believe in Him

In John 14:9, Jesus told Phillip that anyone who had seen Him had seen God.

John Chapter 14 is, in fact full of references to Jesus and the Father being of one essence.

In John 14:7, Jesus informed Phillip that if he had known Jesus, he would have known “My Father as well.

John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?”

John 14:11: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me

Jesus claimed equality with God, that He was the Son of God.  It is simply a rule of logic that if two things are equal, they are basically the same. For instance 2=2 clearly shows us that 2 and 2 are the same thing in every sense of the word.  It gets more complicated when you compare beings or ideas, but the concept is the same.  If Student A claims to be equal with Student B, then in some verifiable way they are equal. Of course, they may not be equal in every way: one may be tall and one short, one may be large one may be small. However, in some way they are equal. In normal usage, to claim equality with another person is claiming positional equality;in other words they share an equal position in the scheme of things and in life. When our country’s founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal”, they were not saying we are all alike, they were saying that we are equal in our position and standing before other people as well as before God.

So, if Jesus claimed equality with God (and He did), then He was stating He shared a position of equality with God. Who can be positionally equal with an infinite God other than God Himself? Therefore to claim equality with God is to claim to be God.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. This claim is very important when studied in the context of Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. Ancestry and lineage was of primary importance in the culture of the day. A son, while he might have to grow and mature, was in many ways the absolute equal to his father. Ultimately, every first born son of a Jewish male would assume his father’s place in the structure, authority, and culture of his time. So, to be a man’s son was to imply, basically, equality with that man. So, for Jesus to claim to be God’s son was to claim equality and one-ship with God.

Here are a couple of useful outside remarks concerning this issue”

Norman Giesler quoting Peter Kreeft in his book, “Why I Am a Christian:

Jesus also claimed to be the, “Son of God.” This title does not mean Jesus is God’s biological Son. Neither does the term “Son” imply inferiority anymore than a human son is inferior in essence to his father. A son shares his father’s DNA, and although he is different, they are both men. Scholars say that the term “Son of God” in the original languages refers to likeness, or “of the same order.” Jesus meant by it that he has divine essence, or in 21st century terms, the “DNA of God

From Jesus OnLine Misistries:

What did Jesus mean when he called himself the ‘Son of God’? The son of a man is a man. (Both ‘son’ and ‘man,’ in the traditional language, mean males and females equally.) The son of an ape is an ape. The son of a dog is a dog. The son of a shark is a shark. And so the Son of God is God. ‘Son of God’ is a divine title.

So, we can see that even if Jesus, never uttered the words, “I am God,” that He did make claims to being of one essence with God, or claims of equality with God. We could stop here and have sufficient evidence that Jesus laid claims to divinity, but we won’t. Next week we will look at some things Jesus DID which basically amount to claims of a divine nature.

Until then, peace and blessings!

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Is Jesus Really God? Part Five-Hey Man, Jesus NEVER said He was God

is jesus god

Part 5 of this older series.

 

Hey, Jesus never said He was God!!!

That is a common argument made to support the contention that Jesus never claimed divinity. Hmm..ok..yeah He never said those words. I guess I am done here.

Ok, not really.

If you are reading this, and are a doubter of Jesus’ claims, other people’s claims, and the claim of God’s Word as a whole, then a lesson in proper Bible interpretation is coming. First, the Bible is not a collection of verses with no relationship to each other which can be plucked out and hurled at random to prove whatever a person wants. The Bible is a STORY. It is the story of the creation, fall, and ultimate redemption of God’s creation through Jesus Christ. Any doctrine supported, or not supported, always has to be looked at through the lens of the redemption narrative which runs from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation.

Next, within the Bible, any given passage or narrative always has to be looked at through the lens of history, culture, and language. The English words most of us read sometimes have much more meaning than just the simple way we may see them without putting on those lenses when we read.

My point here is that, no, Jesus never uttered the words, “I am God.” Fair enough, but yet not enough. By looking and interpreting the things we read, we will find during the rest of this study, that Jesus did make claims of his own divinity, and that the people around Him clearly understood what He was claiming.

Let’s just look briefly at some things we will consider over the next few weeks:

Jesus did make claims that he and God were the same being

Jesus often claimed equality with God

Even Jesus’ enemies understood He claimed to be God in the flesh.

Jesus clearly claimed attributes and rights only to be given to or by God

Jesus was worshiped and accepted the worship of others

Various authors of the Bible clearly understood the divinity of Jesus in their inspired writings

That is where we are heading over the next few days. I hope you will follow along and be blessed as we move along.

Is Jesus Really God? Part Three – Attacks On the Divinity of Jesus Christ

is jesus god

Part Three of this older series.

Like almost any doctrine considered to be central and core to traditional orthodox Christianity, the Doctrine of the Divinity of Jesus Christ has been under assault almost from the beginning of the New Testament church age. Yet, there is almost no Doctrine more tied to the core of true Christian faith than this one. Without it, there basically is no Christian faith as it has been traditionally known.

I had said we would discuss some of the more major assaults on this concept, and we will. Rather than me spending the next 20 years developing the ability to relay some of these thoughts and then representing them in some coherent form, my plan today is to briefly describe some of them and provide some links for further reading by readers.

One of the more prominent sources I use for this is the gotquestions.org website. It is simply a smorgasbord of good articles about traditional, true, orthodox Christianity.  Also, I use the equip.org website of the Christian Research Institute. This is not an endorsement of full agreement with all things on those sites, but they are a great place to seek information. There are also some other sites I will link to which provide some great thoughts on this rather difficult topic.

Some say this Doctrine was a made up one, occurring at the demand of the Emperor Constantine simply to bring peace to his empire. That is one of the more common arguments made by those who want to disbelieve this critical doctrine. The facts of the matter are that critical doctrines were not voted on and decided at the various councils in the early years of the church; things which had been known and taught from the beginning were simply reinforced.

Did the Council of Nicea vote Jesus as God?

What occurred at the Council of Nicea?

What Really Happened at Nicea?

There are many alternative views presented to the Divinity of Jesus Christ, all of which are proven to be quite wrong and mistaken according to Scripture.Here are some good links on some of the more important early controversies concerning the Deity of Jesus Christ?

What is Arianism?

What are Docetism, Apollinarianism, Ebionism, and Eutychianism?

The controversy surrounding the Divinity of Jesus Christ was hardly resolved in the early centuries of the church, but has remained a heresy which has reared it’s head over and over again. Even today, true believers have found themselves having to argue with people like theologian Bart Ehrman and author Dan Brown to maintain purity in the truth.

Bart Ehrman and the Divinity of Jesus

Jesus Christ Do We Have the Real Story?

The Divinity of Christ

There is a lot of information on those links, and links within those could keep a reader occupied for months if not years. I will check back in a decade or so, and we will talk about them all.

Okay, not really. Next we will take a look at some very simple, very real reasons why the Divinity of Jesus Christ is, and has been, under attack since the very beginning of the church. After that, we will begin to cover, very simply, just how God’s Word clearly teaches that Jesus Christ was, in fact, God.

Until  tomorrow, Peace

Is Jesus Really God? Part Two – The Hypostatic Union For Dummies

  • is jesus god

Part two of this series from earlier. Blessings and enjoy!

Okay, first of all I do not mean anything irreverent or insulting by the title of this post, The Hypostatic Union For Dummies. As I have said before I am not a theologian, nor are most of my readers. I know some are, and if you are feel free to chime in with some deep theology in the comments. I would love to learn something in the process of this post. For now, though, we are going to take a hopefully simple look at an extremely complicated topic: The Hypostatic Union.

Now, this whole thing can be analyzed for years and many Greek and Hebrew words tossed around, but really this is no more than the fact that Jesus is both fully human and yet fully divine at the same time. It is the concept of two distinct natures forming a union in one individual existence. The two distinct nature are of course humanity and divinity, and the individual existence is of course Jesus Christ.

Jesus is 100 percent God, and 100 percent human. Wait you say, that is 200%. Well, yes in math that would be true. He was fully man fully God. These two distinct natures are not mixed or blended, but are both there in Jesus in their entirety. I have heard it said that Jesus is as human as if He were not God at all, and as much God as if He were not human at all.

Makes sense, right? Of course it doesn’t. It’s simply not understandable by a finite human mind. How, then, do we know it is true? Well, the Bible teaches such, and understanding how it works simply has no bearing sometimes on whether something is true or not. We are taught clearly in Scripture of the humanity and the divinity of Jesus Christ. Later in this series, we will talk in detail about the evidences of Jesus’ divinity, and his humanity is not really the point of this series. For the purpose of this blog, we are just going the work from the presupposition that the Bible does teach these two natures.

Our purpose for this post is to simply, quickly, and briefly discuss just why Jesus had to be both fully human and fully God.

First, let’s recap quickly the basics of why the Deity of Jesus Christ is so necessary. The reason why Jesus had to be God is actually one of the simpler concepts concerning the theology of salvation to understand. Most of this we discussed earlier.

If Jesus was merely a man, even a sinless man, He would be limited in the scope of sin His death would have covered. His sinlessness enabled Him to pay the debt for another; He had no debt of His own to pay. However, if He was just a man, even a sinless one,  He could have paid the debt for one other person. God’s plan of salvation was for a sacrifice which would cover the sins of the entire world. That includes all who had been born and died before His day, as well as all who would be born in the future. Not only for all people, but for all sins; that includes all sin committed as well as all sin which would be committed into the future. If that sounds like a possibly infinite number of people and possible sins, that is because it is a possibly infinite number!

Only God is infinite, having existed from eternity past. God never came into being, He simply has always been. The Bible teaches that the entirety of the Godhead in the form of God the Father, God the Son(Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit have existed from eternity past. Since the amount of sin is basically infinite, only an infinite being could pay for it all. Therefore, only a being who was totally human could pay for the sin of humanity; conversely, only a being who was totally God could pay the infinite price which had to be paid. And as 1 John 2:2 makes clear, Jesus did come to pay for the sins of the whole world.

Now why did he have to be fully human? Well, we covered the basics of that earlier as well. On the most basic level humanity was necessary  because humans were the ones guilty of the original sin, a human had to pay the price for that sin. In other words, only Jesus the man could die; and only death could pay the debt for sin, for as Romans 6:23 states, “the wages of sin is death”.

On of the keys is the Biblically stated necessity for the sacrifice of an innocent for the remission of sins. Worship in the Old Testament revolved around the sacrifice of perfect, innocent animals to cover and provide temporary atonement for the sins of the people. We see this spelled out in both Leviticus 17:11 and Hebrews 9:22  The idea of a blood sacrifice for sin was clearly established between God and man. The problem is, that is not sufficient. Although the shedding of the blood for sin provided temporary remission of sin, it was never designed to be permanent. We are taught that in Hebrews 10:4.

Finally, we can sum up with the following:

Galatians 4:4,5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons

Born under that law. Who was born under the law? Well, humanity of course. Not angels, nor animals, but humans. The law, designed by God to show us how we come short of His perfection, was created for humans and transgressed by humans. Ultimately humanity, each and every one of us, owes the price for failing to measure up to God’s standard of perfect Holiness.

There we have it: the Gospel in a nutshell. Man sinned, meaning ultimately mad had to pay. Temporarily, God set up a system for the temporary atonement for our sins by the sacrifice of innocent animals, but we don’t need that anymore. Because Jesus the man paid the penalty for us as humans, and Jesus God was able to pay it infinitely and forever.

All we have to do is accept and believe in the truth of that payment.

It’s easy; if you have not, why don’t you do so today?

Coming next: Alternate views and attacks on the Doctrine of the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Throwback Thursday-Jesus Paid It All and His Blood Is the Only Payment Accepted

throw back thursday

jesus saves
http://cdn.crossmap.com/images/2/08/20857.jpg

It’s our Throwback Thursday continuation of this previously published series Jesus Paid it All. Blessings and enjoy!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

That, of course, is John 14:6.  Those were the words of Jesus Himself and sum up His thoughts about how a person comes to a relationship with God.  It seems like a fairly straight forward statement, really. Jesus did not say He was one of the ways, or one truth  or that there was any life other than Him.  He stated unequivocally that the only access to God the Father was through Him, God the Son.  Nonetheless, we live in a time where truth is considered relative, any belief is okay as long as it is sincere; to say there is only one way is considered hateful and exclusionary.

Most people with any spiritual inclination whatsoever would tend to put some credence to words spoken by Jesus. Of course, an atheist would not, but this article is not really for them. This is really to address those who hold the idea that many paths lead to God. We can’t really say that Jesus was just a good man, good teacher and one of many ways to Heaven. If He was outright lying in that Scripture and knew He was not the only way to God, then we should never follow a man such as that. If He genuinely believed what He said, but was just monumentally wrong, then we should never follow a man such as that. In either of those two cases, Jesus was certainly not a good man, or good teacher or any path to Heaven whatsoever. The only real alternatives are to totally disbelieve or completely believe the words He said in that verse. That is simply C.S Lewis’ famous Liar, Lunatic or Lord argument and it remains a valid one.

We hopefully agree at this point that payment is due. See this article for discussion on that subject:

Jesus Paid it All- Part 1- Your Really DON’T Want To Pay Your Own Way

I hope we also agree that we have no ability to do anything whatsoever to pay the price for our sin, other than the Biblically prescribed one of death. A review of that subject can be found here:

Jesus Paid it All – Part 2 – Your Payment’s No Good Here

Belief in God, sincerely held, is also not enough. After all, James taught us that even the demons believe. (James 2:19). Not only do they believe, but they tremble in fear! Sincerity does not accomplish a thing. Jesus said in our verse above, that He is the Truth.  Sincerely held belief in an untruth does not make it true, no matter how sincere the belief.  Some examples follow.  One can sincerely disbelieve in the Law of Gravity, but if that person steps off a building, he or she will soon discover they were wrong.  The laws of physics trump sincerely held belief. One can sincerely believe auto theft is okay, but a Judge will quickly show that person the error of their ways. The laws of the land trump sincerely held belief.  We could follow examples until the end of time.  The bottom line is, law trumps sincerely help belief every time.

God is the Supreme lawgiver. His law is just and perfect. We fail to meet His standard, making us law breakers. The penalty for transgressions of God’s law is death. Death is both physical and spiritual. Spiritual death is separation from God eternally in a place of torment called Hell.

The reason Jesus is the only way to God is because only Jesus could pay the needed price. He was able to pay it because He was fully human. Humans broke the law and a human had to pay. He was able to pay it because He was sinless and perfect; Jesus never transgressed The Law. Only because He had nto penalty of His own to pay could He pay mine. He was able to pay it because He is God. Only God could pay the infinite penalty required on behalf of every person who had lived, was living in His day, is living now and will live into the future.

Just a quick counter to those who claim that Christianity’s statement that Jesus is the only way is exclusionary follows next. Jesus payment on the Cross for sin is not exclusionary; it is available to anybody. No one is denied access to it. Read the following for an explanation:

Jesus Paid It All – Part 3 – The Payment Was Enough For Everyone

The payment Jesus made for us is not exclusionary, but it is extremely exclusive. Matthew 7:13,14 teaches us that the path to destruction is wide but the path to salvation is narrow. No one is excluded, but many will decline the offer.

How does one accept? Understand how you have failed before a Holy God. Agree with Him that your sin is wrong and and an offense to Him and deserving of punishment. Believe that Jesus paid the price you could never pay and accept Him as your Savior and Lord.  Repentance toward God and belief in Jesus Christ, it’s that simple.

When Jesus Finally Said, “Go,” Who Was He Talking to, Anyway?

witnesses-for-jesus

We have been taking a look at the many times during His earthly ministry when Jesus told others to Not tell about the great works He was doing; many were instructed to keep the things He had done secret. I think we have all arrived at some very reasonable reasons why Jesus issued these instructions over the course of a couple of weeks.

It also seems clear that, at some point, Jesus changed this instruction and then commanded people to go out and tell as many as they could. Two questions seem to arise: 1. Why did this change, and 2. Who was instructed to go tell?

What changed?

Obviously, the biggest thing that changed was the resurrection. This event established clearly just who Jesus was; it established clearly that He was, in fact, The Messiah. Before, seemingly to avoid too much attention on only His miracles, Jesus commanded that these things sometimes be kept quiet. Now, it was time to tell the world.

Peter clearly revealed the nature of who Jesus was during his famous sermon on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Jesus, appearing to some disciples after His resurrection, taught them that they now knew all of Him they needed to know and that their teaching was complete:

Luke 24:44-48 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things

His instructions soon became explicit to those who followed Him.

At the Last Supper Jesus informed those present:

John 15:27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

At His Ascension, He told them:

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

So, we can clearly see that Jesus’ instructions changed; now His followers were instructed to tell His message far and wide, and to everybody. Only one question remains.

Who is supposed to go? Are all believers to be witnesses?

Yes.

That seems simple, right? Well perhaps it is, yet to some it is not. Allow me to explain. There seems some thoughts out there about just who is to tell the world about Jesus. This is not going to be deep theology here, just some simple thoughts as revealed in God’s Word to us.

Some say, that the Great Commission was only delivered to the Apostles. In other words, when Jesus said these words:

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inb the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

that He was only speaking to those directly assembled with Him, and that the instructions do not apply us today. Well, yes, technically Jesus was in fact speaking to the Apostles. Just because this message was given to the Apostles does not mean it was only for the Apostles.  I would suggest we should be careful in applying that logic to things Jesus and other writers said to specific people; using that thinking we could lay claim large parts of God’s Word not being applicable to us, as “Well, that writer was only talking to ________ there, not us.” While directed at those present, there in nothing overall to indicate that we are released from this instruction today.  In fact, if we place it into relation to some of the words we talked about earlier in the post, it is pretty evident there is no restriction on the “who,” here.

There seems to be some concern by some that we aren’t all evangelists, given the gift of Evangelism as put for in Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

There are a couple of issues here. Sure, not all are called to occupy any official office or position as “evangelist.” So what? Nothing there says we are released from the obligation to practice evangelism, or to be witnesses for Jesus. This is true no more than saying not being given the gift of helps means we don’t have to help, or not being given the gift of prayer means we don’t have to pray.

In summary, the command for believers applies to us all. We don’t always like it, and sometimes would rather be exempt from it; nonetheless, we are all subject to it.

What are your thoughts on this?

Next: If the command to “go,” is for all of us, why don’t we?

 

 

 

So…Why Did Jesus Say Don’t Tell?

great commission

Over the last week or so, we have been having an interesting conversation around here concerning the topic of why sometime during His Earthly ministry Jesus told some people to NOT tell anyone about His activities, and at other time He told people to proclaim it every where. The question of the hour is….Why?

Comments have been great, and really the question has been answered. I just wanted to sort of wrap things up in a tidy little package for reader perusal and thoughts. I am not really adding a thing to the many great ideas which have been presented.

Perhaps the most overriding point that was made in so many comments was something like this: “God knows what He is doing.” Simple huh? Simple but yet so very true. Like many things we don’t always see clearly exactly why or for what reason things may have occurred, but we can rest assured that God was working His plan in the best way possible to accomplish His plan. As I have heard said around the blog world, “Compared to God we are all morons.” In summation, theorizing is nice, and great study, but ultimately we may just not get it one hundred percent right this side of Heaven.

Let’s move on, then and look at some specifics and examples.

A lot of the injunctions to people not to say what had happened to them had to do with Jesus being able to stay on message.

Jesus’ message then is the same as it is now. Repentance, faith, and salvation. It was not about the healings and the miracles. Those were not the message; those were the proof that His message was real.

We can see in many of these accounts that people came from all over, not always to hear the actual message Jesus had, but simply for what He could do for them. Mark 1:45, Mark 6:54-56

Jesus seemed quite certain of this motivation in the words He spoke to the man seeking to see his servant healed. John 4:48

Jesus was constantly being followed and stalked by the pharisees, which may be why he instructed the leper He healed to go straight to the priests to be pronounced ceremonially clean by them, so that they could not dispute the nature and truth of what Jesus had actually done. Mark 1:41-42

What about the audience for His message? This I just toss out as food for thought and readers can draw their own conclusions. God knows who will respond to His message and who will not. It seems in the cases where Jesus told someone to spread the word, or allowed them to spread the word, there were differences in both the places and the audiences involved. Both the demon possessed in Gadara, Mark 5, and the woman at the well in Samaria, in John 4 seem to fit this thought. Just think about it and chime in if you feel like it!

That’s really all I want to say here, as it’s all been said well thus far in our talks. If you want to catch up on those, just pick the last few Monday’s or Wednesday’s and read up.

Next, we are moving on to Jesus’ clear instructions to us to get out there and  spread the Word, and the unfortunate fact that, for the most part, we don’t.

Until next time!

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday-Jesus Paid It All and Your Payment’s No Good Here

throw back thursday

It’s Thursday, and I am still reposting this older series, one of my favorites.

jesus saves

Aside from the obvious non religions like atheism, humanism and so forth, there are only two actual “religions” in the world.

The first is the religion of good works. Believers in this religion believe that there is something, somehow, that they can do to ensure their own entry in to Heaven. There are subsets of this religion: some believe sacraments and rituals, if done properly, ensure entrance into heaven. Some believe in the scale of justice theory of salvation, believing that if their good outweighs their bad they can ensure their entry into Heaven. Some believe that if they just do not do anything “really bad” they can ensure their entry into heaven. Adherents of this religion call themselves many different things: New Agers, spiritual, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhist, and even Evangelical Christians. Some may call themselves Methodists, Baptists, or any other name one can call to mind.

On the other hand, there is the true “religion”. This is simply the Faith that teaches that absolutely nothing any human can do is sufficient to pay for the sin we have all committed. Our payment is no good here. In the first article in this series, Jesus Paid it All, we discussed the fact that we can each certainly pay our own way for our own sin. That article can be Read Here:

Jesus Paid It All and you Really Don’t Want to Pay Your Own Way

But, as that article shows, the only way we can pay for our own sin is by death, both physical and spiritual. Eternally we pay our debt by being forever separated from God in a place of torment called Hell. That is the ONLY way we can pay for our own sin.

In other words, we can pay our own debt, but we can never redeem ourselves from the penalty of what we have done.

Ephesians 2:8,9 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast

That verse is really fairly self explanatory and says and means exactly what it says. It seems to say it with little ambiguity or room for alternate interpretations. Nonetheless, let’s expand a little on what it is really saying.

We are saved by God’s Grace, through our faith(and even that is given to us by God.) Grace is a free gift of God, not earned by us. No work we might ever do contributes one iota toward our eternal Salvation. We WANT our salvation to be by our works because we really, really like ourselves.

Grace plus nothing equals our Salvation. Jesus Paid it All. He doesn’t need our help to finish the project, His Grace is sufficient. Period and end of the story.

We can’t do enough good to cover our own sin.

We can’t avoid enough bad to cover our own sin.

We cannot do anything in our unsaved state to appear favorable in the sight of a Holy and perfect God.

Our Rituals, Sacraments and Ordinances, while not wrong by any means can never save us.

No sacrifice of any sort can ever save us.

What, then saves us? It starts with Grace. God’s gift of His son who COULD pay for our sin, and did. We simply have to accept the gift by Repentance toward God and believe in His Son Jesus Christ.

Ssshhh…Don’t Tell Anybody What I did-Some Commenter Thoughts.

great commission

In Monday’s post, we introduced our topic for today. While Jesus ultimately told His disciples, and us, to go into all the world and tell His message of forgiveness and salvation. We also saw many cases where Jesus instructed people to NOT tell anyone else of the things He had done. On the surface, this seems odd, as we would think Jesus would have wanted the word spread far and wide about the things He was doing, such as healing the blind and so forth. What in the world was this about?

Since I fell somewhat lazy and pressed for time as I write this, and because some really great conversation was generated, today’s post is just going to be the thoughts of some of the nice brothers and sisters who dropped by to share their thoughts on this matter.

My own thoughts will just have to wait! Read what these commenters had to say; it was good stuff. Feel free to add your own to the mix. Finally, pop over to some great blogs for some great reading!

Blessings and enjoy!

From Tricia

“Very interesting topic to ponder there Wally. My opinion is that whatever one was supposed to do, tell or not tell just had to do with the circumstances and people involved. Jesus always knew which action would best bring about His glory.”

From Salvageable

“Ah, yes, the messianic secret. You are likely going this direction already, but I think the key passage is Matthew 16:13-23. When Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus congratulates Peter on having the right answer, but strictly tells the disciples to tell no one. Then he starts describing his mission as the Christ. Peter says, “Far be it from you, Lord! This should never happen to you.” Jesus rebukes Peter with very strong language, because Peter is trying to block Jesus from his mission, just as Satan wants to block Jesus from his mission. Conclusion: Jesus told those who did not understand his mission to keep silent because he knew they would be off-base in their witnessing. Jesus encouraged and commanded those who understood his mission to share what they knew. Of course it shows the waywardness of the human heart that those who “get it” remain silent while those who “don’t get it” fill the world with their misinformation about Jesus. (But not always– the Spirit of God still moves among his people.) J.”

From Insanitybytes

“Hmm, this is an interesting discussion! I think I am with Tricia here, but we should put an adventuresome spin on it, something akin to being undercover, covert, like spies. We are called to be wise as serpents, but gentle as doves, sent out among wolves. People faced a lot of persecution in those days and so existed somewhat underground, covertly. I suspect part of the story has to do with advancing the kingdom and Christ is aware of when speaking is going to simply bring trouble upon their heads and when it is going to spread the message. The possessed man He heals begs to go with Jesus, but he is told to remain behind and spread the word. Jesus and the Disciples are leaving, so they are not going to be questioned, arrested, or attract attention.

I’m a bit like Peter, just lop the man’s ear off and be done with it, which of course is not part of the plan, not God’s will. It’s the right action perhaps, but just at the wrong time, in the wrong context. That is how I often see Christ leading, He is coordinating the timing and how it will influence other events.”

From Susan

“Hey Wally – great discussion question. I also think part of it has to do with Jesus carrying out the Father’s will. He knew exactly the day and hour he was supposed to die, and probably did not want to hasten it. If others spoke too soon and too often of his miracles, his death may have occurred in a way that would not have been a public spectacle and would not have brought glory to God in his resurrection”

Good stuff huh? Thanks to my friends for chiming in, and  invite the rest of you to do so. I could leave it at this, and the original question would be answered quite nicely. But, hey, I am a writer, so I have to say my piece too!

Until Friday!

 

 

 

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