This post is devoted to Christadelphian comments made, firstly in relation to a specific post of mine “The basic problem with sects [241b]” and secondly as a result of a further challenge by myself to their doctrine. ( I think foolishly in hindsight 🙂 ).
I used the above verse because it seems to be one which could be viewed either way as support for one or the other premise. More on that in a minute.
But firstly, I think I am in a no-win situation, because once you re-define the Spirit and the cross, the goal posts have moved so far that we are no longer talking about the same religion of Christianity. By so doing, the new covenant is turned back again into the old. It then becomes a matter of accepting or denying the parameters of either side, and neither are likely to budge on their position.
The initial comment by Belgian Christadelphians was significant because he/she came out with about 380 commandments or laws, virtually saying that one had to go through the bible and extract all the commandments so as to ensure that you were keeping them. This is completely outside of normal Christian thought, as the whole basis of it as we understand it, is that the old has gone, the new has come. (old covenant based on law, new covenant based on Spirit).
To make further comment at this time, I would say that their understanding of the cross/atonement probably simply becomes that of an “elevated” or higher authority type of sacrifice. It seems as though they see it as just a more important type of sacrifice, but still one that relates to the ability or inability to keep the law/s and commandments of old. They use the word “ransom” which I believe is also used by the Jehovah’s witnesses.
Although using the words “gift of grace”, the detail of that grace might reveal that what has happened (in their belief), is that sufficient “grace” has occurred so they can be advantaged enough by it, to be motivated to attempt to keep all the laws they can discover and define, because it seems as though they believe that “love” means to keep the law. Certainly Jesus said words to that effect. “If you love me you will do what I command you” or similar. But this is just an extension of the premise that all obedience and compliance is to, and comes out of, the divine nature, which we are given as a gift, and it is by this that “The law” is inadvertently or naturally kept in the process of loving. So the title heading does not say that to keep the commandment is to love, but conversely, it says that “love IS the fulfillment of the law, is the end of the law, is the goal of this commandment, because love is the target, being “the divine nature”. [God does not operate to “laws”, He operates from his own self, He is Spirit].
So on the cross, Jesus fulfilled the law FOR us, because we could not do it. We do not now of ourselves have to actively seek to be, or try to be, righteous, in order to GAIN righteousness, because it never worked before, why should it work now? We are GIVEN that righteousness, and then we seek to maintain it. In Jesus fulfilling the law, it becomes obsolete and abolished. Believers accept his death in place of their own, in the sense that unless he had done it, we would be dead with no hope of recovery. But he took sin and death upon himself so we could be free of it. The way we are free of it is to BELIEVE that this is true. This belief is not a structure based on law, but is that which is apprehended by the heart with the aid of the Spirit. But as mentioned above, both what Jesus achieved and what the Spirit IS and does, is part of their doctrinal denial of “orthodox” belief. Anything of worth has to proceed from love. Love is not learned. “We love because he first loved us”. And the “full extent of his love” was him becoming sin for us. [just to suggest some explanation re law, perhaps we could say that the law is abolished for Christians, but is still active for everyone else? even though this is a bit warped it may help?]
OK I had a good go there (might be my last). Now to some of the comments, which are hard to respond to because we are operating under two different “religions” and the parameters are at cross purposes. Links and references will make the Belgian Christadelphian site available so that they are able to put their view, regardless of what happens here in terms of return comments, which they can present. [ https://messiahforall.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/messianic-prophesies-1-adversary-root-of-the-first-prophecy/ – visit ]
“MA”, you said “…mankind did not have to do anything to receive the gift of salvation” I think that might be what you are saying I am saying because I know there are language difficulties, but will have to follow that up.
You are defining “belief” as “an essential work”. Belief is something that takes place in the heart/mind and is not a “work”, but again, you could be meaning something slightly different. You say it is a work to become part of the body of Christ. And, “Though we do believe also non Christians shall be saved and able to enter the kingdom of God, as long as they kept to the mitzva or commandments of God”. This sounds like people who are commandment keepers do not need the sacrifice of Christ, which sounds as if he might as well not have come and died. Isn’t this describing the Jewish religion? And not what the NT says?
“IM” , “Two Hells [262b]”. I do not teach forever hell and I do not seek to actively promote “trinity” although it may crop up as a means of perspective in various subjects.
“Works” that you have to do to be saved ** (or to continue to be saved) are not the same works that are done as a result of being saved. IE works such as James is describing are simply more “fruits” of belief that should come from love because if they are done for their own sake without love then they are just as dead as the faith James is talking about.
“IM”, you said, “God has no reason at all to bear our sins in something like a body which he has not”?? But it says He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. And a body thou hast prepared for me? – I can’t understand what you are saying here.
I do not represent any particular denomination. Bagatelle? [ok “making of little value”]. God faking his death???
“IM”, you said “God made it clear that people pay for their sins with their death. The loving and just God shall never demand a second payment”. I’m sorry, but many places in scripture talk about a place of torment, Jesus said so himself. People fear death, not because of the death, but because of the possible judgement that lies beyond. “Through fear of death man is subject to lifelong bondage”. Believers accept the pronounced judgement on sin and are then free of it. Otherwise the vilest murderer could see death as an escape from his due punishment for his many sins and continue to destroy others while on his way to the grave.
“IM”, you said “saying that they [sins] are removed by forgiveness means that the person first has to show some remorse and has to hope or look for forgiveness, which again shall demand some effort on his part, though you claim nobody has to do any work….”
I do not believe that believing you have been forgiven, constitutes “work”. [although this is the “work” he asks for, but he is making a point that it is NOT work.]
“IM”, Christianity makes it plain that what the law is for is to reveal sin (death).
That the answer to this is to accept the judgement of death.
And to accept that another took that sentence upon himself.
My prime interest is in what you think the cross of Christ achieved? It is here where things usually fall apart.
It usually ends up something like Jesus took our sin but he didn’t actually take it and we have to do all these various things in order to comply, to be compliant in order to gain salvation, and in order that our sins are removed.
God has removed all necessity for people to REMAIN IN DEATH because he has made death and sin of no account because he has settled the matter in Jesus. God is only interested in life, not death. *He freely offers forgiveness without qualification or condition – there may be some things which are helpful to man’s apprehension of this truth, but they are not conditions, only helps. People who remain in their death are dead already, and that will be confirmed at judgement, where they will be examined for their life’s results. Being confronted with truth will be painful for them. (That is the “soft” version of “hell”.)
*THE REASON why this is so, is so that man can be completely without excuse for not returning to God. There are completely absolutely no barriers or conditions to accepting the love of God which is in Jesus. Man can no longer “hide behind” his sin.
For the answer to all this nonsense please see https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Present_Tense_Realities_Freedom_from_the.html?id=hZVRAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
**[ not a Christian position] Csects Ccults Clove Cchristadelphian Claw Cbook