The Compete word of God? Paul verses James?

This post is a testimony to the purity and the clarity of God’s word as testified to and defended by The Gospel According to the Gospel.  This testimony comes in contrast to what is preached in other Christian circles concerning the conflict between James and Paul.  These other Christian influences have separated into two different camps in radical opposition to each other.  They have settled for the Compete Word of God.  But the testimony to the purity of the gospel that is defended and expounder on here at The Gospel According to the Gospel doesn’t divide the gospel of scripture into two opposing theologies.  Rather The Gospel According to the Gospel shows the unity of the gospel of scripture as the Complete Word of God.  Sadly, even with the testimony of the harmonization of two opposing theologies, it is the gospel the church refuses to believe.

At odds in the church is the doctrine of works and the doctrine of grace.  One part of the body of Christ teaches that works has nothing to do with our position before God, for it is by grace that we are saved.  They give us the testimony of scripture.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.[1]

They boldly defend what Paul has written, they repeat over and over again it is not of works but grace we are saved.  And so they should for our imputed righteousness is by grace alone.

On the other side of the coin we have those who say faith alone is not enough to justify a man.  They quote scripture accurately that confirms this.

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.[2]

They boldly defend what James has written, they repeat over and over again that faith without deeds is dead.  And so they should for man is not justified by faith only.

So here we have what appears to be two hugely monumentally apposing doctrines of scripture resulting in the Compete Word of God..  The churches lack of understanding concerning its own hope of salvation and the covenant God gave Abraham brings into question the perfect word and testimony of God. 

Due to this lack of understanding the Calvinist circles their wagons around Paul and vigorously fights off any opposing ideas of grace alone.  They assume they are only fighting off Arminianism but the truth is, they are battling against what scripture clearly teaches.  They twist and contort or ignore this word of God from James to defend their doctrine based on half of the whole council of God.  They are the home team in the Compete Word of God.

Due to the lack of understanding and teaching by the Calvinist the Arminianist in their own lack of understanding circle their wagons around James.  Arminianism fights off grace to defend works and makes it look like they are supporting a salvation based on works.  They marginalize a fundamental truth concerning our faith and this is, it is by grace.  They are the visiting team in the Compete Word of God.

There is a huge chasm that exist in Christianity today because neither side has taken the whole council of God rejecting the Complete Word of God.  Nor do they understand what the gospel we find in our scriptures testify to.  As testimony of the validity of The Gospel According to the Gospel as the whole council of God, these two apposing views will be brought into one gospel as scripture declares it.  The dividing wall of hostility of man’s doctrines will give way to the gospel found in scripture, the Complete Word of God, within the context and example of the covenant that God made with our father Abraham as taught in our New Testament by our gospel writers.

We will discover that what God has done for Abraham and his descendents is no different that what He has done for us.  And we will further discover what Hebrews testifies to.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.[3]

That is our gospel was preached to those at Mt. Sinai as well as to us.  We will discover what is testified to in the New Testament of the gospel Paul preached when it says of him, when he finally made it to Rome, that he preached from the Law of Moses and the prophets.

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.[4]

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Me against all Christendom (exhibit two)

It is almost unthinkable for us to realize that an entire people of God can miss what God has given to us.  That we can miss what He has spoken to us and instead go off on a tangent that the Lord never intended for us.  While doing this we will invoke God’s name and cloak ourselves in the authority of scripture as God’s messengers to the lost.  Obedience to the ordinances of these tangents will be required, if one is to be considered His.  Yet in all this we only chase a tangent and totally miss as a whole what God has spoken to us.

Again I advocate this is what we as the church have done.  I advocate we are on tangent that looks like the gospel, but instead is another gospel, which is no gospel at all.  But in order to get you to stop and consider this possibility I need to show you that this is not impossible for a people to do.  In exhibit one we looked at what Jesus taught.  In exhibit two we will look at the tangent of the people in Jesus’ day.

Jesus came into adulthood at a time when the leaders of God’s people had ordnances to work out righteousness instead of being imputed righteousness.  They had stayed away from the righteousness that God imputed to Abraham and his descendants for the tangent of righteousness through works.

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:[1]

Who was preaching this in the days of Jesus?  What leaders of the people defended righteousness by faith as given to them through the covenant given to Abraham?  None, they as a whole had followed a tangent instead of the gospel announced to Abraham or spoken at Mt. Sinai as declared to us in the book of Hebrews.

Until John, where was the message of repentance unto the forgiveness of sins.  Instead the people had the message from their leaders that they need to earn there righteousness.  And they were not righteous until they lived like the leaders, in perfect self righteousness. 

Yet this message of repentance is not a new message. 

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  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?[2]

This message was simply tossed to the wayside for another tangent.  No longer was it the gospel of repentance and turning from their transgressions to become holy, but the adherence to the letter of the Law to make them holy.  The people of God had abandoned the word of God for their tangent.

So blind were they in their tangent, they missed the messiah.  They the people of God who had the enlightenment, let slip from their presence the very King of Life because their knowledge of God did not include the knowledge of the gospel of the Law and the prophets.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;[3]

I advocate we too have a knowledge of God today, but not a knowledge of God based on the Law and the prophets, nor based on our New Testament and what it says about the gospel given in Advance to Abraham.  We have been led astray by another gospel that we support from scripture, but our gospel ignores what scripture teaches about our gospel.

I have again given historical evidence that a people of God as a whole can get it wrong.  We can leave the gospel for what seems like the message of the gospel for another gospel.  Just as the number of adherences didn’t make the past tangents valid in God’s eyes, neither do the number of those who adhere to the tangent we follow today.

So today I say wake up church and follow the true gospel of our faith.  Give up your tangent, because as a whole the people of God have it wrong.  Seek out God while He yet may be found.  Then let it be us against all Christendom.

[1] Romans 4:11

[2] Ezekiel 18:30-31

[3] Romans 1:1-3

God says tomato, we say tomahtoe

In the church we teach believers in Christ are no longer in condemnation.  We believe we have been set free from the law of sin and death.  We recognize the Law could not bring about the righteousness we need to stand before a Holy God.  God also understanding this sent His Son in human form to be a sin offering for us, and this sets us free from the law of sin and death.  We rejoice that now the righteous requirements of the Law are fully met in us.

But what is the situation of the believer who can have this hope in them?  Is it as some teach, that it is for all believers in Christ? Or is conditionally for believers in Christ?

God says tomato, when He by the Holy Spirit speaking through scripture says, the righteous requirements of the Law are met in those who do not live according to the sinful nature but live by the Spirit.  When He says there is no condemnation for those who do not live after the flesh.  God in His word, the teaching of Paul, says this hope is conditional upon producing works according to our faith, just as James teaches.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.[1]

But we say tomahtoe, when we teach it is not conditional, that just because a believer doesn’t live like a believer, it doesn’t make him not a believer.  Or to put in another context, if your child disobeys you do they cease to be your child?  We instead tell the believers, just because one does not live obedient like a believer, doesn’t mean they are not saved, they just are not filling their job description.

God says tomato, when He by the Holy Spirit speaking through scripture says, believers are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit.  If by the Spirit then not by the sinful nature.  The evidence of the Spirit living in us in not being controlled by this sinful nature.  If we still live by the sinful nature and not by the Spirit of Christ we do not belong to Christ.  Further evidence this hope is conditional for the believer.  Again not only supporting what James wrote, but John the Baptist also that we need to produce fruit in accordance with our repentance.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.[2]

But we say tomahtoe, when we teach again, there is nothing conditional for a believer, that a person salvation is not based on their walk of obedience to the Lord.  When we misapply scripture and say it is not by works but by grace that we have been saved so that no one can boast.  Ignoring completely that those who love Christ obey Him.

God says tomato, when He by the Holy Spirit speaking through scripture says, that we need to not believe in vain in order to be saved.  We need to hold firmly to what is preached in scripture or our belief in Christ will have been for nothing.  The Holy Spirit through Paul is saying this to us today.  If we do not remain in what is taught in Paul’s doctrine we have believed in vain.  This doctrine agrees with James, John the Baptist, Christ and the rest of the whole of scripture.

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain..[3]

We say tomahtoe, when we teach that we are saved, and once saved always saved, there is no ifs, ands or buts about it.  There is no such thing as a believer believing in vain.  We teach this scripture is for the person who thought they were saved, and had evidences in their life they were saved, but they were not really saved at all,as if it were our call to say.  There is never any warning in scripture for the true believer, we say.  Even though Paul taught the righteous requirements of the Law are met in those who live by the Spirit and not in sinful nature, we free men by our teachings to live a sinful nature by our doctrine of salvation.  They have no awareness that God has said tomato and we keep teaching tomahtoe.

So go ahead keep on saying tomahtoe, tomahtoe, tomahtoe.  But God still says tomato.

[1] Romans 8:1-4

[2] Romans 8:9

[3] 1Corinthians 15:2

What would John the Baptist say today?

Those in the Calvinist camp are very adamant about their election and calling.  To them their knowledge of God’s predestination is an immovable foundation to their assurance that they are saved and this is completely based upon God’s sovereign will.  The strict Calvinist hold to the understanding that they have absolutely nothing to do with their salvation, that there is no free will involved. 

So what would John the Baptist come and preach to us today who have be called, who have been elected by God, who God foreknew?  What would John the Baptist preach to us today, who say we are secure in our predestination, calling and election? 

I know a group of people who like us have the promise of adoption as sons.  I know a group of people who like us have the divine glory.  I know a group of people like us who have the covenants, old and new.  I know a group of people like us who worship God.  I know a group of people like us who had the promises of God and unlike us could brag the linage of Christ.

For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.  Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.[1]

I know a group of people who like us took for granted their calling and election.  I know a group of people like us who thought their place in God’s calling, His promises to them, their adoption of sons, and their linage made it impossible for them to be separated from God.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.[2]

So what would John the Baptist in the spirit of Elijah say to us today who put our confidence in our calling and election?

You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?  Produce fruit in accordance with your repentance.  And do not think you can say to yourselves, “We are guaranteed our position by predestined and election.”  I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up those predestined by election.  The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

The Scribes and Pharisees took for granted their position and calling by God and felt eternally secure.  We have nothing over the people of Israel when it comes to our election and calling.  We too have to produce fruit in order to have a hope of salvation.  God foreknowing us, His calling and His election of is no guarantee of eternal security.  Nor does it take away our free will.  It didn’t take away the free will of those in John’s day and it doesn’t take away the free of us today.

In my advocating of the gospel, I have been defending the position that we have a hope of salvation.  I have been told by others that we hope for nothing because we are predestined, called and elected and therefore saved, and this without any freewill on our part.  I have advocated in my book The Gospel According to the Gospel we have freewill and a valid part to play in our hope of salvation.  That we are not saved and our freewill decisions will impact our receiving our promise of salvation. 

Is this anything different than what we see John saying to those of his day that were the called election?  No it is not.  By your freewill produce fruit in keeping with your repentance.  The Scribes and Pharisees blew it bad with their own version of Calvin.  Do we really what to follow in their footsteps?

[1] Romans 9:3-5

[2] Matthew 3:7-10