The Book of James

I ran into five Jehovah’s Witnesses on my way into work this morning. I didn’t have much time but I asked them if they’d listen to me for a minute. They said sure, so I just handed Christ to them with NO strings and told them there was absolutely nothing that we could add to Christ’s work for us on the cross, etc. 5.16.09 The Watchtower - 264/365 by TheWorldThroughMyEyes

They immediately brought out James and threw acid over the whole thing.

Oh well.

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54 Responses

  1. Well, as James points out, — American Standard
    James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

  2. Yep. And beyond James, Jesus tells us that we ought visit the prisoners, invite our enemies for dinner, divest ourselves of all we own, and be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.

    How are you doing? Do you have enough works to prove that you have faith?

  3. Yeah, James is like the poster child for “everyone has to have works to be saved.” Hmm, ever listened to Jesus? He in no uncertain terms demanded perfection… yet, he tells us his burden is light. How could that be? Maybe just maybe he was the perfection and through faith this perfection is now ours?

    Steve, does that basically mean Christians are nothing more than parasites? I mean parasites that God most certainly loves because he sent his Son specifically so we could be parasites? Am I totally off base here?

    • Skip James and go to Romans. Romans 11:20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. Paul is speaking of the Jews in contrast to the Roman Christians. This is one of those important Scriptures that help us balance our view of eternal security with the need to believe. Christians are told to fear because there is potential that God will not spare us who have believed. According to v. 22 we experience God’s kindness, rather than His severity, provided that we “continue in his kindness. Otherwise [we] too will be cut off.” How are we eternally secure, then? We are eternal secure because God works in His true believers so they believe such warnings and “continue in his kindess.” Eternally secure believers are not eternally secure because they believed once; we are eternally secure because we continue to stand fast through faith by the grace of God. This is a way to believe in eternally security without watering down these warnings.

  4. I don’t think we are parasites because God wants to give to us even though we don’t deserve it, and are often not appreciative of Him.

    He knows what we are all about, and yet He still loves us.

    Just my take, anyway.

  5. On second thought, maybe we are parasites, it’s just that God doesn’t mind.

  6. Robyn, I’m going to have to disagree with you on that perfection thing. When the woman with a flow of blood for 12 yrs approached Jesus and toughed his garment by The Law she should have been no where near people but Jesus said to her “Go in peace”. — Psalms 103:14 of The New Living Translation says
    “For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.” He knows we have limitations more so now that we’re imperfect.

  7. Daniel7,

    Pardon me for jumping in a bit out of turn (you were addressing Ribin), but Jesus did say, “you, herefore, must be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect.”
    Matthew 5:48.

    Your problem is not with me or Robin, it is with Jesus. Unless of course you don’t believe what the Bible says.

    Jesus always said, “go in peace”. He also said it to the woman caught in adultery. But he added, “sin no more.”

    Anyway, my point in this post was to say that many reject the grace of God alone, and opt for a ‘Christ + ‘ theology, wherein we must show we are really serious about God.

    That, is just not going to happen.

    Thanks, Daniel7.

  8. Have a LOT in common with Baptist and evangelicals don’t they. Speaks volumes of heterodoxy.

    Give Christ no strings attached = Gospel and they, the mormons and nearly every evangelical out there will pull James on you like a gun every single time.

    Now we know why we are NOT of the same religion in the least.

    “Home Sweet Rome”

  9. What’s really needed is 200 proof Law, the old man cannot see the Gospel without being dealt the death blow of the Law. E.g. rich young ruler.

    We have to trust in what Paul says even when in public debate boisterous fronts are put up; that the Law really accuses and excuses our consciences, even if only in those quite hours of the morning with head on pillow.

    That’s a point many miss, the sign that “one is under law” and not grace is not just when the Law accuses the conscience (e.g. don’t do and should) but when we excuse ourselves from a situation (e.g. well I don’t struggle with THAT sin that THEY do – the versions of the Pharisee’s prayer). Thus, when they throw James 2 back at you like that they are doing nothing less than “praying” the Pharisee’s prayer, “I thank you God that I’m not like…”. Christ said these are not justified and thus they are not, they are already judged and walking on the “clean side” of the VERY broad road that leads to hell.

    The Law is written on their hearts, that’s why their consciences, via James, excuse themselves.

  10. Steve,

    Note how ALL heterodoxy works, it alters the clear Word some how, either Law or Gospel. When Christ says so very clearly “this is My body/blood”, they say, “this is beyond all human reason…can’t be…” (eisogesis begins). Likewise when Christ said to the rich young ruler, “sell ALL that you have and distribute it to the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven” (Law) they likewise must blunt the words “all that you have” (because NOBODY HAS EVER done that, nor WILL THEY to this very moment).

    So they have to alter the Word’s of the Law or the Gospel whenever either is “200 proof”, which is just another way of saying pure and true without adultration (adultration = heterodoxy).

    No REAL Law then no REAL need of the REAL Gospel. This is why legalist and antinomians are exactly the same thing!

    In heterodoxy (= false churches, from Satan) “is” doesn’t mean “is” because it offends (fallen) human reason nor does “all” mean “all” because likewise it offends all human reasoning, it defies it. So heterodoxy has to secretly say, “hath God really said “is” or “all””, then offer a “fruit” of works, not called works but called ‘faith’ to bite into and eat.

    However, in orthodoxy, the truth since “all” means ALL, then “is” meaning IS – is very much necessary and indeed the treasure of the believer worth dying for, even if the whole world should not believe it!

    Law/Gospel

    • Just to clarify your above position. When Jesus says, “this is my body/blood,” it means exactly that. And when Jesus instructs the rich man “sell ALL that you have,” He means that literally too. So, all those who believe the first is true are also selling all that they have and giving it to the poor as well. Or at least they should for consistency sake I suppose. But you also said that “NOBODY HAS EVER done that.” Does that mean that you are arguing that Jesus didn’t really mean sell everything? It would be a bit ironic, since you are railing about people excusing away that command with verbal gymnastics. Does all mean ALL? Or perhaps sell doesn’t mean SELL.

      Or maybe it really does after all, since Peter says in response to this particular statement that they have given up all to follow Jesus. “Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” (Matthew 19:27) That means that your assertion that NOBODY EVER HAS done this is in fact wrong according to Scripture.

  11. 5 on 1. Not very good odds unless you are a black belt.

    You gave them what they needed to hear. That’s all you can ever do.

    If they reject it, it is their own fault. If it should sink in and change a heart, then that’s only God’s work.

    You never know.

  12. Jeofurry,

    First, just generically without the Law Gospel distinction, IF one actually AGREED with your argument, then you’ve certainly argued AGAINST yourself. If “all” means “all” even as you say, then you have to concede “is” means “IS” as the Lord spoke and if you go to your memorial meal only the next time it occurs you either a hypocrite toward it, or you’ve just lied.

    Second, you are unsighted to the Law Gospel distinction and exhibit for the very problem with heterodoxies flat bible. “All” certainly does mean “all”, quite literally, but it is Law (and not Gospel, the confusion you are making it) and is meant to break the RYR of his presumed (self) righteousness, something you don’t see. Peter did indeed say “we have left everything and followed you”, but did he sell it to the poor? Did he really leave everything according to the Law in order save himself? No not at all and Peter led the way not once, not twice, not three times but four recorded times in denying Christ. This was the same Peter, thank God for his example, who said, “I will never leave you (even if all others do)”, then tucked his tail and ran not when men accused him of being followers but little girls whose testimony in that day and age was ZERO against a man’s. Furthermore, Peter retained his home and wife. So the assertion that NOBODY EVER HAS is 100% accurate.

    I take that last part back, and stand corrected, there is One and One only Who EVER DID and that was singularly Christ the Lord and NO OTHER.

    So the Law stands 100% and “all” means “all” literally = 200 proof Law. And the Gospel stands 100% and “is” means “is” literally = 200 proof Gospel.

    And so Jeofurry, if you wish to have eternal life this way then YOU Jeofurry, forget Peter, YOU Jeofurry, go and sell ALL that YOU HAVE and distribute it to the poor and you will have riches in heaven. Otherwise YOUR profession this way is shear and pure hypocrisy. For what you apply to others applies to you. When you’ve done that come back and talk to me, actually when you’ve done that I suppose you will not be able to since your cpu, electricity, house, internet account, etc… will be gone.

    • I would circle back for just a minute to again point to a problem in your assertion that Jesus’ statement is 200 proof law and impossible to obey. When Peter claims to have obeyed it, as I mentioned above. Jesus doesn’t rebuke him for being cocky; He gives him a promise of reward.
      Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
      Matthew 19:28-30

      Maybe you should read and understand what it means to be a steward(Jesus has a few parables on the matter). I don’t own anything; it is God’s. And I am not speaking in platitudes here. I would say more, but you tend to twist these things so I won’t waste my energy. The Spirit brings conviction and understanding, not me.

      By the way, I am right there with you regarding the failure/redemption of Peter and the continuing work of God in this manner in our lives. Amen.

  13. Steve,

    Note how that which passes for Baptist today defends James the way the Mormons and JWs do, how on this very web blog they are doing the SAME THING that those JWs did to you, they are defending THEM and not you for your 200 proof Gospel. There’s a reason for that, their religion is not our religion nor is their confessed gospel, grace, faith and christ our confessed Gospel, Grace, Faith and Christ.

    This is why Jesus warns against false teachers who say, “lo their is Christ, here is Christ” and Paul warns against the same who will proclaim (another) gospel, (another) spirit and call it all “christ, gospel, spirit”.

    It’s kind of similar to what Norman Nagel once said regarding the Reformed (and baptist) suppers, you don’t really have to TELL what they confess and believe, they will TELL you what they confess and believe and it is not what we confess and believe point blank.

    Same thing here. We could argue with them ad nausem, and sometimes do, but just stepping back if someone is simply a “neutral reader” “listening in” on the conversation; what is crystal clear is that we are confessing a different religion than are they and the Gospel, grace, faith, Spirit and Christ we confess is not in the least the same gospel, grace, faith, spirit and christ that they confess. The muslims confess christ too that is “a” christ no less “to follow” in this way, but it is not Christ that IS in fact Christ. There’s a reason at the altar our pastor’s say, “the REAL AND TRUE body/blood of Christ”… so we know, confess and believe against all these other christs out there so confessed, believed and proclaimed. So that NO mistake may be made that we are not of them and they are not of us BY their own confession (no heart reading here, confession of the mouth).

    This is why Luther so many times said in reality there is no difference between the Pope, Mohamedism and the Enthusiast (Reformed including specifically Calvinist and the broader “big tent” that ropes in the baptist and arminians).

    Keep up the good confession of the 200 proof Gospel, and as Jonathan welll said they may reject it or they may eventually come to believe it in due time, but broadcast the seed promiscuously. That’s all you, me and others can do.

    You never know when that one word may come back to their conscience, perhaps one day in the future when the Law has finally exhausted them and crushed them they may recall, “Now what was that shear grace that guy named Steve said to me.”

    I know this first hand.

    • Note how that which passes for Baptist today defends James the way the Mormons and JWs do

      Note how false accusations fly. I haven’t seen any word about James in my post above. I just asked for some clarification about your post.

      • Note how false accusations fly, I wasn’t speaking of you.

      • Pardon me for misunderstanding and assuming such. Since your comment came into the thread after I had posted, I thought you were speaking of me. Is Ike a Baptist? I didn’t see him mention James as such either. Who was the comment directed at or in response to?

      • Steve and were and had been for some time now discussing the very first posting regarding James 2 which was in context with this very post entitled “The Book Of JAMES”.

      • When I wrote Steve discussing this I honestly did not even have “jeofurry” in my mind.

      • To answer your direct response (TO JEOFURRY). You again continue to confuse Law and Gosple. That is indeed Christ reply and that reply. And it is pure Gospel, NOT reward for Law, what he was saying to the RYR. What Peter was saying was not an answer to the RYR.

        “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life”.

        For Christ says very clear “for my name’s sake”, and His name is Jesus, “Yaweh saves” and Emmanual “save us now Lord”, etc… Here in is the key to what He is saying to Peter that he who leaves father, mother, etc…for His name sake has eternal life. Not a reward according to the Law but faith that is the naked receptacle of salvation “I am Christ’s sin forgiven for His sake, He is my righteousness imputed/declared, just as if all He said, done, thought, and suffered was as I/we did it (=Gospel). Peter was not saying, “See we’ve done what the RYR did/couldn’t do” nor was Christ saying, “Good job Peter you did what the RYR would not do”. That interpretation is standard Law/Gospel confusion.

        In other words leaving father, mother, etc…and not giving into to false/heterodox doctrines even if one’s family and best friends “pull” on you to do so for such is to go after and in reality worship other gods even if they call it Christian, christ, spirit, gospel – is to in reality do what Peter says and Jesus affirms, to suffer the ridicule and persecution (which may sword or laughter, Paul) of the same and not be tempted even for the sake of otherwise beloved family and friends to go after these other gods we find either in other overt religions or heterodoxy (which the OT pictures both plenteously). Here we find the orthodox crying along with the Spirit in the Psalms those who persecute, laugh and scoff at them saying, “O’Lord how are my foes increased, against me many rise, how many say in vain for help he on His God relies. But you are my shield and glory Lord…” (Psalm 3). Here Luther’s tower discovery comes to full fruition as he points out that “the righteousness of God” as well as other references to the “strength”, “wisdom” etc…of God is not a move from ‘the righteousness whereby God is righteous and judges’ (the most often misunderstood thing other protestants think Rome thought) to ‘a righteousness given us whereby we begin and become actively righteous (where many protestants think Luther moved). No the later was and is in fact the position of Rome, Augustine, Calvin, et. al. to this very day (this is why many protestants have never really left Rome they only think they have). Rather it was a move from the later to “the Righteousness of God” that He imputes, shear proclamation, passively received as fact that all Christ did was as if I did it without any active righteousness on one’s part (that was the Gospel discovery uncovered by Luther from Med. Rome, that was Justification upon which no works whatsoever are considered because “it is finished” as Christ said).

        It is that to which the Psalmist and orthodox Christian cries and suffers much persecution, trial and temptation from of which Christ is speaking “for My name sake” that men leave their “father, mother, home, etc…”. It is not a reward nor what He was saying at all to the RYR, which was pure Law designed to cause despair of self, the RYR’s problem, so that he would at last see that to actually have God and Christ is to purely and nakedly receive ALL from Him forgiveness of sins and all righteousness, the true Sabbaoth made flesh.

        Christ’s word “all” thus still stand and mean “all” and stewardship has nothing to do with it for the RYR had already confessed that he was a good steward having kept, in his understanding (which ironically is yours) the horizontal component of the Law. Christ points him to the true heart of the Law not so he may say again, “well I’ve done that too.” Rather to show him his real heart. You miss the entire point of the Law if you don’t realize that if it has to come to you and say “do/don’t do” that you have already been identified by the Law as having committed damnable sin sense it has to come to you and say “do/don’t do” and you don’t do it spontaneously which is to be truly IN the will of God (this is what we fell from). The Law coming to you in publication is it coming to you and tapping you on the shoulder by saying “do/don’t do” is not saying, “you should do this therefore do it” but rather, “you should do this but you will not and thus you are already damned”. Thus, killing us so that we may at last see the Gospel. The old Adam must be thoroughly killed before the Gospel can even be seen, this is why Christ gave the RYR 200 proof Law, because He truly loved him and wanted him to come to Him for his righteousness. And that was Peter’s question and Christ’s answer, not unto the RYR problem.

        Law and Gospel, without this distinction clearly understood all of scripture is a black hole though its words can be read.

  14. I think the problem lies in the utter confusion of law and gospel.

    The law is a fence for civil life and a mirror to show is our need of a Savior.

    Yes, down the road, we pray that the law will do it’ work and crush those who have believed that they are capable of keeping it (good enough).

    There is no ‘good enough’.

    Only the Savior has the goodness that we need.

    Off to work… the law is doing it’s work on me!

  15. The irony of the Calvinistic/Reformed baptist is that the doctrine of believers baptism is proof positive in and of itself that grace is indeed resistable.

  16. Ever notice James does not talk about Jesus Christ? He mentions him twice but he doesn’t talk about him, doesn’t preach him, doesn’t seem to care about him.
    Just saying.

    • Hmmm, I never thought about it that way.

    • Now we are judging NT books by how many times the name of Jesus is used? I think echoing Jesus’ teaching and words should qualify as “preaching him.”

      Doesn’t seem to care about Him? Jesus is his own brother. Surely you are kidding.

      This is a mighty cynical comment. Why do some here act like James is the misfit of the NT? If he is out of line theologically, why is he in the Canon at all?

      Just saying.

  17. Well, without reading all the comments…I apologize…I came from a seireis of posts on facebook from a friend who has rejected Christ but still is tryiing to justify right and wrong etc….very confusing…but that status of hers is s result of law, law, law preached by people who are so in love with what James says and just simply hate what Paul says. So is there acommon ground? Here is Paul Zahl on James in 2 parts….I am writing this without having yet made the link so bear with me…:) http://gratiafied.blogspot.com/2011/01/jameshero-or-zero.html

  18. See, and I am referencing Jeofurry, the “flat bible” of the heterodox.

    This is the way heterodoxy overthrow the Gospel, and the Law for that matter. They take from their “flat bible” a pinch of law and a pinch of law, stir it up in a pot real good and produce a grand mixture of (confusion of) Law and Gospel or as some have termed it “golawspel”.

    That’s why Jeofurry can speak out of two sides of his doctrinal mouth and say when “all” is being applied to the RYR “all”, all means all and it is a gospel (in Jeofurries flatbible golawspel stew). But if pressed as it really is Law onto Jeofurry personally he says, “all” means “stewardship” for me Jeofurry. Which is just a convenient way of saying, “I can keep my goods and not have to sell all to have eternal life”. A rather convenient excuse for evading the Law. Which gets back to the point of antinomians and legalist really being one and the same thing. For in such passages as the RYR they can’t have that to be Law because their confidence ultimately rests in hidden works righteousness and if that IS really Law and “all” means “ALL”, then they cannot know they are saved by “fruits of their faith” and they refuse the sacraments as sacraments (Pure Gospel). And so by changing what is actually the Law here and pure 200 proof Law, which is the only kind there really is, into a kind of pseudo gospel and reducing it down to something like “stewardship” they show that thereby they are antinomians (no real Law but a reduced ‘law’-like gospel). Then they run over to play with scripture in the institution of the Lord’s Supper and change the Lord’s words “is” to “represents” or some such construction, thereby, removing the Gospel and in place of it they put their RYR gospel passage as “gospel” which is really a “do”, even reduced and insert the legalism. The antinomian is the legalist and the legalist is the antinomian.

    Thus, having flattened the bible and mixed up their law gospel stew they think they have left Rome but really have never done so doctrinally. The dress like “protestants” but speak like popes.

    The difference between JWs, and Mormons, and otherwise heterodoxies is that at least the former alter the words of their translations (not good and indeed damned but at least obvious), the later are truly surreptitious because they only change the footnotes and comments in commentaries. But if what they say is true why can they not be honest and say it so, if that is in fact what Scripture means. If they then do that then they are obviously found out. But for the sake of obviousness and openness let us insert their words as they say to us the Scripture’s words mean and compare them to what the Scriptures actually state clearly and plainly.

    The Bible says: (Luke 18:22) “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; SELL ALL THAT YOU POSSESS and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    The Jeofurry’s heterodoxy bible apparently says, (Luke 18:22) “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; BE A GOOD STEWARD OF ALL THAT YOU POSSESS and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    The Bible says, (Mathew 26:26 – 28), “While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this IS MY BODY.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this IS MY BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”

    The Jeofurry’s heterodoxy bible apparently says, (Mathew 26:26 – 28), “While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this REPRESENTS MY BODY.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this REPRESENTS MY BLOOD of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”

    Just saying.

    • Larry,
      You remind me of that old adage. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
      Shalom,
      Jeff

    • Larry,
      If you could stop lobbing rhetorical grenades based on faulty assumptions about what I think or believe based on a caricature of you own past experience we might be able to have some kind of discussion. I don’t hold out hope for that anytime soon, but I will keep watching. God can do amazing things with anyone through the power of His Spirit.
      Shalom,
      Jeff

  19. The old nature has a difficult time talking about Jesus with a period, rather we want to talk about Jesus with a comma.

    Jesus + anything isn’t Jesus….

    Thanks for the thoughts…

  20. “The old nature has a difficult time talking about Jesus with a period, rather we want to talk about Jesus with a comma.”

    That is GOLDEN pastor Matt!!!

  21. Borrowing from Pastor Matt’s superb point maybe we could contrast that more, because Christ’s name means something. Jesus name is not just a monicker like we understand our names in this dismal modern age. His name means and does things.

    Since:

    Jesus = YAWEH saves

    Then:

    “YAWEH saves + anything” is not “YAWEH saves”

    Nor is

    YAWEH saves + James 2 is not “YAWEH saves”

    Nor is

    YAWEH saves + do what the RYR couldn’t do not “Yaweh saves”.

    BUT WAIT

    Baptism IS in the name of the Father (Yaweh), Son (Jesus = YAWEH SAVES) and Holy Spirit so it is JUST YAWEH SAVES. No wonder Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, “This baptism saves you…”.

    If only Peter had said “this baptism saves you…”, then there would be no argument.

  22. What puzzles me in truth is why James’ statements about “doing” and so forth are so troubling or bothersome and Jesus’ same statements are not. Why not just apply whatever means are used to dismiss Jesus’ plain statements about obeying His commandments and “doing what He says” (stuff like Matthew 21:28-32 for instance) to those sentiments from James and be done with it. Obviously James is just preaching the law in the same way that Christ did.
    There is a remarkable amount of congruity between Jesus’ teaching in the gospels and James’ epistle.

    • I made an error above. I was rewording and missed a word change. The word dismiss should be explain. Sorry for the tone that created, I hit send right before I saw it.

  23. Jeofurry,

    Enthusiastic spiritualist always cry, “the spirit, the spirit, the spirit…just give me the spirit” but they always divorce the Spirit from the word and sacrament and thus have, indeed, another spirit.

    When you stop speaking out of two sides of your mouth then maybe we can, but these are your words not mine. So don’t blame me for your words. If “all” means ALL and you think this is gospel, then you Jeofurry must abide by your own “gospel” and so “Go and sell all that you have…etc…” or else your confession is manifestly hypocritical. But when this is applied to Jeofurry you conveniently run to “stewardship” instead of “all”.

    This is very convenient, and very typical. Luther ran into the same problem in his day when pinned down by their own doctrines the enthused would always create a little crack in the wall to run out of.

    Secondly you don’t believe in the real and true flesh and blood presence of Christ in the sacrament so I’m speaking YOUR words again.

    You exhibit what enthusiasm always exhibits, conveniently hip hopping around with your words to suite your defense.

    It is kind of inconvenient that Christ’s actual words don’t actually fit your actual words isn’t it. If Christ would have only said “this is My body/blood” or “go sell all” then we’d just be clear wouldn’t we.

    So I’ve repeated nothing you don’t confess you believe.

    Finally, you (FALSELY) accused me of raising the James issue with you when I was not and was simply continuing the conversation with Steve sans Jeofurry, I suppose to deflect something???, but suddenly Jeofurry who falsely accused me of raising the James issue with Jeofurry who was “then” not speaking of James (according to Jeofurry) is worried about the James issue and now is talking about it. So it sounds like Jeofurry had James on the brain and felt “caught” when he decided to falsely accuse me of dragging him into the James controversy prematurely when in actuality I did not.

    So, Jeofurry, back to the original issue, “go and sell ALL that you have and distribute it to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven”. Otherwise your own confessed faith is false per your doctrine. Let us know if you decide to do this there may be some folks on here that would like to buy some good used stuff and help you out. Will you be using Ebay or something similar before you finally close out your internet account in order to sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor and therefore follow Jesus and then have treasure in heaven?

    • So I’ve repeated nothing you don’t confess you believe.
      Actually, you do it most of the time. I have come to the conclusion that you think I hold all of the doctrines that you used to be convinced were true, by your own previous testimony, and probably vehemently espoused in the same manner that you now do with Luther’s teachings. I could be wrong, but it is my best guess. I don’t recognize many of the positions that you try to “put in my mouth” as either coherent or true. But do what you want. It isn’t my blog after all.

      As for the “me selling ALL” thing, we covered it before, but you have obviously forgotten. I will touch it again below answering the other questions.

  24. Jeofurry,

    Tone doesn’t bother a Christian and you don’t need to apologize for that. As Luther said we are not speaking about manners here nor is anyone asking for another coat (love), if that is asked for then the Christian gives all without question. Rather these are articles of faith and faith speaks boldly and polemically on issues regarding faith by its very nature it gives not one single inch and wars fiercely with things against faith and its articles.

    The issue is this the inversion of works over faith. If one cannot say, for example, Jesus period and let it rest. If one cannot say that without fear of inserting good works, then one is speaking of works righteousness. If one cannot say a man is saved without a single good work ever and even if he gets worse, then you are talking about another Christ.

    The Gospel is such that forgiveness of sin is my sin imputed to Christ period AND the righteousness of Christ imputed to me period such that all that Christ did, said, and suffered was as if I/you did it and NOTHING is left in need to be done. And this is done in a moment of time, already, period. It’s pure declaration sans ANY whatsoever change within a man (that is Rome, Augustine, Calvin et. al.). There is no change whatsoever in the man so that by mind of God he is righteous before God at the judgment, the declaration above, forgiven, given Christ’s righteousness, ALREADY STANDS in the day of judgment, TO THE MAN, IN PARTICULAR, FOR ME (PRO ME) ALREADY DONE END OF STORY NO CHANGE, NO LIMPING BACK TO JAMES 2 OR GOOD WORKS ANYWHERE IN SCRIPTURE. This is justification! This is why Lutherans say protestants have a “flat bible” and really the bible has become their de facto Pope.

    All this is given in and by the Word and the Sacraments. The sacraments are an enfleshment of the this very Gospel so that it is “pro me”, no “for me”, no Gospel, no Christ and no “faith”.

    Justification involves no process whatsoever. Sanctification is merely getting used to the reality of the already done didness of justification. Here is where God, after He washes our conscious and continues to feed us His body and blood for faith for the forgiveness of sins whereby we “get use to” the done didness fact of it all, in and through this He gifts us FURTHER, not in order to assure that we are saved/elect/etc… as if He didn’t already do this, He gifts us with sanctification whereby these good works exude forth from this faith that ALREADY IS because forgiveness imputed pro me and Christ’s righteousness that is imputed pro me so that I am pro me already able to stand nude in the judgment of God covered with Christ’s righteousness, what HE did is mine by declaration alone – then “getting use to this already done did fact in the mind of God”, good works exude quite naturally from this. But these good works will not look like the good works of the false confessors and false religionist who do this and call it the same thing.

    A number one sign that one is speaking of false faith, grace, Christ and spirits is their inability to not run to James and other such passages. This is a fruit of the flesh in reality but it looks pious and pretends to be a “fruit of faith”.

    Fruit of true faith can look at James or even a book of pagan morals like Aristotle and say, “these are good to do” as to earthly things, but they are nothing whatsoever to do toward God, justification, heaven, etc…

    A believer roots himself in Christ, the Word, the sacraments which are all Christ (i.e. baptism = Christ, LS = Christ, absolution = Christ) and is at all peace and assurance there. But then as to earthly things he puts his nose to the grind stone in good earthly works just like any good moral pagan would. He does this knowing everything in this world, including the very works he is doing, will be burned up entirely upon Christ’s return.

    He does his good earthly works in this destructing world like a man does last minute good works on sinking ship but knowing he is already aboard the salvation ship when the last inch of the bow sinks into the waters of its destruction.

    Heaven is already dawning on him in this dying earth when via the Word and Sacrament heaven descends and ascends upon him, via the preached Gospel, absolution, baptism and the bread and wine. He already HAS eternal life as Christ says, “he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood HAS internal life” (he has Christ’s righteousness already and is forgiven already), even though he’s on the sinking ship doing good works along side unbelievers doing the same.

    The difference between the two is not the good works, but the fact that one is already given what Christ did and the other refuses it.

    • Tone doesn’t bother a Christian and you don’t need to apologize for that. As Luther said we are not speaking about manners here nor is anyone asking for another coat (love), if that is asked for then the Christian gives all without question.

      That might be a good Lutheran sentiment, but I choose to take my cues from God. He said, “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”(Proverbs 15:1)

      The issue is this the inversion of works over faith. If one cannot say, for example, Jesus period and let it rest. If one cannot say that without fear of inserting good works, then one is speaking of works righteousness. If one cannot say a man is saved without a single good work ever and even if he gets worse, then you are talking about another Christ.

      I am not talking about inverting works over faith. You don’t understand works at all based on the way you are talking here.
      The phrase has more than one meaning in the NT. For instance, when Paul speaks of the “works of the Law” he is usually talking about being legally Jewish or attaining Jewish status based on works like circumcision. This was an extremely common view in the early church movement.
      Paul actually condemns those people who think they are saved by circumcision as a “work of the law,” and Paul hammers it hard; so much so, that modern Christianity thinks he is condemning the Torah itself. This would be truly nonsensical as Paul elsewhere calls the Torah good and right.

      Yet, Paul’s teaching in this respect is perfectly clear, salvation isn’t attained by ANYTHING we do; it is solely based on the faith of Jesus Christ, which is alive in the work that HE did and does (if we want to bring James back into the discussion). Our work does nothing to attain salvation. Is that plain enough for you?

    • Jeofurry,

      ““a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”(Proverbs 15:1)

      That’s a nice piestistic use of this proverb (wisdom liturature) but yet Christ called were doctrine and faith are concerned the Pharisees, “sons of hell”, “of the devil their father”, Paul said those who bring other gospels are damned and condemned and that they in that case should have casterated themselves, he called his old pharisiacal works righteousness “shit” the real translation of the greek and numerous other places.

      So its not a “lutheran” statement. You are typicaly of pietism, you love little where love should give all, and you battle none where faith should given nothing.

      You are upside down entirely.

      • You really ought to go back and figure out what Jesus castigated the Pharisees for, he said their doctrine wasn’t their biggest problem(Matthew 23:3), it was that their lives didn’t match it. The Pharisees were consumed with having correct theology and correct thinking and saying the right things. Jesus didn’t condemn them for their words as much as he did for their actions, specifically because whatever they did do was done for show and didn’t even match up with their teaching.
        They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did,(John 8:39)

        John told them the same thing:

        7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
        Matthew 3:7-10

        Does this sound like a group of people who are earning their salvation by works? They are being ripped for believing that they are saved by their “status” as Jews no matter what they do. This is the heart of the statement you quote from Paul above, that you have completely misunderstood. Paul realized that his “status” as a Pharisee or a Jew was completely worthless before God. God doesn’t show partiality based on such things. (see 1 Corinthians 7:19) This is at the heart of Romans 2-4 as well, but I won’t even dare to correct your upside down understanding of that unless you can follow this. Paul repeatedly called for those who followed Christ to actually “walk out their faith.” After he firmly established that his status as a Jew was rubbish, he still proceeded to instruct his readers to “join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”

        If you insist on treating Christianity as a theological discourse and arguments to be won, that is your choice. It is very Pharisaical, but many of those guys eventually “got it” too. The early church was filled with Pharisees who came to faith that penetrated beyond intellectual exercise. Paul was even one of them.

  25. Ok Jeofurry,

    Now be clear in your words in answering these questions because, you have not thus far been so, I have no desire whatsoever to misread or misrepresent you:

    1. In your understanding the RYR is it Law or Gospel?

    2. In your understanding, does “all” mean “all”, everything, the whole lot, nothing whatsoever exempt…in short and plain English literally “ALL”?

    3. Have you done this?

    Plain and simple so all, and I mean ALL can see and understand you on this.

    • I will try and keep this short.

      1. This is a false dichotomy. Law and Gospel are not two things that can be separated from one another; they are bound together.

      2. All does mean all. Jesus didn’t speak in double-talk. Look at other parables for understanding. Matthew 13:44-45 explain that the person who finds the treasure of the Kingdom joyfully gives up all the things that he previously thought were of value for the sake of having this one thing. Add in Matthew 6:25-34 for emphasis at this point. If it still requires further elucidation, check out Paul:

      But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
      Philippians 3:7-11

      So, yes! ALL

      3. You really don’t remember this conversation before do you? Everything I once had, I gave up. I say this not to boast but to answer your question since boasting about it would be pointless anyway. I live over 1000 miles away from my family and my wife’s family and yet God has given us a new family in our church here. I gave up our home and a job that paid a lot more than I ever made before or since to go to a place where I had no job; and yet God has continued to sustain us in His grace and mercy and we live in a bigger home than the one we left behind (which is good since our family grew too). He has provided for our every need. He even let me have an internet connection (I can see that you are worried about such things); I have given that up before as well. He is good that way. The problem with the RYR is that he didn’t believe God and he didn’t trust, he believed in his money and his own strength and provision and so he never discovered that God is faithful to His word and to His promise.

      The problem he had is the same one that you are displaying above in your rhetoric about me selling everything I have (if God asks me to do so again, I will do so again) and Jesus responds to this problem in His conversation with Peter. (Matthew 19: 28-30)

      The RYR assumed that he would give everything to God and be left with nothing at all. God doesn’t say that though. He says that when we give Him everything we have we will have treasure in heaven and everything we need to live day by day(Matthew 19:12 and Matthew 6:31-34) So, even when we do give “ALL” we have away; we can’t brag about it as some huge “sacrifice” in any case; God gives us back far more in return.

  26. My pastor today gave me a modern day term for works based righteoussness called moralistic therapeutic deism: Read my thoughts here on this great sermon and the sermon notes:

    http://centralityofthegospel.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/learning-to-live-beyond-our-idolatry-and-insecurity/

  27. It’s good to see this issue under discussion once again – it needs to be, for (as other blogs have recently shown), it can become so easily ill-defined or, in effect, neglected. To summarize what I think is at the heart of this:

    The Law is everything God demands of us. The Gospel is everything God gives us; and in the Gospel God gives everything he demands of us in the Law!

    The problem so often becomes when Law essentially replaces Gospel, as Paul himself shows us, which in essence ’empties’ the work of Christ and the vital role of His people (to be a company where that work is ‘placarded’ to each and every one of us) within the world. This is where I so clearly see the outworking of a law-derived praxis, so common in the church, almost everyday.

    Most non-Christians I talk to are not frustrated or troubled by Christians sharing the richness of God’s love through the mercy of life by grace (that’s not something happening very often) – they are deeply fed up, put off and generally dis-interested in a ‘christianity’ that is constantly, for Christians, about doing better than you did last week by a better fulfilling of more of the the rules, like any other religion – talking to non-christians about their experience of church quickly brings this to the surface.

    Why, I get so asked so many times, is that what it seems to be all about? Why is it, they want to know, that for so many ‘religious’ people, it’s all about living in a moral box so that everything has to be ‘just right’ and anything (and, in effect, anyone) else beyond that remit is effectively off limits? Is what God demands of people really defined almost entirely by a regime of fear, of bondage and of unrelenting submission to such? How does that make us any different to any form of moral deism?

    To borrow from elsewhere:
    “The gospel of grace is so radical, so free, so counter intuitive, so defiant of all the entrenched expectations of our law-marinated hearts, that it would be surprising indeed if our preaching of this gospel is not met with the objection anticipated by Paul—“are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace?” (Rom 6:15; cf. 3:8; 2 Pet 3:15–17)”.

    That Gospel truly staggers us because it not only deals with our ‘badness’ but our equally appalling ‘goodness’ – the parts of us we think are in some fashion virtuous and no real hinderence to God.

    Like the Judaizers of the past, we (the old Adam) seek to make an ally of some ‘moderated’ version of law which we can marry to our ‘virtue’, but the Gospel alone puts us straight – God justifies the wicked and saves what is lost, period. There is no other redemption.

    The answer to our lives, our times, then, is the answer God gives – the Law drives us to Christ and His work alone, for only there can we find peace with God, and only in that peace, can we live well.

  28. Jeofurry,

    Oh you miss the passage entirely. “The problem with the RYR is that he didn’t believe God and he didn’t trust, he believed in his money and his own strength and provision and so he never discovered that God is faithful to His word and to His promise.” You’ve missed it entirely.

    I do remember this conversation and you continue to evade, just like before. I just like to see if you’ve learned or not. The so called “all” you gave anyone could apply that paltry list, many unbelievers could apply that list of things given up. I know MANY poor people who have given up way more than that so called “all” list of yours.

    You have not in the least given up ALL to follow Christ and thus have eternal life, as you read this scripture, not in the least. You say, “if the Lord ask me to again I will do so”. How was it in fact that he asked you the first time, what did that sound like? This passage says, “all”, he’s saying all if you would be perfect. It is in fact Law, but lets go with your Law Gospel confusion and say you are right, ignore my first question. If it’s law or gospel, or both in your book. The key is eternal life is promised and the question remains “Has Jeofurry done this.” Would you go to the Lord and say, “Lord, I gave up all as you said and asked, and basically recite you paragraph of what you gave up”. How do you think the Lord might reply to that? “GOOD JOB Jeofurry, FINE WORK Jeofurry, you got it buddy, GOOD WORK.” Do you think that’s what Christ would say to you after you launder your list before Him? Or might He not do you the same way He did the RYR who came to Christ with his laundry “all” list and said, “this I’ve done since my youth…”. And we know what Christ’s answer was to that.

    Christ said all and he did not say part or the so called “all” list you put before that many people believers and unbelievers could give. People give up far more than that every day of their lives. Hell I know homeless people who have given more than that. So your “all” is list is really a repeat and parallel of the RYR saying, “these things I have done since my youth”.

    You have not done so at all. In fact this verse is precisely for you and all of us who would come to God with some things we’ve done in hand and thereby saying in various ways, “I’ve done these things since my youth”. His material wealth was irrelevant it is his heart Christ is getting at with the Law in order to save him, wake him up, give him a wake up call, snap him out of his delusion about himself…this comes to you this way as well.

    So the questions remains:

    We’ll skip number one for now because it really at this point does not matter. Rather:

    2. Does “all” mean “all”, everything, the whole lot, nothing whatsoever exempt…in short and plain English literally “ALL”?

    You have NOT answered that because you say out of one side of your mouth “yes all means all” but then you give that tiny list of nothing by comparison which is not ALL and say, “here is an example of “all” that I mean, out of the other side of your mouth. Thus, your “all” appears to be “not quite” all, just a few things in Jeofurry’s life list but not really ALL. And that less than all that you gave away, did you distribute it to the poor? Hmmm? I’m puzzled by your definition of all. For you apparently had enough to move by your own admission, so how much “all” is all? You have a bigger home, not quite given up all? You still have internet, not quite all? You still make money, not quite all? So I’m puzzled by your rather convenient definition of all. Your “all” seems to be more akin to “those things one can bare to loose anyway” but not real sacrifice, not like Christ’s sacrifice Who only and really gave all. Did you give all like Christ gave all? Did you give up that equivalent? Are you willing to go to hell for others with no gain for yourself? Have you suffered that much? Would you suffer everything and even take hell as your lot for it, as Paul says?

    3. Have you done this?

    For your laundry list of so called “all” is more precisely not the language of the “all” in that passage but the language of the RYR saying, “these things I have done since my youth”.

    • Larry,
      You really are thick sometimes. That wasn’t a laundry list, it was a couple of piddling examples. I gave up EVERYTHING!!!!! And I said so plainly, but you are more interested in “sniping” for some inconsistency that isn’t there. Your mind is made up. Hearing you cannot hear and seeing you cannot see. Do what you want to do. Keep arguing with the shadow Jeff that you have created in your own mind from your past existence. It matters not to me.

      P.S. Someone else paid for the move.

  29. Jeofurry,

    For someone filled with the spirit of love you sure do love to name call. I’m just talking doctrine and what you confess yourself, I’ve never once called you a name. I think you are a fine person and I do truly believe that. It’s the doctrine that’s of issue.

    Do you really think you gave up everything? Really? Did you distribute it to the poor, that’s there too you realize? It does not appear that you gave up everything seeing now that you have a house, internet, etc… I don’t read into that “all” give it up for a bit, then “get it back”.

    I’m just going on what you said, and you said you retained certain things, a new home bigger than the one before, a new job (i.e. reducing one’s salary to a lower one is not really “all”). That is hardly all. If someone else paid for it, that’s not giving up all.

    Here are your own words, you really don’t mean “all”, you say you do but everything else you display as “this is all” is not “all” at, pardon the pun, all: Keep in mind I’m not begrudging you of the gifts God gives us all, but talking about your confusion of the doctrine here.

    I live over 1000 miles away from my family and my wife’s family and yet God has given us a new family in our church here. (It doesn’t sound like you are living on the streets.)

    I gave up our home and a job that paid a lot more than I ever made before or since to go to a place where I had no job; and yet God has continued to sustain us in His grace and mercy and we live in a bigger home than the one we left behind (which is good since our family grew too). (bigger home, see, not all and “since”, I assume you are employed now = not all)

    He has provided for our every need. He even let me have an internet connection (I can see that you are worried about such thing) (see, again, not all);

    Don’t you see you are defining “all” as basically what you said, namely some kind of stewardship of things given and hardly bereft of all things. Compared to those in third world countries, you are lavishly rich, even when you supposedly “gave it all up”. Thus, you cannot accuse me of falsely reading into the RYR what you so very clearly are openly stating about it. It is you who continue to not be clear. You cannot legitimately accuse me of misunderstanding you when you yourself are saying it and I’m merely repeating it:

    Thus Jeofurry’s heterodoxy bible apparently says, (Luke 18:22) “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; BE A GOOD STEWARD OF ALL THAT YOU POSSESS and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    But Jesus meant ALL, something neither you nor I have ever nor ever will do (our consciences accuse everyone of us of this). And that’s the point, its Law, its coming to us saying, “You addicts are addicted to yourselves”, to break us and thus finally we see our real deep need of grace. The old Adam must be thoroughly dead before he really sees the Cross for what it truly is. It’s a wake up call to us, you are not as you think you are and tacking “by the grace of God” to the side of it is nothing different that the Pharisee’s prayer, “I thank you God” (he gives God all the credit) and the RYR saying behold these commandments (of/from God) which he says he did since his childhood, again giving credit to God. We are like addicts whom everyone else sees we are addicts but ourselves. The point of Christ saying “all” if you wish to have eternal life was to show that “you WILL not to do so…not in the least”. Its not at all about the earthly wealth he possessed but the wealth of his hear and righteousness he thinks he has, the RYR. So the Law comes and says, “Oh yea, give it all up and distribute it to the poor”. But he could not.

    Grace that is a power to do actively righteousness is not grace at all, that ‘grace’ is the devil’s grace and false faith. Grace is this way, Christ’s righteousness is already mine declared to me without me ever doing a single thing and it is the righteousness of Christ’s already done that already and will stand in the day of judgment for one. That grace stands even if or particularly if, one never gives up all that he has but at last is saved. And any reaction against that is pure flesh that is hiding behind the words grace, faith, gospel, etc….

    If you REALLY wish to have Christ you must give up even your good works, else you are lost.

    A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.
    This is clear: He who does not know Christ does not know God hidden in suffering. Therefore he prefers works to suffering, glory to the cross, strength to weakness, wisdom to folly, and, in general, good to evil. These are the people whom the apostle calls “enemies of the cross of Christ” [Ph3v18], for they hate the cross and suffering and love works and the glory of works. Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good. God can be found only in suffering and the cross, as has already been said. Therefore the friends of the cross say that the cross is good and works are evil, for through the cross works are destroyed and the old Adam, who is especially edified by works, is crucified. It is impossible for a person not to be puffed up by his good works unless he has first been deflated and destroyed by suffering and evil until he knows that he is worthless and that his works are not his but God’s.” (Thus far, Luther)

    “Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good.” That is key to grasp concerning a theology of glory, false religion, and the theology of the Cross. They, the TOG, calls the good of the cross, the suffering of Christ such that the sinner’s sin is imputed to Christ and all is forgiven the sinner and the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner such that NOTHING is left TO DO AT ALL – this they call and consider evil. How so? They don’t say, “it’s evil”, mostly, rather imply its not enough and thus implicitly evil or insufficient. Then they reassert James and other scriptures, as oft Satan does quote the Word wrongly. They will say, “Christ is enough”, but then act and require works which proves their real beliefs are contrary to their words. E.g. if I say that nothing is wrong and nothing bad is happening, then you see me packing my bags and hauling ass out of the building we are in, are you going to believe my words or my actions as what I really think is true? Same thing, in this way the TOG calls the good of the cross evil and the evil of a good deed good. What then is meant “evil” of a good deed, this sounds contrary? Yet seen through the cross the evil of a good deed is EASILY seen, in that it asserts itself above Christ ultimately, above God, and thus we see clearly what original sin really was! Not first a move into baser things but up into pious things! Paul’s precise point in Romans 1:18-ff! Thus, via the means of implication of the evil of a deed they call good we spelled out above, the call the evil of a deed good by their actions. Again the analogy of me running out of the room in spite of my words is apropos, they will not say ‘good deeds’ are above Christ but every action and “yea but” and Jesus comma they exhibit, Jesus but James, they show forth that in the end of their beliefs Christ is hardly sufficient. Like, again, if I say that nothing is wrong and nothing bad is happening, then you see me packing my bags and hauling ass out of the building we are in, are you going to believe my words or my actions as what I really think is true?

    “Yet that wisdom is not of itself evil, nor is the law to be evaded; but without the theology of the cross man misuses the best in the worst manner.”
    “Indeed the law is holy [Ro7v12], every gift of God good [1Tm4v4], and everything that is created exceedingly good, as in Gn1v31. But, as stated above, he who has not been brought low, reduced to nothing through the cross and suffering, takes credit for works and wisdom and does not give credit to God. He thus misuses and defiles the gifts of God.
    He, however, who has been emptied [Cf. Ph2v7] through suffering no longer does works but knows that God works and does all things in him. For this reason, whether man does works or not, it is all the same to him. He nei¬ther boasts if he does good works, nor is he disturbed if God does not do good works through him. He knows that it is sufficient if he suffers and is brought low by the cross in order to be annihilated all the more. It is this that Christ says in Jn3v7, “You must be born anew. ” To be born anew, one must con¬sequently first die and then be raised up with the Son of Man. To die, I say, means to feel death at hand.”

    (Thus far, Luther)

    • Larry,
      That wasn’t name-calling. I thought you said you couldn’t be offended. I was merely testing to see if using your mode of address would work any better. Judging by the lengthy incoherence of this response I am going to say no. It is entertaining to a point to see what new way you can twist my words though.

  30. This statement of Luther’s is chalked full of what Paul means in Romans 1:18-ff.

    “Indeed the law is holy [Ro7v12], every gift of God good [1Tm4v4], and everything that is created exceedingly good, as in Gn1v31. But, as stated above, he who has not been brought low, reduced to nothing through the cross and suffering, takes credit for works and wisdom and does not give credit to God. He thus misuses and defiles the gifts of God.
    He, however, who has been emptied [Cf. Ph2v7] through suffering no longer does works but knows that God works and does all things in him. For this reason, whether man does works or not, it is all the same to him. He nei¬ther boasts if he does good works, nor is he disturbed if God does not do good works through him. He knows that it is sufficient if he suffers and is brought low by the cross in order to be annihilated all the more. It is this that Christ says in Jn3v7, “You must be born anew. ” To be born anew, one must con¬sequently first die and then be raised up with the Son of Man. To die, I say, means to feel death at hand.”

    For we rarely assess or understand the Law and wisdom as created creatures and gifts from God, rather we only normally think of such as material things, per se, like food, drink, house, material goods, opposite sex, etc… By this pieitism and its brother gnosticism has a tendency to identify as sin just the fall for baser things that basically bring pleasure (e.g. food, drink and sex). They miss the idolatry being the chief and source of all, indeed original, sin. But if you ponder what Luther is saying, merely repeating Paul, you see what happens here. All things, including wisdom and works are good creatures and gifts of God as Luther points out; “Indeed the law is holy [Ro7v12], every gift of God good [1Tm4v4], and everything that is created exceedingly good, as in Gn1v31.”

    Yet seeking to be more pious than God, a righteousness of our own, even if we “give credit to God for giving us the ability to do it”, we as Luther points out use the best for the worse evil. In the normal of things, pietism only sees the material showing forth its Gnostic nature and thus it says, “See the good gifts of food, drink, material wealth, sex…these were meant for good but man uses and abuses them”. True enough, but pieitism doesn’t realize that it was man seeking to be more holy than God that led to this, this is thus shown when the rest of the gifts of God are being abused that pietism still clings to in order to be more holy than God, such as wisdom and works! These creatures of God, good in and of themselves, man abuses and uses wrongly just as much as does the more material things. Thus, the open sinner and the false saint have the same issue, seeking to be God, more pious than God said to be, more pious than even God, as the devil said he’d be, we abuse not just food, drink, material things (open and overt sin and sinners) but also and worse wisdom and works (false saints and covert “fruits of the faith” sins).

    TOG versus TOC

    Law and Gospel

  31. Jeff,

    I’m not offended and you may excuse yourself all you wish.

    I think sufficiently we’ve shown why we, Lutherans, do not profess the same religion, Christ, Spirit, Gospel, Grace, and faith that you do.

    There’s a reason we don’t commune together and its doctrine, not life.

    Again, I’m not the least bit angry, quite cool about it all in fact.

    Take care of yourself Jeff,

    Larry

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