Why You Should Never Separate The 10 Commandments From The Prologue

How can we know God’s will? A non-religious person might say that we can’t know God’s will, or even if there is a God. But, a Christian would say that we can know God’s will because He has revealed it to us. Christian theologians have always taught that God’s will is found throughout the Bible, but that it is clearly articulated in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. Those 10 Commandments are the basis not only for the rest of the law of Moses found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, but also for the commands and exhortations found throughout the rest of Scripture.

Starting points are always important, and the 10 Commandments don’t start with, “You shall have no other gods before me.” They start with the words, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” We call this the Prologue to the 10 Commandments. Most people skip over it. But, it is vitally important, because if we don’t include it, we end up with a set of rules divorced from a relationship, all law and no gospel. If all we have is the law, we have no hope; the Prologue tells us about our hope.

There are 3 things that the Prologue tells us: that the God of the law is a personal God, a freeing God, and a providential God.

 

God is a personal God.

God reminds His people, “I am the Lord your God.”  It’s funny how often God re-introduces Himself to His people. It’s not like they’ve forgotten. Sometimes I forget I’ve met people at church and end up introducing myself 3-4 times. But it would be pretty hard to forget meeting God when He’s speaking from heaven or in a burning bush. Just like all of us who are over 20 years old remember exactly where we were when 9/11 happened, so people remember when they first meet God.

But God has a purpose in reminding the people who He is. His purpose is to give the law here the personal grounding it needs. You see, all morality that is impersonal loses its power to motivate. Because it’s just words; of course, there are ideas behind the words, but whose ideas? At the end of the day, law comes down to the issue of authority.

Every 2 year-old learns two words very quickly: ‘No’ and ‘Why.’ They love to ask “Why?” Sit still!  Why? Eat your dinner. Why? Because I want you to be healthy. Why? Because I love you. Why? You can give reasons for your commands, but at the end of the day, when they keep asking why, it comes down to, “Because I said so.”

Judeo-Christian morality doesn’t hinge on an arbitrary set of rules, it has an ultimate authority. And that authority is personal- a God who is not only our Lord, but our Father who loves us. Why should I be a good person?  Someone might say, ‘Because life will be better for you’ or ‘Because you have a vague moral obligation to do good to others.’ The Christian says, ‘Because God.’ There are lots of proximate reasons, but ultimately: be a good person because God has created you for goodness.

 

God is a freeing God.

The second half of the Prologue is very specific about what Israel’s God has done: “[I am the Lord your God] who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” The law starts with freedom. The background of the 10 commandments is slavery in Egypt. The people that God is delivering these tablets of the law to had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years. Think about that a moment. Slavery is fundamentally inhumane treatment, it robs people of their dignity and honor.  When the Hebrews went to work making bricks and building the pyramids and buildings in Egypt, they were given no choice, their life was that of a pack mule: work and rest, work and rest. That’s no way to live.

But these slaves cried out to God for 400 years to deliver them.  And He heard their cries, and finally in His wisdom and providence He sent a man named Moses to deliver them.

The order of the prologue and the 10 Commandments is the same order we see throughout all of Scripture: first the gospel, then the law. Theologians talk about this by saying that ‘the indicative always comes before the imperative.’ The indicative is a person’s state or status, who they are, what is. The imperative is what we ought to do. The indicative- who we are- always comes before the imperative- what we do.

In other words, we don’t keep the rules and do our work in order to be saved- we are saved and then we learn how to live as God would have us live. In the Bible, our status/identity is secure, apart from our works.

You see this in basically all of Paul’s letters in the New Testament. He spends a lot of time at the beginning of books like Ephesians and Philippians reminding the Christians he is writing to that they are saved and secure in Christ, and then about halfway through he says, “Therefore…” And he begins to talk about how they should behave since they belong to God.

That order is critically important. If you don’t get it right, you end up either giving yourself credit for your salvation, or you end up in despair once you realize you can never keep the law. Healthy Christian living always goes back to your identity in God. When you sin, you don’t end in despair because you go back to the fact that you are a child of God and are forgiven. When you do good, you don’t end in pride because you realize that the only reason you’ve done good is because God has saved you and changed your heart.

A lot of people think, ‘In the Old Testament, you were saved by keeping the law, but in the New Testament, you are saved by faith.’ But, the Prologue cries out, ‘NO! You were never saved by keeping the Law.’ God has always intended, even back before the beginning of time, to save His people by grace, and then have them live based on that grace.

Now, there’s been a fairly big fight the last decade or so over the posting of the 10 Commandments in public places like courthouses, schools and government buildings. And I’m all for us learning from Scripture key principles for government and education. But, here’s my problem: they never post the Prologue. They sometimes put “I am the Lord Thy God” and then jump into the 1st Commandment. But they always leave out “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” That gets edited.

But, the law without the gospel is death! If we post the 10 Commandments without the Prologue, what was intended to be a living covenantal relationship becomes nothing more than moralism- do this, do that. And moralism ultimately leads to death.

Context.  It’s so important for understanding God’s words. But what about our context? You might say, “I’ve never lived in Egypt. I’ve never been a slave in need of rescue. So how can the 10 Commandments apply to me?”

Not so fast. In Ephesians 2:1-3, the Apostle Paul describes us before we came into a relationship with God: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

Do you know what that is describing? Slavery. In our natural state, we were slaves to our sinful passions, to the prince of this world, to the rebellious ways of this world. You and I were slaves in need of a deliverer like Moses. And the New Testament gives a lot of clues that a new Moses has come.

When Moses was a baby, a king tried to kill him and killed all the other Hebrew boys under two years of age; when Jesus was a baby, a king tried to kill him, too, and killed all the Hebrew boys under two. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness preparing to do his work; Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness preparing to do the work that God had called Him to do. Moses was given the law for his people on a mountain; Jesus taught the full extent of the law to His people on a mountain. Moses prayed for the people to have bread and God sent bread from heaven; Jesus prayed for the people in His day to have bread and God multiplied the bread to feed the people.

It’s no accident that the meal that Jesus ate with His disciples on His last night with them was the Passover meal- to remember the exodus out of Egypt. And Jesus did something which would have been shocking- He took a cup of wine, which represented the slain lamb’s blood and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.’ In other words, Jesus was saying that He was going to be slain so that His people could be free.

That’s the ultimate freedom that the words in the Prologue point to. It was a temporary freedom that God gave Israel when He brought them out of slavery in Egypt, because they would be conquered again. The freedom that Jesus gives is a permanent freedom from death and hell. His death paid the penalty for your sins. And so, in Jesus, you no longer are a slave to your sinful nature. You no longer have to fear death.

 

God is a providential God

The third thing we learn from the Prologue about God is that He is a providential God. God tells His people: “I brought you out of Egypt.”

But what do they keep saying to Him in the wilderness? ‘You brought us out here to die, to abandon us!’ But, of course we know that He did not. What God started, He’s going to finish. It might not be clear in the Prologue, but God makes this clear in the 4th Commandment: “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

God wasn’t just taking them out of the house of slavery, He was giving them a new home. Dillard and Longman, in their Introduction to the Old Testament put it so well, “The greatest act of salvation history in the Old Testament was not the Exodus alone. The Exodus was just one half of a great redemptive complex. God had not promised his people only that he would redeem them from bondage, but also that he would give them the land he promised to the fathers as their inheritance.”

In other words, the Israelites had been saved, but they were still being saved. And God is telling them that He will finish the work. That’s what providence is- the idea that God is working in every area of your life and is working all things according to the counsel of His will.

Have you ever heard that phrase, “It’s a God thing!” People say that in Oklahoma when good things happen to them. When someone close to you gets healed, or you get offered a new job the day before you were going to quit your old one, or you get a parking spot by the door, you say, “It’s a God thing.” But we don’t say that when bad things happen, when we don’t get the new job, when our loved one doesn’t get healed.

But the point of providence is that everything is a God thing! God is in the good and the bad. He doesn’t cause evil, but He works in and through it. He is working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

The problem is that we think that we’re saved, but then after that initial salvation we think that we’re on our own. We’re saved by the power of God, by grace through faith alone, but after that it’s our job to work in our own power, through gritting our teeth through willpower alone. We fall into Saving Private Ryan salvation, where Private Ryan is saved through the sacrifice of a company of men and one of those dying men says with his last breath, “Earn this.”

David Ireland was diagnosed with a neurological disease that put him in a wheelchair as a teenager, but he was still able to go to college and even get married. When his wife got pregnant with their first child, he didn’t know if he was going to live to see the child, so he wrote a book called Letters to an Unborn Child. In it he writes:

“This is the kind of woman your mother is. When we go on a date, she puts me in the bathtub, she brushes my teeth, she dresses me, she puts me in my wheelchair, she puts the pedestals on the chair so I can rest my legs. She pushes me down the steps, out to the car. She pulls me out of the wheelchair, she puts me into the car, she closes the door. She puts my wheelchair in the trunk, she closes the trunk and raises the garage door [back in the 60’s when garage doors were manual]. She backs out of the garage, she pulls the garage door back down, she drives me to the restaurant.

She gets to the restaurant, she goes to the trunk, she gets the wheelchair out of the trunk, she pulls it up to the side of the car, she puts me in the wheelchair. She closes the door, she closes the trunk. She pushes me into the restaurant, she pushes me up to the table, she puts me in a chair at the table, so I’ll be more comfortable and people won’t be as prone to stare. She feeds me, she wipes my chin, she pays for the meal.

She puts me back in the wheelchair, she pushes me back out to the car, she puts me in the car, she puts the wheelchair back in the trunk, she drives us home. She raises the garage door, pulls into the garage, she takes the wheelchair out of the trunk, she puts me in the chair. She closes the trunk, closes the garage door. She takes my clothes off, puts me in my pajamas, brushes my teeth. She puts me in the bed, kisses me on the cheek and says, ‘Thank you for taking me out to dinner.’”

That’s the gospel. That’s union with Christ, what being in a relationship with Jesus is all about. God gives you a new heart, and He gives you the power to believe. And then He gives you the power to obey Him, and He gives you the ability to love others unselfishly. And He walks with you, in you and behind and before you all the way home- through every trial and every valley.

That’s what the Prologue teaches us. We’re not alone, we’re never alone. The law of God is not about how to earn our way to Him, but how to walk with Him as new creations in Christ.

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  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Why You Should Never Separate The 10 Commandments From The Prologue”

    What about the other 603 commandments? The old testament has 613 commandments in total.

    And according to what the Bible itself says ( Exodus 34:14-28), THESE are the ten commandments:

    01 Thou shalt worship no other god.
    02 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    03 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
    04 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day rest.
    05 Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks.
    06 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
    07 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
    08 Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning.
    09 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
    10 Thou shalt not seeth a kid in his mother’s milk.

    ( Exodus 34:14-28)

    Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

    ( Exodus 34:28 is the first point in the Bible where the phrase “ten commandments” appears.

    • Bennett

      The Law was always purposed to lead men to Christ through knowledge of sin. Men cannot be Saved by attempting to keep Laws which he is already guilty of violating. Point being, that when someone stands in judgment of the Law, they immediately indict themselves. To Judge the Law, is to Know the Law. To fall short at one point of the Law is to fall short of All of the Law. That’s essentially why men need Christ. Men stand already condemned. Jesus came to make Salvation possible because for man it is impossible.

      • Sagrav

        So God made a test that is impossible to pass, and showed us all how awesome he was by passing his own test. If you fawn over God/Jesus for passing his own test, you get to go to a place where you will get to fawn over God/Jesus forever. If you are unimpressed with God passing his own test, or if you find the whole story fanciful and unbelievable, God will dump you into a flaming lake that he created to torture beings he doesn’t like. And this all somehow shows that God is both holy and loving.

        I wonder how Christian proselytizers expect non-believers to find this argument compelling?

        • C_Alan_Nault

          In the Bible it even has god admitting he gave us laws we couldn’t keep ( so he could punish us & show off his power):

          Ezekiel 20:25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
          26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.

          • Bennett

            See Ed Senter’s comment further up the page. The Bible is a record of no one keeping the Law with the exception of Jesus Christ. Even with the Law, they failed. The Law was not meant to be kept, it was meant to lead men to a knowledge of sin and our need for redemption through Christ. If you want to resurrect the Law, you head back to Moses, whose role it was to point men toward Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus said to the Pharisees that it would be Moses whom they had set their hopes upon who would testify against them.

          • Questioning54

            Moses doesn’t mention Jesus Christ. Actually Moses didn’t accept Christ as his saviour so he is probably in hell. In fact anyone born before Jesus must be in hell because they did not accept Christ as their saviour (or whatever version of christianese you use for that process.) They join all those people who cannot believe in someone they have never heard of described in a book they have never seen (or can’t afford and are not educated enough to read!)
            Remember believing is dependent on knowing. You believe what you know. You can’t believe what you don’t know. Hell must be a big place!

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Actually, you are incorrect. This passage is actually an explanation of why Jesus God of the Bible used to command his disciples to burn their children in sacrifice to him. This contradicts a separate explanation in Jeremiah 7:22:

            “For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

            I first found out about this in Thom Stark’s free online book ‘Is God a Moral Compromiser?’.

        • Bennett

          Compelling or not, its the Truth. Unbelief is merely refusal to believe truth ‘known’. You just indicted yourself with your knowledge of the fall, Gods’ Holiness and the complete and utter hatred of the gospel message.

          “For God has chosen through the foolishness of what is preached to save them that believe.”

          Them that believe, will come to Christ and find that everything He says is True. Those who don’t believe will ultimately wish they had. You won’t understand spiritual things unless you are Born Again. Unless Christ makes us a new person, we can only see things from our ‘fallen’ nature.

          • Questioning54

            People CAN’T disbelieve what they know to be true. If they know it is true they believe it.
            Belief is dependent on knowing that something is true. Knowing something is true is not dependant on belief.
            (I wonder if you can work that out.)

      • C_Alan_Nault

        “The Law was always purposed to lead men to Christ through knowledge of sin.”

        So you are saying god WANTED Adam & Eve to eat the forbidden fruit because it was part of god’s plan.

        “Men cannot be Saved by attempting to keep Laws which he is already guilty of violating.”

        If we are born already guilty, it means this god is an evil being that punishes us for things we haven’t done ( the Bible supports this conclusion, it says god will punish people ( sometimes for generations) for the sins of their ancestors).

        ” Point being, that when someone stands in judgment of the Law, they immediately indict themselves. ”

        Point being that this god arranged things to have us born guilty & then punishes us for this.

        In other words, might makes right.

        “To Judge the Law, is to Know the Law. To fall short at one point of the Law is to fall short of All of the Law.”

        So someone who happens to work on the Sabbath day is as evil & guilty as someone who rapes & murders children.

        ” That’s essentially why men need Christ.”

        If you believe the Bible, we need Christ because god stupidly placed the forbidden fruit in the garden, a bunch of other stuff happened, and this god stupidly thinks people can atone for their sins by accepting Christ.

        Here’s a scenario for you using the Bible’s ridiculous rules:

        1) I rob you and rape your wife.
        2) I am never caught.
        3) Years later, I “find” Christ & sincerely ask god for forgiveness.
        4) I am forgiven by god & enter heaven when I die, despite the fact that I have done NOTHING to compensate you for the evil I have doe to you & your wife
        5) You happen to be an atheist. You have never stolen from anyone or deliberately harmed anyone. If you happened to wrong someone you asked the person you wronged to forgive you & do what you can to make it up to them.
        6) When you die you go to hell.

        “Men stand already condemned.”

        A ridiculous belief system.

        “Jesus came to make Salvation possible because for man it is impossible.”

        In other words, Gene Roddenberry was right:

        “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”

        • Bennett

          C_Alan_Nault, If God ‘did’ it, it is not evil. Evil requires performing a defective act and there is no defect in God because as God, He has no unfulfilled potential. You have come to the realization that God is true to His Word and will always do what He says he’s going to do if and when we fail to heed his warning. This is the obvious reason most people rail against God. They are angry with Him because they know their own behaviour puts them next in line unless they repent. Can I safely assume that in the days of Noah, you would have been one of the mockers who refused to board the Ark to be Saved?

          Btw, I find it a point of interest that you would choose Gene Roddenberry whose greatest desire was “To Boldly Go where No Man has Gone Before” “The Final Frontier” might very well be his ‘reality’ in death. Regardless, he now knows the truth, but there’s nothing he can do about it. I always find irony in people quoting those who are now dead who could very well be screaming at the top of their lungs to people like yourself, “Please don’t come to this place. I was wrong, I was so wrong.” Please Read Luke Chapter 16 starting at verse 19 through 31.

          For what it’s worth, I thought it was all stupid too until Jesus Saved me.

          • C_Alan_Nault

            “If God ‘did’ it, it is not evil.”

            Do you think it is moral to punish someone for the wrongs committed by someone else?

            ” Evil requires performing a defective act and there is no defect in God because as God, He has no unfulfilled potential.”

            According to the Bible god is helpless when confronted with iron chariots ( Judges 1:19). This means god isn’t all powerful so he has a defect.

            The Bible also says god is responsible for evil.

            Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

            Amos 3:6 ……shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?

            ” You have come to the realization that God is true to His Word and will always do what He says he’s going to do”

            Not according to the Bible.

            GE 17:8 God promises Abraham the land of Canaan as an “everlasting possession.”
            GE 25:8, AC 7:2-5, HE 11:13 Abraham died with the promise unfulfilled.

            Numbers 14:30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

            “This is the obvious reason most people rail against God.”

            I’m not aware of anyone railing against god. no atheist rails against god. We can’t, we don’t believe a god exists.

            “Regardless, he now knows the truth, ”

            That’ your claim. Can you prove the claim?

          • Bennett

            “I’m not aware of anyone railing against god. no atheist rails against god. We can’t, we don’t believe a god exists.”

            I just spent a few minutes listening to God speak through the mouth of a man who doesn’t believe He exists.

            “Abraham died with the promise unfulfilled.”

            Abraham is not dead, no saint is. Jesus references this in the NT. The final resting place for the saints of God, is not a geographical location, it is what happens when a man surrenders his life to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the place of rest. Canaan was only a temporary resting place, Christ is the eternal place of rest for every born again believer.

            “The Bible also says god is responsible for evil.”

            Evil is misappropriation of that which God intended for the good of man. The ability to procreate holds both the power to create and the power to destroy life when misappropriated. God cannot do anything which is logically contradictory with His own nature. As fallen beings, we need to understand that God is not subject to human ideas of perfection. Evil is what occurs when man lives at enmity with and walks in rebellion toward God. God gives man a choice, life or death, blessing or curse, heaven or hell. The only reprieve offered for freedom from curse of the fall, comes through Christ. We accept it or we reject it. Until we come to Christ to be ‘Born Again’ we are fallen beings who will hate what God loves and love what God hates.

            All of these regurgitated atheist web site ‘contradictions’ have answers. What this demonstrates is your obvious reluctance to visit the sites where proper exegesis and explanation is offered. These were all issues dealt with 1500 years ago before the Scriptures were made canon.

            If you are seeking Truth, listen to Jesus Christ whom is the Truth.

            “I speak the truth, those on the side of truth, listen to me.”

          • C_Alan_Nault

            “I just spent a few minutes listening to God speak through the mouth of a man who doesn’t believe He exists.

            That’s your claim. Now…

            1) can you prove the claim?

            2) assuming this actually happened, what did god say?

            “Abraham is not dead, no saint is.”

            Another claim. Can you prove THIS claim?

            “Jesus references this in the NT.”

            No, the NT may say this but it can’t be proven that Jesus said it. It hasn’t even been proven that Jesus existed.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            If Jesus is still alive, let’s hear whether he thinks he said any of those things or not.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “I speak the truth, those on the side of truth, listen to me.”

            Why did the author write Jesus said a poorly-skilled confidence man’s line, then?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “If God ‘did’ it, it is not evil.”

            Therefore the only evil Hitler, Stalin, and many other dictators commited is not being Jesus. You tidily exemplify the authoritarian mindset.

          • Bennett

            Was what Hitler and Stalin did morally wrong?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            If it was in an objective sense, why are we even able to ask that question? If objective morality exists, the phrase “morally wrong” is a nonsense phrase describing nothing that people would criticize others for being wrong to do.

            I can only answer as any God or other person could with a similar opinion: I feel thay were wrong to imprison, hurt, and kill people. If my morality was objective, I wouldn’t have such tragedies to have an opinion of wrongness toward. Such a hypothetical tragedy would be as ridiculous as painting a dog to order concrete pizza.

          • Bennett

            “I feel thay were wrong to imprison, hurt, and kill people.”

            Feelings and emotions are irrelevant. It was either morally wrong or it wasn’t. God is not a respecter of persons, he is a respecter of His Word. When He Commands us not to do something, it has nothing to do with how we feel about it, it’s morally wrong because God. There’s no need for further explanation. God is the moral ethos in whom all righteousness abides and to whom we are all morally accountable to. He commands only for our ultimate good. We stay within the boundaries or we misappropriate what God has intended for mans good, and instead do harm to men thereby dishonouring God.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “Feelings and emotions are irrelevant. It was either morally wrong or it wasn’t. ”

            Why would they do something they of their own free will see as morally wrong? Therefore we cannot state moral wrong in an objective sense, but we can state so in a relative sense (from viewpoints like mine such actions are morally wrong).

            “God is not a respecter of persons, he is a respecter of His Word. When He Commands us not to do something, it has nothing to do with how we feel about it, it’s morally wrong because God. There’s no need for further explanation.”

            Wait, so anyone can just say another person who can speak for themselves said something, therefore they said it? I will follow your example of Christian honesty! God told me he has no real dog in human morality and that all religions were human inventions without his input. He also says that I can speak for both sides of this conversation we had, and that he will never confirm or deny anything about this conversation ever happened.

          • Bennett

            Unless we have the testimony of two or more witnesses, our testimony is invalid. “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Father, Son and Holy Spirit bear witness to the same message. Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God, the Father and The Holy Spirit bear witness to His message.

            Your message is the testimony of one man, thus invalidated.100 years from now, nobody will even remember your name. Jesus will still be Saving those who confess and renounce their sin and surrender their life to Him. When we are ready to get off the throne and let God sit down in his rightful place in our life, we will know what true peace is. You sound like you could use some ‘Peace.’

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “Unless we have the testimony of two or more witnesses, our testimony is invalid.”

            You’re right. I do only have one witness, God. He wonders why one would need witnesses when they can speak for themself. According to God, the witnesses thing seems unnecessary and abuse-prone. ANYONE or GROUP could just say they are speaking for him and try to control and abuse people they don’t like all without anyone caring that he has not said anything about what this witness is saying about him. God loves the Christian honesty we are showing to each other!

          • Bennett

            “Therefore we cannot state moral wrong in an objective sense, but we can state so in a relative sense (from viewpoints like mine such actions are morally wrong).”

            This statement self refutes. To suggest “we cannot state moral wrong in an objective sense”, is only valid if objectively true. It can never be true in a relative sense, because truth by its very nature is exclusive. If something is true, then all other contrary claims must be false. This is the value of Reason and logic. It can only be employed for the establishing of truth, which is why lies cannot remain hidden.

            God has given us the ability to be rational, therefore to attempt to evaluate evidence without God as the necessary foundation for our reason, puts our reasoning on a higher authority than God. God is Lord of our reasoning and is not subservient to it. This is the piece of the puzzle you are missing. You trust in your human reason, based on your own human reasoning = Circular Logic.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “To suggest “we cannot state moral wrong in an objective sense”, is only valid if objectively true.”

            We wouldn’t be able to state something is morally wrong if morality is objective, either.

            “It can only be employed for the establishing of truth”

            Divorced from empirical testing, reason and logic can be used to support fiction just as easily as human languages and mathematics.

            “God has given us the ability to be rational”

            God said he did no such thing.

          • Bennett

            “We wouldn’t be able to state something is morally wrong if morality is objective, either.”

            You clearly do not know what a self refuting statement is.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            If morality is objective such that, say, killing other people is wrong, then even the people who in our world kill other people would have this same morality. Killing would be as much unincluded in our free will as deciding to change into a bird and fly. Just as the phrase “gravitationally wrong” is nonsense in our world so would “morally wrong” be nonsense in a world where the answers to moral conflicts is not relative to who one asks.

          • Bennett

            “Divorced from empirical testing, reason and logic can be used to support
            fiction just as easily as human languages and mathematics.”

            Reason and logic are not tools which can be manipulated, they are unchangeable, transcendent, universal laws which preexisted both human beings and thus, human languages. The Laws of nature preexisted man and the universe in order to bring them into existence, therefore human beings and the Laws of nature are subject to someone whom transcends ‘both.’ Something to consider.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “Reason and logic are not tools which can be manipulated…”

            What time you could have saved right there if you had Googled your statement as a question. One can logic anything into existence given the starting assumptions. The argument may be perfectly valid, but what it argues for could be inaccurate or outright fictional.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            To paraphrase a quote from Roddenberry’s creation, “What does God need with a book?”

          • Bennett

            A Question Roddenberry now has the answer to.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Really, let’s hear from him instead of you. You have talked instead of Gene enough.

          • Bennett

            Read Luke Chapter 16:19-31. We need to listen to Moses and the Prophets because even if a man could return from the dead to tell us about it, he would only be telling us what has already been revealed through Moses and the Prophets and the testimony of Jesus Christ whom is the fulfillment of All the Law and the Prophets. The answer given to the man who requested that someone go back and tell his five brothers about the place of flames and torment, so that they don’t come here too:

            “Let them listen to Moses and the Prophets. If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if a man rises from the dead.”

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “Read Luke Chapter 16:19-31.”

            Your comment as of now is twenty hours old. I don’t think Jesus is going to read the passage aloud to all of humanity at once. Try asking him to read ‘Catch-22’.

          • Questioning54

            Moses and the prophets don’t actually mention believing in Jesus Christ to be saved. There is something about a guy called Emmanuel who would save people from their sins. If the bible is perfect it wouldn’t get the name wrong.

          • Bennett

            Moses and Law and the Prophets point to Jesus. Emmanuel is “God with us.” This is the messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ own words,

            “You think that by diligent study of the scriptures you will inherit eternal life, the scriptures testify of me but you will not come to me for life.” Gospel of John.

            “He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life and Gods wrath abides upon that man.” Gospel of John.

            Moses, Elijah and Jesus walk side by side. The Law the Prophets and the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, Jesus Christ.

          • Questioning54

            You have not proved that Emmanuel is Jesus Christ.

          • Questioning54

            The old fear tactic. It obviously worked on you.

            Angry at God because their own behaviour puts them next in line unless they repent”. Hmm. I thought it was their “wrong being” not their “wrong doing”. Seems to be which ever suits you for your argument at the time. Can’t have it both ways though.

            “Angry at God…” eh ? Do nonchristian people actually tell you this? Even if some do you can’t presume to read minds of those who don’t tell you what they are thinking.

          • Bennett

            “”Angry at God…” eh ? Do nonchristian people actually tell you this?”

            No, The Word of God tells us. Men in their fallen condition live at enmity with God, in other words they are enemies of God through their wicked works. Unless they come to Christ to be Born Again, this will not change.

            I appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with you and commend your questions and genuine interest in Truth. Keep seeking Truth, you will find Jesus Christ who is the Truth.

          • Questioning54

            Angry and enmity do not mean the same thing. When it comes to God and anger, the anger is on his side! (at least how he has been portrayed).

            You haven’t dialogued with me, you have preached at me and not answered the hard questions. Sorry if that offends you but I am being honest about how you come across. No interest in me as a person.
            Just arrogance that you are right backed up by cherry picking the bible when Christians can’t even agree about what the bible teaches (they all cherry pick what agrees with what they want to believe).

          • Bennett

            “Sorry if that offends you but I am being honest about how you come across. No interest in me as a person.”

            This is an appeal to emotion. I’m not interested in how you ‘feel’ I’m interested in what is True. Emotional statements like this have no impact on what is True. You don’t like the idea of hell for impenitent sinners? Good, you’re not supposed to. So don’t go there.

            Truth is, we would rather be good diligent workers, helpful volunteers and generous givers, than to give up our secret sins but the Lord is not satisfied with ‘our’ sacrifice. The price that brings pardon from sin and acceptance with God is not payable through ‘good’ works. Gods grace is however always available to those who are willing to humble themselves before him and receive by faith the reprieve offered in and through Jesus Christ.

          • Questioning54

            You just don’t get it. Give up. We are not meant to be emotionless robots or mere objects like lumps of wood. God himself experiences emotion. And what you say is simply not true. You think what you get out of the bible (by cherry picking) is true and so do many others who think differently to you. How can you be so arrogant? What if it turns out to be you who is like the Pharisees in your knowledge of the scriptures and if Jesus stood in front of you, you wouldn’t even recognise him.

            Maybe giving up your secret sins (speak for yourself – I must admit it explains a lot that you have secret sins) is another form of works

          • Bennett

            Our emotions are not valid when employed as justification for sin. Our emotions are only valid when aligned with The Word of God in the Bible, aligned within the boundaries He has put in place. There are no cherries in the Bible, only Pearls. Time for you to pick one up instead of trampling them. You already know the truth, you knew it before your first comment. As soon as you asked what happens to those who haven’t heard, you indicted yourself as one who has.

            “How shall we be saved if we ignore such a great Salvation.”

          • Questioning54

            Look up “cherry picking”. What happens to those who have not heard? You haven’t answered the question because maybe you can’t or simply don’t care. There are other things I have said that you can’t answer too. You just ride your hobby horse in self assured arrogance. As for indicting myself, you indict yourself as a hard-hearted Pharisee. To him who thinks that he stands take heed unless you fall.
            You think you have your “get out of hell free” card. What if you are wrong.

          • Bennett

            All answers to your questions are being trampled underfoot. You have already demonstrated yourself to be a suppressor of truth. Your objections are not evidence based, they are clearly moral objections. You find it a constant source of frustration that The God of The Holy Bible is true to His Word and will always do as He has decreed. No matter how hard you rail against Christians, that is never going to change. If we are not Saved, it will not be because we ‘could not’ come to Christ, it will be because we ‘would not’ come to Christ to be redeemed. It won’t be because we did not know the truth, it will be because we did know the truth but instead chose to refuse to believe it.

          • Bennett

            “You think you have your “get out of hell free” card. What if you are wrong.”

            Our imperative is the need to be Right about Jesus Christ, not Christians. Jesus commands all men to follow Him, not His followers. He forewarned his disciples when proclaiming the Kingdom of God, “Remember, if they hate you, it’s because they first hated me.” If we want to know whether these things are true, we must come to Jesus Christ to be born again and listen to what He commands of us, because what He commands leads to ‘Life.’

            Paul has already responded to the ‘what if you’re wrong’ argument so I will echo His response.

            “17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

            If we are wrong.

            There is only One valid reason for being Christian. Because Christianity is True. There is no point being Christian if it’s not true. Jesus reveals the truth to those who come to Him, as promised.

          • Questioning54

            Who is using emotions to justify sin? Not me. You haven’t replied to a number of my comments because you can’t answer them with a diatribe of christianese. I know you quote bible verses but you make them say what you want them to say by cherry picking (did you look that up?) and interpreting in your own words how you think they should be interpreted. Never mind if other students of scripture believe differently and can demonstrate from the bible. It is only your arrogance I am “trampling underfoot” seeing you like that phrase.

          • Bennett

            “You haven’t replied to a number of my comments because you can’t answer them with a diatribe of christianese.”

            There is an abundance of sources available if all you want is answers. If you would like to be Saved, you will need to come to Jesus Christ. Jesus did not say, “My sheep will hear my really good argument” he said, “My sheep hear my voice.”

            “For all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge have been hid in Christ.”

            Not hidden ‘From’ us, but ‘For’ us, so that we will only find truth when looking for it in the ‘right’ place.

          • Questioning54

            Ah but how can one know the “right” place? You think you have it but so do many others just as self assuredly and sincerely

          • Bennett

            This comment self refutes. All you have demonstrated is the truth of what is written in The Scriptures. It is written that many will misuse the scriptures to their own detriment. They will reject sound doctrine and instead surround themselves with teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear. I’m clearly not telling you anything you want to hear, quite the contrary.

          • Questioning54

            “many will misuse the scriptures to their own detriment. They will reject sound doctrine and instead surround themselves with teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear”. You just described yourself perfectly. I am not telling YOU what you want to hear! You still haven’t answered many of my comments. That is because you can’t!

          • Bennett

            So you agree that our ultimate authority on truth is the Scriptures. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

          • Questioning54

            Your ultimate authority is what you THINK the scriptures say. You still haven’t got it. What you think the scriptures say is different to what others think the scriptures say – people as genuinely convinced they are right as you are. What makes you the authority on what scripture says other than your arrogance?

          • Bennett

            “Your ultimate authority is what you THINK the scriptures say.”

            “15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

            That’s what the Bible says. What do you think it says?

          • Questioning54

            There are 66? books of “what the bible says”! Not about to copy them here! I don’t want to “cherry pick” either..If your interpretation is correct you would be able to answer my questions and comments instead of displaying your attitude {dangerously close to emotion – feelings of pride) that you are right because you say so.

          • Bennett

            “There are 66? books of “what the bible says”!”

            Yes, and they all say the same thing in perfect harmony from Genesis to Revelation regarding Jesus Christ, Gods only plan for the redemption of fallen man. The constant thread woven throughout all 66 Books.

            “God commands all men everywhere to repent for He has set aside a day whereby he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has appointed. He has given evidence of this by raising him from the dead.”

            What do you think that says? Seems to me that as a scornfully demanding Bible critic, the boots on the ground work ought to be done by yourself. Why do you demand that others do all the work for you? Are you dishonest and disingenuous or a genuine seeker of truth? If the latter, surrender your life to Christ. Desire to do the will of God, that’s when Jesus says we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.

            This is my final word to you. To die apart from Jesus Christ is to have lived for nothing. We live to Know God through the person and work of Jesus Christ as testified to in The Bible. We need to be Born Again.

            “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, I was dead, behold I am alive again and live forevermore.” He lives to save all who will call upon His name. For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

          • Questioning54

            “Yes, and they all say the same thing in perfect harmony from Genesis to Revelation”
            Simply a lie or a delusion. I will not enter into that discussion with you!
            You seem incapable or afraid of honest questions or discussion so I will not go there.

            I am tired of being preached AT. You do not address what I say. So you are delivering a monologue instead having of a conversation. You just cannot comprehend that people can honestly face up to reality enough to ask and look for answers to the hard questions. Or are you just afraid of questions so you take refuge in repetitive preaching?

            I am over this non-conversation.

          • Questioning54

            The onus is on you to answer what I ask about what you say. Basically you are saying “Don’t talk to me. Go find your own answers” because you don’t have any.

          • Bennett

            “I am not telling YOU what you want to hear!”

            What I want to hear is that men are more interested in seeking repentance and salvation from the wages of sin than they are in googling answers to questions. Calling men to repentance is far more important than laying out evidence to support an argument. That’s why God chose the gospel message to reveal the true condition of a man’s heart before him.

            “For God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save them that believed.”

          • Questioning54

            So you want people to blindly follow what you say? Or should we blindly follow what another person says the scriptures say? There is no way to know who is right if you don’t have to answer questions and give irrefutable evidence. Unless you can claim divine inspiration for not just the scriptures but also your interpretations.

          • Bennett

            ” There is no way to know who is right if you don’t have to answer questions and give irrefutable evidence.”

            That’s not what the Bible says.

          • Questioning54

            That brilliant argument that the bible is true because it says it is true. What religious book doesn’t say it is true? Great cop-out for questions and comments that you can’t answer though! And I am not talking to “other resources”. I am trying to talk to you but it is very difficult because all you want to do is preach at me. The bible actually says be ready to give a REASON to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is within you. It also says meekly(humbly!) and with fear (an emotion). Some versions say with gentleness and respect. It doesn’t say be ready to just quote bible verses and threats of hell without answering questions and comments. The new testament you quote so much didn’t even exist then! There were some letters floating around but they had not been collected and declared scripture.

          • Questioning54

            The story of the rich man and Lazarus says nothing about being saved by faith. It is a story more about ignoring the poor which rich (many Christian) westerners do so readily and with all kinds of excuses. Before you preach at me about people who do help the poor I am talking only about the majority who don’t or resent being forced to though taxation. Nothing whatsoever is said about the rich man rejecting Jesus. He was selfish and that is why he ended up suffering. It is more a story about “what goes around comes around” than a treatise on hell and who goes there.

          • Questioning54

            “If God did it it is good” quickly becomes “God did it so I can do it too” and then “whatever is done in his name no matter how heinous is good”. Very dangerous ground. The so-called great reformer Luther fostered attitudes to Jews that grew over time into the holocaust. (Google “on the Jews and Their Lies”). Calvin had people who disagreed with him executed. Is that not food for thought?

          • Bennett

            Cabaalists, are Talmud Jews who worship Lucifer. We need to distinguish between those who worship Yahwey and those who worship Lucifer.

            “Calvin had people who disagreed with him executed. Is that not food for thought?”

            Condemning Christianity because of those who go against Christs’ teachings makes no sense.

          • Questioning54

            Are you justifying the holocaust??? Wow you are really off the wall!

        • Bennett

          “So you are saying god WANTED Adam & Eve to eat the forbidden fruit because it was part of god’s plan.”

          If God had wanted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree, he would not have told them ‘not’ to eat it.
          Where is the test for obedience without the option to say no.

          “If we are born already guilty, it means this god is an evil being that punishes us for things we haven’t don”

          No, this is a man seeking to find an intrinsic evil within the divinity of God in the hope that he might be able to justify his own sin against God. This gets fixed up when we become Born Again and made right with God through the person and work of Jesus Christ. We are given a new heart and made a new person, we see things correctly because our fallen nature has been put to death with Christ. It’s not answers to questions that we need, it’s Christ. He IS the answer.

          • C_Alan_Nault

            “If God had wanted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree, he would not have told them ‘not’ to eat it.
            Where is the test for obedience without the option to say no.”

            1) if god didn’t want them to eat the forbidden fruit he should not have placed it in the garden

            2) the very idea of testing their obedience is ludicrous, since according to the Bible they had no knowledge of right & wrong prior to eating the forbidden fruit. that being the case, they couldn’t know it was wrong to disobey god until AFTER they ate the fruit

            3) according to the Bible, god does not test ( tempt) people:

            James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man
            4) if god is omniscient, god would know whether they would eat the fruit or not

          • C_Alan_Nault

            ” We are given a new heart and made a new person, we see things correctly because our fallen nature has been put to death with Christ. It’s not answers to questions that we need, it’s Christ. He IS the answer.”
            As usual, more claims without a shred of evidence to back them up.

          • Bennett

            Your objections have been addressed. Thus, your objections are not based on lack of evidence. There is some other reason you refuse to believe the truth concerning these things. We want to stop sinning but we don’t seem to be able to. It is because we are fallen men. We need to come to Jesus Christ to be Born Again. He makes us a new person. Jesus did not come into the world to make ‘bad’ people ‘good’ he came into the world to make alive again those who have all their life been dead in their sin. Sin is not wrong ‘doing’ it is wrong ‘being.’ We sin because we are fallen creatures. Jesus sets us free from the curse of the fall and makes us a new man with ‘right’ vision and ‘right’ understanding. Until we come to him, we see the world as upside down. We call ‘good’ that which is ‘evil’ and ‘evil’ that which is ‘good’. When we are Born Again, this is corrected. There is only one reprieve from our death sentence, His name is Jesus Christ, we accept his offer of Salvation or we reject it. If we perish, it will not be because we did not know these things, it will be because we did know, but refused to believe.

            But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 10:33

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Ok, let’s hear what Jesus thinks about what you and the Bible said he said.

          • C_Alan_Nault

            “Your objections have been addressed.”

            My comments MAY have been replied to, but no evidnece to prove the Bible’s claims has been presented.

            ” Thus, your objections are not based on lack of evidence.”

            You claim this, but you have no presented any evidence.

            ” We want to stop sinning but we don’t seem to be able to”

            Here are the facts:

            – sin is defiend as a transgression of a divine law

            – unless it is first proven that a deity exists, THEN it is proven what that deity’s laws are, the concept of sin is meaningless

            “We need to come to Jesus Christ to be Born Again”

            According to what the Bible says, perhaps. But since the miraculous claims in the Bible have not been proven, the Bible can be dismissed as a book of fables.

            “Jesus did not come into the world to make ‘bad’ people ‘good’ he came into the world to…”

            In fact, it cannot be proven that Jesus actually existed at all, so any claims made based on what the Bible says can be dismissed until they can be proven.

            “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 10:33”
            Yean, no. Having failed to prove the claims made in the Bible, you cannot use the Bible itself to prove the Bible’s claims are true.

          • Bennett

            “Having failed to prove the claims made in the Bible, you cannot use the Bible itself to prove the Bible’s claims are true.”

            By our very own desire to depart from Gods natural and moral design in the universe to that which he decrees to be unnatural, we prove his existence. No man can escape the inescapable existence of God. Every man knows that God exists, many simply refuse to believe it. Thus, we have proven the Bible to be true simply by suppressing, with knowledge, the truths contained within.

            Any claim to Ultimate Authority must be self authorizing. To be anything less would be illogical. To measure the Bible’s claims outside of itself is to introduce a new Ultimate Authority. The circular reasoning argument may sound clever, but in reality is a silly argument which jettisons basic logic. All reasoning is circular. By what authority do you use human reason as your ultimate authority? The answer is… your human reason. That’s why we must come to Jesus Christ on his terms to see if his claims are true. He has made the claims, test them. Come to him, seek Gods forgiveness for sin and surrender your life to him. It’s not that we ‘cannot’ come, but that we ‘will’ not come to him.

          • Questioning54

            To know something is true and refuse to believe it is pretty strange and virtually impossible . People refuse to believe because they DON’T know it is true. Just having someone preach at you stuff that is full if holes doesn’t convince people. They don’t believe it because it does not make sense, not because they know it is true, and just refuse to believe.

          • Questioning54

            And the millions who have never heard of Christ or the Bible? Oh I forgot. They are in hell because what they need to know is “evident from creation”. Yet salvation is not found from creation without knowing the Christ of the Bible. Double talk. Or is it talking out of both sides of your mouth? (Look that up if you don’t know what it means.)

            I don’t believe you would agree if I said I knew people who were saved by what they knew from creation and then said they knew nothing about Jesus or the Bible. The implication is that God is only interested in mostly rich educated westerners and the few they “reach out to”.

            There are lots of people with this “new heart” and “new person” who can do LOTS of bad things. Oh I forgot again. “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”. “This new life is spiritual”, or “the bad people were not really saved” (in which case salvation is linked to law-keeping no matter how you deny it).

          • Bennett

            The message of the Cross transcends time. Those before and those after, all who live by faith in the One true gospel as revealed to Adam in the garden and passed down through generations by Gods servants the prophets. There has only ever been One true plan for the redemption of fallen men which has always been kept out of reach of a man’s own righteousness. God has consigned all men to disobedience that he might have mercy on them all. He desires that we experience the life transforming and redemptive power of Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, for reasons sufficient to Him. God does not call us to understand the mystery of Salvation, he calls us to take hold of it and trust in Him. We can accept the reprieve offered by Jesus Christ, or we can reject it. If we do not accept that Jesus Christ was ‘cursed’ in our place, then the curse remains with us and the penalty of death and hell, stands. To step out from under the condemnation of the Law, we need Christ.

          • Questioning54

            Have mercy on them ALL? Great news then; there is no hell!

            You cherry pick bible verses and expressions to string together assertions where one “answer” refutes another. And expressions you use have no meaning to all ordinary uneducated heathens eg “take hold of it” “reasons sufficient to him” “consigned all men to disobedience” etc.

          • Bennett

            “Have mercy on them ALL? Great news then; there is no hell!”

            Hell is created for the devil and his angels and all who choose to reject Christs’ reprieve and remain in their sin. Gods mercy is only extended to them who confess their sinful condition and need for redemption. You’re all out of excuses now. Choose this day whom you will serve, you may not see tomorrow. Don’t die apart from Christ, you will have lived for nothing.

          • Questioning54

            But it said “have mercy on them all”. Notice the little word all. Ignore it because it doesn’t fit your personally held beliefs? Quote what suits you and ignore what doesn’t?

          • Bennett

            The Passover lamb of God. If we don’t apply the blood of the sacrifice to our ‘house’, the angel of death won’t pass over. God only recognizes those who enter into Covenant relationship with Him on His terms. That’s why a life lived in violation of the terms of the Covenant cannot partake in the promises. God will have mercy on all if all acknowledge their sin and come to Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that not ‘all’ will repent, in fact, many will not. You may be one. All depends on you.

          • Questioning54

            I repeat no one can “take hold of salvation” without access to a bible or a preacher of the bible. So mostly rich educated westerners get saved. Actually I think Jesus had more time for the poor and uneducated.

          • Bennett

            This statement is self indicting. You know.

          • Questioning54

            I am not talking about me. I like to think I care about all the “lost” that many Christians can dismiss as long as they themselves are safe (in their own eyes anyway. This is the “me” generation. Christians are no different

          • Bennett

            “I like to think I care about all the “lost” that many Christians can dismiss as long as they themselves are safe (in their own eyes anyway.”

            Failure to walk in obedience to the word, does not detract from the truth of the command to do so. A Christian, though a new Creation in Christ, cannot transcend his humanity while still in the body. He remains a responsible choosing creature. the Christian continues to be tempted by the tempter and should not expect to be exempt from such temptation. Failure to walk in the truth of the message is actually part of the prophetic word for the end days. It says that many will have the form of godliness, yet deny the power. There are pretend Christians who do not turn away from their sin and instead cling to and celebrate their sin unto their death, eternal.

            If you care about the ‘lost’ come to Jesus Christ, be Born Again and go and save them.

          • Questioning54

            I thought only Jesus could save them! Interesting.

            If you knew me I hope you would have the grace to be at least a little embarrassed about your self-assured preaching and your assumptions.

            The horror of all those burning in hell who never even heard of Jesus and the bible does not disturb you at least a little? You quote verses and hedge around the point but what I want to know is how you endure knowing so many of your fellow human beings will suffer for eternity not for what they have done but for how they are born (not wrongdoing but wrong being remember) and where they live. Don’t quote me verses about how evil and reprobate they are because many of them are better people than you. If you got out of your insular little bubble far enough to really get to know people who are different to you you would notice that there are non-christians who sin far less than many Christians.

          • Bennett

            “If you knew me I hope you would have the grace to be at least a little embarrassed about your self-assured preaching and your assumptions.”

            I have no reason to be embarrassed about my confidence in the God in whom I trust and who saves all who will call upon His name and receive the reprieve he offers.

            “The horror of all those burning in hell who never even heard of Jesus and the bible does not disturb you at least a little?”

            Of course it does but Truth is truth, how we ‘feel’ about it is irrelevant. If we refuse the offer of rescue, it’s on us. God puts those who choose to be saved before those who choose not to be.

            “there are non-christians who sin far less than many Christians.”

            Nobody is saved by sinning less, they are saved by coming to Christ to be Born Again. Only the person and work of Jesus Christ and the Cross makes the way possible for redemption. Confessing that non-christians sin only indicts them.

          • Bennett

            “There are lots of people with this “new heart” and “new person” who can do LOTS of bad things.”

            There is a huge difference between struggling to overcome the power of sin and justifying, in some cases, celebrating sin. In the current climate of the world, there are many ‘bad’ things which are now being accepted as ‘good.’ Pretty soon, your own statement will become obsolete.

            “Oh I forgot again. “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”

            Jesus did not come into the world to make ‘bad’ people ‘good’ he came to make alive those who are dead in their sins and transgressions. Sin is not wrong ‘doing’, it’s wrong ‘being.’ Would you like me to tell you about a God who has all of the things you like and none of the things you don’t, or would you prefer to hear the Truth that has the power to set you free!

          • Questioning54

            So “sin is not wrong doing. It is wrong being”. So we get punished for what we are? Pretty mean. Like punishing someone who has cerebral palsy for not walking properly.

            Plenty of “saved” people do bad things and there is no sign of that “struggle to overcome sin”. In fact they self-justify as well as any heathen!

            So you imply they will be punished. You have come full circle. They get saved get a new heart and a new person and justification to be free from sinful being but it doesn’t change sinfulness then they get punished for sinful doing.

          • Bennett

            “Plenty of “saved” people do bad things and there is no sign of that “struggle to overcome sin”. In fact they self-justify as well as any heathen!”

            The Word of God refers to these people as those who use the grace of God as a license to be immoral. These need not believe they are Saved. The Cross doesn’t change sin, it changes us. You will know them by their fruits. We can’t hide from our own sin behind the sins of others.

            “They get saved get a new heart and a new person and justification to be free from sinful being but it doesn’t change sinfulness then they get punished for sinful doing.”

            There will be transformation where a man is Born Again. Where there is no transformation, there is no evidence of being conformed to the image of Christ.

          • Bennett

            “This new life is spiritual”, or “the bad people were not really saved”
            (in which case salvation is linked to law-keeping no matter how you
            deny it).”

            I will allow The Word of God to answer this one.

            26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

            Hebrews 10.

          • Questioning54

            So someone who gets this new heart can still act like they don’t have a new heart. So what is the point of a new heart? If God gives someone a new heart it isn’t a very good one. And if he frees from sin the freedom seems pretty tenuous if sin is just around the corner waiting to catch you out anyway.

  • Ed Senter

    Why do preachers continue to try (in vain) to reconcile law and grace? It can not be done. Paul said that the law can not be kept. By logical extension, the law never was meant to be kept. The Bible is a record of no one ever keeping the law save Jesus Christ.
    Yes, God is personal through Jesus Christ. Yes, God is providential- He not only created us, He sustains us. He created us for Himself. Yes, God frees us, but not from the fear of death. He frees us from death itself through Jesus Christ. If we make Jesus Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved from death unto eternal life.
    Jesus did not come to help us “live right”. He came that we may have life eternal. As Paul concluded quoting from the prophet Habakuk, “The just shall live by faith.” The law died with Jesus on the cross. It served its purpose to bring us to Christ. Why do preachers want to resurrect the law? Is it because they are slaves to the flesh and refuse the life of the Spirit?

  • hisxmark

    “Starting points are always important, and the 10 Commandments don’t start with, “You shall have no other gods before me.” They start with the words, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.'”

    Except he didn’t. There was no Exodus. Someone is trying to give their god credit for something he didn’t do, something that never happened. You should be grateful, and stand in line to pay your tithe. And if you don’t,… Well, there are plenty of good throwing stones around in the land of milk and honey.

  • Charles Winter

    Unfortunately, as another poster in this issue points out, most biblical scholars agree that there was no Exodus and no Moses. Egyptian records show that the pyramids were built by paid labor.

    • Timothy

      lol, because ‘Egyptian records’ turmp the word of God right? If you don’t have faith in God why are you here commenting at all? the article’s audience is Christian. Btw, the evidence for the exodus is all over the entire region if you care to open your eyes.

      Lennart Moller wrote a book (which I’m sure you’re about to discredit) called The Exodus Case https://www.amazon.com.au/Exodus-Case-Dr-Lennart-Moller-ebook/dp/B00A6S4A5W, in which he prosecutes the case for the exodus event based on evidence that’s laying on the ground in plain sight, if you care to read the book he’s included photos of what he found.

      I only link this because I hope you might bother to take a look rather than discredit it out of hand, it’s hardly my basis for belief in the bible so don’t feel that you win any points tearing it down, it’s simply one example of many for the ‘evidence’ you claim doesn’t exist.

      Have a nice day 🙂

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        “lol, because ‘Egyptian records’ turmp the word of God right?”

        No God claims the Tanakh to be its “word”. Also, a person claimed to be omnipresent and immortal has no need for written language.

    • Bennett

      Charles, if there were no exodus and no Moses, how does one explain Israel? As far as Egyptian history goes, do you really think they would record the destruction of the most powerful nation on earth at the hands of their own ‘gods’ and the decimation of the most powerful army on earth, who went out one day and never returned (Due to being very much dead at the bottom of the Red Sea, I might add). Imagine being in Egypt at the time watching Delta Force 1 file out of the city, only to disappear off the face of the earth. Who exactly would write that history?

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        It’s so surprising that so few people wrote “about” it that the Tanakh would seem to be a tabloid magazine in its day.

  • Linguagroover

    So a quick quiz, Bible scholars. What is the 10th commandment?

    No, it’s not all that no-coveting stuff (especially tricky for capitalist-loving god-fearing Republicans to follow, given that consumerism and its handmaidens advertising and marketing are reliant on coveting).

    The explicit scriptural reference to the 10 commandments is in Exodus 34, and the final one declares that baby goat meat boiled in its mother’s milk is a no-no. Truly life-changing. Now churches just need to paint over or rechisel all those false-prospectus Exodus 20 excerpts.

  • Brian Donst

    Re your second point about God being a freeing God: what is it God frees us from, or at least wants to free us from? Is it from “death and hell” (understood as what comes after life on earth … our eternal life)? Or is it, as it was for the people of the Great Exodus, from slavery to the evil life, politics and culture of the empire of the time (e.g. the worship of wealth as saviour and salvation, the consumerist capitalist prison, the exaltation of us vs. them, the degradation of creation, etc etc). Once we ask this question, it becomes so obvious that the 10 Commandments are a perfect order of life for anyone willing to be live free of what modern (North) American society tells us life is about and what is sacrosanct.

  • Robert Landbeck

    Of course it is self evident that the written law, also called the Ten commandments or the law of Moses, together with either Jewish or ‘Christian’ narratives, have brought nothing to perfection. Nor has either realized the Promise of the Incarnation with any new revealed moral insight that might defeat evil. What remains missing from both is any understanding of that first Law, that single command given to Adam, from which through disobedience, he fell from grace, leaving spiritual ‘death’ as an inheritance to the rest of mankind. Until such understanding is ‘revealed’ all presumption of salvation or righteousness as articulated above is contingent upon any or all faith traditions being confirmed at the second coming. BUT given within the scriptural record, the very considerable number of warnings of false teaching, false interpretation, deception and self deception, anti-christs and the arch deceiver, unexposed and stall at large, whether that event will confirm or expose and deny the existing theological construct of religion remains unknown. But not all claims can be true. But they call all be false. My bets are on the latter!

  • John Cochran

    Note to Paul of the New Testament: If people truly love God. why do they have to be instructed on how to live? As far as the 10 Commandments are concerned, they are obviously an early centuries man-made collection of absurd instructions. Why are they obviously man-made? Because 40% of them are nothing but instructions on how to treat God himself in an early centuries vein of thought. Then the other 6 Commandments are common sensical ideas that were in human society for thousands of years, or glorious omissions. Love thy Mother and Father! No shit. What if ma is a crack whore and dad is a pediphile drug dealer? Is “Thy Shalt Not Make Any Graven Images of Me” more important than Thy shalt Not Commit Extortion, or Rape, or Thy Shalt Not Own Human Beings as Property? And that “Shall Not Covet Thing…” automatically puts all adolescent boys in hell. Since virtually all biblical scholars know Moses was a non-existent character, the “Law of Moses” is equally bogus.

  • billwald

    Why the 10 and not the 300 or so other commandments?

    • Bennett

      We only need to realize we have fallen at one point of the Law to know that we are already Law Breakers in need of Redemption.