You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘righteous’ tag.

I do not believe that the bulk of the human race will be in a fiery burning tormenting hell and only a few select, elect, souls will be resurrected to life. It’s clear the being saved from that is part of what we receive when we believe on Jesus Christ. But most of the world’s people do not believe – indeed have not even heard the pure gospel and had a chance to believe it.

So, what are we saved from? In Jesus’ day, a lot of what they needed to be saved from was the coming anger, which I believe happened in 70 A.D. when Titus destroyed both Jerusalem and the temple, removing their house from the Jews. This is what Jesus told them would happen.

All of the New Testament was written before the destruction of 70 A.D., with the possible exception of Revelation…but even the dating for that book can be disputed and placed before that date. Let’s leave Revelation out of it, and just look at the books we are surer of.

Historians from the time of the early church tell us that the Christians in Jerusalem did indeed escape Jerusalem when there was an “unexplained” lull in the siege of the city. Just as Jesus said.

But as the gospel spread, and churches began, all over that part of the world, as recorded in the epistles and in the book of Acts, we cannot confine the concept of salvation to merely escaping Jerusalem. Neither did persecution end when Jerusalem fell. The scattered churches were eventually persecuted by Rome.

We have Christian universalists saying that all in the end will turn to the loving God. And we have fundamentalists saying that no one enters heaven unless they know Jesus, and those who don’t will go to hell. The truth is almost always in the middle ground. I believe this “argument” is the same. There are options not usually considered.

Let’s look at the word “saved”. The Greek is sozo: to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively); heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole. Clearly, being safe from destruction is only one meaning. Those who are saved are, or will be, delivered, protected, healed, preserved, prospering (do well), and whole. In Jerusalem or away from it, this is good news.

For those who escaped Jerusalem, and for those who never lived there, Jew or Gentile, what remains to be saved from? Well, the obvious answer would be death. But the word, sozo, means more than to be rescued or delivered or protected. It means to be made whole, to be healed, and to be well off. So maybe we are saved both from something, and for something. In this life as well as the life to come (in the resurrection).

So, we believe and are saved. But what about those who don’t believe, who never even heard the gospel? Clearly they aren’t saved, as we understand it. Do they go to hell, as we understand it? Even though hell actually just means the grave, most generally think of it as a place of unending and conscious torment. Do all the unsaved go there?

The answer is that we all go to the grave. And we all will be resurrected. Dante’s Inferno is fiction and the lake of fire is a metaphor. God will do rightly. Love will win.

How to be accused of embracing too much grace in a few paragraphs:

We are forgiven, for all time, if we are in Christ, right? So, what happens when we go out and sin?

Answer this: How can we “go out and sin” if we are dead to not only sin, but also to the law by which sin is known? Romans, especially chapter six, along with Hebrews, makes is clear that we are dead to sin. So what then is this sinning that people are afraid will happen if we are under grace?

Romans 6:7 For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].  (Amplified Version)

Romans 6:17 But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.

18And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). (Amplified Version)

Also: 2 Corinthians 5:19 -It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). (Amplified Version)

We are set free from sin, and we are taught this by the apostle explaining grace to us. Grace itself teaches up godliness, which looks much like the fruit of the spirit. Grace also teaches us to avoid ungodliness, which looks a lot like the works of the flesh.

The difference is that there was no law against the fruit of the spirit. It is based on love, and does no harm, but instead seeks to build up, care for, and bless others. The works of the flesh, while some can be good and loving, are mostly selfish, often harming, abusing, and destroying. The law was against that.

We no longer do the works of the flesh if we are in the spirit, and we are in the spirit if we are His. The fleshly old nature is reckoned as dead. So we come back to the original thought – we are dead to sin. We are no longer taught by law, but by grace.

If we, or others we see, seem to be sinning, we are usually confusing the works of the flesh with sin. Sin was taken away by Jesus. (2 Cor 5:19, see above) If it was not, then He didn’t do what He was sent to do, which was to take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! ~ Amp. V.)

A note about the Greek word translated as “sin” (hamartia) – it just means to miss the mark, to err, to stray from the path, and not share in the prize. It’s an archery term. It does not mean to do something bad or evil.

The translators used a word, sin, that implies guilt, when no guilt is implied by the original Greek word. The only guilt involved was Adam’s. And later, there was guilt incurred from transgressing the Mosaic law – which was dealt with by the sacrifices.

Gentiles never were given the Jewish law in the first place. Between Adam and the law, sin was not counted against any.  Then Jesus established the New Covenant, the old was done away with it’s laws and ordinances. It is finished. It is over. We are back to not having our failings counted against us.  

That leaves us with going out and sinning – and what that is. To me it is obvious that no one really sins, for without the law, we can not know sin. Even sinners don’t sin…. now there’s a paradox for you.

We who have been given grace will be led and taught by it. We cannot sin because we are dead to both it and the law. (Sadly even Gentiles now have to deal with the law, because it is taught by nearly every preacher in the world – but know this: where Moses is read, the veil remains.)

Jesus died to fulfill the law, and in so doing he has rescued the entire human race from Adam’s sin and the penalty of death it brought. He did it by coming in frail (“sinful”) flesh. Meaning He did it as a flesh and blood man, prone to error and failure and straying. Yet He fulfilled it all without ever missing the mark.

IT IS FINISHED. Sin/error is not counted against us, just as it was not counted against any before the law came. Jesus reconciled the world to God. In Him a person can have life, if they believe, in the here and now. This is the good news.

And, as John says in 1 John 2:1, if any stray or err, we have a comforter with the Father, Jesus, the anointed and just. Not if any transgress, but if any mess up. There is nothing to transgress. But we can make mistakes in our walk. He will comfort us and lead us into the right way by His grace.

Sin has been “put back” onto the world by the teaching of the church. This is a travesty. I personally believe we should stop using the word sin, and start using the true meaning, which is to miss or err, or fail, and not share the prize. But that’s just me. Do what you want on this one.

RSS Charisma Ministries

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: