Christian Looks at Scripture and Salvation

My occasionally-frequently commenting friend Dick Martin is back in the comboxes. Rather than let the commentary stand there with Romans 6:3-9, I thought I’d pull it out and respond here. From Wednesday:

This passage is talking to those who have put their faith and trust is the finish work of Jesus. By Faith we can receive the Promise of Everlasting Life. for when Jesus Died He died in Your Place. He died for those who’s smallest sin would keep them out of Heaven. Verse 11 say’s that “we are to consider ourselves Dead to sin, but alive to God (IN CHRIST) Jesus. This is the massage that the living need to hear until it gets down in their spirit and they will know that they know, that they know and be assured of having already been accounted for Righteousness. glory; glory; glory. Thank you Jesus. He is Coming Soon.

Many of my relatives were and are evangelical Protestants. So this line of thinking is familiar to me. I don’t want to dwell on what trips up many others, including some Christians, the notion that God bars heaven, somehow, for that “smallest” sin. Sin can be a fixation for Catholics and Protestants alike.

Instead, I’d just like to point out what a modern approach is represented here, namely the one that seeks to “know” salvation.

From earlier today:

This is speaking about your putting to death your Old sinful Nature you were born with.   Baptism is bringing Life into your dead ( to God) Spirit.  If you Have Jesus you Have LIFE. With Out Jesus you do not have LIFE. Born again means your Spirit becomes alive (plugged  into His Life ad Power.) how are dead in your trespasses and SINs.  The scriptures say, “If you believe in your heart and confess with you mouth, the Lord Jesus and who he is, you shall be Saved.  Believe and confess= eternal Life. Everyone has to do this ( Individually ). has to comprehend it and to reason it.

My skepticism on this line of thought has been crystallizing as I’ve been reading Evangelii Gaudium and more materials on a Christian approach that more deeply incorporates evangelization and discipleship.

Those two pillars are supposedly hallmarks of American Protestantism, especially the strain that led from mission to megachurch. But one thing that strikes me as a big problem across the board (for Catholics and Protestants alike) is a focus on a service model of Christianity. There is a minority slice of the People of God who exist (and are hired) to serve and service a membership. The largest portion of Christians are on the receiving end of goods and services. Bible studies, children’s babysitting education, music, preaching, counseling at lower rates than psychology, wedding prep, funerals, a charity to lower one’s taxes, etc.. And to be sure, most of this servicing work is good and needed work. But I don’t think it gets at the core mission of Christianity. And our Bible-based friends like Mr Martin are not immune.

According to today’s formula, a Christian can become a finished product by completely ignoring the core evangelical commandment of the Lord:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you … (Matt 28:19-20a)

The more I read and reflect on this and review documents and books on evangelization, the more I’m convinced that this vector will be absolutely key for third millennium Christianity. I think it will leave behind older outdated notions of cultural Catholicism. And probably some of the dead-ends of our Protestant sisters and brothers.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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43 Responses to Christian Looks at Scripture and Salvation

  1. Dick Martin says:

    Todd; You need to understand the big picture. The old testament is a history of God’s dealing with man. Showing different ways of man trying to save himself — Adam – Failed; Noah- flood failed ; Abraham- failed ; exiled into Egypt failed. Moses -Ten Commandments Failed– etc. Old testament proved that Man could not save himself.
    Hebrews 8:6-7.
    But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
    For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Unfortunately the Old testament should have Ended with the Gospels. The New Covenant should have begun with Acts ( the Church age.) Jesus was God in flesh during His life on the earth. He only knew what He learned from studying and spending time with the Father and what was revealed to Him. Jesus gave up His Godly attributes. He was tempted; if He was totally God what advantage would He Have to live a sinless life. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit. He GREW in stature and Wisdom. Spent a lot of time in prayer.
    Philippians 2:5-8
    Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
    Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
    who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
    but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
    And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. The Law came thru Moses, but Grace came thru Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the Law and it is only in effect at present for the unsaved. The Born Again One’s are not under the Law. but under Grace. We are righteous in God’s sight. God made Jesus to be sin for us that we could be the Righteousness of God in Christ. The great exchange.. Reckon yourself Dead to sin but alive to God.
    Hebrews 12:23-24(NKJV)
    to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
    to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.

    • Todd says:

      Thanks for the comment 11 months later. I think I get the big picture as a Christian, a disciple, and a divinity degree. The New Testament likewise gives examples where people tried and failed to save themselves. I would say it’s all about grace.

      But your knowledge of Old Testament failure is seriously faulty. God certainly lacked no active agency, and the witness of many OT figures, especially the prophets, showed time and again people could not save themselves.

      Have a happy Lent.

  2. Dick Martin says:

    I waited 11 months to see if there were any others who would comment on your comments. Since salvation is by faith and grace and NOT by WORKS. Anything Man does is as filthy rags and can’t measure up to God’s standard. Jesus is the Propitiation for our sins. Once you accept His sacrifice ( Once, Forever, For all). there is no need for any additional offering needed. Can’t find that in the Old Testament. God’s LAST WILL and Testament . What is in His will for your Inheritance. It is necessary once the Testator dies that the will can be executed. No contesting is available. God does not renege. No one was ever justified by keeping the Law. The Law was not made for a Righteous man. The Law produces sin.
    Romans 8:2
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. I am FREE indeed.
    This is security — John 5:24
    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    • Todd says:

      “Anything Man does is as filthy rags and can’t measure up to God’s standard.”

      You show a lack of knowledge of Christianity with this one. Looks like your own interpretation on this, Dick. Where in the Bible is “filthy rags” exactly?

      And by asking that question, let me be clear: I am not advocating for a pelagianism, but rather a deeper sense of cooperation with God’s will. Jesus did say that if a believer had faith the size of a mustard seed she could tell a mountain to uproot itself and be hurled into the sea. And likewise, his affirmation for his disciples to go forth into the world, preach, and baptize. Or are you saying both you and I are an inheritance of filth because Jesus didn’t appear to us personally as he did the apostles?

      I really recommend getting your theology from a divinity-trained preacher, and not some crazy-pants internet site.

    • John McGrath says:

      I prefer the letter of James to yours.

  3. Dick Martin says:

    Todd; I am surprised you had not heard of Filthy Rages.
    Isaiah 64:6
    But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. We have our Righteousness but it is unclean compared to God’s standard of Righteousness; ( Jesus’s righteousness ) is what we have to possess to enter Heaven. Our’s is like filthy rages. Our BEST is at the bottom of things that please Him.
    Philippians 3:7-9
    But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
    Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
    and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; Everything I have ever shared with you was out of Love; backed by God’s word which should never be controversial .. Jesus exchanged His ability for our inability. This is undefiled Truth.

    • Todd says:

      I’ll take the words of Jesus over the particular context of a lament of Isaiah: Matthew 17:20, and especially John 14:12, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these …”

      All because of grace, but far from filthy rags.

  4. Dick Martin says:

    John; You prefer What? Verse 1 ” GREETINGS”. or what? Yours is not a Name I recognize.

  5. Dick Martin says:

    The Bible speaks of Dead Works of which we are to repent of;” Works we think pleases God before we are Saved”. God does not see these works because you are not His. Then there are Good Works ” after we become Sons and daughters of the most High God”. These Works please God because they are being done by His Children. Both kinds of Works are identical ; the only difference is you have JESUS being ONE WITH YOU.

    • Todd says:

      Actually, we are God’s. We are part of Creation, and as such, we are his from the very beginning. God certainly sees everything–there is no limit to God’s sensation of the universe. I think you are also incorrect about works pleasing God. The New Testament emphasizes love–the choice to love because we have been forgiven so much.

      God seems to care less about what we do, and more about how we fulfill the Mission of his Son.

      I think you are on the right track, Dick. But you have some strange ideas about Jesus and Christianity. First you discount the Old Testament, then you cite Isaiah 64 out of context to support a largely silly and off-topic notion.

    • Amber says:

      I love that! That was BEAUTIFUL! 🙌🏼🔥🕊

  6. Dick Martin says:

    How can you be God’s and Satan’s children at the same time? This is what being born again is all about. ” You are of your Father Satan”; Children of wrath , who walk according to the Prince of the air. Jesus is called your Redeemer. Redeemed from what? Jesus bought you back who were dead in your trespasses and sin. If you are not Born Again you are still in your trespasses and sins. and if you die there you will miss Heaven. There’s no other way. no amount of your work can satisfy God’s just requirements. Just agree with God and don’t say there is another way. there isn’t. God has made a statement about the Old testament; you should agree with Him. See Chapter 8&9 of Hebrews. This IS the inspired Word of God.

    • Todd says:

      Being born again is about Christianity. Being a child of God is about a few different things. On a natural level, every human being is a child of God through Adam. A child can still make a decision contrary to a parent’s wishes and yet remains a child. Same with a living person. See Luke 15:11-32: God never disowns. A person must make an explicit choice against the Father, and even then. the welcome mat would always be at hand for a returning daughter or son.

  7. Dick Martin says:

    “Every human being is a child of God through Adam”. (Not) No wonder you are always Off on your answers to the well known Facts of scripture. After Adam’s fall; Everyone born of the flesh has a Spirit which is dead to God but alive to Satan. You have no connection to your Heavenly Father until you receive Jesus as your Savior. If you never do this you will end up in Hell.
    John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
    2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded.
    Ephesians 2:2-3 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. You need to be Born again after your fleshly birth ( born with the nature of your father; Satan. Born Again from above in which you old sinful nature dies and you receive the nature of your heavenly Father God thru Faith in which Jesus Redeemed eternal life for you. If everyone was a child of God then we would not have needed a Redeemer.

    • Todd says:

      Your premise is off from the very beginning. Human beings are created by God. God is the Father of all, and to a degree, all people are children of God. Your first citation has no connection to the discussion. Your second refers to those who practice a degree of idolatry in Corinth. Your third treats the sins of people, but in no way contradicts that sinners remain children of God. The son of Luke 15:11ff remained a son, despite his insistence on being given an inheritance, and essentially declaring his Father dead. Your fourth citation applies to Jesus’ conflict with the scribes and Pharisees.

      Dick, your problem is that you don’t seem to really know your Bible. I know it will irk you, but it seems clear to me you misunderstand and misrepresent the Scriptures, and you seem unable to distill your knowledge into a conversational context.

    • amber says:

      That was good!

  8. Dick Martin says:

    Luke is a story of a son who was the Father’s son and like born again sons can never loose his sonship. We’re discussing the human race. Adam was created in God’s image and likeness but fell and He surely Died Spiritually as promised. everyone who was born after the fall of Adam was dead spiritually and are called sons of darkness, wicked born into this world with the satanic nature. Very basic. obviously you don’t know the progression of man’s conditions. God promises that all believers will be shown the truth and be lead by the Holy Spirit. Your inability to see the simple truth tells me you not born again. the basic teaching about your old nature and being changed to our new nature. explains our fallen condition and the need for a change. the message is not a complicated one . Simple and understandable. Unless your perishing.
    1 Corinthians 1:18
    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    1 Corinthians 2:13-14
    These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Stop disagreeing with God.

    • Todd says:

      Luke 15:11 is far more than a story. It is a parable that illustrates the relationship between human beings and God.

      I’m not disagreeing with God. I’m disagreeing with you. Those who are born again are indeed daughters and sons of God. But they are not God, nor do they speak for God or usurp the role of the Last Judge. That is basic Christianity. Judge not …

      Believer to believer you and I can disagree. But we judge at our own peril.

    • amber says:

      I really liked that!

  9. Dick Martin says:

    The Rule of Judgment is already set. If you live by the Law You will be judged by the Law. The Bible says that NO one was ever justified by the law. The Law always brings Judgment == Eternal Death. The Law was not made for a Righteous man. The Law was made just strict enough that everyone will offend it. Jesus put an end of the Law of sin and eternal Death. Jesus brings MERCY; Soooo Those who put their Faith in Jesus shall NOT come into judgment but pass from death into Life. Those who live under the Law are judged already. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has already SET judgment. 1 John 5 say ” If you have Jesus you have Life; if you don’t have Jesus you don’t have Life”. It’s up to each person to fit into which to chose. Choose LIFE. I am not Judging ;I am quoting God. No peril. I am trying to keep you out of eternal suffering and torment. It’s a personal decision, make it tonight in the darkness of your prayer closet.

    • Todd says:

      I quote: “Your inability to see the simple truth tells me you not born again.” How do you know? I suggest this is two believers in disagreement. You backtrack into the “Law,” which is the basis of Judaism by the way, and not the basis for Christian faith. I’m saying it’s basic Bible: we are all inevitably children of God, just by being human and by God being the Creator. You suggest Luke 15:11-32 is just a story. I say it’s a parable and communicates God’s authentic feeling toward sinners. I’m not suggesting you are not a believer. Just inexperienced and less-than-knowledgeable about the Bible.

      I appreciate your earnestness, Dick. But you are not Jesus. You have no place to judge. You can harbor doubts about me and other persons. But that’s as far as it goes. Prudence suggests you keep these to yourself and try, through dialogue and especially listening to see why a Bible-oriented and believing Christian in ministry would disagree with you. It is very unlikely either of us is aligned with evil. It is far more likely we are having a simple disagreement.

  10. Dick Martin says:

    No I am not Jesus or God but I believe the bible says and Jesus says I am the nearest thing to being one with the Father ,Son, Holy Spirit, and I believe it by Faith. Quote:
    John 17:9-11
    “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
    Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. I was not Judging only quoting what God says about Judgment. ( In concrete).

    • Todd says:

      So, that you are “the nearest thing to being one with (God)” empowers you to pass judgment on people. Nice. What if I say the same thing? But what if I withhold a public judgment on you? Or if my judgment is that you are a good believer, but mostly misguided on interpreting the Bible? What happens then? One of us gets in and the other stays out, all due to a misunderstanding?

  11. Atheist Max says:

    “But we judge at our own peril.”

    Harsh judgement of others is a requirement according to Paul.
    Jesus’ absolutism is necessarily judgmental. Just saying.

    It is important to note that even if Heaven exists and we somehow judge correctly along the narrow way, nobody can really be there.
    Heaven and Hell are self refuting hypotheses. Heaven excludes too many souls. Almost nobody will be there. And Hell is too ridiculous to discuss.

    • Todd says:

      Wrong on Paul, I think. I follow Jesus, and feel quite satisfied to leave judgment to him. I think you also incorrectly conflate the narrow way and heaven.

      • Atheist Max says:


        I’m not proof texting here.
        Judging others harshly is baked into Christianity:

        “do not associate with anyone…if he is guilty..”
        (1 Corinthians 5:11)

        “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

        “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

        “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 1:10)

        “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
        “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
        “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)
        “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

        “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

        “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

        Jesus chimes in:
        “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)

        There are dozens of such examples.
        Traditionally, Catholics cherry pick around all of this judging and pretend it isn’t there – until they need to hypocritically justify why somebody ‘deserves their rotten fate’.

        Is it Christian to judge people harshly? Of course it is.

      • Todd says:

        Let me write with more clarity: judging is not Christian. It may be a human urge, and Christians may practice it, but it is wrong. And you can quote me on that the next time you draw up a list of texts out of context.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Context doesn’t fix it: “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ keep away from any brother who…”
        Reading the whole chapter does not fix it. The command requires judging someone “who” does something wrong and “keeping away” from him.

        “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” – Jesus (Matthew 18:15)
        To tell someone, “you are answerable to this” is a judgement call.

        Yes, Jesus also says, “Judge not that ye be not judged” but it is incoherent unless Jesus is directing this only to his followers. To those who are not his followers any amount of judgement appears to be fine. He says, “Do not give pearls to swine”
        He is commanding his followers to make a harsh judgement to those who are not worthy.

        Judgment may not be Christian according to you. You are welcome to believe so.
        But close examination shows incoherence at best and harsh judgement at worst.
        Since judging others is part of the Christian philosophy (as I believe) it is in conflict with itself and everyone else. It is no accident that this stuff fails to function as a social system – it works best in small groups where Baptists, Protestants, Catholic and Pentecostals can pray each other to hell then go to lunch together – but real peace requires ignoring the text or rewriting it to comply with peace.

  12. Todd says:

    Next time you visit another Christian site, quote me when the topic comes up. Tell the whole story. I dare you.

  13. Dick Martin says:

    We are to Judge those who are not in line with God’s purpose for the unsaved world and those who are not on track with their destiny. Only the Born Again have the Holy Spirit abiding within which leads us into all truth.
    1 Corinthians 2:15
    But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

    • Todd says:

      Ah yes, Christian exceptionalism. I know it well. A righteous person, unchained by common practices of charity or courtesy or the attempt to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission, can go blundering about online, offering insults and generally crowing about their superiority because they have Jesus, and anybody who disagrees with them doesn’t. How many converts does that net you, Dick? Is part of your destiny that you get to tell people to go to hell?

    • Atheist Max says:

      Dick Martin,

      At least you try to adhere to your Bible. That is something I can understand.
      I’ve never understood people who go into a Mexican Restaurant, order Mexican food from the Mexican menu and leave talking about how wonderful the Japanese Sushi was.
      A Christian without a Scripture is claiming something that is not on the menu.

  14. Atheist Max says:


    “I dare you.”
    No problem. I find it curious when clerics hide from these terrible texts.
    The *personal relationship* with Jesus appears to be a loophole to avoid practicing what Jesus preached – because those preachments are quite awful.

    I separate the person from the belief. People have rights to believe as they wish – but the ideas they hold, those must be challenged.

  15. charlesincenca says:

    Max, you are a gentleman and formidable witness for your cause. That said, where else but the internet do you practice your missio to challenge others’ ideas? Do you “go out to the world” like the LDS and their bikes and ties, or the Millerites with their briefcases and periodicals knocking on doors? Todd, myself and others likely here are in the truly public square on a daily basis, proffering a very different Christ than your proof texts reduces. Your fellow travelers spend their missio time apparently trying to litigate or legislate our “ideas” out of sight of the public by challenging crèche scenes, framed Ten Commandments in various places, or changing imprinting on coinage, silly stuff that. Do you do or endorse that? Or are you at your best (like our president) by dwelling with the realm of the conceptual in your own intellect?
    Mind you, I’m not claiming the higher ground here by saying I’m out there and in it. Our Church is in deep kimchee with or without us. But I don’t see a better way out of all the morass than Christ on His Cross and Resurrected. YMMV.

    • Atheist Max says:

      “I don’t see a better way out of all the morass than Christ on His Cross and Resurrected.”

      And you have every right to believe it. I don’t question that at all.

      My initial hope in my interactions with ‘Catholic Sensibility’ blog was to get a clearer view of why Christianity held me for so many years by hearing the points of view of clerics, deacons, nuns and other people steeped in the life of religion.
      I grew up feeling very comfortable with priests and nuns and perhaps that is why I found this an interesting place to dip in and ask these questions. My favorite uncle is a retired priest but conversation is stilted – I don’t want him to make him uncomfortable. It isn’t necessary to explore this stuff with him if there are others who won’t take it personally.

      I deeply respect people. I care about empathy and compassion.
      It is difficult to separate ideas from those people who claim their ideas are their identity.
      How does one talk to a Muslim, for example, about religion if simple questions or challenges to claims are seen as a personal attack?
      I felt the need to explore this because I am not a different person for losing belief. I feel the same as I always did – my identity has not changed. The idea of Christianity unexpectedly slipped away – like an old familiar jacket lost on a beach.
      Yet, I remain intact – and this is curious and unexpected.

    • Atheist Max says:

      “Where else but the internet?”

      I’m not out to convert people away from religion. Especially at Catholic Sensibility.
      But I do worry tremendously about religion (all religion) when it is aligned with the state. Muslim, Christian, Hindu – it doesn’t matter – the wall of separation must be kept strong.
      Catholics are not usually the problem in that regard, except on matters of women’s rights.
      But Evangelical denominations have pushed anti-science and I am among those who hope to see this reversed.

  16. Max, I thank you for your consistency and honesty. You state you’re “WORRIED TREMENDOUSLY’ about religion aligned with the state. One, if you’re a confident agnostic/atheist, in the immortal words of (Mad Magazine’s) Alfred P. Newman, “What? Me worry?” It seems to me that an AA would recover from any worry quite handily, as they expect nothingness as an existential endgame. Secondly, you should at the least be assuaded by the conduct and utterances of our current president, as he takes GREAT PAINS to distance state from religion to the point of selective policy decisions that seem to arbitrarily mitigate transgressions in favor of “state.”

    • Atheist Max says:

      “as they expect nothingness as an existential endgame.”

      Not exactly. I hope to leave a better world for my children and grandchildren.
      Caring for others and for the sustainability of the environment I leave behind is not ‘nothingness’.

      But I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for listening.

  17. Dick Martin says:

    Todd; You could have apologized For saying I have a lack of Knowledge of Christianity about my “Filthy Rags” comment. Where in the bible is that? My own interpretation ; should have used a Divinity trained Preacher, not some crazy pants internet sight. It means exactly what it says. Our self Righteousness is as filthy Rags. You can’t get into heaven on your own works. Only Jesus lived a perfect life and he willingly exchanged your sins for his Righteousness. You are dead in your trespasses and sins. No way out of your dilemma on you own. All have sinned and fallen short of the kingdom of God. Your whole comment was OUT of context. Feb. 20th.

    • Todd says:

      You yourself have discounted all the Old Testament, so why are you citing Isaiah 64, a community lament reflecting that God’s chosen people have sinned and come back to God in sorrow and penitence? Isaiah (in 25:6-8) also looks to a time when God will provide for “all peoples,” and that he will remove our “reproach.”

      And without question, Jesus predicts that those with faith, those prepared to cooperate with grace, will indeed facilitate God’s great deeds.

      You keep harping on the danger of pelagianism, but I don’t see anyone advocating that error here. You and I agree on grace. To be a more effective and fruitful Christian you seriously need to pay more attention in your discussions. You are welcome to post here anytime you wish. But as I feel inclined, I will point out your errors.

  18. Dick Martin says:

    Old Testament: I am just quoting what I read. There are splashes of Grace, Righteousness, Faith all through the old Testament . Also People trying to work their way to heaven. The New Testament is based on better promises, and Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant. If the first would have been found faultless there would have no need for a second. God has made the first Obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. For I (GOD) will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember NO MORE. Jesus paid the satisfying price God required ONCE, FOR EVERYONE, FOREVER. Jesus’s righteousness was put to our account (Imputed) to us. But people still live under the Law- which brings sin and condemnation and the need to confess and make sacrifice for payment of which Jesus already provided for us. Acts Chap. 9 shows the need for nothing + Jesus = everything. The new Testament state a New and different way to attain Heaven. Grace and Mercy both are only a God given benefit we receive as a FREE GIFT. You have to only rely on what Jesus accomplished for you. God is very narrow minded; it’s my way or your way. Life or Death. I am not telling anyone to go to hell. God is. When you point out my errors you are arguing with God. Watch what you say; for out of your mouth comes what’s is your spirit. Study the statements of ” IN Christ, IN Him etc.” It’s no longer I that lives but Jesus who live in me.

  19. Did someone resuscitate Fred Phelps while I was away?

  20. Dick Martin says:

    This is the inspired; unchangeable Word of God Speaking. He loves the person but hates the sin; just like any sin.
    Romans 1:24-27
    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
    who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
    Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    Romans 1:32
    who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

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