Is Crucifixion Necessary For Us To Enter the Kingdom?

Is Crucifixion Necessary For Us To Enter the Kingdom? October 19, 2018

In preparation for an upcoming debate about the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement, my adversary asked me if it was necessary for Jesus to die before we could enter the Kingdom of God.

This is a great question!

First of all, let’s establish what the Gospel is, and then we can answer that question.

The Gospel – the “Good News” – that Jesus came to proclaim was simply this:

“Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand.”

We find Jesus preaching this Gospel of the Kingdom of God all the time. This Gospel is found in the 4 Gospels in the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:43)

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” (Matt 9:35)

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom..” (Matt 4:23)

In fact, the only Gospel that Jesus ever talks about during his entire ministry on Earth was the Gospel of the Kingdom. There is no other Gospel.

Anyone who reads Matthew, Mark, Luke or John (the Gospels) will come away hearing all about The Gospel of the Kingdom from the mouth of Jesus.

Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God was for here and now. This was the “Good News” in a nutshell: Anyone who wants to enter God’s Kingdom can do so immediately.

Jesus demonstrated what life in the Kingdom looked like.

The Beattitudes are a picture of what life in the Kingdom looks like.

Nearly every single parable of Jesus is designed to explain a particular facet of the Kingdom.

His Sermon on the Mount declares the values of this Kingdom.

His teachings are intended to show us how to live within the Kingdom.

His life was a blueprint for us to follow as we ourselves enter the Kingdom and learn from Him.

To be clear: The only Gospel ever preached by Jesus is the message of The Kingdom of God. It was the new order where God’s perfect will is always done in the lives of His followers. The Good News is: We do not need to wait until we die to enter God’s Kingdom.

Now, many of us have been taught that the Gospel is about praying a prayer so that you can go to heaven when you die. This is false. Jesus never explained the Gospel in these terms. He never had anyone bow their heads and close their eyes, or raise their hands if they didn’t want to burn in hell forever, or repeat the sinner’s prayer. None of that is found anywhere in the scriptures.

Part of the reason we’ve gotten so far off the track when it comes to an understanding of the Gospel of Jesus is because we’ve attempted to reduce the message into a quick bumper sticker slogan or a set of easy steps to salvation. Our efforts to market the Gospel have back-fired. Now there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals in pews across the Nation who believe that they are Christians because they said a prayer once when they were nine years old and now they can go to heaven when they die, regardless of whether or not they intend to follow Jesus or surrender their lives to Christ.

Discipleship to Jesus, then, becomes optional, not essential. But, this is not what Jesus had in mind at all.

Instead, Jesus talked about what it meant to follow him. He spoke about being a disciple. He described a way of life that was meant for today.

“If anyone would become my disciple [a Christian], he must take up his cross daily, die to himself, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23; Matt. 16:24]

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and yet do not do the things I say?” [Luke 6:46]

One huge problem is that some Christians today want you to believe that it’s impossible to follow the commands of Jesus and that, somehow, the entire point of the Sermon on the Mount was to give you a giant list of impossible things that you couldn’t accomplish in order to teach you to depend upon the Grace of Christ to save you.

This is a false, unbiblical doctrine.

What the Bible actually teaches about Grace and keeping the Law of Christ is this:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us….He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the Divine nature.” [1 Peter 1:3-4]

What’s holding you back from living like Jesus today? Is it your sin nature? Is it your addictions, or your temptations, or your brokenness?

Is this why you don’t believe that it’s possible to actually put the words of Jesus into practice? Is this why you hardly ever attempt to love your enemy, or to forgive those who have hurt you, or to turn the other cheek whenever you’re insulted?

If so, you’re denying the power of Christ in your life and refusing to live out of your new, Divine nature.

A Christianity like this loudly proclaims that the death of Christ on the cross was only capable of providing me with a ticket to heaven, but it was not nearly powerful enough to transform my life into one that resembles His own.

And the real trouble with this sort of Christianity is that it can’t be found anywhere in the New Testament.

Nope. I’ve checked. It’s not in there.

What we do read about is how God’s Amazing Grace has not only saved us, it’s gone on to do something most of us doubt could ever be true: Saved us – AND – empowered us to live a holy life like Jesus did!

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men…” [Titus 2:11]

Yep, there’s the salvation part, but look at what he says next:

“…instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…” [Titus 2:12]

See that? Grace not only brings salvation to all men, it then goes on to “instruct us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously and godly IN THE PRESENT AGE.”

But wait, that’s not all!

“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to be in him must walk as Jesus did.” [1 John 2:5]

Yowza!

Are you in Christ? If we claim to be in Christ we must do one thing: “live as Jesus did”!

How can we do that? Isn’t that impossible?

Alone, yes, it is impossible. We can’t even come close to obeying the words of Jesus apart from His indwelling presence in our daily lives.

That’s why Jesus said: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” [John 15:5]

But what if we abide in Him? What if He abides in us? Then, and only then, can we “bear much fruit.” [John 15:5]

This is why Jesus can promise us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light even as he calls us to do things that seem impossible, like love our enemies and forgive those who hurt us, and turn the other cheek.

How can Jesus say that? Because we’re not expected to do it alone.

Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” [Phil. 4:13]

When Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you…” [Matt 11:29] he’s saying that He will be right beside us, all the way, and that we won’t have to do everything in our own strength, but in His!

Jesus expects you to put His words into practice. He empowers you to do exactly that. He filled you with His Holy Spirit to enable you to do the things that He did.

All we have to do is to trust in Him and daily seek to allow Christ to live and breathe in us by His Spirit.

So let me encourage you today: If you are in Christ, you have everything you need to live a godly, Christ-like life right now!

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” [Galatians 2:20]

Now, back to our original question above [remember that?] – Did Jesus need to die on the cross in order for us to enter the Kingdom of God? Not at all. But, Jesus DID need to rise from the dead in order for us to know Christ, and to live a transformed life like His.

Paul the Apostle declares that, “..if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (I Cor.15:17) 

So, our transformation and abiding in Christ is dependent upon the resurrection life of Christ within us.

When Paul said that he considered all things to be lost in order to know Christ, and that he only wanted to “know Christ…and the power of His resurrection”, [Phil. 3:10] he wasn’t talking about gaining more Bible knowledge.

On the contrary, he had just spent the previous six verses expounding upon all of the great Bible knowledge he once put so much stock in and then declared that he considered all of that to be  “dung” or “crap” [literally].

Why so? “So that I may gain Christ and be found in Him..” [v. 8-9]

There’s almost an “if/then” wording here where Paul is suggesting that anyone who wants to gain Christ and to be found in Him – anyone who wants to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection” – must first consider everything else to be garbage in comparison.

Take the juxtaposition of “knowing Christ” and the phrase “the power of His resurrection”. You can’t have a resurrection until you first have a funeral. If no one dies, then who will be brought back to life again?

This dovetails beautifully with the Gospel that Jesus proclaimed saying, “If anyone would come after me, let him first deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me”.

In other words, if we want to experience the “power of His resurrection” we must first die to ourselves daily. Once we die, then we can begin to receive the marvelous power of His resurrection life within.

We don’t have to wait until we die to begin experiencing this resurrection life, we can know it right here and now.

What’s even more amazing, is that Paul is talking here about an actual reality. This isn’t a metaphor. This isn’t some spiritual platitude. He is talking about being truly able to know Christ and to experience that resurrection life today. He is talking about a transcendent reality whereby he is capable of knowing Christ the way you and I know our own voices.

Think of it! You and I can experience the living, breathing, presence of Jesus right here and now.

That, my friends, is really, really Good News!

Don’t you agree?

**

Keith Giles is a former pastor who left the pulpit 11 years ago to start a church that gives away 100% of the offering to the poor in their community. 

His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho.

BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Theodore A. Jones

    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 NIV I think it is in your better interest to find out what that law is Paul is referencing and obey it because the penalty that law carries is eternal death if you refuse.

  • Herm

    Matthew 7:12, 19:18-19, 22:37-40 and Luke 10:25-37. Obey and live!

  • Herm

    Think of it! You and I can experience the living, breathing, presence of Jesus right here and now.

    I do and have since I was 50 years of age, 24 years ago.

    I began with being taught that all I had to do to live was quoted from an expert in the law over 1,950 years before, in Luke 10:27. In seminary, 25 years before my being born again in the Spirit, I was not drawn to study the truth found in John 14:15-21 or 16:12-15 as apropos to me then, well at least I wasn’t tested on those scriptures. Only lately have I been taught, by the Spirit of truth living with and in me forever without pause, the significance of John 4:21-24 signifying that God’s presence was no longer only found in the Most Holy/Holy of Holies by the reigning high priest. The presence of God with and in me is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth leading me into all truth as I can bear to accept it. Jesus began his ministry on earth at his baptism by water and the Spirit, the one appearing as a dove, who led Jesus, the Christ, into the wilderness and remained with and in him until he gave up his spirit on the cross. That is to me when the kingdom was at hand for all of mankind and the worship of God was only in the Spirit and truth. The temple was spirit in Jesus, the high priest forever, and was destroyed when he gave up his spirit on the cross to be restored in three days. At Pentecost, and told of in Acts 4:31, the kingdom was as close then as each heart and mind of spirit was receptive, and is no less so today.

    The covenant of “Moses’ seat” was clearly voided due to abuse when the high priest pronounced a sentence of death on the Son of God for the sin of blaspheme, in that name of, and by the authority vested in him by God. All authority in heaven and on earth became that of Jesus, the Christ, forever.

  • soter phile

    So Jesus didn’t need to die… he just needed to be resurrected?
    You might want to think that logic through again.

    a) hard to be resurrected without a death.
    that’s not just a throw-away line – if Jesus is healing us with the resurrection… that poses serious problems to your desired end run around penal substitution… why did we need healing? and why did it take a (death &) resurrection?

    b) Jesus repeatedly said the Messiah “must suffer and die…” and then be raised.
    the death was equally necessary. and if you go read those passages – the manner of death (an innocent victim, silent before his accusers, etc.) purposefully echo Isa.53 & the Passover & the entire sacrificial system. even the veil in the Holy of Holies is rent open… why would that be? and even more problematic for you position: BEFORE the resurrection occurs.

    Check out John Piper’s “50 reasons Jesus came to die.”
    It’s a short book. It repeatedly exposes how unbiblical your claims here are. You should read it.
    Or at least people who are reading this and not actually checking your logic.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    I am not unfamiliar with what is stated in the scriptures. If you had been of late taught by the Holy Spirit you would not be contesting what is written in the scripture.

  • Herm

    Theodore, what am I contesting?

  • Theodore A. Jones

    “my being born again in? the Spirit” “except a man be born of water and OF! the Spirit,”

  • Theodore A. Jones

    To whom is your statement addressing?

  • Herm

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
    Luke 10:25-28 (NIV2011)

    The Messiah says nothing here relative to his crucifixion was, also, necessary to inherit eternal life.

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    … and I carry my cross, why?

    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

    John 3:5-8 (NIV2011)

    … now, you might be able to shed more light on whether or not the Spirit could give birth to spirit without Jesus’ crucifixion.

    “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, “but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.

    John 14:28-31 (NIV2011)

    Has the world learned that Jesus loves his Father to do exactly what his Father commanded? So, “the prince of this world” is the cause for Jesus’ crucifixion, not Caiaphas, his council, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, or the crowds voting by yelling, “Crucify him”?

    But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

    John 16:7-11 (NIV2011)

    So, Jesus had to be crucified so that the Advocate, Holy Spirit, the one appearing as a dove to baptize (fill) Jesus, the Spirit of truth could come to Jesus’ disciples?

    What I am getting at is why do we argue semantics, rituals, studies of God (theology), dogma, creeds and the magic of Jesus transformation beginning on the cross, like the one all his disciples carry, when the Advocate came over 1,900 years ago? What is missing that we can’t read to comprehend and accept that the following scripture are real then and today?

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    If we came to Jesus as a little newborn sibling born of the Spirit what are we expected to understand of how the mechanics of our Father’s kingdom work. How much of the mechanics of our parents of flesh’s kingdom were we expected to understand.

    How much more can we expect to be able to bear than those of mankind, including disciples of the Messiah, 1,900 years ago?

    Was all of Jesus ministry on earth, in the flesh, chronicled?

    This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    John 21:24-25 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    John 14:17 (NIV2011)

    On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:20-21 (NIV2011)

    I am sorry that you misunderstand the picture of spirit I wish to convey here by the words of the flesh. I am a child born of the Spirit, Jesus was born in the flesh of Mary by the seed of the Holy Spirit, and in spirit we both are children of God living with and in the Spirit of truth. Jesus, in spirit, is in me and I, in spirit, am in him.

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    Jesus is our high priest forever and administrates our worship only “IN” the Spirit and in truth.

    There is no magic in the words of flesh. There is no specific incantation, especially through the many language translations of Man, that gain our Father’s attention. Words are not holy to my Father, relationships are.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The supporters of penal substitutionary atonement play a little rhetorical trick to support their idea, which is to insist that saying “Jesus died for our sins” can only mean “Jesus died so that God wouldn’t punish us for our sins”. The two are not synonymous. The church has historically always believed the former, but the latter was a new invention introduced a thousand years after the church was founded, and is not and has never been a universally accepted doctrine of the church.
    Penal substitutionary atonement takes the church’s traditional understanding of what the Bible says and turns it on its head. PSA claims that Jesus had to die in order that God would forgive us and accept us into the Kingdom. As the above article points out this is pretty much directly contrary to Jesus’s central message. The church’s traditional understanding is that Jesus has to die in order that we would repent, cease our rebellion and rejection of God and accept God’s already open invitation into the Kingdom. Jesus became incarnate on earth so he could be directly present in our daily lives, and had to die so that he could be present with us in death, and, having entered into death, by rising from the dead, he destroyed it.
    PSA is a horrible doctrine, but there is no need in recoiling from it to completely the other way and recoil entirely from asserting the saving power of the cross.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    “church’s traditional understanding of what the Bible says” what is the traditional understanding you’ve referenced?

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The patristic theory of atonement was accepted pretty much by the entire church until Anselm and still that of the entire Orthodox church, and one of the interpretations held by Catholics. Its two basic elements were that Jesus took on human nature in order to transform it into a divine one (theosis) and that he gave (ransomed) himself to death so that he could enter into death and destroy it.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/306906861/The-Patristic-Atonement-Model?ad_group=725X1055540X737b68885484f7d710f15021063c16aa&campaign=SkimbitLtd&keyword=660149026&medium=affiliate&source=hp_affiliate

  • Theodore A. Jones

    Patristic and penal substitution are both error in that both soteriological assumptions assert that the sin of Jesus Christ murder is a direct benefit disregarding the fact that there cannot be a direct gain for anyone or a religious group from a sin. Further. Jesus Christ is divine and has never been transformed into a divine. For he is God manifested in flesh. Jn. 2:11

  • Jeff Laborda

    What about Hebrews 9:22 – doesn’t that along with event in the old testament tell us that the shedding of blood in some is a necessity? Of course, so was the resurrection…

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting Jesus was not always divine. I am sorry if it was unclear, but what I certainly intended to say was that it was the patristic notion that our human nature that was transformed by Jesus’s divine nature being incarnate as human, not the other way round.
    I am unclear what your take on this is – are you saying that nothing good could have or did come from Jesus’s crucifixion. because those killing him committed a crime in doing so? This would seem to contradict an awful lot of the Bible.

  • David Kralt

    For me, I often struggle with this because it presents the idea faith is dependent on the acknowledgement of one imaginary preposition. For the most part, I adhere to protestant analytical interpretation of the scripture, especially Calvin’s; however, in this particular issue I tend to see the juxtaposition between Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism as being highly relevant. The marriage between literary analytics and salvation is very problematic in Protestantism. Therefore, I find the time-space long process of receiving justification form the Lord as greatly appealing.

  • David Kralt

    Still, the aversions from scripture in theological record keeping are too extensive, especially in realm of monetary finance and jurisdiction governance, that I cannot side with Catholicsm. Love the idea of daily mass as well.

  • David Kralt

    The limiting of Protestant service times to Sunday seems strange and belittling of the idea of salvation and spice-time. Reeks of social control. Which is a very real and problematic component of religion.

  • David Kralt

    Just because I know Jesus died to provide me salvation doesn’t align with the ringing bells of the mind.

  • David Kralt

    Do you see scripture analytics as a problem to the this, though? Salvation and sanctification is a process that continues throughout the entirety of one’s life. The Bible, if history is accurate, was not constructed until 400 AD, therefore, the earliest followers, who probably were saved, if God is real, never acknowledged this preposition.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    There is no possibility that the sin of murdering Jesus Christ is a DIRECT BENEFIT!! For only in regard to the sin of murdering Jesus Christ has law been changed so that his murder by crucifixion became an accountable sin by law which is the grace of God. Therefore whomsoever does NOT! have the faith to confess directly to God that he is truly sorry God’s only begotten son Jesus was murdered when he was crucified will NOT! be declared righteous by God. There are no exceptions.
    “For it is NOT! those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who (have the faith) to obey the law who will be declared righteous. Rom. 2:13
    Substitutionary atonement, penal substitutionary atonement and patristic notion are all soteriological heresies in that they unitedly are propositions falsely alleging that the sin of Jesus Christ’s murder is a direct benefit and refute that the sin of murdering him is accountable by law.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    Scripture does not argue against scripture! The sin of murdering a man is not a direct benefit.

  • Herm

    I see all analytics as a problem whenever taken and acted upon as gospel truth directed by God. Little newly born children of God are not capable analyzing all the data and statistics their Father and their Lord brother have accumulated over the life of God.

    I disagree with you that “Salvation and sanctification is a process that continues throughout the entirety of one’s life“. My life of spirit in the image of God, is not the same as my life of flesh in Man, though I am responsible to both. As a child of God I can testify that my life in spirit is in its infancy preparing to live. As a senior child of Man I can testify that my life in flesh is preparing to die.

    As a child of God, fully born of the Spirit living with and in me forever, my Father adores me as sacred to him, as I do him to me, right now, and will for my entire lifetime in him, and like that, his in mine. We are bound as one in all reciprocated love right now. Life in heaven began when I was filled with the Spirit of God even as I continue to live on earth.

    None are saved to inherit eternal life without being fully filled (baptized) with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. The earliest who followed Christ, to accept both the one appearing as a dove to baptize Jesus and their own cross, knew their salvation personally who saved them from the subjugation, intimidation and manipulation of crucifying corporate canal religions that they each were called out of. They each knew personally the Father in Jesus and Jesus in the Father. They each knew personally Jesus in them and they in Jesus. They knew because the Spirit of truth was with and in them each, as he is with and in their Father, and he is with and in their brother Jesus, then, today and forever.

    The Bible is inspired, but not sacred by God’s decree, testimony, authored solely by the hand of Man, relating to an amateur witness of history, from which we can each have the opportunity to glean from to find the Way from children born of the flesh, each gifted by grace the spirit image of God, to become children of God born of the Spirit. What can be gleaned from the Bible, when your one Teacher is the Spirit of truth, is like the difference between light and dark when compared to learning only from an outside study of God (theology) taught by carnal church authorities.

    None of Man need the Bible, which “ the earliest followers” truly did not have to study God from. To become a child of God, to be truly saved, any of Man, from any nation, must see to accept the Spirit of truth as their only one Teacher. That can come to fruition, as it did for the earliest followers, by students (disciples) of the one Instructor teaching others to become students of the one Instructor.

  • David Kralt

    Future imaginary absorption in your response was aided significantly by the fact that you utilized the mind of a child to support your stance. For the purpose of the church, P,R, or O Catholic is to ensure they have a fair chance to develop inquisitive magnify glass of the mind towards the obtainment the realm of truth, which includes components such as intellect, politics, words, history, etc. The spirit continuously aids with this.

  • Herm

    Thank you!

    The Spirit, as the invited Counselor of God in my midst, aided me before I was 50 years of age, as I developed the tools (components) of physical communications of mankind such as you indicated. He came and left as my heart and mind of spirit (the image of God) was opened and closed to him. He gave me a more than fair chance to be prepared when all of those tools, exercised and honed to magnify well beyond my fellows of Man who didn’t actively seek truth in flesh and spirit, failed me. All that I was so sure that my intellectual work in physical, spiritual and social sciences (studies), and their application in my attempt to benefit all, failed to leave me with nothing earned at age 50. I had nothing. I, also, had nothing left to lose by throwing my entire self, spirit and carnal, on the mercy of God (by any name) who I addressed as a little child with nothing left to give but all my love. I in, complete humility, opened my heart and mind to receive the Spirit, the same I had used successfully off and on for many previous years, fully with no more shutting him off when I thought I might be sinning. That was the beginning, the day, when I recognized the full significance, as spelled out in the Bible, of the Spirit of truth living with and in me without pause or end. That was the day when I was introduced to Jesus, actually in me and I in him, and I met our Father clearly for the first time. That was the day when I knew for sure that I would never be left orphaned.

    Oh, I want so much to share this with all who seek “the realm of truth” but most especially with those who today remain lost in their blinding addiction to adult intellect, politics, words, history, etc..

    I love the freedom, peace and joy realized when responsible only to the love of my heart, soul, mind, for all of God and Man, as no more capable than that of an infant child, dependent solely upon my faithful Father for everything else. My childish “imaginary absorption” is faithfully, today and always, guided by the Spirit of truth into all truth as I can bear. Oh, the adventures we have already shared, some intermittently before I was 50, and many more since, with the divine promise to continue until the end of eternity.

    Thank you, David, for allowing me the opportunity to share with you! You are loved!!!

  • soter phile

    1) Sanctification is a process biblically – but it’s much harder to say that about salvation (see Jn.1:12-13; 5:24; etc.), unless one wants to be exceedingly technical (i.e., ordo salutis).

    2) you are mistaken here about biblical scholarship. the dates & our access to the texts are much earlier than that (e.g., the Muratorian Canon) & the earliest believers had a very high view of the Scriptures (as did Jesus himself).

    here’s a helpful, brief series:
    https://www.michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/