Friday, May 28, 2010

Reply to Chris, 5-28-2010

Chris: My Friend, I am not a Reform Baptist! I know that I am listed as reform because there was no listing for Historic Baptist. The adjective Historic is only to be separated ourselves from these Baptist that are not Baptist. I am a Baptist and Hold to the doctrine of Grace. And as for Reform Baptist, from what did Baptist reform? Those that call themselves Baptist need to repent.

Russ: You are a neat guy. You have stayed longer with me than anybody else since my book was published in January 2001. Thanks.

About the Reformed Baptists, forgive me for including you. It came from the Internet listing as you guessed. I do not object to the term “reformed” as long as somebody is following their conscience. While most current Baptists are not Calvinist, I think almost all early Baptists were.

Since most Dispensationalists today teach tithing, I am in their minority also.

201: Chris: I have no problem with the New Covenant expunging the Old. The Old Covenant was a shadow of better things to come. The Law, in this case of which I refer to is specifically the 10 commandments was the very foundation of the Old Covenant that God made with Israel, Read Exodus 19-20. The law in this case is understood to be the Decalogue.

Russ: Why do you stop at Exodus 20 in reading the Law? It continues for many chapters with the judgments of the law in chapter 21. Are you offended that chapter 21 commands the killing of disobedient children and how to treat your slaves?

Chris: In the new Covenant the Commandments were taken from stone and written upon our hearts. Read Hebrews 8:7-10. The 10 Commandments are written upon the believers’ hearts thus fulfilling of the Old Covenant with the New which is a far, far better Covenant. Thus the law is not done away with but stands.

Russ: You and I do not interpret Hebrews 8:8-13 alike. The moral law is nowhere limited to the Ten Commandments and the Ten Commandments are not totally moral as in the Sabbath commandment.

Chris: Romans 3:31, “do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea we establish the law”.

Russ: The context is Romans 3:21-22. Righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ was revealed “apart/without the law.” Righteousness by faith” ESTABLISHES the fact that the Law achieved its objective by condemning sin UNTIL faith came (Gal 3:19). Now that Christ is here (Gal 3:19-26), Christ has replaced the Law as God’s standard of judgment per John 16:8-9.

202: Chris: [Mt 23:23] I am not ignoring the context. If I am to understand this passage as addressing the Jews only, why is it recorded for us? Why is it recorded at all?

Russ: Why are all the other things which even YOU say have been discarded recorded? Why is anything recorded before Calvary if the New Covenant began at Calvary? They are there for object lessons, examples and grammar school lessons. Did you destroy your grammar school, high school and college after you graduated?

Chris: Of course Our Lord is addressing the Pharisees but what He had to say to them is applicable to us as well.

Russ: I disagree. He told his disciples to obey the scribes and Pharisees because “they sit in Moses seat.” They do not sit on any seat for us Gentiles under the New Covenant. Jesus also commanded Jews whom he healed to show themselves to the priests and offer the offering which Moses commanded. He did NOT tell Gentile disciples whom he healed to do that.

Chris: You do not deny what I have stated with exception of the tithe.

Russ: What? You deny everything else which Leviticus calls holy and most holy –except the tithe.

Chris: The difference with you and me on the tithe: you ignore the law of first mention.

Russ: I demonstrated how YOU ignored ALL the first mentioned items in Genesis –except for YOUR definition of the tithe. The first mention of : a) pagan tithes of spoils of war, b) Abram’s obedience to the Canaanite law of the land, c) Abram kept nothing and d) Abram gave the 90% to the king of Sodm.

Chris: The tithe preceded the nation Israel and the law. It preceded it by centuries.

Russ: That only proves that it pre-existed as the law of the land in almost all lands which surrounded Abram in 2000 BC. It was very common pagan law as also was idolatry, child sacrifice and temple prostitution.

Chris: The first mention of tithing is Genesis 14:20 and it is said that Abraham gave tithes. “He gave him tithes”, plural!

Russ: You invent the WHY and add to God’s Word that Abram either a) was obeying God’s command or b) freely chose to give. And you ignore the definition of tithes in Genesis 14 as pagan spoils of war which were not holy.

Chris: Mt 23:23; I do not ignore who our Lord is addressing. Where we differ is in regard to the application of the text. You are willing to apply part of the text to the saints wherein I make application of the entire text.

From the context of Genesis 14 it is apparent that tithing was understood.

Russ: No. I do not apply any part of Mt 23:23 as applying to Christians under the New Covenant.

203: Mt 23:23: This is where we differ and you contradict yourself. You applied judgment, mercy and faith universally and now you abolish it all under the Old Covenant. You seem to pick and chose as you go along. There is no consistency in what you are saying.

Russ: Jesus was not addressing non-Jews in Mt 23:23. Although it is true that “judgment, mercy and faith” are universal moral principles, I am merely pointing out that Jesus was NOT addressing non-Jews who were not under the jurisdiction of the law in Mt 23:23. You are putting words into my mouth in order to justify your own argument.

Chris: These words are not restricted to the Old Covenant.

Russ: In context they are restricted to Jews under the Old Covenant. You cannot take a speech addressed to the U. S. Senate and say that the non-U. S. words in such speech also apply to the German Senate. That is irrelevant.

Chris: You keep mentioning the Old Covenant and never make yourself clear if you are referring to the Sinai Covenant that God made with Israel or the entire Old Testament.

Russ: That is exactly why I use “Old Covenant” instead of Old Testament. There are many parts of the Old Testament which go beyond the Old Covenant which is the Law. I equate Old Covenant with Old Covenant Law.

Chris: And then you accept some part of the Old Covenant and reject other parts.

Russ: I stress only that part of the Old Covenant Law which has been repeated to the Church after Calvary I the New Covenant. That is my hermeneutic. What is yours?

Chris: On the other hand I have stated that part of the Old Covenant fulfilled in Christ passed away. For an example the entire Levitical order passed away.

Russ: And I have stressed that ALL of the Old Covenant passed away in Christ per Heb 8:13 except that which was repeated to the Church after Calvary.

Chris: But tithing is not of the Levitical order in that it preceded the Nation of Israel by many centuries.

Russ: Only your un-HOLY definition of tithing is not Levitical. My HOLY definition of tithing is wholly Levitical and part of the statutes-ordinances of the Law.

Chris: And as for the 10 commandments, they are universal and still stand.

Russ: They are not wholly universal and moral unless you think that everybody knows in their conscience that they should worship on Saturday and own slaves and raise their children inside Israel.

204: Chris: Again you are not clear as to the Old Covenant. The “these” I am referring to is the 10 commandments in particular. They are foundational under the Old Covenant. These are not abolished. Furthermore, as to killing anyone seeking to enter into the temple, that has passed. If one desires to enter they must pass through the Blood.

Russ: When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God did not quote the Ten Commandments – Ex 34:6-7.

205: Chris: When I said that Paul simply spoke of the Law I did not mean to imply that there was no ceremonial laws or statue and judgments. I was simply saying Paul always spoke of the law. Context determines how the word law is to be understood. In Romans 7 the word law is understood as a principle.

Russ: We agree finally.

Chris: In Romans 13:8 ff it is understood as the commandments. Context determines how we are to understand how the word law. And as for Matthew 5:19, our Lord did not abolish the law as the context in which this was stated is the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on The mount is moral and an exposition of the Decalogue that is still binding. Heaven and earth will sooner pass away before on jot or tittle shall in any wise pass from the Law and the prophets.

Russ: So you understand Mt 5:19 as only referring to the Ten Commandments. That is absurd. Verses 20-48 contain all three parts of the Law.

206: If you recall your statement was that the commandments were not referred to in the New Testament. I am delighted you have changed your mind on this.

Russ: How many times must I repeat myself? That part of the Old Covenant Law for Israel which was eternal and moral was REPEATED to the Church after Calvary in the New Covenant.

207: Chris: You keep mentioning the gentile not being under the old covenant. The gentiles were castaways. Israel was to evangelize them even as we are to evangelize the heathens. So it is not right to speak of those cast off not being under the covenant. They were not under the covenant because they were not the people of God.

Russ: You are conceding too much, my friend. I am right. Gentiles never were “under the law.” They were more “outsiders” and “never included” than “castaways.” “Castaways” implies that they had once been within the circle. My argument is that tithing was never commanded to the Gentiles. And, show me where a single tithe or offering was ever used to go out and evangelize Gentiles!!! I see absolutely no effort by Moses, Joshua, David, Ezra or Nehemiah to proselytize them.

Chris: But if they repented and entered into the blessings of Israel they too came under the Old Covenant.

Russ: This is wrong. They were not commanded to “repent” for being a castaway disobedient child. A very few did ask to be circumcised and identify with Hebrews. However even then they were considered as mostly outsiders and could not tithe.

Chris: As we speak of the Old Covenant, it was perfected by the New. However we must never lose sight that all men of all times were saved by grace through faith. No one was ever saved by the Law. No one!

Russ: The Old Covenant VANISHED per Hebrews 8:13. It was not PERFECTED. It ended for Hebrews and never did apply to Jews.

208: Chris: Matthew 5:19 is in context of the Sermon on the Mount which is an exposition on the Law among other things. The law in this context refers to the 10 commandments.

Russ: Wrong. Read 5:20-48 and see all three parts of the Law.

Chris: Again in 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” What commandments are these if the Decalogue is ignored? And keep in mind, the commandments are summed up in loving God and one another. This is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.

Russ: That is not the way John uses the word “commandments.” Jesus said in John 14:6 that HE is THE way, THE truth and THE life. His interpretation is now the new “commandments.”

210: Tithing is not part of the ceremonial law. Tithing is a moral obligation.

Russ: I guess Numbers 18 is not in your Bible. Tithing was the very heart of the ceremonial law which allowed the Levites and priests to minister it.

Chris: But I see that I cannot change your mind on this and shall not try. What troubles me is the flipping and flopping back and forth on the Old Covenant removed and yet not removed.

Russ: Where have I flipped? I have consistently said that it was all removed per Hebrews 8:13.

Chris: As you see it, I gather the 10 commandments are not binding on the New Testament believer? Am I right on this assessment?

Russ: English law is not binding on citizens of the U. S. However that part of English law which is eternal and moral has been REPEATED in the U. S. Constitution in its terms. As part of the Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments are not binding on Christian Jews who were once under the Old Covenant. They never were binding on Gentiles who never were under the Old Covenant. “Thou shalt not” disobey God is NOW (notice I said NOW) “You will” obey God as part of your new nature per Romans 8:2.

211: Chris: My Friend, there is no difference between Jew and gentile, God is rich upon all that call upon His name, Romans 10:12-13. Also the middle wall of the [partition has been torn down and the two have become one new man in Christ, Ephesians 2:11-17.

Russ: That is my argument. How did God reconcile Jew and Gentile? – by removing the WALL which separated them. That wall was the Law –the word translated “ordinances” is DOGMA. Paul did not teach Sabbath-keeping, circumcision, unclean foods or tithing in Acts 15 and 21.

Chris: As for the true children of Abraham, read Galatians 3:7:ff

Russ: You skipped 3:1-5 and 3:10-26. Adding Law back into Grace is witchcraft per 3:1. If one wants to keep the Law, one must keep all 613 commands of it per 3:10.

Chris: Here is another point where we do not agree, the Kingdom has come and Jesus presently reigns omnipotent and Jew and gentile enter the Kingdom through repentance and faith.

Russ: The spiritual part of the kingdom has come since the Holy Spirit rules in the hearts of believers. However, there are scores of yet-unfulfilled unconditional promises made to national Israel which have yet to be fulfilled. Every OT prophet spoke of a literal kingdom on earth and you ignore those promises.

212: Chris: You have not been honest with what I have said. The temple, priesthood etc has been fulfilled. These have nothing to do with the tithe that was practiced centuries before the law. The tithe was established and understood before the Israel was a nation as well as the Sabbath which we are also to observe. Please do not add to what I have said.

Russ: If you want to use Genesis 14 as your marching order to validate tithing, then: a) you must also observe the pre-Law pagan customs which accompanied their tithing, b) only tithe pagan spoils of war, c) only tithe once, d) keep nothing and e) give the 90% to the equivalent of the king of Sodom (perhaps some Satanist).

213: Chris: Ezekiel prophesied of the temple of God the New Testament church. The language is metaphorical.

Russ: I seriously doubt that Ezekiel’s audience understood it that way.

Chris: The temple in Revelation 11 is also metaphorical. The temple trampled under the feet of the gentiles with exception of the inner sanctuary is speaking of the New Testament church, the inner sanctuary being the true saints and the temple trampled upon is the false professors in the church visible. None of what you said has to do with the Jews rebuilding the temple.

Russ: Your opinion verses my opinion. The word “church” is extremely common in chapters 1-3 but not seen at all in chapters 6-18..Why would John (who wrote about 96AD) use the Temple which ceased to exist in 70AD as a type of the Church?

Chris: Allow me to introduce another hermeneutical principle, The New Testament interprets the Old Testament and the clear passage of Scripture has presidency over a vague passage.

Russ: 39 OT books repeated ad nausea that God was going to set up a literal Kingdom on earth in order to fulfill his literal promises made to literal national Israel. I cannot accept that the OT God was a LIAR and deliberately deceived His own people and the Bible prophets were all FALSE.

Up until this point you have been arguing that the Old Covenant was simply rehashed in the New Covenant. Now, for the first time, you are arguing that the Old Covenant promises to Israel have been completely REPLACED –except, of course, the TITHE.

Chris: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” God is not going to return to the shadows when the substance has come. Your theology is more Jewish than Christian.

Russ: Since the OT Temple and priesthood have replaced by the NT doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, HOW can you justify the continuance of TITHING which was legislated in Numbers 18 to support the OT Temple’s priesthood?

214: Chris: I have mentioned several hermeneutical principles already which are biblical. I have a book on hermeneutics that I have to finish and am finishing up for publication. Then you are welcome to scrutinize them. However you must admit I have been consistent.

Russ: Consistent in what?

215: Chris: In the first part of your question you assume that the tithe was not required of the gentile but the Jews only. Keep in mind that Abraham tithes when He was not circumcised. And what we should learn from Acts 15:21 is that we should be careful not to cause our weaker brother to stumble. This is the law of love in operation.

Russ: The law of tithing which Abram was obeying was the pagan law of the land concerning spoils of war. And you forget that the church in Acts 15 decreed that the Gentile Christens were not to keep the Law.

217: Chris: I am bound by civil laws such as paying taxes etc. As to the laws under the Old Covenant, I believer as a nation in many respects they would insure domestic tranquility if we would consider them as a nation.

Russ: Wow!

218: Chris: I have no problem with that. The Old Kingdom of Israel has been fulfilled in the Kingdom of our Lord.

Russ: As a dispensationalist I disagree with that. The kingdom has arrived in spiritual form but its final manifestation in literal form awaits unconditional literal fulfillment.

Chris: Jesus Christ is seated upon the throne of David at the right hand of the Father.

Russ: Why do you say things you cannot prove? Jesus is sitting on his own throne.

219: Chris: What you do not understand is that the gentiles were in the world without God and thus without hope, Ephesians 2:12. The gentiles were under the curse. They still are under the curse as the Jews presently are that are outside of Christ.

Russ: Texts please. Only Old Covenant Israelites were under the curse of their covenant law. They swore an oath to be under that curse or its blessings. The Gentiles did not. They Gentiles were under a different set of rules of conscience and nature per Romans 2:14-16 and 1:18-20.

220: Chris: This is a revival of Gnosticism that takes away the Scriptures from the people. Again all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness: all Scripture, not some.

Russ: “All Scripture” is not in New Covenant context for the Church. Why don’t you obey all Scripture? Why do you discard all holy and most holy items in Leviticus except tithing?

221: Chris: All men are servants. I am a bond slave to our Lord. I have no rights so I have no problem with slavery. The principle as you said is love by which we are to be governed. As to the 10 commandments they define love.

Russ: The Ten Commands are cold hard “Thou shalt nots” which must be obeyed whether one loves or not.

Chris: They define the royal law. Terms such as royal law and love have no real definition with out the Decalogue.

Russ: The “royal law” is love and is evident in the (non TC) commands to “love your neighbor,” follow the “golden rule” and “do not discriminate by prejudice.” These “royal laws” force one to obey other lesser moral laws as those seen within the Ten Commandments. I can restrain myself from murdering you without loving you but I cannot kill you if I love you.

222: Chris: (Revelation) that is what I mean by taking it away, it is all future. This is the Jesuit teaching of Ribera of the 16th century.

Russ: If Jesus comes during this instant in time, everything else in prophecy is future. Ribera may have been a futurist but so also was Paul who expected the imminent return of Jesus in his own time. Even Tertullian in the mid 3rd century expected Jesus to come in his own time. There have been theologians in every century who were on both sides of the argument.

223: Chris: You are afraid of concerts. Hebrews 8 the Law written on stone was written upon our hearts. Thus the law is fulfilled in us, Romans 8. This does not mean that we walk perfect but there is a standard of right and wrong.

Russ: Afraid of concerts??? I sing concerts every chance I get. If “the law written in our hearts” were the Ten Commandments, then everybody would instinctively (by the indwelling Holy Spirit) sense a compulsion to worship on Saturday, own slaves and raise their children in the holy land (eretz) of Israel.

Chris: You say Christ is the standard which I agree. But what is sin? It is transgression of the law.

Russ: John 16:8-9 says “of sin because they believe not on me.” New Covenant SIN which will condemn an unbeliever is lack of belief in Jesus Christ. Jesus is not merely “a” way; Jesus is THE way. Sin is transgression of the “revealed will of God” as Paul often used the definition of law.

Chris: Our Lord asked, who can convince Him of sin? They had the law by which to judge Him and they never saw Him disobey it. And to you and me He says follow me. What is sin if it is not transgression of the law, 1 John 3:4.

Russ: Read Romans 3:1-20. Paul quoted Psalms and Isaiah and concluded that “all are under sin.” Yet he did not quote the Law! He quoted the revealed will of God for Israel.

226: Chris: When I said that Paul quoted the Old Covenant and applied it under the New Covenant to the Christian I was referring to the Decalogue. Paul frequently referred to the Decalogue which you have a hard time admitting.

Russ: I have done extensive research on Paul’s use of the word “law” and disagree. Don’t take my word for it; do your own deep study.

Chris: I am not saying Paul sought to put us under the Law but Paul never did put away the Law.

Russ: Once again you are forgetting my oft-quoted dispensational hermeneutic.

Chris: In fact under the Old Covenant all were saved by grace even as we are saved by grace. All that are saved are saved by grace. They looked to the cross as we look back to it.

Russ: Agreed.

228: Chris: Abraham paid a tithe that preceded the law. And the Hermeneutical principle of first mentioned is totally ignore by you.

Russ: These are the hermeneutics you totally ignore here: a) The Bible does not call Abraham “Abram” here because he was still an uncircumcised Gentile from Babylon, b) the Bible does not say that Abram was either “commanded” to give by God or else “freely chose to give,” c) while Abram’s tithe preceded “the Law” it most certainly did not precede “the law of the land, Arab law” which required him to tithe spoils of war to his local king-priest. If you are going to literally follow “first use hermeneutics” here, then you must a) only tithe pagan spoils of war, b) only tithe once, c) only tithe to a Canaanite king-priest, d) only tithe to somebody who does not know God as Yahweh, e) keep nothing and f) give the 90% to the equivalent of the king of Sodom.

Chris: That is my point. The covenant God made with Abraham was while he was in un- circumcision. Thus in Rom 4:11-12, … The same is true of the tithe. It is not just Jewish.

Russ: The fact that Abram’s tithe was motivated by the PAGAN law of the land does not translate into saying that Abram’s tithe is moral for Christians.

Chris: The covenant made with Israel 400 years later could not disannulled the covenant of grace. And by the way, the covenant was as much open to Gentiles as to the Jews that come by faith.

Russ: Tithing pagan spoils of war was not part of the Abrahamic covenant no more than was lying about his wife to Pharaoh.

231: Chris: I care not about English law as it is constantly in flux.

Russ: You very well know that I am speaking of English Law as it existed on July 4th, 1776. It ended suddenly, both good and bad, and that which was good in it was incorporated into the U. S. Constitution. That is the same comparison between the Old and New Covenants. The Old ended suddenly, both good and bad, at Calvary and the eternal moral parts of it were incorporated into the New Covenant as principles of grace and faith after Calvary.

Chris: This is redundant, as for the Law the Substance dispelled the shadows. The law never changed, we did being born from above.

232: Chris: You have said that the Old Covenant has been done away. This is to be understood as the Decalogue as well as it is part of the Old Covenant. But this is contrary to the Hebrew passages, Hebrews 8:10ff. Furthermore as to the observance of the Sabbath the 4th commandment does not say day 7 is the day to observe as the Sabbath but rather the 7th day. Israel worshipped on Saturday because it was in commemoration of their deliverance out of Egypt, Deut 5:14-15.

Russ: Tell that to a Seventh-day Adventist or a Jew.

236: Chris: Hebrews 8:10 ff, and Deut. 6:5, and Leviticus 19:18 refer to the Decalogue. They amplify the meaning of the 10 commandments, that is all. Love fulfilleth the Law. What problem do you have with that?

Russ: Deu 6:5 and Lev 19:18 are both OUTSIDE the Decalogue which proves that the word “law” can refer to texts outside the Decalogue.

237: Chris: I was seeking to understand you when you referred to the Old Covenant. Now I know you refer to the 10 commandments and the laws instituted under Moses. You lump them all together. The ten commandments are still to be observed. The rest of the Mosaic Covenant that was fulfilled is done away as it pointed to Christ.

Russ: For the umpteenth time: That part of the Old Covenant Law which was eternal and moral have been REPEATED to the Church after Calvary in terms of grace and faith.

238: Chris: I do not deny what you said. However righteousness has a definition and apart from the law it has no definition. You are like a ship in a fog without a ruder as well as without chart and compass. You throw around terms such as righteousness and truth with no definitions.

Russ: If somebody asked you to show them God’s righteousness, you would show them the Ten Commandments. I would show them Jesus Christ.

Chris: The Decalogue is a scale by which to measure our actions as expounded in the Sermon on the Mount.

Russ: The Sermon on the Mount says that about the entire Law, not merely the Ten Commandments. 5:19-48.

240: Chris: Yes sin is lawless. Lawless is disobedience to the law is it not? And the Decalogue is the royal law, the law of love by the way. Love worked no ill!

Russ: Lawlessness is disobedience to any law. Even the Gentiles were guilty of violating the law of nature and conscience per Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-16. The Decalogue is NOT the same as the ROYAL LAW of love because LOVE is greater than any law.

Chris: Luke 6:46, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say”! And again, how do you separate the Written Word from the Incarnate Word and the Eternal Word? They are one.

Russ: The written Law was but a shadow of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. When we “rightly divide the Word of truth, we replace the written Law with Jesus Christ.

Chris: There is no receiving Jesus without receiving His Word, John 3:36, and 12:48, and Matthew 4:4. John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day”. Your theology is very superficial.

Russ: When Jesus said “my words” he was referring to the Gospel he preached which surpassed the Law in holiness. You make the Old Covenant and the New Covenant into the same identical thing. You do not “rightly divide the Word of truth.” You teach that we should still obey all the Old Covenant and then you discard major portions of it, but keep the tithe. I say that your theology is TRANSPARENT. You do not want to lose that precious tithe but you certainly want to keep your house and property contrary to the tithe law of Numbers 18.

Chris: No I do not make both covenants the same. The new fulfills the old. However the law is still the law as it is immutable. The law of which I speak is the Decalogue.

Russ: God’s character is immutable. His Law for Old Covenant Israel has been re-written in terms of His New Covenant with the Church.

242: Chris: Rom 2:14-16: Conscience is as a fallen barometer since the fall, it works but now well.

Russ: Conscience and nature worked well enough to condemn Gentiles who did not have the revealed will of God through the Law.

Chris: If conscience were sufficient then we would not have had to have the Decalogue given.

Russ: The Decalogue was only given to God’s special nation of Israel in order to especially bless them. “Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.” Only Israel had the great opportunity of being a blessed nation before Christ.

Chris: And then that was not enough as it had to be expounded: the Sermon on the Mount.

Russ: The entire Law was expanded by the Sermon on the Mount. That fact seems to bother you.

Chris: Rom 8:2: As for the spirit of life in Christ, this is the indwelling Presence that convicts and enables us to walk as He walked.

Russ: It is also the law written in the hearts of all believers and not the Old Covenant law.

243: Chris: I do not know why you have a hard time with what I said. The fact remains if there is no law then there is no sin because Sin is lawlessness! Whether the law is written in the conscience or on stone or even legislated it is the law. To be lawless is sin. If there is no law there is no sin regardless where it is written. Where it is written is immaterial at this point. The fact is no law no sin.

Russ: You are fighting your own false impression of what dispensationalism teaches. WE DO NOT TEACH NO LAW. We teach that WHEN the Old Covenant law ended for Hebrews, the New Covenant law began. This also means that, when the Law of conscience and nature ends for Gentiles the New Covenant Law begins.

Chris: That is foolish. The conscience still convicts unless we have seared it. But this is not sufficient alone.

Russ: You miss the point that the conscience of a believer is fully aware of the indwelling Holy Spirit and is advised and convicted by it.

Chris: We have a clear understanding of sin by the Law, Decalogue, And even more clear when meditating upon the Sermon on the Mount. And even clearer still when we behold our crucified Christ.

Russ: No. We NOW have a clear understanding of sin by looking at Jesus Christ. What would Jesus do? Not, what does the Law say? By beholding HIM we become changed; not by beholding the Law! 2 Cor 3:18
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

244: Chris: My Friend, I have to beg off because my wife is very ill and I have not only to pastor but care for her as well. I also have all the domestic duties. Presently I have very little sleep. I do appreciate the time we have spent together.

Russ: It has been a real honest pleasure to sharpen swords with you, my friend. I am retired and do much of the domestic chores myself although I burn water so my wife prefers to cook. Please go easy on our mutual friend. He is merely seeking truth the best way he can.

Chris: By the way I do understand dispensationalism as I was taught dispensational hermeneutics in seminary. We probably had the same text book, Protestant Biblical Interpretation by Bernard Ram. I still have the book in my library.

May our Lord bless and guide you as we all need His guidance.
His unprofitable servant, Bro. Chris.

Russ: And to you the same.

Russell Earl Kelly

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