O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
This thread will be dedicated to discussing Christ, the cross, the atonement (from an Old Covenant perspective, into the New), and various other related things.
So, to get things started, I will lay out my current thinking --
Christ did not die on the cross to save Gentiles from "the death" and "sin" from a Law covenant that they were never under. However, when someone post AD70 trusts in the finished work of Christ on the cross, they pass from "darkness" into "light" and are in covenant with God (much like the example given in Exodus 12). Those in covenant with God through Christ will never face condemnation in any way via a thing called "sin." There is a natural repercussion for living outside of loving God and loving your neighbor, but nothing imputed or ongoing whereby a person is "saved" and then not "saved," then can be "saved" again.
That's a very rough outline, but I'm trying to do 100 things and I want to get the discussion started.
If it is true that
Christ did not die on the cross to save Gentiles from "the death" and "sin" from a Law covenant that they were never under... [and while] there is a natural repercussion for living outside of loving God and loving your neighbor, but nothing imputed or ongoing whereby a person is "saved" and then not "saved," then can be "saved" again.
Can we be comforted *in* our sins (if there are any sins in the first place) in terms of eternal destiny (rather than just the harmful effects of certain behaviour)?
I don't think Reformed theology is the problem. There is a very distinct difference between what I have seen in the preaching of Arminian churches and strict Calvinist churches. Remember that both can still be considered "reformed". I find very little discussion in Calvinist churches on good behavior and warnings tying good behavior to the end times (which is good). But on the other hand I really enjoy the more Arminian churches with their constant emphasis on good behavior. While they may go overboard on their prescriptions on holy living (like no alcohol, cards, going to movies at least back in the 1970's) I am a firm believer that I want to raise my children to know that being a Christian must make a difference in how they live. Just go to a Nazarene church for a year or a month and count how many times they talk about "holy living" and then contrast that to how often a reformed Calvinist church (and I mean like they actually have the word "reformed" in their church name) doesn't mention "holy living" and instead mentions "holy God". You will find the Calvinists will stress that we are wretches and God is holy, but the Nazarene/Arminian will stress that God wants us to lead holy lives. Because I find Calvinist churches to focus so little on "holy living" I personally would focus less on my personal sin because I would focus more on ideas like Christ giving me his situational righteousness before God. I forget the fancy theological term for that, imputation of righteousness? But from what I see of the history of the church the Arminian/Nazarene view fits better with the overall trajectory of Christian thought on scripture. Some of that is messed up because we don't need to lead "holy lives" in fear of a second coming. Instead we live "holy lives" because God is holy and because Christ's love flowing out of us naturally changes the way we live. Does anyone else have a similar experience? Doug I thought you had gone to a CC? What do you feel like they treat "holy living"? They seem pretty big on it since they don't use music in worship.
Well, here it is two years later and I am just coming back for a continuation of this thread....
That said, its incredible to me that we are all describing this elephant like the blind men. One feels the side and concludes an elephant must be a house. Another feels the tail and say it must be a rope. Another feels the leg and says it is a tree. None see the whole picture, and all are only a "little bit right"
So it is with understanding God. He deliberately created mysteries. Apostle Paul said so and so did Peter.
Are we to accept that they are mysteries that cannot be solved? Perhaps, but then again, much study does peel back the layers. Not everyone can be a bible scholar. I certainly am not.
But I have studied and come to certain conclusions. In my life I have changed those conclusions as time went on. Does that mean that when I understood things wrongly I was condemned? Absolutely not! That is what grace is for.
So, let us all commit to graceful language, and be willing at any moment to discard cherished ideas. That is the only way growth can happen. It starts with humility, just like our Lord displayed.
It is a discussion I would still like to continue but I'm not sure anyone else wants to.
It started with Paul Sauls and I conversing on Facebook.
I believe his intentions are good but the outcome of what he is trying to do could be detrimental. He believes the opposite.
I felt that he was twisting scripture to fit his presuppositions.
After getting nowhere, I called Dustin in for some backup.
...and that's how we ended up here ;-)
Sorry all for the confusion