Reason 836 Why the U.S. is Dying and the Church is Already Dead.

God's willIt has come to my attention that there are Christians on Facebook that are advocating that we, as believers, need to be content with God’s will to have Hussien Obama as our President.  They actually advocate that because the man is in office that God wants him there and therefore his actions in office are the will of God!

So are we to take the Calvinist (Reform Theology) view of things, that man has no free will and God decides everything before time began.  That men are only actors who have to live out what God has already set in stone as far as their decisions and outcomes.  Therefore, it is God’s will that Obama is in office and all of his liberal, progressive, communist ideologies are what God wills?  Are we to give praise to God for the man the we have in office and give thanks that he is continually attacking the founding principles and documents of this country, because it is God’s will? Continue reading

Jacob the lying robot or man? contribution

Internetelias commented on my recent post “Jacob the lying robot or man” that I thought was such a contribution that is worth taking a closer look at.

She brought up the point that God told Rebekah that the older will serve the younger.

“The birthright belonged to Jacob from birth. God had told Rebecca that the ‘elder shall serve the younger.’

Ge 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. “

Scripture does show Rebekah’s knowledge of who has the birthright and she acted on it. 

But at the same time let it be known that the plan was brought about by deception.  Otherwise why the impersonation of Esau to a blind man?  There was a reason Isaac was visibly shaken.  He was tricked into believe what was not true, even when he questioned it.

But as internetelias has pointed out, God has His plan let it be known at birth.  Instead of Isaac seeing this for what it was, he still intended to bless Esau, so Jacob would have to serve Esau.  The better plan would have been Isaac to tell Esau he must obey the word of the Lord.  Instead the story is told as it is.

The point being, we as fallible people can really get things out of whack in our free will choices, but God is sovereign and His will be done, even in spite of us.

Please check out her comment to the post for her full opinion.

Jacob the lying robot or man?

We know Jacob as a man who in his selfishness convinced his older brother to sell his birthright to him for a bowl of soup.  If it was Enron or Citibank or some other spited organization convincing the public of such an unbalanced manipulated trade, there would be pitchforks.  But this is what Jacob did.  He treated his brother evil for his own personal gain.  He definitely did not consider his brother in the deal, except how he may steal from him.

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.  And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.[1]

The deception didn’t stop there.  Rebekah told Jacob to obey her and do exactly as he was told.  She convinced Jacob to dress in Esau’s clothes and to wear the fur of animals so he can take the meal that Isaac asked of Esau in order to obtain blessing.

Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.[2]

So after a lot of lying and playing Isaac for the fool, Rebekah and Jacob pull off a risky stunt, to not do an uneven trade, but to out right steal what they had no right to.  What  they did was so wrong that Isaac, when he found out he had been lied to, shook violently.

Yet right after this, even in all his anger, Isaac blesses Jacob openly and without manipulation.  How is it now Isaac could bless his deceptive son without reservation?  What changed?

Believe it or not, the clincher of this story is God, even with all of man’s manipulation and free will to disrupt things, sees that His will done.  It is not that God desired His people to conduct themselves in such reprehensible ways, but God can and does use reprehensible people.  This story of lying, cheating, scheming and steeling is really a story about how God in all things works our His purpose in man.  Even though it appears that man is always making a mess of things.  Rejoice, for this speaks of our lives too!

God called one man, Abraham, by calling him out of the nation he and his family had dwelt in into a land of strangers.  God called him to the land of Canaan.  God made a covenant with Abraham that was to extend to all of Abraham’s descendants.  The covenant God made with Abraham was for God to be their God and they were to be His people.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.[3]

This covenant was sealed with sign in the flesh that all the male descendants of Abraham were to have on their bodies.

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.[4]

Paul speaks of this very sign in the flesh when he says it was a seal of the righteousness that was imputed to Abraham.  He also expounds how this righteousness might be imputed to others to.

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:[5]

We see in scripture that God has chosen one man and his descendants to be a priestly example to the gentiles in order for God to reveal Himself through the descendants of this one man.  It wasn’t to the people of Canaan or any other people that this covenant was given, but to a select linage that God wished to demonstrate His covenant of imputed righteousness.

This is why Ishmael was not part of the covenant.  He was not to be part of the vessel of God’s demonstrated grace and revelation to the world.  Now this is where we see Esau entering on the stage.

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:[6]

Now imagine being Isaac who had the covenant of his father Abraham confirmed to him by God.  Imagine Isaac who understands that God called his father to be special people that is set apart from the rest of the gentiles.  Now understand that Esau, as your oldest son, has brought into this covenant the people of the land that God has not called to be the vessel of His demonstrated grace of imputed righteousness.

How would you have responded knowing your son has not married within the bloodline of your family as Isaac himself was required?  Imagine your oldest son getting married to not one but two local gals.  In the eyes of man this has thrown the plan and covenant of God into turmoil.  Hittites are now going to be part of the covenant that God made with Abraham.

But man’s free will to sin and be sinful does not thwart God’s plans.  He shows His sovereignty not by, making us do His will in forced determinism (He makes us do everything He wants and we have no say, as if we are robots.)  Instead He lets us be us and He is so great and so sovereign that He still gets His will done.

Back to the story.  What would you do if your oldest son has blown it for the covenant and your youngest son is a manipulator and a thief?  And what ever would become of the covenant? 

After his anger passes, Isaac possible could have seen that God in all things still works our His will.  I think when he saw how it changed the failed situation of the covenant, I personally think he just accepted it.  He didn’t like what had happened but he understood it in context to the covenant and the uniqueness they were to have as a people, so he blessed Jacob.  Then he told him not marry any local girls but to marry from their family just as he was commanded to do by his father, Abraham.

[1] Genesis 25:30-31

[2] Genesis 27:8

[3] Genesis 17:7

[4] Genesis 17:11

[5] Romans 4:11

[6] Genesis 26:34

Disarming Calvinism (part three)

I have made the boast that I will disarm the notion of Calvinism which teaches that man has no free will.  That it is God’s calling only that determines His elect.  We all agree it is this elect that receives imputes righteousness from God.  But Calvinism is wrong when it states we do not have any part to play or any exercise of personal will in the matter.

I have stated that I will demonstrate from our New Testament that we do have free will.  That we do have a role and a choice in our calling and election.  I will disarm Calvinism’s doctrine that teaches men have no choice in their going to Heaven or Hell.

We learned in “Disarming Calvinism (part two)” that God made a covenant with Abraham and this covenant is, God is to be his God and he and his descendants after him are to be His people.  At this point we think that God simply made circumcision the sign of this covenant, mainly that they are God’s chosen people.  However the New Testament teaches us that circumcision was not simply a mark in the flesh that they were the people of God.  Instead our New Testament doctrine teaches us that circumcision is a sign in the flesh of the righteousness that God imputed to Abraham.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.[1]

We learned that this covenant that God gave to Abraham and the seal of righteousness was for all of his descendants.  Hence any male who was not circumcised was cut off from the people.  They were cut off from this blessing given to Abraham.  Yet now we as gentiles can be grafted into the family tree of Abraham and share in this imputed righteousness through Christ.

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.[2]

So now we too without the sign of imputed righteousness, that being circumcision, are credited righteousness.

This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”  The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.[3]

This is why, speaking of Israel, scripture teaches us that we like unnatural branches are grafted into the family of Abraham though Christ, while others who were part of that blessing of imputed righteousness were cut off.  Once we share in this imputed righteousness we qualify to be grafted in.  Those who by lack of faith and disobedience reject the blessing given to Abraham of imputed righteousness are cut off from this covenant, while we are now included.

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,[4]

So what has God done?  He has taken a whole nation of His people and credited them righteousness and put a seal in the flesh of their men.  God started His gospel message of imputed righteousness for His people starting with Abraham.  But why should this be surprising to us?  After all scripture teaches us that scripture announced to Abraham in advance our gospel.

The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[5]

Is not our gospel the good news of not having our sins held against us?  Is this what we find taught by David?

Of David. A maskil. Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.[6]

Understanding that God imputed to Abraham and his descendants righteousness that we are now grafted into, a whole new understanding on why God wanted to kill Moses for making light of His imputed righteousness for His people. 

But what have the people of the covenant done?  How have the people of His election treated His grace towards them and unmerited favor of righteousness?  They have trampled it and served foreign gods.  They have become worse than the nations that were before them.

God credited them righteousness but they for the most part trampled it under foot.  They in their free will have rejected the righteousness of God.  Since they did not submit to God’s righteousness by their own free will, they sought to establish their own, even though they were of the covenant of circumcision. 

Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.[7]

By their own free will rejecting God became manifest in them when they did not pursue the righteousness that comes by faith.  Rejecting what God had imputed to them they pursued their own righteousness by works, they stumbled over the stumbling stone.  Isn’t this the same trap we can fall into today as believers?

Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”[8]

What the Jewish nation did was to reject what was offered to them by God which was testified to by circumcision.  You can not reject what is not offered.  And again Paul says they did not pursue their righteousness by faith.  They unlike there father Abraham simple didn’t believe in the promise of righteousness that God had imputed to them.

They did not reject the offer of imputed righteousness, they rejected imputed righteousness after it was credited to them.  God had elected them all as a nation as a people as the children of Abraham.  But only a few go in.

[1] Romans 4:11

[2] Galatians 3:14

[3] Romans 4:22-24

[4] Romans 11:17

[5] Galatians 3:8

[6] Psalms 32:1-2

[7] Romans 10:3

[8] Romans 9:32

Disarming Calvinism (part two )

I have made a boast that I will disarm the notion of Calvinism that teaches God is committed to a people in that He has grace for them that is irresistible.  That is to say His justification once experienced is inescapable, for what man can escape God’s will?  Which one of us if God imputes His righteousness to us can escape His will?

I stated that I will demonstrate from our New Testament that God has let people who were imputed the same righteousness we have come to share in through Christ, fall into damnation.  I will demonstrate how this disarms Calvinism’s doctrine of Irresistible grace. 

I will demonstrate through the covenant God made with Abraham, men who were imputed righteousness have died in their sins.  That it is not simply rejecting God. It is not rejecting His “irresistible” grace, it is rejecting Him after He has imputed His righteousness to His people. 

This goes against everything we have come to believe about our gospel.  We think and teach that once a person is credited the righteousness that comes through Christ there is no tuning back, there is no struggle or resistance to His grace.  But this is not what we see demonstrated to us through scripture.

Scripture shows us that God made a covenant with Abraham to be their God and for them to be His people.  This includes not only Abraham but all of his descendants. 

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.[1]

Showing that God intended this covenant for literally all of Abraham’s descendants, God ordered that all males will have the sign of this covenant in their flesh.

This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.  You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.  For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner–those who are not your offspring.  Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.[2]

So the fact remains that the sign in their flesh is a sign of the everlasting covenant.  In fact any one who was not circumcised would not participate in this covenant.

Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”[3]

Now let us fast forward to the New Testament and learn what it teaches about this mandatory seal in the flesh.  Is this seal in the flesh only a physical sign as we attribute to it today, or is there something more?  The New Testament teaches that circumcision is a seal in the flesh of righteousness that Abraham had attributed to him by God.  Knowing that God is obligated to His WORD we know that this seal of righteousness was not just for Abraham but for his descendant also, even those bought for money, even us gentiles.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.[4]

This righteousness was so completely thorough even without Christ, our New Testament scriptures teach us that this righteousness was not imputed to them only but to us as well!

This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”  The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.[5]

This is why our New Testament scriptures teach that through Christ we share in the blessings given to Abraham.

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.[6]

It is through faith in Christ that we get to share in the righteousness imputed to Abraham and become his descendants.  We now in the Spirit become His children when we have the deposit of the spirit that is a testimony of the righteousness we have by faith.  For who can have the Spirit without this imputed righteousness?

We may want to worm and squiggle with the above truths taught to us in scripture.  For we do not want to admit that a nation of people have been given the same imputed righteousness that we now share in, but who have for the most part have rejected God.  Not only is His grace not irresistible, His imputed righteousness is not irresistible either. To argue differently will either argue contrary to the known history of Israel, or put you in the position to argue against our own spiritual adoption and our sharing in the righteousness imputed to Abraham and all of his descendants.

So which is it for you?  Argue against the known history of Israel?  Argue against the very promise and imputed righteousness we now share in with the rest of Abraham’s descendants through Christ?  Or do the better thing and accept what scripture teaches about our gospel and embrace what I have defended and proclaimed here at The Gospel According to the Gospel?  Well what say you?

[1] Genesis 17:7

[2] Genesis 17:10:13

[3] Genesis 17:14

[4] Romans 4:11

[5] Romans 4:22-24

[6] Galatians 3:14