Knowing how widely controversial this treatise could be, I welcome *written constructive critique through web pages or an ebook* if it dots the i's and crosses the t's, by referring to proof texts and any book excerpts that touch on those topics. To dot i's and cross t's requires dissecting *the whole counsel on the topic*, not just parts.
To ensure it's internationally agreed, it becomes crucially important to make a list of all NT verses that touch on this topic, so as to arrive at rigorous conclusions which resolve a millennia old ambiguity/dispute, and build our house on the rock not the sand (Luke 6:47-49). Jesus Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12) and other statements or commandments, and the great commission, can't be glossed over by only selecting some of Paul's teaching, but not others eg 1 Cor 7:19 and 1 Timothy 1: 8-11, or Jam 1:22 , James 2:14-26
I'm also interested in gaining further insight by considering the chronological order in which the NT books were written, to learn when Paul, James, and other books made summary statement/s on the topic -- https://www.biblestudytools.com/resources/guide-to-bible-study/order-books-new-testament.html
Some implicitly hold that because they believe we don't obey the moral law (commandments), that Laodiceans don't need to repent, (ie believers), including the parable of the 5 wise and unwise virgins, or bearing good fruits like James 1:22 teaches "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves"
James 2:14-26 (ISV)
"Faith is Shown by Actions
14What good does it do, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but does not prove it with actions? This kind of faith cannot save him, can it? 15Suppose a brother or sister does not have any clothes or daily food 16and one of you tells them, "Go in peace! Stay warm and eat heartily." If you do not provide for their bodily needs, what good does it do? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not prove itself with actions, is dead. 18But someone may say, "You have faith, and I have actions." Show me your faith without any actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions. 19You believe that there is one God. That's fine! Even the demons believe that and tremble with fear. 20Do you want proof, you foolish person, that faith without actions is worthless? 21Our ancestor Abraham was justified by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar, wasn't he? 22You8 see that his faith worked together with what he did, and by his actions his faith was made complete. 23And so the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."9 And so he was called God's friend. 24You10 observe that a person is justified through actions and not through faith alone. 25Likewise, Rahab the prostitute was justified through actions when she welcomed the messengers11 and sent them away on a different road, wasn't she? 26For just as the body without the spirit12 is dead, so faith without actions is also dead."
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
1 John 2:3-4
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments."
1 John 2:5-7
"But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. (The litmus test of genuine/authentic faith) By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning."
1 Cor 7:19 Paul summarizes :
"Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters."
The great commission teaches
"make disciples (the self controlled godly discipline) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;"
But Jesus taught from the Old Testament scrolls and the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament - which was all they had at that time.
Luke 24:27 "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."
John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me."
I'm told some don't believe in extra biblical study, using books from respected scholars. But that would also not admit reasoning about the speed of light debate or the angel's not evolving, or DNA and our brain being constituted of quantum physics, or study of the Heptadic 7's in The Seal of God, or any truthful apologetic discussion.
Just because a lot of philosophy is fraught with errors when contrasted with the Bible, do we also throw out the baby with the bath water ?
Does 1+1=2 in truth and can objective truths uphold tacit biblical truths ?
Broad brush strokes gloss over details like above, but when deciding on eternal issues and doctrine we need more specifics, to dot our i's and cross our t's - using "the whole counsel of God", rather than relying on making broad sweeping statements that ignore reality checks.
The truth and the devil often are in the details, and folks not accustomed to scholarly academic rigor do themselves a disservice; mainly if addressing a large audience.
https://soul-mate.org/LawAndGrace.html addresses the fact that "authentic" faith is the root and noble works are the fruit. If we haven't got the fruit of godly works then it's possible we haven't got the root of authentic faith. But as Jesus is the head of all principality and power (Col 2:10), the Words He has spoken will judge rejectors at the last day - John 12:48 .
If quoting Colossians, then we also need to include Col 3:5 .
1 Timothy 1: 8-11 is included in the whole counsel of God, that the law applies to the lawless, not to holy people. The (moral) law(commandments) is good if used lawfully, and is not made for a righteous person. If we keep God/Jesus's commandments as second nature then we're not doing it by, rote learned, going through the motions. The 10 commandments are lived by keeping Christ's law (Jam 2:8, Gal 5:14 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself", 1 Cor 9:21, Gal 6:2), to love God (biblically consistent lifestyle) and our neighbours, through the obedience of faith.
This is truly devoted to the substance rather than shadows. The Jewish tabernacle and ceremonial Laws are the shadow that prefigured aspects of Christ, of whom He is the mentioned "substance" (Col 2), as explained by SDAs, for those that have ears to hear. The moral law(commandments) were publicized through the father of the faith Abraham (Rom 4:16-17) & Genesis 26:5 "because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (and possibly in the garden of Eden) before the ceremonial laws were given, and is the substance which showed God/Jesus - as the head of all principality and power (Col 2:10) - to be able to have mercy on whomever is found worthy (John 10:16, vs Laodicean) and is being transformed, through progressive sanctification, into the innocence of a little child when led by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." We'll know if we truly are led by the Spirit and know Jesus teachings because (1Jn 2:3) "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments (the moral Law - written in stone and inside the Ark, not outside the Ark like the ceremonial law which is the shadow that was prefiguring Christ)" Again, (Act 5:32) "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."
That is "authentic" faith that saves, and increasingly has biblically consistent fruit to prove it, as we're to be fruit inspectors. We'll know if our way of life is led by the Holy Spirit because it will progressively become biblically consistent, to godly standards of behaviour, as contrasted with finite spirits that aren't biblically consistent.
But if we're innocent as a little child (or noble) then :-
Matt 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for He is gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matt 7:21-24 on Laodiceans
"Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not (done works/fruit) prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Build on the Rock (Luke 6:47-49)
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds
blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
Again, 1 Timothy 1: 8-11 is included in the whole counsel of God, that the law applies to the lawless, not to holy people. The (moral) law is good if used lawfully, and is not made for a righteous person.
If we keep God's commandments as second nature then we're not doing it by, rote learned, going through the motions. The 10 commandments are lived by keeping Christ's law (Jam 2:8, 1 Cor 9:21, Gal 6:2), to love God (biblically consistent lifestyle) and our neighbours, through the obedience of faith.
During the time of trouble, it ?may? be, according to the Bible, and if we got it wrong before then, that God will save all who call on Him, Acts 2:17-21, as long as they don't receive cf http://soul-mate.org/MarkofTheBeast.html or worship his "finite" image, but they'll possibly be outside the Church, like loyal foreigners weren't Jews, though living in the land of Israel. The mystery of the Church might explain this.
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved."
John 20:29 "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" - and walk the talk through the obedience of faith and progressive sanctification.
We aspire to know God/Jesus through prayerfully engaging His indwelling Holy Spirit, as in Rom 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." We'll know if we truly are led by the Spirit and know Jesus teachings because (1Jn 2:3) "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me."
"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Again "Many who seldom, if ever, read the Bible typically look for key thoughts to grasp the Christian lifestyle", therefore we can now grasp the thinking about biblically consistent noble lifestyles that understand God endowed purpose or function.
Again, we can never do enough to earn our salvation, through improving righteousness/moral law/Christ's commandments, but that doesn't excuse us from the lifestyle of progressive sanctification. If we don't have the fruit, it's possible we don't have the root - of authentic/genuine faith and it's progressive sanctification. Mat 7:20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them." "Every tree that (eventually) doesn't bear any good fruit is cut down" - though it relies on whether we're strong or weak in the faith - as to whom much is given more is expected and conversely. Also the parable of the Talents explains by example.
In modern society it's uncommon to be sufficiently gifted as spokesperson for God/Jesus/Bible. To remedy that some say we do something in case we do nothing, starting the marathon walk of growing faith based fruits. Then the Holy Spirit eventually raises our awareness of other openings, as our aptitude/s become obvious, when we do what comes naturally (divinely ordinary) along with authentic believers. That's how we got into lay ministry.
We get behind ministry/s that are making permanent improvements in authentic gospel outreach. Their fruits are also imputed to their supporters, as long as we accept their statement of faith, as ones walking the talk. As the parable of the Talents says, we should invest with those able to get a return for us; until we're led to even more productive ministry.
Again, just because a lot of philosophy is fraught with errors when contrasted with the Bible, do we also throw out the baby with the bath water ? To tackle a potential heresy needs to dissect written specifics, also touching on "the whole counsel of God" for the topic, rather than use broad brush strokes.
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