Monday, November 23, 2009

Stop Calling Christians Sinners (Transcript)

I recently witnessed a good friend being put out of fellowship from his local church for unrepentant public sin against his wife. The process was handled in accordance with Matthew Chapter 18, which starts with approaching a sinning brother, confronting him lovingly about his sin.

If he doesn’t repent, one or two others are brought in to confront the person, and if he still won’t repent, then you tell it to the church, and if he still won’t repent, then you treat him as a heathen or tax collector (that’s not a reference to the Internal Revenue Service, but another way of saying you treat him as an unbeliever, as though he were never born again at all).

Although outwardly the process appears to have been handled Scripturally and with humility, as the final disfellowshiping was announced to the congregation I heard something repeatedly that not only bothered me, but I believe actually compounds the problem of sinning in the church.

What I heard repeatedly in that meeting, both in teaching and in prayers, was the referring to all Christians as “sinners”. It was in the context of intended humility, something like, “As we gather to talk about this unrepentant friend of ours, we need to remember that we are all ‘sinners’.”

But of course it wasn’t just a theme of this meeting, but a common one. This referring to all Christians as sinners is common in the typical Bible-believing church. And I want to address it Biblically.

Are Christians sinners?

A Popular Bumper Sticker

But before I answer that question from the Scriptures, I want to introduce the topic by talking about a common bumper sticker that has been around ever since I became a Christian in 1976.

I've never liked the bumper sticker that says, "Christians Are Not Perfect -- Just Forgiven". It's true we're not perfected yet in every way, but it's not true that we're "just forgiven".

A lot more has been accomplished with our regeneration, our "new birth". We are a new creation. Old things have passed away, all things have become new.


But there is sometimes a real pride in self-abasement. How's that for an oxymoron? Colossians 2:18 says, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement...”

I have a couple friends who are so into self-abasement that they actually say that God didn't send Jesus to die for us because He loved us, but only for His own glory. Well, He certainly did it for His own glory, but how absurd to deny the very clear John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that...He gave his own begotten Son...".

One friend even claims his favorite Bible verse is in Job 42, when Job says, "I abhor myself". When it's pointed out that "abhor" is a questionable translation, translated “I retract”, for example in the NASB, he says it's still his favorite verse, but he likes “abhor”.

Of course we need to be Christ-centered. Indeed, the more Christ-centered we are, I believe the more we will be amazed at what He has done in us. And the more Christ-centered we are, the more we will walk by the Spirit.

Yet, I believe that, ironically, to deny what God has done in and to us, is a sort of unbelief that quenches the Spirit.

All Christians Are Saints

And that brings me to the main point of this message. The biblical truth is that Christians are NOT Sinners in their new identity. They are Saints.

Now someone may quickly say, “Well sure they’re Saints, whatever that means, but they’re also Sinners. And if you don’t keep calling Christians Sinners then they’ll get all high and mighty and think they’re something.”

So allow me to make two things clear.

1. First, Who should get the glory and credit for all this new creation? Well, the one who did it all, of course, and that’s the Lord. Whatever we are is by grace.

"What do you have, O man, that you did not receive?" -1 Cor. 4:7

"You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." -Rev. 4:11

2. The second thing I’d like to make clear is that I’m well aware that Christians sin. That’s not the issue.

Before we were born again, we inherited a sin nature, a sin spirit, from Adam.

It’s that sin nature that sends a person who does not believe in Jesus Christ to hell.

And if you’re not born again, you still have that sinful nature, or spirit.

But when you’re born again, the old spirit, the old nature, is put to death in Christ on the cross, and replaced by a new nature. The Bible calls the old spirit “the old man”, and the new spirit, “the new man” or “new creation”.

Do We Have Two Natures?

So then do we have two natures? Two spirits? No, the Bible says the “old man” is dead, was crucified with Christ on the Cross. So we don’t have two natures, we still have one.

But it’s new, and it loves Jesus Christ and it hates sin. It believes in Jesus. Or as we say, YOU believe in Jesus. Because that spirit is YOU, and YOU are that spirit.

Now this spirit has a soul. And for discussion purposes we might say that this soul is our mind, emotions and will. [listen to Mp3 re how our mind, emotions and will were not "born again", but our spirit was]

So this spirit has a soul, and we live in a body.

But the real you, the real me, we are spirits. We are spirit beings. And to top that off, the Bible says that we have been given the Holy Spirit of God to live in us, also. Now we aren’t the Holy Spirit and He is not us, but the Bible does teach that we became one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). That’s amazing.

O.K. So why is this even important? Who cares if we say we have one nature or two natures? Who cares if somebody says we are both a bad spirit and a good spirit? Who cares if somebody says that we are two natures, old and new, battling ourselves?

Well, aside from the value of Truth itself, it’s important because we will live out our lives based on what we think is real. We will tend to ACT like we think we ARE. If we think we are partly evil, we will think it’s “natural” to act evil.

Or to put it another way, if we think we are a Sinner in our nature, in our identity, then we will think it’s “natural” to sin. We will think that, “Hey, this is me. This is who I am. I’m just a Sinner. Of course it’s natural for me to sin.”

And the problem with that thinking is it’s not Biblical.

Is Sinning Against Our Nature As Christians?

The Biblical truth is, when we sin it goes AGAINST our nature. Our new nature. This New Man, this New Creation. Sin goes AGAINST our nature.

So when we sin, we aren’t doing what’s natural, as a believer, but we are violating our own new nature. I’m being redundant on purpose here.

Because when you know the truth that you are not a Sinner, but a Saint, a separated one, a holy one, a new creation, then that truth can help to set you free.

As a believer, you are a new creation, a new spirit, a new identity in Christ, and the more you understand this, and review it, and believe it, the more your life will reflect it.

Let’s just look a little bit at our new identity in Christ. First, we are:

Holy (Eph. 1:4, "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"),

Righteous (2 Cor. 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"),

Saint of God (Rom. 1:7, "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints"),

Blameless (Eph. 1:4, "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"),

Christ as Our very Life (Col. 3:4, "Christ who is our life"),

A Son of God (Jn. 1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name"),

A Citizen of Heaven (Eph. 2:19, "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God"),

An Ambassador representing the Kingdom of God (2 Cor. 5:20, "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God"),

Son of the Second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, "And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit"),

Born from Him (Rom. 8:9, "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His"),

With all your Needs (not greeds) Supplied (Phil. 4:19, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"),

Blessed with every Spiritual Blessing in Heavenly Places (Eph. 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ"),

Unstopped by the obstacles of the world (Phil.4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"),

Navigating our Loving Father’s “obstacle course” designed to conform us to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-29, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren")

A New Identity

You have a new identity, not that of a Sinner, but of a Saint.

By grace the old you has died, and the new you has come. That’s why Rom. 6:6 says, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin."

But we have to "reckon" that. We have to "consider that true". We have to "choose to believe that". Rom. 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t deny when you sin. Admit it. Confess it. But recognize that’s not your identity. That’s not who you are. That goes against who you are. You’re dead to sin and alive to God in your spirit, in your nature, through Jesus Christ.

Stop saying you’re a Sinner. “Such WERE some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” -1 Cor. 6:11

You WERE a Sinner. Now you are a Saint.

Now Rom. 6:12 makes sense. After Paul tells us to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, Rom. 6:12 says, “THEREFORE do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”

See how that makes sense? If we were still SINNERS it wouldn’t make sense. It would be saying, “since you’re SINNERS, don’t let sin reign in your body.” That doesn’t make sense and that’s why so many Christians are confused. But if you are no LONGER a Sinner, then it makes sense to say, “don’t let sin reign in your body”. It’s not you. It’s AGAINST the new you.

Friend, accept this by faith as your true identity!

Set your mind on it!

Dwell on it!

Meditate on the truth of it!

Then, moment by moment act like it is true! Praise the Lord in all things, whatever circumstances you may encounter, acting as if Christ is expressing His Life through you.

Because He is.


Anonymous said...

Great post. We really aren't sinners any longer. I spent some time studying on this very subject the other day and ended up in Romans 7. Paul explains how under the law an individual does what he doesn't want to do and vice versa. But he later gives us this good word to celebrate (v24-25):

"Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Thanks be to God that we're no longer sinners.

And amen to your thoughts on using our words to bring blessings into our lives -- using the language of saints and new creation, and living into the reality of our justification.

Phil said...

If I may take the liberty, Terry;

walking in the Spirit

Terry Rayburn said...

James & Phil,

Thanks boh of you for your input.


Ike said...

Romans 6:6

Paul is not saying that the old nature is eradicated. He is saying that since the old man was crucified, the body of sin has been put out of business, so that for now on we should not be in bondage to sin.

The theme of sanctification began in the latter part of Romans chapter 5 where it is "potential sanctification". Then in chapter 6 we can see "positional sanctification"... that is...identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. We are to reckon on that, present ourselves to Him, and trust him to live the Christian life through us.

As we go into chapter 7 there are two subjects...the shackles of a saved soul and the struggle of a saved soul. The Law cannot produce sanctification in the life of a merely shackles it. Neither can the believer produce sanctification in his life by depending on the desire of the new nature. Just to say you want to live for Christ won't get you anywhere. You need to present yourself to Him, recognizing that you are joined to the living Christ.

Both salvation and santification come through Christ....He has provided everything we need!

Run, run and do, the Law commands
But gives me neither feet or hands
Better news the Gospel brings
It bids me fly and gives me wings!

Terry Rayburn said...


"Paul is not saying that the old nature is eradicated."

I agree, technically, but I believe the Bible teaches that the old nature was *changed*.

That is, that our "heart of stone" was replaced by a "heart of flesh", so that they don't co-exist. Thus we have one nature, which is made new.

"He who is in Christ is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new." (2 Cor. 5:17)

You made some very good observations. I especially like:

"Both salvation and santification come through Christ....He has provided everything we need!

Run, run and do, the Law commands
But gives me neither feet or hands
Better news the Gospel brings
It bids me fly and gives me wings!"


Ike said...

“It is not easy to get the law killed. Something of a legal disposition remains even in the believer while he is in this world. Many a stroke does self and self-righteousness get, but still it revives again. If he were wholly dead to the law, he would be wholly dead to sin. But so far as the law lives, so far sin lives. They that think they know the gospel well enough betray their ignorance. No man can be too evangelical [gospel-centered]. It will take all his life-time to get a legal temper destroyed.”

Ralph Erskine, Sermons and Other Practical Works, II:276

Phil said...

I don't want to argue in saying this, especially because I don't have the abundance I seek. And I know I've said at least some before. But if you take reading one's expereince out of the picture, isn't Paul just saying simply in Rom 6 and 7 that one's objective deliverance from "the law" is one's objective deliverance from sin? "Reckon on this and reap the positive consequences subjectively"(cp Galatians).

We die to a *position* of sin through death to the law, and our death to a position of sin is also death to it's power, "freedom from sin" by direct correlation.

So Rom7 is about how we humans need in fact - this is the whole crux - to be totally, objectively delivered from the law to live to God in real freedom and fruitfulness. Paul's experience of "the good that I would I don't, the evil I would not I do" is his teaching testimony to the fact all of us once-born are living by the Tree of Knowledge. We have a knowledge of right and wrong "good and evil" by the sin-consciousness that the *fall* brought. But the law is not our friend and can't help us in any way.

Christ's death on the cross was the death of the "law man" in Him, and the rising of the "grace-man" in Him. Paul's "body of death" was his legitimate, God-given, "good" humanity, yet considered as "dead" - not because it's inherently infected and "bad", but because the conditions the fall brought left it totally liable. It was the subject but not the object of sin's power, while under law. It was the subject of his Rom 7 struggles (even when he didn't have the conscience of them he talks about with hindsight in the chapter) because sin was the master of the house of the body ["indwelling"].

But I think he wants folks to know that they are free from that scenario, so that the Spirit gives life to their mortal bodies. I really don't think it's in line with Paul's argument of Rom6v14 to say that Rom7v14-25 is a present inevitability because part of us has a proclivity one way, part of us the other. I think it might even defeat his whole object. Which I think is to so tie one's freedom and life/death principle to whether their objective deliverance from law. The more that's reckoned on (the more we see the same connection) the more the life of God wells up in new (grace) hearts.

The problem with that "Run, run and do, the Law commands
But gives me neither feet or hands
Better news the Gospel brings
It bids me fly and gives me wings!" thing is that the gospel is turned into a means to keep the law. But the gospel is our deliverance from the law. And the direct consequence of "knowing" *that* is the very essence of right (love) with all its outworkings *in the form of life, not ordinances*. The Spirit who gives life, rather than the letter that kills...

Phil said...

...So I think what I'm saying is to live dead to the law, one needs to see that it's whole and not part. Objective, and the subjective follows by the power of God in that. We need to chill out, and quit trying to kill "part" of us which supposedly just won't "die" like the rest. Rather, the image of the old man and his ways are "put off" directly through a growing realization that the old man is just no more. The man is new.

I think I see the "beatitudes", to pick up on a comment under another post, as really promises concerning hungry old covenant believers under law looking for the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promise. They "hunger and thirst after righteousness", and they desire to be "perfect", v48. They are still "heirs in waiting", Gal3,4, not yet having received the "spirit of adoption", Gal4,becuase they still have a slavish poverty spirit, Rom8v15, engendered by service in the old way of the written code,Rom7v6.

But the new covenant and Pentecost is supposed to bring healing from that. Life in abundance, Jn10v10. An awareness of perfection already complete, Heb10v14,Col2v10,1Cor6v11.
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich",2Cor8v9. In other words, he suffered the ignominy of everything he did as fully God yet laying aside his divine prerogatives even to the point of death, that we might - not remain with a poverty spirit under law - but be healed from it and reap all the consequences of his exalted status as those exalted in Him. s those joint-heirs with him in his inheritance.

Thus true humility is agreeing with God about the way that he sees you. It exalts His Son's sacrifice, which He is supremely satisfied with, and it puts the believer face to face with Christ's new covenant glory minus the veil of the law, for ever-increasing present-tense manifestations of it for him and in him, until an eternity of it consummated...

True humilty cast our self-abasement, and brings in new-self exaltation by and in the glory of Christ. Sufficiency, adequacy,dependency in union with him 2Cor3v5,6. Minus the old husband who was nailed to the tree with the old man and the old marriage for this whole new life...

...I think 1Jn1v9 is talking about the reckoning of justification. Either the initial act, or the continuing, everyday, 24-7, settled, abiding, unconditional "waterfall" reality of it. All true transformation is effortless, 2Cor3v17,18. We "regret" acts of sin at the time, but we're never to think that God condemns us for a moment - we need to connect his "Abba" dispostion to us with the judicial reality. See the heart of the Father at that time, see our inheritance and we drop the regret and the sin, don't we? Not out of guilt, but out of righteousness.

Some of my thoughts. Sorry the long comment.

Phil said...

Think "ignominy" might be the wrong word, but I think folks understand me. That's what you get for using words too big for you,lol.

Terry Rayburn said...


I agree with your basic thoughts there (as best I can understand them - a lot of mixture to absorb) regarding our death to law, and our call to live by the Spirit and our union with Christ.

However, I would throw in a few things:

1. You seem to be influenced by one or more Charismatic teachers, judging by some of your terminology , which I won't detail right now.

There are some Charismatics who have latched on to the message of Grace and our Identity in Christ as provided in the New Covenant.

Although I'm mostly glad for that, they have often gone beyond the Scriptures and tied our New Covenant life and promises to classic Pentecostalism involving wrong ideas of "abundance" to include prosperity and healing.

Beware of them. While they may (or may not) be sincere, the overall message is unbiblical.

2, The New Covenant is a "spiritual" covenant, not a means of earthly "abundance" as portrayed by many Charismatics.

Also, you will inevitably find Charismatic teachers teaching "revelation" of one kind or another that does not come from the Scriptures.

Their belief in "all the gifts" includes so-called tongues and prophecy, which is being corrupted in this age to go beyond the Scriptures.

I believe the Charismatic Movement in general is a Trojan Horse which is infecting the Church with extra-biblical revelation through willful deception (tongue-talkers who know in their hearts they are not REALLY exhibiting a miraculous gift, but gibberish -- or "prophets" who are spouting off whatever comes to their mind and secretly know it's not of God, or are self-deceived into thinking it is).

3. Several of your statements seem to come out of left field, without biblical warrant.

For example, you wrote,

"Christ's death on the cross was the death of the 'law man' in Him, and the rising of the 'grace-man' in Him."

That really doesn't seem to even mean anything, but if it does mean something, it's simply not found in the Scriptures.

Christ's death on the cross was a sacrifice FOR US. In Him we died to sin and to the law, true.

But He Himself simply always did (and still does) the Father's will.

4. Although we are freed from the law as our means of salvation or earning of God's love and favor, I hope we can agree (and agree with Paul) that the law is good and right and pure and lovely, as an expression of our Lord's heart.

Therefore there is something to learn from all law in the Bible.

Moreover, therefore the violation of commands under the New Covenant is still sin, and should be confessed and repented of.

Not because that's a condition for our forgiveness (which was accomplished with our salvation when all our sins were forgiven, past, present and future), but because it expresses our new heart, and guides us in not walking by the flesh.

Thank the Lord we are no longer under Law but under Grace. And there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

But we don't want to have a "lawless" attitude as I expressed here.

5. I appreciate your comments, Phil, and the thought that obviously went into them. Much good stuff there.

No need to apologize for long comments. I often fall into that mode myself :)

The reader is free to read or not read them.

Thanks for your input.


Phil said...

Terry, while I appreciate your appreciation, I think it's a bit much to respond with dogmatic didactic statements/assertions like you did. Those issues/particulars you brought up (not me) would need to be discussed on a level playing field.

As it happens, I do believe that the redemption is from all the death-consequences of Adam's sin, including healing etc. So do many cessationists. Just at least some of them are adamant that "none" of "some of it" is for today. I don't believe that at all. I just believe it's not consummate "today".

Regarding your assertions about "some charismatics", *all* folks have certain backgrounds where some things got out of place, but a proper new covenant puts things right *for all*. I believe a "spiritual" understanding does not "spiritualize out" issues of our humanity, it sets it free to be as intended. A spiritual mind does not live other-wordly, it lives from the heavenlies in this world, yet a stranger because this world is not yet "new".

As to what you say about tongues etc, I think you make yourself clear(!). There are other folks I'm sure you've read (I haven't really) like Carson and Grudem etc that are not so ready to dismiss all as counterfeit.

"Lawlessness" as I see it is a fruitless attitude of life which is the consequence of not being under grace. Thus the legalist is the prime mover in that camp. Christ's "commands" indicate sin when the conduct's not lined up with it, of course, but I was just saying they are not the dynamic for living the life. Not a great analogy, but they are like the scaffolding that outlines what the new creation is and grows up like, but are not the substance of the building's construction.

And sure, no revelation and reality which is contrary the final written revelation, but as you yourself have said, surely there is a difference between living "by the bible" and living by the Living Word.

C'mon Terry, the statement about the death of the law-man doesn't have to be found in the bible to represent a truth, anymore than "the Trinity" does. Ease up on me! I just meant that the cross brings people under grace where the written code that was against them has been cancelled. Where the principle of "do good to become" that came in with the fall has been taken out of the way for "you are complete in Him, so be!" Believer's have the law written on their hearts not in the form of ordinances, but Christ in new hearts, the hope of glory. Paul said "the Law" is "holy, just and good", because of its content and function. It's function was pedagogical in the Old Covenant, and as a principle, is limited to stopping the mouth of the legalist. As I see it, in the form of "spiritual" commands, rather than "letter" commands, it just shows what the new identity is, and is lived out as, as that identity is embraced.

Lastly..phew...I don't know quite what you were referring to, but you can find similar "charismatic" language in say a Spurgeon, without it evidently being deemed so by certain non-charismatics. :)

Bit of a whirlwind reply.


Terry Rayburn said...


1. You wrote,

"And sure, no revelation and reality which is contrary the final written revelation,"

See that's part of the Trojan Horse.

Step 1, Non-cessationism which says that "theoretically" there might still be NEW REVELATION today.

Step 2, Tongues and prophetic new revelation THAT DOESN'T CONTRADICT SCRIPTURE is O.K. (Of course it's always the "prophet" himself who claims that it doesn't contradict Scripture, or they prophecy things that Scripture doesn't touch on -- for example, "The Lord is going to bring great revival to this nation!" or "The Lord is going to bring great destruction to this nation!" - Take your pick of prophets.

Step 3 - The "prophet" says (and maybe delusionally believes) that anything he prophesies, or any "word" from the Lord he gets, is authoritative, and he becomes his own personal Pope.

Meanwhile the Church is weakened because it no longer has confidence that the Bible is authoritative and sufficient as God's revelation.

And so you have people "swimming the Tiber" (becoming Roman Catholic), or becoming utterly lawless ("Who's to say homosexuality is wrong? God leads me and walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am His own, and I'm gay.")

And the Charismatic has no way to counter them, because neither they nor the wayward "Christian" has any authority except what they think God is "telling" them.

2. You wrote,

"C'mon Terry, the statement about the death of the law-man doesn't have to be found in the bible to represent a truth, anymore than "the Trinity" does."

This further shows your disregard for Scripture, Phil, and you don't even seem to have any idea that it does.

Your argument about "the Trinity" is commonly used by all kinds of false teachers, merely because the word "trinity" doesn't appear in Scripture.

Trinitarianism is VERY clear in the Scriptures, even though the actual word doesn't appear.

Whereas your idea of Christ as law-man who dies and becomes grace-man is nowhere even hinted at in Scripture.

And it doesn't even faze you that you are messing with Christology, have been gently corrected, and are justifying your error with the ol' "trinity" argument, which was settled a couple of thousand years ago.

3. You think I'm being hard on you, but I haven't even covered a fourth of your previous comments. To do so would almost take a book.

I was first concerned for you though, because in your first comment under this post you linked to a message from a church in Hong Kong well-known for it's fairly far-out extra-biblical revelations, usually about some kind of victorious earthly health/wealth/abundance.

I allow pretty free interchange on this blog, so I didn't call attention to that.

That's mostly because I prefer, when possible, the positive proclamation of New Covenant biblical truth, as opposed to negative attacks on the ministry of others (a full-time not-very-fruitful endeavor, in my experience).

4. I am in no way discounting your relationship to the Lord. As born-again believers, He is working in all of us, and He is causing all things to work together for good for us.

We all have blind spots, and it's the Word, taught by the Spirit, by which we may be set free from them. Beware any who will seek to set you free APART from the authoritative written Word of God.

The New Covenant is not "higher" than the Word, it is revealed IN the Word.


Phil said...

Terry, it seems to me it would have been wise, loving and respectful to ask me what I meant by some of my statements before you tried to discern them with your cessationist-version prophetic eye and label them and me____.

Firstly, I didn't actually have in mind prophetic declarations like you are saying.So I'll leave that aside. I was really thinking revelation of truth attested to in scripture in a living, experiential way.

Second, it's pretty obvious from a fair reading of what I said that if some attitude or action is contrary what is scripturally declared as good, then it is wrong.I was not defending other, and a non-cessationist position does not de facto necessitate the reduction you made.

Re your second point, it was you who declared that statement as not in the bible. I never said it was, but explained what I meant by it and that what I meant by it was in the bible. *We* were the law-men, held under the law, Christ came in the likeness of man,born under law, without sin, paid our debt and redeemed us from the law with *all* its curses. (Incidentally, I'm curious - do you have a penal element to the atonement?)

That said and understood then, your "gentle correction" seems presumptous at best...I feel it's swift to speak and not so swift to listen. I'll leave the why's to you on that. Once or twice in the past I've found you pretty quick to step on my toes, including in the "presence" of those whose teachings you've contradicted with things that you've said (that I thought were good). Not that my toes are particularly special ;)

"Beware any who will seek to set you free APART from the authoritative written Word of God.
The New Covenant is not "higher" than the Word, it is revealed IN the Word."

Agreed, but that requires a value judgement on whomever's part as to what the written word says, and the reality of the new covenant it reveals. The new covenant is an eternal living reality, the written word is now the final written word on that, but won't be needed one day.

I assumed that was a polite acknowledgement of the video, your first comment. I posted it because I thought it was a good, clear grasp of "walking by the flesh" as none other than living in a relationship with an old husband, Rom7v1-6, and not Christ. "Walking in the Spirit", walking under grace, dead to the law, and reaping the genuine benefits for all of life and godliness. Living out of a settled position.


Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, Terry, after reading the comments on this page, are you of the mindset that there is no speaking of tongues and/or prophecy today -- or that it is merely being abused and often even faked?

Sorry for changing the subject on the post yet again...

Terry Rayburn said...

Hi James,

1. I believe that millions of deceived people are speaking gibberish, calling it "the gift of tongues", and having been deceived at first by someone else, they now sense in their heart that it is phony, but suppress that truth, and walk in self-deceit.

They then falsely teach others that "anyone" can do it. Just start speaking, but don't speak your own language. There! You've got it!

True biblical "tongues" is a miracle, and although I occasionally hear about "someone" who heard about someone who heard about someone who really miraculously spoke in a foreign language, I not only have not seen it documented, but almost always hear it claimed by otherwise false teachers.

So while God is free to give miraculous utterance to an individual, I believe tongues have ceased as the sign gift for which they were intended.

2. I believe that so-called prophecies given today are thought of by the perpetrators as revelation from God.

Most are just pontificating semi-biblical statements ("My children, and you are my children, I love you and want you to bow to Me as your Lord. Listen to My servant as he pontificates good and worthy things to you, my children"). They take "speaking for God" with shocking looseness.

But some are seriously claiming to predict the future (from the mouth of God, supposedly) and are false prophets, not able to meet the most basic biblical tests of a prophet.

3. While the above is far from a full discussion, my basic belief is that "revelatory" gifts were given as "signs" and inerrant proclamation of New Covenant truths before the Bible was fully written and canonized, and are not only no longer necessary, but undermine the authority of Scripture in their counterfeit forms.

4. Sadly, self-deception coincides with a blindness that makes most Charismatics oblivious to any Scriptural/logical argument.

They "know" they are speaking gibberish, for example, but trying to convince them of that is often like talking to a stone wall.


Phil said...

Just for any necessary clarification concerning any misunderstanding; my mentioning "the Trinity" was in no way saying that is not the truth, or revealed in scripture. It's fundamental. I was just making the obvious point that when somebody uses any phrase or label, it's the truths(or not)that are understood by the phrase that are important. Hence why the phrase I used that you objected to, prima facie doesn't have to be "found in the bible". That was my point.

Neither was I saying that it was an "extra-biblical" bit of "revelation".

I was also just leaving the language of "abundance",Jn10v10, to stand on its own, before the anti-charismatic diatribe.

I won't say anymore now.

Clark said...

Terry, You said some good things in there but there's a glaring problem.
If one lies, he is a liar.
If one sins, he is a sinner.
Simple semantics. I am IN FACT a Sinner saved by grace.
Declared righteous? To be sure.
Robed in the righteousness of Christ, seated in the heavenlies, etc etc.
And although you seemed to steer clear of this, (thank you), most who adopt your blog title as fact, tend to do so while all the time building up the individual instead of building up God.
You see, I get so incredibly weary of all the "Who I am in Christ" jargon. Maybe after someone has spent an eternity learning who Christ is in us, then they can spend a little time on themselves. But even then it seems wasted time.
My next blog may be "Stop Telling Christians They Aren't Sinners!"
It just puffs them up and demeans Christ - in the long run.
NOT saying YOU demeaned Christ in your blog!! But that's where this mentality seems to lead. Even if the demeaning is ever so subtle by the exalting of sinners saved by grace.