An analysis regarding our faith, our works & the Law itself all "as it is written" in 'more accurate…
An analysis regarding our faith, our works & the Law itself all “as it is written” in ‘more accurate translations’.
(i) “Justification” toward “Salvation” is through “His Faith only”
‘His Faith only’ by ‘His Grace’
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Ephesians 2:8)
(ii) How do we know that it’s through “His Faith” only and not our faith in Christ?
The phrase ‘through faith’ followed by the next phrase describing ‘this faith’ namely,
‘not of yourselves’ = primarily referring to ‘not of your own faiths’ since the object spoken of prior is ‘faith’ = Alternately, can mean ‘not of anything which is due to ourselves’ which certainly includes ‘both our personal faiths & works’ —> so, ‘no’ work nor anything else can contribute toward ‘Salvation’ (“being saved”) in Ephesians 2:8 itself.
(iii) How do we know that “Justification” toward “Salvation” (“being saved”) is “not” by any ‘works also’?
The ‘subsequent verse’ following the last one above clearly declares this:
“not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)
“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Romans 11:6)
(iv) Is there a verse which points to the direction of being “saved” without any “works” of the “Law”?
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)
(v) Is there a verse which implies “Justification” by “faith alone” without any contribution from the “Law”?
“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, because “The righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)
(vi) Where is it written that we are “Justified” unto “Salvation” through the “Righteousness of God” through the “Faith OF Jesus Christ” only?
“Even the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” (Romans 3:22, KJV)
Why can’t “our righteousness save us”?
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
(vii) Is the phrase “by Faith” referring to “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone”?
If so, where are a set of verses which describe “Justification” unto “Salvation” in the context of “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone”?
In other words, please quote ‘subsequent’ verses where “Justification” unto “Salvation” using the phrase “by Faith” refers to (in context) the “Faith OF Jesus Christ only”?
Please consider the ‘same phrase’ —> “by Faith” (regarding which we are confused, as to ‘which faith?’, ours or of Christ or both is being ‘referred to’ here?) in verse below:
“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” (Romans 3:28)
The “Justification” —> “by faith” (as in Ephesians 2:8 too as Scripture must agree) -> in verse above is clearly referring to the “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone” (when accurately translated) —> as a ‘subsequent’ verse prior clearly “defines” this “context” first:
“Even the righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (Romans 3:22, KJV)
(viii) Then “what is being referred to as” the “justification” by “works” which Scripture also speaks about in verse below?
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)
As we see the ‘subsequent’ verses surrounding it, the ‘context’ of ‘what apostle James meant by it’ becomes absolutely clear as follows (by noting the actual words found in the verses to be able to see this distinction clearly “as it is written”):
(a) This “Justification” is ‘not Salvation’ but ‘Perfection’ of the given ‘faith in Jesus Christ’:
“you see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;” (James 2:22)
(b) What is “that faith” which is talked with regards to “works also” in verse above (Context)?
“that faith” = “our personal faith IN Jesus Christ” = evidenced by the phrase “my faith” with “works” as mentioned (context) in a verse prior as follows:
“But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”.” (James 2:18)
(c) What is “my faith” = “your faith IN Christ Jesus”?
“since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;” (Colossians 1:4)
(d) Our personal “faith IN Jesus Christ” is ‘not’ of ourselves but a “Gift” of Good too:
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:7 – 9)
“And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” (John 6:65)
(e) Different “measures” of ‘this faith’ (“our faith”) is given (‘by His Grace’) explaining the ‘varied levels’ of “faith among believers” too:
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;” (Romans 12:6)
(f) The “reward” for “our works” is ‘not Salvation’ but ‘being repaid’ according to ‘our works (deeds)’: (“being saved” by the ‘Foundation of Jesus Christ’ Alone —> some ‘saved through fire’ —> ‘despite’ their ‘(evil) works’ being ‘burned up’ in their ‘Resurrection of Judgment’) as it is revealed in verses below too:
“and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a Resurrection of Life, those who committed the evil deeds to a Resurrection of Judgment.” (John 5:25)
“According to the Grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
For no man can lay a Foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man builds on the Foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:10 – 15)
“And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.
“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the Resurrection of the Righteous.” (Luke 14:12 – 14)
“For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:27)
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12)
“For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive back the things done through the body according to what he did, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
(g) So, what does “work out your Salvation” mean?
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;” (Philippians 2:12)
Implied by the context of all the verses quoted above, we may see that:
By “obeying” (His Written Commands) —–> we “work” out —> “our Salvation” which is given as a “Free Gift of God toward us” —-> to attain “rewards” (Quality: Hay, Gold etc.) —-> avoid being “judged” for “evil works” by being “burned up” in “fire” —-> with “fear and trembling” avoiding “evil works” & “disobedience” (“Lawlessness”, Matthew 7:13 – 27 too) toward ‘all’ His Written Word (Matthew 7:24):
“If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37)
(h) Such a “working” out (“Proof”) of “our faith” leads to a ‘Salvation’ of ‘our souls’ with ‘rewards’ according to the ‘trials’ endured too:
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:6 – 9)
“for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:10)
(ix) Is understanding all these such a big deal?
Yes, “no” intent of “Justification” for “Salvation” through “the Law” must be in ‘our hearts’ to ‘avoid falling from Grace’:
“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from Grace.” (Galatians 5:4)
Please notice carefully the phrase “Faith OF Jesus Christ” = “Faith OF the Son OF God” in the conclusion verses below ‘describing our faith’ (explaining the manner to —> ‘believe IN Jesus Christ’ in Galatians 2:16 [please notice this phrase too, or the equivalent ‘life which I now live in the flesh’, Galatians 2:20 too) to avoid any ‘misplaced faith’ not according to ‘written Holy Scripture’:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the Faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be JUSTIFIED by the Faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16, KJV)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the LIFE which I NOW live in the flesh I live by Faith OF the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Understanding ‘His Beautiful Sovereignty’ in “His Great Mercy”:
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY He SAVED us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5)
“And one of the evil-doers who were hanged, was speaking evil of him, saying, ‘If thou be the Christ, save Thyself and us.’
And the other answering, was rebuking him, saying, ‘Dost thou not even Fear God, that thou art in the same judgment?
and we indeed righteously, for things worthy of what we did we receive back, but this One did nothing out of place;’
and he said to Jesus, ‘Remember me, Lord, when Thou mayest Come in Thy Kingdom;’
and Jesus said to him, ‘Verily I say to thee, To-day with Me thou shalt be in the Paradise.’” (Luke 23:39 – 43)
P/S: The Romans Road Misunderstanding
The Road to Salvation & The Romans Road Misunderstanding
“For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.
“To whom would He teach knowledge,
And to whom would He interpret the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
“For He says,
‘Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there.’”
Indeed, He will speak to this people
Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,”
And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.” (Isaiah 28: 8 – 12)
I will attempt to present ‘both views’ of the ‘popular Romans Road to Salvation’ and one can study Scripture for themselves to see if it is true.
Firstly, the ‘popular eternal hell view is as follows’:
(source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html )
Question: “What is the Romans Road to salvation?”
Answer: The Romans Road to salvation is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans. It is a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what are the results of salvation.
The first verse on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent. Romans 3:10-18 gives a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives. The second Scripture on the Romans Road to salvation, Romans 6:23, teaches us about the consequences of sin – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death!
The third verse on the Romans Road to salvation picks up where Romans 6:23 left off, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus’ death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus’ resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins.
The fourth stop on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says it again, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The final aspect of the Romans Road to salvation is the results of salvation. Romans 5:1 has this wonderful message, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship of peace with God. Romans 8:1 teaches us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins. Finally, we have this precious promise of God from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Please consider now our reply to the above (thank you for reading):
How to know which hermeneutics or exegesis of Scripture is correct? We need to check against the following traits which is ‘only’ found in the “Wisdom of God” as ‘it is written’:
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17, KJV)
1) What is the “All” referred to in the Book of Romans (‘Context’)?
‘All’ the ‘World’ = ‘All Creation’ (not men only as erred in the article above) as the verse goes:
“And we have known that as many things as the law saith, to those in the law it doth speak, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may come under judgment to God;” (Romans 3:19, YLT)
2) The first verse
The first verse on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We have all sinned.”
Yes, “all” have “sinned”.
Before that, what is the Biblical definition of sin?
The word ‘sin’ in Greek literally means ‘missing the mark’ (and it is to be Understood as ‘Missing the Mark with respect to the Perfection of God Alone’).
There are two types of ‘sin’ (or ‘missing the mark’) that is described in Holy Scripture:
(i) Sin leading to Death –> includes ‘those with law’ and ‘without law too’:
“For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;” (Romans 2:12)
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)
“for the wages of the sin is death, and the gift of God is life age-during in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
(ii) Sin not leading to death
“If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.” (1 John 5:16)
This is a mysterious sin of which the details are not given in Holy Scripture. So, when Scripture mentions “all” to have “sinned” & the ‘all = all creation’ in the world which includes the holy angels as well, it could refer to this sin (or missing the mark) where it doesn’t lead to death but is ‘still falling short of the Perfection of God’.
(iii) Sin doesn’t just include ‘doing evil’ but also ‘refraining from doing Good’ which is within one’s power or ability (‘much given, much required’):
“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His Will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not (God’s Will), and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:47 – 48)
(iv) But God didn’t do anything either did He?
God did ‘all’ the ‘Good Works’ on earth through ‘men’ (whether through a believer or an unbeliever) as it is written:
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17, NASB)
‘All Perfect & Good Gifts are from the “Father” of lights only. Meaning any man’s goodness in any good act too is from ‘God alone’ (please note the word “every” in James 1:17, in Greek it is literally “Every Act of Giving Good”).’
To understand how this claim could be true further, please consider the detailed write-up in links below:
On earth, God has given it to men first to ‘do as their will or free will’. He has given this freedom of choice appointing the time for free will of creation to be exercised (Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 10). He Intervenes only in special cases for reasons known to Him only. Thus, we cannot ask Him that question because of the freedom He has given for us to ‘do good & refrain from evil’ by our choices ‘first’.
However, we know that He will Judge “every” deed (Good or Bad) too accordingly as it is written:
“I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17)
(v) A Common Fallacy: But didn’t God cause all sin because He bound the all in disobedience first (Romans 11:32)?
Doesn’t this verse prove that God is the ‘first’ cause of ‘any sin’? NO, may it NEVER be! God does NOT cause ‘any sin’ NOR does He tempt anyone with Evil as ‘it is written’ in James 1:13.
Far be such fallacious thoughts!
“For God has locked all in the prison of their own disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all.” (Romans 11:32)
*The word translated as “bound” in Greek has a relation in meaning to ‘being bound in prison’. So, the etymology of the word itself helps here. One is ‘bound’ in prison due to ‘one’s own evil’ act ‘first’ due to one’s ‘free will choice’.
It is similar here: that is God ‘bounds’ the ‘creature’ in ‘disobedience’ (who did the sins of disobedience ‘first’ by ‘its own choice’, free will given, including the sin not leading to death as discussed prior, making sense of the context ‘all creation’). It does NOT mean God ’caused or influenced’ the creature to sin as so commonly erred even against the etymology of the word used itself in this verse!
Further (with verses pointing to Scriptural agreement in context, proving consistent hermeneutics):
He doesn’t “do” that “evil” of ‘disobedience’ through any creation (He binds them up to disobedience due to their free will choice first as in the case of Adam & Eve to choose evil, where binding means continually letting them be held by the disobedience which they chose; and only chooses to release those upon whom He has Mercy allowing the others to remain hardened as a consequence of their own evil choice ‘first’ together with due to passed on effect of knowledge of evil through Adam & Eve too, that’s how I understand Romans 11:32 & Romans 9:18; yes, eventually He will have Mercy on ALL releasing ALL creation too, Romans 8:20 – 21 as it is written Before/After/During JUDGMENT as Romans 11:32 also implies together with other verses such as John 5:24, 1 Peter 4:6 and James 2:13 respectively).
(vi) How about this verse, ‘who has resisted His (God’s) Will (Romans 9:19)? Doesn’t that imply God is the first cause of sin? NO again!
“You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” (Romans 9:19, NASB)
“What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (Romans 9:22)
Please note that “He endured with patience” —> ‘their evil due to that temporal free will first’ —> justifying God’s Will of making these ‘vessels of Destruction’ —-> as even clearly written in Jude 14 – 16 or Jude 1:14 – 16 —> which clearly points to “them speaking harshly against Him first” & ‘doing sin first’ due to ‘their free will’:
“It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” (Jude 1:14 – 16)
Another reason for those ‘religious ones being condemned’ —> is due to trusting “their works” (idolising it) creating “pride” —> any equivalent thoughts of ‘man’ thinking they are ‘good’ especially thinking it’s “their free will saving them” —> instead of the “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone for Salvation”:
“Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,” (Romans 9:32)
But ‘only’ God knows ‘Who He wants to save or condemn’ because clearly by all these Perfect Principles written in His Word, all of us fall short.
“For He says to Moses: “I will show mercy to whom I may show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I may have compassion.” (Romans 9:15)
“So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” (Romans 9:18)
Next, The meaning of “God hardening” them:
“So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” (Romans 9:18)
By “hardening”, He stops “His Good” upon them, and they follow ‘their evil hearts’ (not that God causes them to do the evil). Thus, they end up following after “their own depraved minds doing evil” too, of which the “knowledge of evil” is influenced (or passed on somehow mysteriously) by the initial ‘eating of the tree of Good & Evil’ (kinda like ‘God let’s go of His Good upon them & they fall into the remaining evil apart from Him’).
“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,” (Romans 1:28)
“Therefore God gave them up in the desires of their hearts to impurity to dishonor their bodies between themselves,” (Romans 1:24)
As verses below agree:
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
“But a man is tempted, being drawn away and being enticed by the own desire.
Then desire having conceived, gives birth to sin; and sin having become fully grown, brings forth death.
Do not be misled, my beloved brothers.” (James 1:14 – 16)
(vii) But didn’t God create evil as written in Isaiah 45:6 – 7 implying that He is the first cause for evil to happen?
Please consider ‘carefully’ this verse:
“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me, I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do ALL THESE THINGS” (Isaiah 45:6-7)
Yes, and please consider a direct explanation below:
Create evil & Do Evil are two different things.
God did the former, not the latter according to James 1:13 seen together with Isaiah 45:6 – 7.
He Predestined choice in the Tree of knowledge of Good & Evil (created Evil in its knowledge)
Then gave freedom for man to “choose” on earth by Presdestining Free will (more accurately creation’s will as discussed).
The other thing is “Judgment” (commonly confused with ‘evil’) to which is rendered according to the malice done by Creation’s choice prior.
If the Cause for evil was God, God Won’t judge creation for it.
Isaiah 45:7 mentions that God creates evil and not that He does Evil. Since this verse speaks of the ‘creation of evil’ (for man it is the Adam & Eve story, context), together with other verses (in principle) relating to it, please consider the following edifying explanation:
Here’s the verse:
“I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)
He “does” (the word ‘do’) the “creation of evil” (Example: knowledge evil found in the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil & the free will to choose evil as Eve chose to disobey at the beginning too).
Consider again please (with emphasis):
“I form the light and CREATE darkness: I make peace and CREATE evil: I the Lord DO all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)
He created the Providence for Evil to exist in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He gave free will through choice as Eve decided to choose evil after Satan’s persuasion and ate of that fruit. God didn’t influence Eve to do that Evil nor did that Evil through Eve (that’s how to understand Isaiah 45:7 with respect to the beginning of the creation of evil itself in man through Eve as it is written).
This agrees perfectly with principles of free will in choice on earth by Creation’s actions & influences only toward each other such as that God “allows” Evil on earth (1 Corinthians 10:13), but God is not the author of evil, nor is He the influencer nor the Doer of Evil (James 1:13) & that only ‘creation is responsible for each of its own evil done & its own free will choice ultimately played the most significant role in it beyond influence causing Judgment on both the creation that acted the evil (Example Adam & Eve) & the influencer (Satan too)’ agreeing to (James 1:14) as well.
(viii) How does evil happen then?
‘Regarding ‘God influences us during evil’ statement, He doesn’t because He doesn’t tempt anyone into evil as it is written:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” (James 1:13)
Example, Job was tempted & tested by Satan, not God. God permitted it.
For cases not relating to righteous men such as Job, one is enticed by ‘evil’ due to the consequence of ‘knowing evil’ & ‘desiring it’ (‘our free will alone’) as verses clearly describe ‘how any sin is done’ (please note that “God” is Absent from the verse below which ‘fully describes how sin originates & ends’):
“But a man is tempted, being drawn away and being enticed by the own desire.
Then desire having conceived, gives birth to sin; and sin having become fully grown, brings forth death.
Do not be misled, my beloved brothers.” (James 1:14 – 16)’
(ix) Doesn’t Ephesians 1:11 prove that ‘all things’ (including evil such as rape) is ‘worked’ out by God after the counsel of His Will?
Nope, never. Here’s a proper explanation accurate to the ‘words’ used:
“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His (God’s) will,” (Ephesians 1:11)
1) What does it mean?
Does the verse above refer to or include ‘a rapist committing rape’ as part of God’s Plan?
A Different Case
This verse refers to a “specific time” period and “purpose” done by “God only”.
“for the administration of the fullness of the times, to bring together all things in Christ–the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth–” (Ephesians 1;10)
Time period = “fullness of the times”
Purpose = the ‘particular’ act of gathering all things in Christ
*it Talks of “God’s Action” only in quoted verses nothing to do with the ‘sin of rape done by a man’ (that’s not referred to in verses quoted)
2) Now, when do the “times” (plural) in Ephesians 1:10 – 11 refer to?
The “times” which “God Acts” (His action alone) , only He knows.
The “times” I don’t know as only God knows as the verse doesn’t specify.
It seems to point to the “future” (indicated by “fullness”) and plural “times” (time period of Ages? Difficult to tell).
But the “acts” referred to in these verses in these “times” is “only by God Alone” (not creation’s will, nor free will is referred to here in these verses quoted). It can be understood as follows too:
“God Works” (or Acts, His Acts alone) not through the sinful acts done by the ‘all things’ (all creation) —> but rather, “despite” the ‘sinful’ acts done by the all creation (including the ‘sin not leading to death’) —-> God still works out His Will Unaffected (Romans 3:3 – 4) by the Faith of God (Faith of Jesus Christ, Romans 3:22) to bring ‘Salvation or Justification for All’ —> through His Acts Alone as Ephesians 1:8 – 11 implies toward the ‘all things too’ —> to gather them all in Christ in the end.
In short, it explains ‘how’ God’s Will will be Done Regardless by the Faith of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:3-4, 22, 28) through His Acts alone “despite” (not through, nor using) creation’s servitude of vanity (sin, missing the mark, corruption, Romans 8:20 – 21) setting it ‘free’ (into liberty) of the ‘children of God again’ walking in God’s Will alone perfectly in the end (1 Corinthians 15:25 – 28) when the verses are ‘seen together’ (called the ‘Mystery or Secret of His Will’ in Scripture below):
“which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight
He made known to us the Mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” (Ephesians 1:8 – 11)
*being “bound or hardened” (as in Romans 11:32 & Romans 9:18) may be further understood in this aspect described below to agreeing perfectly to all these:
Romans 9:19 – 20 also makes sense with the Scriptural reply in Romans 9:22 that God “endured with patience” first —> these ‘sin’ due to disobedience by creation’s own free will choice or act without God influencing ‘any evil’ upon it (James 1:13) but only allowing ‘creation to know evil & make its own choice accordingly’ (1 Corinthians 10:13, James 1:14 – 15) –> God ‘only’ influencing any creation to do “Good only” (James 1:17) —> we being the ‘first’ fruits of those walking in ‘His Will’ (James 1:18) all clearly written or implied by the “verses” quoted.
As apostle James himself warns, ‘don’t be deceived’ (in James 1:16) whilst explaining the above so that none may think contrary to these verses (and not opinions) which describe truth.
Here are these verses in chronology:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” (James 1:13 – 18, NASB)
(x) Does God use all evil for Good?
Example: Does God use “some” rape for Good?
He doesn’t use any rape for Good.
But despite a rape, He can bring forth a servant of God for example in that child
But to say that God brings forth good through ‘all’ rapes is not sensible.
There could be children from rape who became criminals or sex offenders too.
We can’t generalize these things because God doesn’t guarantee that He must correct or judge on earth itself but surely in the afterlife even the rapist after experiencing His Judgments, will learn righteousness –> end up saved in the end.
That’s how I see “God Works all things through the Counsel of His Will” (Ephesians 1:11) —> in the “End” results —> in “Judgment & Restoration”
Greater details proving all these may be found in the write-up below too:
3) The Promise of Faith from Abraham to Christ
How about Abraham’s case where ‘God tempted Abraham to kill his own son’? Isn’t that God tempting with evil? NO!
God did NOT cause that ‘sin of killing Abraham’s son’ to occur. These are special cases (like Job too) subject to the condition where God Intervenes directly and also ensures that He did NOT make any act of sin to occur! (Example, in Abraham’s case, God sent an angel to ‘stop’ before that act of sin could have occurred!’, Genesis 22:11; thus God did NO sin & it’s to be understood thus as a ‘test’ & nothing more). Abraham never killed his own son (it never occurred and was stopped by God’s direct intervention too). We cannot Generalize from these special cases (another common fallacy). What if God demonstrated through the testing of Abraham to show or prove to the rest that Abraham is so loyal to God which could be only seen through such an incident (Genesis 22:1 – 14)?
“Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:15 – 18, NASB)
If we note carefully, Abraham had ‘faith’ in ‘advance’ that God would do “no” such evil (of asking him to kill his son) but rather would ‘Intervene’ to provide a ‘lamb for slaughter’ as this verse mysteriously echo ‘prior’ to the ‘actual testing time itself’:
“Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.” (Genesis 22:7 – 8)
In New Testament verses, more is revealed as we see that Abraham even ‘believed’ that ‘God can raise his son Isaac back to life from the dead even if he killed him’:
“He (Abraham) considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he (Abraham) also received him (Isaac) back as a type.” (Hebrews 11:19)
Now, God is Fair. Because Abraham ‘proved’ his faith to love God more than even his own son, the blessings to Abraham makes sense as his great reward (Genesis 22:15 – 18):
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:37)
Though we never proved such great faith or love toward God like Abraham did, nevertheless God still Willed to bless ALL nations (not some nor believing nations only, Genesis 22:18, Acts 3:25) through Abraham (‘all’ includes a range of those undeserving ones like us)
What ‘blessing’ is referred to here?
Any blessing under the Covenant which applies to Jew or Gentile respectively (as there are differences in physical blessings only, Ephesians 4:7 – 8, Psalm 68:18) but ‘all’ are included to receive the Greatest Blessing of All eventually, namely ‘Salvation through Jesus Christ Alone’ (John 14:6)
This Promise of ‘Salvation’ through the ‘Seed’ (Singular – Jesus Christ, Galatians 3:16) –> to be ‘born again’ as ‘spiritual children’ to be children of God again’ —-> and this will be achieved through The Singular-Seed-Christ (Galatians 3:16) —-> “Saving ALL” through the ‘Faith of Jesus Christ Alone’ by ‘His Act Alone’ as a ‘Free Justification’ as Romans 3:22 – 24 reveals so clearly ‘as it is written’! (Wow) below:
“Even the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(the ‘same all’) Being justified Freely by His grace through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:22 – 24, KJV)
(Emphasis mine throughout this write-up).
I repeat, which “all”?
‘All the World’, as mentioned in point (1) prior too (here it is again, just three verses earlier, the ‘all’ cannot change its meaning suddenly):
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19, KJV)
And that’s why ‘all the world will be saved by Him freely’ eventually when they are Justified through the Faith of Jesus Christ which comes upon ALL eventually, even FREELY by HIS GRACE causing REDEMPTION (please note that these words are all clearly written in Original Greek Scripture and only seen when ‘translated accurately’ as ‘it is written’ in verses quoted above disproving their ‘Roman Road story quoted earlier’).
If there was no world which is guilty (Romans 3:19) which needs to be saved too (John 3:17) due to missing the perfection of God (Romans 3:23), He would not be called the ‘Saviour of the World’, right? (1 John 4:14). Can we see the incredible accuracy of Scripture with respect to the word ‘world’ (signifying the place where ‘all creation’ exists) dwells?
How about saving non-living things and even non-rational creation as well if ‘world’ meant ‘all creation dwelling in it’? Please consider the edifying details in write-up beow too:
Regarding being ‘born again’, please consider this write-up:
The other type of verses found in the Book of Romans referring to ‘believers only’ (such as the one below) highlights and not limits this Great Salvation of God toward “us” (believers ‘first’) as a demonstration in this ‘present time’ in this ‘life’ itself! (Gospel = Good News to All Creation)
“To Declare, I say, at THIS TIME His Righteousness: that He might be Just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26, KJV)
Please note that Romans 3:26 refers to ‘believers only’ (signified by the phrase ‘him which believeth in Jesus’) and it’s a demonstration of His Righteousness (Justification leading to Salvation, Romans 3:22) during ‘this time’ (on earth toward any believer being the initial recipients of His Salvation & Not the only ones as so commonly erred). Please note the words occurring in these verses ‘carefully’ to see this wonderful mind blowing truth!
We know that His Righteousness for Salvation applies to ‘all the world’ beyond ‘believers only’ (Romans 3:26) due to Romans 3:19.
We know that His Saving Grace for Salvation is not limited to ‘this time’ only (Romans 3:26) but that ‘this time’ or ‘time on earth’ for any time in which believers exist refers to the ‘initial recipients’ of this Justification for Salvation toward believers. It extends beyond being independent of ‘any creation’s deed’ but only by the Faith of Jesus Christ (His Act Alone) causing it to be applied to ALL too as it is written in Romans 3:22 – 24 with Romans 3:19).
Truly, this is Amazing Grace!
*This is the End of the Romans Road, our faith is in the Faith of Jesus Christ*
The other verses in the Book of Romans describe God’s Judgment and other aspects pertaining to this fact in the ‘required processes’ with focus on Israel too. For a detailed look at the Book of Romans in regards to these, please view the write-up below instead:
4) How does ‘His Mercy’ save? Is His Mercy limited to Time-Space especially with regards to Judgment?
Please consider these incredible verses revealing the Unstoppable Faith of Jesus Christ effect to ‘ALL’ causing the ‘Justification unto Salvation for ALL’ (as promised in Romans 3:22) in accordance to ‘Mercy showed to ALL’ (Romans 11:32) with regards to God being able to ‘Save’ without any Time-Space-limit nor any other limits too (be it Hell itself)!, all ‘as it is written’:
(a) God Saves by His Mercy with ‘no’ Judgment
“‘Verily, verily, I say to you — He who is hearing my word, and is believing Him who sent me, hath life age-during, and to judgment he doth not come, but hath passed out of the death to the life.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24, YLT)
(b) God Saves by His Mercy ‘during’ Judgment
“For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
(c) God Saves by His Mercy ‘after’ Judgment
“but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
For to this end the Good News (Gospel) was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:5 – 6)
We ALL (all creation in the World) sinned, i.e. ‘fall short the Glory of God’ by ‘missing the mark of His Perfection’.
We are ‘ALL’ (all creation in the World) Saved by the ‘Faith of Jesus Christ’s Effect through the ‘Beautiful Confession that Jesus Christ is Lord’ by which the ‘Righteousness of God’ is imputed upon us —> All due to the Most Blessed Son of God’s Acts Alone (Jesus Christ) as Revealed in Holy Scripture when ‘seen together’. Unbelievable Isn’t it?
Yes, that’s How amazing and beyond Lord Jesus Christ is and ‘we see in a mirror dimly only’:
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
For more details, please also consider the write-ups in links below too for edification:
(a) Regarding ‘Faith’
(b) Regarding ‘The Beautiful Confession’
(c) Regarding ‘Creation’s Will vs God’s Will’
(d) Regarding ‘Faith vs Works’
“And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:42)
“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” – The affirmation of all apostles & the earliest church, “we” (1 John 4:14)
Let’s Believe without seeing itself (‘our faith’, Hebrews 1:1 – 2):
“Jesus says to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those not having seen, yet having believed.” (John 20:29)
Peace to you
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