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New Testament Salvation;- Index thread

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posted on Feb, 15 2019 @ 05:00 PM
The essential theme of the Bible is how humanity has moved away from God, and how this movement is to be reversed.
The two Testaments cover this theme between them, in combination.
So this current series of threads forms a pair with its older partner;
Does the Old Testament have a remedy for sin?.

If anyone wants to find a remedy for a problem, the best approach is to begin by trying to understand the cause.
Many years ago, I was in debate with a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was using a borrowed argument about infinite sin, which seems to imply that sin can be quantified, and one of them asked the very awkward question “But what exactly do you think sin is? This alerted me to the fact that I did not have a ready answer.
So the real starting-point for this quest was finding a definition of the nature of sin.
The solution which I have evolved and adopted is that sin is a relationship problem. The human will has come out of alignment with the will of God, and this misalignment impedes our knowledge of God and our contact with God. We are born with independent wills, and that is the state of sin.

The conclusion to be drawn from study of the Old Testament was that this Testament is not offering a genuine remedy for sin.
The Old Testament offers the Law of Moses, as an expression of God’s will for the guidance of his obedient people. However, this code reflects the will of God very imperfectly and has never been obeyed completely, and so sin remained in the world.

The Law also offers remedies for the problem of continuing sin, in the form of ritual procedures.
The removal of sin is carried out in a symbolic way. The sin is washed away, carried off into to the desert, or “covered” by sacrifice.
However, these procedures do nothing to tackle the reality of sin. At the most, they are dramatised metaphors, teaching the people about the possibility and necessity of dealing with sin.

Repentance is the deliberate intention of re-aligning the will, and repentance would have worked, except that men can’t, in practice, repent with enough consistency. We discover this in the historical parts of the Old Testament.

What God wants from us is obedience, which is a commitment of self-offering carried out in trust.
The story of repeated failure in the Old Testament shows that mankind cannot make that commitment in their own strength.
Which means that finding a genuine remedy for sin must involve the intervention of God.
Therefore the current series has been dedicated to exploring the New Testament account of the work of Christ, in restoring the broken relationship between God and man.

Only twenty-five threads.
Not a lot, given that Thomas Aquinas would have made it fill the same number of volumes.

posted on Feb, 15 2019 @ 05:01 PM
Christ died for the ungodly

In history and in theology, the starting-point of the gospel is the death of Christ.
Spurgeon used to tell the story of the missionaries in Greenland, and how their teaching about the message of Jesus had no effect until they thought of mentioning the point that he died upon the Cross.
A presentation of the gospel which ignores the great central fact of the gospel must fail in its task.
Therefore “the fact that Jesus died” is to be taken as the anchor-point.

Ransomed with the blood of Christ
The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
Christ our paschal lamb

This mode of dealing with sin is such a new thing for the world, and so far beyond our understanding, that it can only be explained in metaphor.
The New Testament offers a mixture of metaphors, and difficulties can be created when some of the details are taken too literally.
For example, people have tried to identify a third party entitled to receive the “ransom”.
And the “sacrifice” metaphor lost some of its appeal once the ritual sacrifice had gone out of use and had to be explained.
So I tackled some of these metaphors before moving on to the message which underlies them.

Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God
But God raised him up
The name above every name

Christ’s part in the process of salvation, as explained by the apostles from the very beginning of Acts.
That is, he died and was buried, was raised from the dead, and was recognised as Lord.
His death is to be understood as an act of self-offering, in full obedience to his Father.

God is faithful
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved

Our part in the process of salvation is our faith. That is to say, our trust. Our belief IN rather than our belief THAT.
Our faithfulness is grounded upon the fact that God is faithful, in the sense of “can be trusted”.
The obedience of Christ and our own faith add up to the “obedience in trust” which God expects from us.

Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven
We have an advocate in heaven
You were washed (in the name of Christ)
You were sanctified (in the name of Christ)
You were justified (in the name of Christ)

These are all different ways of saying that we who believe are no longer separated from God by the barrier of sin. The broken relationship between God and man has been restored.

Repent and be baptised
If the Spirit of God dwells in you
If anyone is in Christ
You were baptised into the death of Christ

But how can we gain this benefit from the work of Christ?
The teaching of the New Testament is that, in our repentant faith, we “belong to Christ”.
It’s not just that we are his friends, “the little ones who believe in me”.
We have received the Spirit of Christ. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. As limbs of the body of Christ, we are brought into and included in what Christ has done.
Thus we died on the Cross “together with Christ”, and we have been raised from the dead “together with Christ”.

For he shall save his people from their sins

This thread sums up the different stages of the argument from the previous threads, attempting to explain “how atonement works”.
That is, we belong to Christ and are brought into what Christ has done. We have died with Christ and have been raised with Christ, as already mentioned.
And since the work of Christ was a self-offering in obedience, this means we have also been brought into that self-offering in obedience.
In other words, we are re-aligned with the will of God, and that is the overcoming of the barrier of sin.
In our bond of unity with Christ, we are brought into the bond of unity between Christ and his Father.
The relationship has been healed.

One of the more severe critics has observed that the series was offering nothing new. I should hope not. I wasn’t attempting to do anything more than present the fundamental message in a way that might be better understood.
But if I did think novelty was a virtue, I would rest my claim on this thread, where I use language less familiar than the current standard.
Instead of talking about “sacrifice and vicarious atonement”, I adopt words like “self-offering and inclusion”, though I believe this amounts to saying the same thing in a different way.
I think of it as “inclusive atonement”, but in fact it may be just a rediscovery of the “recapitulation” theory of Irenaeus.

Live a life worthy of the calling
Called to be saints
All one in Christ Jesus
The faithful and wise servant

The consistent message of the New Testament is that God expects both faith and obedience from us, but faith comes first in order of time.
Not “faith without works”, nor “works without faith”, but “faith and works” in that order.
(There will be a thread on this theme later in the year)
That is why these threads on Christian conduct are placed at this point in the series, following on from what is attained by faith.
They deal with individual conduct, the sense of identity and unity, and also the question of leadership.

Brought to completion at the day of Jesus Christ

For New Testament purposes, the original meaning of “salvation” is “being protected from the wrath of God”.
That is why the process culminates in the Return of Christ and vindication In the time of judgement.
“So we shall always be with the Lord.”

They do by nature what the law requires

I could not see my way to considering the fate of those who are not saved, especially since we have no real knowledge on the point. Just the negation of the promise about “being with the Lord”, fleshed out with a couple of metaphors.

However, I did think it right to ponder the frequently asked question about those who have never been given the chance to understand the gospel.
How far might it be possible to be saved without an explicitly conscious knowledge of Christ?

posted on Feb, 15 2019 @ 06:56 PM

How far might it be possible to be saved without an explicitly conscious knowledge of Christ?

Very good idea for a thread DISRAELI...

I am one of those that believe that God will give every single person throughout history an opportunity to know Him even if it means He has to make a personal visit Himself.

A good example of this is a Shaman who lived in a village in Indonesia in the 70's:

There was a pagan village called Tubunaus about three miles from Soe. One day a pagan priest called Sem Faet, who also had leprosy, was giving a sacrifice to his “blood god.” Jesus came and revealed Himself to this pagan priest. “I am the God you are seeking,” He said,. “This is not the way to worship Me.”

“Lord who are you and how do you want to be worshipped?” the priest asked. “I will tell you my name and how you are to worship Me later,” Jesus said. ” First you must gather all your images and witchcraft materials and burn them. When you do this, I will visit you again and tell you all about myself.” Then the Lord disappeared.

The Lord came to him again and said, "My name is Jesus." Jesus explained to Him the passages of the Bible concerning salvation and the Christian walk. The man also was healed from his sickness. The priest could not read or write, and the Lord told him to go to Soe. "When you get there, buy a pencil and pad of paper," Jesus told him. He obeyed the Lord.

When he returned to the village, God took his hand and wrote Bible verses in his book. He did not use normal Timor writing but a type of hieroglyphics. The Lord gave him many stories found throughout the whole Bible. (A photo of this exact writing appears in the photo section of this book.)

Like a Mighty Wind

Melisa: But surely no one would choose that if they knew you really existed?

Jesus: Not so, nobody goes into hell blindfolded. In one way or another, I've revealed myself to everyone.

Melisa: But if they could just see you...

Jesus: Not even that would be enough. Look at satan, he stood before me in the very throne room of God. But he thought the beauty and the power bestowed was somehow earned. Gave himself over to pride. Scratch any sin and just below the surface you'll find pride...

Jesus: "I'm a gentleman Nick, I'll never force myself on you or anyone. Nick, what would be more unjust and unfair, for me to steal you at the moment of your death and force you to live in my presence and in my will for all eternity. Hell on the other hand is a place where you'll be completely free from all of my "though shalt nots"... FOREVER."

Source: The Encounter

As to those who live in tribes without God’s Word, God has revealed Himself in the hearts of all men. Through general revelation, man can sense God’s existence and see His power.

edit on 2.15.2019 by Murgatroid because: Felt like it...

posted on Feb, 15 2019 @ 07:57 PM
a reply to: Murgatroid

Very powerful post Murgatroid !

I needed to read that today.. thank you.

posted on Feb, 15 2019 @ 09:00 PM
a reply to: Sheye

You are so welcome!

BTW I just finished editing the link to 'The Encounter' in that post.

I can't recommend it enough, it's one of my favorite all time films, it is so full of truth.

Below are a few quotes from interviews with Bruce Marchiano who played the lead actor in the film:

I sure hope so! When I did the first one I had remarkable experiences, not weird and supernatural, just understanding His heart in a new and unique way. And the same thing happened with “The Encounter.” At the end of the film when the guy makes the choice to go his own way, I just spontaneously broke down weeping, profusely. It was a little uncomfortable for a lot of the crew!

Some of them had a hard time picturing Jesus being affected like that but it helped me to understand the depth of his heart in a fresh and unique way. There were two projects I turned down. Jesus has to be loving people and crying tears over their pain. If people don’t understand that, they’re missing the point. In another one they hired a director who didn’t know the Lord. How can someone direct that story if he doesn’t have access to the spirit of God?

Interview: The Actor Who Plays Jesus in “The Encounter”

The non-believers who worked alongside you when you played Jesus were affected by how you portrayed Jesus. Can you share how their lives changed?

Even the believers were blown away. It was the depth of love, both in Matthew and the Encounter. There was a moment in the Encounter where one of the characters rejects Jesus. In character, I began profusely weeping as the character walks out the door. You could hear a pin drop when the camera cut...the guys were blown away. That's how Jesus feels. Imagine how your heart breaks when your kids make bad choices.

Multiply that times a ka-billion, and there you have the heart of Jesus. The mother of the young girl in the movie told me later that her daughter asked her, "is that really how Jesus feels?" This scene did not make the final cut. It did show Jesus weeping because of the pain He felt.

Bruce Marchiano Plays Biggest Role of His Life

You also had a brand new actor, Madison Gibney, on the set. It was lovely to have her there. Madison didn't know the Lord, and she was really impacted by some of the scenes. There were a few scenes where I'm holding her face in my hands and just conveying the love of Jesus. Driving home she asked her Mom, “Did Jesus really act like that? Does He really love me that much?” You can't ask for more than lives being touched with the reality of Jesus as opposed to religiosity.

Bruce Marchiano Interview

edit on 2.15.2019 by Murgatroid because: Felt like it...

posted on Feb, 15 2019 @ 09:36 PM
a reply to: Murgatroid

I need to watch this movie as I’m tearing up just reading about it. I am much too focused on my sinful nature and often feel I am cutting off the love of Jesus due to my sins, which I’m sure Satan takes delight in.

I am going to watch the movie now, and hopefully will feel the resurgence of Jesus’s love for me.
Thank you again 🙏🏼

posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 04:08 AM
a reply to: Murgatroid
In the actual thread, I was incined towards the approach suggested by Paul's "Gentiles a law unto themselves"; that sometimes, without knowing of Christ, they might adopt an attitude towards life which qualifies as an equivalent of faith.

posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 10:54 AM

originally posted by: DISRAELI
So the real starting-point for this quest was finding a definition of the nature of sin.
The solution which I have evolved and adopted is that sin is a relationship problem. The human will has come out of alignment with the will of God, and this misalignment impedes our knowledge of God and our contact with God. We are born with independent wills, and that is the state of sin.

The way our "will" works has NOTHING to do with sin. The idea that we have to have "alignment with the will of God" is just wrong. The problem is people in power will claim they are the ones who "know" the will of God.

To use the fishing net metaphor, people don't need to know what is moral and what is not moral. People need to be able to define their own moral compass. Being able to define your own moral compass, that is, being able to conclude what is "right" and what is "wrong", is in my mind, an absolute requirement for being a "good" person.

So what heuristic would you use to define your moral compass. I would go with the Golden Rule on steroids. When you carry a priceless work of art across the room you do it with extreme reverence because of the thought of damaging something so priceless is unimaginable. This is how we should treat the people in our lives. Each person in our sphere of influence should be treated like a priceless work of art.

The other part about sin is how does one get absolution. I just do not believe saying magic words, or doing some church ritual, or giving money to the church, absolves you of your sins. In my mind, the only path to absolution is by getting forgiveness from the people you have sinned against. The people you interact with are the ones who are making judgments against your soul, not God.

Based human experimentation, it seems to me God is indifferent to our moral behavior. There seems to me no amount of evil God will NOT tolerate in order to preserve our free-will. How we treat each other, or how badly we treat each other, it seems to me God doesn't care. That's not to say sin doesn't exist. It just seems to me God is operating in different way than what is described in the Bible.

My faith is in a God of unconditional love who loves every facet of His creation no matter how we treat each other. My faith is in a God who allows everyone through the gates of Heaven to experience eternal bliss regardless of our earthly sins or how we practiced or not practiced our religions. This is GOOD NEWS for many people in the World who have not actually lived a moral life.

Now some of you might be thinking this is unfair or just wrong. Many people want other people to suffer for eternity as some form of cosmic justice. Or people are seeking revenge against other people. I think this is an immature mindset. What difference does it make if Hitler gets to experience eternal Heavenly bliss if everyone Hitler has sinned against also gets to experience Heavenly bliss. It just seems to me God is the one place where everyone gets loved unconditionally.

In terms of being "drawn" to God, I've recently been studying apophatic theologies:

Apophatic theology

"Apophatic theology, also known as negative theology,[1] is a form of theological thinking and religious practice which attempts to approach God, the Divine, by negation, to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the perfect goodness that is God.[web 1] It forms a pair together with cataphatic theology, which approaches God or the Divine by affirmations or positive statements about what God is."

God is perfect in ALL His greatness. The greatness of God has no boundaries. So I do not believe in the idea of a personal God. I do not believe in the idea of a person like God of judgment. This is because a personal God would be limited in focus to one person. And a person like God would be limited by being a person object. And making judgments would be conditional love based on some limited disappointment.

I think we all have no choice but to be drawn to God's greatness. God is not an object person. God is an experience. Every time we experience "greatness" in our lives we are experiencing a sliver or facet of God's greatness. We are drawn to greatness our whole lives until the moment of our death when we turn and go into the light to experience God's infnite beauty as we finally experience eternal heavenly bliss. Experiencing God's infinite beauty is the greatest possible experience consciousness can have by definition. It will be like every cell in your body has the most satisfying organism possible every cell at once in one moment. God is the source of ALL greatness we experience in our lives. When we die we all return back to God's infinite greatness.

edit on 16-2-2019 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:11 PM
"The solution which I have evolved and adopted is that sin is a relationship problem. The human will has come out of alignment with the will of God, and this misalignment impedes our knowledge of God and our contact with God. We are born with independent wills, and that is the state of sin."

I really love your definition DISRAELI. My only fear for Christians is by not knowing sin they will never be able to be one with God. But in one sentence you have dispelled all my fears.

posted on Feb, 17 2019 @ 04:10 AM
a reply to: glend
Thank you for that encouragement. Obviously the fact that it's a personal definition makes it vulnerable in debate, but I have hopes that it works and will be acceptable.

posted on Feb, 17 2019 @ 05:13 PM

originally posted by: dfnj2015
The way our "will" works has NOTHING to do with sin. The idea that we have to have "alignment with the will of God" is just wrong. The problem is people in power will claim they are the ones who "know" the will of God.

You are right, 'free will' has nothing to do with sin other than it allows you COMMIT sin in the name of you having free will. Not sure alignments with the will of God works either (as you say) which would justify the commitment of sin, if that be your nature to do so. You would have to define what sin is and if you are 'God Partical By Proxy' (you are) you are IT and acting in behalf of said Super being. Am I clear on this?

posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 09:15 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

The theme of the Bible is not about how far man has moved away from God.

The Entire theme is about exalting the Son, Jesus Christ, and how the Earth was to be the place where that Exalting was to be done. Lucifer, the Cherub that coverth, fell because of that exalting, God re-established and made the Earth habitable again and created man, who would exalt the Son. The Son comes to earth into the promised Kingdom and instead of taking it by force he gives it up to save mankind. In doing so he justifies God in wanting to exalt his son from the beginning. In the last chapters of the Bible when the Son finally comes into his own, we will see the Son come into the kingdom that was promised through Israel, and how after the final Judgement of man, the new earth will take the place of the old and the original plan to exalt the Son will be completed.

This is the only Theme outside of Israel that is seen from cover to cover, salvation of mankind was secondary and necessary to have the Son truly glorified. Any other theme claimed is not biblical at all. It is not about man it is about God's Son.

posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 03:36 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
How horrified would you be to discover that your viewpoint resembles the viewpoint of the notorious scholar Brooke Foss Westcott? His argument comes in a piece called "The gospel of Creation", which I find printed at the back of his commentaries to the epistles of John.

The Bible virtually begins with the loss of the Tree of Life and ends with the restoration of the Tree of Life, spending most of the interval showing the difficulty of getting from the first point to the second. The laws are about avoiding sin or atoning for it, the histories are demonstrating the persistence of sin, and the prophets are mostly warning the people of their own time about the consequences of sin.
Since the object of the exercise here is to present the theme of salvation, I think it's legitimate to present it as a biblical theme.

The relationship between this theme and the theme of the Son is a moot point.
The Middle Ages came up with the thoery of FELIX CULPA ("fortunate fault"), the idea that the Fall of Adam was a good thing in the end, because it prompted God to send his Son to become Incarnate.
In disagreement with that idea, Westcott argues that the Incarnation was always God's intention anyway, and the only ultimate effect of the Fall was that the Incarnation had to be accompanied by suffering. You seem to agree with him.

My next series will be on the characters found in Proverbs.I suppose I ought to be safe there from the danger of breaking any of your rules.

edit on 20-2-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2019 @ 01:43 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Well his view point is nothing like mine. But here is the biblical viewpoint of the Bible from the words of Jesus Christ himself. You point people to eternal life in the scriptures you believe them to be the source of eternal life

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
You see Christ himself says the Scriptures testify of Him. You see even Jesus Himself says the scriptures all of them from beginning to end Testify of him. The Scriptures are all about him it is History Past, present and future. The future is what everyone should be looking too, for the prophecies to come will reveal the Truth about Christ and his Glorification.

The Bible begins with a voided place called Earth. The original earth like the new Earth in Revelation did not have seas on it, The earth was created before their was a depth of space ie. heaven, before there were fountains of water. These fountains is where that water came from, it destroyed a throne that Lucifer was building, which he claimed for himself and that he would set it above God. Genesis 1:1 was the original Earth, Genesis 1:2 God have destroyed the work of Lucifer/Satan and his angles. Genesis 1:3-31 is God making the Earth habitable for his next creation Man. It would be men and through men the Son would be worshiped, in Rev 21-22 we see the New Earth and Jesus the Son of God sitting on the throne, being worshiped through all Eternity.

Would it horrify you to know that your Bible version is based on the Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrian manuscripts used by the notorious scholar Brooke Foss Westcott to create his Greek text used for every English Version since 1880's. ASV, RSV, ESV, NIV I, II, III, IV, NASB, etc etc etc. and used for the Jesuit Rheimes(sp?) Bible of 1582

All the points above about Jesus and the Earth can be found in the AV1611. cross-reference the words I used and maybe you will discover the whole of Scriptures is about lifting up Jesus Christ, Exalting him and before him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess he is Lord.

BTW the tree of life was never lost. You err not knowing the scriptures, that is the teaching of groups that err like Roman Catholicism, Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons. They all started their movements from the very Bible versions that came from the Greek of Wescott and Hort. The Tree of life has always been with God it will once again be on the New Earth Located in the New Jerusalem.

If only you would follow the commandment given by Paul in 2Tim 2:15.

edit on 3/1/2019 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2019 @ 02:03 PM

originally posted by: ChesterJohn
BTW the tree of life was never lost... Tree of life has always been with God it will once again be on the New Earth Located in the New Jerusalem.

It was lost to human access. I thought it would be evident that this was what I meant.

posted on Mar, 1 2019 @ 02:16 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Show me a Bible verse that teaches that ? Only Adam lost access to it. You would be wise to know that Christ died on what is called a Tree. He is the tree of life it was never kept from man and today that life is in him.

I here will personalize it just for you, but all our names will fit in here in substitution of the words OUR, WE, and YE.

1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare DISRAELI'S sins in his own body on the tree, that DISRAELI, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes DISRAELI is healed.
see the tree of life today is the cross of Jesus Christ.

When we get to heaven we don't eat of the leaves of the tree or its fruit for eternal life as seen for those who will be allowed to enter the New Jerusalem. You see we already have eternal life in Christ Jesus.
edit on 3/1/2019 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2019 @ 02:20 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I see you are not horrified that your Bible if from the very manuscripts of Westcott.

posted on Mar, 1 2019 @ 02:25 PM

originally posted by: DISRAELI

My next series will be on the characters found in Proverbs.I suppose I ought to be safe there from the danger of breaking any of your rules.

No, I already know you will stumble over much of it with the same teachings and views of Scholars since 1880. Not one original thought will come from it that you could claim to be your own.

posted on Mar, 1 2019 @ 02:49 PM

originally posted by: ChesterJohn
Not one original thought will come from it that you could claim to be your own.

I've already answered that point in the opening posts, but you probably skimmed over it;

I should hope not. I wasn’t attempting to do anything more than present the fundamental message in a way that might be better understood.

That is the true function of a teacher.
If the truth has been revealed, then original thinking is by definition a departure from the truth.
Thank you for confirming that I am not guilty of committing that sin.

We are supposed to be fellow-workers, but I believe you are allowing your deep-seated resentments and insecurities to push you into what looks like hostility to the presentation of the gospel messages. I wish you would take time to take stock and have a re-think.

posted on Mar, 3 2019 @ 06:28 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I have no deep seated issues or insecurities, to imply such makes you guilty of judging me where only God is able, thereby you made yourself god in God's stead, just like you have at changing his English words to other English words to meet your doctrine.

To present the wrong Gospel is to have a curse laid upon that man, Paul addressed that in Galatians. Mixed up gospels (Making all the gospel presentations as found in the NT i.e. the gospel of the kingdom, the gospel of the grace of God and the everlasting gospel, One Gospel as you present them is a curse, disobedience to the commandment in 2Tim 2:15 is a sin and puts upon you that curse. At best you lose rewards at worse you are not saved but only God can judge you on that point.

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