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A difference will be found between being saved by the Law and living a life that is pleasing to God and free from sin. This is an important point also. The Law is not just so that we will have rewards in Paradise. I know that that is what I have brought up so far; I do know this. I have brought up stuff about being rewarded in Paradise and how important that is in the Millennial Kingdom—it is important; however, do you know what else is important to me anyway? My life is what is also important along with your life being important to me as well as I hope that my life is important to you.

I hope that your life is also what is most important to you. This is what Romans says:. Romans What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Okay, wait a minute. If it is real simple, no Law exists; therefore, no sin should be happening; however, that is not what the Apostle Paul said. He said that I am under grace but I can still sin—oops, why?

6. The Heart of a New Testament Church

Why, because we do have Laws under grace. Are there laws that get us saved? No there are not, but there are laws which will play a part in how you spend eternity. He said,. Romans b and 16 15b Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! What a powerful verse that is. The idea that God would institute an unattainable standard and demand obedience to said standard is a premise that is fundamentally flawed. Jesus is the standard by which every man ever born will be judged.

If man refuses to be like Him he will be rejected. Read the sermon on the Mount. It describes who will be allowed entrance into Heaven. They were given because they were Gods laws! There is no way our messiah done away with them. There are some of the laws that apply to preists, some to women, some can only be kept if there is a temple.

But like the article says, we need to go to the principle behind the laws. If we treat others the way we want to be treated we fulfill the law.. The dream had nothing to do with food; the dream was to show Peter that he was not forbidden to go into the home of of Gentile and preach Christ to them. If Christ has already fulfilled the Law through His death at the Cross as final sacrifice then anyone who has Christ has been freed from the requirements of the Law. Praise the Lord for His Great Love! I am baffled…really…if the law has been fulfilled and done away with through the death of Jesus why should I have to worry about sinning or not?

The law guides and shows us how we should live, Christ died and saves those who believe, accept and live how He lived. So His rightoeusness is credited to our account — while we remain in a sinning state, just as incapable of achieving our own righteous as before our salvation. There is no free pass for living in sinful deeds and desires because to do so spits on our identity in Christ and His atonement to secure it, and discredits Him before all who witness our lives.

What would be more correct to say, is that we live with the possibility of sinning. But walking after the Spirit, we no longer live a life of disobedience to God. We live a life of loving obedience. Thus, we fulfill the law in our own lives, as Christ did in his. Everyone seems to ignore these verses and in particular verse Has the priesthood changed? Obviously it has unless you discount the book of Hebrews. So now we have the commandments law of Jesus to keep.

Take the Sabbaths. Why would anyone call a commanded day off a burden? They are great blessings. Nukes, if the law has been fulfilled by Jesus and we no longer have to keep the law to show our love for God, not for salvation —what about the 10 commandments—are they still in effect for us today, or have they passed away??? And if the 10 commandments are still valid and in effect, are you keeping the Sabbath the 4th commandment??

Are you keeping the Sabbath as holy and set apart, and if not, why not? Why do you ignore the 4th commandment while considering the other 9 commandments as valid??? Man must sacrifice his sins out of his overwhelming love for God. He must be perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect.

God Has Given Free Choice —Free Moral Agency

No greater love than a man lay down His life for His friends. Jesus laid down His life for us, we lay down our lives for Him by denying our selves of our sins. All else is love of self and results in Hell. Better to find a new interpretive paradigm. Seems to me there is something twisted there. The Law of God. This is simply all the instructions that we have received from our Creator. In Hebrew, this would be referred to as the Torah. The Law of Sin. The context is that we are all under the law of sin.

The Law of Sin and Death. The Law of the Spirit. The Law of Faith. It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. The Law of Righteousness. Paul taught that as we obeyed the Law of Faith, it produced righteousness in our lives. The Law of Christ.

Meaning what? They are the same thing. To follow the law of Christ is the same as following the Law of God.. The law of Christ has to be a different law. If it is not a different law then Paul is a false teacher when he tells the uncircumcised not to seek circumcision. Only keeping the law of God. If we have to stringently obey the Ten Commandments then the 7th Day Adventists are correct in saying we still have to have a Saturday Sabbath.

But Paul instructed the Corinthians about their giving in 1 Cor. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. The Christians in the Apostles time met on Sunday not Saturday. Another argument they have is that Paul wentbto the synagogues to discuss the Gospel with the Jews. He had to. That is when the Jews assembled. The Spiritual fulfillment of the Saturday Sabbath is Hebrews for that talks about the rest we have in God because we have the Spirit of God living in us.

Paul, the Apostle, did NOT make any distinction between moral law, ceremonial law or civil law. Under the New Covenant we live by the Holy Spirit guiding us directly and through our conscience. Sorry Gordon, I have to disagree. It is not just the Seventh Day Adventists that keep the 4th commandment, but also the many Messianic congregations of Jews and gentiles. Ex records that the Lord made it the seventh day holy. There is much evidence in the writings of the early church fathers that believers met together on the shabbat, and that they met in the synagogues.

The edicts demanding first day services are a feature of the 4th CE. Is there also a strong case for abandoning any of the other commandments? In this day and age, should we not also abandon honouring parents and allow adultery? The whole intent of Sabbath was to pause in attempts at self-provision in a deliberate remembrance and reliance on God to be our faithful Provider, and we but minor though required participants in providing for ourselves.

His people were to TrusT Him to provide enough beforehand to carry them during those years — and so also to provide enough in 6 days to suffice for 7th. There are ways we can observe Sabbaths every day, or week. This is my Personal way to observe the Sabbath because it observes what I believe God had in mind behind the commandment. Consider it valid or not as you will; I compel no one to do the same. There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that the first day of the week is very special.

Look a little more closely and see what happened on that day. How about the commandment to circumcise every male child in the 8th day. He worshiped the sun, so thus Sunday.

Getting and Keeping a Pure Heart: Your Part and God's Part

After that, a pope in the Catholic church accepted it as the day of rest for Christians. That would have been a pretty big change for the people, and would have needed some explanation. Yes David. It seems many forget that the day of rest Sabbath was not established with and for the Jewish nation…it was designated in creation week and reaffirmed with the calling of the Jewish nation as His chosen people…reminding them to keep it holy, for two reasons, He created and He delivered them from Egypt.

There are those who would suggest that with the dawn of the christian church a new Sabbath was designated, but there is certainly no edict in scripture that this should be done, nor does it indicate that because Jesus is our rest that the day of rest is no longer to be observed. There is no doubt in my mind that if God saw it important to set aside and emphasise, remember the Sabbath day, if there was to be a change or setting aside for a new day, it would have been equally emphasised and stated.

He is our Passover Lamb, sacrificed for our sins so that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God, the Father. He also at times is referring to the oral commands as laid down by the Pharisees known as the Talmud which were the traditions of men. The old system replaced by the new system of law. I think most people would find the comparison between Deuteronomy , and Hebrews rather eye opening. In Deuteronomy the 10 commandments are described as the covenant on stone, aka the first covenant. Love blossoms into generosity—always.

And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs and for those who were with me. He wants to leave them an example to follow. The pattern he wants to impart is one of hard work and sacrifice because he wants them to understand the virtue of generous living.

For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. He wants to bless his children. Not so that we can live in complete comfort and luxury, but so that we can be even more generous—abounding in every good work.

What is the law of Christ? Love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. One important way we do that is by taking stock in whether our lives are beginning to take on the self-sacrificial and cruciform nature of Jesus.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. He gave his life for us, so we are called to be willing to do the same. As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. God richly provides everything for our enjoyment. In fact, he wants us to experience true pleasure. He wants us to experience the joy of being rich in goodness and generosity. Once again, Paul echoes the sentiment so prevalent throughout the scriptures: our benevolence now is an investment in eternity.

Who would turn that down? We should be using our own generosity as a gauge for our own spiritual health. How open are we to give? Before the conflict between Yhwh and Pharaoh even really begins, God makes clear that he will strengthen the decision of Pharaoh to not let the people of Israel go Exod God himself will make Pharaoh's will harder so that he will not falter in his decision Exod , he will give weight to Pharaoh's decision It was Yhwh's intention that the battle between himself and Pharaoh would go all the way to the end.

When the conflict starts, it is Pharaoh himself who is presented as the active participant. His decision was strong - Exod and heavy - Exod This is repeated again and again Exod ; , 15, 28; , 34, 35 , until the active participant changes and God becomes the subject of these verbs. By Exod God announces that he will strengthen the decision heart of Pharaoh.

This is repeated in Exod with the word " and then in , 27; ; , 8, 17 with the word We can therefore say that what was first stated by God himself then shows as something Pharaoh had in his mind and will. And as the battle between Yhwh and Pharaoh drew on, it was ironically Yhwh who helped the Pharaoh stick to his decision and will. All this led to the final showdown at the Red Sea. Only this would really solve the problem and eliminate the danger of Pharaoh coming after the Israelites as they wandered through the wilderness.

Nevertheless it is important to note that nowhere do we find God doing something to Pharaoh against his will. He does not "harden" the "heart" of Pharaoh so that he is unable to repent. God does not, as Enns believes, "prevent Pharaoh from acting in such a way as to save his own neck and the neck of his kingdom. We will now turn to the passage in Isa We will not debate whether or not this chapter depicts the general calling of the prophet Isaiah, which would be odd after five chapters of prophetic message, or a special calling.

What is clear is that the final redactor of Isaiah thought that this chapter was placed well in this context. It is therefore important to observe the chapters that immediately follow and the messages Isaiah is proclaiming there if we want to understand what is meant in our passage. After the great vision of God that Isaiah experienced, and the cleaning of his lips with a burning coal from the altar, God explains the call of Isaiah with these words:. Look intently, but do not perceive! The question we want to look at, is what was meant by this mission that Isaiah was commanded to fulfil?

What does a "fat heart," a "heavy ear" and a "blind eye" mean and what exactly was the task that was expected from Isaiah? Most commentaries understand these three aspects of Isaiah's mission negatively. John Oswalt writes: "The faculties of perception and response eyes, ears, and heart will be dulled and apathetic," 81 and "A 'fat heart' speaks of a slow, languid, self-oriented set of responses, incapable of decisive, self-sacrificial action. We have already questioned this understanding.

There is one problem, however, that is usually not addressed in the commentaries that understand the terms in this way, namely how was Isaiah to fulfil this task? What can he do to make the heart fat, make the ear dull and blind the eyes? There is an active part of the messenger "in hardening and dulling, so that repentance will not take place," as John Watts pointed out.

Again, one of the problems in this passage is that we tend to understand the terms from our own understanding of the symbolic language. We assume to understand what a "fat heart" is especially when our doctor tells us we need to lose weight! We only understand a "fat heart" as meaning something unhealthy and bad. Being "fat" implies something completely negative.

However, if we look into the OT, we find a totally different attitude where fat has a very positive association. Kellenberger points out that there is no evidence in the whole OT that fat leads to insensitivity. The Hebrew reads literally: "all fat and all strong warriors. What then does it mean to "make the heart fat"? In light of the positive connotation of fat, the Isaiah passage can, as Kellenberger claims, only mean something pleasant. Rather it is a heart that has everything it needs and wants and therefore does not feel a need to change.

The end result may still be negative: there is no need of change, no need to respond positively to the call to repent. The reason however is different. It is not because the heart simply cannot respond but because it does not want to and feels no need to. As we will see, the "making fat" of the heart was achieved through Isaiah's positive proclamation of salvation as described in the next chapter. The second picture Isaiah uses fits this positive identification. Isaiah is to make the ears "heavy. Isaiah's call is to proclaim this very greatness and glory of God to Judah.

Proclaiming the of Yhwh will make the ears of Judah " the two words In Isa 91 and appear together. Here Isaiah prophesies that there will be a time when the glory of Jacob will be gone literally: "be low" and the fat of his flesh will be lean. Although there is no mention of the ears here, this is another example of where Isaiah uses both roots together in one verse. It also again underlines the positive understanding of fatness by Isaiah. In light of this we could say that the "heavy ears" are ears which have heard good things so that they feel there is no need to change anything; no need to repent.

We may think of an honourable and important person who is so used to hearing flattering words that there seems to be no need to hear what God wants to say. However, what do we make of the last picture: "blind their eyes"? There are actually two different roots which could be at play here: and. All occurrences of are in either pilpal, polpel or hithpolpel. This last occurrence is especially interesting:. Stupefy yourselves and stay stupid; blind yourselves and stay blind! You who are drunk, but not from wine, who stagger, but not from strong drink!

The first phrase "stupefy yourselves and stay stupid" literally reads: "Tarry and be astounded. The first verb is the second is The second phrase "blind yourselves and stay blind" contains the only occurrence of in hithpalpel and a form of in qal. Could it be that the first verb does not come from but from in which case the second phrase would mimic the first by using two very similar verbs. The meaning would then be: "delight yourselves and stay or: be blind. The above translation would fit well in this context. The point that is being made here is that Isaiah is playing on the similarity of the roots and in What if he is also playing on the ambiguity of these roots in , the passage we are discussing?

This is exactly what Kellenberger assumes. If we look into the immediate context of Isa 6 we can see how this making the heart of the people of Judah fat, making their ears heavy and making their eyes blind worked. In chs. Rezin king of Aram and Pekah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem.

Why Did God Reject Cain's Sacrifice?

In this dangerous situation Isaiah was sent to king Ahaz with a message of salvation. In three augmenting speeches ; ; a he presented a message of salvation for Judah without any condition on the side of Ahaz or the people. God will save Ahaz and Judah from the impending danger. He even offered Ahaz a sign the young women which will conceive and give birth to a son called "Immanuel"; Isa 95 to assure him that this salvation was going to come.

However, imbedded in Isaiah's message of salvation is another message, one of a coming judgment God promises that he will remove the immediate threat of the Syria-Israelite kings which makes Ahaz and the people of Judah blind to the greater threat yet to come: that of Assyria. Ahaz does not respond to the warning. He does not repent from his wrong ways; there is no sign of realizing the threat of the coming judgment of God. Their heart was fat, their ears were heavy and their eyes did not see what was really important: repentance! They felt secure because God promised to save them.

Are they not the people of God and have the temple in their midst? Why would they need to respond to a message of salvation with repentance? Hearing the message of salvation led them to ignore the message of judgment which Isaiah also proclaims Isa In this way it is exactly the positive message of salvation that leads to the hardening of the heart of Judah. For instance, as Longman and Garland point out, we may therefore see a parallel here with how God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart is presented together with Pharaoh's hardening of his own heart in the Exodus narrative.

This understanding of Isa correlates with the NT passages which cite or refer to this text Matt ; Mark ; Luke ; John ; Acts ; Rom In all of these passages it is the good news of the Gospel which leads to the hardening of the heart and finally to the judgement which comes through the refusal to hear God's word and repent. Jeremiah uses a special term which outside of this book only appears in Deut and Ps It is always used together with the noun Its basic meaning is that of something being strong and hard, and since it is combined with the "heart," most translations render it as "stubbornness" or "obduracy.

Since this term only occurs in this special form and has no related words in the Hebrew OT, it is difficult to really understand its meaning. Fabry and Van Meeteren show that the etymology leads to the translation of "stubbornness" or "obduracy," but that there are also other possibilities. With a full holem instead of a shureq it could be a feminine plural form in the sense of "insinuations of the heart. Fischer also points out this ambiguity of the term and then concludes: "Basically it means in all passages a behaviour, where the centre of a human being 'heart' opposes God in an obstinate and stubborn way" The same can be found in the commentary of Holladay on Jeremiah.

Holladay writes:. The noun occurring often in Jer is normally translated "stubbornness. If we look at Deut we can easily see that "stubbornness" is not always the best translation. Let us take for example the New American Bible:. It sounds somewhat strange that anyone would really think that he is safe when he walks in the stubbornness of his heart! It would therefore fit much better into the context to translate it as: "I am safe, because I walk in the self-reliance of my heart.

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When we examine the other passages using the term we find the same ambiguity in all verses Ps ; Jer ; ; ; ; ; ; and In five of the eight instances in Jeremiah we also find the adjective "evil" added to the heart. Fischer thinks that Jeremiah took his phrase from Deut but accentuated it with the word "evil. Even if we do not follow these ideas we should notice that none of the passages where is used implies any activity on the part of God.

Therefore we should not use words like "hardening" which of course would imply that there is someone who hardens. It is the of the evil human heart i. Maybe "hardness" could be a good translation for this Hebrew word because it simply stresses the fact itself. We have looked at three sections in the OT in which the theme "hardening of the heart" is usually identified: The Exodus narrative in the book of Exodus, the calling of the prophet Isaiah in Isa and the book of Jeremiah.

They all show how difficult it is to translate metaphorical language. It is not enough to know the correct "translation" of a phrase. It is much more important to ask what the author of the text and his first-hand-readers understood when using these metaphors. Since all of this has to do with the "heart," we started by examining the meaning of this anthropological term. Unlike many modern cultures especially those which have been influenced by Western thinking , the Bible understands the "heart" to mean the centre of the decision, will and mind of the human being.

This "heart" can become "strong," as we find in many passages in Exodus. A "strong will" is not negative in itself. It becomes negative when it is placed in opposition to the will of God. In the Exodus narrative it is Pharaoh himself whose will is strong to not let the people of Israel go. Only later in the story do we also read that God strengthened this will of Pharaoh in order to help him follow through with his decision.

The will of Pharaoh was also "heavy," so that it could not be easily swayed. And as the plagues continued, intensified and also became heavier, God helped Pharaoh's will to remain steadfast. But nowhere do we read about God doing something to Pharaoh against his will. He never intervened and changed the Pharaoh's decision or forced him to do something he did not want. We than turned to the text in Isa , a verse which is cited or referred to frequently in the NT. Again we saw that it does not help to understand the biblical metaphorical language using the understanding we have in today's society.

A "fat" heart is not something negative. Rather it is the heart of someone who has everything he or she wants or needs - and therefore does not see any need to change direction.

Verses about God’s and Jesus’ compassion and mercy for us

By addressing king Ahaz and the people of Judah with a message of salvation regarding the enemies at hand, Isaiah achieved the goal God wanted: to make the heart of Ahaz and his people fat so that they would continue in their ways. Likewise, the message of salvation made their ears heavy. They felt that they had everything. Nothing was missing. And finally their eyes reacted similarly. When they saw the sign God was giving them, they delighted and did not "see" any necessity to change.

It was, therefore, the good news, the "gospel," of Isaiah which ironically led to the stubbornness of the people. Finally we examined a word that apart from two instances Deut and Ps is only used by Jeremiah to describe the stubbornness of the people of Israel:. As was the case with the terms used in both the Exodus narrative and in Isa , this word also contains the same ambiguity. It can be understood as something positive self-reliance that can turn into something negative stubbornness when it is used against God and his will. We may therefore conclude that all the OT passages that refer to what is usually called "the hardening of the heart" contain the same ambiguity.

They all describe something basically positive that becomes negative when turned against God and his will. Should we then continue to use the terminology of "hardening of the heart" or "obduracy" in these contexts? I suggest we should not, since they insinuate that God has done something against the human will, forcing someone to do something they do not want to do or hindering them from something they do want.

It is as Kaiser has pointed out concerning the Exodus narrative: "God is not the author of evil. There is no suggestion in Exod that he secretly influenced Pharaoh's will or forced a stubborn resolution, which otherwise was incompatible with Pharaoh's basic nature and disposition. Adam, Alfred. Die Zeit der Alten Kirche.