Skip to comments.JESUS CHRIST: THE ORIGINAL AND BEST POSSIBILITY THINKER!
Posted on 06/12/2013 11:25:22 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
OK, this is very much a theological vanity. But I don't think it is in vain.
John 3:16-17. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Very familiar passage of Christian scripture, though John 3:17 is somewhat less often quoted.
Notice something here, however. "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world."
Turns out this has some very important spiritual/psychological consequences, for anyone willing to believe.
There's a joke about fundamentalists (and indeed I am a fundamentalist) that accuses them of being "no fun, all damn, and very little mental."
I won't address the fun and mental parts, but I'd like to point out that a very large problem with the whole unsaved world is that it in fact IS "all damn." (Not knowing God it can't bless; all it knows is sin, and sin is the damning of God's desirous will.) And many Christians are "mostly damn" because their faith is not deeply radical; they don't appreciate the fact that John 3:17 brings a hiatus to damnation.
Well, damning, while it can help contain sin, has a steep spiritual cost. Damning means wishing a spiritual death. Psychologically it freezes thoughts, forbidding one to even visit certain areas of thought.
So if we could stop damning, we could unfreeze many thoughts... worth thinking about so to speak?
Now wait, you say, if we stop damning then we have no means to motivate anyone, even Christians, to avoid what's sin... turns out that is not so. There is another means: God's love, and the fear of violating it.
Let me ask you, how often have you reflexively said "God damn" this or that?
If John 3:17 is on the level, could that be wrong? (This is not the time to damn?)
If damning now is wrong, and I am convinced that it is wrong, then many helpful consequences follow.
I don't have time to elaborate on this. But I think it is worth considering for Christians. It could help open their minds to more possibilities of effective usage of the gospel if they make some kind of conscious effort to stop damning, even if with imperfect success. It does not mean that they refrain from calling wrong things wrong, or refrain from being angry at wrongs, but it means that they do so with grace and perspective. That the enemy is not (now) humans; it is Satan, and we want as many humans saved as possible.
“Have to post”? Why not just look it up in the bible?
Those who reject Christ and his ability to save are condemned already.
God has the final word.
I’d suggest you behave as such.
Ok what is the difference between “sons of God” and “only begotten son”
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. -- Jn 8:36
That's pretty good - I may have to start quoting it in the future!
Fundamentalist: A term created during the turn-of-the-20th-century Protestant church splits to define those who held to the fundamentals of Christianitythe inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Jesus and his literal resurrection from the dead. The term is now considered pejorative. (Wheaton College philosophy professor Alvin Plantinga famously observed, The full meaning of the term...can be given by something like stupid sumbitch whose theological opinions are considerably to the right of mine.)
-- from the thread New Kids In The Flock
Why would Christ save those and then condemn them to hell ?
Because salvation comes in two parts: 1) Believing in God's promise. 2) Doing God's will.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Notice how it also says, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life"?
Salvation comes from believing and doing.
29. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
But, Jesus also said that belief on him is not enough. Neither did the apostles.
Doing the will of the Father is not just believing on the Promise through Christ, but also on doing the Will of the Father, as Jesus himself did.
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?font color=red
Should have read:
Doing the will of the Father is not just believing on the Promise through Christ, but also on doing the work of the Father, as Jesus himself did.
How am I failing to behave as such?
However please be careful that you have not folded ungodliness into your own response.
There shouldn’t be a brouhaha over this. People who aren’t dead or asleep or in a coma DO things. It’s only a matter of what those things are.
True enough, they do. But these are works that come from catching the Spirit. Faith that catches the Spirit also empowers one’s works so that they begin to be what God wants, however imperfect at first. I’m trying to clear up some confusion from the viewpoint of actually LIVING this.
You’re off on a different hobby horse that does not intersect with what I am saying.
Sometimes passages of scripture DO apply more than one principle to more than one thing. In this case, the Son is not in the business of damning in this world. Is that clear enough?
Incidentally as very suggestive corroboration of this... we are told that as regards the evil angels, which we KNOW will be damned, and into whose fiery hell the damned humans who followed them will be cast, Jesus will not “torture them before the appointed time” and even the good angels will not rail at them. (BUT, the evil angels are rebuked.)
There is a scripturally clear hiatus on Jesus damning as I read it. The Father may have “already damned” but the execution of the damning is Jesus’ bailiwick and this is not the time for it.
To believe is to “receive” the Holy Spirit. I am using the modern synonym “catch” to try to make it clearer.
It’s tangential to the point of a temporal hiatus on Jesus carrying out damning.
Also notice that the object of “to condemn” is “the world” — not “part of the world.” You’re trying to say that the context alters “the world” into “part of the world” — which seems a giant stretch at best. I say 3:17 remains true both alone and when viewed in light of 3:18. 3:18 is not speaking of any present role of Jesus except to sound a generalized warning.
Jesus is holding off on damning. Damnation is such a high voltage, emotionally and spiritually charged subject, that it is difficult to handle well. But unless it is handled well, it will likely get Christians in a perpetual mess of argument and, well... damning of one another.
You disagree exactly what? Please state the gravamen of what you assert and how it differs from the gravamen of what I assert.
And 3:17’s meaning is not altered by 3:18. 3:18 only supplements it.
I am asserting that the referenced clause in Jesus’ statement in fact is a valid stand alone statement. Your claiming I am using versification as an argument is to raise a straw man.
You’re free to quote both verses till you’re blue in the face; however you have yet to show how 3:18 actually alters 3:17 in any way such as making “the world” mean “part of the world.” The damnation that Jesus warns of is taking place INDEPENDENT of Jesus. Please get that point. Now you have a blessed day too, and I do not mean it sarcastically.
I mean independent of Jesus’ current temporal role in the world.
Please explain how it would falsify, not just supplement, a stand alone view of 3:17.
(I believe your cavil is on the order of “quarrels about words.” In this case we do not have a mystical statement whose parts do not make any sense except as a gestalt. We have a compound statement of clauses each of which is clear and true as a unit. The part of the statement in 3:18 does not assert that Jesus is actually damning anybody, only that Jesus is warning that some are damned. To assume that Jesus is also the one doing that damning in the present time is to assert “facts not in evidence” and as I pointed out, there is good reason to believe that is not the case.)
I apologize, however, if my attitude has been wrong towards you (and maybe it was, as I was letting myself get anxious). I might agree to disagree with you about the meaning of the part of the statement in 3:17, but I don’t need to be getting “angry with my brother” about it. (The Lord’s servant must be able to teach, not resentful)
I think we can draw a broader point from the whole scripture and it still agrees with my general tenor of grace. Jesus came into the world to warn it that it was damned unless it accepted Him, and also conversely to tell the world that the good news of being able to accept Him had an upside beyond their wildest dreams. However I’m asserting that He wasn’t going to put any limitations during life on who might accept Him. If Jesus actually DID damn any specific people at the current time (before their personal death at any rate), then he would be putting limitations on it. So I assert that the clause in 3:17 is in fact true of itself, as a necessity in order to enable the maximum outreach of grace possible.
And yes, I know this probably doesn’t sit well with Calvinists, at least some Calvinists. Now that the Lord has been doing wonders in my own life, and I have seen a little about how He does that, I am inclined, I suppose, to be “Calminian.” But Calvinist and Arminian are human categories. The Bible never said “Choose whether you are to be a Calvinist or an Arminian.” People did.
But in other contexts we see that Jesus is not always furnished with complete details in certain times by His Father. God reserves that information to the person of the Father. So a certain agnosticism as to who can be saved would, at least, be demonstrable as possible. At any rate, WE do not know from outward appearances; all we can see is who is sailing briskly towards hell NOW. Not whether in fact Jesus is poised to make a dramatic save in that person’s eternal life.
And as regards to us Christians it is unambiguous... there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. All for us is grace; even God’s pointings out of our wrongdoing (however bad our wrongdoing gets) and our chastisements by Him (however bewildering at the time) are imbued with His grace. Grace says that the sooner you stop worrying, the better. The thoughts we need to take are thoughts of love, and not just some generalized love, but love that has a distinct purpose.