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The Case For "The Israel Of God" Part 2

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by ebedmelech, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Continuing to Make the case for the "Israel of God", I move briefly to Romans 4.

    In Romans 4, Paul is still making his case to the Jew! He does it using the man the Jews referred to as "their father"…ABRAHAM!
    [FONT=&quot]
    In Romans 4 Paul is making the case to the Jew that they lacked the faith that their father Abraham had. He says so in Romans 4:1-3:
    What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
    2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
    3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

    No doubt we have read this many times! Abraham had faith, however most Jews had fallen into a system of “works righteousness”!

    The apostle now makes the contrast of faith in God, to "works righteousness", in Romans 4:4-8:
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor,but as what is due.
    5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
    6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
    [/FONT]

    7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
    And whose sins have been covered.

    8 “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”


    Verse 4 makes it clear one cannot approach God with his deeds in hand saying "this is why you should let me into heaven". It would be telling God He owes us instead of relying on God's grace (favor).

    On the contrary, the apostle makes it clear that it is God who justified Abraham through faith and credited it to him as righteousness without the benefit of any works at all! (vs 5). This is Abraham's salvation!

    The apostle goes back to David to make this point citing his prayer in Psalm 32:1, 2 to show that even David understood this! (vss 6-8). The case is made that that even Abraham and David relied on God's grace and not their works!

    [FONT=&quot]Now let’s move to Romans 4:9-12…where the apostle is making the case to the Jew, that circumcision was a sign:
    9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”
    10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
    11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
    12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

    This is pretty clear. Abraham had faith before he was circumcised! Circumcision was given to him by God, as a seal of Abraham’s faith. This is God sealing His covenant with Abraham!. However, the main point comes as Paul states that Abraham would be the father of ALL who believe without circumcision as well as those who are circumcised by faith!!! This is all believers who come to faith in God.

    In this, let
    [/FONT] us not lose sight of the declaration of Romans 2:28, 29, because there, the apostle designated all who receive God's "righteousness by faith" as spiritual Jews!

    Now...consistent with "righteousness by faith" Paul now wants us to understand we are Abraham's descendants in coming to faith in God just as Abraham did! Romans 4:13-18:
    13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
    14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
    15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
    16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
    17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
    18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
    [FONT=&quot]

    The apostle makes it clear that Abraham's descendants, are ALL who comes to faith in God apart from works just as Abraham did! This is whether Jew or Gentile! If you come to faith in God you are a descendant of Abraham!

    The apostle has just laid more ground work for the "Israel of God" as he has declared all who come to faith in God, apart from works as Abraham's descendants!

    In part 3, we will move to Romans 9.
    [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
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  2. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    Just would like to point out here that Romans 4 passages do not use the phrase "Israel of God", you are.

    You are making links to terms which were not intended to be made. Each chapter of the NT written by Paul should be looked at in light of its unique context. Of course they are not totally unique and separate, but let me make my main point here, then I will cut this short to let you finish and the others chime in.

    Since Israel was a descendent of Abraham, it makes no sense for Romans 4 to be making any case that believers are the "Israel of God" when it is Abraham who is being discussed. It makes more sense that Romans 4 is making the case that Israel is irrelevant when it comes to faith, as it was Abraham that came first, through faith. Why would anyone need to be included in Israel in order to be saved? They DON'T. And that is Paul's main point - that being of Israel is not required, and it never was.

    So what you are really doing here is actually turning Romans 4 on its head!
     
  3. Douggg

    Douggg anytime rapture, non-dispensationalist, futurist

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    Aijalon, I read your post....:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  4. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    No. Actually I'm building the case...and it's quite valid!

    Israel was required to believe God by faith...just as everyone else is!

    You make a huge error saying "being of Israel" was not required. It was quite clear in the OT that to be of Israel, a man had to be circumcised, and eat the passover...then the became as a native born Jew. Read Exodus 12:43-49, and brush up on that...:thumbsup:

    If you read what I wrote, I turned nothing on it's head in Romans 4, it's quite valid!

    Granted there's one place that Paul uses the term Israel of God, which is Galatians 6:14-16:
    14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
    15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
    16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.


    Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I will continue to make my case. If you disagree...that's fine.

    There's more to come.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  5. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    I think I will jump ahead of you a bit to Romans 9, just in case.

    There are three key verses that I will use here to show it is not "In Israel" that we are saved. The term Israel is understood allthroughout the NT as meaning the nation of Israel - or - the descendents of Jacob, in every case it is used. It can also mean at the same time the "people of God" but only in the sense of an Old Testament persepective, and in light of what God said of Isreal in Scripture. They were his Old Testament Covenant people - a nation chosen by God.


    8 That is, [they that are] the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned as seed.
    Verse 8 explains verse 6 and 7. It is not Israel in the flesh which are saved, but children of the promise, which is according to ELECTION.

    11b ...(that the purpose of God according to election might abide, not of works, but of him that calls),
    Verse 11 is the capstone to this whole thing. Israel makes no difference. It is all about election which is determined by a promise from God made beforehand.

    Using the term "Israel of God" is fine and well if one wants to use it as a way of saying "Saints" or "People of Faith". But it is unfitting to use this term to act as though the Saints are grouped by any kind of classification other than election and faith.

    When it comes to "replacement theology" we must view national-Israel still within the promises made in the Old Testament. Israel cannot be replaced because the promises and covenants made to them did not apply to all nations. The New Covenant was made with all mankind, in addition to fulfilling the Old Testament. It just boils down to whether or not you believe Israel is permanently rejected by God, or whether God has a special plan in store for them or not which remains to be fulfilled on this earth.
     
  6. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    It looks like you're trying to tie the spiritual angle of being a Jew to the physical one, but maybe you misunderstood me.

    Being of Israel was not, and never was required for Salvation - just as circumcision was never required for salvation. Is that more clear?

    If fleshly circumcision was required to be part of Israel of old, so in the same way spiritual circumcision is required to be part of the "Israel of God", no problem there. But we are not talking about the things of the flesh so why are you bring that into this?
     
  7. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    I'm not trying...I am!

    The spiritual is the REALITY for the Christian!

    Again you don't read what I wrote. Do it again carefully....and perhaps you'll see:
    This is always in light of Christ fulfilling the Law! The Law is now abolished in Christ fulfillment of it. However we know circumcision was required under the Law because there if one was not circumcised, they were to be cut off.
    Gen 17:14:
    14 But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

    Keep it real!
     
  8. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    I am not sure of what you are saying, are you saying that an Israelite was saved under different requirements than we are saved today?

    Are you saying that to refuse circumcision in the Days of the old laws meant you were eternally condemned?

    I don't think this is born out in scripture if that is what you are saying.

    To be cut off from their people mean that they were excluded from all the rituals and from the community of Israel. Doubtless many of them felt that this was a sentence of eternal damnation, but I think the New Testament shows us that this is not the case at all. I believe that certainly to disobey God's commands was a sin for them, but to deny that the Blood of Christ covers them should they have repented would be a tragedy in theology.

    Do you not agree that Christ's blood satisfied the penalty for sin for all man through all time?

    EDIT: That is what I believe, and I believe that prior to Jesus death Satan held just about everyone prisoner, in that based on deeds alone, each man is accused and sentenced and held for a final judgement. After Jesus' death, he preached the Gospel in the heavenly realms "set the prisoners free" - just thought I needed to say that I guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  9. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    No I 'm not. What I'm saying is you look at these things of the OT and what the represented spiritually:

    *Circumcision was the antitype of a new new heart as Paul stated in Romans 2:29:
    29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

    Indeed, that's what it represented. Why would they be "cut off" for refusing to do so?
    Yes...but you need to understand this in light of the NT. Paul told us "the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ". So even though the Jews were under the Law, if one had faith they would obey God's Law.

    Think of it this way...if a person professed faith in Christ but refused to be baptized what would you do? Baptism to the Christian...is like circumcision to the Jew, it was the first thing required after being born as a Jew. For the Christian the first act after the new birth is baptism.

    It is a paralell representing the reality of the spiritual.

    Indeed I do!

    That is because Christ fulfilled EVERY requirement of God's law for us, living in perfect obedience to the Law, which enabled Him to become our Passover Lamb by the crucifixion. Had he not done so the New Covenant would not have happened.

    No. Satan did no such thing.

    Jesus led the OT saints into glory after His resurrection, they were just as saved as you and I are today. Christ became the firstfruit of them that slept (died).

    The OT saints were in the place describe metaphorically by Jesus in "Lazarus and the Rich Man" this is Hades which was divided into those saved and those lost. Jesus led those who were saved of the OT after his resurrection.

    What do you think is going on in Matthew 27:50-53? The "holy city" is heaven, Christ took them there.


     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  10. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    Hmmmm. Not so sure about this here, you are advocating that the Jews could proove they were saved by following the old laws, and that so long as they were not cut off they were saved. I think this is rather crazy.

    Refusing to be circumcised was either eternal damnation or not. Please choose. By saying "that is what it represented" you are being vague. Being cut off from Israel either did or did not damn them forever. There is no "represented" about it.

    You are in a rock and hard place here man.

    There is no way to know if any of them were truly saved or not based on circumcision or any other of the laws, because the law had no power to save them whatsoever, but you seem to be giving credit to the law to do that. yes, i recognize that faith without works is dead. Works are the evidence of faith, but works can also be faked.
    Baptism to the Christian...is like circumcision to the Jew
    Indeed, and Baptism is optional. Israel often forgot to perform the law, I'm sure that Jesus blood forgave those poor children that did not get circumcised by their parents. You are just on very shaky ground when it comes to the OT law demonstrating salvation. it did no such thing, it demonstrated sinfulness. Only a sinlessness could use the law as salvation, which you know is impossible for us.
     
  11. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    No...not at all! Remember that I said:
    God's salvation has always been a matter of grace through faith!
    That is correct. Do you really have an understanding of the Law? Because it was God that gave Israel the Law. He never misled them that "works of the Law" saved them. It was God that told them this:
    Deuteronomy 10:16:
    16 So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.

    "Circumcise your heart" is a metaphorical way of saying "have faith in God"!

    Why do you think Israel and Judah went into captivity? It was because the had consistently broken God's covenant. God told Moses they would do so in Deuteronomy 31:16-18:
    16 The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.
    17Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’
    18But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.


    Also God was quite merciful to them...He sent them judges, prophets, and even rendered judgment on them trying to turn them to Him before He sent them into captivity. So don't act as if God didn't give them space to repent.

    As for baptism, it is the Lord's first command to a believer after salvation. So don't build a straw man! If there is a legitimate reason one cannot be baptized, obviously it's not an issue. There are also new believers who are confused about baptism and need to understand it...however, if there is no reason for one to not be baptized, if they are just refusing, their salvation should be questioned, because they won't obey Christ first command to the believer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  12. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    Alright then. So what is it exactly that you are saying. Is this all symantics?

    It seems that in the other thread that you and others were advocating that we are not saved except "through" Isreal somehow and that the "Israel of God" means that national Israel never had a special place in God's sight. But quite clearly we all can see that Gentiles are not saved by any direct connection to the OT laws at all, but completely independently of them. Even though the OT laws forshadowed the Covenant with Christ's blood, they did so in advance to the Jews only, upon who were bestowed 7 special things (Rom 9:4-5)

    1. the adoption,
    2. and the glory,
    3. and the covenants,
    4. and the law-giving,
    5. and the service,
    6. and the promises; "the promises"
    7. 'The bloodline of Christ'
    The concept of exclusion of the Gentiles prior to Christ means that this advanced knowledge was not intended to be given to all men until then. So I think it makes sense that Israel (scattered) does have a special place in God's sight, and that the OT has certain things to say about national Israel that do not apply to all believers, and that regardless of the fact we are saved through faith only, and that the OT can't save us or them, there are promises that pertain to Israel which were not "superceded" by the New Covenant, but remain to be fulfilled in Christ's return as King. In this lies the essence of replacement theology, that Christ's ethnic heritage is valueless, and that the Land of Israel shall not be redeemed as the law says it will be.

    Christ must fulfill the law, so the physical land of Israel must be reclaimed, rested, healed, and restored.
     
  13. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Suffice it to say as I continue my case...you will know what I advocate.
     
  14. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    :smarty:

    Looking forward to it.
     
  15. childofdust

    childofdust Newbie

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    It might behoove one to look a little more closely at some of those verses in Romans.

    “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.”

    “To the one who works” means to the one who keeps the Law.

    A person who works earns a wage. The word “wage” is used because it signifies what someone is owed for what they do—for their work.

    The wage of the Jew who keeps the Law is life. The opposite is true as well: the wage a Jew earns for breaking the Law is death.



    The distinction Paul is making has nothing to do with “earning one's way into heaven.” No Jew ever believed that if they kept the Law, they would earn a ticket to heaven. But they did believe, and quite rightly, that if they kept the Law, god would not hand them over to death.

    The distinction Paul is making has to do with what makes a person favored by god. Is it keeping the Law? No. Abraham, for example, didn't keep the Law, and was favored by god anyway. So keeping the Law has nothing to do with being favored by god. Paul brings this up not because he thinks Jews are trying to earn their way into heaven, but because he wants to point out that just because Jews have the Law doesn't make them any better than a gentile. It just means that they have earned the right to not be destroyed.



    The point isn't that they relied on grace instead of works (and this is even more obvious when it comes to Abraham since there was no such thing as the works of the Law at the time of Abraham), the point is that god can show mercy on anyone. He can show mercy on a non-Torah-observant gentile like Abraham. He can show mercy an a sinful man like David. He can show mercy on me. He can show mercy on you.



    Gentiles don't become descendants of Abraham in terms of our flesh if we come to faith in God. We become descendants of Abraham in terms of the spirit if we come to faith in God. Despite my faith, I am not and never will be a blood descendant of Abraham. And that's the point: neither one's lineage nor one's keeping of the Law makes them special. It is faith that does. Therefore, since I am gentile, I shouldn't think that I need to keep the Law and I shouldn't think that I need to somehow find my way into the Jewish family. I'm fine where I am. I came into the kingdom apart from Law, apart from lineage, by the Spirit. Praise Yah! And the same is true of the Jew. They still need faith, regardless of Law and regardless of lineage. Yet, if they don't want to be killed, they must also keep the Law, otherwise, their wage will be death.
     
  16. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Well...it would seem you might need to understand the term "works righteousness" because it mean exactly what you're saying. Perhaps you're not familiar with the term.

    Really? You haven't read the gospels very well then...because that's what the Jews were trying to tell Jesus. Furthermore, Paul says that's exactly what they tried to do. Romans 9:31, 32:
    31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
    32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.


    I believe if you read what I said that's exactly what I said:
    :thumbsup:

    I think you might want to read what I said again. I said very distinctly, Abraham had faith in God. Exactly what Paul says. and I even pointed that out here:
    I'll get to that in more detail as I move on...but I made that point in Part 1
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  17. childofdust

    childofdust Newbie

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    The “you obviously haven't read this very closely” response is a logical fallacy called an ad hominem. Beyond that, however, it is also quite insulting to state that I haven't read very well simply because my answer is different than yours. In the future, I suggest that you address what I say and not try to assassinate my character.

    Paul says nothing here about Jewish people trying to earn their righteousness through the Law. Rather, he says Jewish people were trying to follow the Law, which was righteous, but by following that Law, they never actually became righteous. Paul isn't arguing against something they were trying to do, but against something they never could do. The stumbling stone isn't their attempt to earn righteousness, it is the fact that no matter how perfect they were with the Law, it would never be enough. The point is not “don't try to earn righteousness through works” - no Jew would have even thought of it – the point is “don't think that you, a gentile, need to follow the Law when faith accomplishes far more for you than the Law ever did even for a Jew.”

    When I say “The distinction Paul is making has to do with what makes a person favored by god,” it has nothing whatsoever to do with earning one's way into heaven or trying to earn righteousness. When you say “one cannot approach God with his deeds in hand saying "this is why you should let me into heaven,” this does mean trying to earn one's way into heaven or earn one's righteousness. I fail to see how what I said is what you said.

    And I quote: “The case is made that even Abraham and David relied on God's grace and not their works!” If you didn't even hint at the concept that David relied on grace instead of works of the Law right there, then what you have said is incomprehensible.
     
  18. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

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    childofdust makes some good points, have not considered it from that precise angle. I would like to say though, that "not being destroyed" and "getting into heaven" go hand in hand. Isn't this really the same thing when you get down to it?

    There are sheep vs goats, wicked vs righteous, penitent vs unrepentant. Or is there some sort of intermediate state of salvation where God doesn't destroy me, yet I'm not exactly accepted into his kingdom as an heir, just sort of hanging out outside the gate so to speak.

    I could accept such a view, at least in terms of ancient Israel, they would probably have believed that God punished all evildoers with destruction, but what of foreigners who were not evil. Were these people viewed as saved?
     
  19. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    I think I did. That you feel insulted, I will only say that is not my intent at all. In your response, I concluded you didn't understand what I wrote, and the case being that I wrote it, I know what my intent is...so perhaps you should allow me to explain what I write.
    I think it's pretty clear. That's exactly what Paul is saying. He would not make the statement that Israel went about "pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law" if that wasn't the case. There are several instances of that as we read the gospels and their verbal confrontations with Jesus. I will refer to the passage again that states that is the case:
    Romans 9:30-32:
    30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
    31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
    32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone...

    I think that's pretty clear and it makes my point. Now, I may have not explained it clearly enough for you, but the fact is, the apostle says that's exactly what Israel did.

    I agree with that. However the point Paul is making is exactly that. I think a read of Romans 2 makes that perfectly clear. Even today as you ask many of the unsaved why would they go to heaven, their response is "Because I'm a good person", and they go on about what they do and don't do. So this is not only the Jews that go about it that way". So yes...the Jews (as well as people in general) think what they have done earns them heaven. Why is the apostle making the point that Abraham's faith was credited as righteousness by God apart from his works? He want's us to understand works (what we do), are insufficient.

    No. Let's let the scriptures make that very point...because that's where it's stated. Romans 4:6-9:
    6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
    7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered.
    8 “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”



    I'm not hinting at anything...the apostle is, which is why he makes that point in Romans 4:4, 5:
    4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
    5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

    If a person thinks they're "due" something, it's clear they think they've earned it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  20. janxharris

    janxharris Veteran

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    At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

    Why do you suggest that this is not literal? I am very confused.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
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