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Totally Unconditional

September 16, 2014
Greetings,
“……  God is love……”  1 John 4: 16
The last several days in my heart and mind I have been pondering some wonderful mysteries.  I have come to several conclusions and I thought I would share them here with you today.
“….  God is love….” that is an undeniable fact, and His love is also unconditional. He loves everyone at all times and nothing we can say or do can change that.  At our very best or very worst He continues to love us no matter what we have ever done, or what we can ever do.  His love is constant and unchanging.
I was pondering His great love and then it hit me….not only is God’s love unconditional, but because of His love and great character God’s grace must be unconditional too.  The best definition I have ever found for grace is…unmerited favor.  Grace cannot be earned, it is something freely given to us by our Lord.  Just take a moment and think about it?  Unconditional grace; that is a total game changer.  In fact grace of this magnitude totally obliterates karma. Jesus fully bought and paid for everyone of us on the cross.  His total sacrifice means our complete freedom in Him for eternity.
Still hanging with me?  The rabbit hole goes even deeper.  I will now close with one life changing statement.  Because of who God is…His mercy is totally unconditional too!  I am coming to understand these things and it is completely rocking my world.  Unconditional love, unconditional grace and unconditional mercy….truly walking in HIM means we will practice these things in our daily lives, towards ALL people and all the time.  If the true Church would rise up and grasp these simple concepts the whole world around us would be transformed.  The early Church in the book of Acts turned the world upside down by walking in Love, Grace and Mercy.  Now is our time to do the same.
Love and……
Kirk Out !
P.s.  Seems to me that much of the modern traditional “Church” system gets it almost totally wrong where it comes to distributing God’s love, grace and mercy.  Most of these “churches” seem to measure and dole out love, grace and mercy like they have an extremely limited supply on hand.  Plus they only give to people that meet their predetermined conditions and qualifications for care and aid.  When according to God they need to give unconditionally of HIS bountiful unlimited supply.
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60 Comments
  1. That is a deep post, thank you

  2. Christopher, you main observations are so right; God’s love and mercy for us is unconditional. It is often the case that when we finally come to the right understanding of Father we still often use the language we were taught, often as children, about the god who is watching us to see if “we’re naughty or nice.” I think this sentence you used reveals that old way of thinking;

    “Jesus fully bought and paid for everyone of us on the cross.”

    “bought and paid”? Where does that idea come from? Do you see that in contradiction to “unconditional”?

    t

    • T, I don’t see the contradiction. Jesus paying our debt on the cross is what made Love, Grace and Mercy unconditional. HE met every condition for us. So now we are free.

      • C. there is no contradiction IF you can show me where the scripture says that “Jesus PAID our DEBT on the cross.”

        I know that a particular systematic theology says that, but I can’t find where the Bible says it.

      • Amen Chris Amen

  3. Ramma permalink

    Great thoughts Brother! Everything after Jesus work is unconditional. “HE met every condition for us”. The only price we pay is our life surrendered to His love, mercy, and grace. Only our flesh thinks it’s a cost. Our carnal man that wants to fight the Spirit. Blessings

  4. volkmar1108, The bible may not use those exact words, but the concept is alive and clear in the bible. Jesus gave His life as ransom for us all. Matt 20:28, Heb 9:15. Jesus paid the price to set us free from sin and the Law and through the resurrected Jesus we now have eternal life.

    • C., You’re right, the Bible does not use those exact words because that is not the intended meaning–that is, “to pay a price”. To whom was the “price” paid if indeed a “payment” was required? To be “ransomed” is to be set free from bondage/captivity.

      Tom C.

      • Maybe this might help:
        Colossians 1:22Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

        22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

        We by Christ’s death are made as if cleansed once by his death. Yet does death give life?
        So what is next you see this we are reconciled right by his death so:
        Romans 5:10

        For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

        So we are saved by the life in Christ the resurrected Christ, see that?

        How do we thus get this here today?
        Is it by ask and then believe sticking with believe steadfast in what God has done for us not us for him, For our works are as filthy rags and God’s are perfect

        Colossians 1:23Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

        23 if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

        So what did Paul confirm here and just read 1 John 2 the whole chapter, says the same in a different way of saying the same thing we are forgiven By God through Christ’s finished work for us we are forgiven

        So do you believe this we are loved beyond measure? becoming responders to God in place of being God (imitators) as what we were first born into, playing as if we Are God

        Colossians 1:21-23Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

        21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

        Is there anything left for us to do, except to Ask Father for the new life Father freely gives in the resurrected Christ in Spirit and truth, where by flesh and blood we walk no longer

        John 4:24

        God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

      • The price was and is the shed blood. The blood is what stops Father, so are we even more thankful, and seek not to take this amazing grace for granted. Never meant to take advantage of ever. Appreciate yes. And I am thankful for God knows the motives not us, and we do make Judgments that are not necessarily right don’t we all. Bottom line is if you are God’s I trust God to:
        Romans 14:4Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

        4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

        So I refrain from Judgment and yet have made them and could again, trusting god to keep me from as in 1 john 2, I write this so that we don’t sin but if we do we have Christ as our advocate the only righteous one to ever walk in the flesh perfectly
        Thank you for listening

  5. Christopher, think about it…either our sin is forgiven, or it is paid for. Is it both?

    Tom

  6. Tom, I feel it is both that in this case forgiven and paid for are synonyms.

  7. Christopher, if someone owes you money but you “forgive” their debt, do they still pay you the money?

    Next step…If God required a “payment” for sin and if Jesus paid that payment, how can it be said that our sins are “forgiven”?

    t

    • Ramma permalink

      Tom, This makes me think that there was no purpose in Jesus coming and dying on the cross for our redemption. Is that what you are saying? Then there is nothing to life at all. No reason, no purpose, no God. Is that what you are saying?

  8. Brother Homwardbound, you are giving a systematic interpretation of the proof texts you cite–in order to “support” the presupposition of your chosen systematic theology. In the 2000 yr history of the church, the systematic theology and its presuppositions which you espouse only came on the scene in the 1500’s.

    • Please clarify something for me, from your posts it appears you believe in Christ right?
      I am asking this, if you believe are you saved? Or do you have to show works along with it to others as proof as if others are our God’s?
      Does not God know everyone’s heart, as to whether that one believes or not?

      So please we might both be on the same page or not, for what is it exactly you are refuting about being forgiven are we or are we not forgiven by God through Christ?
      May be a better way to ask, are we in and out of fellowship with God via if we sin, and then back in fellowship when we ask for more forgiveness?

      And when answering this please bear in mind that there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood, and that Christ was this last, done, finished with the shedding of blood.

      • Homwardbound,

        I think you’re missing my point–and that may be as much my fault as yours.

        I will be plain and straight.

        What you and Christopher are describing when you try to “explain” how Jesus’ death on the cross “saves” us is called the Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory.

        If asked to summarize the gospel, many Christians would probably say something like this. We humans all have sinned. Sin offends God’s holiness (and, Calvinists emphasize, provokes his wrath), and God must punish it with death. But the sinless Jesus took our place and accepted our punishment. As a result, God’s holiness (and/or his wrath) is satisfied, he forgives our sins, and gives us eternal life instead of the second death in hell. Because this explanation involves Jesus being punished (“penal”) instead of us (“substitutionary”) to set us right with God (atonement), it is commonly referred to as the theory of “penal substitutionary atonement” (PSA).

        Today, a number of biblical scholars and theologians are reacting against PSA. Objectors claim that PSA distorts the biblical view of God’s nature (He is not subject to any rule outside himself), God’s motive (acting from anger instead of love), and God’s goal (salvation means far more than missing hell); distorts the Trinity (pitting Father and Son against each other; some even charge PSA with “cosmic child abuse”); and distorts justice (it is wicked to punish an innocent person for the sins of the guilty; sin can be punished or forgiven but not both).

        There are a number of ideas and phrases that most Biblically literate Christians would swear were in the Bible, but are not. Among those is the phrase (or concept) of the “debt of sin.” It is simply not there. Nor is there a phrase that describes sin as something that we “owe.” Again, it’s simply not there. The phrase, “the debt of sin,” or “sin debt” is extra-biblical. It is an idea that has been created by the theory of penal substitutionary atonement theory and frequently “read into” Scripture. But the phrase, and the idea, are simply imports. More than that, they run counter to Biblical thought and the traditional orthodox theology of the Faith prior to the Reformation.

        Debt is a very strong and significant Biblical concept, but is no where depicted as belonging to God. God does not work on the principle of debt.

        So, what I’m disputing is the idea that we have a “debt of sin” that must be “paid” to God by God taking vengeance against our sin by pouring out his wrath upon Jesus instead of us. That is an INTERPRETATION by some of what they think happened on the cross. However, I think it’s a faulty interpretation and one which too many people accept because they think “everyone” has always believed that — which is also not true.

      • Thank you fro your view from your seat in the arena of life here on earth, and from my seat this is what I see.
        Okay, so what I got out of what you just said is many are preaching a half-sham Gospel, (PSA) you are correct in that, if one only sees the death and not the resurrected life of Christ in eternity our high priest now forever

        No one, not one person is saved by Christ’s death, that is the cleansing, the made whole, perfect Holy from Christ to us, to be presented to Father this way, Justified= Just as if one had never sinned, and yet we know we have in unbelief. So we are cleansed now what?

        That is the problem today with the explanation you gave as that is true Friend, very much so, a Half-Sham Gospel that has no life in it.
        Christ’s death for us does not give life, never has, never will. It does cleanse us that is a fact. So when we then go to Father in Prayer Father hears us, and we say Thank you for Son’s finished work for us, and Ask Father for the new life in the Resurrected Christ in Spirit and truth

        Romans 5:10

        For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

        Romans 5:6English Standard Version (ESV)

        6 For (A)while we were still weak, at the right time (B)Christ died for the ungodly.

        Romans 5:8English Standard Version (ESV)

        8 but (A)God shows his love for us in that (B)while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

        Colossians 1:21English Standard Version (ESV)

        21 (A)And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, (B)doing evil deeds,

        Colossians 1:22English Standard Version (ESV)

        22 he has now reconciled (A)in his body of flesh by his death, (B)in order to present you holy and blameless and (C)above reproach before him,

        Colossians 1:23English Standard Version (ESV)

        23 (A)if indeed you continue in the faith, (B)stable and steadfast, not shifting from (C)the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed (D)in all creation[a] under heaven, (E)and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

        So maybe it is time to stop trying to get what God gives freely and that is new life in Spirit and truth, exactly what Christ came to give, yet death had top happen first, for the cleansing to be able to receive it freely from Father in Faith to Father and Son, together the two work as one

        Isaiah 44:6
        Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

        see that Christ is Father’s redeemer and we are redeemed now today by Christ to get new life, here and now today
        Passed from death to life, hope you see the full Gospel now
        Saved by the life not the death

  9. Ramma permalink

    He first became the ultimate sacrifice that cleansed ALL of OUR sins (the payment= his life lived holy and acceptable to God followed by His blood shed on the cross). Second, from that day forward our sins are forgiven when we take them directly to him in repentance. We no longer have to shed blood for our sin. Hebrews 10 is full of this. Verse 26 kind of scares me though, it says if we willfully sin, then there is no more sacrifice for sin. Wow, so I do need to make sure that I’ve made everything right to the best of my knowledge, right? I know some teach forever our sins are forgiven with no repentance or recognition of my sin, but these verses make me think that is not the case. The door to Him is always open and unconditionally He welcomes us always. He doesn’t withhold mercy and grace either, it is all ours as much as we want to receive. We may the ones who shut the door to him. Just some of my thoughts. Blessings Great post from everyone!

    • Ramma Sister, good points you make. Please see we are forgiven as you do see and are worried over willful sin, another trap from the enemy. Once made aware of sin and take on can’t sin and we sin anyway, when is it not willful? See it, I know you do not want to do what you do anyway as Paul revealed so well in Romans 7. I do what I not want to do, and do it anyway. What was he trying to reveal to us, that we do it also and that the only way out is through Jesus. the way the truth and the new life given to us by Father in his resurrection for us in Spirit and truth for Father to lead us in Love, Mercy and Father’s righteousness to all without condemnation after the Christ our Lord took away the sin of the world, 1 John 2 a revealing Chapter in this truth. Father though son has got you in the palm of his hand, and not anyone can snatch you out of it. So all the enemy has got is to try to stop you from telling others this truth, For the enemy can do nothing about your salvation put to try and bring fear and trip you up, so others might not receive this awesome love to all, even the unbeliever
      Romans 2 real clear on what God’ kindness to all is all about, which you already know and have received. Learning from God, directly God is your true teacher and you shall know the truth and this truth from God sets you free not to be boastful or proud or guilty, Humble in this amazing salvation for all through Christ to Father

  10. Tom, Could you please share your view of the atonement with us here? You say what it is not, please tell us what it is?

  11. Does the following view of the Ransom theory of Atonement help or hurt?

    In Orthodox theology generally it can be said that the language of “payment” and “ransom” is rather understood as a metaphorical and symbolical way of saying that Christ has done all things necessary to save and redeem mankind enslaved to the devil, sin and death, and under the wrath of God. He “paid the price,” not in some legalistic or juridical or economic meaning. He “paid the price” not to the devil whose rights over man were won by deceit and tyranny. He “paid the price” not to God the Father in the sense that God delights in His sufferings and received “satisfaction” from His creatures in Him. He “paid the price” rather, we might say, to Reality Itself. He “paid the price” to create the conditions in and through which man might receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life by dying and rising again in Him to newness of life. (See Romans 5-8; Galatians 2-4)

    By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus Christ cleansed the world from evil and sin. He defeated the devil “in his own territory” and on “his own terms.” The “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) So the Son of God became man and took upon Himself the sins of the world and died a voluntary death. By His sinless and innocent death accomplished entirely by His free will — and not by physical, moral, or juridical necessity – He made death to die and to become itself the source and the way into life eternal.
    — Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Orthodox Faith – Volume 1: Doctrine[6]

    • Awesome, love it Kirk

    • (Sorry, I didn’t have time to respond this morning. I’ve been on the job all day–away from the ‘puter.)

      Yes, Christopher, that is a fair description, especially in the first paragraph, of the Ransom Theory. I have some quibbles with the second paragraph. I suspect that Fr. Hopko may be Roman Catholic by the way he expressed himself in that section. However, his first paragraph certainly emphasises that there is not a transaction that takes place on the cross. Jesus is not our stand in to take a holy beatin’ on our behalf–which is the main focus and emphasis of the Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory.

      Eastern Orthodoxy would take a somewhat different tact emphasising the Incarnation as perfect union of God and Humanity, and Christ as the perfection/fullness of that Unity who incorporated within himself (“took upon himself”) every aspect of humanity and thus bringing all creation into (“in Christ”) sinless (“without defect”) relationship with God.

      What makes Jesus unique is not the fact that he overcame all temptations, a rather Pelagian view, but rather that he is wholly divine and wholly human, with his humanity being wholly deified–without change, admixture, separation or division of his Person.

      Nor is he our savior because he never sinned. He is our savior because he unites, in his one Person, full divinity and full humanity. Even if each of us had never sinned, we, as creatures, could not be united to God. Only through Christ’s bridging the gap between Creator and creature, can we truly be one with God (this is what Jesus is talking about in John 17, for instance).

      This moralistic view that somehow Jesus saves us because he never sinned is very problematic. For if that is the basis for our salvation, then any human could have saved us, and there was no need for God to be incarnate.

      Another Atonement theory, which along with the Ransom motif and has always been in the vocabulary of the church, is referred to as “Christus Victor”. In at least the first 500 years of church history CV was the primary way which Believers used to describe what happened on the cross, with Ransom the secondary view.

      The Christus Victor theory/motif views Christ’s death as the means by which the powers of evil, which held humankind under their dominion, were defeated and overcome by love (Heb 2:14; 1 Jn 3:8). It is a model of the atonement that dates to the Church Fathers, and it, or the related ransom theory, was the dominant theory of the atonement for a thousand years, until it was removed in the West by the eleventh-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm, and replaced with his “satisfaction” model which was then morphed by the Reformers into what we today call the PSA theory.

      Greg Boyd writes a very good essay on CV here —> http://reknew.org/2008/01/the-christus-victor-view-of-the-atonement/

      One theory put forth by the Franciscans is that the incarnation of Jesus was not an after thought because of the fall, but the eternal plan of the Trinity. The atonement could have happened in other ways, but the Cross was freely chosen by God to show just how completely he loves us. I love you and forgive even though you kill me. The Franciscans refer to the Incarnation and Death of Jesus (as well as the Eucharist) as the kenosis and poverty of God. Out of love for us, He totally emptied Himself. The Incarnation and Crucifixion are primarily about God’s love not our sin. The Franciscans also reject the idea of the wrath of God. God did not pour out his wrath on the Son as he hanged on the cross. By the cross the Trinity poured out it’s love on all people even though people poured out their wrath on God as he suffered and died on the cross. (The RC church recognizes this view as “orthodox” along with CV and Ransom and even the “satisfaction” model.)

      Now, having said/written all of that, my main objections to PSA are;

      1–UNBIBLICAL: God was angry with sinners until Jesus came and died in their place, but then his wrath turned to love.

      TRUTH: God loved the world before Jesus ever came, and that love motivated God to give his Son to rescue sinners (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10).

      2–UNBIBLICAL: God “punished” Jesus instead of punishing sinners.

      TRUTH: The Bible nowhere says that God “punished” Jesus. It does say that Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:2), that he was made to be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), that he was made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), and that the chastening for our well-being fell upon him (Isaiah 53:5).

      3–UNBIBLICAL: God was angry with Jesus while he was bearing our sins.

      TRUTH: The Bible nowhere says that God was ever angry with his beloved Son, with whom it repeatedly said that he was well pleased (Isaiah 42:1; Matt. 3:17; 17:5).

      4–UNBIBLICAL: The death of Jesus satisfied God’s wrath.

      TRUTH: The Bible nowhere says that God’s wrath was “satisfied” or that it needs to be. It does say that Jesus rescues us from the wrath to come (1 Thes. 1:10; Rom. 5:9).

      If the Bible plays a part in our understanding of God and something of how he relates to us, then we should pay attention to how we use words. PSA, as an interpretive theory of how/what/why Christ died on the cross fails all test of how we know God in view of God revealing himself in the Son.

      • Volkmar1108, Thanks for sharing. I feel that Jesus was fully human when he was on earth with no divine power other than what we can all have via the Holy Spirit.

      • Quote 1–UNBIBLICAL: God was angry with sinners until Jesus came and died in their place, but then his wrath turned to love. end Quote Volkmar1108

        The shed Blood of Christ, took away the sin of the world in Father’s sight, made peace, so that Father in Spirit and truth could live in us, not seeing the sin that caused death, anymore thanks to the payment Blood, as it has been since day one Blood the payment
        And John the Baptist was the witness for this to be,

        John 1:29 [Full Chapter]

        [ John Testifies About Jesus ] The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

        Christ is the last sacrifice and payment for sin in the last shedding of blood for all time

        Hebrews 9:22

        In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

        When Moses was on his way to free the First Chosen, God using Him to do so. Watch this Moses was on his way to do this, and God came to:

        Exodus 4:24-26New International Version (NIV)

        24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[a] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[b] “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

        So it is the blood that turns God’s wrath away, Thank you Jesus, my last and final sacrifice, thank you Father, and now I ready to be taught by you in Spirit and truth, I give you my all, and see Son as the last final sacrifice for us all to come to life, Let those with ears hear
        Love to all

      • 2–UNBIBLICAL: God “punished” Jesus instead of punishing sinners.

        TRUTH: The Bible nowhere says that God “punished” Jesus. It does say that Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:2), that he was made to be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), that he was made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), and that the chastening for our well-being fell upon him (Isaiah 53:5).

        Agreed

      • 3–UNBIBLICAL: God was angry with Jesus while he was bearing our sins.

        TRUTH: The Bible nowhere says that God was ever angry with his beloved Son, with whom it repeatedly said that he was well pleased (Isaiah 42:1; Matt. 3:17; 17:5).

        Agreed

      • 4–UNBIBLICAL: The death of Jesus satisfied God’s wrath.

        TRUTH: The Bible nowhere says that God’s wrath was “satisfied” or that it needs to be. It does say that Jesus rescues us from the wrath to come (1 Thes. 1:10; Rom. 5:9).

        Me and see what you say yet did Christ’s death on the cross cleanse us, take away our sin or not

        1 John 2:1

        My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

        Is that on-going are to only a few that believe or all that believe?

        1 John 2:12

        [ Reasons for Writing ] I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

        So are all sins forgiven from Father’s view or not?

  12. Just did a search for Fr. Thomas Hopko…he IS Eastern Orthodox.

    Ah, well, mileage varies… ;o)

    • Ramma permalink

      Ya know, you can theorize, philosphize, everything you want from here until kingdom come…..but I see the more you do……the more confusing Christ becomes. Is that your intention? Sad….Chridt is simple and pure. This conversation is not.

  13. Colossians 1:22Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

    Philippians 3:3Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

    Romans 4:7

    saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Ephesians 1:7

    in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    Ephesians 4:32

    and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

    Colossians 1:14

    in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

    Colossians 2:13

    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    James 5:15

    and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

    1 John 2:12

    I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.

  14. Now look up redeemed redemption, and just see yes by Christ in the shed blood we are forgiven, not all have yet received that yet to move to the new life in Spirit and truth where God can only ne worshipped, and gives this freely in the resurrected Christ not the dead one
    John 4:24 [Full Chapter]

    God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    No flesh pleases Father but Christ’s and we today no longer know him in the flesh rather the Spirit of truth connected to Father for us by Faith are connected in the same and walk as he walked in response, God is the initiator we are the creation, responders, changed from flesh selfishness to participate in God’s righteousness by Christ’s finished work for us

  15. deana permalink

    To say that we shouldn’t continue discussing this topic because it seems to lead to confusion, or that somehow motives are impure here, will still leave those who are searching for answers in a state of confusion. I would like to hear more thoughts on this subject….and to muzzle the conversation is the same thing that pastors do…I know that this blog does not support such restrictions.

  16. deana, you are 100% correct….I want this site to be totally free and open for mutual discussion about even difficult topics. However, just because someone voiced their frustration does not mean they intended to shut the whole conversation down. So please everyone feel totally free to continue the dialogue.

  17. Just lets all discuss, not cuss, thanks

  18. "BK" permalink

    Ok, I confess to reading through these quickly, partly because I’m on the road right now and am catching up when able to get online; partly because I really don’t care about the semantics of it all (and I honestly don’t mean that disrespectfully). I do realize there are those who are happy with the simplicity of the reality of Christ’s life in us; and others who love to discuss and dissect. I’ve been on both sides, leaning more towards the first at this point of my life. Not sure if this was said or not so I’ll put my little side dish on the table; it often said Jesus came to ‘forgive’ sin. He didn’t; He came to take it away. If it was only for forgiveness then He didn’t have to die at all because under the law they already had forgiveness….kill an animal, throw the blood around (or sprinkle it), etc. Matthew and Hebrews tell us He was manifested to take away our sin, which I think is important. I’ll try to watch the discussion a little closer now (can’t promise as I’m camping in the woods a good share of the time these days) and not jump in with general statements. “BK”

    • BK, awesome Amen that is correct as John the Baptist was Christ’s witness, to this e said:
      John 1:29

      The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin!

      And this is done fro us all, at the cross for us all to come to life through his resurrection and ascension , thanks, the sending of Father’s Spirit that led him, now here to lead us in Love and Mercy to all
      Thank you again well put through you from Father

  19. Homwardbound,

    Thank you dealing with the numbered points I posted.

    In responding to #4 you asked, “…yet did Christ’s death on the cross cleanse us, take away our sin or not”

    And I respond…Yes, certainly. That is exactly what the NT writers said/wrote.

    The issue arises when people try and EXPLAIN how we are forgiven by Jesus’ death/resurrection. The PSA theory (an EXPLANATION [read–interpretation]) makes God the Father into an hot tempered, abusive, aloof Marine drill Sargent who enjoys causing his Unique Son to get the bejebus knocked out of him. It makes God out to be a holder of grudges who easily flies-off-the-handle, who can only “love” people after his sense of “justice” is vindicated and debts are paid. PSA pits God’s love against God’s “justice”. The main description the NT gives us of God is that he is LOVE…”For God SO LOVED the world…” The NT never says that God can only love after his justice is met.

    There are much better ways to interpret what happened on the cross.

    Tom

    • Tom, I am Howard, great to meet you and love your points you see, it causes growth in me for all I hear from other I take to Father at the end of the day, and give it all to Father, as in Hebrews 8:11 reveals to me, from Father and thus truth get separated from ant errors that keep one in bondage. So anytime I see me in bondage I go to Father and ask to get truth from error separated and Father has not ever failed me or anyone that are in sincerity to Father

      Yes God is not a tyrant, at all, never has been never will be, yet the redemption had to take place, and did by Son no matter what way it is sliced, diced and or cubed. Christ took away the sin of the world and the final payment for this to be was his Shed blood for us all. This was so Father could be at peace with us, the two became one. And so now today in reception of Father’s Spirit of truth through Son’s finished work for us, Father lives in s teaching us truth over error

      John 8:36
      If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

      It is not about you better get your act together or else. That is the attitude of this world, not God and this world is the opposite of God
      God is not the tyrant the people of this world are, and teach others to be tyrants on themselves to not see the love and Mercy from God to them, thank you Jesus and Father for being one in marriage, the mystery of the covenant in Love and Mercy to all

      Does that help from where I sir in the arena of life in a different chair view?

  20. PSA retelling of the prodigal son.

    There was a man who had two sons.

    The Younger Son said, “Give me the share of your estate that falls to me.” So the Father divided his wealth between them.

    Not many days later, the Younger Son gathered his inheritance and set off for a faraway country, where he squandered his Father’s wealth with riotous living.

    Now every day, the Father sent messengers to the Younger Son saying,“You are living in sin. Your Father does not approve of your lifestyle.”(Because the most loving thing you can do is tell a person when they are sinning.)

    Before too long, he came to his senses. “They’re right. I’d should repent, before something bad happens. Like a famine or something.”

    So he returned to his Father’s house. Standing outside the front gate, he knocked, twice, sharply.
    The Father opened the front gate, just enough to see who was there. When he recognized his wayward son, he asked the question the Younger Son had been dreading:

    “Why should I let you in?”

    The son stammered and sputtered for a moment, and then the words fell out all at once:
    “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and am no longer worthy to be called your son. Still, if you could find a corner of your house or a scrap of bread for me, I’d love to come home.”
    The Father nodded.

    “You’re absolutely right. You are so unworthy. You have sinned against me by wasting all my money, and the penalty for riotous living is death. I’m so holy I can’t allow sin in my presence; you know that. I’d love to let you come home again, but rules are rules. I’m sure you understand.”
    Just then the Older Son interrupted:

    “Father, all these years I have been serving you faithfully, and have never disobeyed you even once.”

    This was true.

    Turning to the Older Son, the Father replied:“You’re right! Because you are sinless, you can pay the death penalty owed me by the Younger Son.”

    So the Father killed the Older Brother.

    Then he swung the gate open wide and said,“Come in! Because my other son took the death penalty you deserved, my wrath has been satisfied. Now I can forgive you.”

    Then the Father called the servants and said,“Quickly! Bring some of the Older Brother’s jewelry, and his best robe, and put it on the Younger Brother. That way whenever I look at him, I won’t actually see him. Instead, I’ll his Older Brother, who never disobeyed me.”

    Then they prepared a feast, and celebrated.

    The Prodigal had returned, and all was well.

    • "BK" permalink

      The story is interesting but I have to say, I don’t think in the story the younger son did anything worthy of death…just squandered his inheritance. I love that in the real account the father reached out also to the older son in his pouting…not just the younger. I don’t hear that mentioned much. For sure the Father isn’t a hot tempered, evil Guy. He is love. It is said of Jesus no man took His life, but He laid it down. It is through faith we begin to walk in what Jesus made available to us; something that goes beyond human intellect or reasoning. The more it is explained, the muddier the waters become. That’s why not many mighty, not many noble….not many highly educated….because all that has to be bridged over and left for the connection faith gives us. That is something each one has to have an internal, spiritual happening for; it can’t be explained no matter how hard we try. Like trying to express a beautiful sunset in words; they will be many and varied, but still not totally able to capture all the emotion that accompanies the description. “BK”

      • Well put BK, the contrived retelling of the prodigal did not set well in my Spirit, but I wasn’t sure of how to respond. Thanks for sharing and putting to words how I felt about it.

      • Yes, it is a contrived story based on how it would be interpreted from a Penal Substitutionary Atonement mindset if consistently applied.

        I’m glad that it didn’t settle well with you. To view Father through the lens of PSA does not match up with what we see of God in the Son.

        So, perhaps I’ve demonstrated something of why I agree fully with Christopher’s statement that God’s love and mercy is “totally unconditional” but fully disagree with CK’s statement that Jesus “bought and paid for” our salvation/redemption. When something is “paid for” or there exist a debt, then the something is certainly not free. God’s free gift of grace is totally “unconditional”. Period.

        I hope that my understanding has been helpful. If not, then I apologize. I don’t think I can or should say anymore.

        Tom

      • Ramma permalink

        Amen BK, the thing is, every one walks around like they have all the answers and not one of us has them all. We see in part, hear in part, but when we see Him face to face, then we will know(1 Cor. 13:9-13. What an awesome day that will be. I like the way Howard explains taking all that we are hearing and learning and taking it to the Lord for discernment. My apologies for getting frustrated. Love to all of you.

    • Wow, what a view from the sidelines to the truth in this story of the Prodigal son. So et me ask you do you believe that view to be true.
      For tat is not the view from Father from people trying to get their way of others as the religious leaders did in Christ’s day told truth yet used it to fleece the flock
      Wow, and if you do see it this way are you a self-righteous person like Jonah who ran from God and yet still preached the shortest sermon in the world’s history to Nineveh
      “Turn or burn” as he came out of the big fish.
      And then made camp outside of Nineveh to see what would take place after they repented, from unbelief to belief and Father accepted them
      Jonah 4, and the Ninevites were rotten, Nimrod was their leader, and they did very bad things to others that Jonah was not pleased with, read the story, as I am sure you have
      God is mercy Brother, and if I go out after receiving this Mercy my debt paid in full and see someone else that owes me and take them to court and take every penny as they ask for Mercy and I don’t give it as I have been given. Then Tom, Brother what would I deserve?

      Accountability Brother is important, and appreciation, not taking this amazing grace for granted as Paul wrote about to the Corinthians that did take it for granted. And in the 2 Cor 7, where gloried for having a Godly sorrow now aver the worldly one they had

      Hebrews 2:3

      how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

      It is not that God is a tyrant, but Brother just take advantage of this grace to all and not love in response as God just love you, then what a terrible thing to be in the hands of a living loving God, and to get what we deserve by not appreciating this amazing grace to all

  21. Ramma permalink

    Like I said, the intention is to divide and confuse. Listen to the Spirit, stay the course. One thing that stood out to me about the prodigal son account in the scriptures (not this one above), is that during the celebration and when the older son was outside and upset…..the father came “out” to him and was not in the celebration, rather he stayed “outside” the camp, (so to speak) with his son. Tom I have to thank you for one thing…….I never knew how to spell “bejebus”…..now I do. 🙂

    • Sister the Son was jealous like Jonah was in Chapter 4 of Jonah, and yet the Father told the son you have all, you have lost nothing, aren’t you glad your Brother has returned?
      so we have the runaway the returns in sincerity and the one that becomes self-righteous and thinks Father should have Question the younger Brother made him pay penance for his wrongs, before letting him in the gate
      NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Love and Mercy of Father is wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and waits so that none will perish if a t all possible

      Pray for more workers that do not work of themselves to say their way or the highway. The true workers of the Faith in God are few. Many not giving up all, even though they appear to., as Christ pointed out the two that put in the offering plate one rich a part of what he had, and the other all of what she had, and the disciples not knowing what either one had, said the man that put in more money than her, and Christ said no,
      Do we see man judges on the outside and God on the inside.

      Tom it seems to me on the inside loves and has been harmed as we all have been Sister, so ask God to show you the difference in this, as I know there are those that just want to steal, kill and destroy, yet Christ came to give you, me and all that believe Christ life, and you got this, so no fear if another is trying to steal. kill and destroy, just love them back with God’s Love and Mercy, the same as you got already from God. Let God remove any and all anger we all get from this world’s errors

      We are not citizens here any more are we? So we are then ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven in Spirit and truth, seeing from Father’s vantage point thanks to Son’s death for us to free us from bondage of trying to be perfect under Law

  22. deana permalink

    Divide and confuse? If a discussion on a blog such as this has the motive to cause disunity then what are we doing here? When we have a discussion tomorrow, will someone judge that as well?

  23. Jack permalink

    I’ve really enjoyed reading everybody’s comments. Thanks for sharing!!! It shows a lot of effort and sincerity. I want to add how I routinely get frustrated with the whole idea that The Father cannot look upon or be in the presence of sin. How stupid is that?!?!?! I mean, just how then can sinners cry out to Him? But that idea is essential to the punishment/satisfied wrath doctrine. It just doesn’t hold water.
    One passage that’s often cited to support this is Jesus’ quoting the 22nd psalm from the cross. The usual crap teaching is that the Father turned away from Jesus as He became sin for us. However I truly believe that Jesus quoted this for all the Jews there to hear Scripture being fulfilled. In that culture most everybody memorized most scripture. It would’ve been like quoting the 23rd psalm today. One person starts and everyone joins in. AND…as everyone would’ve recited that psalm there at the cross the light bulb would’ve turned on!! Just like Jesus declared at the synagogue in Nazareth “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
    I wish I could understand the cross and incarnation exactly as it TRULY is but like the great Terry Taylor writes “You (God) are much too small if You’re not a mystery” So, I don’t know exactly HOW it all works, I just KNOW that it does work!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that’s what I hang everything on.

    • Wow Jack, Terry Taylor just may be the greatest song writer of his generation. He is one of my favorites.

  24. Janet permalink

    Fascinating discussion! I couldn’t stop reading! I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Toms responses and I believe Howard totally missed the point of the prodigal son retold story. Tom was just explaining in the retelling why the PSA theory is flawed and of course that is not his belief! He was using it to make a point against the PSA theory. Thank you Tom for helping me to see a different view of the cross that makes sense and totally jibes with Jesus taking our sin away and uniting us to the Father. He carries us with Him, in the train of His robe. I did not know or even suspect that the debt theory was not biblical, but the verse you shared about the chastisement, that’s another word for punishment isn’t it?
    Anyway, this conversation kept me up late but I love it! It feels good to stretch my brain a bit!

    • Janet and Jack,

      Thank you. It is satisfying when someone understands.

      “Chastisement”, “punishment”, “flogging”, “whipping”, etc are often used interchangeably in various English translations, so, to get a consistent understanding of what is actually meant means looking at the original language. For instance, in Luke 23:16, 22 the KJV uses the word “chastise”. The Koine is translated as “scourge” in later translations–which distinguishes that kind of beating from a more severe form practiced by the Romans.

      Trying to figure stuff out in English will often make us into Word Nazis ;o)

      T

    • Sorry Janet no misunderstanding here from me about PSA and did report that and do disagree with PSA, I believe in the completed Cross in the resurrected Christ my eternal savior and high priest, where only Father can:

      John 4:24

      God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

      Christ through death first, made the new life in Spirit and truth available to all that believe Father and then Father gives us that new lif in love and Mercy to all

      For it is the:

      Romans 2:1-4Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

      2 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

      And from the posts I think Tom agrees with this if not okay, I have no grudges for we all have free choice to be set free from God love all, not just a few
      Thank you hope this helps you to see where I am coming from and not in condemnation to anyone

  25. "BK" permalink

    I see what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection was a ‘re-connect’ i.e. conciliation. I don’t believe God had to turn His back on Jesus as has been said, when He ‘became sin’ for us, the disconnect just happened….he ‘tasted’ death….He said He did it willingly. If He ‘paid my debt’ and my debt was ‘eternal torment’ then my question would be ‘why isn’t He still there?” Horrible thought, eh? But if He tasted death for me at Calvary and brought life (re-connect) through His resurrection, then there wasn’t anything ‘eternal’ about the death was there? (and yes, as you can see, I don’t believe in eternal torment called ‘hell’).

    • Awesome BK, see through into that dark glass that god brings clear through the resurrected Christ for you, saved by the life not the death, death was needed first to cleanse, to present us as Holy before Father to get from Father the gift of new life. so Father seeing through Son (Yeshua) our pinch hitter as in baseball, it is a grand slam and all that believe receive and see.
      Those that do not receive and see are those that Father has nit revealed this to yet, and it is up to Father (Yeweh) to reveal this to whom Father chooses, for Father is the only one righteous and knows who to and who not to, this I just trust Father in period, so I can rest in him, and tell the good news to all

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