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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:41 pm 
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Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income’. But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-17 NLT).


As we know, the Pharisees were members of a faction of Judaism that based their customs on a legalistic interpretation of the Old Testament. Their religion demanded strict and detailed practices which, according to them, would lead to holiness. Jesus called the Pharisees “hypocrites” because they had an “appearance” of righteousness, but their hearts were full of evil (Luke 11:43-44). The Pharisees thought that their traditions and interpretations made them more righteous than others and that they would gain God’s favour in this way. This did not turn out to be the case, as God allowed their religious system to be destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE.

The Pharisees had rules about extremely minimal things, such as tithing even the smallest herbs and numerous cleanliness rituals (Matthew 23:23). On one occasion, they were shocked because Jesus and his disciples didn’t wash their hands up to their elbows before eating, as was their custom (Mark 7:2-5; Matthew 15:2).

In the same way, many modern religious groups who claim to have the “truth”, despise or punish all those who do not agree with their particular rules or Biblical interpretations. These groups give great importance to formalities and appearances, criticizing the way people dress, shave or cut their hair, and scorning everyone who does not think like them or do what they say. Some of these groups refuse to speak to or greet those who do not follow their rules and even force family members of these “unrepentant sinners” to do the same, leading to unbearable heartache and pain.

Jesus, on the other hand, warned his followers to avoid becoming judgmental and legalistic. He said: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5) We should never forget these words if we really want to please God.

Jesus compared superficial and legalistic religion to a “rotten tree” that produces “worthless fruit”, that is to say, it makes the heart bitter and is no use to God (Matthew 7:15-23 NWT).

Jesus also reminded the legalists of his time what God had said to their forefathers: “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice” because “doing righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6a, Proverbs 21:3 NKJV, Matthew 9:13; Micah 6:6-8).

“Pure and genuine religion”

“What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world” (James 1:27). This means that genuine Biblical religion is not a denomination, and has nothing to do with rules and rituals. In fact, it consists of carrying out certain acts of mercy and kindness towards others, particularly the most vulnerable.

Consequently, Jesus didn’t give a list of rules when he explained how to identify his true disciples. He simply said: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).

“Love covers over a multitude of sins”

The reason why Jesus exalted love over rules is that he knew that God is the only one who is entitled to judge. To avoid legalism, we must love and forgive one another rather than judging each other. Of course, forgiveness doesn’t imply turning a blind eye and accepting sin; it is a response to repentance and recognition on the part of the sinner. Jesus gave us guidelines to resolve disputes between Christians; saying to his disciples: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17 NIV).

Of course, it goes without saying that this procedure refers to “faults” and “sins” and not criminal offenses such as murder, rape or child abuse.

Sadly, some religious groups twist Jesus’ words according to their legalistic viewpoint and impose cruel punishments on members who “refuse to listen” to the church. They shun “sinners” and even force family members to do the same, mistakenly assuming that 1st Century tax collectors received the same treatment. The truth is that it was impossible to avoid talking to a public official who collected taxes for the government.

Moreover, some cults and high control groups shun former members, thus preventing people from leaving the group as they risk losing contact with their closest family members and friends.

Another Bible verse that some legalistic religions often use to justify this practice is found in 1 Corinthians 5:11, which says: “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people”.

It is clear that neither this passage nor the previous one mention that we should shun the brother or sister who has “sinned”. Otherwise, how would it be possible to accomplish the Biblical purpose of discipline, which is to “admonish” and “restore” them? Paul clarifies this in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother”. In Galatians 6:1, he also writes: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently“.

How can we consider ourselves as “spiritual” if, instead of admonishing and gently restoring our brother or sister who has committed a sin or fault, we stop talking to them altogether? It is evident that this cruel practice of shunning is not supported by the Bible in any way.

By contrast, Paul said: “It is enough that this person has been punished in this way by most of you. Now, however, you should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. And so I beg you to let him know that you really do love him (2 Corinthians 2:6-8 GNT).

This is the Christian way. It is guided by the “fruit of the Spirit”, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23). This fruit overcomes legalism, for “against such things there is no law”.

_________________
https://faithafterdeception.wordpress.com


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:05 pm 
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VERY good reminders, dear FAD (peace to you!). I am glad you "clarify" Paul, as his early letters (i.e., I and II Corinthians, which are actually his 2nd and 3rd letters to those dear ones), as his initial position(s) almost destroyed that congregation. It is curious to me that one can say they follow Christ... and yet, follow Paul. But most (so-called) "christians" do follow Paul. Indeed, they look to him FIRST and what HE "said" (wrote)... THEN to Christ and what he (is recorded to have) said. That is a division in "leaders" (you can't slave for two master) as well as a division of Christ (i.e., Christ himself is divided among those who follow the teachings of anyone BUT him; hence, all of the "mess" you see in "christianity").

I am sure that Paul did not intend such divisions, but his Pharisaical "zeal" did shine through, early on. Praise JAH, HE was eventually adjusted by the loving patience of the Apostles (John, Peter, and James, in particular) and some of the "older men" (not meaning old in age but "old" in having been with Christ early on) although not without first taken offense. Eventually, however, he came to understand God's MERCY through Christ BETTER... through the things HE had to suffer FOR Christ (in place of Stephen, whose death Paul was largely responsible for). Acts 9:16

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the Pharisees... religion demanded strict and detailed practices which, according to them, would lead to holiness. Jesus called the Pharisees “hypocrites” because they had an “appearance” of righteousness, but their hearts were full of evil.


What they MISSED... is that God does not look at/see what is on the OUTSIDE, but examines the heart and kidneys (i.e., the spirit of the man on the INSIDE). Such folks think they are fooling God... and holy spirit (which is blasphemy)... because they fool other humans. Before that, though, they often fool themselves. Hence, the Pharisee in the account you shared. Thing is, I think perhaps even you missed something very telling in the account. You quoted:

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income’.

That's not what actually occurred, though. What occurred... is that the Pharisee "stood and prayed to himself..."

The Greek word here, pros (G4314) indicates he was praying "unto" or "with"... TO... himself... and not to God. Which we can know is TRUE... because he did not approach in HUMILITY. Rather, he approached in haughtiness, self-servingness, self-righteousness, and... judgment. No way he had entered into the MOST Holy with THAT kind of "uncleanness." Nor did he enter through Christ. So, he didn't go in through the Door (John 10:9) and he didn't come with a humble heart... so... no entry. Thus, the only one he COULD have been praying to was himself.

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The Pharisees thought that their traditions and interpretations made them more righteous than others and that they would gain God’s favour in this way.


That's because they thought the LAW was the "way" to salvation. They were wrong: the (Old) Law... was the way to DEATH. Because the wage of SIN... is death. And you transgress ONE (of the Old) Law, you transgress them all. But due to God's MERCY, the Law was fulfilled and a NEW Law ("New Testament") was put in its place. That New Law permits entry... by means of God's love and mercy, borne out by listening to, following, LOVING His Son. Which we demonstrate when we do what that Son said we "must" do.

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This did not turn out to be the case, as God allowed their religious system to be destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE.


Indeed! AND... Christ did NOT re-establish any NEW religious system in its PLACE! When that physical temple was destroyed, that was the LAST "visible representation of God/the Lord ON EARTH." From the time Christ poured out holy spirit (at Pentecost 30 CE), the "temple" was made up of PEOPLE - LIVING "stones". Hence, the flames over the heads of those present at that event, indicating God's spirit had gone into THEM, THEY now being the "place for God to dwell in SPIRIT."

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... many modern religious groups who claim to have the “truth”, despise or punish all those who do not agree with their particular rules or Biblical interpretations. These groups give great importance to formalities and appearances, criticizing the way people dress, shave or cut their hair, and scorning everyone who does not think like them or do what they say. Some of these groups refuse to speak to or greet those who do not follow their rules and even force family members of these “unrepentant sinners” to do the same, leading to unbearable heartache and pain.


They do this... because they are led by "hired men," and not the TRUE and Fine Shepherd. Rather than use the loving, kind "rod" that Christ uses, he who even gave his LIFE for HIS sheep, these use these creeds, rules, etc., to CONTROL the sheep. Because they don't know how to LOVINGLY shepherd them. These don't CARE for the sheep - to the contrary, they abandon the sheep to "wolves," who snatch and scatter the sheep. John 10:10-15

Jesus, on the other hand, warned his followers to avoid becoming judgmental and legalistic. He said: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

So many miss what he said here. They read/interpret as "you too MIGHT be judged," or "it MIGHT be measured out to you." They SAY they listen to Christ, "hear" what he said and understand what he meant, but in this they don't. They really don't get... SEE... that he said WILL BE. It WILL occur. That it often doesn't occur right away makes them believe it won't. But... it will. Just as the temple was utterly destroyed... as he SAID it would be... so, too, those who judge will BE judged and the measure with which they measure WILL be measured out to them. HAS to. Else... Christ is a liar... which makes God a liar. Which cannot be.

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Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5) We should never forget these words if we really want to please God.


Indeed!

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Jesus compared superficial and legalistic religion to a “rotten tree” that produces “worthless fruit”, that is to say, it makes the heart bitter and is no use to God (Matthew 7:15-23 NWT).


And yet, so many prefer it! I asked my dear Lord why that is and he explained that some people do not know how to live FREE. Some CANNOT. They NEED laws and creeds and rituals and MEN telling them what is "right" and what is "wrong," in order to not err. And yet, they STILL err. They just do it secretly. WHY do they need laws and rules and creeds... and men threatening to DF/expel them, etc., in order to "walk in uprightness?" It's because they DO NOT HAVE THE LAW WRITTEN ON THEIR HEARTS. Thus, they do not have "mercy" written there, but maintain the "judgment" stain of the Old Law!

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Jesus also reminded the legalists of his time what God had said to their forefathers: “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice” because “doing righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6a, Proverbs 21:3 NKJV, Matthew 9:13; Micah 6:6-8).


YES! But THAT can be confusing, can it not? On the one hand, God desires mercy NOT sacrifice; on the other, it seems that righteousness and justice (which most don't even RELATE to mercy) is BETTER than sacrifice. But how can that be? Isn't that a contradiction? Not if you have the mind of CHRIST, the Truth, who can explain that these are in fact saying the SAME thing! How so? Because TRUE righteousness and justice takes into account one's OWN sin and error and so allows MERCY to be extended! TRUE righteousness is the righteousness of GOD... as shown by CHRIST... who went releasing and forgiving... and justice... for the lowly, the sick, the widowed, the orphaned, the downtrodden, etc.!

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“Pure and genuine religion”

“What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world” (James 1:27). This means that genuine Biblical religion is not a denomination, and has nothing to do with rules and rituals. In fact, it consists of carrying out certain acts of mercy and kindness towards others, particularly the most vulnerable.


I would like to ask you to perhaps consider even further - that there is NO biblical "religion," no "biblical" anything OR "religious" anything. Because God is not looking for RELIGIOUS people or people who worship him with/by the BIBLE. He is looking for those who worship Him... in SPIRIT (and thus, the fruits of the spirit!)... and TRUTH (and thus, through and IN Christ! - John 14:6)

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Consequently, Jesus didn’t give a list of rules when he explained how to identify his true disciples. He simply said: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).


Yes, but that love must BE love... and not "a FORM of godly devotion" that "proves FALSE to its power!"

Quote:
“Love covers over a multitude of sins”


It does! AND... it allows a SURPASSING of the (Old) Law, by means of fulfilling the NEW Law (of love)! RATHER than a focusing of attention on TRANSGRESSION (of the Old Law).

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The reason why Jesus exalted love over rules is that he knew that God is the only one who is entitled to judge. To avoid legalism, we must love and forgive one another rather than judging each other. Of course, forgiveness doesn’t imply turning a blind eye and accepting sin; it is a response to repentance and recognition on the part of the sinner. Jesus gave us guidelines to resolve disputes between Christians; saying to his disciples: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17 NIV).


And yet, we have human "tribunals" in most of these religions you're alluding to... rather than obedience to these "commands" from Christ himself. How do they MISS this??? Again, it's because the New Law (of love) is NOT written on their HEARTS.

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Of course, it goes without saying that this procedure refers to “faults” and “sins” and not criminal offenses such as murder, rape or child abuse.


I have to disagree, dear one. David committed adultery and then murder, both of which should have resulted in his death. Christ forgave the man hanging on the pole next to him. Paul was instrumental in the murder of Stephen. Etc., etc. It is not our place to JUDGE... even in THESE situations. We have been given the state, the "superior authorities," for that. WE, sinners that WE are... are to go "releasing and forgiving," ESPECIALLY is someone ASKS for such, regardless of their "sin" or "crime." We may be obligated, by the laws OF the state/superior authority, to hand them over for the state's action/judgment, but God does not "rank" sin - sin is SIN. We must keep an eye on OURSELVES... but we don't have the authority to judge another, for ANY sin/error/crime.

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Sadly, some religious groups twist Jesus’ words according to their legalistic viewpoint and impose cruel punishments on members who “refuse to listen” to the church. They shun “sinners” and even force family members to do the same, mistakenly assuming that 1st Century tax collectors received the same treatment.


Which shouldn't be a surprise: Christ SAID this would be the case, that "false prophets and false christs" would arise among his Body "to mislead, IF POSSIBLE, EVEN the chosen ones."

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The truth is that it was impossible to avoid talking to a public official who collected taxes for the government.


Not necessarily. One could pay one's taxes without speaking to the official who collected them. The situation was difficult both for the Jews AND for the (Jewish) tax collectors. The former believed the latter to be turncoats, treasonous, and blasphemers against God because they were taxing their own people, which was anathema under the Old Law. The latter knew how they were viewed and MOST over-taxed, skimming from what they would ultimately give to Caesar. Also, the latter knew that they were often taking from those who barely had food to eat and for a foreign people who were (in their minds) wrongfully occupying their land (they were wrong - THEY gave Israel over when they left God. But that's another post...).

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Moreover, some cults and high control groups shun former members, thus preventing people from leaving the group as they risk losing contact with their closest family members and friends.


It's a control tactic and a very good one. But Christ ADDRESSED this, when he said:

"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me..." Matthew 10:37

He SAID this because he KNEW what such wicked men would USE. IF, however, those who claim to love him would LISTEN and exercise faith in HIM... this would never be the case - they would NEVER have to deal with this kind of compromise. It is only when one does NOT listen... that one IS SUBJECTED TO IT. Why? Because OUR ADVERSARY KNOWS WHAT WILL "WORK"... to get someone to deny Christ, and thus deny God. Sadly, many prove him (the Adversary) right... more than they prove God and Christ right (Job 1:8

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Another Bible verse that some legalistic religions often use to justify this practice is found in 1 Corinthians 5:11, which says: “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people”.


Ahh, yes, "young" Paul.

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It is clear that neither this passage nor the previous one mention that we should shun the brother or sister who has “sinned”. Otherwise, how would it be possible to accomplish the Biblical purpose of discipline, which is to “admonish” and “restore” them? Paul clarifies this in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother”. In Galatians 6:1, he also writes: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently“.


Again, Paul had his issues, early on. It's why some of the Apostles took great issue that he was even allowed to associate with them. They opposed his "counsel" to the Corinthians (recorded at 1 Corinthians 5:10, 11). He took issue and hurled fiery words at them, but when he saw what HIS words were about to do to the congregation, HE recanted (in his 3rd letter - 2 Corinthians - as you quote below). Then, a year later, we have him writing to the Romans "let us judge one another NO LONGER."

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How can we consider ourselves as “spiritual” if, instead of admonishing and gently restoring our brother or sister who has committed a sin or fault, we stop talking to them altogether? It is evident that this cruel practice of shunning is not supported by the Bible in any way.


Actually, it is supported by the Bible, at least, that part of the Bible that is the "Old" Law. Indeed, the Old Law called for it for MANY errors. It is NOT supported by Christ, however. AND, even if one was under the Old Law, one could, again, SURPASS the "requirements" of that Law... with mercy. Born of love.

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By contrast, Paul said: “It is enough that this person has been punished in this way by most of you. Now, however, you should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. And so I beg you to let him know that you really do love him” (2 Corinthians 2:6-8 GNT).


And praise JAH dear Paul finally "grew UP" in Christ... and came to his senses! But not before doing quite a bit of damage. And a lot of damage has been done since, due to the inclusion of his 2nd letter (to the Corinthians) in the Bible canon. I have heard that his FIRST (which is NOT in the Bible) was even worse. I don't doubt, as he did write, in his second letter, that "I wrote you to QUIT associating with..." and "Judge those on the inside," etc.

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This is the Christian way. It is guided by the “fruit of the Spirit”, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23). This fruit overcomes legalism, for “against such things there is no law”.


And there you go. It is the truth... and I thank you, truly, for sharing it here.

Peace to you... and to your household!

Your servant and a slave of Christ,

SA


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:48 am 
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Chelle:

Wow! Regarding the post entitled Legalism versus Christianity, Wow!

While I enjoyed reading FAD’s post, your response to FAD was exquisite. I absolutely loved it! While reading your response, two things came to mind. One, regarding:

“I have to disagree, dear one. David committed adultery and then murder, both of which should have resulted in his death.”

When reading that, I was reminded of the prophet Nathan going to David privately exposing David’s sins such that David was torn at the heart at what he had done AND Nathan “gained his brother,” totally in harmony with what the Master admonished how we should handle such cases—even SERIOUS ones.

And Two:

“God does not ‘rank’ sin - sin is SIN. We must keep an eye on OURSELVES... but we don't have the authority to judge another, for ANY sin/error/crime.”

This I found most interesting. Why? Because yesterday I was engaged in a conversation with one of my brothers (forgot to tell you last night), where the discussion turned to the ranking of sins, some sins being worse than others (murder and rape being worse than stealing pocket change). While listening to him speak, at the same time, my Lord reminded me that under the Old Law, various sins required payment of various kinds of animals (a bull by the more wealthy sinners and gravity of their sin committed versus a pigeon for those who were poor and gravity of their sin committed, like Mary and Joseph.) All sacrifices required a death of the animal regardless of the gravity of the sin committed. I was asked if this is true. Strangely, I wanted to say, No. But, instead, I said, Yes, as in that moment I heard the Voice say: “Sin is ‘SIN’ with regard to the wage it pays.” Big or small, it pays the same—death. And I was reminded by the Voice of the biblical text which reads:

"Please come, and let's reason together," implores the LORD. "Even though your sins are like scarlet, they'll be white like snow. Though they're like crimson, they'll become like wool.—Isaiah 1:18

Meaning that some sins ARE worse than others so as to go from pink to scarlet/crimson as far as ranking of badness is concerned—but they ALL PAY the same. I was then asked if “that was fair.” And I said, fair or not—it is what it is. . . .

I love your post!

--Moi and Muah


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Quote:
... I enjoyed reading FAD’s post... While reading your response, two things came to mind.


I'm glad you enjoyed dear FAD's post and my comments, dear Armand (peace to you, both!). The following blue bolded comments stuck out to me in YOUR response:

Quote:
One, regarding:

Quote:
“I have to disagree, dear one. David committed adultery and then murder, both of which should have resulted in his death.”


When reading that, I was reminded of the prophet Nathan going to David privately exposing David’s sins such that David was torn at the heart at what he had done AND Nathan “gained his brother,” totally in harmony with what the Master admonished how we should handle such cases—even SERIOUS ones.


YES! This is what dear FAD meant as to "how" we should handle such instances, but again, under the OLD Law, David's errors SHOULD have resulted in his execution (and perhaps Bathsheba's!). He was shown mercy, however, because of his REPENTANCE. Didn't mean he didn't suffer ANY consequences - he absolutely did. And not just him!

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And Two:

“God does not ‘rank’ sin - sin is SIN. We must keep an eye on OURSELVES... but we don't have the authority to judge another, for ANY sin/error/crime.”

This I found most interesting. Why? Because yesterday I was engaged in a conversation with my brother, Angelo (forgot to tell you last night), where the discussion turned to the ranking of sins, some sins being worse than others (murder and rape being worse than stealing pocket change). While listening to him speak, at the same time, my Lord reminded me that under the Old Law, various sins required payment of various kinds of animals (a bull by the more wealthy sinners and gravity of their sin committed versus a pigeon for those who were poor and gravity of their sin committed, like Mary and Joseph.) All sacrifices required a death of the animal regardless of the gravity of the sin committed. I was asked if this is true. Strangely, I wanted to say, No. But, instead, I said, Yes, as in that moment I heard the Voice say: “Sin is ‘SIN’ with regard to the wage it pays.” Big or small, [i]it pays the same[/i]—death. And I was reminded by the Voice of the biblical text which reads:

"Please come, and let's reason together," implores the LORD. "Even though your sins are like scarlet, they'll be white like snow. Though they're like crimson, they'll become like wool.—Isaiah 1:18


YES!!

Quote:
Meaning that some sins ARE worse than others so as to go from pink to scarlet/crimson as far as ranking of badness is concerned—but they ALL PAY the same. I was then asked if “that was fair.” And I said, fair or not—it is what it is. . . .


I am not sure this is accurate, luv. He didn't say, "... though SOME of your sins are like scarlet (and others are pink(er)... though SOME OF THEM are like crimson (and others are a lighter shade of red)"... He SAID, "YOUR SINS ARE." Surely, some among Israel had sinned "more" and "greater" (by our standards) than others. Yet, ALL were addressed and held accountable, no? And to the same extent... yes? And why? Because "ALL have sinned." Period. Not "Some have sinned IN THIS WAY" or "Some have sinned to THIS extent."

The AMOUNT of blood offered differed, yes, either on the basis of the sin or moreso on the ability of the "sinner" to pay. This wasn't because the sin was greater/lesser, though - it was due to JAH'S MERCY. Some sins required more MERCY/FORGIVENESS than others... due to the amount of BLOOD it sinned "AGAINST." And so, the amount of blood needed to ATONE. Regardless, ALL need blood TO atone... and blood, whether a large amount or a small one... required a death. Because:

"UNLESS blood is poured out NO FORGIVENESS OF SINS TAKES PLACE." Hebrews 9:12

And so, regardless of how LARGE the sin, save blaspheme against holy spirit, Christ's blood can cover. Yes?

"This is MY blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:28

Yet, regardless how TINY the sin, without Christ's blood covering... NO forgiveness takes place. Yes? Because no animal or human sacrifice CAN cover, at least not eternally. And so, if the person who sinned, even minutely so, is going to die... be destroyed ETERNALLY (due to having no covering [OF blood that COVERS])... what REAL benefit is an animal sacrifice? It only covered for a year, anyway; not eternally. BUT:

"Christ is the mediator of a NEW covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law required that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he entered once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
Hebrews 9:15-28

Those waiting for him... hoping in him... and so, listening to and following him. WHEREVER he "goes."

Quote:
I love your post!


I am glad of it, my dear. And glad that I was able to be used by our dear Lord to share the truths in it.

Quote:
--Moi and Muah


Back at'cha, along with a wish for peace... and a place in JAH's House... to time indefinite.

YSSFS of Christ,

Chelle


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